The Heart of America Free Flight Association will have its annual contest in Marion for the fifth consecutive year this fall. The contest will be Oct. 5 and 6 at Marion Municipal Airport-Baxter Field.
Free flight is a sport of flying model airplanes without remote control. The models are prepared before launch to fly in a circle so they don’t have to be chased very far. The goal is for the models to fly for as long as possible after the motor — either a combustion engine or a tightly wound rubber strap — stops.
In recent years, the contest has drawn 20 to 30 competitors from Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Arizona, director Mike Basta of Lenexa said.
The late Paul Thomas helped bring the contest to Marion in 2009 after use of the Kansas Speedway became too expensive.
“It’s a really good flying site,” Basta said of the airport. “It’s a plus for everybody, I think.”
He said Marion has been welcoming to the association.
Events will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6. The best times for spectators to visit would be 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Oct. 6 to see mass launches of the models.