Each fall the York County Flyers host their Fallen Eagle Fly-In, and as part of this event, they raise funds for Hospice & Community Care. The group has raised over $15,000 over the years to benefit Hospice. This year, the event took place on October 19 and it draws spectators and participants for the competition and exhibition shows. This year, the Hendrickson family decided to join as members because they enjoyed the family atmosphere and positive outdoor activity.  

When asked what they were most excited about, daughter Bryleigh said it was the prizes.  Mark, Tina, Colton, and Bryleigh just had the opportunity to participate in the raffle drawing and she and her brother were thrilled to be among the raffle winners. “Honestly the opportunity to be involved in something we are all going to enjoy, meet new people, and fly airplanes. This is a great opportunity to learn together and watch them grow. Oh and see who crashes more, me or them,” laughed Mark.  

“Ever since a young age, our son (Colton) grew up with a screwdriver in his hand so he is very tech-savvy. He is good with snap circuits, remotes, and stuff like that so we are trying to show him that he can use that at a very early age. And then when he blew out his ACL, he couldn’t really run or do sports anymore. So we are challenging his mind. We wanted to see what this event was all about. The community here is really great.  It is for all ages,” said Tina.   

When asked what they were most excited about, Colton and Bryleigh stated “the really big planes and the fast ones!” Mark and Tina explained that they just want the kids to have fun. “It is such a great atmosphere for families to get out and do something together,” said Mark.  

“And Hospice is such a fantastic thing, it means a lot to us. We have had hospice for many family members in Illinois, and it is such a fantastic support system,” said Tina.  

The Fallen Eagle Fly-in is an electric-only event. Greg Blackwell, Club President, explained “It is a memorial event where we honor members who are no longer with us. And many of them have used Hospice and that is why we try and benefit Hospice as much as we can. This is our last fly-in of the year, and it’s always a great event.” The flyers are an Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sanctioned model aircraft club located in York, SC.  The AMA is one of the largest model aviation organizations in the world.  

Benton Griffin participated in the competition and demonstrated his remarkable skills in a 3D flight. According to Benton, he has flown planes for the past 16 years of his 18-year life. “I come here a lot because it is just a little more than an hour from our home.” Benton is also a full-scale pilot and said he has always loved planes. “I had a flying magazine in my hand since the day I was born, and my dad has over 3,000 hours in gliders and airplanes. I plan to become a commercial pilot.”

When asked what he liked most about this particular event, Benton said, “It is just an amazing event and the people here are very welcoming. Everyone is very passionate. For those who are interested in getting into flying, it is an amazing community and there many great events. I do 3-D flying which is very hard to do. A lot of this stuff can’t be done with a full-scale airplane.  It truly takes a lot of dedication and thousands and thousands of hours flying. You really need to commit it to muscle memory.”

“The plane I was flying was about $1,000, ready to go. My big one is a 35% is about $7,000 and has a 120 CC gas engine. If someone was just learning I also recommend that new flyers consider ordering something like a Horizon Hobby’s trainer or micro plane. They are really good to start with.”  

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