Who We Are
Oakville is located in southern Ontario, Canada, on the north shore of lake Ontario and about a one half hour drive west of Toronto. Since its founding in 1956, club membership has grown from the original six to over 200 members at times.
We maintain a miniature airport to satisfy the needs of members, their guests and the general public spectators. Visiting pilots and spectators are always encouraged to drop by the airfields or attend any of our meetings or events.
The overall mission for the club is to provide a safe and fun venue for the building and flying of model aircraft. Individual interests of our members vary widely from the simple trainer, which vaguely resembles today’s general aviation type aircraft through to the much more complex “true scale” modeling of WWI and WWII aircraft and everything in between. Piloting skills range from the student in training to the world class aerobatics competition level.
Founded on May 3, 1956, from a group originally formed in 1947 by the late Warren Hitchcox, the reorganized body assumed the name “Oakville Model Flying Club” and boasted a membership of six modelers. Al Cook was elected as the first club president. Control-line flying was the major interest, and flying was done at the park behind the Oakville Arena at Rebecca and Kerr Streets. After a year of increasing activity, noise complaints led to the relocation of the flying site to an area on the south side of the Queen Elizabeth Highway (at the present location of the Trafalgar Village Shopping Centre), which served the club until 1960.
The first R/C field was located at the farm of the late Mr. Stan Gorman on the north side of Highway 5, west of the Sixth Line. The popular plane of the period was the Debolt Champ with a K & B .15 engine and a two channel radio. Because of the large batteries required, these aircraft weighed around five pounds, but, with a little coaxing, would do loops and rudder rolls. Boats were operated in the river mouths at Oakville and Bronte harbours and at a pond, north on Still’s Lane from the Lakeshore Highway West.
In 1960, a better R/C field was found on the property of the Shell refinery. This strip was graded and smoothed out to permit take-off and landing. It was on this field that our first big R/C contest was held. Unfortunately, the club was obliged to relinquish the use of this property when crashes occurred inside the refinery.
Returning to Mr. Gorman’s property, the club obtained permission to grade and level the landing strip. The strip was seeded and proved an excellent site through 1962 and 1963. When a breeder of mink on the adjacent farm complained about the noise, the club moved to a new site on the farm of Mr. Anson Devlin at the corner of Fourth Line and Baseline Road. After seeding, this strip became our home until 1966, when the farm was sold.
In 1967, our North Field at Drumquin Park was acquired in cooperation with the Oakville Parks Board. With the advent of regional government, this property became part of Milton (the club name adopted Milton in the name to reflect the location and association), and current use of this field, as well as its maintenance, is handled jointly by the Milton Parks Board and the Oakville Model Flying Club. The North Field, because of its parking and camping facilities, is the site of all our contests and meets. These include annual Fun Flys, Scale Rallies and Pattern Contests (OMFC has traditionally hosted the MAAC SE Zone Pattern Championships). Also held annually at the Drumquin site is the club’s Demo Day, where OMFC puts on a two to three hour model Air Show, some years to crowds in excess of 1000 spectators!
The North Field is also the site of the Club’s training facilities, with most evenings of the week and part of the weekend being reserved for our student pilots. By 1975, the club membership had reached the point where it was difficult to get in more than one flight on a Sunday afternoon, so it became necessary to find an additional flying field. Through Mr. Hays of Hays’ Farm on Highway 5, we were able to acquire the site which was our South Field, at the north-west corner of Highway 5 and Trafalgar Road. As of November 2013 this field was closed due to residential development.
The Wings Instructional Program, started in 1972, has enjoyed widespread acceptance across Canada. A recent new offering, the Advanced Training Program, takes flyers beyond the Wings Program and into disciplined basic aerobatics.
In the nearly sixty-five years since 1956, club membership has grown from the original six to over 225 open and junior members at its peak, (approx 100 as of 2020).
In 1985 OMFC and the Fliteline gained international recognition by being awarded the Model Airplane News ‘Club of the Month’ award for its newsletter. 1986 April Issue of M.A.N pg. 131