Airplane and Helicopter Enthusiasts


History of the Club


By Denis Lyon and Ben Strasser

Boskovitch Brothers bean fieldOnce upon a time there was a small group of guys up in the Santa Clarita area who wanted to find a local place to fly radio controlled (R/C) planes. Way back then their search paid off when they found a suitable dirt road at the Boskovitch Brothers bean field. When I say “way back then” that was the time when proportional R/C stuff had recently come on the scene. Proportional was a Godsend for modelers. Prior to that time our transmitters had a series of spring loaded toggle switches. Push one switch and a servo pushed the control surface all of the way up or down or … To get a little up elevator, for example, you would have to “blip” the switch. Then Kraft and others came on the scene with a transmitter for which you could push the “stick” a little and the control surface would move a little. Push it more and the control surface would move more. Wow. Now that’s modern technology working for us! Kraft’s and other “good” R/C system at that time sold for about $800! That was the time when I was earning $350 a month as a fourth grade teacher for LA Unified!

Kraft Transmitter

But there were no buttons to push to change servo throw or otherwise program your R/C system. For example, if you set up a servo in your plane and the control surface worked backwards, you had to get in and move the linkage to the other side of the servo wheel. Or if the control surface moved too much or too little you had to move the clevis to a different hole at the servo or clevis horn. And the transmitter worked for only one plane. Either you had to have multiple R/C systems for different planes or you had to change receivers. (At one time when I was writing for Bridi Hobby and RCM I had as many as 27 R/C systems!) Oh, and there was no such thing as NIMH or Lipo batteries either.

Vintage Model Airplane Kits 1960s

To help the more junior members among us get a fix on R/C in the late 1960s, we all built our planes with either ambroid or Titebond type glues, each of which had to set up over night! There was no epoxy. There was no cyanoacrylate glue. There was no silicone seal, fortunately, however, MonoKote had recently became available; the savior for all who previously had their talents tested when finishing a plane with silk and nitrate dope.

Phil KraftBut back to the “Bean Field Flyers.” as the size of the Bean Field Flyers grew and some development in the area began, they left the dirt roads in favor an area where the streets and curbs were in but no buildings had yet risen from the dust. One problem there was if your plane turned on touchdown, as they often did of their own accord, running into a curb could ruin a prop or make a mess of the engine! Or when turning into final if you made the turn wrong, you could lose a wing on a lamp post. Then they got an idea; lease some land from Newhall Land. And to get money to put in a blacktop runway they would set up a club and open it to 100 members, as I recall. In addition to the dues new members had to pay a “field fee.” Word quickly spread among many guys who flew at the basin; a private blacktop field that was not open to the public. Wow. sounded great. The membership ranks quickly filled and in the early 1970s the Bean Field Flyers had a home. The Valencia Valley Headwinds R/C field was open for business. There was nothing there but a runway, a ditch surrounding the field to prevent the off-roaders from tearing up the runway, and a chain gate. No homes within miles. No field buildings. No shade structures, not even an Andy Gumpper (Heading off to the bushes again, huh Frank?). And it stayed that way for all of the years there was a VVH. “Just a really great place to fly with a really nice group of guys.”

Because membership to the club was limited we had a waiting list sometimes including up to 30+ names. At that time it was not unusual for some guys to wait two years before an opening came up. As president one of my best jobs was to make that call to some on our waiting list to inform them that we had some openings! A few years later one of our members opened what might have been the first hobby shop in Santa Clarita not far from the present Hobby People location, but on the other side of the tracks. And he set up a flying field behind his shop which gave other guys another place to fly. As the size of his group grew, they too sought to lease some land from Newhall Land and settled on a plateau area on the other side of the wash just about across from the Speedway. That was the Canyon Crosswinds.

And over time they really set up a very classy field with a huge shaded area with work tables, grass in the infield, and so on and on. As I recall, one of the issues was field maintenance so they increased the dues and had an arrangement such that when members worked at the field they got points which reduced their renewal dues. One advantage of that system was that if you didn’t want to show up to cut the lawn or paint the tables, you didn’t have to feel guilty about it; you were paying the full amount of your dues. And they had many really nice group of guys in that club.

In addition to the continuing development in the area (actually it was perhaps 15 years later that Newhall Land actually started development of the area leased by the VVH and the CCW) the end of our leases was in sight due to some theft of Newhall Land’s oil! Along the long road to the CCW flying site up on the plateau there were several crude oil pipelines with valves, and so on. Apparently one or more thoughtless members drove in a tank truck one evening, filled it up with Newhall’s crude and drove off to sell it out of the area. While, as far as I know Newhall never identified the culprit, they did believe he was a member of the R/C guys. Months later when we showed up to our Headwinds field, our Lessor had brought in a cat and our field was a rubble pile of pieces of blacktop! The same thing happened to the Crosswinds’ field at the same time. Newhall had had it with the R/C guys. Our leases were kaput!

In search of a field, members and officers of both clubs were scampering about the area to find a flying site. Both they and we came upon the unused horse area on the plateau above the lake. As Tony (President of the CCW) and I (President of the Headwinds) met with the lake they responded by saying that they would not choose one or the other of our clubs to lease the land and recommended that we merge the clubs as a simple way to solve the problem. Tony and I met. In our discussion I learned that the Crosswinds had formed a tax-free corporation while we were just a limited partnership. As a limited partnership, legally that meant that if anyone were to sue the Headwinds, all members would be a responsible party to the legal action. So, on a vote at a special meeting, members of the Headwinds decided that we would simply turn over our total bank account to the Crosswinds and we were all members of the CCW; there was no more Valencia Valley Headwinds. We were all one happy family and moved up onto the plateau.

Some trees on the other side and ends of the runway were cut down. What was a packed-down area was covered with blacktop. Work tables were built. We were flying again. And then there is the story about the beautiful field that the lake built for us on land in front of the dam owned by the California Department of Water Resources into which we moved several years later. As I recall, the blacktop alone cost the lake more than $40,000. And it was a fabulous site with a huge field – until 911. But that’s another story.

Mission Statement

Our Mission as the Canyon Crosswinds model airplane club is to develop a social organization of modelers and to promote the building and flying of radio controlled model aircraft.


  • Encourage the aims and ideals of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Maintain a safe flying site for flying model aircraft.
  • Secure appropriate insurance for the club and its members through affiliation with the AMA.
  • Share education, experience, and information regarding full size and model aviation.
  • Promote more interest in model aviation in our community.
  • Organize and promote flying contests and other activities.
  • Publish a monthly newsletter for club members & maintain a website for club information and links for helpful and recreational purposes and also to promote interest in the club through its many activities.

Club Meetings


Meetings now will be held at Mimi's Cafe on Magic Mountain Pkwy  on the 4th Weds of the month at 7pm.


Club Officers

2016 - 2017

President              Jim Desautels               

Vice-President     Bill Ardizzone
Secretary             Bob Awtry                  
Treasurer              Bob Awtry                                   
Contest Director  Don Schelling               
Contest Director   Bob Awtry                    
Newsletter Editor Jim Schwagle               
Webmaster          Bob Awtry                     
Field Officer         Richard Fitt                   

Safety Officer      Larry DeGeorge                        


Roster  As of 7/6/17

Abejon, Carl
Albert, Jimmy
Allaway, Jack
Ardizzone, Bill
Awtry, Bob
Bailey, Tim
Bartlett, Jerry
Bashew, Howard
Basso, Ted
Baxter, Aaron
Baxter, Bill
Baxter, Robert
Belcher, David
Bernard, Michael
Bougioukos, Tom
Brasha, Lewis
Breuer, Mark
Briggs, Wally
Buchok, Lee
Buxton, Tom
Cameron, Kyle
Cameron, Mike
Campbell, Bob
Carnall, Bruce
Catlett, James
Coe, Daniel
Conrad, Clark
Cookson, Randy
Crow, Howard
Dail, Corey
Davis, Donavan
Davis, Ray
DeGeorge, Larry
Desautels, Jim
Dittes, Andrew
Dittes, Chris
Dvorsky, Eric
Edge, Jonathan
Edwards, Lawerence

Ekins, Sean
Elayapsruma, Lishan
Etheredge, Curtis
Euredjan, Martin
Evans, Steve
Fasano, Todd
Felbaum, Daniel
Fitt, Richard
Freund, Josh
Gentry, Brian
Griswold, Daniel
Guske, Brad
Hampton, Jason
Howell, Steve
Hrezo, Chris
Herzo, Larry
Jazarowski, Jerald
Johnson, Donald
Kemp, Roy
Koharik, Chris
Kunkel, Mike
Lamb, Terry
LeTourneau, David
Loguidice, Victor
Lucky, Brian
Luiz, Michael
Magallanes, Albert
Margheritis, Alex
Marnoch, Scott
Matinas, James
McKnight, Tom
McLean, John
Moon, Justin
Morris, Brandon
Navarro, Frank
Oliver, Byran
Orellana, Amado
Padilla, Vincente
Panosian, Varoj
Parks, James
Pellerin, Charlie
Petrosky, Ronald

Picone, Bruce
Pitaro, Mike
Plank, John
Ponek, Robert Jr
Preziosa, Leo
Rembert, Paul
Rice, Robert
Rollin, Harlan E
Russell, Doug
Sabac, Alfonso
Sabol, Andrew
Santino, Michael
Schaefer Thomas J Jr
Schelling, Don
Schorz, Henery
Schwagle, Jim
Scott, Gary
Scott, John
Slkirk, Peter
Skikas, John
Snider, John
Stewart, Robert
Strasser, Ben
Stubbs, Richard
Talaie, Vahid
Teague, Norm
Tempesta, David
Tesi, John
Thomas, John
Thomas, Mark
Thome, Kevin
Thompson, Charles
Thompson, Kevin
Thordarson, Kevin
Thordarson, Dan
Trexel, Derik S
Van Santen, Don
Vasantharaj, Manoj
Webster, Richard
Wilson, Doug
Yamada, Glenn
Yares, Marc
York, Dave
Zeile, Mike
Zeinali, Andranik

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Valencia, CA 91385

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