The 60+ year history of KRCS extends back to the days of vacuum-tube receivers and rubber-driven escapements for control of model aircraft. We were originally known as “The Blue Mountain Buzz Bombs”, and flew for many years on the Indian Town Gap Military Reservation West End Auxiliary Airstrip.
Early days were under the tutelage of stalwart R/C enthusiast Henry Shepler, with meetings being held in his shop/garage in North Harrisburg. Other names of people who have gone on to bluer skies and fair winds, from the original group who flew at the airstrip, are Jerry Bentsel, Bob Brown, Joe Kinsey and Dick Trautman.
Back in those days, a power-on landing was usually known as a crash. Any deliberate one was hailed as a major achievement. At some point in our early history, we changed our name to the more refined “Keystone Radio Control Society, Inc”.
Others who were involved with the club as early KRCS’ers and who we also we miss are Harry Albright, Lloyd Baddorff, Jim Enterline, Red Hafer, John Landis, Jim Nowak and Bob Shutter.
For several years meetings were hosted by Hammaker Automotive (presently Harrisburg Toyota Chrysler), under the auspices of their service manager and long term member, Bob Brown.
As military helicopter activity increased at IGMR, the needs for the field by the government superseded ours, and the club for a short time moved their activities to a farm north of Linglestown. Then out to a property on Race House Road near Ono PA (that’s not meant as a pun, either). Then, for many years we flew on the former Truman E. Horner landfill in Hoernersteown, where we became accustomed to having the nearby source of supplies like replacement propellers and quick-set epoxy at the nearby Hidden Hangar, right next to the flying field. Meetings were held at the St. John’s Lutheran Church, nearby.
In exchange for helping the boys learn about R/C modeling at the Milton Hershey School, the club had flying privileges on Hershey property for a few years. Then a major building program at Hershey forced our move to the Guyer Farm located outside of Middletown, where we were on the glide path of the Harrisburg International Airport. This always gave us the uncanny feeling that we could become part of a really big local news story at any time.
The move to our present location off of Union Street in Middletown is lower profile, and much more serene than the one on the HIA glide path.
Harry M. Capper, Former Secretary and Newsletter Editor