The Lodi Area Radio Control Club was officially formed in 1989 and was first chartered as an Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) club in 1990.
Unofficially the club started before that. Several of the original founders got together and committed acts of model aviation at the Lodi Lakeland Airport on a regular basis, often with other model aviation enthusiasts from the Madison area.
It was around 1989 that the City of Lodi closed their landfill. The landfill had been capped with clay and 6-inches of topsoil. Some of the folks flying at the Lodi Airport thought that the closed landfill would make a good flying site. A group of them formed the club and came up with a proposal to turn the former landfill into an RC flying site. The City of Lodi approved the plan and came up with a short term lease for the Club and the Club was off and running.
Club members put in time and effort to get the field into flying shape. Originally the field was 180 degrees from what it is now. The parking lot and flight line was over by the pine trees and flying was done facing to the north. This lasted a couple of years when it was then decided to move the flight line to where it is now.
Gradual improvements were made to the field through out the 1990s. The mowing equipment went from a series of 20-inch mowers attached to a home-made towing rig, to a golf course greens reel mower (which was used for many, many years), to a 20-horse power riding mower pulling a 6-foot wide mower behind it. The Club also added the safety fence, the frequency pin shack and the shelter in the late 1990s.
In 1996, the Club signed their first multi-year lease (3-Years) with the City of Lodi. The lease did place some restrictions on the Club. For many years the Club was only allowed to fly glow and gas powered airplanes on certain days. For a while it was only on odd numbered days, then went to 4 days a week. The up side to this schedule was that you knew someone was going to be out flying if the weather was good. The Club was allowed to fly sailplanes (gliders) and electrics any time, so many members built sailplanes and started dabbling in electrics.
By 1998 the landfill had settled quite a bit. The Club decided to have several dump truck loads (8) of fill brought in. With the help of one of our member's skid steer (many thanks to Joel W.), the Club filled in several of the low spots that were forming on the field. It definetly helped with take-offs and landings.
In 1999 the Club renewed the lease with the City of Lodi. The new lease was for 10 years. As an added bonus all gas and glow restrictions were removed.
With the Club knowing it was going to be at the site for a while, we invested in some upgraded mowing equipment. We now have a 20-horse power riding mower with 2 pull behind 60-inch mowers allowing us to cut about 170-inches in one pass. The whole field can be mowed in just under 4 hours with this setup.
The Club signed another 10 year lease in 2009. Again the field needed some maintenece. In the fall of 2013, with the help of Scott B's and Brian R's heavy equipement, the Club completely ripped up and leveled the field. In the spring for 2014 the field was dragged, re-seeded and is now smooth and level.
Over the years the Club has participated in and put on many different events. The Club has had floats in area parades, put on demonstrations for boy scout groups, and given presentations at the area schools. The two main events that the Club puts on each year are our annual swap meet in May and our fun fly in September. We hope you can join us for one or both of these events.