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John Graham of Freeburg uses a small electric starter to get the propellor of his Escapade Sport Flyer up to speed.  At right is his friend Jerry Smalling of Belleville.  Both are members of the Belleville RC Flyers Club, which has a takeoff/landing field located on Rentchler Road, between Belleville and Mascoutah.  Graham's plane has a wingspread of 71" (just about six feet) and is operated via remote control using a hand-held unit.  This plane is just one of the more than a dozen radio-controlled planes Graham owns and flies.  This plane was a Christmas present to him in 2011.  The Belleville RC Flyers Club has about 70 members, comprised primarily of metro-east residents, and is always open to new memberships. New members can receive free training by veteran club members and help in obtaining their pilot certification through the Academy of Model Aeronautics.  Some other club members fly small jet planes - Smalling has one - and even helicopters.  Go to the club's website at for more information.