The Pomona Valley Model Airplane Club was formed in the 1960s by a few remote control model aviation enthusiasts who’s main concern at the time was just getting their R/C planes off the ground and into the air. Landing or/and retrieving the plane was a secondary issue as many planes just flew away into the sunset! As the pilot’s experience increased, the PVMAC began to grow and the leaders were able to negotiate and lease a club flying field. However, this was short-lived because the PVMAC, along with most other model airplane clubs in the area, continued to loose their flying fields due to the booming construction industry of new homes and businesses…progress!
The PVMAC leadership was always scouting out potential flying fields when they came across our current Prado site in Chino California. This property was owned by the Federal Government, the Army Corp of Engineers, and was leased to the San Bernardino County Parks & Recreation Department. The process of securing this location was a very lengthy and expensive process. The first requirement was a non-refundable $10,000.00 Environmental Impact Report. Some additional requirements made by the San Bernardino Parks & Recreation were that the PVMAC must become a corporation and also qualify and secure a non-profit status. The entire process took approximately 15 tedious years.
During this time period, the PVMAC lost their last flying field, and without a place to fly the PVMAC went dormant. PVMAC members joined other model airplane clubs in the area such as RC Country, as they still had a club field to fly at. It was not until 1989, that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors received an inquiry from another interested party regarding the Prado site. By this time, the Environmental Impact Report had been completed and was favorable to the PVMAC. Since the PVMAC had “first right of refusal”on leasing the land, the San Bernardino supervisors contacted one of the previous leaders of PVMAC to find out if they were still interested.
The time was right….RC Country was one of the larger clubs that many of the PVMAC members had joined, and even a few of those members were nowon RCCountry’s Board of Directors. But like so many other clubs in our area, RC Country was just about to loose their flying field. After much discussion, it was agreed by RC Country that since the PVMAC had already met all the requirements of the San Bernardino Parks & Recreation Department, and because it was first on the list to lease the property, that the PVMAC be brought out of its hibernation, and re-established to move forward with contract negotiations, Making Prado the PVMAC home.
In 2011, the PVMAC furthered its proud legacy by being recognized as an “AMA Gold Leader Club”. This is a great honor and also means a lot to our local community and to the San Bernardino County Parks Department. It will require an ongoing commitment from the PVMAC members to maintain this honor, but judging from our clubs proud past, we are up for the challenge.
The PVMAC is currently in its 50th plus year since being established as an AMA Chartered Club and feel privileged to be able to call Prado Airpark, one of the premier flying sites in California, our home for over 15 years. It is with extreme gratitude that we thank all who participated and had the foresight and tenacity to bring us to where we are today. We also extend our gratitude to those who are continuing the effort today as well as to the next generation of PVMAC members who will keep this great club alive and well for the Next 50 years.
Vintage images provided with permission from http://www.airplanesandrockets.com/