About RVRC

Radio Control Aero Modeling

Welcome to the fascinating world of radio control aero modeling.  Regardless of your age, experience, or “commitability”, if you have the passion for flight, radio control aero modeling just may be for you.  R/C (as we call it) is a past-time which will open your mind to the art and science of flight and a hobby that can be practiced and enjoyed for life.

In so many ways, R/C offers “one size fits all”.  Whether you prefer building models, or flying models, or just being around others who share your passion for flight … R/C has a place for you. You can fly a model ranging from the Wright Flyer to latest stealth fighter.   They can be flown without power (sailplanes) or powered by glow fuel engines, gasoline engines, electric motors, or even miniature jet turbine engines.  And, they can range in size from a mere ounce to weights of as much as 55 pounds and wingspans exceeding 10 feet.  The possibilities are endless.

So is this for you?  With the answer being yes, the next step is a visit to your local R/C club.  The members will welcome you and they are the best source to advise you on getting started.  Your job is to sample the different interests and seek advice from experienced modelers before you buy anything.  When you find your R/C interest and have the comfort of experienced advice then get to know and support your local hobby shop. Make no mistake, all R/C pilots should start with models designed as a dedicated trainer.  Still not sure?  The best first purchase is a R/C simulator that works on your computer. Currently, the RealFlight simulator by Great Planes is the most popular (surf www.realflight.com ).   Without a doubt, a simulator is the most valuable training tool for any modeler, from the fledgling pilot to the most experienced competition champion.

Roanoke Valley Radio Control Club, Inc.

R/C modeling started in Roanoke in the 1950s. The first modeling club was the Roanoke Aero Guidance Society (RAGS) which started in the 1960s. RVRC got its start in the early 1970s by Jake McVey, Wilton Little, Norman Poff, and Russ Fitzgerald and it was organized for the purpose to foster and advance interest and fellowship of its members in the art and science of building and flying radio control miniature aircraft.

Today RVRC is recognized as one of the oldest and largest continuously operating R/C clubs operating in the Mid-Atlantic States. Our membership exceeds 100 members with ages ranging from middle schoolers to World War II veterans. RVRC is proud to be Charter Club #638 of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (www.modelaircraft.org).
RVRC is pleased to offer free flight instruction to members by means of the “buddy box” system. Those interested may make an appointment with a RVRC club instructor to schedule instruction times.  See the RVRC “contact page” for contact information.

Visiting RVRC

Visitors are welcome at RVRC.  Usually, there is flight activity any day temperatures are above 50° and wind is less than 10mph.  A great, up to the minute, field conditions report is from Salem Weather , a local weather source.

Our landlord requests the property stay “fenced” at all times.  Therefore, vehicle access to RVRC is controlled by an electronic gate with members having gate keys.  There is a pedestrian pass-through located next to the gate and walk-in visitors are always welcome, but please email the club officers to let them know you will be arriving at board@rvrc.org !  If you have special needs that require vehicle access, please contact the president by e-mail at president@rvrc.org.

RVRC is located in Salem on McCelland Street south of 4th Street (the Route 11/460 bypass around Salem).  The field is across the railroad tracks and behind Timber Truss Housing Systems.  Look for the Timber Truss sign and the RVRC sign.

RVRC Club Meetings

Visitors are welcome to attend RVRC club meetings. Club meetings are held the first Monday of each month and are normally held at the club airfield.  Please check the info box on the RVRC home page for last minute updates … especially in bad weather months December through March.  Meetings start at 7:00PM.  The electronic gate will be open for all general membership meetings.

RVRC Membership

RVRC membership is open to applicants. Membership is available to those who hold current Youth or Open AMA memberships and possess AMA membership cards with AMA numbers. RVRC does not recognized the AMA Park Flyer Program

RVRC Membership is Available in Three Categories:


  • Available to those under 19 at the annual non-prorated cost of $1.00. The RVRC INITATION fee is waived for YOUTH members.
  • You must have a current AMA YOUTH membership with AMA number to make RVRC application.
  • Applicant must agree in writing to abide by all AMA and RVRC operating procedures and documents.
  • Applicant must be sponsored by two current RVRC OPEN members and attend the RVRC club meeting to be voted into membership.
  • YOUTH members are non-voting and may not hold office.


  • Available to those 19 and over at the annual cost of $108.00 (prorated monthly) and a one-time non-prorated $15.00 Initiation fee.
  • You must have a current AMA OPEN membership with AMA number to make RVRC application.
  • Applicant must agree in writing to abide by all AMA and RVRC operating procedures and documents.
  • Applicant must have attended two or more RVRC “functions” being meetings and/or field visits, be sponsored by two current RVRC OPEN members, and attend the RVRC club meeting to be voted into membership.
  • OPEN members are voting members and may hold office.


  • Associate membership is an elective class of membership established annually by the current Board of Directors and offered on a case by case basis. The primary example (but not limited to) is membership for the pilot who permanently lives more than 50 miles from the RVRC club field.
  • Annual membership will be from May 1 to April 30. An Associate’s membership may be revoked, without refund, for improper conduct at any time by 2/3 thirds approval of the Board of Directors.
  • Annual cost of YOUTH membership (under 19) will be $1.00 and no initiation fee and OPEN membership (19 and over) will be $50.00 for a full year and $25 after Oct. 1, plus $15.00 initiation fee for new applicants.
  • Associate member must have current AMA YOUTH or OPEN membership.
  • RVRC does not recognize AMA’s Park Pilot Program.
  • Associate must agree in writing to abide by all AMA and RVRC operating procedures. Associate must receive an on-site RVRC field checkout and safety briefing by an RVRC approved designee in lieu of attending a regular RVRC monthly meeting.
  • An Associate member is a non-voting member and may not hold club office.

RVRC Club Documents

  • RVRC Membership application, RVRC Safety Code, and other club documents are located on drop down menus on the website
  • RVRC Newsletter archive is located on the website on the homepage right side bar.

RVRC Visiting Pilots Policy

  • All visiting pilots must have a current AMA YOUTH or OPEN membership.
  • Visiting pilots must be accompanied at all times by a current RVRC member holding AMA OPEN membership.
  • All AMA YOUTH visiting pilots must be “spotted” at the RVRC flight-line by a current AMA OPEN member.
  • Visiting pilots may fly at RVRC not more than 3 times a calendar year.