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Flight simulator opens at Clanton library

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton/Clanton Public Library has a fun way for community members of all ages to explore aviation.

The Central Alabama Sport Flyers donated a computer simulator that allows library visitors to try their hand at steering a remote-controlled plane.

The club donated the simulator and some aviation-related books as a way to promote the club and help the library.

“We wanted to get people into the library,” club member Darrell Mims said.

Mims said the controller that the simulator uses is identical to what is used when flying the remote-controlled planes.

He said it was a good way to practice controlling a RC plane without risking damaging one.

The simulator shows the plane, runway and surrounding area, complete with trees that pilots have to avoid.

Mims said there are several planes to choose from as a part of the program.

Brief instructions and information about Central Alabama Sport Flyers sit next to the computer.

“Anybody that wants to learn to fly a (RC) plane, we will teach them,” Mims said.

Club member Douglass Moats said the club also has a special RC plane for teaching those who are interested.

Library staff were happy to be contacted by the club wanting to offer this unique opportunity.

“They wanted it to share their love for airplanes, and, of course, we wanted it to have more people participating and coming into the library, using the resources that we have,” Children’s librarian Renee Chambers said.

Library director Darlene Brock said the donation also increases the fun, educational opportunities at the library.

“Hopefully, it will get somebody inspired to learn how to fly,” Brock said.

The simulator is located in a cubicle of shelves with model airplanes marking the place to go. Brock said those wanting to use the simulator can go straight to it. If interest creates a line of people waiting, checking in at the front desk may become a requirement.

Mims’s personal journey to RC planes began with building stationary models. He started flying line control models, and later he bought a radio control plane.

The library is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Library cards are $3 but free for students.

The Central Alabama Sport Flyers meet at 3704 County Road 47 in Clanton.