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What’s Up South Texas!: Airplane hobbyist shares joy of flying remote controlled aircraft

Bernard Williams said the hobby of flying planes is beyond worth investment he has put into it

Converse, TX – A local plane hobbyist is hoping to encourage others to try out the hobby of flying small remote controlled aircraft.

Bernard Williams, 56, lives in Converse and is a warehouse worker for Amazon. In his spare time, he is either in his front yard or at a flying field flying his collected aircraft.

“I have always had a love for airplanes,” Williams said. “If a plane is flying by, I go out and look at it.”

He said he flew his first plane when he was in his mid-20s.

“The first plane I got was a glider,” Williams said. “I flew them and started thinking, maybe I could fly other planes too. I talked my wife into it and was able to buy a plane for about $500 back then.”

He said when he went out to fly it, at first, he used to be shaky but decided he was going to prove to his wife that he could fly the plane.

“I was going to show her I could fly this thing, so I got out there, took it out, took it up about 400 feet, it did a loop and came straight down. Boom! A lot of pieces and the wife says, ‘I see you can fly alright! You can fly it straight into the ground,’” he laughed.

Williams said he didn’t let that crash stop him from his goal of being good at the hobby. Plane after plane, he perfected the craft.

He has flown airplanes, helicopters, and airplane quads.

“You never forget how to fly. It is kind of like riding a bike,” Williams said. “You can get a brick and put some wings on it and throw a motor on it and I can fly that brick. I don’t know how far it is going to fly, but I can guarantee you I can get it off the ground and fly that brick.”

Williams helps other people learn how to better fly their aircraft at flying fields.

“I will bring some of my favorite planes to the fields to fly and none of them ever hit the air because other people are asking me about their planes,” Williams said. “'Hey, can you check this? Is this ok?' I will take it and show them, ‘Yeah man, your plane flies just fine. Just do this or that.’ They would take off happier than a lamb.”

He even donates them to others who are interested.

“If there was something else, they wanted to try to see if they liked the hobby, I would give them different airplanes,” Williams said. “I have given away a lot of airplanes! Some of which were my favorites.”

Williams, who has spent thousands of dollars on his hobby of collecting, building, and flying his aircraft, said the thing he notices about beginners is that there is a fear of destruction.

“They don’t want to crash,” Williams said. “But you are going to crash. Since my hobby, I have crashed planes. I have ripped wings off,” he laughed.

He hopes to share his enjoyment of flying with others for the sake of increasing the airplane hobbyist community.

“I can fall asleep flying,” he laughed. “It is fun and relaxing and enjoyable.”

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