In 1980 Menifee Valley Flyer’s began well, just not exactly in the form it takes today. Originally Menifee Valley Flyer’s was called Perris Valley Flyer’s. Lets just call Perris Valley Flyer’s PVF, and for all intense purposes here, let’s call Menifee Valley Flyer’s MVF. PVF started with a small group of pilots and their wife’s, around 15 couples total, from the area. The group was described as a social group that flew RC planes rather than a RC plane club outright. The wife's of the pilots could be seen at their monthly meetings just as regular. Early club meetings were held inside the Providence Savings Bank in old Menifee.
To this date it is not known exactly when PVF obtained their AMA club charter #1717 but it is believed it was very early around 1982. In 1980 the original field was located in Perris along what is now the 215fwy near the curve on the east side in a field approximately 3 miles south of the current Riverside Radio Control Club field. In 1982 by direction of the clubs first President Jim last name unknown a new flying field was to be had. The club was looking to upgrade to a better site. With the help of a club member who was close to someone in Riverside County's Waste Management they worked out a deal to improve a little hill top in a then county area off of Menifee Road. That little hill top was an old waste dump site that held burn waste and was no longer in use.
With the dump long closed to more refuse and the area easily accessible from Menifee Road it looked perfect. At the time little development existed around the old closed dump which proved perfect for noisy nitro planes to buzz the skies. A few years later the club would see a change in presidents and Dave Kalfeld would preside over the club at the new location. Interestingly the now synonymous club logo of a happy go lucky plane flying, grinning, showing his teeth wearing red stars in blue paint was designed by Dave’s wife sometime in the 1990’s. The logo has seen a few tweaks over the years and even maybe a few different unofficial colors but it keeps grinning and flying.
The club grew slowly over the years until 1998 when it raised its membership cap to 30 and then again to 40 in 1999. The club maintained its 40 member strong stance until 2004 when it decided to increase it to 100 as leadership decided more members would benefit the club. The last increase in total allowable members was in 2005 when it was raised to 125. To date the club has remained strong with an average membership of 80-90 members annually.
PVF would not last though, in 2000 by proclamation, PVF would become MVF. Members decided to better promote the club and accurately represent itself as part of the burgeoning Menifee area they would change their name. MVF will forever live on as the entire area encompassing the field was officially incorporated as Menifee City in 2008.
MVF field once held a corrugated metal shade structure seen in early photo’s that was lost to a freak wind storm that damaged many dwellings in the area around 2005. The shade structure was quickly replaced with a new sturdier one within a few months of the event. Few might wonder why MVF field to date does not have a paved runway when most of the clubs surrounding our field do. To anyone’s surprise the club field rest a top a burn dump site managed by Riverside County Waste Management leased to MVF. The dump site contains old burnt waste from years ago when burning waste was permitted. The site is actively managed by RCWM and other environmental regulatory groups that monitor the sites gas emissions. With gas emissions being monitored a barrier on the field surface must meet strict regulatory requirements. MVF most certainly would love to extend and improve their runway. MVF will continue to work with all groups to achieve a satisfactory solution in the future.
Few members today remember the club history in fact maybe only one or two can tell you about most of what is written here. Rick Hunt is the current longest running continuous member of our club spanning PVF and MVF titles. MVF continues to seek the young and old as new members. Times have changed immensely in RC from the days of building your own 1-2 channel 72mhz radio’s, building balsa wood planes from mail order plans powered by nitro motors. Today foam planes with brushless motors from abroad and 2.4ghz radios rule the sky. The barrier to entry has been lowered immensely, so low perhaps, planes have become almost disposable.
Currently our club holds its monthly meeting on the third Saturday of every month at 9:00 am . The club also holds a monthly night fly on the first Saturday of the month beginning at dusk and a float fly at the Heritage Community Lake on the 4th Saturday of the month from 8:00 to 11:00 AM ( only members of the MVF are allowed to fly at the lake). There are also special events like our annual float fly at Heritage Lake, pylon racing and a fun fly throughout the year. If you have ever wanted to fly RC or are already a pilot and member of the AMA Academy of Model Aeronautics come visit our field to talk to some of our members. You might just find a special home with RC and MVF that will last you a lifetime.
Menifee Valley Flyers Founders; we thank you!
Doug visited our field recently and sent us pictures of the original members.