The story of the Sky Corral R/C Club starts in the backroom of Pachak Hardware in 1970. There had been a small group of r/c flyers active in Pueblo since the late 50's but the only organized club was the Imperial Aces, a small group of flyers led by Dale and Joan Alyea. They flew from Dale's father's property in Beulah. Bill Pachak was a longtime free flight flyer who had gotten into r/c in the early 60's along with George Pavlin. Bill and his friend Joe Plute decided to start a small hobby shop in an unused area of Bill's hardware store and that is where the story started. Bill, Joe, and George had spread the word about the joys of flying radio control airplanes and had picked up a few converts over the years. There was no club or flying field to speak of in Pueblo, flying being done from empty roads and the prairie south of town. As the interest grew and more people came to find Bill's hobby shop it became apparent that a field needed to be found for the sport to grow. With this in mind Bill, Joe, and George and the new flyers they had attracted had a meeting. An official AMA club was needed so that a field could be found. That club was the Sky Corral R/C Club of Pueblo, Colorado.
Bill Pachak had a friend who owned a small airport south of Pueblo on Burnt Mill Road. Don Brown agreed to let the club fly from some vacant land next to the airport and a club and a field were born. The name of the airport was "Sky Corral Airport". That explains where our name comes from. Bill and Joe paid for half the rent from their hobby shop proceeds and the club dues paid the other half. Original dues were $7.50 per year. Three of the original members are still active, Sam and Duane Pisciotta and Jimmie Rogers. The club expanded rapidly adding new members in the next five years. Those who flew at what is called "The old field" and who are still members are Larry Osborn, Chuck Abate and Jerry Bible. Soon after the club was founded, the Imperial Aces club lost its field and their members joined Sky Corral. That brought in Joan and Dale Alyea and Al Coutre.
The old field had a pit/parking area, a shelter of 10X20, and two packed dirt runways, 50X300. Distance from the pit/parking area to the runways was 0. That's right! The runways started where the pit area stopped!. Many were the times when you could sit in the shelter and reach down and grab an airplane taking off or landing. Oh, and by the way, the south and west ends of the runways ended at a barbed wire corral fence! Takeoffs and landings were at a premium at the old field. Safety was not a consideration. Accidents caused by planes crashing into the pits were common, and to make matters worse, flying was done from both sides of the runway at the same time! Thank goodness no one was hurt. A lot of good times were had at the Old Field and the club was active in supporting other modelers in Southern Colorado. Three years in a row the club was a participant in the Boys Ranch Fly-in LaJunta, putting on displays and flying alongside the full size aircraft. The club visited other flying sites around the Southern Colorado area and members were active in contests. Locally several fun flys were held for club members. Because of the crude nature of the runways the club never felt confident enough to put on any events or contests to attract other flyers to our field.
In 1975 the owner of the field was forced to sell the property and the club got notice it would have to move. Fortunately one of our members at the time was the City Manager, Fred Weisbrod. The city had just gotten a lease on the honor farm property and was looking at ways to develop it including recreational activities on the site. Mr. Weisbroad suggested that we put a plan to develop some of the property before the city council. This we did. A master plan in three stages was conceived and Ted Baer (father of current member Kurt) drew up a nice presentation. The master plan showed three stages. Stage one was a single 500X30 runway running east to west, stage 2 was a diagonal runway and stage three was a north south runway. The plan was submitted and the club sat back to see what would transpire. In the meantime we flew from wherever we could, the PAD tank test track, SCSC college parking lot in Belmont and PMI's pit area to name a few. Our plan was accepted, (due to pull from Fred Weisbrod and a professional presentation to the city council by Pete Illick and other members. We were one of only two groups who made official presentations.) Now came the time to pick the location from the hundreds of acres available. Members took an old trainer and flew all over the property looking for potential problems and finally decided on our current location. One day some months later word was received that the city parks dept was on the way to grade the area and lay some asphalt. Imagine the joy when all three stages of the plan were approved and three runways were laid. The city's part in the construction of the field was done, now it was time for the club to build the impound and shelter and set up the parking area. (The only structure left from 1976 is what we call the gazebo.)
With a first class field and expanded membership more and better activities could be planned. Pylon, pattern, and scale contests, free flight contests, and club fun-flys were held over the years. Each year saw more members and more improvements made to the field. The old impound area was demolished by a runaway culvert, (ask Rob Pike about that one!) the pit area was paved, a flagpole was erected and the club was honored by the AMA as a club of excellence. Many good things were happening, but some of the founding members left the scene. Bill Pachak, the force behind the founding of the club, died after suffering a heart attack during a pylon race in 1980, incidentally, he won his last race. Some members moved on to other things, but the core of the club remained.
New blood arrived and things started to get better. Activities such as the Surf and Turf float fly, the fly-in at Springfield and club fun-flys were organized. Shelters were erected and money was collected by Pete Illick and Bill Chester for the repair of the main runway. At the same time some old members returned, and more new members joined to add new blood to the club. The repair money was added to money newly raised and the main runway doubled in width. With the field now cleaned up and repairs made, the club decided to get back to hosting events. Since then the club has become one of the most active in the area, holding pattern, scale, warbirds, pylon and IMAC events. New pit pads and shelters were added, a new impound area constructed and runways repaired and over laid with new asphalt.
2004 welcomed the new float flying site at the Rocky Mt. Steel Mills reservoir, built by the efforts of Chuck Abate and Glenn Butler.
2005 saw the flying field officially named "The Col. Brad Dolliver Field, home of the Sky Corral R/C Club." Col. Dolliver was present at the dedication of the field but sadly passed away three days later.
2006 became one of the most active years in the history of the club, monies raised by events reached an all time high, membership also reached an all time high, club events were well attended and new events added.
As Sky Corral starts its thirty seventh year new challenges present themselves, but so do new opportunities for the club to continue its quest for excellence.
Map to Sky Corral Flying Field