By Scott Drew
In 1980, five people who were interested in R/C model aircraft joined together and formed the AMA
sanctioned “CLEARLAKE MODELERS CLUB, AMA #1275”.
Those first members were:
Chesley “Chet” Common, flight instructor and master modeler;
Bill Gresham, Retired business owner, master modeler;
Jerry Holman, hobby shop owner in Clearlake Oaks, new pilot;
Ron Trammel, self employed, new pilot;
Dave Porshine, hobby shop owner in Clearlake.
The Club’s first flying site was on the privately owned High Valley Ranch, where they were flying from a
packed dirt runway used by William Penpatrick, who flew a full scale P-51D Mustang from that field,
that he later crashed above the ranch, killing himself. The classic “High Speed Stall” pulling out of a
Early in 1981 the Club moved its flying site to the old abandoned Hoberg’s Airport on Siegler Canyon
Road. This was a great place to fly, with a paved runway and a good-sized over-fly area. The Club flew
there for the next couple of years, adding several members. Chet was the primary flight instructor
during this time.
In 1982 or ’83, the Club built a new flying field on a privately owned ranch at the end of Dam Road near
the City of Clearlake. The Club continued to add new members.
In 1984 or ’85, the ranch sold, and the new owners didn’t want our Club using their land for a flying
site. So Ray Carman, then the President of the Club, located a flying site on the S Bar S Ranch, and
we built our present field on that ranch. During this time the Club started hosting an annual Sea Plane
Fun Fly event as its annual revenue generator. The first fun flies were held at a resort over in Lakeport;
later ones were held in the City of Clearlake.
In the early 1990’s, Chesley “Chet” Common passed away. At a Club meeting, the Club voted
unanimously to name our flying field on the S Bar S Ranch “Chesley Meadows" in honor of Chet, and
all the time and patience he had put into teaching most of us how to fly and enjoy the sport of R/C. He
was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it.
Early in 2000, the threat of a land sale involving the S Bar S Ranch caused the Club to start looking for
another flying site. One was located on land owned by the County of Lake, near Highland Springs
Reservoir, and the Club got a free 25-year lease from the County for the use of this land as our flying
Money was spent building the field, and making a paved entrance into the field from the Highland
Springs Road. To help fund the move, a donation program was initiated within the Club, where
members could sign up to make monthly donations that would be used to construct the new field. One
of our club member’s father, Linmore Baker, who always used to come out to watch his son and
others fly, passed away; and his son Randy made a $1,000.00 donation to our Club’s new field fund in
his name. At a Club meeting it was unanimously voted to name the new field “Baker Field” in honor of
The S Bar S Ranch property did indeed sell, but the new owners allow our Club to continue to fly there.
In early 2008 a new metal shade cover was purchased and installed over the pit and spectator seating
area, making a wonderful addition to our flying site! Thanks go to our President, Jay Carey, and all of
the other helpers who made this project complete!