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Old Jul 07, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Places to fly parkflyers in Northwest Chicago suburbs

I fly parkflyer electric foamies with FPV and was frequenting low traffic forest preserves for flying up until recently. I've been warned by forest cops in McHenry and Lake counties, and I know Cook doesn't allow it beyond certain areas (I live basically at the corner of the three), so that's not an option anymore. Notably, despite McHenry county mentioning designated areas for flying in their ordinances document, I learned after corresponding with the Executive Director that none actually exist.

I've explored flying clubs in the area and will likely join one, but most are expensive, somewhat distant from where I live, or seem like overkill for the foamies I fly. I'm also not wild about the idea of being tied to a certain field; I like doing AP and capturing cool footage of the terrain.

I was wondering if anyone knows of some good places to fly in the Barrington/Crystal Lake, IL area. There is an IL state park in the area but I can't find any information about model plane use on IDNR's website. I've looked up a few cities in the area; some say nothing and some say nay. I came across Lippold park in Crystal Lake on these forums and will likely hit that up at some point, but that field seems tiny and crowded. They also probably wouldn't be happy about FPV there.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jul 09, 2015, 09:51 AM
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As an update, there doesn't seem to be general restrictions about use in IL state parks. It sounds like it is up to the discretion of each park superintendent.

<bump> Any good spots in my area? Please feel free to PM me...
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Old Jul 11, 2015, 09:50 AM
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Have you tried church parking lots? I fly my micros in a church parking lot where all the light poles are on the sides leaving me plenty of room to fly my micros, even my B-17 from Hobby Zone. Mine is only a few blocks from my home. No one seems to mind and no one is there at six am. I live in the Phoenix AZ area. I'd look around for something if you want to.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 10:09 AM
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Have you tried church parking lots? I fly my micros in a church parking lot where all the light poles are on the sides leaving me plenty of room to fly my micros, even my B-17 from Hobby Zone. Mine is only a few blocks from my home. No one seems to mind and no one is there at six am. I live in the Phoenix AZ area. I'd look around for something if you want to.
Thanks for the reply. I haven't tried church parking lots yet. I figured they are private property and I might get grief about it, but it sounds like you've had some good luck.

What I'm finding is public parks/schools adjacent to forest preserves/farms are my best bet right now. Farms and preserves don't allow flying or trespassing but I can launch in a public area and fly over if desired.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 10:30 PM
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The Chicago Soaring club S.O.A.R. had held fun flys at the Hampshire Forest Preserve in Kane County IL. It is Northwest of the intersection of US 20 and IL 47. There had been a sign there designating a field for electric flying only. It might be worth trying. The map is at

http://forestpreserve.countyofkane.o.../hampshire.pdf

There is a field at the Northwest corner of DuPage County in the State Park that was put in recently for the Suburban R/C Barnstormers Club on Stearns Road in Bartlett. Using it requires a DuPage County permit and insurance, An AMA card will do for that. There is a map on the Barnstormers web site.

http://suburbanrcbarnstormers.com/
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Old Jul 14, 2015, 02:06 PM
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The Chicago Soaring club S.O.A.R. had held fun flys at the Hampshire Forest Preserve in Kane County IL. It is Northwest of the intersection of US 20 and IL 47. There had been a sign there designating a field for electric flying only. It might be worth trying. The map is at

http://forestpreserve.countyofkane.o.../hampshire.pdf

There is a field at the Northwest corner of DuPage County in the State Park that was put in recently for the Suburban R/C Barnstormers Club on Stearns Road in Bartlett. Using it requires a DuPage County permit and insurance, An AMA card will do for that. There is a map on the Barnstormers web site.

http://suburbanrcbarnstormers.com/
Thanks for the reply, great suggestions! I have been meaning to check these out, but they're a good 45 min drive from my house so they're reserved for long flying days. I wish McHenry County would follow Kane and Cook's lead on flying fields...
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Old Jul 16, 2015, 01:44 PM
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I know some of the guys fly at the bus parking lot at the Square Barn Road school campus off of Square Barn Road which is just south off of Algonquin Road.

I have flown there a couple of times... Really nice place. I've been told that there is a lot of activity there especially on the weekends. Great place - just limited to "out of school" hours.

Also Sunset Park in Lake In The Hills. Huge soccer fields there, but much competition with the sports crowds. I know Crystal Lake only allows flying at Lippold Park, but as far as I know there are no restrictions in Lake In The Hills. As a matter of fact I have flown in various parts of Sunset Park, and a cop was watching. I figured "this is it, I'll be asked to leave", but both times the cop just went about his business. One time he actually waived as he drove by!

Hope this helps!

I wish there was a good rc club with an asphalt runway near hear. I like to fly over grass, but all my micros need pavement to t/o & land! All the fields near here are great, but my fleet are too small!!
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Old Jul 16, 2015, 01:45 PM
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Also the Reed Road school campus off of Reed Road - Huntley school District
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Old Jul 21, 2015, 09:24 AM
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I know some of the guys fly at the bus parking lot at the Square Barn Road school campus off of Square Barn Road which is just south off of Algonquin Road.

I have flown there a couple of times... Really nice place. I've been told that there is a lot of activity there especially on the weekends. Great place - just limited to "out of school" hours.
Thanks for the suggestions! It sounds like you have come across many of the same places as me.

SBR is awesome. I got a chance to fly there the weekend before last and really liked the space. I went in the late morning and no one was there, but returned in the afternoon and there were about 6 other guys there. The crowd there was pretty nice and had some cool planes. Only downside is its a bit of a trek for me (about 25 min).

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Also Sunset Park in Lake In The Hills. Huge soccer fields there, but much competition with the sports crowds. I know Crystal Lake only allows flying at Lippold Park, but as far as I know there are no restrictions in Lake In The Hills. As a matter of fact I have flown in various parts of Sunset Park, and a cop was watching. I figured "this is it, I'll be asked to leave", but both times the cop just went about his business. One time he actually waived as he drove by!

Hope this helps!
I actually have flown at Sunset Park. I have a couple of vids posted on my YouTube channel of flying there in the early spring:

Windy Day Cub Flying (2 min 32 sec)


I can see how it would get packed during the summer with the sports crowds. That is awesome the cop was OK with you flying there. In my experience, I have had decent luck with real cops, but the forest cops ALWAYS put up a stink about flying.

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I wish there was a good rc club with an asphalt runway near hear. I like to fly over grass, but all my micros need pavement to t/o & land! All the fields near here are great, but my fleet are too small!!
SBR is good for asphalt as long as you can navigate the light posts. There's a club in Mundelein called Sky Knights that has a small asphalt runway and are all electric. In the Sunset Park vid, I was using the basketball court as a runway, but it's tight and probably really crowded during the summer.

I'll have to check out the Reed Road campus. I've seen vids at Marlowe posted on YouTube but didn't realize it was basically down the street from Sunset Park.
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Old Jul 25, 2015, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the info!

Mundelein would be a bit far for me - I like that I can leave home and be at a "field" in just a few minutes. That way I can have my fun & not spend half a day away from my family.

SBR is a good place - but I don't like the poles! I prefer Marlowe.

Sure wish there was a club with an asphalt runway nearby! Also wish there was an indoor facility here as well! I know there must be a tone of umx/park flier sized guys in this area that would love to have such a site/sites to fly in!
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Old Jul 27, 2015, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for the info!

Mundelein would be a bit far for me - I like that I can leave home and be at a "field" in just a few minutes. That way I can have my fun & not spend half a day away from my family.

SBR is a good place - but I don't like the poles! I prefer Marlowe.

Sure wish there was a club with an asphalt runway nearby! Also wish there was an indoor facility here as well! I know there must be a tone of umx/park flier sized guys in this area that would love to have such a site/sites to fly in!
Yeah, having a close-by field would be nice to get in a few lipos worth of flying without being gone too long. I can't wait til my toddler is old enough to be interested, or at least stay out of trouble...she can be my FPV spotter . I have found places to fly on the way home from work (like Mundelein), but nothing is great right near my house. I'm jealous of SBR and Marlowe being so close.

I was just checking out Marlowe again and realized I've been there before for a convention thing. That is a nice place. Where do you usually fly from at Marlowe? The parking lot in front of the school (NE corner of the open area) seems to have poles like SBR.
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Old Jul 28, 2015, 07:57 AM
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i see a guy flying at lions park in cary alot also right next door is a great big church lot
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Old Jul 28, 2015, 02:53 PM
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i see a guy flying at lions park in cary alot also right next door is a great big church lot
I wonder if it's the same guy I ran into in Trout Valley. He was flying a scratch-built small dollar tree foam plane (I think Flitetest plans) and said he flies at Lions too.

I went there once to fly but it was packed with people. I could see how it would be a great spot though. I need to hit it up at an off-peak hour. I read that RC models are banned in the Cary park ordinances, but it sounds like the cops don't enforce it strictly.
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Old Jul 28, 2015, 04:19 PM
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Where do you usually fly from at Marlowe? The parking lot in front of the school (NE corner of the open area) seems to have poles like SBR.
Take the access road past the first school. At the second school there is a lot that only has a few poles. Flying micros you can take off into the wind, avoid the poles, and then fly out over the grass.

Nice video, by the way!
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Old Jul 31, 2015, 09:16 AM
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Our club flies in Johnsburg. www.coleagles.com So far, we have no FPV fliers, but AMA rules apply.

McHenry county has no public flying site other than the small patch at Lippold. Our club has the only site with the special use permit in the county for a flying site. It's no surprise the county doesn't know, it was filed in 1998. We have been in contact with MCCD to establish a public field several times in the past 20 years, but they have little interest in supporting the hobby. I'm ready to try again, but it will take some effort.

Greg
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