Little planes fly high in Atwater

Scaled-down aviation was the name of the game through Sunday at the Castle Commerce Center in Atwater. Between 150 and 200 “pilots” of large-scale miniature airplanes showed up for the 17th annual West Coast Festival, hosted by Chapter 679 of the International Miniature Aircraft Association. Approximately 1,000 spectators were expected to attend. Officials of the Central California Flyers chapter of the IMAA said the Castle event is the largest of its type west of the Mississippi River. The planes the brought to Castle had to be at least one-fifth scale of the real thing and have a minimum wingspan of 80 inches. They take hundreds of hours to build and can cost several thousand dollars.