WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Mike Spencer and Jerry Withrow twitched their thumbs on the large remote controls they were holding.
Two model airplanes sailed through air, hundreds of feet above their heads.
Suddenly, Spencer pulled back on one of the joysticks on his remote. His white, rainbow-striped plane shot straight into the sky, stalled, and plummeted back to earth.
Inches before it slammed nose-first into the ground, the power kicked back on, the plane's wings leveled and it buzzed low over the snow.
"It's an adrenaline overload to actually fly," Spencer said.
He, Withrow and Dave Ellis, another flier who stood by and helped his two friends prep their planes, are all members of the Flying Hillbillies, a radio-controlled model airplane club in Putnam County.
A week ago, the men stamped through the snow at the club's airfield in Winfield, fueled their planes and sent them soaring through the freezing air.
The club has around 65 members. They fly at the airfield most weekends, though activity dies off in the winter months.
Fliers of all ages can join the Hillbillies. Members pay $60 dues and must also join the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which provides insurance coverage to the flier, the club, and the airfield owner if a plane crashes and injures someone or damages property.
The planes the three men flew at the airfield earlier this week were cheaper "trainer" planes used to teach beginners the basics of flying. The trainers cost about $100 dollars. All three men have been flying for years, and have other models worth thousands of dollars.
The trainers are made of wood, and covered in a thermal plastic that protects it from the elements. They use model aircraft fuel that can keep them in the air for about 15 minutes, Spencer said.
"Most everyone starts out on a trainer," he said. They're still fun to fly. They're fun to go out and bore holes in the sky.
Withrow installed pontoons on his red trainer plane to help it glide on the snow. White stripes run down its four-foot wingspan. The plane most nearly compares to a Havilland Beaver seaplane, he said.
He bought the plane second-hand 28 years ago. Since then, he's crashed it into the water twice.
Still, after 28 years and two major rebuilds, and despite being a beginner model that cannot fly well upside down or do fancy maneuvers, Withrow's trainer performed barrel rolls, loops, and flybys as if it were a stunt plane.
After a few minutes, Spencer and Withrow brought their planes together and flew them wing-to-wing.