Happy August everyone! And boy did it turn out to be a warm one… I was glad to see a large number of people with coolers, or toting around jugs of water this month to stay hydrated. The smell of sunscreen was in the air. Also, I noted that quite a few of you are setting your extinguishers out on the tables to provide a quick response if needed. Thank you for your vigilance!
A couple of things happened this month that I would like to talk about. A few members reported seeing planes actually above the intersection of Friars Road and Sea World Drive as they were on final approach for landing. Since one of the reported offenders was myself ( EEEK! ), I would like to tell those of us with larger planes or jets to think about their approaches and come in a bit tighter and lower to keep us at least 100 feet from the road. This goes for multi-rotors and helicopters too. Some of the FPV guys have been getting closer to the footpath than is desirable.
During this month’s electro-glide contest one of our pilots lost radio control of his glider and it continued straight (motor off) until it landed hard in the boat dock parking lot. The plane was pretty much destroyed, but no damage to people or property. As the pilot was recovering his plane a couple of bystanders (not injured) approached him claiming hurt feelings, and stated that an apology was not good enough. Not sure exactly what they were looking for, the pilot apologized again and returned to the field. This escalated into the bystanders calling the police with some wild claims that included our member starting a verbal altercation. This seems to have been resolved after a conversation between the Ranger, the pilot, and Bob Stinson in which the pilot reported the facts. Where I am going with this is to mention that if you are approached by anyone that is worked up or upset about our hobby or our site, it may not be a bad idea to start a recording on your phone or even take a few pictures if there is a possibility of questions later. A little bit of evidence goes a long way towards calming situations caused when people attempt to escalate a minor issue into a major confrontation…
This year we have been trying to incorporate more fun events that expose members to different aspects of the hobby. Along with having a different event each month on meeting days and the long running electroglide, we have added Popwing racing, F5B/F5D practice and racing, and a quarterly FPV race. Most of these events occur on a Saturday and are designed to start between 9:30 and 10:00 AM, and finish before noon to allow plenty of time for open flying before and after the event. We have received some amazing feedback from a lot of members that these events allow them to push their limits and become better pilots. There is always a HOWEVER… I have received some emails, and been approached by some members at the field that tell me (very rudely on an occasion or two) the wing racing ruins their lives, or that getting there early to fly before an electroglide is costing them their marriage, or that Multi-rotors are the DEVIL!! Each time I hear that ambiguous “ OTHERS” feel the same way. Please understand that with a large group of individuals it is impossible to make everyone happy all of the time. We are an open club, and we try to make it enjoyable for everyone, and right now it sounds like the majority IS having fun, but if our fun fly events are really destroying you, and your “others” are real people that want to be named – we want to hear about it. Instead of accosting me on the weekends, or sending me e-mails that tend to ruin my week, Jim has accepted the responsibility to receive e-mails from members that feel we are ruining their lives, marriages, or disrespecting them in general. SEFSDPres@gmail.com. He will answer judiciously or bring your concerns to the entire board if a vote or action is required.
Flip side to that, If a group of you wants to propose an event, either to add to our monthly fun-fly events for next year, or as a monthly/quarterly event, please let us know – We are always looking for ways to make the club more fun! If you want to do an event of your own, come up with a plan and present it to the BOD at least 30 days prior to the event and if we agree, we will put it on the schedule.
Even though I tend to ramble in my monthly newsletter submissions and take up space, Steve Belknap – our club Editor, is always looking for articles or neat stuff to include in the newsletter. If you have an interesting build going on, a wild or difficult electric conversion, or just saw something neat (aviation related) on the internet – feel free to send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org before the third Wednesday each month . If your submission is in good taste (sorry Dave…) he will add it to the newsletter. If you have some good shots of your aircraft, send them in also for inclusion in the clubs photo gallery – or post them on the clubs facebook page.
I would like everyone to throw out a “Thank You” when you have a chance to our holiday banquet committee that has been working diligently to bring us a great year end event. The committee is comprised of Bob Stinson, Quan (20) Nguyen, Randy (flyaway) Wynant, and Amy Blackhurst. This is in no way an easy task, and I really look forward to their event!
In closing, I would like to invite all of you to this weekend’s monthly event on the 22nd. Open flying until 10:00 A.M., then we will kick off Jet day. If it looks like a jet- BRING IT and FLY IT!! I anticipate the event to finish before noon. There will be prizes for Best Military jet, Best Civilian jet, Pilots choice, and everyone that actually flies a jet will get a raffle ticket for a prize.
Upon conclusion of Jet day, we will have a brief club meeting followed by foot long Costco Beef hot dogs (Thanks Paul!!) and open flying for the rest of the day.
Hope you all finish off the month with good times and safe flying!