As we move into spring, I want to throw a hearty thank you to the folks responsible for taking care of our flying site and the general vicinity. The rainy season is almost over, but it sure started some growth in our area. Dennis LaBerge has been working tirelessly at clearing the weeds encroaching on the field, even to the point of taking his weed wacker and knocking down the growth along the primary landing approach. Chief Griffin and Tom Erickson have been doing a great job of keeping weeds out of the field and pit area, recently passing that torch to Jim Bonnardel who was out spraying numerous times in the last 2 weeks. THANK YOU guys! I really appreciate your efforts!
This month kicked off the return of EMAC to our club. Please pass on your appreciation to Steve Belknap for organizing the event and Tim Attaway, Steve Neu, Steve Manganelli, Steve Dente, and Ray Fulks for speaking and assisting newbies through the initial pattern. There were about 30 members listening and participating and I think everyone learned something – so I call it a great success! I have linked one of the trimming articles Tim mentioned for your review. There was some confusion as to the initial date and some people showed up Saturday instead of Sunday and missed out. I have asked Steve and Tim if they would do another trim clinic along with their next event, and will support that if they agree.
Membership reached 320 this week. We are a bit behind last year, but progressing. Thank you for renewing and wearing your 2017 badge while on site. We still have quite a few people showing up and attempting to fly without AMA or club membership. Please don’t be bashful about approaching people not wearing badges and ask their status. Remember, part of our agreement with the city includes that people flying at our field will have liability insurance, which requires AMA as an absolute minimum. Also, people have been showing up with AMA park flier – 3 month memberships which we cannot accept, Full membership for the year please. Another challenge we recently had: if you are paying the dues for a member other than yourself, please send a follow-on email to Isabel, or specific comments in PayPal defining your actions – she has no way to determine your intentions from just the PayPal transfer.
The first swap meet of the season was held last weekend. Not as many sellers as usual, hopefully that picks up as we move into the summer months. Please look at and use our ‘for sale by members’ section, you never know what you will find! If you are selling, you can usually get better prices from people who have seen your item than you will in a swap meet “ bottom dollar” environment. If you post items for sale, please shoot our editor Steve an e-mail when your item sells, or monthly if it doesn’t and you want to keep its post active. I want to avoid having items on there for months on end as it makes that section irrelevant and people stop looking.
There have been quite a few evenings recently (like 5 out of 7) that the gate has been left open. Some have resulted in our driveway being used as a dumping site. I really cannot do more than plead with members – if you are the last one out, PLEASE close and lock the gate! In the past we have had motorcycles burn out up and down the runway, All of the tables and chairs set on fire, and general mayhem just because people leave the gate open. Protect our site people!!
I had the dubious honor or earning the nickname “Captain Crunch!” a few weekends ago in what was probably the most violent mid-air collision I have ever seen at our club. It always seems to occur when there are just 2 or 3 planes in the air. There have been quite a few mid-airs this month, so be careful out there! Jim says they come in threes, so this weekend…
We also saw some pretty sketchy flying the last few weekends. It wasn’t Skip for a change! While I’m sure others will mention it also, I need to clearly state “ Plane pilots need to stop overflying the multi rotor pit area and the porta-potty!” Seriously, there is no reasonable excuse for going over people’s heads multiple times in one flight. Be respectful of the safety of others. We have (again) also seen people shout “ on the runway!” and immediately step out without looking to see is someone else is already committed and landing. One pilot lost his aircraft after yanking it back up to avoid someone, then not having the electrons to make it around and back to the runway. Please look first before stepping onto the field.
There is currently a sign near our driveway saying that parking will be secured from 0630 – 1000 on Saturday the 25th. Jim has been trying to find out whether they will let us to our driveway, but numerous messages to the city event coordinator have yielded no response. As that is our fun-fly/meeting day all I can recommend is to come a little later, or risk having to wait a bit. We will push our fun fly start time from 1000 to 1030 to give people time to get in and set up. This month’s event will be spot landing, with the prize value at $150.00, followed by our hot dog lunch! March is also the month that we ensure some of the new members who are spending a lot of time at the field have fire extinguishers for their vehicles/tables. Please only take one if you have not received one already – if you use it we expect you to replace it so you always have one on you. Have a great month!!