Chairman’s Corner for May/June 2019

Well, we keep having our events rained out… Quite unusual for May! Thanks to all of you for staying off of the field when muddy. Footprints made this time of year are usually still visible in September. The flora growth in the field area is still advancing and I want to say a BIG “Thank You!” to Dennis La Berge and Jim Bonnardel for their efforts in keeping the runway clear. The extra growth means we still have people wandering across the runway to look at the “pretty flowers” AKA weeds. Please try to be aware of them. One nice thing with the late rains is the field is in great condition and we can save the wet down/roll for maybe August!

Recently the FAA sent preliminary guidance on the use hobby type unmanned aircraft. This is in response to the large number of events in the last few years of people violating restricted airspace around the country. A couple of the BOD members along with Mark Davis and Jim Bonnardel have been communicating with the AMA Government rep and the FAA to ensure we are taking the correct actions to keep our flying site safe. In the interim, I ask that all of you follow current AMA directives and register with the AMA – then place your registration number on each aircraft in a visible location. Also, we need to re-double our efforts in reducing reports to the tower of aircraft above our altitude limit. Please restrict up lines to 400 feet or less, and for the foreseeable future it may be a good idea to have a “calibrated eye” when electroglide is underway to tell pilots not to climb higher.

There was some discussion at the last BOD meeting about the yellow rock at the east end of the runway. It seems that some folks have been using it as a target instead as a centerline reference and have been hitting it. When Jeff re-paints the event target at the center of the field, we are going to try a centerline and see if that works better.

We have had issues again with folks leaving the gate and the Porta Potty open. PLEASE take a few moments and lock the gate if you are the last one out! If there are one or two cars on-site, ask them if they are members. If not, let them know you are locking up and they should leave. If there are empty vehicles, lock them in! People donated new chairs about a month ago, and they are all gone already – LOCK the gate.  We have keys for sale again, if you need one approach a board member for info. If you are standing right there and want to let a non-member use the toilet, that’s ok- but please wait and ensure it’s locked when they finish. Don’t just leave it open. It will get vandalized, all of the paper thrown down the hole, or the lock thrown into the field. That being said, we are in need of more chairs again due to theft/vandalism. If you are replacing yard furniture (or carpet) please bring your old (unbroken) items down instead of tossing them out.

There was a recent incident at the field where a spectator was injured by an out of control airplane. This is the exact reason we have AMA insurance coverage. I appreciate the folks that jumped in to provide comfort and first aid to the individual. Remember, sometimes it is preferable to let an unmanageable plane go down in the field, or behind the vehicles in the lot rather than try to get it back to the runway over people’s heads. If you are involved in an incident, please get the individuals name and phone number to pass on to the BOD for follow up.

George Sullivan has started selling tickets for the 4th of July Raffle.[See below] You can also buy tickets from board members. Remember this one is where we get the funds to support the holiday banquet in January, so if you enjoy the banquet with your family, I encourage you to enjoy the Raffle! We already have some great stuff donated by Steve Neu and Bob Stinson with more to come! We will announce the prizes as they finalize.

Assuming the field dries out in time, we will be having Jet Day on Saturday the 25th. Bring them if you got them! Between 10 AM and Noon the main runway will be reserved for jets only. Carl and Eric are making a plan on how to award the monthly prizes. Following the fun fly there will be a club meeting at the field and the customary hot dog lunch. Hope to see you there!!

Brad