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!
To start, I want to say Thank You to all those attended and supported our Wounded Warrior Day. We collected $500 which the club will match to give the WW Program $1000. I am proud of you all!
Group picture from Wounded Warrior Day at the field.
Soon you start seeing information on the upcoming Veterans Day Salute which takes place in November. I was approached by a friend who’s help will make this an event like no other. I can’t tell you more right now, but you won’t want to miss this one!
By now you should have noticed a lot of improvements at the field. These things don’t happen by themselves. One person who has taken the lead on improving our “little slice of heaven” is Don “Chief” Griffin. Another is Jim Bonnardel. I know there are others to numerous to mention, and for that I apologize, but when you see these gentlemen at the field. GO UP TO THEM, SHAKE THEIR HAND AND SAY THANK YOU!…I know I will….
Last but not least,Support your local hobby shops……. Follow the safety rules set down to protect you. Fly safely……Have Fun……but FLY SAFELY!
This month’s picture shows what happens to your favorite plane when you are not looking…
Another great month behind us!
Independence day was a great success! I would like to start by thanking the volunteers that helped control access at the gate during the critical hours between 6 and 9 PM. Jeff Struthers, Bryan Respess, and Hoang Tran did a great job! As I saw it there were NO unauthorized vehicles on site all day long. Next a shout out to Big Skips BBQ for providing the whole roasted pig and enough beans and potato salad to make everyone happy. Skip and his helpers were all very friendly and we enjoyed them hanging out with us into the evening.
Again, Please throw a “Thanks!” to John Weaver at Discount Hobby Warehouse for giving the club a great discount on the raffle prizes for the 4th as well as the gift certificates for the monthly fun fly’s on meeting days. He always gives us great prices to make our events more valuable! For our Independence day raffle, every member that attended received one ticket . The big winners ( each won a bind and fly warbird from E-flite) were Hoang Tran, and John Laird. Board members (me included) won 3 of the 4 gift certificates. There were some grumbles, but I can assure you we each had the same number of tickets (ONE) as everyone else. I like Jim’s take on the situation. Volunteering for the board of directors = good Karma! If you want to win more, run in the upcoming election! On that note, there will be one, possibly two, positions on the board that will likely be vacated at the end of this year. I would like each of you to consider taking a hand in the direction of the club over the next year or next few years if you so desire. The majority of us will keep the same positions if you will have us, and a few may shift a bit, but stay with the board. If you want your name in the hat, please approach me or Jim prior to the October meeting when we will announce candidates for the November election.
Last month I handed out 14 more fire extinguishers to new members, and members that have a routine presence at the field. Please remember to bring extinguishers with you if possible. I would prefer to have multiple on site when our field is in use. The outlying field has dried out and could cause a problem if we are not prepared.
Myself and another
A quick note on the OTHER Skip – yes, that one… No blood this month, but there were a few instances of planes sliding around in the pits and in the back of his vehicle. Remember, if your transmitter does not have model match technology ( Hitec, Futaba, Airtronics ) if you do not unplug your flight pack after your flight, when you prep another plane the original one will power up on the ground when you least expect it – even if you switch models.
When you have a few minutes, take a look at the new tables that recently went in at the rotorplex area. Very nice tables of slightly different design. We will see how they work and when the tables at the main runway need replacing – may go that way. Again, thank you to the volunteers that assisted in auguring out the holes for the bases, and actually setting them up. One of our local vendors agreed to re-imburse our costs, so expect to see a few logos on the new tables.
Myself and a member pitched in and bought some new chairs a couple of weeks ago, and they are still there! I purchased chairs that DAVE can’t lean back in so hopefully they last more than a few months. We are still looking for more chairs, so if you have some taking up space in the backyard as summer ends, we will gladly take them off your hands.
We are still receiving new applications for membership each week. The last number reported by Isabel was 397, so we are on track to exceed last year. I really appreciate the way you all promote a welcoming environment to spectators and people coming for information. Helping each other succeed in this fine hobby is one of the best parts! I have heard a couple of members state that they know people that want to try it, but don’t want to shell out initial money. I will toss out a reminder that the club has a couple of completely set up training aircraft with buddy box capabilities. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative that would like to try flying model airplanes, and you are a competent trainer (or enlist the aid of one) you can check out the clubs gear and get someone the first steps without them having to pony up a couple hundred bucks before they are sure this hobby is for them.
There are already people stepping up to plan and execute our holiday banquet. If you want to be part of it please let me know. We will firm up the committee in a few weeks and get them started. This year will be better than last year – and last year was amazing – so make sure you RSVP online when the mail to do so comes out.
This month’s club meeting will be held on the 23rd at the field. The fun fly – BOMB DROP!! YEAH!!!, will start around 10:00 AM and will be followed by the meeting and beef hot dogs for lunch.
Oh my… have you had enough yet? This is a pretty big political year and I’m sure the rhetoric of this election season is wearing on many of you. So, what do I have to talk about this month? That’s right, elections!
Away from our national elections for president, in the coming months we have some decisions to make much closer to home. First, your club’s election cycle is fast approaching. Nominations are accepted in October, for our November election. I would sincerely ask you to consider taking a leadership role in the club by nominating yourself for the board election. This year is my 2nd consecutive term as your president, and I cannot run for Pres. next year. Per the bylaws, your existing board will announce their support for candidates for the board for 2017 once nominations are made.
What we need your support and effort on more than ever now, is the AMA Elections that are coming up. Our own friend, and District 10 VP Lawrence Tougas is running for AMA President. Lawrence has been a friend to SEFSD and a great VP for us. You may recall Lawrence came to our club for a visit when VP elections were up, and we successfully assisted him in winning his office against another local club’s president. His credentials in aeronautical engineering and experience with full scale aircraft in the private and public sectors are impressive. Lawrence works with a major domestic airline and has seen, ?rst hand, how airlines that can adapt to rapidly changing business environments stay alive and those that do not either get gobbled up or liquidated. I feel it is our relationship with Lawrence that is helping him to understand the needs of the FPV, multi-rotor, and technology-based pilots. His roots are strong in the traditional roles of the AMA and its membership, but with our club he has seen that there are big numbers in AMA members that are taking the technology paths with UAV’s. I am confident he will act on behalf of our members with the highest level of dedication.
Interesting development… It seems that there is a person from the state of Florida, who could not complete their own paperwork in time to be considered an official candidate for AMA President, that is mounting a campaign called “Take back the AMA”. I strongly urge you to dismiss those campaign promises and hype, and vote with logic and within the bylaws of the AMA and not participate in any write in campaign you will likely read about in the near future.
To recap, please consider running for SEFSD office for 2017, and cast your vote in the upcoming AMA elections for president with me, for Lawrence Tougas.
See you at the field,