What a great start to 2018!
With the rest of the country seemingly falling into another Ice age, we have had some of the best flying weather of the year. Mornings are cool, but most of us are still wearing shorts! The rain we received Early in January not only removed most of the fire danger in Southern California, it also brought some (much) needed moisture to our main runway. Pease pass on thanks to Randy for arranging to have the roller delivered to the field, and also to Jim, Dennis, and Dick for their willingness to drive it around for 2 days to get the runway smooth and tight. My only wish is that we could keep it like this year round… We will keep our ears open for further opportunities to roll following rains.
One thing that came to light following the rain was member lack of concern when it comes to locking the gate if you are the last one out. Right after the rain stopped a member went to have a look at the field. When he arrived the gate was wide open, and a non-member was walking het 75 lb. plus dog ON the runway! She was actually complaining at how muddy the field was while her dog was sinking 4-5 inches into our flying surface. If we were unable to roll the next day, it would have been a nightmare! Randy has stopped by numerous evenings in the last month, and nearly every time the gate has been open without a member on site. Not only does this leave us open to dumping, destruction, and vandalism, it also violates our lease agreement with the city which requires us to lock the site in order to prevent unauthorized use. PLEASE folks, LOCK THE GATE if you are the last one out! If there are non-members on site, simply ask them to leave, if there are empty vehicles in the parking lot – Lock the gate and let them figure it out.
While on the subject of the gate, I would like to segue into a conversation about keys to the gate. Over the last few years we have passed out greater than 1500 keys. Our club averages 400 – 425 members a year… where are all of these keys going? I still have the same key I received in 2003, and it works great! We have NOT changed the lock in that time – especially not every year. Please – if you don’t need a key, don’t ask for a key. If you need a key, we are going to pass the cost on to you, $3.00 each. We are not making anything on keys – that is our cost. I just cannot justify continuing to spend $1500.00 a year on keys that are getting lost or thrown away. If you need to purchase a key, Randy Wynant, Dennis LaBerge, and myself have keys.
Those that joined us at the holiday banquet on the 13th can attest what a great event it was! We filled the house and had a fine evening. It is strange to see most of you without sunglasses and floppy hats! It was nice to see the spouses that put up with us having a good time. Thanks Steve Belknap for the outstanding pictures. For a look at who was there, go to the gallery section of the website. Thank you to our banquet committee, Randy and Quan – for making it happen, and thanks to Butch for answering our call out in September when we were looking for a venue. The Harbor House was fantastic, the food was amazing, and the servers were polite and skilled. A lot of neat prizes went out, congrats to the raffle winners! I haven’t seen any of the prize planes at the field yet, and am interested to see them fly. If you bring one let me know!
The membership grace period has ended. As of 20 January we have 242 paid members. George finished mailing the unclaimed member badges yesterday, so starting this Saturday, 27 Jan – you will need to present a 2018 badge to fly at our site. This includes participation in member only events like our monthly fun-fly, and hot dog lunch. No Pay, No Play… Please wear your badges on your person, or on your gear and don’t get upset if someone asks to see a badge. In December, Jim and I saw people at the rotorplex with badges from 2015 and 2016 that conveniently “didn’t know” that theirs had expired. Please help us educate them. Guest privileges are to be extended to new folks (with AMA) only, and do not apply to prior members. Finally, if you plan to fly this year, and have not joined the club for 2018 yet – WHY NOT! The price today will be the same all year round.
A big shout out to Steve Belknap, Raphi Houri, and Quan Nguyen for countless hours put in to re-vamp and update our website! Steve is back loading our articles, but if you have anything you would like him to publish or ad, please contact him directly. If anyone is looking to sell some gear, please try our “for sale by members” tab so we can make sure that is working properly.
I will close with some usual stuff… Please LOUDLY call your take-offs and landings! It is still the responsibility of the person stepping onto the field to call out their intention and LOOK and ensure there is not a plane inbound towards you prior to stepping on the runway. Just because you didn’t hear someone call landing or taking off will not make it hurt any less – and contrary to popular belief, the opposite sex is not attracted to stitches on your face… The best way to avoid mid-air collisions is to follow the same general flight patter as everyone else. Fly at the edge of the runway into the wind, and 2-300 feet out from the runway with the wind. Leave the area directly over the runway for taking off and landing. Before taking flight, take a look at the others in the air and judge whether it is best for you to fly with them, or wait a few minutes. A high speed jet in the air with someone hovering at the edge of the runway is a recipe for disaster.
Our monthly event on the 27th will be Altitude quest. If you can take-off and land by yourself, you have a chance to take home prizes! The fun fly will start at 10:00 am and end roughly around noon, to be followed up by our first club meeting of the year, and a hot dog lunch served by your BOD. See you there!