Here’s to an Amazing February!
The El Nino system brought us some early rain, then has left us alone while beating up the rest of the country. The last couple of weeks has been the most accommodating February weather that I can remember. The early rains means the field area has seen some rapid growth so it can be more difficult to locate a downed aircraft if you are unsure exactly where it went in. For those with small planes or multi-rotors, I saw a small locator beeper used last weekend that was pretty neat and the owner stated he bought it from Hobby King for less than 5 bucks. Along with lost models, there will be an increase in allergens and flammable materials as things bloom, then dry out. Please plan accordingly.
The Field is in outstanding shape right now! Thanks again to those people who volunteered for our ” get your rocks off!” activity last month on meeting day. Sweeping the rocks was an instant improvement, then the rain mid-week softened the top 3 inches allowing Jim to come in with the roller for a really effective groom of the surface. Thanks Jim! Also thanks to Chief Griffin and his team for continuing their efforts at keeping the weeds from taking over the runway and pit area!
I would like to start out with something I mentioned in last months newsletter, and spoke extensively about at the last meeting at the field: Please people! slow down in the parking lot!! I fully understand you are excited to finish your journey and fly your models! However, think of your fellow members and give them the same courtesy you would expect when you are parked at the flight line… Don’t leave people choking in dust or having to jump out of your way. The 5 MPH sign is up, but not many people are actually seeing it.
Skip didn’t fly that much this past month so I am short of harrowing tales and near death experiences… I’ll have to think something up!
I would like to talk about a couple of levels of situational awareness. First, I would like to reiterate the need to actually look both directions for inbound planes before stepping out on the runway, or launching planes. Again there were a couple of near misses when people stepped out after shouting “on the runway” immediately in the path of a plane on final, and a couple of times people lifted off at full throttle, and pulled straight up under someone else. Easily avoidable if we take a look to ensure awareness of what is happening around us. Next, if you are taxiing and hear another pilot yell LANDING, maneuver your plane next to the fence and verbally let the pilot on final knows where your plane is. We had 2 pilots ( at the same gate) have a head on ( Is this a mid-ground??) collision as one was returning to the gate while the other landed 5 feet in front of him. Finally on this subject, I would like you to take a look at what is going on and put some thought as to whether it is best to fly at that moment, or wait a few minutes. I will use myself as an example. I have a few planes that have about double the monetary value as the SUV I purchased for my daughter when she moved out of state. I carefully judge the conditions and who is currently flying before I take to the skies. For the most part, people see me walking with the big planes and stop to watch, giving me a safe window to fly for 5 or 6 minutes without risk of mid-air collision. Sometimes however, someone will launch a high speed zipper or fly in a very unpredictable manner or opposite pattern after I have already lifted off. Very rarely have I asked someone to land and give me a few minutes to complete the flight. If I am uncomfortable – I make the decision to land until conditions improve. Another example, John Sigurdson loves to 3d from pilot station 1 . He is generally 5 feet over the grass between 10 and 30 feet up. Randy Wynant waits to fly his 120 MPH Pilatus until John is done… Make sense?
Membership is still going strong with about 70% of last years members having renewed and a good number of new members so far this year. If you still have not renewed you are no longer able to fly at our site. The unofficial “grace period” is over. Membership has been open for 3 months now. There is no guest flying for past members. Lets get it done!. On that note, a reminder to all members to visibly wear their badge while on site, and remember that you do NOT have to be a board member to ask to see some ones badge or to ask someone to leave. If you are not wearing your badge, you should expect someone to ask. If you become argumentative or threatening, you will be asked to leave. If it happens more than once the board will vote on your continued membership. If a non-member causes an accident on sea world drive or hits a pedestrian on the foot path, he just leaves – it’s nothing to him. We risk losing our site since if they are not a member, what else are they missing? Waiver with the city? AMA insurance?
Isabel stated that there are still some members that are still having renewal problems. 12 or 13 of you that have either paid via PayPal without doing the renewal form, did the paperwork- but never paid, or sent cash to sign up minor family members, but never applied for their free AMA youth memberships… If you think you should have a badge, but do not, please check your junk e-mail and spam filters to ensure you are getting mail from Isabel. Most of her inquiry’s have gone unanswered. The next step is to mail Isabel direct firstname.lastname@example.org and she will address the situation.
We have made some changes at the Heli-Multi rotor area lately. The most notable being the proposed frequency control board for the FPV folks. The proposed board is currently attached to one of the tables, and once its design is validated we will have one made of steel permanently mounted between the multi-rotor site and the main runway.
Remember that when flying FPV from the main runway using any system other than light bridge, that you must go to the Heli/Multi area and verify your frequency is clear (brings back bad memories?). I expect this months newsletter to include a submission from Scott Fuller. He is the club secretary and he recently volunteered to head up a 5 person committee to handle all things related to multi-rotor use and racing at our site. Thanks for stepping up to the plate on what is now the fastest growing and least understood aspect to our hobby!!
It is recommended by the AMA that all AMA members register themselves and place their registration numbers on any aircraft weighing more than roughly 1/2 pound. The club itself will NOT be checking or acting as enforcement other than making this statement and mentioning that the FAA can heavily fine anyone not in conformance.
This month we will be holding our spot landing contest along with our monthly meeting on the 27th. Please come and have fun! the only skill required id to land your plane – What could be easier? We will start the event around 10:00 AM, and will hold the meeting with a hot dog lunch to follow. See you there!!
Brad helping others as usual.