I am glad the new year finds all of you healthy and hopefully WISER!!
This is my first newsletter since November, so I have some good stuff saved up for you!
First, let me say THANKS to all of the people who attended our Holiday Banquet at the 94th AERO SQUADRON. What a success! Our Final attendance was 123 people. We had a few no-shows, but that can be expected. Great food with great company and a lot of raffle items to round out the evening. Thanks Steve Belknap for taking some great pictures for us!! See the dinner pics here.
When you have a moment, please throw out a personal thank you to the banquet committee – Bob Stinson, Amy Blackhurst, Quan Nguyen, and Randy Wynant. They put a lot of effort into making this come off. There were a couple of grumbles that it was not a true holiday banquet since it did not occur between Thanksgiving and New Years. In the realm of picking the lesser evils: Last year we had numerous complaints that people were out of town for the banquet, we received a discounted price at our venue by not holding it during their busiest month, and we had the highest banquet attendance that I have seen since joining the club. I will accept feedback on your pros and cons for next year.
I am going to move into my standard safety chat. This is about someone we all know and love, and the greatest thing about this story is that no one was physically hurt. Spektrum and JR radios have built in model match technology that will not allow the transmitter to connect with the receiver if the proper model is not selected in the transmitter. Hitech, Futaba, and Airtronics do not have this feature. This means that you can inadvertently launch your model with the wrong memory selection loaded. If you are VERY lucky, your trims will be off. The way it usually happens is either your elevator, ailerons, or rudder are reversed and your model is uncontrollable. We even had a model that was not unplugged after a flight and skip through the pits when the owner launched his next plane. The recent incident involved backwards ailerons which resulted in a model spinning into the pits at full throttle. There was no blood, but there were quite a few scared faces and some equipment damage that was handled in a gentleman-like manner. Please ensure your pre-flights include reading the model memory selected, and actually watching each control surface move in the proper direction prior to sending your model away. Some people just listen to the servos move and hit it. Please be careful!
I still see people quietly calling “on the field” and stepping out without looking. One of our deaf members stepped in front of Tim’s brand new composite ship on final and numerous yells by myself and others didn’t slow him down one bit. Luckily Tim had enough juice to go around. Please turn your head both ways and look before stepping out people! I am going to ask Skip to perform CPR on anyone hit by a plane – so there is even more reason to look!!
It takes less than 60 seconds to get from the entry gate to the Heli-pad at 10 miles per hour. I just don’t understand the need to hit 40 or 50 in our driveway. The plane guys REALLY appreciate getting dusted when you blow by, and I for one enjoyed the dirt chili dogs after a BMW blew in last month… Come on, please slow down at the site, and remember that people bring small children that can dart out between the parked cars. With the kick off of El Nino this month we saw a lot of water at the field. Right now the runway is in great shape as we move in to 2016, with only a few exceptions. We know this rain pattern will be with us for the next 3 months or so. I am going to ask everyone a big favor again this year. If the field is soft, please do the rest of us a favor and hold your plane a day or two to avoid the massive mud prints (craters) on the runway. If you can see standing puddles in the parking lot, the water in the area has not been absorbed into the ground because the ground is too wet. All of this rain is also going to result in a growth explosion with the shrubbery in our flight area. I still see people heading out to crashes with extinguishers in hand and would like to say “thank you!” and please keep it up.
An out of state visitor impaled his vehicle (totaled) and could have seriously injured his wife on our gate a couple of weeks ago when they wandered into our site and was not paying attention while leaving. Jim painted the end of the gate a bright yellow to make it noticeable, but the whole thing could have been avoided if the last member out that morning had shut and locked the gate. Don’t forget that it is part of our agreement with the city to control access to our site and lock the gate when we leave. See the crash pics below in the “New Pics” article.
Our 2016 membership drive on Jan second kicked off the new year with about one hundred and twenty of you joining Isabel and Paul for badge day and Pizza. They mailed out a bit over a hundred to the others that had renewed but did not make it to pick up their badge. The design on the badge was provided by Bob Stinson, and selected by Isabel from the submissions I received in November. If you have not renewed for 2016, times a wasting! We are asking paid members to wear their badge on their person while at the field so we can differentiate between paid members and non-paid spectators. If you show up without a badge, you may get away with it once (don’t count on it though) but the big push is * No Membership = No Flying*. Most of you knew in December that you were going to renew, and January shouldn’t have been a surprise since it has followed December for a couple thousand years, so let’s just get it done. Isabel and Paul may want to do some traveling this year, so if 30 of you wait until March to renew, don’t get emotionally stressed if you do not receive your card (no flying) for five or six weeks… Everyone that has a membership badge is expected to say something if a non-member is attempting to fly, and is also expected to point out and stop unsafe behavior. Recently numerous members at the heli-pad were allowing a non-member to fly his FPV wing from the Heli-pad violating our safety zone between us and Sea world drive. When the members were approached and asked about it, they responded that they were not safety officers. WRONG answer! With the current public furor about “drones”, all it takes is one stupid event uncorrected to lose us our site permanently.
At Januarys board of directors meeting we will be finalizing our clubs event calendar for 2016. A lot of old favorites will return with maybe one or two surprises thrown in to keep it interesting. Again, we will attempt to keep our fun-fly events to 2 hours on meeting days so we do not take out the whole day. If there is an event you would like to see at our club AND you have a volunteer to administer/supervise the event, feel free to gauge interest and take your proposal to the board for determination. That being said, Martin T. wanted me to ask if there are a group of people interested in bringing back the pylon race series using stock park-zone T Trojans. Let me know!
On Saturday the 30th, we will have our first club meeting at the field, and the kick off of the popwing racing for 2016, Should take about an hour – grab those wings!!
Finally, The AMA announced in an e-mail on the 19th that they desire all members to register with the FAA http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2016/01/18/faa-advocacy-meeting-january-15-and-16/ . We as an AMA club are asking that you follow these guidelines to avoid possible fines to yourselves in the future. On this note, there has been some offshoot FPV drone racing going on in odd places in the county recently. These people are NOT following the rules, they are NOT AMA, do not have the same safety guidelines as we do, and break a host of city regulations (recently kicked off of Fiesta Island). We cannot control what members do away from our site, but I will implore you not to be part of the problem… Remember, we have documented an agreement with Lindbergh Field that allows us to fly within the federally mandated 5 mile restricted zone. These people have not, and if the FAA makes an example of them you don’t want to be included in that pain.
Have a great month!