What a great month March has turned out to be! A little bit of rain early on allowed some footprints to be left in the flying surface, but not too bad. Things in the outlying field are heavily in bloom, so if you suffer from allergies like I do, please use your remedy of choice before heading to the site. There was a mid-air and a small fire in the field 2 weekends ago. Thanks to the guys that rushed over with extinguishers!
I am going to start out with my personal lesson for the month: Be careful what you ask for!! Last month I bemoaned the fact that Skip didn’t give me anything interesting to write about… I should have kept quiet as he apparently took it as a challenge. Those who were there saw a wild flight which thankfully ended up without damage. All I can say is that if you re-maiden a plane after repairs, and it is way out of trim – be careful who you call to reach over your shoulder and give you some “up”, and ensure that the person who comes to your aid understands that pushing the trim button up until it stops beeping – and giving up trim are two very different things. Makes for an exciting landing …
A couple of neat things to talk about this month! Already on our calendar for May 7th is the International Drone Day. Last year was a lot of fun and a great success with a large turnout and some great raffle prizes (Amy Blackhurst won a Phantom!!) This year we will have a lot of the same multirotor activities at the main runway and we will also be hosting an AMA event supporting the AMA flight school and their UAS4STEM search and rescue team at the multi-use rotor area at the same time. Check this out!! http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/uas4stem/faqs/ we could have 500-600 people attend.
Should be a great day! To pull this off will require quite a bit of coordination and some manpower. Jim is going to coordinate, and the majority of the Board has volunteered to help, but we are still looking for volunteers that would like to assist Quan as safety assistants at both areas, Parking lot guides, Spotters, and a few positions as yet to be designated. If you would like to help, please approach or send an e-mail to Jim or myself. [Your Editor would like some folks to volunteer to take some aerial footage during the event so that we can add it to the website. Please contact me if you are interested: email@example.com. Thanks – ed] We have not decided yet whether the club will attempt to cook/serve a hot dog lunch for donations or call in food trucks and miss that revenue. I would like to emphasize that any profits from lunch/Raffle will be turned into a transponder timing system for the multi-rotor racers, so if they feel like stepping up – it will directly improve their area of the field.
Membership continues at a good Pace. Isabel states we are around 335 members for 2016. She will be sending an e-mail to the 2015 members who have not renewed to see if it is an oversight or if they have moved on to other hobbies. A couple of people are still having membership issues. If you feel you should have received a badge and have not, please contact Isabel for verification. If you joined prior to December 01 2015, you joined the club for 2015. That was clearly on the application form. Some people have spam blockers and are not seeing Isabel’s mail, and a few claim they are using their wives e-mail and she does not pass them on. You need to figure it out so Isabel can get a badge to you. Please wear your badges at the field! If you need a badge clip please come see me, Jim, or Paul. If you see someone getting ready or flying without a badge, please ask to see it (after they land, if flying) and impress upon them the need to wear it or leave.
There was some discussion about someone selling drones to people on weekdays and using our site to demonstrate them. This is ok if the seller is a member. However, this person has apparently been telling these people they don’t have to be a member to fly at our field which is obviously incorrect. If you see this happening, please get a pic of the person and their vehicle/plate with your phone – it will be handled.
Jim had a good talk with the FAA and airport officials early this month. They stated that they have no problem with us as they know where we are and what to expect from us. Their problem is the people flying in parks or in communities neighboring the airport and not understanding their restrictions. Recently 3 multi-rotors were found ON THE RUNWAY presumably launched from liberty station. If you see or hear about people flying out of bounds, please share the rules with them and also share an invite to come join the AMA and our club. Please be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Jim also had a meeting with the new head Ranger providing oversight on Mission Bay Park. He also is happy with most of what he sees happening at our site. He is ok with the race gates in the field as long as they are uniform and clean looking. He has asked his team to direct anyone found flying RC aircraft to our site to inquire about membership. Please be helpful to these people, if they slip away and do bad things somewhere else, we could catch blame. The only issue he had involved members hopping the curb to come in when the street is closed (he mentioned tow trucks). The rent-a-cops directing traffic are not rangers and claiming they said it was ok will not save you from a fine or towed for going off-road in a restricted area. On line with keeping park services happy, I would like to remind people that stuffing items in the trash cans that should not be left for the maintenance man is a no-no. I know it sucks, but if you crash and destroy a plane, please take it with you and dispose of it at home.
Some people have noticeably slowed their pace through the parking lot – Thank you. Some have not. I should not be the only person pressing for this. Last Sunday a small girl spectating with her father was narrowly missed by a members SUV as she ran back to their car for a jacket. Will it take a tragedy to get people to pull their head out and slow down??
FPVers, If you haven’t had a chance – make sure you check out the new frequency control board created by our friendly FPV committee. They are still working out some magnetic backing issues, but the board is up and operational. Plane flyers, if you see someone at the main runway pulling out FPV gear, please direct them to the multi-rotor area for de-confliction.
Last weekend was the first swap meet of the year. There were a few good deals for buyers, but not so much for sellers. I had a few offers of 50 bucks (or less) for Items I had over 600 dollars in. Needless to say I didn’t sell much.
On this Subject, Paul Guidice and Steve Belknap have been collaborating the last few weeks on re-vamping the “for sale by members” section on our web-site to make it usable for people to move their items to interested people at a decent price instead of accepting pennies on the dollar at swap meets, or dealing with some of the odd people that cruise craigslist. Paul is typing up a blurb and instructions on how to get your items posted which should be a little further down in the newsletter. Thanks Paul and Steve! If you didn’t know – I LIKES to buy airplanes!!
This month’s fun-fly event on the 26th is the popular Poker Fly. It is as much luck as skill. You pull your first 2 cards at sign-up, then get an additional card for each successful flight (sorry Skip) up to a total of 5 flights. Discard 2 and that’s your hand. We have upped the fun fly prize amount from $100.00 to $150.00 through the end of the year so there will be more chances to win! The event will start around 10:00 and last until around noon at which time we will hold the monthly club meeting and serve a hot dog lunch to members. Come have fun and a Dog!!