International Drone Day was a major success! For those that missed out, there are some amazing photos on the web site as well as the facebook page. Not only did we successfully host the largest event in the country, we had a great time doing it! We had 3 separate multi-rotor/drone events going on at the same time and things went off like clockwork. We had a full day of FPV racing at the rotorplex, the AMA UAS4STEM search and rescue group on the east end of the runway, and our Multi-rotor Fun Fly event at the west end. I deeply appreciate the hard work that went in to coordinating and executing this event flawlessly. A BIG Thank you to our President, Jim Bonnardel for all of the effort he personally (and nearly single-handedly) put into making us shine!
Quite a few members also spent the day helping us out and I would like to thank them. First off, our Parking lot coordinators: Brad Alix, Carl Cox, Tony Blackhurst, and Eric Shapiro. We had over 300 vehicles on site at one point. They really kept things organized and under control. Keeping tabs on the FPV Racing was Scott Fuller and George Robello. Next I would like to thank Julie Bonnardel, Quan Nguyen, Richard Bonnardel and David Story for stepping up to keep the youngsters from the UAS4STEM team on track.
Also keeping an eye on overall safety during the event – thank you to Quan Nguyen and Eric Shapiro. Lunch was paid for by Sohn Systems and was prepared and served up by Dennis Benitez, and Eric Shapiro. Thanks Steve Belknap and Randy Wynant for taking many quality photo’s and videos documenting our activities, and a big thanks to Paul Guidice and Scott Fuller for running the raffle with an iron fist. Thanks Julie Njaa for coordinating shirt sales and preorder pickup. Julie also coordinated the printing and acquisition of all of the event banners and signs, and personally manufactured many of the prizes and trophy’s. Finishing up with the fun fly activities was myself and Jim Bonnardel. At the end of the day, Carl Cox and Randy Wynant stayed until almost dusk helping me take down and stow pop-ups and get all of the trash centralized for removal. Again a big thanks to those folks that stepped up instead of stepping back, You really make it a pleasure to be in this club!!
I am going to go back and mention the raffle. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors in giving us deeply discounted prices, Donating prize items and some cash donations, our raffle provided us with enough income to outright pay for the sweet lap timing system for the FPV course as well as set us up with the funds to have a great holiday banquet again this year! A shout out to the sponsors – if you see them and or buy from them, please pass on your thanks for supporting our club events: Aerial Mob, Go Professional Cases, 5d Robotics, Drones Made Easy, Discount Hobby Warehouse, EZ Drone, Holybro, NewBee Drones, Flying Cinema, Lume Cube and the crew from Flite Test.
—- Don and Christina sent an email of thanks to Jim:
“Subject: National drone day and STEM competition
The Quad Squad is truly grateful for the SD club’s support hosting the STEM competition Saturday. We realize that the SD Club is unique to our State and a True champion of helping young professionals grow into the technology of modern flight. We had a great time ! The whole day was awesome, and our team is very inspired. Thank you again for stepping up to help kids like us.
The San Benancio Middle School Quad Squad” —-
Moving on to the rest of the month, Mother nature has been very cooperative, and as long as you aren’t afraid of a little breeze – everyone should have had some great flying days. I have seen quite a few new faces at the club, some flying planes, some using the multi-rotor area and would like everyone to welcome them, and just ask them if they have any questions or need a hand. Take a moment and remember when you were shiney and new and not sure who to ask for help… After a couple of recent mid-air collisions, I have again heard people state that they were not aware of any suggested “flight pattern” at our site. Things can get exciting and quite expensive when someone is flying exactly opposite of everyone else! The preferred pattern at our field is into the wind over the runway to about 50 feet over the weeds, and the downwind 100-300 feet out in the field. With the wind primarily coming from the left, this means right to left over the runway is the pattern 90% of the time. On the rare occasion the wind comes from the right, the pattern shifts 180 degrees. In a crosswind, stick to the prime pattern and fly right to left over the runway.
I want to have a pre-emptive chat about the 4th of July at our site. Like the last couple of years, we will be having a closed gate event at our club. If you haven’t seen the fireworks from our field, you have been missing out! Part of having a closed gate – means controlling who comes in the gate… We openly invite club members to bring their families and a few friends, but we attempt to keep the general public away. This is a major member benefit. Last year, Richie Bonnardel volunteered to spend most of his evening stationed at the gate keeping access under control, and I really appreciate that sacrifice. I won’t count on him to do it this year and am making an open call everyone to CLOSE THE GATE after entering or leaving and for a couple of people to volunteer to switch off for a few hours throughout the evening between 5 and 10 PM. If Richie volunteers, I will accept- but lets spread it around! Since we raised a good amount of funds from Drone day, we have decided that the club will pay for dinner for members and families on the 4th. Sorry, but if you bring a lot of non family guests, please have them provide for themselves.
Before I close this out I would like to put a call out for chairs at the field. With summer upon us, a lot of you will be replacing the older plastic yard furniture with new stuff. Please bring your old chairs down and we will put them to good use. Quite a few people lean back in the chairs ( DAVE GORDON!) and those chairs then usually break within that month. Please keep the legs on the ground.
I know this is already a bit lengthy, so will wrap it up… This months fun-fly event on the 28th is “Don’t spill the beans” Which is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by anyone that can fly a plane. $150.00 in prizes!! This should go from 10:00 to 12:00 and will be followed up by the monthly meeting and hot dogs for lunch.
See you at the field!!