Happy Thanksgiving to all!
These past few weeks have definitely brought in some cooler weather! I thought the heat wave would never end. The small amount of rain we received this month made the field even smoother, and there are no complaints about that!
To kick off this months newsletter I would like to throw out a plug for our SEFSD holiday banquet. By doing it right after the holiday season, we received a great price at a great venue and it should be an amazing evening of family safe dining and fun! It will be held on Saturday January 16th starting at 5:00 P.M. at the 94th Aero Squadron – 8885 Balboa Ave. Just like last year we will be asking a small fee to RSVP your seat, give us accurate numbers for laying in the food, and pitch in a little more towards some great raffle prizes. We are expecting approximately 150 attendees with room for more if we identify early. This will be a family friendly event (water/soft drinks). The fee will be $5.00 per person and can be paid in cash directly to any board member or sent to me Via PayPal using the gift or family option. Do not send it as a merchandise purchase unless you also pay the fee. To keep one person from buying a lot of tickets and walking away with 2/3 of the prizes, there will be one ticket per paid guest. My Paypal address is Bradley.firstname.lastname@example.org I will be collecting between now and December 15th. I have received payment from about half of those I expect to come, so let’s get those reservations in there!
This month we are moving the club meeting and fun fly event forward a week to the 21st to avoid conflict with holiday plans. This meeting is election day for club officers. To date we have only received one nomination and that is for the member at large position that Bob will be vacating. Should be a quick vote!! The event will be Warbird Day. Bring what you have and fly, but keep in mind that the window between 10:00 and 11:30 will be limited to Warbirds of all eras. Following that, Jim has set up a Turkey drop – so bring your bomb drop plane and try to win a sweet Turkey!! After the Turkey drop we will have the club meeting/voting and a great hot dog lunch served by the board of directors.
I would like to throw out a thank you to the club members who have been taking on roles as leaders and mentors in our club. Either by stepping up to run a few events, spending some of their flying hours to help a new person with training, or generally being a good ambassador and welcoming to visitors. You all are the reason the club has grown in the last couple of years, and we appreciate your willingness to share your hobby!
I am going to use that as a segue into another topic. We have a lot of new faces at the club right now. Some of them are amazed at how cool the low high speed passes look when properly performed. So amazed in fact that a lot of people are trying to emulate these passes before they are quite ready. This has resulted in high speed/ low attempts over the runway by some pilots that are barely in control of their planes at 3 mistakes high and the end result is a lot of planes over the pit/parking area/heli-pad on almost a daily basis. People, vehicles, and planes have all been hit in the last few months. We have been a little lax for the last few years on enforcing the flying RULE at our club that states “All low flying shall be done north of the runway except for take off, landing, and touch and go operations.” . Out of necessity we will be more vocal about keeping aircraft in the safe area and not over the runway itself. This included helicopter and multi-rotor activity. After discussing with Quan, our safety officer, we will make an exception for micro aircraft in the interest of visibility. These can fly between the center of the runway and the edge of the grass, but should not come close to the fence.
We have mentioned before that while it is the job of the board of directors to enforce rules and ask habitual offenders to leave the club, safety is the job of every member at our club If you see something unsafe, please feel free to say something to the pilot in a respectful tone. Sometimes you will need to raise your voice to be heard, but no yelling or screaming please. Physical violence will not be tolerated. Don’t save your issues until the arrival of a board member as I for one do not prefer approaching people with something I did not personally witness. That devolves into he said / she said and loses value. If you see someone routinely doing something unsafe or breaking the rules and they are not swayed by conversation, put it in writing -with the offenders name and a few witnesses – to the board and we will approach that person officially and ask them to change their behavior.
Jeff Struthers asked a very appropriate question last week and I would like to elaborate on the answer. Jeff asked when the responsibility of an instructor would end when it comes to getting someone safely in the air. It depends on the student, but as a whole, we owe it to them not to cut them off with only enough instruction to be dangerous. Some people need to be on the buddy box a few days or weeks past their first successful landing or first solo flight. Some students need constant reminding not to fly over the foot path, pits, or Seaworld drive. Please, if you are taking the time to train someone – make sure they have the minimum tools to fly safely before cutting ties.
Have a great Thanksgiving and safe flying!!