As we close out 2023 I would like to throw out a “Thank You!” to each and every member.
It is your participation, and your efforts to keep drama at a minimum that makes ours a great club!
To start my newsletter for the month I will touch base on the Banquet. I was not shy last month when I mentioned that it would be best to buy your tickets early, so I am still surprised to hear people realizing just last weekend that the tickets have sold out. There may still be one or two available the closer we get to banquet day as a few people may be under the weather or on unexpected travel when the party day arrives. I have asked Jim Bonnardel to be the front man for unused tickets, so please contact him if you may have an extra one or two, or are in need of a ticket. No Guarantees, but a chance is a chance.
For those that purchased early, Thanks for getting it done! All 100 available tickets were purchased by 04 December, which was a record timeline for ticket sales. The list containing Member and Guest names of attendees will be forwarded to the Air & Space Museum before the event so they will be able to verify you are actually part of the event, and your participation includes full access to the museum for the day. We will seat for dinner with appetizers and an open Bar at 6:00 PM, and after a few introductions will start our catered prime rib dinner. There will be a neat video by Jovi, and a scrolling photo presentation by Frank to accompany dinner. Afterwards, will be one of the best SEFSD raffles I have seen in quite a while. There will be specific prizes for the actual members, and special prizes for their guests. After the raffle and awards presentation, we will clean up and plan our exit around 9:00 PM.
I want to thank the players of the 50/50 raffles I held at the field on event days during 2023. There were numerous cash winners, and the club proceeds were sufficient to remove thirty dollars from the admission price for every ticket sold. A pure WIN/WIN in my book. A few people not only played the 50/50 but also directly supported the 50/50 endpoint with standalone cash or raffle prize donations, and I would like to share their names – and ask you to thank them when you have the chance:
Also, as we end 2023, Membership renewals for Calendar year were available beginning December 1st. Quite a few have renewed already, but not as many as I have seen in previous years. There is nothing to gain by waiting. ALL 2023 memberships will expire at sundown on December 31st. You DO risk being asked to not fly and go home if you show up to the field with a smile – and no membership for 2024… About half of the club also needed to renew their AMA membership this month, Have you?
For those that have renewed, there will be several badge days at the field this year for you to pick up your 2024 badge ( If you have renewed).
Plan on badges being available for pick-up between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on the days listed below.
The first day will be 30 December, when I also plan to have several Pizzas on site for members who pick up first. Pizzas should arrive around 10:30ish. Follow on badge days will be 31 December and 01 Jan, and 06, 07, 13, and 14 Jan. Badges may also be available at the sign in table the evening of the banquet. As a quick note, Badges are not instantaneous. Peter does a great job. But if you renew your membership at 1:00 AM on the 30th, I hope I don’t see you at 9:00 AM demanding your badge (It Happens…) Any badges not picked up by 14 Jan will be mailed to members on or about 15 Jan. Badges will be mailed to the address you put on your membership application. If you are here for the winter, your badge may be waiting for you in your home mail box when you return there. Hopefully you either pick them up, or put a note in the comments section of the application on where to send your badge..
A couple of people have been absent at the field this month, and I miss them. Their absence was caused by propeller injuries. I was asked not to scare people before Christmas by posting the grisly pictures, but I will say Thanks to Brent and Jon for prompting me to remind people of the dangers of spinning propellers. Fail safes and Throttle cuts do fail from time to time – don’t count on them100%. Always be mindful of the sharp end of your airplanes. Always be watchful of what is happening in the pit areas and on the tables when you are walking the back side of the flight line. NEVER taxi any airplane in the pit area. AND, if you must work on a plane with the Motor/ESC energized, PLEASE take a few moments and remove that propeller. Electronics and people fail – and an instant can cause a lot of tissue damage and pain. A quick review of your first aid kits would also be a good idea as we start the year. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend even a basic kit as part of what you bring daily to the field. I would also like a few of you to re-think flying alone at our club. Not only can you be target by vagrants, but you could be in a position that requires help. Both of the gentlemen hurt recently needed assistance from others.
Finally, I would like to talk about how we fly, and the need to get along at the field. 18 years ago we were having issues with improving technology allowing Helicopters the ability to fly 3D and stay in the air longer than 2 or 3 minutes at a time. They were flying 3D directly over the runway for extended periods and making it difficult for plane pilots to safely land. After several accidents, We pushed them to the rotor-plex area. Most complied 12 years ago, MultiRotor aircraft became the Hazard while hovering over the field and in the flight pattern. After several accidents, We pushed them to the rotor-plex or to the outer field area. Most complied.
Recently, light profile aircraft have come into their own as extremely light, rigid planes combined with powerful small motors and batteries are able to achieve nearly a 4 to 1 power to weight ratio. One problem is that they are fairly small and to really wring them out, you need them close in to see their quick responses. Several normal plane pilots have voiced concerns of midair crashes as they fly the normal pattern and attempt to land. I have had a chance to speak with 3 or 4 of the profile pilots and DO NOT want to push them to the rotor-plex area. They are flying fixed wing planes and we need to get along. They have agreed to fly near the north edge of the runway when others are in the air, and to listen when others announce taking off and landing so they can clear the area. HOWEVER – they ask that you CALL OUT LOUDLY your intentions to do low, high speed passes, and LOUDLY announce when you are landing. We can work together – but communication is the key. If you hear someone whispering their intention to land and the 3d planes are not moving – repeat their intention in a loud voice for them.
Remember, if you feel uncomfortable with the way someone flying at the same time as yourself – YOU can land and save it for a few minutes.
Or, if you see someone flying like DAVID, YOU can make the choice to save your plane and watch his/their madness.
There are certain people that I NEVER risk a valuable airplane to share the sky with.
If you see someone flying in an unsafe or uncourteous manner, YOU as a member of this club, have the power to approach them and explain how to do it right. Quite often they just don’t know and will appreciate your interaction.
Finally, as a person that likes to throw my planes around as much as anybody – If you are flying outside of the pattern and doing advanced maneuvers – it is YOUR responsibility to have situational awareness as to what the other planes are doing. DO NOT do a vertical up-line directly in front of a ducted fan, DO NOT do a low, high speed pass as someone is on final to land. Common sense and communication has always been keys to success in our club – let’s not lose sight of that.
The field will be open flying with no organized events until Saturday, 13 Jan which will see the return of the Monthly T-28 Racing Series, and also the reintroduction of Popwing racing.
I hope everyone receives what their hearts desire for Christmas, and also for 2024.
Love you guys!