I hope none of you were flooded or washed away this year! The great thing is that we are officially out of the drought, at the cost of missing out on quite a few flying days. Nearly a month ago I initiated a “Red Lock “ initiative at the field. The intent is to keep members from using our field during times that usage is counterproductive to maintaining a smooth surface. I will claim that it has been a success. The amount of member induced damage to the runway has reduced to zero. While we cannot control the periodic non-member from walking across the muddy runway for some reason – at least it’s not us being the problem. As we near the end of the rainy season, any problems we cause on the clay surface will still be an issue in July. The red lock has also assisted us in enforcing the recent NOTAM flight restrictions that were in place for 2 days while the President was traveling throughout our county by air…
For now the field is in great shape, and with the rain stopping Thursday, I hope it will be dried out to support our club meeting and fun fly event this Saturday. If not, Life will go on, and we will fly when we can. Thanks to Dennis Laberge and Scott Vance who made liberal use of the approved weed abatement spray in the few days that were dry. They spent numerous hours around the field, in the main pit area, and Rotor-plex pit area. Without their efforts the vegetation would be well on its way of conducting a hostile takeover of our site.
With all of the rain, vegetation growth at the field will be out of control for the next 5 or 6 weeks. The weeds ( AKA pretty flowers… ) will likely be head height by mid-April. This generally will attract a lot of people to the field area for pictures. I understand that having people randomly walk on the runway and into the flight area can be difficult to deal with. Please be patient and remember that they are attempting to enjoy Mission Bay Park in their own aspect. Please don’t scream at them, or get close to them with your aircraft. If you feel it is unsafe, I expect you to hold your flight until they have departed and you can fly safely.
Around this time of year I like to ask people to double check the safety equipment they use at the field. Fire extinguishers should be checked for charge. First aid kits should be checked for expiration dates and validation that they are still effective. Recently a member gave another member a large Band-Aid that was almost 4 years old and it was about as sticky as a sheet of paper. It’s also the time to ensure you have some good sun screen in your kit. I keep seeing members with interesting bandages where melanomas are removed – PREVENTION is key here. It is also time to remember planning to bring plenty of drinking water for yourself and guests. Now that the days are longer and potentially getting warmer, I don’t want to risk anyone getting dehydrated and sick. Along that note, please don’t “count” on the charity of others in this regard. Some of us have medical conditions that are severely aggravated by dehydration and always have water with them. If you know they bring water and ask them for a bottle, you may get it – but at the cost of them having to pack up their stuff and leave… I had one member actually tell me a few years back that I had ruined his day because I did not bring enough water for his children. Most of us are fully grown, please don’t put this onus on others.
We had a slow month for the 50/50 raffles as we were mostly washed out. I had one chance last weekend and with the logistics of completing and doing the maiden flights on 2 large planes, the raffle slipped my mind.
I will continue this weekend and attempt to keep it on track. Again, the idea is to have one lucky club member win on each event day – and have the rest of the donations go towards next years banquet. I intend to reduce banquet ticket prices for attendees, and add valuable raffle prizes. Tickets are $10 each and the Members benefit from each dollar collected.
This months Fun Fly event will be Altitude quest, Another club favorite. Expect the fun to begin on the 25th at 10:00 AM. This is a club favorite that can be enjoyed by all and usually lasts about an hour and a half. It will be followed by the monthly club meeting and hot dog lunch. There will be gift certificates to Discount Hobby Warehouse for the winners. John Weaver, owner of Discount Hobbies, Gives us certificates at a discounted rate – allowing us to offer more. He is appreciative of a “thank You” from club members when the chance presents itself.
As the weather levels out I hope to see all of you at the field more! The ( only ) nice thing about all of this rain was a chance to get a couple of plane projects in the air. I hope to see you with a new plane or two!
Have a great month,