March 2020

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It’s been a fabulous month for flying aircraft – especially for Febru- ary. By my observation, there has been someone flying at the field at least 21 days this month.

It’s also been an interesting month as far as the FAA impinging on our hobby goes. The RID NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) has achieved over 30,000 comments on the online National Regis- try. There will likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 additional comments submitted by fax or snail mail. Washington D.C. insiders are astounded at what they consider a very high vol- ume of response. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) strongly encour- aged their membership to support the hobbyists in making com- ments to the FAA – and they responded with a clear voice sup- porting us. March 2 is the last day to submit comments. If you would like to add your voice comment HERE.

After March 2 the FAA is required by law to read every comment. Some have suggested this process alone could take as long as two years. Once the comment period is over discussion by the public with the FAA on this matter is over, but it’s not time to relax. Con- gress can still interact with the FAA on this matter so the next phase of the campaign to “save the hobby” will be to carpet bomb congress and senate with well composed letters and try to get them to flying fields to see what the hobby is about. When writing your legislators it’s critically important to make sure you reference your comments are in regard to docket number FAA20191100I’ve seen several replies from this state and others in which the specific issue was apparently unknown to the legislator and their comments were about completely different NPRM’s or issues.

At the club meeting I addressed the protocol of having a spotter when flying. It’s not critically important to have a spotter if you are the only pilot on the flight line – however if there are three or more pilots on the flight line utilizing spotters is necessary. If two pilots are standing proximal to one another they can communicate without a spotter – but having a spotter for them to share would be better yet. An additional set of eyes coupled with good communication can prevent mishaps and help make a safer and more enjoyable environment.

As a pilot you want to have a spotter you can trust – so (for example) if they tell you that you’re landing to the side of the runway you don’t discard their observation but reevaluate yours. An effective spotter doesn’t chat with or otherwise distract the pilot and stands to the side and just behind the pilot so as not to be seen in their peripheral view. Finally, if you notice that there is a need for a spotter take initiative and approach the pilot and let them know you are approaching as their attention will be on the aircraft and you don’t want to startle them.

My final words on spotting. It’s the law that unmanned air- craft be observed from the pilots location. If the pilot is flying FPV then he/she must (by law) have a spotter proximal to them to observe the aircraft and advise the pilot if the aircraft is leaving the field of view. Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations without a Part 107 license are both illegal and as such damage caused by BVLOS may be difficult of impossible to cover with insurance.

Fly safe, have fun, and support your club members.

March 2020—FAA RID NPRM and Spottingpage1image20699904

An effective spotter:

  •   alerts the pilots to items that may be distracting outside their field of view.
  •   alerts pilot of obstacles in their flight path, including aircraft, birds, etc
  •   Reminds pilot of whatever they request, such as flap position, gear position, disablestabilization, etc.
  •   helps them line up for final approach
  •   Helps with trim switches when requested
  •   helps them when things to awry – such as getting a vector on a downed plane.

Monthly Club Meeting

We had the monthly meeting Thursday, February 20. About 15 members were present.
Scott presented the safety topic about spotters when more than one pilot is flying. It is important and required by our safety standards for this. The spotter makes sure all pilots know others are in the air, alert pilots about landings, takeoffs, and if full scale aircraft approach. Pilots should acknowledge these alerts so everyone knows and understands the field situation. If a pilot doesn’t acknowledge the spotter should verify the message was understood, as some of us are having hearing issues.
All of us should review the field safety requirements posted on the board on the shelter.
Larry presented the financial report. We have about $3400 in the checking account with all known obligations paid to date. This is adequate to meet current known needs. 
Bob presented the field conditions. Field is in good shape as a mild winter so far. We are planning a field cleanup day Saturday, March 21. More to come as the day approaches, but mainly for now, clear out tumbleweeds, wash tables, patio, and other areas. 
The next event is the IMAC, Saturday  and Sunday, April 4 and 5. This is a fundraising event and Jim will be organizing food service. Mark this on your calendar and please respond to Jim when he asks for assistance.
Scott reviewed the FAA proposed rule changes. He encouraged all of us to write the FAA and various representatives. The FAA comment window is only through March 2. This can be a brief paragraph or two, but the most effective can be those that are personal and how it will affect you. Thanks to Scott for keeping us up to date on these proposed changes and encouragement to stay involved.
Larry presented plans being made for a new maintenance shed. It will use the current concrete pad including the open extended area. The idea is to enclose the entire pad, with a wall to separate equipment from a “clean” area for water, snacks, etc.He is in the early design stages so if you have ideas on what you would like to see, or concerns we need to consider please contact Larry in the next couple of weeks. He wants to move from prelim design to a working design so he can begin filling in cost estimates. Right now, it’s looking in the neighborhood of 6-8 thousand dollars. After we have an idea of costs we will begin to line up funding sources, such as City of Richland Parks and AMA grants.Thanks to Larry for his effort in gathering information about siding, roofing, etc.
Next meeting is March 19, 7:00 PM, Ranch and Home conference room, Colombia Park.
Hope to see you soon at the field,
John

Slow Survival Combat (SSC)

Slow Survivable Combat (SSC). SSC is the most popular class RC Combat has to offer. Only having a .15 engine and a rpm limit (17,500) reduces the speed and the severity of the crashes that are bound to happen.

Thrill of the chase and cut

The objective of SSC is to recreate the excitement of aerial combat in an enjoyable, safe competition that will be interesting for spectators and challenging for the contestants.

Combat is the most exciting five minutes you can have in RC! There’s nothing like chasing your opponent as he dives for the deck, turning left and weaving right! All of a sudden somebody’s on your six, you pull up and head for the sky. You yank a hard left turn and just barely escape with your streamer still intact.

Combat is flown with a 30′ streamer tied to each pilot’s airplane. The object is to cut your opponent’s streamer while trying to protect your own streamer. Points are awarded for how many kills (streamers you cut) you get, and how much of your own streamer you bring back from the battle.

Although referred to as Slow Survival Combat, don’t let the name fool you. A five minute mission provides an ultimate adrenaline rush. Believe me, after the five minute mission and with your plane safely back into its stand, you will appreciate the 15 minute break between missions. Each day of competition consists of six, five minute missions.

The planes are a construction of aluminum rails, .15 size engine, covered foam main wing, tail wing and stab cut from sign board, 3 servos, a fuel tank, battery and receiver. There is a minimum weight limit of 2.5 lbs. The engine RPM is limited to 17,500 (approx. 50 – 55 mph), 8×3 propeller.

A complete set of rules can be found at RCCombat Association web site.

http://rccombat.net/documents/2009docs/2009%20Official%20SSC%20Rules%20v2009-1.pdf

I have enjoyed the thrill of competition in the past, and would like to start a group within our club. If this is something you may find interesting or would like more information, please contact Jim Anderson @ 509-554-2711 or by email at andersonjw1956@gmail.com.

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