This have been a great week for flying, and practicing social distancing.
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 FAA–2019–1100. I’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 Spotting
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.
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,
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Ever have one of those days when you really want to go to the field, but now that you shouldn’t. Well yesterday was one for me.
I arrived at the field around 10 am, weather ok, winds very low. Shortly after arrival, a single cloud opened up and it started to rain. Another sign that flying was not in the cards for me. But I waited it out and the rain stopped.
I have been resurrecting an aircraft that Bill Bowen passed on, a beautiful BlueHawk bi-plane. The resurrection finished out very good, the plane looked great. So today would be its Maiden Flight.
Started the engine, warmed it up, did a bit of tuning and then off to the runway. A bit nose heavy, but controllable, I raised the throttle and headed down the runway for a fairly uneventful take off. As I climbed out, I noticed she was a bit heavy on the right side and needed a bit of left aileron to maintain level flight. Not a problem, continued to climb and make my right turn in preparations for trimming. As I came out of the turn, still climbing, the aircraft decided to do a trick of its own, an inverted dive. With little altitude to correct, the impact with the ground was inevitable. Picture below shows the rest of the story.
After collecting the wreckage, I brought out my back up plane for the day. A high wing trainer that I have flown many times. I had just finished a modification to the wing mounting, by adding wing bolts and wood pins to hold the wing on. Was kinda tired of searching for and using the rubber bands.
So, off to the sky, flying pattern circles, figure eights, and then loops. First loop ok, second loop not so much. A the plane came to the top of the loop, the main wing decided to exit the airplane floating gracefully to the ground. The rest of the plane became a high speed lawn dart.
So, I loaded the truck with what I had left, gathered all the debris and headed home, to where no doubt, I should have stayed.
Tips for Removing or Adding Weight
That’s it. Balancing a propeller is very easy and it pays big dividends by making your model last longer and operate more smoothly.
Safety note: Don’t try to repair a broken or badly cracked propeller.
Comment from Dan Royer:
At the weekly lunch with the club members I told several where you can find Goldberg Plans free. I have attached the listing of the plans available and where to get them to download; www.outerzone.co.uk
CAD conversions are sent to OuterZone, here is the list so far.
Bridi Flipper – Hand Launch Glider
Gnome 60” – Hand Launch Glider
Gnome 2M – 2 Meter Sailplane
Gnome 3M – 3 Meter Sailplane
GP Trainer 40 – Trainer
GP Trainer 60 – Trainer
Jetfire 40 – .40 Size Power Sport Plane
M.A.N. Trainer 40 – .40 Pattern Trainer
M.A.N. Trainer 60 Senior – .60 pattern Trainer
RCM Advanced Trainer 60 – IC R/C Cabin
RCM Trainer 40 – Trainer
Olympic 650 – 2 Meter Sailplane
Olympic II – 100” Wing Span Sailplane
Pussycat – 2 Meter Sailplane
Shuttle 78 – 2 Meter Sailpane
Soar Birdi – 2 Meter Sailplane
Square Soar 72 – 72” Wing Span Sailplane
Step Two – 2 Meter Sailplane
Birdi Trainer 60 – RC Cabin
Wander 72 – 2 Meter Sailplane
Wander 99 – 99” Wing Span Sailplane
PROTÉGÉ – cabin trainer
Ultra Sport 1000 – pattern trainer
Super Sportster 40 – low wing sport plane
Super Sportster 60 – low wing sport plane
Grand Esprit – high performance sailplane
Extra 300 – high performance aerobatic
TIGER 60 – Pattern Trainer
Super Sportster Bibe – 40 sized biplane
Spirit 100 – 100” Sailplane
Top Flite Elder 40 – sport plane
New Years Day 2020 brought sun shine and wind, neither of which stopped the 25 or more club members, wives and visitors that showed up to support the event.
On arrival at the site, the tumble weeds had gathered in protest of the day’s events, but Charles and I were able to overcome them and get the gates opened.
Food for lunch was in abundance, with fried chicken, chili, split peas soup, chicken casserole, chicken soup, sub sandwiches, tater tots, chips and multi layer dip, chocolate covered donuts, cookies, breads etc. No one went hungry.
Flying was a bit of a challenge, with the winds, but this did not stop the many club members that brought planes to fly. There were a couple of nay sayers, who did not bring their planes, saying “they though it would be too windy”.
One or two small mishaps added some extra challenge to the day, with one mid air collision and an uncontrolled landing some what short of the runway.