In my last column, I discussed the AMA’s marketing and what we have to offer. Much of the marketing is done at the grassroots level. To further that discussion, the heart of promoting model aviation lies with our clubs and members.
We appreciate our members talking about AMA in a positive manner. Promoting model aviation is as simple as providing a friendly environment for newcomers or communicating with your community and local government. There are as many examples of this as there are successful, growing clubs.
Promoting your club as a positive, community-based organization can pay dividends when looking for or retaining a flying site. I know of two clubs working together to promote model aviation and their clubs’ membership.
The Aero Radio Club of Syracuse (ARCS) and the Syracuse Thunderbirds Aero Radio Society (STARS) of Syracuse, New York, partnered with Walt’s Hobby Shop and came up with a label that is placed on all aircraft kits, ARFs, foamies, radios, etc. sold by Walt’s. This label advertises an annual joint model forum as well as the contact person for each club’s flight schools. It was on the box of a Beaver that I purchased. An idea like this helps newcomers to our hobby find clubs willing to work with them, benefiting everyone!
AMA member Juan Pablo Montoya drove to fifth place in this year’s Indianapolis 500 on May 25. He finished just 1.3233 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Juan Pablo, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion, started in the fourth row after a seven-year absence from open-wheel racing.
You can read about Juan Pablo’s love of aeromodeling in the September 2010 issue of Model Aviation, which can be found at https://library.ModelAviation.com.
Joe Nall 2014 was amazing! With more than 1,500 registered pilots, Joe Nall is the largest model aviation experience in the world and a bucket-list event for modeler. What CD Mike Gregory and the volunteers did this year was nothing short of spectacular.
Flash flooding was predicted, but they were able to move the RVs and campers to higher ground without interrupting of any of the main or secondary event areas.
AMA Annual Membership meeting was well attended! Andy Argenio, Bill Hamby, Frank Fels, and I took tickets to the now-famous barbecue dinner on Friday evening. A thousand people were served a complete meal in 22 minutes, and the efforts of those chopping the barbecue pork and preparing the main course have to be seen to be believed.
The noontime shows were about precision flying and 3-D. The atmosphere is pure southern hospitality and the venue that Pat Hartness has provided is among the best in the world.
Keith Dick, president of the Bayou City Flyers, invited me to attend the Flying Community Gathering Open Free Fly. Roughly area clubs attended the event on May 31 at Dick Scobee Field in the Houston area.
The event was sponsored by one of Houston’s premier hobby shops, the RC Hobby Shop. The Bayou City Flyers provided an air conditioned clubhouse, a well-kept field, and large 650 x 80-foot concrete runway. This hobby shop is a remarkable promoter of the 36 model aviation events that will take place in the Houston region among the 25 clubs this year.
The Houston area had received 8 inches of rain a few days earlier, and the area surrounding was still flooded, but the access road and flying site were dry. I didn’t get a head count, but they can be proud of the turnout. Every type of airplane flew, from park flyers to turbines. The people were hospitable and I made several friends.
I want to mention the passing of Chuck Harvey, president of the Bayou City Flyers. He was an institution in the Houston area and his years of dedication to his club will be missed for many years to come. I offer my condolences to Chuck’s family, friends and club members.
Until next time, help secure our modeling future and take a youngster flying![dingbat]