Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey was the site of the base’s open house and air show May 10-11, 2014. I was fortunate to be there with the New Jersey Pine Barons members who were asked to perform in front of 250,000 estimated spectators. The club did two performances each day and set up static display areas with 20-plus aircraft and 10 simulators under six tents.
With post-911 security protocols and the complexities of managing 250,000 spectators, the Pine Baron club was almost not in the show. However, though excellent communication and planning with show management, the club’s involvement went off without a hitch.
Pine Barons’ president, Steve Schwartz, credits Pine Baron’s member, Air Force Staff Sgt. Benjamin Stzrzyk with the legwork and club/military relationship. Ben put in many hours of effort and we thank him for his service to the club and to our military!
The Plattsburgh Radio Aeromodelers is a diversified club. It was my privilege to visit on June 7, 2014, for the club’s annual Hospice Fun-Fly. The recipients of a 2014 AMA Flying Site Assistance Grant, the members are continually making improvements at the club’s Memorial Field.
The most noticeable of these improvements is a relocated roadway that further distances vehicles entering the field away from the runway. A 12-volt solar collection energy system provides ready-to-use power for modelers, a public address system, or other needs. A widened pit area has increased the depth between spectators and pilots. During the last two years, the club has established and improved an outdoor RC car track.
Although the Plattsburgh Radio Aeromodelers own the flying site and are a well-established club, the members have not rested on their laurels. They realize the importance of community involvement and working to improve their flying site.
The road improvements, although costly, provide a safer flying environment. The solar system provides convenience for electric fliers, RC car drivers, or even for glow-powered airplane pilots who need to charge a battery pack. And the RC track exposes a new audience to our hobby.
Making field improvements, holding community charity events, and being a vibrant community organization helps keep your club strong, attracts new club members, and brings support from the community. Thanks to the Plattsburgh Radio Aeromodelers who do this well!
Remember, it’s not about what we fly, it’s about the people and the friends we make.[dingbat]