This fall, the AMA asked the Valley RC Flyers (VRCF) club of Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, to be the local facilitators for the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) demonstrations at the Big Iron Farm Show in September. Long-time club member and retired Air Force pilot Dick Vos took the top spot and did a professional job running the event. He met with the four teams and pilots the day before the event, laid out the safety plan as well as the configuration of the field, and ensured that each pilot and spotter was an AMA member.
The demonstrations were presented each day of the three-day event. Participants gave brief overviews of the capabilities of their equipment and the potential benefits.
All of the demonstrations involved providing farmers with geo-referenced data from onboard cameras or sensors whose data could be downloaded or viewed online to assist farmers in making timely decisions on crop care. There was a significant amount of interest in these demonstrations, many questions, and even some farmers who were doing some experimentation of their own.
VRCF club members Ryan John, Greg Wentz, and Ron Landman also assisted on one or more days to be additional spotters, provide spectator direction, and give examples of how UAS flying can be handled in a safe manner.
Thanks to AMA’s Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs Rich Hanson for asking our club’s assistance, communicating with the FAA, and for traveling to Fargo to witness the Big Iron event.
Thanks to all of the District IX clubs that held a National Model Aviation Day Event last August. Although you may have seen it already, according to the director of the event, Mandee Mikulski, your contributions helped this year’s Wounded Warrior donation surpass $88,000. National Model Aviation Day is on the calendar for August in 2015. Now is the time for your club to start planning your event.
Norm Berger, Colorado associate vice president (AVP) and District IX webmaster, has set up a district-wide calendar of events on our website. Your AVP or one of your club representatives can easily put your events on the 2015 calendar. I hope this will become a clearing house for all District IX events. Visit www.district-IX.org to see the calendar. If you have trouble logging in to update the calendar, contact Norm or me.
Last month, I reported on the UAS mission that Dean Copeland was working on with the University of Nebraska. He sent this picture of the craft that group is using. It is a Tempest glider with a 120-inch wingspan and an all-up weight of 14 pounds, including computer, camera, and sensor systems. The aircraft has roughly a two-hour flight time.
This year, I reserved a space at Camp AMA for a deserving young man from the Omaha, Nebraska, area named Matt Carlson. He comes highly recommended and, if you have not heard of him yet, his résumé is posted on our Facebook page and District IX website.
I have a scholarship account set up for District IX with the AMA. I’d like to ask all of you as individuals or clubs to contribute to this scholarship account to help with educational activities for the youth of our district. Although Matt will be the first recipient of scholarship money to send him to Camp AMA, I want this fund to assist other deserving District IX youth attend associated events in our district this summer and in the years to come. I hope we will have enough to fund many such endeavours.
Although you can contribute directly to the AMA District IX account, the AMA would prefer you send your check to me. I will gather them and send them in as one group to minimize the work depositing them to our account. Make your checks payable to AMA and in the subject line write District IX Scholarship Fund. I will keep an accounting of the funds gathered and distributed on our website.[dingbat]
Dick Voss --
Valley RC Flyers Dick Vos served as CD for the Flat Iron Show in Fargo.
UAV Photo --
University of Nebraska’s Tempest UAS.
Matt Carlson --
Matt Carlson is District IX’s Camp AMA designee.
Plane and Flag --
Accomplished photographer Mike Cross has this picture of a full-scale T-33 flyby at the Warbirds Over the Rockies on our District IX website along with many others.
Please put links in the electronic version for the website and facebook page.