The summer has flown by, and that is to be expected with everything that has been happening over the last month. There is still plenty of time to fly before the season is over.
I attended the Decatur, Illinois, Precision Ariel Ag Show. I was primarily there to ensure the event was safely run and followed the AMA guidelines.
I was surprised at the ability of many of the systems that were there. Many could take off and land themselves. Many of the systems were semiautonomous. None were flown via FPV, although many could, and some displayed videos on a large flat-screen TV that the audience could view.
All that were flown in semiautonomous mode had the ability to override the provided instruction sets to the aircraft, and either force them to drop altitude and land or to fly to a specified area and orbit at a lower altitude until any intruder in the airspace was clear and then could return to its mission of photographing crops or mapping.
A company called senseFly simultaneously flew multiple aircraft could avoid each other if they were on a collision path, giving the aircraft with the lowest battery voltage priority over the other. Flying multiple aircraft allows someone to map an area much faster. Most systems were configured to fly from 30 minutes to an hour on battery power, however, one system had a gas-powered engine, configured as a pusher, that was capable of flying for up to 10 hours.
I owe a thank-you to Wes Bohard and the Decatur Aerocommanders. Several members and their wives volunteered to run not only their own booth, but helped staff the AMA booth as well.
They provided a model aircraft static display and ran a flight simulator to give visitors a feel for what it’s like to fly RC aircraft. They also assisted in managing the flightline. Associate Vice President Gary Himes was great help at the event. Thanks to you all.
On my way to Decatur, I became a grandfather for the ninth time. Please welcome Daniel “Cade” Cameron, one of District VI’s newest AMA members. The hat hangs in his aviation-themed room.
Insert photo of Cade and Hat here.
KC Heli, the longest-running helicopter club in the Kansas City area, was approached by the Jackson County Parks Commission about relocating to the Longview Lake Radio Control Park in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. KC Heli decided to move because the new location was a better fit for the Scale helicopters most of our members fly.
Once a glider field, KC Heli members have financed, updated, and improved the field for helicopter use. The field has been home to KC Heli for four years. Through club dues and member donations, we were able to purchase concrete, a canopy, and work benches. We have increased our membership and we’re thrilled to have the first female RC helicopter pilot in the Kansas City area join.
Insert photo of Laura here please
Laura Hoskins became interested in flying RC helis two years ago. In March 2014, a close friend, Roy Enyart, let her buddy box with his Align 550. Laura was instantly hooked. Her husband, David, ordered a helicopter for her.
She quickly discovered the hardest thing about learning to fly helicopters is knowing whether the heli is nose in or tail in. Laura enjoys trying new and exciting moves. When asked what she would tell other women who are interested in flying RC helicopters, Laura’s first bit of advice is “don’t doubt your abilities. Find someone willing to buddy box with you who is a good pilot. It is all confidence.
She went on to say, “Don’t get discouraged, and keep on trying! I recommend someone helping you build the heli that you are going to fly. Then it becomes more a part of you and something to be very proud of! I love mine and I love to fly!”
KC Heli is proud to have Laura as a part of our organization, and know her abilities will inspire other women to join the thrill of becoming an RC helicopter pilot. For further information about our club, go to www.kcheli.org.
Until next month, be safe and happy flying![dingbat]