It’s always nice to ask for volunteers and get more than you expected. That’s what happened when I asked for associate vice presidents (AVPs) to volunteer in the greater Phoenix area. I was hoping for one, and three stepped forward. Please help me to welcome Kurtis Chandler, Alan Friedman, and Jim Mohan. Jim and Kurtis live in the Phoenix area, and Alan is between Phoenix and Tucson in Casa Grande.
Please invite them to your events and meetings and get to know them. I know you’ll be impressed.
In Southern California, a vibrant electric club with 300-plus members is chartered as the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego (SEFSD). The club is known for a broad spectrum of members, interests, types of aircraft, and activities, particularly those that support youth participation. This year marks the club’s second anniversary as an AMA Gold Leader Club.
San Diego State University (SDSU) competed in the Cessna Design Build and Fly competition in Wichita, Kansas. Students from 72 schools brought their creations designed to perform certain flight tasks under extreme requirements. SDSU has relied upon the support of SEFSD and member Pedro Brantuas as pilot, to compete and succeed each year. SDSU placed second in 2013 and ninth. University of California San Diego students have also brought their prototype aircraft to SEFSD to test fly.
This year began with a unique club/school collaboration between SEFSD and Hi Tech High School of Chula Vista. The week of Jan 6-10 was an opportunity for Scott Swaaley, teacher and club member, to organize and teach an RC Airplane Build unit.
Twenty-five students signed up to build and fly some type of RC aircraft. The students were to build an RC airplane in four days and fly it on Friday. Teams of three or four students formed. Club members Tim Attaway, Pedro Brantuas, and John Forester did the heavy lifting while the club donated used equipment and semi-flyable aircraft.
The classroom at Hi Tech is outfitted with tools, balsa, glue, motors/controller, servos, and radio gear, including an AMA donation of 5 Hitec Zebra 72 mHz radios, and the students provide the energy to create. The classroom flight simulator was a key to the students’ success.
The Cessna 180 kits, donated by SEFSD, had foam wings and fuselages. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers had to be fabricated out of balsa. Additional work was required to design landing gear, and attach the motor and servos.
We planned to fly the aircraft at the SEFSD flying site near Sea World on Mission Bay. Five Cessna 180s, T-28, Easy Stars, Mentors, and many student creations showed up with 30 students and family members. From 9:30 until 11:30 Pedro and John used club trainers for instruction. We then began to test-fly their creations.
We covered safety rules and had very few incidents. It was pretty frenetic at times with maiden flights of various degrees of success! SEFSD served lunch to everyone and we culminated with a group picture and we planted some seeds for model aviation.
My thanks to AVP Tim Attaway for his contribution to this month’s column. Until next month, may you have nothing but happy landings.