As winter gives way to spring, it’s time to revisit the subject of battery safety. Please take the time to reduce the amount of combustible materials around your field. A simple downed model can turn into a major fire if the battery ignites brush or grasses. The less fuel a potential fire can consume, the easier it will be to control it.
Revisit the club’s response plan in case of a fire. Who do you call for help, how do you accurately describe the location of the field? What are the steps club members can take to slow the fire until professional help arrives?
Another thing to consider is how are you charging your LiPo batteries? Do you observe the proper process and if not, are they in a location that will not ignite surrounding material if they combust? Simple precautions can avoid a lot of headache later.
April 30, 2015, is the deadline for college-bound students to apply for the AMA’s scholarship program. Please take advantage of this membership benefit. I’d love to be able to award a deserving member of the district with a scholarship. See the AMA website or contact Education Assistant Jessy Symmes at (800) 435-9262, extension 516, for additional details.
For two days, Ford Island, in Oahu, Hawaii, came alive with RC aircraft flying and full-scale aircraft on display. Hands-on modeling stations, rides and activities, and open access to see the museum’s many aircraft exhibits and restoration shops were available to spectators. This was the sixth annual Biggest Little Airshow at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
Twenty RC pilots from five Hawaiian-based RC clubs, one from Canada, two from Japan, and six fliers from Florida presented the crowds with some of the best flying available. Frank Tiano Enterprises brought its team of expert RC pilots to the event.
During the air show, Team Tiano flew four helicopters, several turbine-powered jets, aerobatic aircraft, and a turbine-powered glider. The glider had a 12-foot wingspan and displayed the team Red Bull colors. Spectators were wowed by the performance of two electric helicopters flying in close formation, performing incredible 3-D routines. A 3-D demonstration was also performed by world champion pilots flying an Extreme Flight Yak.
At noon each day, full-scale World War II aircraft flew over the crowd. Hawaiian Airlines flew the first aircraft it owned, a fully restored 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker.
On Saturday night, Walt Disney Productions presented a showing of the movie Planes: Fire & Rescue on a big screen in the hangar. The producer of the movie was in attendance to sign autographs and answer questions.
Most of the crowd’s excitement was generated when the RC Combat aircraft took to the air. Eight electric aircraft were equipped with 20-foot streamers and launched into the air with orders to chop off each other’s streamers. As the aircraft looped and twisted through the air, the crowd screamed and yelled for its favorites. It was especially exciting when a midair collision occurred and bits of foam and streamer material came floating down.
Although the kids loved all the exhibits, the highlight of the air show was when an RC helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft dropped several pounds of candy on the Ford Island Runway. Hundreds of kids were turned loose past the crowd-control fences and went yelling and screaming, racing to grab as many pieces they could find.
Read more about the Pacific Aviation Museum at: www.pacificaviationmuseum.org. My thanks to Hawaii-based associate vice president, Richard Bonnardel, for his contribution to this month’s column. Until next month, I wish you nothing but happy landings.