It has been another busy month at AMA Headquarters! We just completed the 2014 Outdoor Nats at the International Aeromodeling Center, and I hope everyone had a great experience.
I was able to spend some time on-site for the CL, RC Combat, Pylon Racing, and RC Aerobatics events. I think the weather was some of the best in recent years, with very pleasant temperatures and not much rain.
If you have not attended the Nats, you must put that on your bucket list! It is a blast and you will meet some of the best modelers in the world!
We are still working on the FAA issues as well as some additional work with the National Park Service on its recent Policy Memorandum.
As I stated last month, we conducted a survey to get more information from AMA chartered clubs about their flying sites. If your club has not participated, please get an officer to contact me. It will help us to better serve our clubs.
Following is a flying site assistance story about the Washington R/C Flyers in Washington, Illinois. I received it from then-club president Vern Mall, who passed away in 2006. It has been updated with some current information from the current club president, John Bremenkamp.
The Washington R/C Flyers vacated our flying site of 14 years because a house was constructed that would be in our flight pattern. Our search for a new site began. We looked at many potential sites, but rejected most for various reasons including safety.
One of our members noted that the City of Washington owned land east of town that it had purchased for flood control. We contacted two of the city aldermen and they were favorable of our idea to relocate there and suggested that we make a presentation to the city council.
The councilmen, mayor, city administrator, city engineer, and city attorney were impressed by our presentation and the council moved and approved the city administrator to work with us on a lease agreement. We went to the Tazwell County Zoning Board and were approved for a special-use permit to construct a runway, club house, maintenance building, and a vault toilet.
The area of the special-use permit contains 57 acres of overfly area, five acres of which the club will lease from the city. The remainder of the 57 acres is farmed by a person who leases it from the city. We have talked to the farmer and adjacent land owners and all are favorable to being neighbors with us. We had no objectors at the zoning meeting because of the groundwork that was laid with all parties concerned.
The club has applied for an AMA grant for flying site. We have also requested a grant and/or discount from our local RP Lumber Co. for the materials for the building construction.
We also sold bonds to our membership to obtain enough funds to improve this flying site.
John offered this update: As a club, we have been enjoying the new field that Vern acquired for us. It has a 750 x 140-foot takeoff and landing area. Pits, shelter, and parking is in addition to this space.
The field is two miles from the edge of the town of Washington, remotely positioned with corn fields on all four sides. One neighbor is slightly more than a quarter of a mile away and not impacted by our flying. There are absolutely no tress or obstructions to the east of us, which is the direction we face when flying.
We currently have 39 members. Last year the club installed a fabric runway primarily for electric aircraft that is still in perfect shape. It’s quite a draw for new members since electric flying is so popular.
Our 10-year lease will be renewed with the city of Washington for another 10 years later this year. Our one source of electricity is a small generator and we don’t have running water. With the lack of these niceties, we are not in the hunt for outside organizations to come in and acquire this pristine area that looks and feels like a golf course fairway.
New members moving in from other states have commented on its beauty and perfect flying qualities. We have invested enough to make it a great place to picnic and fly as a club without being richly endowed with extras. Visit http://washingtonrcflyers.com to see site pictures.
We are looking forward to many new interested public spectators and prospective members in the future.[dingbat]
WRCF2005: putting up the sunshade
WRCF2007: Girl Scout day
WRCF2009: A day at the field