WOW! What a wet start to the year we have had! I think 5 out of the last 6 weeks have seen rain. If we had to have only one dry weekend though, I’m glad it was in line with the Holiday Banquet on the 14th. A great time was had by all. The food was fantastic, the venue was amazing, and the raffle finished the evening out in a fine manner. I’m sure our editor, Steve Belknap, has some fine pictures to share. Thank you to the members of the banquet committee - Randy Wynant, Julie Njaa, Quan Nguyen, and George Sullivan for getting it all set up! Thanks also to all that attended and participated, I am glad the clubs efforts at fundraising this year were put to such great use. Please, when you have the opportunity, say thanks to John Weaver at Discount Hobby Warehouse for his support all year towards the clubs raffle prizes and fun fly gift certificates. He really helps our club stretch the fun dollars.
Before moving away from the rain conversation I want to make a cautionary statement. All of the rain has caused a growth explosion in the field surrounding our site. The short green plants seem to be some kind of stinging plant variety and caused a severe allergic response from a member about a month ago. No one expects to be walking out there, but maybe some long socks and shoes in your vehicle would not be a bad idea for those that wear shorts and sandals routinely. Also, thanks for staying off of the main runway while it is muddy. I know it sucks to not be able to fly for a few weeks, but the footprints usually last for months if we are not careful. It helps if the last one out (any time of the day) closes the gate behind them. It deters unauthorized use, and keeps people from trashing our site. It was noted numerous times in the last month that the first person in at sunrise found an open gate, and a couple of times there was some trash dumped in our driveway.
Badge day on Dec 31st came off surprisingly well considering it was another wet day. The rain stopped just before Paul and Isabel set up, but the field was too wet to fly. We had between 60 and 70 people stop in for their 2017 badge, and a slice of pizza. A few members renewed on the spot to boot. Right now we are around 240 members for 2017. As you read this, membership renewal has be open for 8 weeks. If you have not renewed yet, Why not? Membership is not pro-rated and will not get cheaper if you milk it… On Feb 1st we will begin enforcing the “No Badge, No fly” policy. Remember, AMA and club membership are required to fly. The badge style has changed slightly making it more obvious whether someone is wearing a 2017 vs. an older badge. 2 weeks ago a couple of fellows were flying with badges from 2014. When asked, they “didn’t know” that AMA and SEFSD membership required yearly renewal… On that note please wear your badge at all times while on site and please understand when someone asks to see yours, or asks you not to fly if you are not currently a member.
As we move into the new year, please take a few minutes to ensure you are still familiar with the field rules posted on our web site, and the AMA safety guidelines posted on our frequency board at the field. The guest policy remains the same, but let me throw out a reminder that no one flies at our site without current AMA insurance unless they are holding a student radio in a buddy box configuration with the instructor having valid AMA membership. If you bring/sponsor a guest to our site please ensure they understand our safety procedures and flight boundaries.
As before, we continue to ask members not to use tobacco products on the carpeted side of the logs. The second hand smoke is disturbing to many, and kneeling next to a model right into a pile of Copenhagen spit is distasteful. In my monthly shout out to our buddy Skip – it is also recommended not to take a big swig out of someone else’s frosty beverage when you have a big wad of chew in your mouth!! For the smokers, I have noticed 60 – 70 white cig butts next to the logs between gates 2 and 4. These will take years to decompose and obviously stand out on the dark asphalt grindings. In an attempt to head this off before it gets worse, please bring/use some sort of container to dispose of these instead of leaving them lay.
We finally received approval from the city to mount the large sign at the gate that announces who we are to the public. This has taken quite a bit of effort, and if you like it as much as I do, please take a moment to look it over and tell Quan what you think of his design! Thanks to Randy and George for getting the sign up!
Due to rain the electroglide was cancelled for Jan, The Chula Vista Flyers swap meet was postponed until Feb 11th, and FPV racing was postponed until Jan 28th to occur alongside the clubs monthly meeting, fun fly, and hot dog lunch. There will also be an estate sale for Don Rice’s family on Feb. 11 and 12 in Mira Mesa with Frank Gagliardi as point of contact. This month’s event will be FLYING FREAKS. If you have something wild, weird, or wacky bring it out and compete for a prize (one entry per pilot please) between 10:00am and 12:00pm. It should be a dry day at last!!
This month’s picture is again an example of a poor unattended plane being molested by a rascal…