Rules & Safety
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By Marshall L. Henley
In September 2016, I crunched my first 100cc plane, which I had purchased the previous year at Joe Nall, a 3D Hobby Shop 108” Extra 330LT, yellow and black. I had been practicing low hovering and then powering out and flipping it over with down elevator to an inverted harrier and then back to hover, a maneuver I always thought looked pretty cool when the 3D guys do it.
This flight, I forgot to fill up the gas, and as I flipped it over, and then throttled back up – that was it. As soon as it died, the 330LT pendulumed straight down; I had about 30 feet of altitude because of the power-out after hover. That was only enough to rotate the plane back to about 30 degrees with very little forward airspeed.
Needless to say, something broke. Unfortunately, it was the entire fuselage. Fortunately, all other damage (wings, tail, gear, motor box) was minimal.
So, the guys there who had rebuilt big planes, like Kerry Eisenbach and Mark and Mike Stellern, started saying they thought it was fixable. I rolled my eyes mentally, thinking they were probably just trying to cheer me up… a little to much, because it seemed crazy. The plane looked awful.
However, the more they talked, the more I started to see their point. The motor looked OK. No crank shaft bend. The muffler stingers were broken, but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed or replaced. The fuselage wreckage was isolated primarily to an area starting in front of the wing tube and stopping at the back of the canopy area. I became a believer… it could be fixed!
Like the Beatles song, I get by in RC modeling with a little help from my friends. I wasn’t very motivated to work on the problem, so Mark Stellern invited me to come over to his house and to bring my plane. He’d invite Mike Stellern over, who is also a great builder, and we’d get a start on things.
However, when I got there and we pulled the plane from my trailer, it looked a little worse than I remembered at the field. During the attempt to transport it, the fuselage had finally given up the ghost and cracked completely in half. I had save almost all the pieces, but things were daunting. Mike’s eyes got pretty big. If Mike was worried, I was worried.
Once in the workshop, Mike and Mark methodically identified the path forward: the “ladders” structure that makes up the fuselage was really where the damage was. If we could get enough pieces glued back in, we could pull it back into alignment, then I could take it home and beef things up before finishing repairs.
It worked! We had enough pieces, fabricating a few, to get it back to a self-sustaining ladder structure, with good alignment. I say “we” – but I was mostly watching the masters.
By the time we were done, I still had a lot of work to do on my own once I got it back home. With the holidays, a lot of business, and not feeling really confident, I found myself putting off the repairs (again). When I would see Mark & Mike, I was sheepish about my progress… “Zip, Nada, Nil” is a rotten answer to “How much progress are you making?” after guys spent four hours on a week night getting you started.
So, in January 2017, I got back at things, and during the course of the rebuild, decided to make a few improvements:
I also wanted to keep things inexpensive, so I paid Valley Park Welding $70 to weld back my muffler stingers (instead of buying new mufflers). I repaired the cowl, with some damage still evident, if you look closely enough, and added the air flap to create outlet suction.
All in all, was able to complete all repairs for $150.
On March 28th, I re-maidened the 330LT and it flew awesome. Kurt’s Holy Smokes system worked flawlessly first time out. The wheel pants looked great with Kerry-style cutouts. The engine temp never got over 150 (using telemetry) on left/rear cylinder!
That’s why RC is a “team sport.” It’s a heck of a lot more fun and productive when we work together. I’m still fiddling with the CG and found a couple of other adjustments, but I’m back to flying a really nice plane I thought I had lost.
Over the last several years, SLRCFA’s governing documents have been edited many times. This has left the documents with several holes and discontinuity. The 2017 SLRCFA Board of Directors and its sub committees (Teams) will be tackling an overhaul of these documents throughout the year.
The goal is to streamline all the governing documents while accommodating for the future.
First up are the Field Rules and Operating Procedures. These documents will be overhauled before the flying season kicks off. The updated Field Rules and AMA rules will be prominently posted at the field sometime in April.
The SLRCFA Board of Directors has formed a Constitution team to overhaul our clubs constitution. The team is made up of both board members and club members. We are still looking for a few more volunteers for this team due to the size and complexity of this job. If you would like to join this team please contact Jonathon Hendrickson firstname.lastname@example.org
The SLRCFA Board of Directors unanimously passed this document listed below in order to improve awareness, safety, and communication while flying. This document not only includes the recommended callouts, but also includes runway priorities and protocols. Click here for the Rules & Safety page.
Pilot Communications (callouts) are verbal announcements that are required to be used between you and other pilots anytime you or your aircraft enters the runway operations area (grass or paved runways and taxiways beyond the white lines). All Communications must be acknowledged by all pilots before proceeding with your intentions. Fly as close as practical to the other pilots already flying to improve communication.
Use the following Pilot Communications, and make sure you get confirmation from 100% of all other pilots in the air before proceeding, unless you need to land for safety’s sake:
Runway Protocol/Priorities allow multiple aircraft operating in close airspace to land and/or maneuver on or over the runway in an orderly and safe manor. This list below is in order of priority.
High speed low-passes over the paved runway are never allowed and must be performed past the far edge of the paved runway.
George Biderman’s driveway slopes away from his garage, so he needed a way to help him move his new plane trailer in & out of the garage. A local welding shop made a bracket that an ATV winch could side in & out of it.
George then mounted that bracket on the floor at the front of his garage. His Warn ATV winch has a wireless remote control button that lets George ease the trailer out of the garage while gravity does all the work. A strategically placed big wheel chock pivots the trailer 90 degrees to line it up with his car. Reversing this procedure pulls the trailer effortlessly back into the garage!
Pilot Communications (callouts) are verbal announcements that are required to be used between you and other pilots anytime you or your aircraft enters the runway operations area (grass or paved runways and taxiways beyond the white lines). All Communications must be acknowledged by all pilots before proceeding with your intentions. Fly next to the last pilot in the air in the PILOT STATION BOX to improve communication, loading from the inside of the box towards the outside.
Use the following Pilot Communications, and make sure you get confirmation from 100% of all other pilots in the air before proceeding, unless you need to land for safety sake:
SLRCFA’s Youth Outreach Program was developed last year as part of our club’s new Mission and Goals to bring new people into the hobby and our club. George Biderman volunteered to spearhead this effort and to recruit other club members to assist when opportunities were developed.
In January, George, Kerry Eisenbach, and Geoff Biderman responded to a local Civil Air Cadets Education Officer’s request to show his cadets how to fly R/C Airplanes and to `talk about what R/C flying means to experienced flyers. Additionally, the Cadets wanted to hear firsthand about our local club and our resources available to them.
The cadets hold their meetings at the Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton (just off I-44) and its huge, basketball court sized atrium offered a perfect place to fly some of the same foamies that Kerry, Geoff and George fly in the gym in Eureka on Friday evenings.
Kerry and Geoff brought an amazing variety of models to generate interest in our hobby ranging from 35” foamies, to some crowd pleasers like Kerry’s Superman and Flintstone flyers, and even Geoff’s big 50cc gas model airplane. George brought an Apprentice and urged the cadets to come to our field on Saturdays this spring for some free flying lessons. The Education Officer said he’d for sure bring the cadets. Later that evening we received the following email:
Thank you so much for the R/C flight display tonight! The Cadets were very impressed with it. Several of the Cadets are now VERY interested in joining you all for some R/C flights. I very much appreciate the time and effort you all showed the Cadets tonight. The variety of planes was impressive. I have attached a few photos from tonight. Again, thank you!
2d Lt Benjamin Weaver
Assistant Director of Aerospace Education, Missouri Wing, CAP
Aerospace Education Officer, River City Composite Squadron, CAP
Using his drone, Jonathan Hendrickson has put together our field diagram to be used for rule explanation and rule-making going forward. It's very easy to see the logic behind our Field Rules and Safety Checklist with it in view. Future versions of our rules will contain and refer to this diagram and it's revisions. Check it out!
Click here for pics and video.
It was a frigid 27 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 am, January 1, 2017, as the few brave souls began to gather on the frozen tundra of SLRCFA field. Cold hands assembled cold planes, flipped switches on transmitters, and pulled warm batteries from their LiPo bags to ready for their first flight at 9:30am. Coffee cups were de rigueur, streaming steam around the sippers’ heads as they stomped feet near the hastily-lit bonfire.
The moment of truth came -- lots were struck from the list of men assembled. Once again, Jim Henke agreed to be the first man in the air, powering up his CarbonZ Cub and quickly taxing for a burp of throttle in the air made thick by cold. In a moment, he was up, steadying his freezing hands while bringing it around for a touch-and-go. The soft tires, now stiff with cold, thudded a little louder than usual, signaling the moment when the first plane was “down” – the “all fly” signal.
As plane after plane lifted skyward, it was as if the heated electric motors and gasoline engines were churning the air and infusing some temperature. Now above freezing by 10 am, and the air was almost comfortable. A few stragglers showed up to renew and get their DA-70 raffle ticket privileges, or the new PRIME membership for 2017.
Amid the growing buzz of conversation, motors and engines, an all-too-familiar thud was heard. Like an upside-down Icarus story, one pilot had flown too low to the frozen grass while inverted and had reaped Icarus’ fate. Well, it’s New Year’s Day 2017, and there’s plenty of time to get new stuff ready by Spring.
Reposted from GLSMA e-mail. Click here for attachment (St. Louis County Order).
G.S.L.M.A Notice - December 10, 2016
GSLMA recently met with St. Louis County Parks Department. The following new County Council Order with Attachment A was approved by the County Council. Attachment A are updated Buder Park flying field rules showing that both AMA and a Buder Park Permit (for a fee) are required to fly at Buder Park.
Effective January 1, 2017, St. Louis County Park Rangers will be checking for current AMA membership and a current Buder Park Permit. If you are flying without AMA and/or a Buder Park Permit, a citation may be issue.
AMA membership is available at www.modelaircraft.org and the application for a Buder Park permit can be found at www.gslma.com.
Please contact GSLMA with questions.
SLRCFA is proud to announce our new Prime Membership starting Jan 1, 2017. We’ve been talking about adding value for those members who attend our events, so Prime is your ticket if you’re in that crowd.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN/RENEW
With your Prime Membership you get these
PRIME MEMBERSHIP EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS:
Remember, to get all these PRIME MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS, you need to be signed up and paid by Jan 1, 2016. Better yet: come to the December 15 Christmas Party and get it all done then: we’ll have your DA-70 raffle tickets and membership card printed there on the spot! For those of you who have already renewed, you can move up to PRIME for only $55, as long as you do it by Jan 1st (contact Marshall or Dennis).
(c) 2016, St. Louis Radio Control Flying Association