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  • 21 Feb 2017 8:18 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    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!


  • 21 Feb 2017 8:17 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    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:

    •         "Coming out" as you prepare to place your aircraft on the runway or taxing to the runway.
    •         "Taking Off" aircraft is on the runway and ready for takeoff roll.
    •         "Setting up to land" as you begin your downwind leg gives others time to clear the area for you.
    •         "Landing" as you are on final approach.
    •         "On the runway" if your aircraft stops dead on the runway.
    •         "Off on the far side” or “In the grass" if your aircraft veers off on the side away from the pilots' stations
    •         "Crossing the runway" Anytime you have to cross the runway (in either direction).
    •         "Runway clear" after you have retrieved your errant aircraft, or if it has been taxied off the runway on the pit side.
    •         "Dead stick" when your engine dies while in the air. Other pilots will pass this announcement down the line as it is a signal for everyone to immediate clear the runway.
    •         "Touch and go" or "Slow fly-by" (note that high speed low passes and acrobatics over the runway when other pilots are at stations are forbidden-these may only be performed out past the runway over the grass).
    •         Low Pass” is a high or low speed pass a low altitude over the border between the asphalt and grass runways.
    •         Aircraft down” followed by the general area. An aircraft has crashed.
    •         "Don’t have it" A loss of control. The pilot will announce that he has a problem as soon as possible, other observers may be able to get a fix on the plane if it goes down. If you do get a fix, such as a certain tree, etc., do not move.  Call for another person to stand beside you and show them the point you fixed on. Even turning around and back can lose the fix.
    • 1.     Declared “dead stick” landing has priority over all other flight activities. The runway must be cleared for him. If more than one happens at the same time, generally, the first declared has the right-of -way, or he may yield to a lower other aircraft at his discretion.
    • 2.     Declared “equipment problem” and needing to land ASAP.
    • 3.     Declared normal “landing
    • 4.     Declared “touch and go
    • 5.     Declared “takeoff
    • 6.     Declared “slow fly-by” or “Low Pass

    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.


  • 21 Feb 2017 8:09 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    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:

    Mr. Biderman,

    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!

    Respectfully,

    2d Lt Benjamin Weaver

    Assistant Director of Aerospace Education, Missouri Wing, CAP

    Aerospace Education Officer, River City Composite Squadron, CAP


  • 24 Jan 2017 9:49 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    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!



  • 01 Jan 2017 7:31 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    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.


  • 13 Dec 2016 5:28 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Reposted from GLSMA e-mail. Click here for attachment (St. Louis County Order).

    ---

    G.S.L.M.A  Notice - December 10, 2016

    Attention flyers:

    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.

    Tony Vitiello

    epasta1@charter.net


  • 11 Dec 2016 3:57 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    2017 Ushers in the Exclusive, new

    PRIME MEMBERSHIP…

    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:

    • Free pilots fees for all three 2017 events (Fly-In, Show-Me-3D and Warbirds), plus any others we announce (Toy’s for Tot’s excluded – the landing fee is a gift for the kiddos). This Prime Membership Benefit includes the food, event raffle tickets (with registration) and pilot prizes/awards that the other non-Prime pilots will be paying for! This alone is a $75 value!
    • Two, yes 2 free tickets for our 2017 Desert Aircraft 70cc Twin raffle. $50 value! $850 value if you win!
    • The ability to purchase more DA-70 raffle tickets – only those who are members by 1/1/2017 are eligible to purchase tickets at $25 each.
    • Your special Prime Membership card with the PRIME Logo
    • 2018 PRIME RATE GUARANTEE: Your 2018 Prime Membership Dues will not increase. You’re locked in to renew at $250 for a 2018 Prime Membership (as long as you renew by Jan 1, 2019).

    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).


  • 11 Dec 2016 3:56 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Join or Renew by January 1st for a chance at DA-70!!!

    Get in on the action for a Desert Aircraft 70cc Twin engine with the EARLY BIRD 2017 DA-70 RAFFLE! For every new or renewing FULL or PRIME membership that signs up and pays by January 1st, 2017, we’re entering you in a raffle for a brand new DA-70 (two tickets for PRIME). You’ll also have the option to purchase more raffle tickets… BUT ONLY IF YOU’RE A FULL OR PRIME MEMBER BY JAN 1, 2017!

    Everyone likes the chance to build a new plane with the best, and a DA-70 on the front of your latest 60cc aerobat or warbird is gonna pull like a tractor (or maybe a jet if you prop it right)!

    Just go to www.slrcfa.com/2017renew and get in on the action. There you will find the opportunity to:

    • ·        Sign up or renew for a 2017 Early Bird Full or upgrade to a Prime Membership (read about the new “Prime Membership Privileges” in this issue.
    • ·        With your payment for your 2017 Full or Prime Membership, you’ll receive one or two raffle tickets for the DA 70, respectively. Each raffle ticket is worth $25 each… you’ll be getting yours for free!
    • ·        Plus, ONLY folks who have renewed or joined by January 1st will be able to purchase more raffle tickets for the DA 70 at $25 each. When you sign up, you’ll have chance to go to the DA70 RAFFLE PAGE AND PURCHASE MORE.
    • ·        BETTER YET: COME TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY ON DEC 15 AND SIGN UP, GET YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS AND BUY MORE TICKETS FOR THE DA-70 ON THE SPOT.

    We will conduct the DA 70 raffle at the first Spring club meeting in April (at SLRCFA field), or whenever we hit 100 tickets sold, whichever comes first.

    For questions regarding 2017 renewals, PRIME memberships and the DA-70 raffle, contact Marshall L. Henley at webmaster@slrcfa.com.


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:46 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    SLRCFA Annual Dues will necessarily increase for 2017.  Prior administration slated for the dues to increase to $180 in 2017, but the current Board determined that a more accurate and necessary number to have a surviving club would be $195, a $25 increase from 2016. After surveying other area clubs the board also eliminated the all membership levels except Full, Junior, and Associate.

    2017 Membership Dues

    Annual Dues                                                                    $195
    Junior Dues (23 years old or younger & No Voting Rights)            $25

    Associate Member (75+ miles away & No Voting Rights)               $95


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:45 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Marshall L. Henley, SLRCFA Vice President

    I have my own business as a management consultant. I used to work exclusively with small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and not-for-profits. The biggest single problem I run into with these folks is that they don’t have a realistic plan that gets to the end of the year with some money in the bank.

    Not for profits need to make some money

    Not-for-profits are usually very good at watching costs. Many, including SLRCFA, don’t assume the need to create net asset increases, which would be called profit in the for-profit world. A generally accepted range for a not-for-profit would be to put away (increase net assets) by 10%-20% of expected expenses each and every year, by plan. This means that their annual budget plans to take in 11-12 cents for every dime they spend. So, yes, not-for-profits need to make “profit” – they just don’t give it to equity holders.

    And, without increasing net assets by design, when something like our flood happens, or when you need to take steps to maintain growth, the money’s not going to be there.

    Not keeping up with inflation

    SLRCFA held full dues at $150 since the year 2000 for many year. If you use the CPI Inflation Calculator with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the equivalent dues using the same cost structure in 2016 would be $210. Two years ago we started increasing dues, but too slowly ($10 a year), so that full dues were $170 by 2016.

    What’s the problem?

    So if this is a problem, why haven’t we talked about it earlier? Well, it’s been masked a bit by the following:

    • ·        We dipped into our savings account on occasion
    • ·        We have used our net earnings from events and shows, about $2,000 a year, to fund our operating income.

    Figure 1 - 2012 Estimated Gross Income from Dues, below, shows that we basically would have lost money each year without income from our events ($2,000 a year, which is low, is assumed because we do not have records of actual event income by year):

    Figure 1 - 2012 Estimated Gross Income from Dues

    First of all, notice in Figure 1 that we had net losses for the four years ending in 2015. We made money in 2012, but we spent it in 2013. We made money in 2014, but we more-than-spent it in 2015.

    Second, notice that if we reduce our income by $2,000 a year, the highlighted columns yield numbers generally less than $15,000 (with the exception of 2015). Our expenses were never lower than $12,917 (in 2014), but were generally much, much higher.

    What matters is OUR inflation

    Of course, it doesn’t really matter if inflation is at 4% if your family is spending 20% more this year. The breadwinners will have to bring home more than a cost-of-living increase in earnings or they’ll be short, significantly, by the end of the year.

    In 2016 our share of the property taxes went up to $3,745. Our lease is $2,000. Mowing is generally between $6,000 and $8,000 a year (and that’s at a great price to get the field mowed, $200). We cut the budget to the bone in order to keep costs down, but that’s not smart in the long term.

    Moving Forward

    The board desires to make sure SLRCFA is on a solid footing moving forward. To that end, we’ve put the following principles and practices in place:

    • ·        We have a written Mission & Values: as part of that, we want to continue to be the best club and field available in St. Louis. You can break down our resulting Vision statement into the following three categories:
    • o   FUN – we want to continue developing a reputation as the friendliest, most fun club in St. Louis for folks who are serious RCers (3D, jets, electrics, warbirds, giant scale)
    • o   FIELD – we want to maintain and improve our status as the “country club” of RC flying fields in the Midwest
    • o   FUTURE FIELD – we want to put away money to purchase either our current field in the future, purchase another field in the future, or improve our current field in the future.
    • ·        As part of our Mission & Values, we do not want you, our members, worrying about mowing our grass, with some rare exceptions. Furthermore, our mowers are used for late-season and event clean-up mowing.
    • ·        Because events are not a reliable source of income, we do not want to budget annual operating income based upon anything other than our dues structure. Event income can help build our FUTURE FIELD savings.
    • ·        As good stewards, we want to put away 10% - 20% of expected dues income each year. Our dues structure should allow us to fund our budget and save 10%-20% of budgeted expenses (without using event income).

    Having said that, Figure 2 - 2017 Budget Ranges, below, shows the basic math of our situation. On January 1, 2017, we’ll need a dues structure that provides over $16k as a bare minimum to operate the field. A healthier, more realistic budget that matches our Mission & Values is close to $21k. Adding to that either 20% for the “Slashed” budget range or 10% for the “Recommended” budget range gives us a total between $19.5k and $23k.

    Figure 2 - 2017 Budget Ranges

    2016, for example

    A basic analysis shows that our dues structure has been too low to generate enough operating income to run the club without using event income, and certainly too low to put money into the bank each year for a rainy day. Figure 3 - 2016 Actual Dues, below, shows that it’s impossible to generate enough income to even meet our SLASHED budget for 2017, not to mention putting money in the bank.

    One part of the problem is that while our full members pay $170, many pay far less with equal access to the field, and equal impact on field upkeep costs.

    Figure 3 - 2016 Actual Dues

    So what do we do with dues?

    After a year of discussion by the board, it was clear we need to…

    • 1.      This year, opt for a middle-tier increase to $195 (instead of $210) for full members, trying to properly fund the “Slashed” budget but saving 20%, or about $3,300. This should replace the money spent on the flood repairs in 2016, and put us on a good footing for the following years.
    • 2.      Eliminate the many tiers of memberships, with the exception of youth at $25, and the associate membership for folks over 75 miles away.
    • 3.      Stimulate early membership payment and renewal: therefore we’re limiting full memberships to 100 at this time (we had full, senior, family and dual memberships this year.

    Moreover, we are working diligently to provide value to you as an SLRCFA member. We’re trying to create more low-cost, FUN events and activities for you. We are planning for folks who sign up and pay their dues electronically by January 1st to get free event landing fees AND free event pilot raffle tickets. We are still working on building successful events, but trying to get more out-of-towners so we’re not dependent upon the same St. Louis guys. We want to show off the field.

    Sometimes, change is good

    We ask you to consider the following statements…

    • ·        Other fields in the Midwest with our field quality are charging around $300 a year, often with 150 members or more.
    • ·        Having right-sized dues isn’t something new the club is creating; it’s an overdue requirement of our budget to enjoy the field we already operate.
    • ·        For most of us, a servo or two costs as much as $195. Frankly, most of us feel like $195 is a bargain for the quality of field we operate.
    • ·        Most of us will spend far more on an oil change or two than we will on the 2017 increase.
    • ·        We can all work together to make sure you get the most value out of your membership. Why not hit the field on a Thursday night with the crew? What about hitting breakfast with us Saturday mornings before you fly? How about starting your own affinity group within SLRCFA (like the CombatONE guys or the 3D guys) and getting out more often?

    The board remains committed to understanding your needs while making the necessary changes to keep the club active and healthy. Feel free to contact any board member! 


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