Archive for August, 2012

It took 62 years but it was worth it cuz we got a SIGN!

It took 62 years but it was worth it cuz we got a SIGN!

Sailplane clubs WORK in public parks because we don’t fly our models there….we fly our models FROM there.
There can be 20 sailplane pilots  standing on a public park field and no one in the park …walking dogs, hiking, playing Frisbee, etc  would realize it unless they looked up.
When we fly our sailplanes you can hear…..birds, kids, the breeze, the trees, crickets, dogs.
Our field started as a power club flying site in the park in 1950 ish….adjoining the park is a small tree nursery and the owner lives on the property. The noise from the modelers flying  in the mornings as pretty annoying.  So he stopped by the club and asked them not to fly early on weekends.  They responded completely the wrong way and followed it by doing things to further annoy him….and that cost them the use of the park for RC powered models.
The glider guys were allowed to stay .
Our club the Louisville Area Soaring Society was later formalized in order to assure the park officials that they were protected from liability and so that use of rc models would continue to add to the park’s natural attractions.
Over the years, Ed and other club members did all the right things to show that RC sailplanes are good for the park, its neighbors and its other users.  At that same meeting many of the neighbors including the guy who mentioned that powered models were being flown again…all recounted how magical the sailplanes seemed, and how they’d seen hawks and buzzards fly with the models, and how they felt that the sailplanes actually added to the beauty of the park.
If there was a conflict between our members using the site (even with a permit for the time) and other users (little league, cross country events, picnic’rs), we’d pack up!
We made it clear to members that we were ‘guests’ at the park, that its a privilege for us to use the site – not a right. We never left litter and we volunteered as a club to help with park improvement projects like mulching the playground area.
Ed made sure that permits were paid and in place, he kept in close contact with park management..and in the end we have been rewarded with a sign…. I saw it for the first time at our club flying Suday.
Ed called me over saying I had to see something…. When I realized what I was looking at I just dropped on my butt and stared…and grinned!
Its a big deal….and it only took 62 years.
Huge thanks to all the members who did the right things that gave the Parks Dept the confidence that the Louisville Area Soaring Society has maintained a character through their actions at the site which earned us… a sign!
The only official Public Park RC Soaring site in maybe the entire USA?  If not for sure in Kentucky :-).
WOW!
(Electric LAUNCH Sailplanes are welcome! One 30 second motor run per flight)
Gordy