Archive for the 'President’s Log' Category

2017 LASS Season is Passed and Was Fun!

2017 LASS Season is Passed and Was Fun!

Let’s start with what’s changed:

Not too much, we gained a few pilots and lost a few, membership of actual active soaring pilots stayed stable.  Then came September, schools bussing kids in for cross country events in the evenings…. as in approx 200 cars parked on the flying field, grid lock for all who wanted to get into the park for any reason and in general some frustration.  We have contacted the person in charge of permits and made our frustration known, apparently many park users have also called.  He told us that parking on the field is not allowed and meetings will be held with the schools to change that part of their actions.  We explained that in the past we have flown while the kids ran, since they run on the perimeter and we fly from the field not over it.  But that single school use expanded to multi-same evening usage causing the parking problem.  More to come on this topic.

RC Sailing!
Our Vice President Marc found a new pond in his area (Norton Commons) that is perfect for sailing the big rc sailboats, no weeds no fishing line and a great drop in place that has clearance for the boat’s deep keels.  Well I had one but Marc wasn’t interested, then we sailed mine and he was hooked!  Turns out that about 5 of us had sailboats but because there was nowhere to conveniently sail them, they had been collecting dust in garages and basements.  Didn’t take long before we were on the pond on days when it was too windy or the park was too busy to fly!  We don’t race but we do chase and occasionally play tag by gently smashing into each other! :-) As you can see from the photo (taken by commodore Ron Allen:-) the boats are gorgeous on the water.

IMG_3975What didn’t change:

We all had a lot of rc soaring on our field. Challenges were the grass cutting, heat, wind.

Pilot skills in general improved significantly, likely due to getting more flying time in due to electric launch models and interest in Task Soaring (contests).  Our “Two Channel” club event took the biggest hit, but so did our club ALES event since most of the guys were gone to ALES events in Dayton or Columbus.

Big Club Contests Held in 2017:
DerbySoar 2107  was held at Hayes Kennedy but on a different field, it was a success weather wize and attendance wize, the formerly known as the BlueGrass Mid America Champs held in Lexington by the Bluegrass Soaring club was taken over by us since their club has disbanded due to lack of participation and their flying site was turned into a corn field :-(.  We held it on our club field with the help of the Dayton club and again we had great weather and attendance so our treasury has grown, and maybe for the first time we carried a surplus over after usual club expenses/fees into 2018!  So we are in good shape for this coming season.

 

Big Club Events for 2018!

We  be hosting the DerbySoar on our field (June 23&24) which is an Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration two day contest, same as last year….as well as the Mid Am Soaring Champs (September 15&16) to be held on our club field at Charlie Vettiner Park, Louisville (Also Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration)

(Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration is a combination of electric and winch launch models flown side by side.  The E-launch models have a device which limits their launch height to 150m and they are urged to have their altitude reached prior to reaching the line created vertically by the winch turnaround pulleys, so E-launched models are not allowed to go driving around during their 30 second motor run to altitude.)

New Big Club Contest for 2018 – Chi/Lou F5J Event

For 2018 we will be hosting (in conjunction with some of the Chicago club members) an F5J USA Tour Event May 19 & 20th.  (F5J is electric launched sailplanes, where launch altitude is penalized for a 10 minute flight task, a pilot loses 1 point per 2 meters from his hand to motor shut off. A recording display device in the model is read upon landing to indicate at which altitude the pilots motor was shut off, (read 10 seconds after actually).  The device also shuts off the motor if 30 seconds of run time are exceeded, the idea is to see who can get a max flight of 10 minutes from the lowest starting altitude).  This is a new-ish class and a test event for us.  We are calling it the Chi/Lou F5J.

Club 2 Channel and Ales weekend events : At least 4 of us are again planning on attending monthly contests in Ohio etc, so likely our club contest activity is over unless conditions and schedules and weather cooperate.  In any case we are planning to enjoy a lot of rc soaring this season (and RC Sailing!), mostly evenings and weekends.

You can reach me with questions or dates and times etc at GordySoar@aol.com

Photo taken by Tom Rhodes (Iphone 4) in the evening  this past summer while I was doing first hand toss flight tests on a Vladimir Models Maxa winch model (156″ span pure rc sailplane, no motor!).  I managed to catch a small thermal and just as Tom snapped the photo, a hot air balloon lifting off in the distance, moved into the frame.

 

IMG_3346 6

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

President’s Log: November, 2006

President’s Log: November, 2006

It’s been a while since I have submitted something for the LASS web site. Ben has done such a good job I have been letting him do most of the work. Thanks Ben!

As a way of catching up let me start with some of the more recent activities and go backwards in time. As of today (11/26/06) our own Gordy has completed his LSF level 5 contest wins. The well traveled Gordy got both of his last two wins flying in the Tangerine soaring contest in Florida over Thanksgiving weekend. He took first both days flying in unlimited class. Congratulations go out to Gordy for completing what is to most people the hardest task toward achieving Level 5.

Gordy got his wins the same weekend the rest of the club stayed home and flew in the dark in our annual “UFOs over J-Town”. We had seven pilots meet in the dark at Vettner. Three pilots were from the Lexington club just to prove the Louisville guys are not the only ones that are a little unscrewed at the socket.
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November 29, 2005

November 29, 2005

“It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out!” (Snoopy writing his book).

It was dark. There was no storm. Absolutely NO shots rang out. It was cold but not too bad. There was excitement and most of you missed it!

Gordy, Tony, Eric, Lee, and myself all flew Saturday evening in our annual “UFOs over J-Town” night fly. Tony flew his Spirit while Gordy flew his electric foamy. I brought out a Highlander that I had stripped down to the tape layer, repaired and recovered.

There was a low cloud base, which made it a little harder to see as it reflected the city lights making the sky a grey not black, which is preferred. It did not stop the flying. Tony made several nice flights even finding lift out over the center of the field for an 8-10 minute flight. Gordys electric plane flew great but a problem with the gearbox (stripped pinion gear?) put a stop to his flying after using up only one battery pack.

I brought along a rebuilt Highlander as I mentioned before. After a very squirrelly launch and a cartwheel on the ground we began to get it trimmed. Launches are very unpredictable but several flights were made. After passing the plane around through several hands Gordy took his turn.

Now Gordy will tell you he is NOT a RES pilot and his flying proves it. He had a rough launch. Popped off the winch way off to the right and never got the plane stabilized. A stall and diving spiral put the plane into a tree about 40 feet above the road near the intersection.

Eric had his truck with him, which meant he had his work ladders. It took about 20 minutes to get the plane dislodged and back safely onto the ground. Visualize for a moment we have all our vehicles parked in the grass all around the intersection. We are all still milling around putting away the plane and rescue items. What pulls up but a police car! Now you know what he was thinking. Just checking out a UFO report. I climbed into my truck and scurried home.
(Snoopy continued) “Suddenly a pirate ship appeared!”

November 21, 2005

November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving is here and that means one thing: IT’S NIGHT FLY TIME!!

In the past we have flown in rain, wind, and low ceilings. But I don’t want to push our luck. This coming Friday the weather forecast is for SNOW! But Saturdays forecast is for cloudy but (slightly) warmer temperatures. With that in mind we will plan on flying our annual “UFOs Over J-Town Night Fly” this Saturday evening. We will gather at 6:00pm and fly for about 2 hours. We have plenty of chemical lights so bring you planes and try it. You will be surprised how easy it is to fly in the dark.

Congratulations must go out to Tony Utley as he asked Megan to marry him. She said yes! Personally I knew it had to happen. Megan can fix Tony’s planes better than he can and besides you know how hard it is to find a good (looking) mechanic today. (Megan will make me pay for that)

For those of you that have not made it to Frankfort to fly the slope you really need to keep an eye on the winds and a plane charged. (Take a look at the Frankfort Slope page for info and forecasts –ben) We have had two Saturdays in a row recently the wind was up and blowing out of the south and south west for perfect sloping weather. Everything was being flown from Spirits, to special purpose slope planes, and our flying wing Bats. Go to our picture pages and look at the recent pictures from the slope. It really is different but a lot of fun.

We will have confirmation soon. The winter meetings will be at the Firehouse on the second Sunday in January, February, and March. The Mid-South will be held on June 30 July 1-2 at Hays-Kennedy Park out off River Road near Prospect.

August 12, 2005

August 12, 2005

I am a little late getting this out but last Sundays F5j speed 400 contest was a blast. Congratulations to Tom Hall for dominating the duration event. Tom was perfect in the four rounds we flew. The surprise of the day was John Dobbins winning the all up last down event. This was Johns first soaring win of any kind. John won a 3D plane donated by Scale Reproductions. Tom Hall, Perry Benningfield, and Ben Wilson won their own Louisville Slugger Bats for their first through third placing. Pictures and a report by Ben Wilson are here on the web site.

Thanks again for the donation from Scale Reproductions. Looks like we will be doing this again next year.

With the speed 400 event behind us a fall event has been proposed for two meter and RES soaring class contest sometime in October. A discussion at the field last night was very positive so we will move on with the planning for an open date in October or November at the latest. Keep checking the web site for more information.

We are coming up on some heavy traveling time in the next couple months. Ben is posting the contest dates in the calendar so go to that to pick up on future contest. I personally will be going to the September contest in Tullahoma as well as Cincinnati’s Pumpkin Fly, and the final OVSS contest in Muncie. Anyone wanting to travel to a contest as a LASS team please gets with me. I recommend the Tullahoma contest the second weekend in September as a very relaxed contest for someone just starting to fly contest. Unlimited, RES are the classes flown. Herb, Chuck, Kendel, “fly’n Bryan, and the rest of the Tullahoma guys have a good time. Do you need LSF points? Good place to get some.

We do not have many Thursday evening flying sessions left. Don’t forget we go out in mass for Mexican after flying. Lots of hanger flying.

oops! I was out of town and forgot to post this President’s Log in a timely manner! — ben

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June 17, 2005

June 17, 2005

As a reminder the Thursday evening flying sessions have been going on for two weeks now. The weather has not been the best (windy last night) but we have been having a good time. This will continue every Thursday till the end of September. Right now we have daylight till 9:00 so come on out. For those working on LSF task the calmer evening air is a good time to make landings or work on other skills.

We also picked up where we left off last year by going to the Mexican restaurant in J-town after flying for a group dinner and some hanger flying.

Now after saying what I did above I must say next week we will NOT meet on Thursday ( June 23) evening. For that matter we will not be at the field on the following Sunday either. This next week is the Mid-South competition in Atlanta. Gordy, Tony, Ron and myself will be flying with the southern boy’s next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is no one left to get the winch to the field on these days. This coming Sunday we plan on being at the field by 11:00 am.

We have new club t-shirts. Light grey (NOT ORANGE!) in color as Ben keeps reminding me. The logo is more in line with what is on the web site in the upper corner of the screen. Shirts are $12 each. I am also looking to take orders for a white shirt with a collar in the design style of golf shirts. If we can get a dozen commitments we can order this shirt. Several members have expressed a desire for a more “classy” shirt for contest flying than a t-shirt. If you are interested let me know so I can add you to the list. Price would be about $25 each.

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May 16, 2005

May 16, 2005

Gordy finally did it. Yesterday he got his one hour LSF flight in front of a combined LASS and BSS members.

Yesterday four LASS members made a visit to Lexington to fun fly with the BSSers. Even though we had some wind yesterday the air produced good steady lift. I got one flight of 15 minutes while never going much above launch height. All I had to do was hop from one bubble to another as they raced across the field. Ron Allen and Tony Utley both found some good air on several of their flights.

Next weekend is the start of the OVSS series in Cincinnati. I will be there both Saturday and Sunday. Reading the activity on the Internet It looks like there will be a good turnout for two days of Man on Man type of competition. The contest is held at the mile square park that used to be the Voice of America broadcast site. There is a sportsman as well as expert classes flown both days. With a separate contest each day it would be a good time to get a lot of LSF points for your contest requirements.

A last reminder the cut off for Mid-South and Nat’s entries is fast approaching with the first of June.

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April 20, 2005

April 20, 2005

A few quick notes.

The Day After the Derby Fun Fly is being rescheduled for May 1. This change is because the original date of May 8 is Mothers Day. Sorry about the short notice but we only discovered this the other day. Starting time is still noon.

We are still planning to have a cookout along with the flying. If you want to bring a desert or salad item please let me know so I won’t duplicate purchases.

I will forward this note onto the Lexington and Bloomington Clubs as they are invited to join in. With so many flyers needing LSF contest points we need everyone to turn out and fly.

The Sunday flying the last few weekends has seen a very good turnout. I have been showing up around 11:00 am so come out a little earlier the lift has already started.

I have been asked several times about the Thursday evening flying. A reminder we cannot start till June, as we must wait for the t-ball leagues to end. These usually coincide with the end of school. We should have the field for Thursday evenings starting June 2.

A reminder June 1 is the cut off for entries to both the Nat’s and the Mid-South. If you have not entered yet the time is getting short. If someone needs a ride I have a seat open in my truck for both competitions. We can save on gas expenses.

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March 29, 2005

March 29, 2005

We have set our date for our speed 400 soaring event. It is August 7. This is a full week after the Nat�s have finished and does not conflict with any other soaring event in our area. I still have not met with the parks management but when I do I am going to ask to use Sun Valley Park for this event. It has more space for mass launches as well as multiple landing approaches.

Please look at the calendar Ben has up on the web for all the schedule soaring events in our area.

If you are going to the Mid-South near Atlanta in June you need to sign up NOW. Use this address to get to their web site and register.

http://www.midsouth.atlantasoaring.com

This coming weekend I will be in Toledo for the annual Weak Signal Show. I will be looking for some great bargains and a chance to see some of the new products coming out this year. If you want me to pick up anything for you let me know ASAP.

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