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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

2011 isn’t over but its been exciting for us!

2011 isn’t over but its been exciting for us!

Where to start – so much has happened this year!

First our flying site:

RC Soaring Clubs have co-existed in Public Parks all over the USA…the reason RC Sailplanes work in parks is because they don’t fly around making noise, but mostly they don’t fly ‘around’.  When a RC sailplane guy or club is using a park field, he and his activities are mostly invisible. Even when a club is having an active day of soaring, other park users take little notice since for the most part the sailplanes are gone…either up high or away from the field.  Othe park users may see someone standing in the field looking up, but pretty much take no notice….so when sailplane activity is there, its not really “there”. Birds can be heard, other activities can be going on the field. Sailplanes fly ‘from’ a field, not over a field.  No flight lines are needed, safety fences, or locked access gates.  When we are flying we are mostly invisible….in fact testimony of local neighbors find our sailplanes are a value, beauty and emphasis nature, in general beneficial as an attraction to the park.

Over the years we all flew some electric powered aircraft before or after and sometimes during our club soaring days (mostly Thursday evenings and Sundays)…but then it was carbon brushed motors and Nicads which equaled a few 4 or 5 minute flights.   This past year The Chinese entered the Park Flyer scene with good flying exceptionally cheap foam powered aircraft, ready to fly. Visitors saw us flying our old electric stuff and figured it must be “okay” to fly electric powered aircraft in parks…specifically on our club park soaring site…and that lead to a HUGE increase in guys showing up to fly electric powered foamies (Parkflyers).  It really wasn’t a problem until it was explained that the site was not a “flying field” but rather a club rc glider site. That lead to the guests getting very agressive during a club soaring contest… to the point where the Park Security Officer was contacted and he dispatched the Police.  This scenario has been repeated over and over around the country as guys who purchased their “toy” model airplanes felt that parks were public and so they could do what they wanted in them….our club by the way has no authority to restrict or block any kind of activity at the park, but since we have had a permit/contract to fly rc gliders on the site since the early 90’s and Charlie Vettiner has been the official soaring site for the Louisville Area Soaring Society since about 1952 we are the legal users of the field for rc. 

The police arrived and found that the sign on the site stated “Model Airplane Flying Field” as did the Park Website…and our permit was not in proper order, so they didn’t feel that they could stop anyone from flying any kind of model at the field.

The incident worked against the LASS members and for the LASS members….in that it was clear that we could no longer fly the occassional electric powered model at the site and for us because the incident mentioned inspired a new Permit to be issued to the LASS specifying RC Glider Flying Site, and improved from a couple days a week permit to 365 days per year.

The park is under a plan to improve and modify its design for the future and a number of ‘town hall’ type meetings were held to offer up several different plans for the neighbors and users to choose from. ALL of the plans included our flying site field on them…and the final version was turned into a 3D archectual model…with scaled down versions of our sailplanes actually flying above the field and the park!!!

At each meeting a park neighbor stood up to say how much the enjoyed the model giders flying over head, so quietly, naturally adding to the beauty of the park.

A huge thanks to Club Co-founder, Club President, LSFV, LSFVP Ed Wilson for being there at the Flying Field and club’s start and for carefully protecting the soaring site for generations ahead.

Next installment will be “Exciting Member Achivements 2011” – And we have a BUNCH!

Gordy

LASS E-mail List

LASS E-mail List

Early spring greetings to you all! We've set up a LASS e-mail list, much like the RCSE (soaring@airage.com) mailing list — except for LASS members and friends. Club announcements, chit-chat, for-sale, want-to-buy, etc. Should be fun and informative! Want in? Check out the LASS Mailing List page. And as per usual — if you have any problems, drop me a line!
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Frankfort Slope Info/Photos, etc.

Frankfort Slope Info/Photos, etc.

Yesterday, we made a concerted effort to seize the 60-70 degree temperatures and southernly winds to head out to the Frankfort Slope. The winds were averaging 12-15 MPH with gusts up to 20 or more. I brought out my GPS and my digital camera, and got some fairly detailed information, which I have posted on the Flying Sites page. Check it out — satellite imagery, topographic maps, driving directions, latitude/longitude info, an accurate altitude reading, and a wide-wide panoramic shot (with details). Also, I’ve uploaded some photos from yesterday, as well as two photos forwarded to me from Gordy: Bruce DS’ing Frankfort and the winning LASS team from the 2001 Midsouths.  
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2003 Fall Newsletter

2003 Fall Newsletter

The Fall 2003 LASS Word newsletter is hot off the presses! Go and get it!
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New Articles – Gordy’s Travels

New Articles – Gordy’s Travels

Gordy sent me a bunch of his articles he has written over the years, and I’ve put them up on the site under the Downloads link on the left. You can now read all of “Gordy’s Travels” articles in one place and in Adobe PDF Format! If any other LASS members have any articles, documents, reviews, pictures, stories, whatever, feel free to drop me a note at info AT louisvillesoaring DOT org.
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Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

Greetings all — Ed has supplied me with a bevy of old “LASS Word” newsletters which I have put up in the Downloads area of the site.  All the newsletters from 1998 to the present in PDF format!
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Bunch of New Stuff!

Bunch of New Stuff!

Hey all — Ben here, your friendly webmaster. Ed has rummaged through
his images and documents, and we’ve added quite a few new images into
the Gallery , as well as adding the LASS Bylaws to the Downloads section. More later!
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LouisvilleSoaring.org Launches!

LouisvilleSoaring.org Launches!

LouisvilleSoaring.org has launched! LouisvilleSoaring.org is the home site for L.A.S.S. – the Louisville Area Soaring Society. Check back soon and often — more features and updates soon!