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.
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.
What 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-wise and attendance-wise, 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 will 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.
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.