New Season, New Challenges
Now that the weather is finally starting to be more predictably flyable, it's time to take a quick look at the challenges for the new season. Here are the things I'd like everyone to be mindful of as we move into the summer:
1. Make sure you've renewed your AMA and MAR/C membership! If you haven't everything that follows is moot, since you're not allowed to fly until you've taken care of both requirements. It's also important that you tell anyone who shows up with either no MAR/C card or an expired one about the policy, as the club as a whole will be held responsible for problems with unauthorized flyers.
2. Check your equipment, especially your batteries. There are few things worse, at least in our hobby, than realizing either your receiver or transmitter pack has failed while you are airborne.
3. Get your new planes sound-checked. If your building season involved a new large gasser, please get it sound checked before you fly. That big crane over to the east of our field is for the 220-unit apartment building that's going in sometime this summer or fall, which makes it more important than ever that we keep our noise level at or below current limits (90dB at 25 feet). Even that may not suffice, but exceeding it is sure to create problems with our new neighbors-to-be, and likely to result in far more draconian measures.
4. Watch those boundaries. We've got a new marker at the east end of the field, and should have the west one replaced shortly. I'd suggest asking a buddy to spot for you early this season to get feedback on how your plane(s) appear with regard to the size markings on the new boundaries, so you can develop a better idea of what being at or near the boundary looks like for you visually. (Obviously, we don't want you staring at the marker when you should be watching your plane, so having a buddy give you feedback is the best way to combine your own visual experience with that of an observer who can watch the markers as well.)
5. Help and promote our training program—we can always use both more volunteers and more students. Volunteering is a great way to give back to our hobby, and bringing new people in, especially juniors, is the best way to guarantee its future.