I barely arrived at the air field just before the scheduled 10:00 AM MST start time for the monthly Fun-Fly event this morning,and already there were several club members in attendance and getting in lots of good flights all morning long.
I went around talking to and learning lots of good information from numerous members throughout the entire day's event today. I and several others assisted Cloyce Mann in getting his Edge 260 up and going strong, and got to enjoy watching him put that fast 3D plane through its paces over several different flights.
Our newest pilot in the club, Jim Aultman, even got in several flights with his Hobbistar Trainer plane today even with the intermittent gusty wind conditons we had today and he did very nicely again too.
Ed Vincent got in some really good flights on his new "Spitfire" warbird today, and it sure looks great both in the air and on the flight line too.
Several club members participated in the "Spot Landing" competition event held today during the Fun-Fly and there were lots of very close landings all day long, as well as a few attempts that fell short of the spot also. I don't know the results of the great times of this event yet, but I am positive that our CD, Marlowe Cassetti will post those results very soon for all of us to see how we fared for the day.
I suffered a not-so-good day as I soon discovered that in my haste to get out of the rain and winds yesterday after flying my SIG 4 Star 60, that it appears that I may have inadvertently left the LiFe 1800 mAh flight battery switch turned on the plane while it was stored in the trailer, and the LiFe battery discharged itself to a low voltage condition. I am now unable to salvage that flight battery, as it would not even accept any type of a charge mode, discharge mode nor even a balance mode charge any longer. A very expensive lesson learned there in this case.
I then got out my 1/4 scale RC Guys Super Decathalon Citabria, and with other fellow club members helping me assemble it, we had it ready for a nice flight in no time at all. I am truly thankful and I sincererly appreciate everyone's help with this task also.
I then took off and went flying around for a bit, and then called Kenny McMullen up to the flight line with me to learn more about "Coordinated Rudder Turns" and "Coordinated Rudder and Aileron Rolls" both, and how they compare while doing them. Apparently while doing those parts of the flight, or possibly while looping out wide to the North to set up for landings and touch and go's, I may have inadvertently let the plane drift too far North and got too close to the full scale runway area, and the airport manager came over to let us know about it. I took full responsibility for my errors and assured the airport manager that I will be extremely conscientous of my planes whereabouts to a much greater degree from now on, so there isn't a safety concern on anyone's part. I also plan on writing and presenting a formal written letter of apology to them and spelling out my intentions of not letting that happen again, as much as humanly possible.
After quite a long and spirited discussion among several club members as to how to attempt to prevent this situation from happening ever again, I got my Citabria refueled and readied for another flight to see what the perspective views are of it while flying out near and over the fuel storage tanks to our North. Cloyce Mann and Bobby Bellino drove over near that area in line with the fuel storage tanks as I was flying overhead and they observed my flight from that perspective. I also had Dennis Sporing standing right next to me at the flight line, where he could also keep a good visual reference on the distance and perspective distance judging while I was flying. Several other pilots were also in the pits observing every part of this flight too, and they also were able to see things themselves, and let us all know what they saw too.
A large scale plane of this size we discovered is relatively easy to fly both out and/or up at that distance away and further North than the tanks, where the possibility of a runway over-flight condition could possibly happen with a plane of this size or even a smaller 40 or 60 size airplane too, but with a much greater degree of difficulty with those smaller planes of course.
The lessons I humbly learned today were thus:
Stay in closer than my farthest "comfort zone" of flying distance away, so as to avoid another incident in the future with a plane of this larger size.
And also stay in close with the smaller aircraft also, just in case there may be a problem with it getting out too far away also, even though it is much less likely to happen that way I feel.
And finally, if a person is flying at a distance greater than the fuel storage tanks then please by all means inform that pilot of the safety concerns held by everyone involved immediately while they are flying, so that they can correct any percieved safety concerns right away.
"SAFETY FIRST" no matter the situation is what is needed on everyones part, both at our field and at the airport too.
Thanks to everyone for the great times and Fun Flying today.
Mark J. Sullivan