The North Coast RC modelers (NCRCM) airfield is located 7 miles south of Tillamook Oregon. It is on a farm belonging to Norm Bennett who very generously allows the club to maintain a runway, a parking area, and to over-fly his hay field. Don’t forget to thank him when you get the chance. Call us if you need a map or more details.
The airfield is a great place for RC flying. It is nestled in a little valley which has calmer winds than is typical of most coastal areas. It has a wide grass runway about 300 long with a large unobstructed overflight area. The flight area is to west of the runway and farm structures so pilots mostly face west while flying. This puts the sun behind the pilot during early morning flights for best airplane visibility. During mid-winter the sun stays to the pilot’s left pretty much all day long. Parking is on the grass near the flight tables. The airfield has a portable toilet, setup tables, start-up benches, and chairs available for use. The airfield does not have electricity or running water. No overnight stays nor night flying is allowed at the airfield.
Are visitors allowed at the airfield?
Visitors, spectators and AMA guest fliers are welcome but you must be accompanied by a club member while you are at the airfield. If you would like to visit or fly as a guest then please arrange to meet a club member at the airfield by calling one of the numbers on our Contacts Page.
Who can fly at the North Coast RC Modelers airfield?
The airfield is available for use by NCRCM Club members and visiting AMA pilots. All pilots must have a current membership in the AMA to fly at the airfield. Visiting pilots can fly as a guest a couple times each year without having to join the NCRCM club so long as you have a current membership in the AMA organization.
When can the airfield be used?
The airfield can be used any day of the week but only during daylight hours. Farm operations always have priority over RC activity. Yield to farm vehicles. When farm machinery is blocking the runway, driveway, or is operating near the runway then please wait until it has moved and everything is safe and convenient for farming operations before you continue.
When can I find other flyers at the field?
The best time to find people at the airfield is when a nice calm and sunny day suddenly arrives, or on a reasonably nice sunny Saturday morning. Most flight activity occurs between about 8:30 am to 10:00 am. You can ask Stuart to let you know when he hears that others are planning to fly, or if you want him to share your flight plans with others. The club has an old unused Facebook page that could be used for coordinating our flying plans with each other. If any members decide they would like to use it then tell Stuart and he will try to refresh the Facebook page and set it up for our current members to use.
Are there any model or equipment restrictions at the airfield?
Aircraft, radios and pilots activities should meet the AMA’s general recommendations and requirements for safety. There not many neighbors living nearby but never the less, engines should be muffled to standard manufacturer type noise levels. We generally try to mow the runway grass about once per week but sometimes rain or people’s schedules interfere resulting in grass too tall for planes with especially small wheels.
How much does it cost?
AMA annual memberships is free for youth, $38 for adults with small electric planes, $75 for adults with large aircraft and $20 for a trial 3 month membership. NCRCM Club membership is free for youth and $40 per year for adults. Aircraft, radios and accessories can cost as little as $30 or as much as several thousands of dollars. The average cost might be about $250 and involves maybe 12 hours of labor getting everything put together and adjusted right. It can take hundreds of hours to construct a plane from a kit of precut balsa sticks but hardly anyone does that anymore.
How hard is it to learn RC?
Drones programmed to fly themselves are easy enough to do once you make it through the manual a few times. Learning to solo an RC plane to the point of having a 50:50 chance of crashing might take about 10 assisted instructional flights for a teenager that is used to playing video games, provided he is using a beginner friendly airplane model. It usually takes many hundreds of flights before an adult can learn to safely fly advanced aerobatic maneuvers. Either a computer flight simulator, or the assistance from an instructor pilot, or a computerized flight stabilizer gadget is very important for learning and it can save you from dozens of crashes and many hundreds of dollars in crash damage. Learning advanced acrobatic flight with a 3-D style helicopter is about as hard and as costly as it gets. It’s about like learning to ride a unicycle or to juggle, or to do both simultaneously.
HOW DO I START IN THE HOBBY?
If you are just starting out in the hobby make sure to do your research and choose a beginner friendly model to learn with. The model should have a small wing loading (the total weight divided by the total wing area). It should be able to be balanced on the center of gravity by just moving the battery forward or back, not by adding a significant amount of lead weight. It also should have plenty of dihedral (wings angled upwards in a V-shape). If you are building or buying a used plane make sure the wings are flat (not twisted). You can then get a trial AMA membership and then let us know if you want someone to help you learn to fly it. We might be able to even give you a little help with learning to program your radio, setting up your model, and checking it for preflight. Then, if all goes well and you want to continue to fly you can join our club and get the annual AMA membership.
- Read and follow AMA safety rules.
- Don’t fly over the pit area, buildings, vehicles, people, or the highway.
- Don’t taxi within or directly towards the pit area.
- Use a frequency flag for 72 mhz radios (long antennas). 2.4 ghz radios are exempt.
- Clean up wreckage and retrieve lost parts.
- Do safety inspections and radio range tests, especially before first flight of new or newly repaired aircraft.
- Watch out for the safety of everyone, especially visitors, new pilots and farm operations .
- Supervise children and pets, keep them off the runway.
- Spectators and non-pilots must not go west of the line of tables which is the spectator safety line.
- Give farm operations priority over RC activity.
- Drive slowly and don’t block driveways or farm equipment.
- Don’t walk or drive outside of the airfield area into the farm area, except to retrieve a downed plane on foot.
- Don’t drive your vehicle in the hayfield.
- Don’t operate super loud and high pitched engines for long durations.
- Don’t disturb the resident of the farm house.
- Fly during daylight hours only, and no overnight camping at the airfield.
- Keep your AMA membership current.
- Mark your aircraft with your AMA number and FAA number.