The North Coast RC modelers (NCRCM) airfield is located about 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 fly above 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, laying North to South. It has a large unobstructed overflight area above a flat hayfield. Farm structures lay to the East of the runway so pilots mostly face west while flying. This puts the sun behind the pilot during early morning flights for good airplane visibility. During mid-winter the sun is low and Southerly which can crowd the visibility a bit. Parking is on grass near the flight tables. The airfield has a portable toilet, setup tables, start-up benches, and chairs available for use. There is no electricity or running water available. Overnight stays and night flying are not allowed. We generally try to mow the runway grass about once per week but sometimes the rain or people’s schedules interfere, resulting in grass getting a little too tall for planes having especially small tires.
Are visitors allowed at the airfield?
Non-member 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 you can arrange to have 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 Saturday morning. Most flight activity occurs between about 8:30 am to 10:00 am. You can ask Stuart to let you know when others are planning to fly, or if you want him to share your flight plans with others. The club has an old outdated unused Facebook page that could be used for coordinating our flying plans with each other however we have not used it for that yet. If a few members ever decide they would like to try using it to coordinate flight plans then tell Stuart and he will refresh the Facebook page and set it up for 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 very many neighbors living nearby but never-the-less, engines should be muffled to standard reasonable noise levels. So far, the FAA rules are somewhat unclear about altitude restrictions at AMA airfields. I don’t think we have any required FAA height restriction just yet, but you do need to keep your model in visual sight at all times, and you do need to give way to any full scale airplane that happens to fly overhead. Most of the time real airplanes will be above 500 feet, but when you hear one coming don’t immediately look around for it. First descend your model as quickly, lowly and safely as you can. Slow your model down, put it into a gentle cruise low above the runway and then look around for the full scale plane only if you can do that without loosing your own model. If you are hard of hearing you might want to have someone spot for you. Have them watch for real airplanes as well as other model airplanes that are flying at the same time you are flying.
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 total cost might be about $250 and involves anywhere from 2 to 200 hours of labor getting everything put together and adjusted just right. It can take hundreds of hours to construct a plane from a kit of precut balsa sticks but hardly anyone does that anymore, most buy prebuilt or partially built models.
How hard is it to learn RC?
Drones designed to largely fly themselves are easy enough to fly with very little practice once you read through the manual a few times. Learning to solo and land an RC plane (with less than a 50:50 chance of crashing it) might take about 10 assisted instructional flights for a quick learner with a mild-mannered and beginner-friendly type airplane model. It can take hundreds of hours of flight practice before being able to fly advanced aerobatic maneuvers with an advanced aerobatic style plane. A computer flight simulator, or assistance from an instructor pilot, or a computerized flight stabilizing gadget can all assist with the learning process and can save you from much of the inevitable crash damage that comes with RC flying. Learning advanced acrobatic flight with an old fashioned, 3-D style, fly-bar type helicopter is about as difficult and as costly as it gets, and should be approached only with determination and some disregard for time and money.
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 well balanced on the manufacturer’s recommended center of gravity by moving the battery forward or back, not by adding a significant amount of lead weight. It should have plenty of dihedral (wings angled upwards in a V-shape). It’s wings and other surfaces should not be warped or twisted when you view it straight on from the nose. You should then get a trial AMA membership and 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 preflight checking it for potential trouble before your first flight. Then, if all goes well and you want to continue to fly you can join our club and get a full 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 the old 72 mhz radios (long antennas).
- Clean up wreckage and retrieve lost parts.
- Do safety inspections and radio range tests, especially before a 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 should not linger west of the line of tables The line of tables is our 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 any other farm area, except to retrieve a downed plane on foot.
- Don’t drive your vehicle in the hayfield.
- Don’t operate extraordinarily 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 your FAA number.