FAA rules

FAA registration is required for RC models

The FAA is now requiring recreational flyers like us to register our aircraft.  It cost $5, and has to be renewed every three years. You can register on the FAA’s web site www.faa.gov/uas/registration with a credit card for payment and as proof of identity. The registration documentation will be sent to your email address.  Print it or keep it on your smart phone as proof of registration while you are flying. An FAA registration number will be assigned to you. It must be displayed on each of your models. The registration requirement applies for all RC aircraft over 8 ounces flying weight, even those that are not drones.  See the FAA’s FAQ page for more details about the process.

The AMA is still fighting the FAA on this.  They hope FAA will agree to accept AMA’s registration and numbering in place of the FAA’s and exempt AMA members from the three year re-registration as long as they remain an AMA member.  Unfortunately this dispute probably won’t be decided prior to the FAA deadline. The AMA has been  encouraging everyone to continue submitting comments to the FAA.  I submitted one more comment on Jan 15, the last day for submissions. Read it here.  Hopefully that comment of mine is the knockout punch, the last straw that breaks the camel’s back, the one that is good enough to make the FAA role over in submission and tap out.  But probably that’s not going to happen.

Club Officers Elected for 2016

We elected club officers at the July 4th meeting.  Pete Owston is our new President.  Pete had been doing a great job as Vice President and had taken on the duties of Acting President after Rob moved from the local area.  Bill Meador was elected Vice President, Stuart was elected Sec/Treasurer and Matt is our Safety Officer.  Thanks to everyone for contributing to the operations of our club.

Oct – Jan News

Here is a  nice video that Rob Russo and Steve Durham put together:

Jan 4th Meeting – New Officers elected

We elected club officers at the July 4th meeting.  Pete Owston is our new President.  Pete had been doing a great job as Vice President and took on the duties of Acting President after Rob moved from the local area.  Bill Meador was elected Vice President, Stuart was elected Sec/Treasurer and Matt is our Safety Officer.  We discussed the FAA registration process, the airport notification status, 2015/2016 finances, collected a few dues and renewed some memberships at the meeting as well. Matt said he hopes to get tables at the McMinnville swap meet this March.  Steve Durham was also hoping to get tables so there will probably be some coordination between Matt, Steve Bill and Gary for swap meet table sharing.  Talk to them if you would like to be involved.

Dec 7th Meetings

Our December 7th Meeting was cancelled due to flooding and bad weather.  At the November meeting we decided to try fill the sink holes at the airfield. A few days after the meeting Pete and Stuart talked to Norm and Gregg about it and that same evening Gregg dumped several  bucket loads of dirt in them.  Grass was seeded on the bare spot but being so late in the year the heavy rains, cold and and frost will keep it bare and muddy for several months.

Other News

The toilet was winterized with antifreeze solution to keep the pump from breaking so go easy on the flushing. You can pour the plain water from the jugs along the wall for flushing if need be.  Grass seed was sprouting in the bare dirt patches and hopefully hasn’t been killed by frost.  We have only one mower now. The financial spreadsheet for 2015 was finalized.  This web site has a new look.  It was changed to this new theme to make it work better with the wide variety of devices and brands of smart phones, although it still needs some tweaking and editing.

July-Aug-Sept News

Welcome New Club Members – Rob Russo and Dylan Lundy

We have continued to attract new memberships in 2015.  The latest flyers to join the club are Rob Russo and Dylan Lundy.  Rob is from Lincoln City and has a custom surfboard business. He is an experienced pilot who flies pattern style electric airplanes as well as sophisticated FPV and UAV type multi rotor aircraft. Dylan is one of our younger members as he attends High School,  He is fairly new to the hobby but is catching on quickly as he is building his own RC model from a kit.  He attended our last club meeting and it was nice to see that is getting some assistance from other members such as Gary and Matt.

I do not yet have photos of either of the two new members to post here, but I did  get a photo of Steven Durham, a new member who joined the club a few months ago, with three of his aircraft, which by the way, are very well built and nice performing.

Steven Durham with three of his airplane. All are excellent performers and quality aircraft.
Steven Durham with three of his airplanes. All are quality aircraft and excellent performers .

We had inquiries from a couple of other potential new members during our last fun fly that hopefully will decide to take up the hobby and fly with us as well.

Astoria Club’s Fun Fly

Astoria club held their fun fly event Sept 12.  I went and discovered they have a very nice field.  It took no time at all to get used to flying there.  Their club flies mostly mid-sized nitro engines but the field works equally well for small electric, helicopter or quarter scale gas because of its combination of a moderate sized club dryer felt runway surface surrounded by good grass surface with plenty of unobstructed over-flight area.  The event was similar to ours with some decent flying weather, good food, a great bunch of guys and plenty of opportunity to share info, ogle cool models, and demonstrate flying skills.

IMG_46552015 NCRCM Fun Fly Event – enjoyed by all

More 2015 Fun Fly photos

We did our 2015 NCRCM Fun Fly event on August 8th.  The day started out a little cloudy with only a few minutes of very light drizzle mid-day, but was actually a very pleasant flying day, having perfect temperatures without wind.   Around 40 people attended, about half flyers and half visitors.  The format was like last year’s event with open flights, no entry fees, a free picnic lunch which included grilled burgers, hot dogs, drinks and snacks.  Pete did a good job of managing the event and grilling the meats. Flyers had a great time and we all got an abundance of flights throughout the day.  Spectators enjoyed watching a wide variety of model types and flying styles.  There were no serious crashes, as far as I can remember. We were treated to delicious food dishes and snack items that several people had brought along from home to share with the crowd.  A generous number of cash donations, as well as generous food and item contributions allowed us to completely offset the expenses of the event so there was no net cost to club finances for hosting it.  We might have actually even made a few bucks, depending on the cost of the newspaper ad which is currently unknown.  Also, Larry Oberholtzer donated three boxed kits and a set of air retracts to the club a few days before the event.  We sold one of the boxed kits during the fun fly for an additional $50.  Thank you Larry.   I will bring the remaining kits to the next meeting and we can decide what to do with them then.

 

April-May-June 2015 News

April 6, May 4, June 1 – Meeting Minutes

The April and May and June meetings were attended by Pete Owston, Gary Cox, Stuart Hoffman, Bill Meador,  Bob Munsell, Dennis Calkins, Matt Bingenheimer and Jack.  In April the room we usually use was already occupied by another group but we were able to “make-due” in a nearby structure.  The McMinnville RC Swap Meet was discussed.  Gary, Matt and Bill shared a table at the swap meet and sold quite a few of their items.  Stuart and Stan also were there. Matt and Stuart both bought models there.  Various RC models, radios and other equipment were discussed during the meeting.   We decided to hold the next (May 4th) meeting at the RC airfield provided that the weather forecast cooperates and predicts a dry evening.  It was noted that moss is getting quite thick on the North half of the runway. The club authorized the purchase of moss control chemicals.  In the May meeting at the airfield was aborted at the last minute and held at the normal location because of some last minute rain. We decided on August 8th for our NCRCM fun fly event date.  Pete talked about his experience with customer support at hobby king for replacement of a bait and switched folding prop. Matt showed us his fancy new FRSky R/C car transmitter. Dennis did a demonstration flight of his indoor capable model called the Crack Wing.  It looked very fun to fly  (addictive like crack?) We decided to hold a flying/working type meeting at the airfield on June 1st but that got rained out again so we will just try to do the work some unscheduled weekend when the opportunity arises.  Pete discussed the TBCC RC class and may follow up with more info and discussion in the future.

TBCC Course in RC flight a Possibility

Pete was contacted by Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) about the possibility of our club participating in a course on RC flight at the college. We will discuss this topic at the June meeting.  Contact Pete if this topic is something you want to get involved in (as instructor or as student).

Airfield Fertilized

I spread moss control chemicals on the runway in early April, nothing dangerous, just some soil nutrients.   It seems to be working, the moss and weeds are fading out and the grass looks better.

NCRCM.com Web Site Layout Changes

The style of the this web site was recently changed to larger fonts and a simple layout in order to make it easier to use with a mobile phone. Google recently began down-ranking search results of web sites that are not easy to view on small mobile phone screens.  This told me that the trend toward using mobile smart phones for web surfing has probably reached some critical tipping point and it was time to bite the bullet and make this change.

Welcome New Club Members

We have three new club members from the Lincoln City area; Steve Durham, Gary Stevens, and Wesley Brown.  Gary and Wesley are relatively new to RC. Both are very accomplished and have made a lot of progress with their equipment and with their flying skills in a short amount of time. They have a variety of multi-rotors and elevon / wing type planes.  Gary has sophisticated UAV, FPV and stabilization setups.  Steve Durham is a formerly RC flyer who just recently got back into the hobby again after not flying for quite a few years.  He has a variety of  nice planes and is a good flyer. He has been coming to the field quite often, mostly mid-week when the weather is nice.  I posted photos of Wesley and Gary below but haven’t taken one of Steve yet.  I also posted a photo of Walter Swanson.  He one of the new members that I introduced in the previous March Postbut didn’t have a photo at the time.

Welcome new members Gary Stevens (left) and Wesley Brown (right) from the Lincoln City area.
Welcome new members Gary Stevens (left) and Wesley Brown (right) from the Lincoln City area.

 

Welcome Walter Swanson, new member.
Welcome Walter Swanson, new member.Air

Entertainment

Video of guy saving his quad-rotor from drowning in the ocean.

Compilation video of quad-rotor crashes – First Person View

Jan-Feb-March 2015 News

Renew 2015
Join us for another fun year of RC flying in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 February 2nd and March 2nd meeting minutes, plus other news

Congratulations to Robert Andrews, our club president, for obtained a new dream job working for Insitu Inc. making parts for their new UAV which is called the Flexrotor. Robert is doing composite work in carbon fiber for that UAV.  It has a very unique and interesting design which gives it the major advantage of having both a long range plus a vertical takeoff and landing without the need for any cumbersome launch or recovery equipment.  The company is based in White Salmon Washington so unfortunately Robert will be moving there soon and we won’t get to see him all that often anymore.  Robert said he is willing to continue serving as President for our club and the club decided that it’s OK and wants to keep him as our president so continue consulting him about club matters via phone or email.  He said a local club in the area has a very nice RC airfield very close to where he will be moving.

Dennis Wright is a new club member who joined our club in February.  Dennis is from the Portland area and is also a member and officer in the OMAS club in Banks, Oregon.  He came to fly with us and discovered that our field is a good place to fly his quarter scale planes. We had a good time flying with him and look forward to seeing him again.  Walter Swanson is another new club member who is in the process of joining.  Walter is a retired Navy veteran and is a long time RC flyer.  He offered to help us with some of the chores at the airfield which is very much appreciated. Steven Durham is our newest club member.  He joined in mid-March. Pete has met Steven but I have not talked with him yet so I can’t say much about him other than he lives in Lincoln City. Welcome to the club Dennis, Walter and Steven.

Matt Bingenheimer said he reserved a table at the McMinnville RC Swap Meet on March 14th and offered to let NCRCM club members sell their stuff at his table with him.   Matt say’s he still has room in his Excursion if anyone wants a ride. his number is  503-812-6238.

Several people renewed memberships in February so the club’s financial situation is starting to look fine again.  Wow, this spring has been yielding nice sunny flying days, one right after another, I hope it keeps up.

 January 5th meeting minutes

McMinnville-2015
Click image for event poster and details.

The meeting started at 7:00 pm and was attended by seven members.  Several of us renewed our memberships for 2015 and paid dues at the start of the meeting.  Pete donated some money toward the cost of Christmas gifts.  Pete is sort of like our Santa, he bought some nice gifts and delivered them to the field owner and farm resident who graciously allow us to fly on their property.  Robert Munsell Sr. resigned his club presidency. He did a good job as President.  Hopefully he will continue doing a great job as our chief maintenance engineer keeping the mowers and everything in working order.  The club voted Rob Andrews to be our newest club president.  Welcome and thanks for taking on that role Rob.  If you want to talk to Rob about RC issues or about the club his phone number is 503-965-2233 . I described the new runway surface area (see details in previous post).  A financial report was given which revealed that (including recent 2015 dues) we will start out the new year with somewhat less money than we started last year, but we still should be able to cover our normal expenses in 2015 because expenses should be significantly lower in the coming year as well.  Members can view the details of the club’s finances by clicking on the CLUB DOCS icon at the top of this page. Your password is in the lower left corner of your membership card.  Rob brought in his new JR 450 3D helicopter for show-and-tell.  It was quite a well built machine. Rob said the model was a good price and it floats effortlessly with less cells that the Align version that he previously owned.   Rob talked about his amazing adventure while piloting an aerial camera platform over the Snake River in Eastern Oregon for the filming of a documentary being produced by a major film company. The scenes are focused on the bridge which stands high over the river. Steep canyon walls covered in snow and ice made access to the river difficult so they had to canoe up the river to get in position under the bridge. They also had to wait for just the right snow cover and sky conditions so that the scenes would match previously filmed scenes.  Hopefully Rob will play some of his footage for us at an upcoming club meeting.  Bill brought his new Cub for show-and-tell.  It was the one reviewed in an AMA article a couple months back and it has the electronic flight stabilization feature.  It looked very nice.  I don’t think he had flow it yet. Members shared stories of recent flying misfortunes, things we that we have all experienced that we could laugh over. The meeting was adjourned about 8:30 pm.

Videos:

 Insitu Flexrotor test flight.

Best crash video ever.

British RC’ers don’t mess around, they go big

Oregonian news article about a few local drone businesses

Nov and Dec 2014 News

Robert's 35% Yak
Robert’s 35% gas powered Pilot-brand Yak _________________________ Click to expand photo

Nov 3rd Meeting Minutes

About seven members were present. Bill’s wife sent tasty donuts to the meeting.  We discussed plywood delamination on the two new table tops. It was noted that we no longer have a convenient place for dumping the toilet and the tail lights on the toilet trailer no longer work.  Matt contacted Eric who said he can arrange for dumping it at the city facility.  Gary offered to get a portable tail light kit for the trailer.  Bob talked about mower repairs and brought up that we need to check oil correctly on the mowers so we don’t overfill them. He was reimbursed $31 for mower parts.  We decided to discontinue holding the annual drawing for free dues because the drawing was not really bringing more members in to the meetings and the club’s revenues have declined somewhat over the last few years. We talked some more about making a runway surface for the smaller planes.  We did not yet have much info on costs, feasibility, materials, availability, installation methods, etc. so could not pursue that topic in much depth.  Pete said he would contact Ron and work with him on getting more project details. Ron had previously mentioned that he thought he might be able to get a leftover roll of dryer felt from the Astoria club.  Rob brought in his new scratch built flying wing for show and tell and it looked like a well thought-out design.

Dec 1st Meeting Minutes

Gary Cox RC planes
Gary has two new planes.

About 5 members were present. Bob said he and Rob have replaced the tension cables on the shed door. Bob brought his glider in for some help with arming the ESC.  We OK’d expenditures for Christmas gifts for Norm (site owner)and Greg ( farm resident).  Pete had offered to purchase the gifts and present them again this year.   Bob said he will resign the Presidency in January.  Side note:We should try to vote the new President into office prior to the renewal of the club’s charter with the AMA because they will ask for the names of club members and officers.  The AMA charter renewal form will arrive soon and is due by early March I believe.  Bill received a new miniature quad-copter from Gary at the meeting and it was flow about the room.  It was surprisingly fast, agile and stable for something that is only a couple inches wide. Matt brought in a giant servo motor to show us. It’s for his new milling machine. The felt like it weighed 15 lbs. and has something like 1100 inch lbs. of torque, definitely too much for a park flyer, maybe a 747.

New Planes

Eric's pattern RC plane
This is Eric’s new electric pattern plane. _________________________ click to expand photo

Rain and high priority chores tried to keep me at home over the last couple of months but I was able to go to the airfield a couple times and I saw several new planes that people brought out.   Rob now has Steve’s 35% Pilot-brand Yak which was originally Eric’s plane. He can fly it to its full potential.  Eric put together a high-end electric pattern plane. It flies very precise and contains nothing but top-shelf components of course. Gary brought out a couple new electrics that looked very fun to fly. The blue one is a small, fast, agile, and stabilized 3-D acrobat.  It flies like a larger plane.  His yellow plane is super light weight so it  flips, rolls, and spins while it is gently floating along a few feet off the ground.  Bob finished his Spirit 100 sailplane.  He has not flow it as of yet but it is a very nice looking build. You can click on the thumbnails of the photos in this post to expand the pictures to a larger size.

 

New Runway Surface

A small runway surface was added December 2014 for the takeoff of planes that can't roll easily on grass without nosing over.  It is 32 feet long by 6 feet wide.
New runway surface for small-wheel takeoffs

We installed a small takeoff runway with a smooth surface so that planes having small wheels can get moving without tipping forward onto the prop. The new runway surfacing is 6 feet wide by 32 feet long and is made out of 3/4 inch thick rubber mats.  The mats are identical to the one that we use for a helicopter pad.  Other than cost, the matting seems to make a perfect runway surface .  Normally 6’x4′ matts are $35 each but all seven of these only cost us $100, or about $14 each. I got them from a Craigslist ad.  I was afraid that this offer would no longer be available if I waited to discuss it at the next meeting, so I checked with Pete who was coordinating the runway surfacing project and learned that the plan for getting dryer felt from the Astoria club had fallen through and it was not available.  Pete said he thought the mats were a good buy, so I got them. Bob and I installed them the next day. The mats were simple to put down and will be easy to move or dispose if the need ever arises. I think this new runway is going to be good because the mat that we had used as a helicopter pad over the last few years has proven to be indestructible, could not blow away, didn’t rot from the sun or the moisture and retained its asphalt-like appearance.  It could be mowed over, elk stomped, driven over, rolled over.  It could handle violent prop strikes and maybe even a straight-in-smoking-hole plane crash. Most importantly, it did not cause any extra maintenance work or inconvenience mowing. The new runway surface shouldn’t interfere with grass landing of larger planes given its current location close to the pilot station.  The biggest drawback is it’s small length and width. Completing a full landing on it may not be in the cards all that often, but I did land on it on my very first attempt with my slow park flyer model, and I had a lot of fun doing multiple touch-N-goes on it. We should probably keep an eye out for more mats at bargain prices to make the area larger, or we could also continue to investigate the practicality of other runway options as well.

Upcoming vote for president.

We will be voting for a new club president during one of the next few meetings because Bob said he will resign in January. The vote is likely to be held on Jan 5th.  If you want to nominate yourself or someone else let us know.

Renew your 2015 club memberships starting in January, due by April

Don’t forget to renew your membership. Renewal starts January 1st.   We have had a slight drop in revenue over the last couple of years so the club really needs your dues payment to keep us going.  Please help us by mailing in your renewal or bringing it to a meeting.

Christmas lightshow – covering an entire neighborhood – filmed from an RC quad-copter.

Spacecraft launched by local villagers – I’m impressed.

Oct 2014 News

stan-pete
Stan and Pete ( left to right) showing their newest models. Oct. 4, 2014 (click photo to enlarge)

October 6th Meeting Minutes

Four members attended the meeting: Bob, Stuart, Matt, Bill and Pete as well as two new guests, Huston and Michael.

The minutes were read and the financial report was given. We expended funds in Sept for 5 gallons of mower gas and four gallons of RV toilet antifreeze. A bill for some mower parts was presented at the meeting.  No income was received last month.

New business topics included repair of a rip in the canopy and renewal of our web hosting service.   Matt said he can get patching material for the canopy.  Someone will need to sew the patch on prior to erection of the canopy next summer.  Members approved expending funds for three more years of web hosting fees.  We no longer get bonus signup rates so the fee is now the regular rate of $72 per year.

Two guests attended the meeting.  Huston and Michael, father and son, want to become members and fly with us.  Huston flew RC planes several years ago and might be a little rusty.  He still has an RC model.  Michael has a “drone” model that he currently flies.  Welcome to the club guys.

New planes

baily-rob
Gary’s grandson, Bailey, retrieves his slow stick while Rob assists with a tiger moth.

Robert, Stan, Pete and Gary all brought out new models last month.  Gary’s is a small stabilized 3D acrobatic flyer only about 10″ wingspan but it performs like a big one.  Pete’s is a stabilized mid-size Sukhoi that had an issue with the elevator so couldn’t be flown.  It looks like it will be a good performer.  Stan’s is a high performance biplane that he flew very well. Robert’s model is a custom scratch build flying wing built for stable user friendly flights, crashworthiness, and landing in adverse locations.

Winter is coming

Fall weather has arrived.  The grass greened up almost overnight after the fall rains arrived. It looks nice however it will  grow fast until the weather gets cold and it might occasionally get a little tall due to the limited number of days dry enough for mowing and the completion from other chores and activities demanding attention this time of year.   The toilet was winterized.  We will maintain only a couple gallons of the antifreeze solution in the water reservoir over winter so try to conserve antifreeze when flushing.

Sept News

fpv-video

Sept 7 meeting minutes

Bob, Matt, Bill, Gary, Rob, and Stuart attended.  No old business carried over.

Stuart gave the financial report which shows that we are holding steady with plenty of savings to cover operating expenses for the next season, assuming we don’t have some surprise abnormal expense.

Matt gave a safety report and mentioned that hot dry weather dry has created extreme wildfire danger conditions.  He said that a recent RC related fire in the valley burned a utility pole which was extinguished by their fire department.  Gary and Rob described how a helicopter they were working on started up unexpectedly at full speed due to accidentally reversing the wrong radio channel. Fortunately the model was running with negative pitch so it stayed pinned to the ground long enough for Rob to correct that channel so the motor could be stopped.

Matt talked about a pen plotter that he recently acquired and said he can print off vector file versions of downloaded airplane designs for us. He may mount a laser cutter or vinyl cutter to it someday as well.

Stuart brought up field maintenance issues.  There is a pack rat making a mess in the storage shed (update: He waged a tough and valiant battle but has finally been evicted).  The trailer lights on the portable outhouse stopped working, we talked about getting a set of detachable trailer lights for it.  One of the overhead door cables broke and will need to be repaired soon before the other one gives out.  Ron suggested (outside of the meeting) that we look into putting down some geotec fabric. He said he will gather some info on it and forward the details to me so we can discuss it at the upcoming Oct 6 club meeting.

Quadcopters are actors in a live performance.