Oct 2014 News

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

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


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.

August 2014 news

2014 Fun Fly Event


This year’s fun fly event was well attended by over thirty five people.  We were very lucky to get Brian and Patrick of Roswell Flight Test Crew to participate at this years event. They are busy with events all around the country this time of year and somehow we caught them with the single date that they had open on their calendar. If you look on page 97 of the most recent (Sept.) issue of AMA’s magazine, Model Aviation, you will see an article about the Roswell Flight Test Crew.  They gave us demonstrations of the capabilities of their drone equipment, answered lots of questions and gave assistance and advice about drone setup to the event’s drone enthusiast attendees.  We really appreciate their help making this an enjoyable event.

Civil Air Patrol Cadets from all over Western Oregon were in Tillamook on that weekend and they also came to the event.  They got a special presentation from Brian and Patrick.  We wanted to give the Cadets hands-on trainer flights with their own RC model that they brought to the event.  Unfortunately, a radio transmitter problem could not be ironed out in time to make that happen.

The weather was sunny and warm with calm wind and a perfect day for flying. Matt and Gary cooked up a bunch of bratwursts, hot dogs and hamburgers.  Everyone got an excellent lunch without it costing much thanks to people bringing potluck dishes, donating food items, and donating money.  Also, thanks to those who donated canopies, grills, and helped set things up.

We enjoyed lots of flights of a variety of aircraft, with no crashes this year, just a couple of “awkward” landings.

More event photos are in the photo gallery (here)

NCRCM Meeting Minutes August 4, 2014

The meeting was held at the airfield at 6:00 pm.   Pete, Stuart, Gary, Rob, Matt  and Bill were there.  We spent a couple hours repairing things and sprucing things up.  Gary replaced the door on our portable toilet.  The old chip-board door was barely hanging by a thread. The new door is very nice. It’s like a Cadillac of toilet doors.  We set up the shade canopy next to the storage shed with a couple tables under it.  A setup table was painted. We divvied up remaining tasks for the fun fly.  A couple people got in an evening flight after the meeting was adjourned.

Speculation on the FAA’s progress towards becoming RC overlord

The FAA has just granted the AMA a 60 day extension of time so we can do more writhing, gnashing of teeth, and waving of pitchforks.  We now have until Sept 23, 2014 before the comment period will close and the final rule is published. Don’t just wait to welcome them to the throne. Send them a thoughtful comment now while there is still time.

Most Federal rules are published with just minor changes resulting from the public comments. Hopefully that is not the case here. Federal rules generally won’t go into effect for at least 30 days following the closure of the comment period and the publishing. Most often the agency gives everyone plenty of additional time to come into compliance, however the FAA has already been accused of foot dragging on the integration of commercial UAV’s into the national airspace, so they may be under pressure to take the RC reigns fairly soon.  It is most likely too late for the AMA to ask Congress to rewrite the underlying law that this agency is clearly misinterpreting.  Congress could threaten the FAA’s budget to get it to stop over-reaching, provided lawmakers are sympathetic to the RC hobby. A more likely option is for the courts to over-rule the FAA’s erroneous interpretation of the law, and indeed the AMA filed for courts intervention at the end of August.  Hopefully judges will side with the AMA.

It’s hard to say if the FAA’s new RC rules would be strictly enforced. It seems to me that the FAA wants all RC activity to be potentially illegal by subjecting it to a catch-22 of general aviation rules, but then would only occasionally prosecute on a case-by-case basis after someone becomes alarmed or annoyed and complains or brings it to the attention of the FAA.  It’s an uncomfortable position for us to be in, but it is not an unusual way to regulate.  Almost everyone goes around inadvertently violating plenty of poorly-defined, vague, obscure, obsolete, or ignored rules that are still on the books, all the time, even though they may have never-ever dared to intentionally remove the warning tag off of a pillow or mattress.

Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program

Flight related videos

Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program (text and video)

Commercial manned hover bike –  Similar to a giant RC quad-copter that you will be able to ride like a motorcycle.

250 mph RC pulse jets – Fast

440 mph RC turbine jet  – Faster

468 mph RC slope soaring  –  Fastest

2014 Tillamook Fun Fly



Come to North Coast RC Modelers’ 2014 Tillamook Fun Fly event on Saturday August 16th.  Radio control flyers and spectators will get together for a full day of flying fun. All types of RC aircraft will be on-hand and everyone is invited, pilots, spouses, visitors and friends.   We have a special treat this year, the Roswell Flight Test Crew guys are coming.  They experiment with practical applications for small UAV drones.  They share their experiences online and have quite a large following on YouTube. This event is going to be similar to last year’s event with all day open-flight.  We expect lots of sport electric planes to be there, as well as multi-rotor, gas, nitro, aerobatic, scale, helicopter, FPV, and glider models.

There are no fees, the event is free. We will grill burgers and hotdogs for lunch.  People are welcome to bring a potluck to share, or make a donation for food and beverage if they wish.  The location is 7 miles south of Tillamook along Highway 101, street address 13990 Highway 101.  (map)

We hope you come.  It starts at 8:30 am but will likely be most active from about 9:30 am until about 2:30 pm.

Full size image PDF file

Full size image JPG file

July News

Minutes of the July club meeting

We reviewed plans for the August fun fly, discussed the FAA regulation controversy, talked about peoples progress and successes with new models, crashes and failures with old models.  We decided to hold the next August 4th meeting at the airfield at 6:00PM so that members can help prepare the airfield for the fun fly following the meeting.  Pete will email a reminder notice to everyone about the changed meeting location and time.


Some aviation related videos

Blue angels,,, wait for it ,,,,

An F16 gives haircuts 

A harrier lands on a stool

Firework fly-through (HD version downgraded  with crummy public domain music)

RC helicopters with serious power

Lady Gaga’s flying dress, do you suppose the FAA will exempt ladies dresses?

Shark bites RC airplane in mid-air



FAA decides to regulate RC models as real airplanes

[important]New FAA interpretation released – The AMA requests your help[/important]

The AMA is asking modelers to submit a comment protesting the FAA’s new interpretation of the laws regarding RC models.  Here is why: The FAA is authorized by old law to regulate all “flying contrivances used for navigating or flying”.  They are now claiming that includes model aircraft, even though model aircraft were not something congress would have considered at the time.  The FAA historically has not interpreted model aircraft to be the same thing as an actual aircraft until now, this month.  The agency also says a provision in the newest law which specifically prohibits them from regulating model aircraft does not prevent them from applying general aircraft rules to model aircraft, it only prevents them from creating new rules which solely and specifically address “Model Aircraft”. The FAA also seems to be interpreting a catch-all safety provision in the newest law as allowing them to enforce whatever safety rules on model aircraft they deem are necessary, despite a provision in the same law excluding model aircraft. The agency also said that a “flying contrivance” will not qualify as an exempted “model aircraft’ if its pilot is not personally looking directly at it, line of sight, with or without a spotter in an attempt to preclude FPV from “model aircraft”. Using such logic they could easily require everyone  to hold a pilot’s license before flying a kite or a paper airplane.

We have all heard of the atrocities that the TSA imposes on airline passengers.  Just imagine what crazy and goofy tortures they are thinking up for RC flyers. Do your part to help preserve the RC hobby. Use this link to submit a comment.  Most agencies probably don’t read or pay attention to such comments however if they see a large number of protest comments on a subject the agency might hold back out of fear that public backlash will stimulate Congress to side with voters.

Email message from AMA

Here is the first comment that I submitted:

“I want to protest FAA’s recent reinterpretation of the language of law regarding the meaning of the words “flying contrivance for navigating or flying” to include recreational model aircraft.  Congress clearly never intended the FAA to regulate model aircraft under the original FAA legal authority because at that time “navigating and flying” was understood as performed with manned aircraft, so Congress could not have considered that it had given the FAA authority to regulate model aircraft at that time.  Congress only considered the regulation of model aircraft in its most recent law, which is clearly worded to exclude the FAA from applying any new rules to model aircraft, including any rules formed by new interpretations.”

Please know that I support all of the comments and positions of the Academy of Model Aerodynamics (AMA) on this matter and I request the FAA change its interpretation to conform to all of the AMA’s positions.

Here is the second comment that I submitted:

“The FAA should not interpret the legal meaning of the words “contrivance used for flying or navigating” as having authorized the FAA to regulate RC models because those words are referring to flying in the sense of human guided transportation.  Indeed the word “transportation” is a common theme throughout the original law which adds context to the intended meaning of “contrivance used for flying”.  There was no pilotless flying at that time and there was no intent to regulate all man-made objects that might exist above ground level such as kites, golf balls, fireworks, towers or wires.  A toy aircraft model was considered to be just the same type of thing, a small object that happens to be suspended above ground for a few brief minutes. Toy model aircraft were not considered to be “flying” or “navigating”, they were just another object suspended above ground.

The subject of regulating a pilotless aircraft is entirely a modern concept.  It is the purpose of the newest law. The very fact that congress wrote the new law is evidence that the old law inadequately addressed the role of the old law in guiding FAA’s  regulation of pilotless aircraft such as RC models.”


June News


See more of more of Roberts excellent work at http://shutterbirdaerials.com/
See more of more of Roberts excellent work at http://shutterbirdaerials.com/

Shutterbird Aerials Gallery

Spring weather has been nice and you will now find several people flying at the airfield on weekend mornings. Club membership numbers seem a little bit low so far this year so dust off your plane and bring it out to the airfield and fly with us.

June meeting and other news

We decided on the dates for this year’s fun fly event event during the meeting.  We decided to make it similar to last years, with a simple and somewhat informal style. We also talked about finances, safety and a variety of general RC topics.  Bob finished building one new table and he started on a second one.  A few new models have shown up at the field this month.  Larry got a BFG glider which is huge and flies nice.  Bill brought out a new custom built poster board type model.  Robert Andrews test flew his customized 800-size, trex, heli camera ship.  I test flew my custom built inverted v-tail FPV platform (still waiting for camera parts).   Stuart and Larry have been trying out dolly style launch cradles for their large motor gliders.  The dollies allow these relatively large planes to take off from the grass without landing gear, avoiding a risky 50:50 hand toss.

May NCRCM News

Dave Grigg with his fun flyer on a nice sunny day in April.  The plane performed very well. The OO1 that you see on his wing is Dave's actual verified AMA number .  It's an interesting story on why he has such a low AMA number.
Dave Grigg with his fun flyer on a nice sunny day in April. The plane performed very well. The OO1 that you see on his wing is Dave’s actual verified AMA number . It’s an interesting story on why he has such a low AMA number.
May 5th Club Meeting

We discussed having a 2014 fun fly event but didn’t come up with a date or any details so will continue that topic at our next June 2nd meeting.  Bring your ideas to the meeting.  Matt gave us a tour of his recently revamped multi-copter with a quite unique radio setup.  Gary brought his “worlds smallest” production quad copter and demonstrated indoor flight with it.  Its like a hummingbird.

Interesting Flight Videos

RC Airbus A380

Flight simulator with extreme first person mode

Grinding a ski lift cable

Quadcopter flies through fireworks show

Float plane take-off from back of truck trailer

SEALs parachute into MLB stadium – from their perspective

European paraglider


March April News


New aircraft – Stan Ray got his new E-flight Carbon Z Cub.  Here is a video of its maiden flight.  It flies beautifully and lands very nicely even in choppy winds.  Stan found that the Flap-Elevator mix settings are pretty sensitive because the cub did an abrupt nose down dive when he switching on a high percentage of mix. Luckily, Stan was testing it from a high altitude so he was able to recover it in time.

March 3rd club meeting minutes – Matt got a fire extinguisher for the airfield.  Bob talked about cleaning up old stuff in the shed and in the culvert pipe. We will do the house cleaning some day soon. The McMinnville RC Swap Meet was discussed, Stan, Matt and Gary said they were planning to go.  Our next meeting is on April 7th.  We should probably talk about dates for our local RC event.  There may be an important security topic to discus as well.

New event notices – The club received a couple invitations to nearby RC events.  The 2014 McMinnville Fun Fly is on July 12th.  A new annual event called Warbirds Over Oregon will be held July 19th in Turner Oregon by the Salem RC Pilots Association. The Fly-A-Ways RC Club announced a Scalemasters competition to be held in Banks on June 27-29.  I forwarded those email invitations to members, let me know if you didn’t get them or if you want your address included or excluded in the club’s mailing list.

Cool video – I was impressed with the effort that went into this video which incudes a whole lot of FPV flight footage that is presented in an very entertaining way.  It must have taken a lot of imagination, time, skill and effort to put it together.

December-January-February News


We hope you remember to renew your 2014 membership and continue to support RC flying in the Tillamook Area. Quite a few members have renewed their 2014 AMA and NCRCM club memberships already. Club dues are the same as last year, $40.  Your dues will help us meet our normal operating expenses and maintain the airfield again this year. (Click for more info on dues)

We are on the downhill side of winter now.  Thankfully, the airfield made it through the worst of this year’s cold and wind without any problems.  The month of January had a fair number of days with decent weather and I saw several people out flying. Paul brought out a new 1/4 scale biplane as well as a new glider. Both were beautifully done and looked great.  Matt’s son, Raymond, brought out a delta wing pusher that cuts through the air like a rocket.  It was probably approaching 100mph. Fun to watch. I almost strain a neck muscle trying to keep up with it.  I recently witnessed a real LiPo battery fire for the first time. It was triggered by a somewhat moderate nose-in crash (not mine, thankfully).  About a minute after the impact a huge dense cloud of smoke went up, soon followed by two more clouds from the two remaining cells that ignited sequentially, each about 1 minute apart. The smoke was too thick and ominous looking to get very close so there was nothing that could be done about it but just wait until it ran its course.   A considerable amount of heat melted everything within the engine compartment but surprisingly caused very little or no flaming. The balsa structure was somewhat charred but did not really catch on fire. No pictures, sorry.

We held elections at the January meeting.  Steve said he could not continue being President because he may be moving to Portland.  We hate to see him go.  Bob volunteered to take a turn in the role of President.  No one else expressed interest in being elected to a club officer position.  Bob was then nominated, seconded, voted and approved and is our new President. All other officer positions will remain the same, with Pete as Vice President, Matt as Safety officer, and Stuart as Treasurer/Secretary.  Bob does not have an email address or text messaging but you can call him on his land-line phone at 503-842-5083 if you need to talk to him.  Jon Nelson offered to take over the care and feeding of the Club’s Facebook page from Steve.  He said he would give Steve a call about it.

The Tillamook Area was selected to be one of the FAA’s authorized UAV (drone) testing areas.  The designation should have no impact on our recreational flying activities because the zone is located offshore and at higher altitudes.  The club was contacted by the Port of Garibaldi in January asking for help with aerial filming of their dock reconstruction activity for historical documentation purposes.  I forwarded the message to Gary because that type of thing is right up Gary’s alley. Gary was happy to help, took on the project, and got lots of photos, video and he said the weather was very cooperative.  Rob Anderson described filming golf courses with a high end hexacopter setup with all the bells and whistles at our February meeting. It was a very interesting discussion.

The 2014 annual McMinnville RC Swap Meet will be held March 8th 9:00AM to 2:00PM  at the Yamhill County Fairgrounds, 2070 NE LAFAYETTE AVE. MCMINNVILLE, OR 97128.  I don’t know for sure how many of our members are planning to attend. Stan Ray said he will have a sales table at the event.  Also, the Umpqua Valley RC club sent us an email announcing a big RC garage sale Feb 22 in Roseburg Oregon.  I ran across this news article about a proposed new RC airfield in Hood River.  I bet those guys know how to fly in wind, being that they fly in the Columbia gorge and all.

In news from further away, here is a video of an ardent African aircraft builder who I sympathize with when thinking back to some of my own creations. Here is an impressive video of fallen rock destruction filmed from an RC multi-rotor in Italy.

Our 2014 AMA Club Charter and insurance renewal forms arrived in the mail. I will send the completed paperwork to AMA prior to their March deadline.