Model Aviation October 2014 Column

Posted by in District 7 News

Hello again! As you might suspect, FAA issues remain a central focus for AMA Headquarters and the Executive Council. At our summer meeting, much time and energy was devoted to this issue.

One item of note is that we were successful in our appeal to extend the FAA’s original 30-day public comment period of the FAA’s interpretive rule to a full 90 days. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to voice your concerns. As of this writing, there’s been no decision on the ruling because the comment period is still open. Many efforts are being made in the background to keep aeromodeling and our hobby intact as we know it. Let’s keep up the good work.

I’ll turn it over to my good friend, Wisconsin Associate Vice President Marc “Doc” Shelstrom to tell you about a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“In May, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Green Bay Model Airplane Club to present the members with a Flying Site Improvement Grant. Sixty-eight club members enjoy their new field and clubhouse. An informal group began meeting in the 1930s and became an organized club in 1946. Two of the original members, Bob Mongin and Howard Schmidt, have seen many changes and moves.

“A few years ago, the club had the opportunity to expand from its original 2 acres to 10 acres adjacent to a wildlife refuge. Doug Hanrahan was the club president at the start of the project. Using AMA guidelines, they planned the new site, which has two 600-foot runways, one east and west and one north and south, room for a heliport, and an area for CL flying.

“Jeff LaViolette, a volunteer engineer, helped the club get the necessary DNR permits to build a road and install a culvert through the designated wildlife preserve in order to reach the field, which is leased from a local farmer.

“In the fall of 2012, they cut down the tree line that separated their original field from the proposed new field. In the summer of 2013, they hauled in 48 truckloads of dirt to level the area and sowed grass seed. During one of the worst winters on record, they built a four-season clubhouse. The roof measures 36 x 36 feet. It has six windows, a cement floor, a pellet stove, and a storage attic accessed by pull-down stairs. They hope to add a big-screen TV and a grill so members can tailgate during Packer games and enjoy their ‘man cave.’

“The club hosts numerous sanctioned Combat events. Members also serve as trainers during local Discovery Days. They are instrumental in providing flight instruction in CL and RC flying at KidVenture during EAA’s AirVenture. Through their efforts, many young people have been exposed to a safe model airplane flying experience.

“A major club fundraiser is an annual air show and corn roast in August. A new fundraiser is ‘Kwik Trip scrip cards.’ Through the use of these cards, the company donates to the club 10% of the money that club members spend at Kwik Trip.

“Former club officers Dick VandeVelden and Paul Meyers, along with Artie Van Miller, Craig Jubin, Gary Jubin, Tim Peterson, Suzie Peterson, and Terry Van Laanen were instrumental in getting the project off the ground, while current officers continue to plan for future improvements.”

To find out more about this active, progressive club, check out its website at www.gbmac.com.

Take a kid flying!