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Model Aviation November 2014 Column

Posted by in District 7 News

It’s hard to believe that fall has snuck up on me so quickly this year. Not to wear out a phrase, but it really does seem like it was yesterday that I was dusting off my airplanes, tightening covering, and getting ready for a new season.

Although the days are now noticeably shorter and there’s a distinct chill in the air, these days can be some of the best times to fly all year. Those days with crystal-clear skies and the trees in full autumn colors can make for some special times. Make it a point to go out and take advantage of it. Besides, after last year, you in the Midwest know all too well what’s around the corner.

Although all the numbers are not in yet, the 2014 National Model Aviation Day appears well on the way towards equaling or exceeding last year’s effort for the Wounded Warrior Project. We had 176 clubs officially register and others have been sending in individual donations.

I can’t say a big enough thanks to you all. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t recognize Mandee Mikulski for quarterbacking this at AMA Headquarters in Muncie, Indiana, and the AMA staff for pitching in.

I traveled to the Wolverine Skyhawks club in Cedar Spring, Michigan, for its National Model Aviation Day celebration. I’d like to give a special shout out to the club for the invitation and the terrific hospitality. Club president, Eric Pipenger, reports the following on the day’s activities.

The Wolverine Skyhawks celebrated the second National Model Aviation Day with another successful event for the Wounded Warrior Project. We can’t control the weather, but despite 15-25 mph winds and threatening thunderstorms, we had a great crowd of spectators who helped us to make it another successful event.

Many of the spectators were neighbors who did not even know we had a field in Cedar Springs. We picked up some new members, and have several others interested.

During the opening ceremonies, we flew the American flag up and down the runway with a drone while the National Anthem played over the PA system. This year we were honored to have the Michigan State Police bring out one of its new motorcycles for a static display.

There is nothing like the aroma of castor oil mixed with grilled burgers and brats to lend a festive atmosphere to an event! We kept the crowd engaged with raffles, 50-50 drawings, and the chance to win a new, complete RTF Apprentice-S.

We ran out of the National Model Aviation Day T-shirts we had purchased to sell, but fortunately, AMA Vice President Tim Jesky attended and had brought more with him. Thanks also to Tim for the sheet cake that he brought and donated to the event!

We want to thank all of the pilots from our club, as well as clubs across western Michigan that came and displayed their aircraft and flying skills all day. We had several special acrobatic airplane and helicopter demos that wowed the crowd!

When there was a lull on the flightline, we kept our audience with some special activities such as selecting young members from the audience to assist us with a rocket launch, paintball shoot, and newcomer flight demo.

I want to thank everyone who pulled together to make this another successful event, including our members, the merchants who donated goods and services to raffle off, and everyone who donated to the Wounded Warrior Project! We raised more than $3,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project this year.

Photos are courtesy of John Kiryanoff and Eric Pipenger.

Take a kid flying.