Just a few notes for the benefit of the members who couldn’t make the A.G.M. this year. At the final count, about 22 members turned up, which is a little short of 50% of the full paying membership of 47. A bit disappointing but, as someone remarked, “they must be happy with the way the club is being run or they would be here to complain!”
As usual, the proceedings were opened with Glenn Mason (chairman) giving a report of the clubs overall situation and some of the more notable events experienced through 2008. He then handed over to John Rowan (treasurer) who gave a detailed run down of how the finances had been managed this year, and how much improved the clubs financial position was, compared to the same time last year. So much so, that John proposed that a £10 reduction in subscriptions for 2009 could be put before the membership. Needless to say, this was unanimously accepted by all at the meeting.
So, the subs. for 2009, will be £80 plus whatever the BMFA subscription / insurance turns out to be. (not known until after their forth coming AGM).
After John had finished explaining the proposed budget for 2009, I took over the narrative detailing some the changes to the club rules which had been agreed through 2007/8 but not actually written up until now.
1. Jet turbine powered models are not permitted to fly at the Beelsby site.
2. Control line flying is permitted, but only with agreement of the other R.C. flyers present at the time. Again, effective engine silencers MUST be used
3. Low level aerobatic flying, both fixed wing and helicopter, should be performed at least the width of the main strip away from the pits area. Slow, fixed wing ‘touch and goes’ are acceptable on the flight line but should be well called and as far as practibly possible from the pits area and pilots box. And the one I forgot to mention on the night:
4. There is to be no flying while the grass is being cut.
I re-stated that the few club ‘rules’ we have were not intended to be restrictive in any way or to spoil anyone’s enjoyment, but safeguards, to ensure that the continued use of our flying site is not threatened in any way.
There were a few comments from the floor recounting instances of ‘unsafe’ flying during the year, both fixed wing and Helicopter. Glenn re-stated that any member has the right to approach another offending member on issues of safety, bringing it to the attention of the committee if he feels it necessary.
However, It is accepted that, on occasion, a misjudgement by a pilot (even an experienced one) may present a situation which may be considered as ‘unsafe’. A friendly ‘word’ is usually all that is required to (embarrass) and prevent any recurrence.
The reason we pursue this hobby / sport, is for the enjoyment we derive from it, we don’t want to create a ‘Witch Hunt’ situation where members feel they are under scrutiny the moment they arrive at the field and start to fly.
Nevertheless, this hobby/ sport can be very dangerous and any member who continually disregards the rules and flies irresponsibly will inevitably, be expelled from the club.
We just can not afford to let any one individual put others at risk or jeopardise the continued use of the flying site.
From the above, it was quite natural that Roger Pegg (Safety Officer) joined the debate and stated that, on the whole, he was quite satisfied with the way things had gone throughout the season having no major incidents to deal with.
On the odd occasion when he has had to ‘have a word’ with a member on a particular issue, the response had always been positive.
He also reminded the assembly about the importance of using the pilot’s box to ensure good communication between adjacent flyers.
There were one or two other questions, from the floor, regarding ‘guests’ using the site on occasion.
Glenn re-stated the club rule of ‘guests’ having the opportunity to fly at Beelsby a maximum of three times only. Guests, being defined as friends or family, of existing members, who are new to the club/hobby. Not, say, ex-members who have previously lost interest but feel they may want to take up the hobby again some time in the future.
The rent and maintenance of the field takes a great deal of effort and finance. It is very unfair to the ‘paying members’ to allow others to use the site free of charge. Most spectators are very welcome to the site, old members or any other interested parties, but only to view.
Another question from the floor, asked if there was a plan to cap the membership, particularly with regard to the number of helicopter enthusiasts now in the club? (see below)
At this point it was decided to take a short break before the election of the new committee got underway. Incidentally, the few ‘nibbles’ the landlord put out for only £25 was very impressive and went down very well!
Glenn re-opened the meeting again, handing over to me to reveal the response for nominees I may have had for committee positions. As expected, there were no new nominees received for the currently held positions, however, Leon Hostad put himself forward as nominee for the Heli-rep.
Also Kevin Dennehy (site security) volunteered to help as training co-ordinator. Since there were no new nominees for the currently held posts, the existing committee agreed to carry on again through 2009. Leon was then formally proposed and seconded as the new Heli-rep by other members from the floor.
At a recent committee meeting, it was brought up that some fixed wing members were getting a little ‘concerned’ about the number of Helicopter enthusiasts that were now in the club. The point being, that because most of the heli pilots were now proficient and flying from the main strip, along with fixed wing pilots, they were taking up a disproportionate time /space on the run way. In the past, most were just learning their skills and used the far corner of the strip and didn’t have any real impact on fixed wing flying. We concluded that, even with the number of heli pilots we presently have, there hadn’t really been any significant inconvenience to either heli or fixed wing flying. Most were happy to wait until the flight line had been cleared before having their flight and, to date, all had been very patient and courteous in this respect. Furthermore, a good proportion of heli-pilots were now using the field it times when few, if any, fixed wing pilots normally fly. None the less, to maintain the right ‘balance’ the committee did decide to keep a careful eye on the number of new heli pilots coming into the club in the future.
Either way, it had become clear that a helicopter enthusiast’s view (Heli-rep) should be present on the committee. With Leon now taking up this role, the possibility of having to limit new heli members may have rescinded somewhat.
Training and instructors
As most of you will know, Barney (John Barnes Wallace), has now passed the BMFA ‘examiners’ test. He now joins the ranks of Roger Pegg and John Rickett, who also have this somewhat dubious honour.
This means that if you feel you would like to take the BMFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ tests, next season, I’m sure he will be happy to oblige.
A couple of years ago we had ‘official’ club trainers within the membership, however, because of the number of new members who needed training at the time, they became somewhat inundated, and it became a bit of a chore rather than a pleasure. Consequently, one by one, they all relinquished the ‘official trainer’ title but still continued to offer instruction but on a more informal basis.
From this, the policy evolved, that new, prospective members must have an established member willing to train them before he or she was allowed to join the club.
This policy seems to be working fine and we see no need to change it, however, there has always been a need for someone, who is well established within the club, who could contact members who are willing to train a new member wanting to learn to fly. Kevin Dennehy has offered to take up that role, again, on an informal basis.
The usual reminder about parking on the grass, this time of the year, when it’s wet and soggy. There is a good chance you will get stuck and a near certainty you will tear up the grass surface and cause severe rutting.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of time and effort goes into keeping the field in good condition. This is done purely voluntarily and you can imagine how Roger and John feel when they see all their hard work ‘trashed’ by someone who err.. ‘didn’t think’! (I’m being kind now).
Incidentally, the calls for another volunteer to help with the grass cutting for 2009 has met with a deafening silence again, so I have put my name down to help with this next year However, please be aware that I will only be able to cut it at a weekend when the weather is reasonable. Obviously, this is quite likely to interfere with some of the weekend flying, but unless there is another, fit, retired, volunteer with a suitable vehicle that can tow a trailer comes forward, there ain’t much option I’m afraid.
I think that was about it. I’m sorry if I have missed anything, but my memory is like my pension contributions, deteriorating rapidly! I don’t do Xmas…. Roll on spring! Happy Landings. Tone.
P.S. I had a yarn with Mark Tasker, on the night, and he is happy to carry on maintaining our web site but, again, makes the plea for any up to date information. New models, club gossip, anything to show ‘Joe public’ we are alive and kicking! Please, send him at firstname.lastname@example.org ‘everything and anything’ he could possibly use to update the site.