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Posted by epoxyearl | Dec 04, 2018 @ 05:22 AM | 15,203 Views
There's a new movement afoot at the FAA to have transponders aboard models to alert full scale aircraft in the vicinity.

About $250 each , most guys could not afford one , or would not want to spend the money, at least.
I suppose Clubs could just buy one and mount it at the field somewhere , and they could alert the Aircraft at 33,000 feet that they were in an activity area. That shouldn't cause any real concern at that altitude.

This 'Proactivity' is a little concerning, because I have yet to read a factual case of a model bringing down a Full Scale Aircraft. Hell, I've seen an Aircraft hit a GOOSE at 160 knots , and land safely with no windshield, and a Pilot blinded by Goose Blood. I believe the FAA should redirect their sight to Flying Fowls, rather than UAV's...
Posted by epoxyearl | Apr 16, 2018 @ 04:43 PM | 14,106 Views
AMA is at it again...The believers will dutifully man their keyboards , assured that if they do so, all this darkness will go away..

-Fool me once , -shame on you... Fool me twice , shame on ME !

I don't have a Horse in this race anymore..I shunned the AMA and their promises of Insurance Coverage and a return to the innocence of yesterday's modeling .
AMA has no control whatsoever over what the FAA does , yet they still convince the unknowing public that their voice will change everything.

I can't join a Club without an AMA pass , so I'll fly with my friends on the farm.
Amazingly enough , the FAA doesn't care whether I have insurance as long as I register myself as a UAV Pilot...That's done, so I'm good to go..HEY ! -This may not be so bad after all !
Posted by epoxyearl | Mar 11, 2018 @ 11:46 AM | 13,977 Views
Item one..... I needed supplies for the Super Connie, so I trundled off to Mussers, the local hobby shop.
Don't you know, that when I approached the wood storage area, there was someone in my way... I affirmed that "All the 1/8" Balsa is MINE !" as I approached the would be buyer.
It turns out that Matt Chapman, of Aerobatics fame, was searching for materials for a full scale J-3 he's restoring. He offered that I could HAVE all the Balsa- that he was looking for basswood for his storage compartment.

Item two- I had built a 1/3 scale model of the 'Midwing Special' and had the owner sign off on it..He then sold the full scale to the Manager of Harford County Airport.. 'Ben' then restored it, and flew it to Oshkosh this past summer.. Ned Surratt, in poor health, was able to attend his final Oshkosh show, and see his former baby fly once more. Ned passed shortly thereafter.

Item three..Matt won't be able to attend the New Garden Airshow this year, as his Chicago commitment will prevent him from doing so. WE want Matt back at Toughkenamon....

Item four....We are lucky to have a Hobby Shop that caters to all builders...
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 26, 2018 @ 06:20 AM | 14,612 Views
With the recent news that Hobbico is folding, and possibly taking Tower with them, things are going to be different...A large segment of the Hobby will suffer from the lack of 'ready' supplies.

I'm seeing a branching out of smaller groups of guys, just getting together at a local Airfield to hang out and fly...The 'Local' Club has $25 K in the Bank, and is raising dues....A recent e-mail indicated that 57 of the 200 members had re-upped so far, when the norm is around 120 by now.

Those two suppliers mentioned earlier are having an effect on the Local Hobby Shops as well. One of them gets most of it's stock from them, and has been put on COD through no fault of his own. He has opted to drop model Airplanes from his inventory...He rid himself of Glow Fuel in the Fall, and has no plans to support builders of kits any longer...No one is building, and his stocks of Monokote haven't changed substantially in the last fiscal year.

No matter how it hurts his heart, the grand or so I spend there in a year's time, can't keep him stocking stuff that doesn't 'move'. I'm not saying that he's closing his doors...but the things that interest me will no longer be available.
Guys laughed at me, when I began replacing Hobby Shop Spruce with Clear White Pine in my models...but the difference in price allows me to afford Balsa at what I consider a 'high' price.

Guys are voicing concerns at the FAA's uncertainty, thinking that harsh fines may be imposed for infractions...There's talk of flight tracking cards that supply a permanent record of your activity...The 'Altitude' one concerns most people...We tied party balloons to 400 ' strings, and it is AMAZING how low 400 feet actually is.. One can infract that rule on take-off with a large model.

I don't know where all this will 'end', but I hope it never does.............
Posted by epoxyearl | Dec 11, 2017 @ 11:11 AM | 15,601 Views
This ought to be interesting...AMA is offering Insurance to Commercial Drone Pilots while performing their 'Official Duties'.

I wonder if this works like the non- existent Insurance offered to current members that collect AFTER your Homeowner's Insurance has paid all they will be responsible for ???
I did hear that one guy got around $1100 from AMA (token payment ?), after a $20k loss was covered by his Primary Insurance...

I'm just guessing here, because AMA won't release the actual numbers, but I would imagine AMA has collected a couple of mil in insurance payments, wouldn't you guess ? And there it was, in Black and White- an $1100 dollar pay-out !

All is well with the World.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 10, 2017 @ 04:23 AM | 16,461 Views
It seems that the AMA relishes the fact that Mr Turner's win against the FAA has been overturned, and the registration of all powered model aircraft and drones will continue, or be required.
For the Law abiding flyers.

The Drone pilots that caused all this concern will continue to fly unlicensed Uav's, and will continue to thumb their noses at any authority trying to govern their activities.

Apparently, the AMA is as ineffectual at controlling Congress as Mr. Turner is...But Mr.Turner had great results for a while...
.AMA, not so much.

AMA will put a great 'spin' on this, as to how we should join the Righteous fight, but guys, it's a lost cause...Tell the AMA to spend your membership money (from now on described as 'their' money) on flying sites, instead of fighting an unwinnable war on the FAA..

If the AMA had distanced them selves from anything that didn't look like a model airplane, years ago, this may not be the subject of our discussion.
If you hold a drone and a model airplane in front of a standard citizen, they will recognize two separate items. The AMA only 'sees' one...
If they are THAT blind, there is no hope...
How many plans are available for a scratch built drone ? Are you 'hearing' me yet ?
Posted by epoxyearl | Aug 18, 2017 @ 04:25 AM | 17,233 Views
In trying to have a discussion with some of the AMA's staunch supporters. they tend to look askew at anyone whom doesn't seem satisfied with the status quo...
I've been questioning the AMA's methods and results for quite some time now..The large amounts of money spent on wining and dining in D.C., and the scant results stemming from the cash flow..
Mr. Taylor did with $10k, what the AMA couldn't do with at least a Million dollars, (possibly more)IE- stop the FAA in it's tracks.
The AMA hasn't published accurate membership figures yet this year (possibly 140,000 , down from the 188,000 presumed at last years' final tally.
That's a L A R G E decline !-Oh, don't fret- there are nearly 400,000 modelers registered with the FAA, so R/C is alive and well.. The great drop-off in membership is a result of a useless Magazine, non-existent Insurance coverage, and N O W !, the monthly renewal program that allows you to get a full years' membership from the month you join... This has caused some 'tally' problems as the numbers are (in flux.)- it's strange that my computer can add my posts, with no input from me, but the AMA's computer wizards can't seem to get theirs to add each new member to a graph somewhere., and compute an accurate count.
I'm going to keep 'whining' until something happens.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 12, 2017 @ 03:53 PM | 21,659 Views
I'm stuck inside, in 95 degree weather, so I decided to shoot a coat of paint on the Snow White...I've been sanding on that girl for a year.
Admitting I'm not the world's best surface preparer is a large defeat for me.....I just knew this was going to be 'The One', but it turns out it's just another one....
Glossy white paint can surely make you humble, when you twist it in the light....aaagggghhhhhhhh !!!
Well, at least 'the fire' has started to glow again.....I've been blocked for awhile, not wanting to work on any of the models.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 09, 2017 @ 07:47 PM | 21,000 Views
Let's imagine that enough people become aware of AMA's profitability from selling non-existent insurance that they join the newest fliers in not filling out AMA's membership application.. The FAA seems to think about 100,000 people are flying Uas's under their guidelines that don't belong to any Community Based Organization. -I'm aware that there's a 'stay' on that, but it won't last long-

Now , when the FAA digs in and plants their feet firmly, there'll be a new set of (laws, rules, suggestions, recommendations) that will put us in a pinch..
Do y'all remember the closing of all the fields within 15 miles of D.C. when this first started ? I'll bet that happens again...
Now if the AMA , in their great fight to stop this foolishness, fails to corral the FAA, what would be the wisdom of continuing to fund them ?

The 'outlaw' Uas fliers now, are enjoying the freedom from rules imposed that always contain reminders of what could happen if a Uas runs amuck..- these guys are flying their hearts out, not hurting anyone, and they aren't hearing 'doomsday' reports from an Organization bent on showing just how unsafe flying can be.

But that will be sorted out next year...

MY question is, if the AMA fails to meet the mortgage payments at Tajmuncie, will the remaining members be responsible for that?
The Ama won't produce a Financial report, because (I believe) the membership is steadily dropping, or they're demanding answers as to why the AMA isn't on top of this and the minutes, which should be available in a timely manner.

I'm just rambling on here, because things we didn't think would happen, are happening now.. Sears is going out of business, and since they own K-mart, several locations of K-mart stores are closing as well.
I'm well aware the big box stores will just trade one for another....but if the AMA goes bust......................who's gonna step up ?
Posted by epoxyearl | May 26, 2017 @ 08:23 PM | 20,992 Views
I received an e-mail concerning the AMA's response to John Taylor's stealing their thunder on the FAA's UAS reversal in court. No surprise there- the AMA spoke legal mumbo jumbo for a few minutes while they floundered for a plausible excuse as to why his victory will be short lived....
That doesn't surprise us either...In the back of my mind lurks the suspicion that the FAA will 'get it right' next round, and both John AND the AMA will regret their actions.
I've been flying on the local farmland, doing my thing as I've always done...The farmer doesn't care if I fly over 45 acres of pasture, and he makes me responsible, if a cow eats a model- it' s MY loss...
It's sad that the Gentleman that owns the farm for the Local Club is seeing a gradual falling off of Fliers and Visitors...That isn't due to anything the FAA and the AMA has done, though.. It's a result of age attrition and the lesser satisfaction of building and flying models in my age group.-Well maybe the dues increase had something to do with several of us not re-enlisting again...
The AMA seems to be in another dimension presently, and it'll take a few years to regain the trust of many who aren't afraid to look critically at them.. I for one won't rejoin the AMA, and although I won't encourage anyone NOT to join, I will ask them to 'look at what they're looking at' with a critical eye.
I won't hand over $75 to a friend that doesn't deserve it, and I certainly won't give any money to an Administration that wastes it.- there's no financial report, and they have no idea how many members they have. Expanding the Muncie Taj Mahal is not in the best interests of the modeling general population, and they should be placing Bricks with our names on them as tokens of Appreciation, rather than asking an outlandish sum for them..
Posted by epoxyearl | May 20, 2017 @ 06:21 AM | 21,184 Views
After paying my final AMA dues two years ago, I voiced my opinion that the Organization was nothing more than a money grubbing, self righteous bunch of people indicating they would fight to the death for our freedom to fly model airplanes, and forcing a catazine on us, as parts of their 'deal'...

One modeler took on the FAA in Federal Court, and won a reversal of the FAA's interference in modelers, and their models...Registration is no longer required, and the restrictions regarding flight of models is once again under the rules we the modelers instilled eons ago, concerning safety.

I can barely contain my anticipation of the AMA's 'spin' on these events, considering the large amounts of money spent, incurred on Hotel rooms, food, travel, and entertainment, whilst the representatives were in DC, 'representing the modelers'..

If the talking heads at AMA were to give Mr. John Taylor full credit for his accomplishment, I may be pleasantly surprised.- One man accomplished what an entire organization was not capable of doing...
Posted by epoxyearl | May 07, 2017 @ 09:30 AM | 20,832 Views
I'm an old man..I started building model airplanes in 1951, at ten years old. Comet 'structo-speed' sheet models with 10" wing spans, rubber powered..Die crunched (worse than Sterling). 10c each,-some were 25c, if you could afford them..
I graduated through stick builts with (again) Comet's 54" Rubber powered Taylor Craft, which taught me how to trim a free flight model. On a calm spring evening, we'd have to get the bike, to retrieve it. I'm talking 1/4 mile flights on rubber power !
Eventually, we got into controline (small flight area)- no chasing.. Then finally R/C...I learned to build well, and fly well, and came into demand as a flight instructor. I've taught several Club Presidents to fly, my current one included.
I've learned so much, from so many experts, that I unknowingly became one. Scale models eventually became my forte', and I thrived on them, up to designing my own after a while.
Now, I'm at the twilight of my experience..The 'want to' is still there, but the effort is lacking..I have several unfinished models (they probably never will be ), and this morning , I recognized that fact.
The 5 mile walks have dwindled to 1/4 mile ones, that require much effort to complete. I've added 4" extensions to the couch legs, which enables me to escape from it now.
I am thankful for the Hobby experience, and I'm sure the escape from stress has added a couple of years to my life.
You guys keep on doing what you're doing....I'm going to do a lot more watching, now.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 17, 2017 @ 05:10 PM | 23,649 Views
I am an old man...I have watched my cohorts leave High School to join the work force when we were still teenagers. Most of us went to work of necessity, in order to buy Cars and chase GIRLS .

By and large, we settled down in much the same way our Fathers did...with our own Homes and Families..
Over the years, there was a change brewing and more and more parents lost control of their Children, or were too busy to properly discipline them. That eventually evolved into what we see today, with little respect or regard for people and personal property.

I was so proud to be part of a 'working' generation, where a Beer or a Cigarette was 'pushing the edge' of acceptable behaviour..
The drug prevalence in vogue currently, is disheartening, and the 'entitled' young adults will not make any effort to become productive members of Society.

One young man though, has worked hard and diligently to break that mold.Seeking an in -depth Education, he has been accepted to Embry Riddle College of Aeronautics. He's a member of the Oxford Pa. Cloud Kings R/C Club..We are justifiably proud of this young man and his desire to achieve a higher Education.
I'd just jot down the name of Tommy Bledsoe and refer to it in the future, when you begin to hear his name bandied about as a cutting edge engineer.
There's little to limit where he ends up, except the amount of effort he expends..
He's applied to the AMA for a Scholarship, and if anyone deserves one, it's Tommy.... Best of luck in the Future, Tom.
Posted by epoxyearl | Oct 27, 2016 @ 04:07 AM | 23,178 Views
In recent events, I've joined Facebook's Balsa Model Builders' Association..I met the Author at Warbirds over Delaware this year, and he has a good heart.
The Association is on the same 'track' as RCG's 'Balsa Builders' Forum.
Whatever, that membership is not hesitant in showing up with their models, whether scratch-built, kit-built , or in some cases restorations, of their Dad's models, from years past....
I'm especially interested in the continuation of those models' lives..
One gentleman is restoring a model with a Balsa Cowling, and has done a fine job of it.
There is a resurgence of building, from what I see, and maybe modeling has come full circle..
I voted for Mr. Tougas to be President of AMA, simply because of his statement that he intended to make it Traditional once more.
I firmly believe you can add too many'ingredients' to the 'soup' and ruin it.- My reasoning is that we see more splinter groups that are dedicated to a certain type of building, with certain materials..
There's more to say, but just spend some time digesting this much , for now.
Posted by epoxyearl | Sep 18, 2016 @ 06:57 PM | 24,164 Views
When I got the Voting Ballot, my first impulse was to trash it, as usual...But I thought I'd at least listen to the 'Presidential Spiel' from the candidates.

Well well well,Mr. Lawrence Tougas said all the things I wanted to hear.

Kick the Multi Rotors to the side, and let them start their own Special Interest Group.

The first line of unconscientious operators set modeling back 40 years....even causing the FAA to step in, and institute a raft of rules that are causing heartburn through the ranks of sensible fliers.

I immediately voted for this man, and made the trip to the Post Office to mail it the same day.

The AMA has lost it's way. becoming money hungry, and begging for money on the streets, on the internet, and through paper publications..
There are still people that believe the AMA has a 'workable ' insurance plan....poor folks...
What a surprise when they file a claim !
Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 02, 2016 @ 07:38 PM | 25,145 Views
The new AMA catazine is here, and as usual, I rush to absorb the newest bits of information handed down by the fine gentlemen who take our money, and offer advice.

Page six.
Column one.
Paragraph two.
Last two sentences.
"Although we have been successful in many ways, it is up to individual members to make their thoughts known."
"Ignoring AMA's request for participation could be detrimental to the hobby."

Uhhhh , Bob ? What percentage of the Million dollars will be proffered to the membership to present their views to their Delegates, Representatives, House Members, Senators, and Congressmen ?

We do not accept your subtle shift of 'blame' for your short comings to our shoulders...Tens of thousands have contacted those fine people via emails, texts, snail mail, and phone calls to no avail.

For the last several years, the AMA has offered a 'rosy' picture of the changes indicated by the FAA, saying in effect, "That won't be a bother to a membership base as large as ours ".

Over 416,000 folks have registered with the FAA as UAS flyers....The Ama has no publishable figures for membership in this years' tally...but suppose you retained the 185,000 members indicated in various public announcements.......That would leave a larger percentage that have no desire to pay for membership in a Community Based Organisation, when they can fly without the 'imaginary' insurance touted by the AMA and never actually put into service.

Your 'time' has come and gone.....we Seniors utilized your services when they were pertinent...That has now changed...The FAA is uninterested in whether we protect our 'hulls' or the surrounding communities from the dangers falling from the sky..The AMA's 'insurance' sales pitch has become a laughingstock, if you aren't aware...

Actually, the FAA is the lesser of two 'evils', if I may......they don't force us to buy a magazine, or 'invisible' insurance.
Posted by epoxyearl | Apr 01, 2016 @ 05:13 AM | 26,144 Views
Yesterdays' revelation that Members of a Community Based Organisation may continue to operate as before the FAA registration was a bit of good news.

Although the 'new' guidelines are basically the same as the well- established ones,(absent the hefty fines for scoff-laws), there was certainly some consternation with their implementation.

Need I say that AMA will pat their back sore, trying to recruit new members with this piece of information ? The FAA says if you are NOT a member of a CBO, you must use the guidelines they have put forth.
Your choices are..........$75 yearly, for AMA membership, or $5 for 3 years of the FAA participation.
You do not get a 'Catazine' with FAA membership, so I'm sure they will lose members over that shortcoming. Oh, wait, no, you 'must' register with the FAA....

Listen-I registered with BOTH of them...but I don't have to like it.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 29, 2016 @ 06:31 AM | 25,856 Views
Well , guys are still flying. The Sky is still blue, and it's still 'up there'. -Not as high as it used to be, but it's still there.

Interestingly, there has been a marked decrease in 'drone incidents' since the FAA 's Registration began. I don't know if that's from there being less of them, or guys obeying the guidelines, or maybe no one's reporting them.

The guys that screamed the loudest that they would never register on penalty of death, have either left the hobby, stopped complaining, or as I believe, silently registered, and will continue to fly as usual.

My favorite Organization, the AMA ,has fallen silent as they realize there is little they can do in trying to 'control' the FAA. They tried, but if Congress can't write a Law that stops the FAA, it's useless to think the AMA can have much effect on them.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 10, 2016 @ 06:54 PM | 27,128 Views
I'm an old man, soon to be 75...I have my opinions, and my own thoughts on how things should or shouldn't be. If you're gonna read this, just listen to my ramblings, and keep in mind that you're free to draw your own conclusions the same as I am.

I don't like drones, or helicopters, or model airplanes that go 250 miles an hour. I don't like people who fly too close to other people, airplanes or buildings.
I( do like guys who fly with respect, that build their own models, and respect the opinions of others...
Several years ago, when the 'Quads' made their presence known, I was impressed with their versatility, and the fact that they had cameras on 'em, unencumbered by the propellor strobes always visible in videos made in my models.

Then, slowly, insidiously, the minds that think outside the norm thought, "Hey ! wouldn't it be neat if we"-(add your own craziness here). Well they started flying around Airports to get close ups of Full Scale Aircraft, they flew into Fireworks displays, and into backyards where girls were sunbathing nude.I've seen videos of them being flown down City Streets, and through the doors of College dorms, and up and down the halls.

About that time, the AMA, whose membership has been in a steady decline, (one guy has a number in the millions, when the actual count is 185,000 if you believe that sort of thing)saw a chance to pad their pockets with money generated by this influx of new fliers.
Contrary to the suggestions of...Continue Reading
Posted by epoxyearl | Aug 23, 2015 @ 04:21 AM | 27,548 Views
I'm an old man. 74. I don't "act my age"..I'm one of the very lucky ones that has my health and an 'inner self' of about age 30.

We have a local Airshow in Toughkenamon, Pa.,Named New Garden.
Started many years ago by the DuPonts, it is a typical Airfield without a tower, a 'see and be seen' affair..
When the DuPonts aged, the field was transferred to the local Township in Avondale. Usually, fences go up, access is limited, and I.D. must be shown, to access the facilities. Not so here..You can drive in there ,say Tuesday afternoon, and people will wave Hi to you .
Unusual, to say the least.
We used to visit here when I were a kid....Mom would pack a picnic basket, Dad would load us up in the old Buick, and we'd spend a Sunday afternoon parked on the hill by the Beacon tower.

Yesterday, there was a family amongst several thousand people, parked in the general area. Mom , Dad,two sons and two daughters. Having a picnic on the hill. When I walked by, one son was asleep (Mustang engine music soothed his soul)..The Mom and the other three kids were chowing down, while Dad was lost in the performance of said Mustang.

We go to watch Airplanes, but we get to see the important things as well.