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June, 2000



Our second annual "Learn-To-Fly" day is June 3rd. Bring those airplanes out and an instructor will help. It will be helpful to bring a buddy box and cord if you have them. The Club owns two buddy boxes, but we will need more to accommodate the number of visitors who would like to learn to fly. Sunday May 28th, Steve Cole took the transmitter impound board to repair it after many long seasons of wear. The board will be returned in better shape than ever. Dale Chiaroni and crew installed a nonpotable water system for us to wash hands. The on-off switch will be inside the shed and must be turned off by the last person of the day. The Board decided to purchase two more shade awnings, one to replace the middle one with the worn-out frame and one more at the end of the field. Due to occasional high winds, the shade covers should be put in the shed at the end of each day. This takes only a few minutes. The first one blew on to our runway the last time it was left out. Remember, each day we need to put all the awnings away and to lock all doors, the frequency pin board and gates.

Anyone interested in flying at our pond must first read the rules and sign a waiver. Waivers are available through Chuck Green.

Due to an unfortunate accident to one of our members, we now have a new First Aid kit in the shed. Also, we have posted directions to the nearest Hospital on frequency pin board and in the First Aid kit. It is important to know the directions to nearest Emergency care in case needed.

New members who bring older radios to the field must first check the frequency of their radios. The radios and their frequencies have changed since 1991. Old transmitters can pick up or give interference to other modelers. If in doubt, contact one of the Board Members.

July 8th, is our first "FUN-FLY" event for this year. Any ideas for an event for the Fun Fly can be submitted at our next Club meeting on 13th. We will also need to have participants to help out with the various events, the Bar-B-Que, Food pick up, timers, etc. Please contact me if you can help us with any of these items.

We would also like to thank Bob Barnes and the El Portal Mobile Estates for graciously allowing our Club to hold our regular Club meetings in their recreation room. Until further notice, we will still hold our meetings in their facility.

Till next month. Bill.

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 Gene Novak is the subject of the Member Profile for June. Gene was born in Omaha, Nebraska, one of four sons. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for 20 years. They have 2 children. Their daughter, Melissa, attends Chico State College and is majoring in psychology (maybe she can get into dad's head to see what makes him tick). Their son, Michael, attends Windsor High School and will graduate next year.

Gene has been a representative for Pennzoil Quaker State motor oil for 19 years. His primary focus is helping entrepreneurs start their own Quick Stop Oil and Lube businesses in exchange for using Pennzoil Quaker State products. Sad to say, we will be losing Gene as a member next year after their son graduates from high school. Gene and his wife will then be moving to Sacramento.

Gene has been flying R/C airplanes for about 5 years. He got interested in the hobby through his son, who wanted to give it a try. They both went to the old Toy and Model store in Coddingtown Mall and bought a Great Planes Piper Cub (which he still has) and built it together. They contacted Larry Frank who suggested that they start with a trainer. So Gene purchased an Easy Fly 40 and they were on their way until his son discovered girls, leaving the airplanes to dad.

Gene worked with the early members of Wine Country Flyers to negotiate the contract with Sonoma County for our field. Back then there was no astro-turf runway, just gravel. Gene buddy-boxed mostly with Larry Frank and occasionally with Larry Miller.

Gene has owned 8 planes since getting started. His favorite was a Royal Staggerwing. I personally saw Gene fly this several times and it was a beautiful model. Unfortunately, Gene said it was a very difficult plane to land and after a small number of repairs it now hangs from the ceiling in his office. His most memorable moment flying was with his Easy Fly trainer. He was helping a new person learn when the plane became unstable. Gene took over control of the plane, the wing came off and the fuselage became an earthbound lawn dart. Gene had not used enough rubber bands to hold the wing on and the rest is history.

Besides flying model airplanes. Gene's other hobby is sailing which he plans to pursue more after his move to Sacramento next year.

Gene is and has been a very active member of Wine Country Flyers. He has volunteered many hours of his time towards the betterment of our Club. We wish him the best of luck in his new venture. He will be missed. Hopefully, Gene will come visit us from time to time.

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By Jeff Costa

Due to my recent injury at the field on Opening Day, I have decided to address a serious safety concern regarding how to safely handle models when starting and preparing them for flight. For those of you who are not aware of my accident, I will briefly describe the details here. I was standing in front of my new Extra 300 and had just started it and adjusted the highspeed needle valve. I then reached across my body with my left hand to set the throttle stick on my radio. As I did so I exposed my left forearm to the spinning propeller. The result was a very deep 4-inch long gash in my arm that required almost 20 stitches to close at Healdsburg General Hospital. It was not fun. I had plenty of time on my hands while I was healing to think about what happened and why. So, what I would like to suggest to EVERYONE is first and most importantly, GET SOMEONE TO HOLD YOUR PLANE while you are starting it and preparing it for flight. If I had had someone helping me by holding my plane this accident would have never happened.

I would also suggest that as soon as your engine has started get back behind the prop and then remove your glow starter and make any necessary adjustments. NEVER reach over or around a spinning prop to make these adjustments. It will just be a matter of time before one of your planes will get you.

Some good things have happened as a result of my accident. We now have at our field a much better first aid kit (hopefully we will never need it). We also realized that very few people even knew where the nearest hospital was from our field. So, inside the first aid kit there is a map showing how to get to Healdsburg Memorial Hospital. Take the time to know the contents of our first aid kit and the location of the Hospital.

I was very fortunate that we had a doctor. Dr. Richard Neel, at our field with his two sons at the time of my accident that treated me until I could get to the hospital. He has been an emergency room doctor and he calmly stopped the bleeding and wrapped the wound in a compress until I could be taken to the Hospital.

Lastly, I want to say that I feel very fortunate to enjoy this hobby with some great people. Robbie Jensen, Bill and Kim Jones and many others helped me by packing up all my ice chests, taking my two planes apart and loading all my other property into my truck. Robbie then drove my truck home and parked it in my garage. Dino House and Dave Stevens drove me to the hospital and stayed with me until my wife arrived. Dino even accompanied my wife to the pharmacy to pick up medications for me because she did not know where the pharmacy was. When I got home about four and half-hours later, I had about 8 .messages from various members calling to ask how I was doing and to call if I needed anything. As bad as my arm felt, it made me feel pretty good to know that you all cared. Thanks again to all.

So please, do not feel as though you are imposing on or bothering someone by asking him or her to hold your plane for you when you are starting it. I cannot imagine anyone that I know in our club feeling "put out" by assisting a fellow flier. I would hate to see anyone experiencing anything like what I am still healing from.

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Hey guys. ...looking for a little spring fun? Want to try something new? I have always liked gliders for their simplicity and shear fun. Until recently, I had to pick between going to the "hill" to go glider flying, or up to the "field" to go power flying. I was in Hangar One the other day and noticed a new gizmo. It is a glider launcher that is put on the wing of a power plane and carries a glider up to altitude piggyback style. It attaches to the mother ship with simple rubber bands and also holds the glider on the same way, with an additional servo for release. Larry Miller volunteered his Kadet "0l' Faithful" to be the launcher. I have a hollow molded 60" span racing glider that I wanted to try on it. We attached the launcher to Larry's plane then my glider to that. Take off was pretty normal, but climb out suffered a little with the three pounds of extra weight and the extra drag. You need to use quite a bit of rudder to turn, but other that that it worked great! We climbed high as I dared and then he let me go. I just cruised around for about 30 seconds to get it trimmed out, then it was a 1/2 roll to straight down for a SPEED RUN!!!! Wow! If any of you have never seen (or heard) a high performance glider on a worm burning 100+ MPH pass, you are really missing something spectacular! The screaming sound of the wings tearing through the air will definitely get your attention. We did this a couple more times until Larry's TX battery gave up.

The next weekend dawned with some modifications. Larry brought his quick charger for the TX and "01' Faithful" received a much-needed upgrade in the horsepower department getting a Saito .80 to replace the tired 65. I added some wood to the launcher to make the glider sit in a more level attitude. Word spreads fast...there were 4 gliders here today? Larry put a radio in his 72" span Gentle Lady, and Bill Jones did the same to his 60" T-tail racer. Steve Cole brought his Slope Scale MB-109 and I had my Revolution again.

The Saito .80 was a Godsend. Now we were able to climb to release height very quickly, drop the glider and then roll over, put in full flaps and make a straight down approach for landing to pick up the next rider. What fun! The wind was blowing pretty good from the Northwest. It didn't bother the heavier gliders but Steve's and Larry's really suffered from it. Larry had a hard time just getting back!

Looks like I will have the launcher in my flight box at all times now. If you have a glider and want to give this a try, just call me or meet me at the field!

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The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m. There were 18 members and I guest present. New member, Harold Meyer, and guest, Joseph Kagan, were introduced to the membership. The Treasurer, Dale Chiaroni, gave his monthly financial report indicating that we have funds in the bank for Club needs. The Secretary, Larry Miller, gave his report consisting of a few contest announcements. The minutes of the last meeting were published in the April Newsletter and were approved by the membership.

Vice President, Jeff Costa, gave us his account of his accident at the field. He suffered a severe laceration of the left forearm when he got caught in the propeller of his plane during start up which required many stitches to close. The first aid kit we had at the field at the time proved woefully inadequate for such an injury. We have since purchased a new and more complete kit with the assistance of an Emergency Medical Technician. It is now in the shed at the field. It is suggested that everyone familiarize themselves with the kit and how to use the items contained in the kit.

The Opening Day Bar-B-Que was very successful with over fifty people in attendance. We all had a good time with good food and great flying. The weather managed to cooperate until we were almost finished for the day and then it started to rain. Most people had packed up and we on their way home by the time the rain started.

Chuck Green reported that the float flying pond is set up for the summer with the retrieval boat on site. Chuck also brought in a glider he no longer wanted and offered it to anyone who wanted it. Needless to say, it was grabbed up immediately.

A couple of reminders. When using the JR buddy box, please try to remember to disconnect the cord from the box to avoid draining the battery and ruining it. We have already had to replace it several times. This not only becomes expensive, but also makes it useless the next time someone wants to use it. The Pacific Coast Air Museum show is coming up in August. We will be looking for volunteers to help man our display.

Associate member, Bob Barnes, reminded us that we need to find a new facility for our regular meetings very soon. If anyone has any ideas, please contact one of the Board Members as soon as possible.

For "Show and Tell", Larry Frank brought in his beautifully built scale model of a Douglas 0-38 bi-plane complete with all the flying wires and machine gun. On Sunday, the 21st Rob Jensen took it up for its maiden flight. It flew as beautifully as it looked. Very scale-like and smooth, although he did need to keep some power on during landing. He commented that it flew a lot like a Curtis Jenny.

The drawing for the door prize was held and the lucky winner was Bob Film. A gallon of fuel was awarded for merely coming to the meeting. Congratulations!

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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  • MID-AUGUST: PCAM SHOW. Exact date to be announced.



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WIN A PRIZE... Like a FREE airplane kit or building tool. Come to the meetings!





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Officers 2004:

President: Stevo Smith
Vice President: Phil Leech
Secretary: Larry Miller
Treasurer: Tom Haddorff
Member at Large Sid Maxwell
Board Members 2004:
John Reade

Gary Child

  Ralph Grella

Brody Carlson

Guy Nicholas

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Newsletter Editor: Stevo Smith
Assistant Editor Phil Leech

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Wine Country Flyers
P.O. Box 4198
Santa Rosa, CA. 95402