Hangar Talk – January 2023
Another year has gone and here we are in 2023. This month is just a quick catch up on some housekeeping and news.
Finally some good news. After some eight months of constant negotiations between ourselves, MAAA and CASA, we have finally received our Area Approval from CASA. The huge uptake in drone fliers, and model aircraft are designated as “drones”, has meant CASA has a lot of work on their plate to ensure that the airspace is firstly safe for all manned aircraft and that drone fliers are controlled in such a way as to minimise any risk to the public, property and aviation in general. The CASA Area Approval, along with our Airservices approval has been uploaded to the website and can be viewed after you log in. You can find them here.
What is important is the process outlined in another article that can be found here. This allows us to fly up to 1000 ft AGL, providing we follow the Airservices procedure of calling the Tower FIRST using the numbers in that document. We can fly above to that increased ceiling on 4 separate occasions in any one month. It is important that we do this every month we are flying. If we don’t use it, we MAY lose it.
It is vital that we follow all of the procedures so as to not put our Area Approval at risk.
As mentioned in last month’s HT, we applied for a defibrillator grant to be on site at our clubhouse. Well, we are in luck again. We were successful! Whilst these units are apparently easy to use with feedback from the device, we are also fortunate to have MeiLin who is trained in their use. If anyone else is familiar with their operation, please let me know.
Club Site Improvements
The concrete paths mentioned in last month’s HT have been drawn up and will be installed as soon as we are able to get the earthworks done. We will be getting a quote from concrete finishers to see if that is a more effective way of getting the job finished. If we have any experts in the club willing to volunteer, please contact a committee member or Mark Holman and offer your support.
We have endeavoured to see if there are any community grants available, but it seems we’ll have to wait until the next election cycle, when there is usually plenty of government money available.
Message from Dave Jacobs
I often call or message people who I haven’t seen for a while or I know would welcome a chat. One of those is our most senior member, Dave Jacobs. Last month Dave sent me a little letter. Yes Dave is one of the few remaining that like to write letters and I look forward to them! Here is what Dave wrote.
Dear George & Kerry,
I thought you would enjoy this. Thanks for all the help you have been in past years. I miss my car and the coffee I enjoyed when I visited you.
Christmas greetings to you both from Dave & Pat.
Attached was this, with a cheeky note, “Some of this could be about Pat!” –
OLD FOLKS ARE WORTH A FORTUNE
Old Folk are worth a fortune —silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet and gas in their stomachs.
I have become a little older since I saw you last, and a few changes have come in my life. Frankly, I have become a frivolous girl. I’m seeing five gentlemen every day. As soon as I wake, Will Power helps me out of bed. Then I go to my Lou. Next it’s time for Uncle Toby to come along, followed by Billy Tee. They leave, and Arthur Ritis shows up stays with me the rest of the day. He doesn’t like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a busy day, I’m really tired and glad to go to bed with Johnny Walker. What a life! Oh yes, I’m also flirting with Al Zymer.
The Preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter. I told him “Oh, I do, all the time. No matter where I am, if I’m in the kitchen, or down in the basement I ask myself: “Now, what am I hereafter?”.
As we get older, many of us can relate to this!
Flying Field – Main Strip
There is another update on our airstrip. Ron Davidson, the farm manager, had previously indicated that they were going to spray our strip to kill off the capeweed. Ron called me this month and advised –
- He and his agronomist have decided not to spray the capeweed yet. The reason being that to do that would leave a bare strip with any remaining grass being of the type that has a crown that sits above the soil level, thereby creating a “trip” hazard for most models.
- The agronomist suggested sowing hardy lawn grass in autumn. Ron has said they will do that for us.
- Once the lawn grass has become established, they will treat the capeweed.
- What will be important is to not cut the newly sown grass too low. We will need to assess that in conjunction with the agronomist when the time comes.
- This process may cause some interruptions during the late autumn/winter but this will be a long term benefit.
Club Day – January 7
MeiLin reported a great turnout on club day, with 14 in attendance. Those in attendance were Alan J, Michael L, Hayward B, Peter S, Mark H, Danny N, Rodney K, Chris J, Fred W, Ron J, Russell W and MeiLin of course. It was also nice to see Nara T pay us another visit and enjoy the barbecue lunch. Due to family visiting from the mainland, I only managed a short visit to talk about the proposed concrete paths.
No doubt Mark took the chance to do a bit of flying and also work on the path placement etc. so no photos from this month. However I did receive an email from Michael L, who sent one picture from the club day – our chief barbecue cook, vice president and lady pilot, MeiLin and he asked me to put on the website, so here it is Mike. You can’t wipe the smile of MeiLin’s face when she is flying!
PS: I’m not sure how MeiLin managed to transport her model and radio gear as she arrived on her motorbike!
Checking Your LiPo’s
Some of you may have seen this notice from Hobbyking, but I thought it worth repeating as LiPo’s are a significant cause of the significant upturn in house fires. In Australia, more than 450 fires have been linked to lithium-ion batteries over the past 18 months, according to data provided by state fire departments. Here is a simple 3 step process from HK – As with most things, nothing is ever 100%. However, next time you reach the crossroad of deciding whether your LiPo is near its end or not, you could use these simple steps:
- When you first purchase your LiPo, label it with the date of its first use. Using this date, you can gauge if the swelling is proportionate to its usage. Generally, HobbyKing’s LiPo batteries can last 2-3 years on average.
- Check for any obvious damages that may be detrimental to the inner wrapping of the cells. This may include, but not limited to the following: surface dents, deformities, cracked wrapping, wrinkled cells, and damaged battery connectors.
- Using a smart charger or battery meter, check that the IR is not overly high. Even if only one of your three cells has an off rating, discontinue using it as any rupture to any of the cells can lead to a major disaster.
For the more technically minded, here is a very good video on LiPo IR. (There are more on their website)
Well that’s it for another month. Don’t forget to send in some pictures of your latest project or what you have stored in your hangar.
Don’t Forget – Put a Spark in your life and fly electric!