What would happen to your club if you lost your flying field? Two clubs and two answers to the problem … The Olympic Radio Control Association (ORCA) and the Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) 8 have found answers to keep them alive in adverse times.
Rick Magnuson reports that ORCA has transformed itself from a landbased flying club to its namesake, a water-based flying club.
This transformation was not caused by an overwhelming desire to honor the orca, but because the club lost use of its flying field. The landowner needed six months and an area in which to place some 10,000 truckloads of dredge material from a cleanup project from a former Port Gamble sawmill site and its adjacent waters.
As a result, the original runway has gained some altitude. It is now roughly 20 feet higher, but it remains to be seen if the club will be allowed back after the project is completed.
In the meantime, club members are actively looking for another site, but open spaces are a premium on the Kitsap Peninsula in the state of Washington. To continue flying, the club has increased the number of floatfly events it holds. Fortunately, the club has two lakes, both located on the picturesque Olympic Peninsula, from which to fly.
To keep flying from a field, several ORCA members have also joined the Tri-Area RC Flyers club, which is located on the Olympic Peninsula. In the true spirit of model aviation, it made sense for ORCA to invite all Tri-Area RC Flyers members to join in on the fun on the water.
Now the club’s float-flys are even more enjoyable with both clubs flying.
In addition to these pictures of a recent float-fly, there is a YouTube video of 90-year-old Ray Hockley flying at Leland Lake: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBiH1ZKM69w.
SAM 8 lost its big contest flying site at Hearts Lake Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Since then, club members have found several small fields, but nothing like the prairie!
The president of SAM 8 has negotiated with a Kirkland, Washington, middle school for several winter build-and-fly sessions at the school. Club members have an open fly time before they mentor students during their building and flying session. It’s hard to tell who has more fun during these sessions.