Happy Holidays to all my NFFS friends. I hope you have had a great year and wish you better flights next year.
By now, many of you have noted that the 2013 NATS has been moved to July 8th-12th. This date was set by AMA during the yearly post NATS meeting. Our original date of late July or early August was requested by the IRCHA, which is the large helicopter group. Many of you have seen the truckloads of golf carts arriving during our NATS. These are for the well over 1000 people that show up for that meet. With our date now lost, we needed to find a place on the schedule. R/C doesn’t have the numbers we have in a single contest, but they do have numbers when you add all the events (Pattern, racing, 3D, soaring, electric). So, we could not get an earlier date (in June) or later date (mid-August) that would have worked. I know we have placed two other contests in a bit of a bind, but we have to work with what we have.
However, there is a good side to this. With the earlier dates, the crops should be much shorter. The FAI folks will be further away from the World Champs dates so they can use the NATS as a tune up. Juniors (and some Open) fliers will not have school interfering with the competition. We will have the entire Muncie site to ourselves- we will no longer share the field with other groups.
Weather-wise, some have stated that the temperatures average one degree higher. However, in 2011 we had all days over 90 degrees yet in 2012 we were very comfortable. So, if you want to know what the weather will be, just wait and look outside! As a free flighter, we look at weather all the time but realize that we have no control over what it will actually be and we have learned to handle it.
I know it may be an inconvenience to some but we have to deal with the hand we have been dealt. I look forward to a great NATS and know we, as a group, will work through our issues.
The indoor committee is hard at work on a new site. As stated before, Johnson City is no longer viable because of increased banners being hung. John Kagan and his group are working hard and should know in the very near future where the new site will be. We have the best folks working on it and I know they will come up with a venue that will provide a great USIC event.
I want to congratulate the newest FAI team members. As a fellow FAI guy, I know the work it takes to make the team. For those of you that are not familiar with the FAI program, these folks need to fly two separate contests to qualify for the team. It can be a bit nerve wracking as you have worked two years for two days of competition and a place on the team. And then the work begins! So, good luck in France! Been there, done that….
I wish to thank Vic Nippert for his years of service for the organization. Vic has decided to spend more time with family and flying and leave his position on the board. Brad Bane has volunteered to take over Vic’s remaining year and I know he will do a good job supporting our east coast membership. If you have some good ideas on making NFFS a better group, feel free to contact Brad. Welcome to the board, Brad!
The Digest has gotten rave reviews and those that have taken the eDigest version have also praised it. Don Deloach has done a great job in its evolution as well as Alan Peterson our webmaster and Carl Bakay. When you see these folks thank them for all their hard work in making the Digest the best free flight rag in the world. Gentlemen, be proud of your accomplishments.
Finally, I have to be a proud dad for a moment. My son, John T. Lorbiecki, was finally selected for F-16 fighter pilot training. He has been a member of the 115th Air National Guard Fighter squadron since he was 17 and worked hard to get the position. He stated that what he learned in free flight has helped him throughout his efforts to get the slot. I am very proud of him and know he will do well.
And with that, Happy Christmas to all and to all a good flight!
Lorbiecki’s Tip of the Month -
There are hundreds of fabric stores throughout the United States and these places can be a haven for the free flighter. They stock many sizes and shapes of pins as well as threads of various types. Plus, their prices for these are many time much less expensive than other venues. Take a trip with your wife and check it out.