Unity = Strength
A major role of the National Free Flight Society is to promote, expand and provide service to free-flight modeling. As your president, I make an ongoing effort to improve our society¹s relations with the many other segments of the free- flight community.
I continually run into signs of protectionism: Various groups feel that NFFS is trying to control their segment of modeling. Here¹s a recent example: Our Digest editor arranged for results of a major free-flight contest, sponsored by another group, to be reported in Digest. Event results were needlessly withheld from NFFS for some time, and caused some unnecessary friction between certain members of the two groups.
Within our membership, NFFS has experienced unwarranted friction between some who fly FAI events and others who prefer the more traditional venues.
This friction has bred some disrespect of one toward the other‹also unwarranted. Only recently, a few indoor fliers expressed fears that NFFS was out to take them over.
These fears and concerns are unwarranted as well: They not only hurt the individual groups, but reduce the overall influence that free flight has with the rest of the modeling community. The last thing that free flight needs is becoming segmented into small groups that have common goals.
The National Free Flight Society is charged with preserving and promoting free flight model aviation‹in all its forms. Let's all work to make this happen in the future.
A feature of this column over the last several issues has spotlighted our society¹s important volunteers. As a continuation, here is a background on Alan Petersen, the NFFS Web site manager.
My free-flight modeling is primarily focused on flying F1G Coupe, though I also fly F1B Wakefield when I have the time to devote to it. I also love Old Timer rubber models and have a number of them. My job keeps me very busy, so my flying and the ability to travel to contests can be limited at times. I do try to get down to Eloy once a month and to Lost Hills once or twice a year.
I have worked at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff AZ since 1992, where I serve as chair of the Fine Arts Dept. My department includes art, dance, music and theater. I also coordinate a new program that I created called Colorado Plateau Studies. It is an inter-disciplinary program on the land people and arts of the Colorado Plateau region. I teach painting and art history, coordinate several performances each semester and provide leadership for one of our college¹s largest departments.
I am a painter, and my paintings are inspired by the landscapes of the Plateau region. They are abstract and colorful. If you would like to take a look at some of my work, visit <www.apetersenpaintings.com> My tenure as NFFS Web-site manager began in 2002 when I was asked to re-design the society¹s Web site and to make it more functional for members.
It was a great challenge, as there is so much material and several functions that the site serves.
I first began doing web work in 1995 when I converted my art history lecture notes to Web pages so my students could access them online, anytime and anyplace. This led to developing our college's first on-line course, in art history, in 1996. About this time I also talked Sal Fruciano into putting his Starline catalog online and I think he was one of the first free-flight suppliers to do so.
My NFFS job consists of a number of regular tasks that include updating communications from the NFFS board and president, and contest information and results. Getting the Master Contest Calendar prepared each winter is one of my biggest tasks. In the last couple of years we have expanded the Education section. We are in process of expanding the Indoor section.
If you have any ideas that might improve the functionality or usefulness of the Web site, or ideas for new sections, feel free to contact me. Although I'm very busy, I really enjoy doing this work for the society. I love free-flight modeling and our community and I appreciate the mission of the society. I feel this is something I can contribute.