This column is being written about a week before I leave for the Muncie Nats, and since it will appear in your mailbox after the Nats, I thought you might like to know what the NFFS has going on at this busy time of the year. As you know, the free flight indoor and outdoor Nats are a cooperative effort between the AMA and the NFFS. The NFFS, through its volunteer efforts, provides the person power to run the Nats. We also develop the schedule of events, including the AMA events, and AMA helps to coordinate our activities with those of other interest groups who may be using the same facilities. AMA provides the awards for the AMA events, and NFFS provides all of the others. AMA also provides much of the logistical support for the Nats, such as moving the control centers, portapots, and the like. It is very much a team effort. This year, Bob Perkins is the overall FF Event Director, and he is assisted by Phil Sullivan
and John Lorbiecki.
However, the NFFS does have two activities which it runs pretty much by itself. We have the annual Banquet, held at the Convention Center, and the NFFS Annual Meeting held at AMA HQ. We also help Hank Nystrom (Texas Timers) with the hot dog BBQ cookout and auction. So, the Nats is really a team effort, and all of the free flighters who enjoy these activities should thank those who do the work, all of which is volunteer.

•NFFS Hall of Fame
At the banquet this year, we will induct a new member into the Free Flight Hall of Fame. This year, the inductee is Abram Van Dover. Last year, Abram was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. His exploits supporting free flight can be read in detail in the 2003 Sympo, but he has been the dependable guy for his CD work with the Indoor Nats, and an event Director for the Outdoor Nats. In addition to his editing of a club newsletter, he has also headed up an indoor postal meet for the past 5 years or so. Abram is one of the volunteers who make free flight work. It is a pleasure to induct him.

• Distinguished Service Awards
Also at the banquet, the NFFS officers give awards to those volunteers who have contributed much time, energy and support to the operation of the Society. These awards, given annually, are called the Distinguished Service Award. This year, three volunteers will be surprised at the banquet. They are: Hank Nystrom, who has given 7 years of service as the Membership Chairman and who electronified the entire membership process. Bob McLinden, who has been the Publications Chairman for over 5 years, and who has handled our distribution of Symposia and other NFFS items during that time, even though it included a move across country and recuperation from a heart attack , receives a DSA for his work. Bucky Servaites also receives a DSA because of his editorship of the 2002 Sympo.

•The Annual Meeting will feature a number of items of importance to the
Included are: Whether to require membership in the NFFS to qualify for National Cup competition, Final Action of the NFFS Towline Glider Proposal (see details later in this column), Filling some long standing vacancies on the Planning and Development Committee and other committees, discussing the need for a Safety Committee, and hearing reports from all of the committees currently active in the NFFS.

•Towline Glider Proposal
The NFFS Competitions Committee did some preliminary work in formulating a towline glider proposal. This work was handed off to a committee headed by Fred Terzian. This committee recently came forward with a proposal, which has received approval by the Board of Directors; however, there are a few odds and ends which need to be resolved prior to the rules being published. Suffice to say, this NFFS towline glider proposal will take effect in the 2004 National Cup competitions. It will feature old style A-1 and A-2 competition with a specific prohibition for circle tow. More details will be forthcoming after they are resolved.

•Change in Membership Chairman
JP Kish will be taking over the membership duties from Hank Nystrom, and a change in the form that NFFS members use to renew is upcoming in the next issue of the Digest. I would ask all free flight newsletter editors to make copies of the new form and include in your next
newsletter. If you would like a fresh copy of the new form, it can be downloaded from the NFFS website, or you can receive a copy from me, Bob Stalick, by sending me a large SASE. I will send you a clean copy by return mail.

•Change in Dues
Effective January 1, 2004, the dues for membership in the NFFS will increase. We are encouraging anyone who would like to renew their dues early to do so. We will accept dues at the old rate, including Life Memberships, as long as they are received at the membership office no later than December 31, 2003. You can save $5 per year if you renew early.

•Symposium for 2003
The 2003 Symposium has been mailed out to all contributors and patrons. It went out in late July, and everyone should have theirs by now (with the possible exception of some overseas members). If you did not receive yours, please be patient. If you did not order one and would like to see what this year’s 198 page extravaganza looks like, you can have your very own for $25 plus $4 postage (in the US), but sending a check in that amount to Jim Zolbe, NFFS Publications, 4801 Bradock Ct., Lincoln, NE 68516. Jim has now taken over the publications duties from Bob McLinden, who retired from office on August 1, 2003.

I think that just about wraps up the news for now. Thanks for your help and support.
Bob Stalick