The Denver RC Eagles was founded in 1960. Since its inception, the club has grown from a small group of RC enthusiasts to a group of about 100 members.
The Eagles flying site (Suhaka Field) is located at Cherry Creek State Park, approximately 9 miles southeast downtown Denver. There are two paved runways (400' & 275'), paved taxiways and pit area. Activities cover nearly every phase of R/C Aircraft building, flying, and Fun-Fly events. Club members have diverse interests in scale war birds, aerobatics, helicopters, ducted fan jets, electrics, and turbine powered aircraft. Beginners are always welcome and instructor pilots are available for flight training.
The Denver RC Eagles club maintains the runway facilities and field maintenance and your membership is encouraged to help support the facilities. Access to Cherry Creek State Park is via I-25 (exit Belleview) or South Parker Road. A Colorado State Park pass is required for entry. State Park annual pass is the most cost effective.
Message from the President
What an amazing summer we are having. The recent rains have brought us green fields when I usually expect them to be brown. It seems there has been lots of moisture in this year’s monsoon weather pattern, which brings Pacific moisture to Colorado and gives us the predictable afternoon thunderstorms.
Those thunderstorms shut down flight operations. The greatest hazard is lightning. The weather gurus say “if you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning”. The National Weather Severe Storm messages carry the warning that lightning is “nature’s deadliest killer”. The last thing you want to be holding in your hands during a thunderstorm is a live transmitter.
The great thing about afternoon thunderstorms, in addition to the rain they bring and the fabulous sky shows they put on, is the magnificent calm that usually follows. This evening calm is some of the best flying weather to be found with clear skies, very light winds, and a freshness to everything that makes one glad to be outside.
Recent Club Activities
We have been having a phenomenal slate of summer activities lately, including our June Fun Fly and Airshow, Evening BBQ and Flying events in June and July, and another maintenance day in July that was successful in getting some much-needed painting done. The flying field has had lots of use, and there have been a steady procession of new pilots showing up at the field, some of whom have joined our club. One new member who joined recently wrote to me the following comment that I was very pleased to hear: “I do agree that the atmosphere and friendly club members is definitely a plus for the Denver RC Eagle Club.”
The friendly and welcoming atmosphere this gentleman experienced is what our events are all about. By getting club members together for relaxing social events we are touching upon the key reason for a club to exist. It is the magic that occurs when people with common interests get together for the shared experience of flying model aircraft, sparking new friendships and creating a general sense of camaraderie in the process. Another way of expressing this is the phrase “club spirit”. My observation from attending these events is that our club spirit has grown dramatically this year. You can see this spirit in the photos that grace the pages of this month’s newsletter.
Thanks to Volunteers
I want to express my thanks and appreciation to all the club members who have volunteered their time, talent and energy towards the benefit of the club lately. This includes the three maintenance days we have had that have had a dramatic impact on the appearance and utility of our facilities, the people who have assisted Joe Bolognese dish up amazing barbeque feasts, the ongoing job of keeping our facilities mowed and clean, and the friendly club members who have welcomed members of the public, including aspiring pilots.
My thanks and appreciation also goes to our cadre of pilot instructors led by John Dickens and Richard Hamilton who have given generously of their time to assist novice pilots get a good understanding of how to safely and successfully operate their marvelous aircraft. It is always very rewarding to me to see the joy and excitement that novice pilots experience as they work through the basics, solo an aircraft, and begin to build proficiency towards becoming an intermediate-level pilot.
Public Airshow on Saturday, August 23
Looking forward, we have some exciting and fun events coming up. Notably, we have our Public Airshow that will be held on Saturday, August 23. This event is designed to expose the public to the hobby by giving some of our best pilots an opportunity to show off their aircraft and flying skills. We will have a variety of demonstrations and performances including a demonstration of basic flight maneuvers with a standard training aircraft, a variety of sport planes performing regular aerobatics, a couple of warbird demonstrations including a WWII air raid scenario complete with sounds effects of bombs falling and fighters exchanging fire, and a couple of pilots showing their talent for 3D flying.
August BBQ and Evening Fly on Thursday, August 28
Our August BBQ and Evening Fly will be held on Thursday, August 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. This will be the third in a series of very popular events that provide everyone an opportunity to socialize over what have been some amazing dinners that Joe Bolognese has served up. After dinner, members are encouraged to fly in the evening skies as long as they please. Many of the participants in this event have equipped their aircraft with lights, allowing them to see the aircraft clearly as the sun goes down and twilight sets in. I was out this evening flying in the fading twilight with my Dynam Peaks biplane, which is equipped with navigation and landing lights. There is something quite intriguing about guiding an aircraft through a series of maneuvers based upon only a silhouette punctuated by small lights to see the aircraft’s attitude. I find this flying relies as much on a sense of knowing what the aircraft should be doing as you give it various control inputs, as it does on actually watching the aircraft. When flying like this I kind of feel like Obe Wan Kenobi is watching over my shoulder and whispering “feel the Force, Jack.”
Sid Gates Honored by the AMA
You will all be pleased to hear that the nomination of Sid Gates to the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame has been accepted by a panel of past AMA presidents and representatives of ten AMA districts. This nomination was submitted by fellow member Bob Brelsford. Thank you Bob for making this nomination of Sid, no one in our club is more worthy of this distinction than Sid. Congratulations to Sid for being selected for this distinguished honor. You have certainly earned the respect and appreciation of every member of this club as a person who has actively contributed to the hobby in general, and in a major way to our club. I think it is safe to say our club would not exist today but for the previous efforts of Sid to bring it to life and sustain it through difficult times. I would also add that Sid is a wonderful human being; very kind, thoughtful and willing to help in any way he can. He sets a high standard for us all to aspire to.
Integrity among Club Members
I am also pleased to report a story that illustrates the high standards of integrity in operation between our club members. Those of you who attended our June Airshow will recall that Dave Bockelman lost a beautiful P-47 that he had built from a kit as a result of radio interference while flying. It turns out that the interference came from Dick Niebels’ 72 mHz transmitter operating on the same channel. Dick was aware that he and Dave were on the same channel, but in the heat of preparations to fly, he mistakenly turned his transmitter on to conduct a preflight of his biplane while Dave was in the air. Dave was heartbroken to see his plane go down, and Dick was mortified to have been the cause. The rest of the story is that Fred Beardslee contributed a new Top Flite P-47 ARF at a very low price, for which Dick paid, so that Dave could get a new plane at no cost. I personally contributed the prize coupon I won at the Fun Fly to help out. The result is that Dave is now happily working away on a new plane, Dick can look at himself in the mirror in the morning, and all of us are satisfied with the outcome of this unfortunate event.
Boy Scout Initiative
Another member that has stepped forward in a significant way to better our club is Ron Cox. For those of you who know Ron, he is a truly amazing fellow. A former General Motors engineer, he is now in a very active retirement with hobbies that include ham radio, RC aircraft, astronomy and butterfly keeping. Ron brought his hexcopter to the June 21 Evening Fly and put on an amazing demonstration of its capabilities. He is taking Dave Prall’s class on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and has become something of an authority on the radio communciations aspects of UAV technology with his background in electrical engineering.
Ron is also an active volunteer with the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts. There are approximately 100,000 men, women, and young people that are connected to the Denver Area Council. Ron is in the process of creating a new volunteer position that would give him the responsibility of working with Boy Scout executives on programs to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education among young people.
As a part of this, Ron has brought your club leadership together with Denver Area Council executives to discuss ways in which the hobby of RC aircraft can be used to promote STEM education among Scouts. Some of the initiatives we have discussed include having DRCE club members put on demonstrations with scout groups, putting on Aviation merit badge seminars, and hosting a Venturing group that would be tied to the club. Venturing groups are composed of teenage boys and girls that have a specific vocational interest such as science and engineering. It seems like the hobby of RC aircraft is a natural way to develop interest in STEM.
I expect that we will have further news to share on our Boy Scout Initiative in the weeks and months to come.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the best of the flying season ahead of us: the two and one half months starting in late August and running through the end of October. This period has the most consistent and calm weather of the year; basically day after perfect flying day.
DRCE Club President
Next DRCE Monthly Meeting
6:30 pm - 9:30
2014 DRCE OFFICERS
Director - Airfield Maintenance
Director – Flight Training
Chief Flight Instructor