The 2021 meeting was held at Saloman Farms starting at 12:00 PM on February 6, 2021.
The COVID Charlie Foxtrot seriously affected 2020, but it is looking like 2021 might be a more flying friendly year.
We had nine attendees this Saturday, which is actually up 50% over last year. All those present joined for 2021, including the Circuits members whom we are grateful for taking up dual membership with LOFT. This is actually a return to things as they used to be, since LOFT is a dedicated glider field and has always been an outlet for “Closet Glider Guiders” from the Circuits.
The Treasurer’s report was reviewed in absentia as Denny is living in Indy now and had a conflict. We basically incurred around $250 in expenses and have in the neighborhood of $3,000 in the bank. I will see about posting a copy of the report for review by the membership.
The membership fee was bumped from $1 to $2 by unanimous vote, although this doesn’t really offset losses like we had last year. We will try and set up a “fun fly” event and do the normal concessions/event raffle to fund raise for 2021. Ideas for that will be reviewed at the first “Quarterly Zoom Meeting”, which we will speak of in the next part.
Communication was noted as a serious issue, especially the COVID-induced isolation. The Google mail list was cited as a hindrance due to it being hard to see what the original conversation was about. Also noted was that a single annual meeting was not really enough to keep everyone on base with regards to what’s going on.
Since our membership is broad-based geographically, Irv Thomas recommended conducting Quarterly Zoom meetings to keep everyone informed and organized on club activities as the year goes on. This was unanimously approved. Irv will be scheduling the meetings for an 8:30 AM Saturday time slot with a Spring, Summer, and Fall meeting, followed by a Late-November/Early December round up.
We will still be having the annual Meeting/Swap Meet in January (hopefully) as per normal (which this year wasn’t, obviously.)
Darwin will be looking into communication options for the club that will function better than Google Groups (which is probably not a forever thing, anyway.) There is currently a Bulletin Board app installed on this web site, and anyone is free to sign up to use it. However, that may not be anywhere near the best solution. Darwin will report an update at the first Quarterly Zoom Meeting.
This years flying meet dates are: May 15, June 19, July 17, August 14, August 28, September 11, September 25.
A motion was made to set one day a week as a specific gathering to fly day in order to help folks learn to fly, encourage folks to fly for fun, and to build a visible public presence by flying regularly (our field is right by the road, after all.) After discussion, the motion carried unanimously. Thus, we have designated Thursday as our weekly get-together-and-fly day from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM when weather permits. The official name is “Thermal Thursdays” and I will set up a permanent page on this website with information on that.
Another topic of discussion was doing all we can to partner with the Flying Circuits to provide improved glider flying activities and encourage dual membership. Irv and Scott both agreed that there might be an opportunity to get in two club meets at the Circuits field this year since the first one was well received last year. They have agreed to float the idea to the Circuits membership and board and see if there is support for that, as well as reminding glider guiders in the Circuits that LOFT is a glider only field, both powered (electric) and unpowered (winch and high start.)
Equipment was discussed. Part of the expenditure last year was for a new winch battery that ended up not getting used because of missed attendance at one meeting and then COVID. Maintaining equipment will likely be the biggest incurred cost for the club going forward. Jack is going to continue bringing his retriever out for official meet days, much to the relief of our aging membership. I have to admit, that thing works absolutely great, and Jack says it allows a 45 second turn-around in launches!
Ken brought up the idea of returning to our partnership with Saloman Farm to do a Kite Day and an Aviation Day. The Farm purchases the materials, so this is basically a commitment by the club to provide instruction and guidance manpower for the event. Such educational activities are within our charter as an AMA club and are an excellent way to raise awareness in the community of our organization.
The biggest issue is making sure that we have enough people to help. Ken is going to talk to the management of the Farm and see if they are willing to pick dates and support the effort. He will also locate the kite kits and rubber power kits needed for the event. After that, it will be up to us, the members to make sure there are enough warm bodies available to make the event a success without overload a few core guys. More discussion on this during the first Quarterly Zoom meeting as well.
Scott Black brought a flyer printout from the Dayton Modelrama that looks to be a serious attempt at replacing the now-defunct Toledo Show. He also noted that there will be a Toldeo Swapmeet that has very specifically distanced itself from involvement with the Weak Signals club. Both of these seem to be serious attempts to keep the “trade show/swap meet” format alive in April and they do not conflict date wise, so it might be worth going to both.
Officer positions were brought up for review. Irv Thomas agreed to be club secretary, Ken Lozo will remain President, Darwin Garrison will remain Vice-President/Safety Officer, and Denny Zech will remain Treasurer. These appointments were approved unanimously given that no other candidates came forward.
Scott had a nice show and tell of some of his products from the resurrected Sky Bench Aerotech product line and shared with us some of his development work and balsa-sourcing woes. Lots of challenges right now for people who could sell kits hand over fist if they could just get quality balsa!
Jack brought in a nice composite model for sail, which went home with a new owner. Ken brought in a metric butt-load of kits, most of which went home with new owners (including me.)
All in all, a great meeting. Lots of fun talk as well as getting some things ironed out for 2021. There seems to be a lot of opportunities for collaboration with Circuits and maybe even the Black Sheep down in Indy.