Help Wanted – Flight Instructors

Instructors Needed
Greetings! Despite the fact that we are heading into the fall, our need for flight instructors is actually
growing. We have taken on (and successfully trained) many new students this year and continue to get
new candidates. However, our long list of qualified instructors is actually, not so long.

Out of a possible 15 that have signed up and/or instructed previously, we really only have a half dozen
that are active. Each with their own limitations relating to available time and schedules. As a result,
we are currently stretched pretty thin. As such, we are looking for a few more instructors.

Instructing is a very fun and rewarding activity. There is really nothing more satisfying than watching a
person (usually a child) progress in skill and confidence as they learn to fly an RC airplane. The
transformation that occurs when they go from being very tentative and skeptical about their abilities
to a successful pilot is not only rewarding, but extremely energizing. That accomplishment will follow
them throughout their lives. They’ll remember, through experimentation and effort, the success they
achieved.

We have our own equipment. The trainers we are using today (Aeroscouts) are just about the best
airplanes we’ve ever utilized. They almost guarantee success with every student. Each student will, on
some level, be able to fly an RC airplane. This is not the traditional way we learned, but it does work
and every student will be able to achieve success.

Please consider becoming an AAM Flight Instructor. And, if you are already on our list, please consider
re-engaging with students. If interested, please contact me via the website (Chief Flight Instructor).

Thanks,
Brian Gates, CFI

Remembering James (JD) LaVasseur 1957 – 2022

by: Joe Pirozzoli
 
JD LaVasseur, Sep 18, 2021

James (JD) LaVasseur, Sept 18, 2021

 
Our dear friend and fellow member, James (JD) LaVasseur, passed away at approximately 5 am on Friday,
November 11, 2022. JD passed away as a result of complications from diabetes, which is also what took his left
leg several years ago. JD requested, of his sister, that there be no services or formal gatherings after his passing.
However, there will be an opportunity (in the near future) for the Club to honor JD in a very special way.
 
Our records show that JD had just turned 65 years old last September. They also show that JD had been a
member of AAM since 1993. However, I remember meeting him in the late 1980’s, shooting off large scale
2rockets at the old field (at 5 Parks). JD was a lifelong modeler which included control line, RC, rocketry, trains (as
well as many other things). He was also a HAM radio operator.
 
JD was an extremely accomplished builder and pilot, and was very generous with his talent and knowledge. He
had a passion for warbirds of all vintages, which is obvious from his model collection. His latest project, which is
still on his workbench, is a Balsa USA, 1/4 scale Fokker D8. The project remains incomplete because his vision
had degraded to the point where he could no longer read the instructions. He mentioned to me that he had
acquired everything needed to complete the project.
 
JD also served as an officer of the Club. JD was Vice President for 2 years in 2016 and 2017. He served briefly as
our President for the first 2 months of 2017 as we searched for a person to replace the outgoing President from
2016. JD’s leadership skills were very apparent during that transition. He also served on committees to review
and change our rules and bylaws. I am sure that JD was involved in many other aspects of our Club throughout
his years with AAM.
 
JD’s last trip to the Field was on Saturday, November 29th. We flew his Top Flite P-47 that day as we had done
at the past two AAM Warbird events in 2021 and 2022. The attached picture of JD was taken at the 2021 event.
I know that being at the field and hanging out with the guys meant a lot to him. He knew, at that time, that his
days were numbered, but he seemed very at peace with that knowledge. Our conversations that day were all
about the Club, and building and flying model airplanes which he loved so greatly.
 
I want to say “thank you very much” to the many members and friends that have been of service to JD over the
past several years. Many, many of you have donated time, materials and funding to help JD through some
pretty rough times. Believe me when I tell you that JD was extremely grateful to every one of you. We (the
entire Club) should all feel very good about the way we took care of one of our own!
 
In the words of Lanny Hansen… “may JD soar with the eagles!” Amen to that!

Harvest Festival 2022 Open House Report

Successful Harvest Festival Open House

Despite some rather dreary weather, on Saturday 9/10, we held a very successful “Open House”. Since this event was open to the public and advertised in the Arvada Press, cancelling (for any reason) really was not an option. As such, a rather small, but enthusiastic and talented group of people made the trek to the fields and made this event a great success.

Brian Gates, our new Chief Flight Instructor, had a half dozen of our instructors and club trainers ready and waiting at the West field. Without fail, and very promptly at around 10 am (just as the rain was subsiding), he had his first customers. Others followed, and there were nearly a dozen people that took and “introductory” training flight. Thanks to Brian, Mike, Mark, Dan and John for being there and helping out. It was also nice to see our full fleet of Aeroscout trainers present and ready for service. Apologies if I forgot anyone.

The Airshow at the East field was equally successful. There may have only been a dozen or so spectators, but they were treated to a great variety of planes, heli’s and jets, and some excellent flying and static demo’s. As previously mentioned, the weather broke right around 10 am and that is when things got into gear. Each pilot took their turn with great skill and precision, providing an exciting and impressive show. Thanks again to all the guys that braved the ominous weather forecast and didn’t let us down. Many thanks to Ken, Clark, Jamie, Steve, Brian B. (who came all the way from Winter Park), Mark, Patrick, Michael K., Brian D. and our ever-present videographer Jeff. BTW… you can view much of the show on Jeff’s YouTube channel (Jeff Leasure), and please subscribe. Again, I’m sure I’m forgetting someone, but please know we are still very grateful to everyone.

Help Wanted – Field Marshall

Thank You, Bob Lenhardt

Well folks… I’d hoped this day would never come. However, at long last, Bob Lenhardt is stepping down as our Field Marshall. Bob has spent the last 7 years as our Field Marshall. His tenure has spanned 3 Presidents. He has done so with great skill, diligence and integrity. We have had many great people in this position, and Bob has distinguished himself as one of the best of the best by his superior leadership, talent and abilities. Often times, Bob did things himself in solitude and without great fanfare, but he was also very adept at massing the troops and supervising large groups with many complicated objectives. In the end, we could always count on Bob and he always delivered the goods.

I have grown very appreciative of Bob and always trusted him to do the job the right way. I also think of Bob as a good friend and fun person to be around. I hope to see Bob more frequently and enjoy flying with him in the years to come.

Thank you, Bob, and… “Job Well Done”!

Doing It Your Own Way

That being said, we need someone to fill some very big shoes. Now, I know what you are thinking… “Bob is a tough act to follow”! And, that is very true. However, you do not have to do the job the same way that Bob did it. In Bob’s own words… “it can be a position of just organizing and scheduling work and rounding up different materials for what needs to be done”. Bob did a lot of things himself because that is what he both enjoyed and was good at.

However, this job can be largely administrative. IOW… setting up and directing work parties, procuring materials, utilizing outside resources (such as Jefferson county persons required to do community service), and coordinating other Club members with different skill sets and talents.

Additionally, Bob isn’t the kind of guy to just drop everything and walk away. He’s going to continue to be around and has committed to help with the transition of a new person in this role. He has also said that he is willing to help out with different projects from time to time.

This is a very rewarding and vital Board position. That’s right, this is also a Board position. And that means it comes with a great deal of help and support from a very talented and experienced of group of folks that will support you, just as they have Bob. If you are interested in being our Field Marshall, please have a conversation with Bob and reach out to me or any other Board member.

Thanks,

Joe Pirozzoli, President

Passing of Henry “Buzz” Butler

By: Dennis Wruk

On Monday, I learned that the midair collision (of 2 full scale aircraft) south of Longmont last Saturday (9/17/2022) morning claimed the life of a longtime friend, fellow RC enthusiast and AAM member.

Henry “Buzz” Butler was flying his Sonex Xenos (N225BF) westbound from the Platte Valley airport heading towards the Longmont airport.

A flight school’s Cessna 172 (N2117Y) with a student and instructor on board were northbound from Metro airport and began maneuvering out of a left 360 turn and into a right turn to an eastbound heading when the collision occurred over Niwot. There were no survivors.

I had first met “Buzz” in the mid 1970’s when our mutual interest in building and flying R/C airplanes brought us together. At that time Buzz, had an auto painting business and he did a great job repainting two of my cars. He was a founding member of both the Arvada Associated Modelers and of the Jeffco Aeromod’lers R/C clubs. Buzz was an award-winning scale model airplane builder, a private pilot, and he finished building and painting a full scale Christen Eagle II biplane for a mutual friend of ours. Later Buzz opened a successful R/C hobby shop where he supplied his Magnum brand of model airplane fuels and Lithium Polymer batteries to model flyers across the nation. He owned and flew a Mooney M20 before acquiring the Xenos. Buzz participated in AAM Float Fly events and invited others to fly R/C floatplanes at a private lake that he had arranged permission to fly from.

From what Buzz had told me, he enjoyed flying his airplane from Platte Valley airport to Longmont on weekends to meet up with his homebuilt airplane friends. They would grill burgers, do some “Hangar Flying”, and then fly off to other airports.

I have a million good memories of Buzz as he was one of those guys that totally loved everything about building and flying airplanes.

He will be missed.

AAM Fire Policy & Procedures

We are updating our field regulations to include the following policies related to fire prevention and fire fighting.

 

AAM Fire Policy & Procedures

Revised Aug. 10, 2022

1. If a crash occurs (any type of model), everyone look for smoke. This is the responsibility of everyone present, not just the pilot who crashed.

2. If smoke is visible: (a) a member must be assigned to immediately call AFD. In addition to the field address posted in the east field shed, we will post maps of the area so that whoever calls AFD can better describe the location of the fire for efficient access. (b) Everyone who is physically able to do so, regardless of which flying site they are currently using, should immediately scramble to fight the fire. If you’re flying, land your plane and go fight the fire.

3. AAM will provide club members (at least annually) basic training on proper fire-fighting techniques as well as proper use of the available equipment.

4. Club will provide fire extinguishers and pay for maintenance to recharge/maintain. Members must contact the Safety Officer or other Board member if a fire extinguisher is used and needs service or maintenance.

5. AAM will enhance its firefighting capability by purchasing additional firefighting equipment and apparatus, which may include shovels, axes, blankets, “5-foot fire swatters,” and other durable tools, and installing one or more new gates in the fence to facilitate greater access to Pattridge Park.

6. Limits on flying.

a. AAM will honor any type of fire restrictions or “red flag” warnings (open burning, fireworks, etc.)

b. If a state/local/AFD fire ban or fire restriction is in effect or a “red flag” warning has been issued, members will not fly unless there is someone physically present with a working cell phone so that in the event of a fire, they can immediately notify AFD. And, if during a fire restriction or “red flag” warning, current wind conditions at the field exceed 25 mph steady or 30 mph gust within the previous hour, members will cease all flying.

c. Notice of fire ban/restriction will be based on the latest available information posted at:

https://www.jeffco.us/511/Fire-Restrictions-Bans, and

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-105.21130084991455&lat=39.83868707372878#.YryFC3bMK0o,

respectively, and monthly updates of the status of any fire bans/restrictions will be published in the newsletter and on the club’s web site.

d. AAM will attempt to schedule larger contests or invitational events (e.g., the annual Big Bird fly-in) with AFD.

Notice of 2022 Annual Business Meeting and Elections

Notice of Annual Business Meeting – November 1, 2022

It is my obligation to schedule and announce our intent to hold an Annual Business Meeting (“ABM”) on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022 at 7 pm.

Location will be: Arvada Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7090 W 64th Avenue, Arvada, CO 80003.

The official Club business scheduled for the ABM will be:

  1. The election of Club Officers for 2023 (i.e. President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Safety Officer). Please see separate report from the Nominating Committee regarding the current slate of officers; and
  2. Voting on a proposed Dues increase for the Club (please see separate notification from the Treasurer in this NL).

 

Quorum Requirements

Please note that in order to conduct the ABM and have the Elections, we must have a quorum consisting of at least 30 active/voting members. Please make a point of attending for the sake of holding the elections.

 

Thank you,

Joe Pirozzoli, President

2023 Nominating Committee Report

A Nominating Committee has been formed to seek out candidates for the 2023 Elected Officers. The Committee consist of myself (Jim Hagberg), Brian Dillman and Steve Allen. We are seeking individuals that wish to run for the elected offices of Club President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Safety Officer. The current list of candidates are as follows:

President: Joe Pirozzoli

Vice President: Bruce VerWest

Secretary: Jerry Higgins

Treasurer: Ian Isaacs

Safety Officer: Duane Gall

 

Anyone seeking to run for office or wishing to nominate someone else, please contact the committee or see one of us at the field. If you are nominating someone else, please be sure and ask that person if he or she will accept the nomination.

You can contact the Nominating Committee by clicking on the email link on the Board Members Webpage, under “Other Staff”. The following link will also take you there:

https://www.arvadamodelers.com/contact/?recip=Nominating%20Committee

 

Thanks,

Jim Hagberg, Chairman

Brian Dillman and Steve Allen

Email: nominations@arvadamodelers.com

Jefco RC Auction 2022

Jefco Aeromod’lers will be hosting their annual RC Auction this year at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds on Jan 29th.

Passing of Werner Illig

Our dear member and fellow modeler, Werner Illig, passed away on November 29th. Werner was 88 at the time of his passing and had been a member of AAM since July of 1991. His wife, Janice, commented that Werner derived a great deal of enjoyment from the hobby and, in particular, his membership with the Club. Werner expressly desired to not have a public memorial. As such, the family had a small, private service.  However, if you wish to express your condolences to the family, please see the intra-Club weekly update from Joe Pirozzoli, dated 12/27/2021, for instructions and an address. The family has specifically requested that not send flowers.