2023 Proposed Bylaw changes

2023 Proposed Bylaw Changes
Purpose and Key Issue Pros and Cons

The full text of the Bylaws, both with changes shown and the final version for approval can be viewed in the links below.

Current Bylaws with in-line edits (comparison)

Proposed Bylaws for member approval


Bylaw changes should occur, from time to time, to keep pace with changes in policies and procedures implemented by the Board and changes in the social environment. The last time the Bylaws were changed was January 2017. Several Club policies have been implemented since then and there are certain aspects of Membership/Board behavior which have evolved (organically) since that time as well. Some new policies must be incorporated into the Bylaws as well as other changes which facilitate normal opera on of the Club.

A committee was formed to evaluate and recommend amendments. That committee consists 4 Board members, 3 of whom are Officers, including: Joe Pirozzoli (President); Duane Gall (Safety Officer); Jerry Higgins (Secretary); and, Dan Underkofler (Events Coordinator). The following amendments were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors at the August BOD meeting.

Absentee Voting


The recent pandemic and other social factors have highlighted the need for the Club to allow absentee voting. Restrictions on “in‐person” meetings as well as a notable decline in Member attendance (for any number of reasons) has made reliance on physical attendance problematic. Absentee voting, with proper assurances, allows for continued, routine business without the need for physical attendance at Business meetings.


  • Encourages greater Member participation
  • Makes meeting a quorum much easier (and almost guaranteed)
  • Provides more flexibility in case “in‐person” voting is inconvenient or unavailable (e.g. COVID pandemic, lack of venue availability, weather events, etc.)
  • Gives folks that are unable to a end a means of participating in Club business (i.e. due to illness, lack of transportation, bad weather, etc.)
  • Many, many other clubs successfully utilize absentee voting


  • Requires extra work by certain Board members (i.e. Webmaster, etc.)
  • Requires specific provisions:
    • Must make voting accessible to all Members
    • Must provide security (i.e. no double counting, etc.)
    • Must be able to provide confidentiality (e.g. for voting that requires a secret ballot)
  • Means that results may not be available immediately, or at the conclusion of a Business meeting 

Reducing Number of Board Members by 2


It has become readily apparent, within the last decade, that the Board may reduce its number by at least 2. A reduction of 2 (from 13 to 11) is desired in order to maintain an odd number of voting Board positions. It is virtually impossible to expect that all 13 members will attend a meeting, particularly when the Past President (PP) rarely participates, even immediately following his/her term in office. Eliminating the reliance on the PP to participate, and dropping another position is not significantly impactful nor will it be punitive to Board efficiency and function. The other position selected for removal, under this measure, is the Public Relations Director.

Pros for Removing Past President

  • Historically, over the past 2 decades, the Past President (PP) has not served for more than 1 year following his/her term in office – in the majority of cases the PP does not serve at all, which compromises the ability to maintain an odd number of Board attendees
  • Reduces the number of participants for each meeting (i.e. 13 is a very large number and not needed)
  • Increases probability of having a full compliment of Board members at meetings
  • Easier to recruit a new President because that person is no longer obligated beyond their term in office (i.e. for additional years as the PP)
  • Incoming President can call upon anyone to assist with transition and advisement (including any PP’s or other former Board members)
  • The incoming President can install non‐voting Board members if needed (including the PP or others)

Cons for Removing Past President

  • The Past President provides some continuity for transition of power, however, this is true whether the PP is on Board or not – also, other returning Board members provide similar continuity
  • The Past President is a good advisory resource, however, (again) the PP can be utilized whether officially on the Board or not

Pros for Removing Public Relations Director

  • PR reports are rarely needed or even provided at every Board meeting (i.e. there are relative few PR issues that crop up throughout the year)
  • This position is not critical to day‐to‐day Club operations or routine Board business
  • Reduces the number of participants for each meeting (i.e. 13 is a very large number and not needed)
  • Increases probability of having a full compliment of Board members at meetings
  • Historically there have not been many PR Directors – IOW… the Club has previously gone without a PR Director for extended per periods of me, although not recently
  • Incoming President can appoint a PR committee Chairperson or install a non‐voting PR Board member
  • The City is less concerned about the “title”, than the person – IOW… the City seeks to have a reliable and responsible point of contact from the Club, and is often oblivious to their title or Board status
  • It will be easier to recruit this position because it will require a lesser time commitment

Cons for Removing Public Relations Director

  • If the PR Director in involved in City negotiations, having “Director” status is beneficial, however, that can be accomplished by appointing PR as a non‐voting Board member


Recent Policies or Changes to be Included in Bylaws

The following are policies which have been adopted by the Board and are proposed to be incorporated in the Bylaws:

  • The Member information “Privacy Policy” (i.e. personal information will be protected and not shared)
  • Formal exclusion of AMA “Park Pilot” membership for Club Members (i.e. Club Members must have “Full” or “Youth” AMA membership to meet Lease‐required liability coverage obligations)
  • The policies and procedures for applying Membership Dues and Fees, to new and existing members, will be managed by the Membership Chairperson

2023 Frozen Finger Fun Fly – Report

By: Joe Pirozzoli (CD)

What a great tradition and fun contest to CD. I have to admit, I do enjoy it. I really like trying to come up with a group of events that are unique, challenging and fun. It’s really hard to come up with something that no one has ever done before. I bet I’ve participated or CD’d in at least a hundred fun fly’s. Thus, I’ve pretty much seen it all. At the same time, I’m also drawn back to a couple of favorite events that stand the test of time.

It was a typical New Year’s Day. Snow on the ground, temps in the low 40’s, a little sunshine and hardly any wind. To many of you that may sound rather miserable, but to a dozen or so die-hard’s, those are pretty good conditions. As long as there’s a little sunshine and no breeze, that’s pretty balmy here in good ole CO. I’ve flown in worse conditions for sure.

As is often the case, the challenge to having the FFFF is having the road passable and the runway plowed. That almost didn’t happen because of the 12” of snow we got 3 days prior, followed by high winds which drifted over the road that night (Thursday). Thanks to Ernie Stoos, the runway was plowed the same day it snowed. And thanks to a rather unfortunate, but fortuitous, set of circumstances the following day (Friday), the road was cleared by our good friends at Pioneer. Had it not been for the large front-end loader operator at Pioneer, the road would have been a pretty significant problem for most 2WD vehicles (and even some 4×4’s) on Sunday.

There were 11 contestants signed up for the contest. As usual, there were 3 events including a ground event and 2 flying events. The ground event this year was something completely different (and new) using an old implement. The implement was Lanny Hansen’s infamous metal ramp. This thing has been around since the 80’s. To quote Lanny… “it was designed so that a 60-sized pattern plane (with tricycle gear) could go up and over without hitting the prop”. That’s right, in those days, occasionally someone showed up to a fun fly with a ballistic pattern plane! The flying events were 2 of my old favorites, you guessed it, the “bomb drop” and “limbo”.

Back to the ground event. This year, I decided to try something new using Lanny’s old ramp… I call it the “Ski-jump”. Contestants were given 30 feet to get up a head of steam before hitting the ramp, then were required to cut the motor before hitting the ramp, and then glide as far as possible. Now that all sounds very easy… except, the darn ramp is only about 3 feet wide. Thus, it takes a little finesse to stay lined up with the ramp at a high rate of speed in order to get a good jump and glide. Results ranged from a low of just a couple of yards to the winner, Brian Gates, at 31 feet using one our Club Trainers, an “Aeroscout”. Which makes for a great story!

The bomb drop is always fun because it usually brings out some rather unique or unexpected methods for dropping the flower sack. This year, I saw something I’d never seen before… a “3D” bomb drop. Ernie Stoos pulled up into a hover right over the cross-hairs (i.e. the “X” on the ground) and managed to throw the bomb out, from a vertical position, to a winning distance of 21 feet. That was truly an amazing feat of skill!

The limbo, to me, is another great test of skill. Navigating between 2 poles and trying to sneak under a paper ribbon is both difficult and a little intimidating. You really have to know your plane, and there is very little luck involved. The process of starting high and then lowering the ribbon, tends to narrow the field to just the a few contestants that really have command of their aircraft. When we got down to the lowest level only 3 guys remained: Lanny, Ernie and Brian. Lanny prevailed, clearing a height of barely 2 feet.

Brian (who is also our CFI) showed up to fly on New Year’s Day, but not to necessarily participate the fun fly. Mike Jasiewicz, also an instructor, had crashed his FF plane the day before. As a result, Mike and Brian shared a Club Aeroscout for the FFFF. A rather creative and elegant solution. And, as luck would have it, the Aeroscout turned out to be very serviceable fun fly plane (who’d a thunk it?). I guess any plane, in the right hands, can be a deadly weapon!

Brian would go on to take 3rd in the bomb drop and tie for 2nd in the limbo, to win the coveted FFFF trophy. But, here is the really fun part… Brian had no idea that if you win the FFFF, you’re obligated to CD it the next year (gotcha). A fact, BTW, which often disincentivizes contestants from trying their hardest to win (LOL)! Brian had no such hesitations and earned his spot on the much-coveted or maligned (as the case may be) trophy.

I’d also like to give honorable mention to a new, young, up-and-comer, Landen Jekel (i.e. Rodger Barsch’s grandson). Watching Landen compete reminded me of watching Rodger’s son, Cory, about 35 years ago. They both exhibited amazing skill at a young age (it must be in the genes). Landen and Rodger also shared a plane, Rodger’s FLEX Innovations “Potenza”. Landen acquitted himself very well having only recently solo’d this past Spring. Landen is also showing some remarkable pattern skills with grandpa’s Mythos.

Photos courtesy of Darren Bryant

2023 Frozen Finger Fun Fly Pilots Group Picture

Group Picture (L-R: Landen, Rodger, Brian, Mike, Lanny, Joe, Ernie, Brad, Bill Steve & Duane)

2023 FFFF Ramp

That darn ramp!

2023 FFFF Ramp 2

Duane Gall and his “Dewey” Polaris were very competitive!


2023 FFFF Eye on the ball 1

Keep your eye on the little ball!

2023 FFFF Eye on the ball 2

Keep your eye on the little ball!

2023 FFFF Limbo Ribbon Victory Lap

Landen taking a victory lap with the limbo ribbon!

2023 FFFF Limbo 1

There is really low (Lanny)…

2023 FFFF Limbo 2

And, then there’s too low (Steve)!

2023 FFFF Champ

Your 2023 FFFF Champion, Brian Gates (L)!

Sam “Salvatore” J. Catanzaro 1930 ~ 2022 (age 92)

Very sadly, another Club member (a great member and a great man), Sam Cantanzaro, passed away this month. Sam passed away on December 12, 2022 at the age of 92. Our (membership) records show that he was a member in good standing when he passed and had been a member since 1983. He was also a life member of AMA. However, I have it on very good authority that Sam was also one of the founding members of our Club, which pre-dates our current record keeping.

Sam visited the field from time-to-time with his adult children. His health prevented him from flying more recently, but he seemed to enjoy those visits nonetheless. His obituary can be found here:



Monday, January 9, 2023
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Spirit of Christ Catholic Church (Arvada, Colorado)


Monday, January 9, 2023
12:00 PM
Spirit of Christ Catholic Church (Arvada, Colorado)

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

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).

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.


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


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