9 Model Aviation MARCH 2014
If you have a letter to the editor, please submit it to MA Editor-in-Chief Jay Smith at
5161 E. Memorial Dr., Muncie IN 47302, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or at
After reading Jay Smith’s and Rich
Hanson’s columns in the January 2014
MA concerning newcomers being
snubbed at the flying field, I had to
write about an incident at our local
club field. A couple years ago, as I was
preparing my model for flight, I heard
an individual approach several older
members of the club asking questions.
I noticed he had an accent and the
members wouldn’t even give him the
time of day. I went over, introduced
myself and inquired about his interest in
flying. He said his name was Guido.
He told me he was from Germany
and here on a work assignment for
several weeks. He saw our club on the
Internet and stopped to check out the
field. He flies sport, IMAC [International
Miniature Aerobatic Club], and turbine
jets and is just interested in model
activities as a whole. We hit it off right
In the following weeks, I took him to
the Dayton Air Show, the Middletown,
Ohio, Balloon Fest, and the World Jet
Masters competition that was being held
at the Museum of the United States
Air Force. At the World Jet Masters,
he introduced me to the fliers on the
German and Russian teams.
Last summer I had an opportunity to
travel to Germany for my work. After
my work was finished, my wife and I
met Guido and his family. During the
next several days he showed us around
southern Germany and France. He also
took me to his flying field where I met
some of his club members.
Amazingly, the language barrier
did not hamper our communications
much because modeling is the same the
world over. Now I have an international
friendship all because I took the time to
talk to a visitor to our club flying field.
District III AVP
The article you did, and Rich’s
[Hanson], were dead on. The local club
here in town (southern Arizona) has
several black mood-ring types. I also
make the 1-hour drive to Tucson and fly
there. While this club and our local club
have plenty of nice guys, most of them
keep to themselves.
At our club in Minnesota, it was club
policy to keep an eye out for new faces,
and we kept a club trainer/buddy box
setup at the field. It was always the high
point of someone’s day to fly with new
When people make the point to drive
to a club site, members should be eager
to show them how much fun this is.
Clubs seem to be quick to put up signs
like “pilots only,” “must be a member,”
etc. How about “ welcome to our field,”
“for info ask any member”?
I’m a current full-scale pilot also,
and I have found that bunch to be
more friendly (fly-ins, breakfasts, etc.).
With possible government scrutiny
approaching, we need all the friends we
can get. Thanks again to both of you
for shining the light on this. Hopefully
those affected will be man enough to
see the error of their ways, and make
a resolution to make visitors glad they
stopped to [see] us.