Thank goodness the flying season has finally arrived. I have three subjects to cover and will try to be concise.
First: The NWPC has a working copy of the Land Use License that DNR wants any commercial operators using their land to sign. DNR is the owner of the property at North and South launch, as well as the Road to Launch. Heather Cole, the DNR area manager, has really worked at making this an agreement that will not be too burdensome on the instructors and the shuttle operator at Tiger Mountain . She has also procured a $100,000 grant for upgrading the logging road to launch. The work on that road should take place this summer.
One of the changes DNR has asked for is two million dollars insurance for any commercial operators. We will cover questions on what that includes at the March 11 NWPC meeting.
DNR also asks that beyond the maintenance we perform at the Poo Poo point outhouse and maintaining launches, that we also maintain the road after the upgrading has been done. That has been estimated at $3000 to $5000 per year by the engineer that is putting together the bid for contractors to bid on the road improvements. How we handle that will be discussed at the meeting also, and I’m sure by other users of the road. The current thought is that a good portion of that cost should be handled by the key holders for the road.
Any time there is change, I’m sure there will be mixed feelings and even controversy. The BOD will try to incorporate as much of the flying community’s ideas as possible. We also realize that the land owner, DNR, has the final say on what is acceptable on the land they are charged with caring for.
Second: I would like to change the subject, to the friends and personalities that make this sport special for most of us. Not just our local super heroes like Tom McCune and Aaron Swepston, or the wonderful personalities like El Diablo, Kiel, Hannah, James of the North and how could I not mention Chirico. The many up and coming younger pilots whose skill levels quickly surpass old guys like myself, and who will soon be those that set the standards.
Each of us has a group of pilots / friends that make this sport special. I encourage you to let them know they are special and to enlarge that group in the flying season ahead.
I want to express to two such pilots, Murdoch and Jan, that they are special. Both have given to this sport much more than they seem to realize. Murdoch’s contributions to our e Fly and, with Ernie Friesen as editor, the paper moved from the memo graphed area into a Web published paper. This work was recognized in 2001 as the best of its kind in USHPA. Jan and Murdoch have been instrumental in too many fly-ins to count They have spearheaded fund raising to save sites when insurance requirements threatened to shut them down. The two have been a voice of giving when our leadership -myself included - needed to hear their message. If you have been a person in need, they’ve always been the first to volunteer help.
Both are recovering from ailments, but sometimes recognition and friendship offered will do more than rest and medicines to help the sprit recover. Get well soon. We miss you both.
Last and about time, each of our board members will be writing a Prez says this year so you will find out what is important to them and their priorities for our club. We will start in April with our VP Ashley Guberman, one of those up and coming pilots I mentioned earlier.
Do your pre-launch checks and I will see you at the Club meeting March 11th..