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Chartered Club #970
Skymasters R/C Club Newsletter - March 1999
See Skymasters on the Web at

President’s Message

Hi All,

Well, it has been somewhat of a quiet month as far as Skymasters goes, but that never stopped me from giving your newsletter editor some problems. Once again I am writing this on an airplane, on my way to wonderful Disneyland with the kids for our vacation. If I just stop and think of all the planes I could buy with just all that money…, Oh well back to reality

The flying season is rapidly approaching us again, and I want to make all aware of a few things. One of the biggest things we can do to help ourselves is coming up on April 17 of this year. Those of you have been around for awhile know it as Bald Mountain involvement day. For the benefit of the newbies in the club, each year Skymaster’s club donates 1 day of labor to Bald Mountain State Park. The local Rangers arrange all kinds of work for us. The tasks they want us to do are varied and some involve building, cleaning, painting, etc. There is work for all capabilities and talents so please consider coming out to help, even if only for a few hours. This one event that we donate to the park is used by the rangers in their internal and political meetings and is often pointed to when people complain that we should not be in the park. We are a club of over 200, and I believe that we should have more than the 40 or so that showed up last year. Please make this a high priority!

Continuing my requests for you, I have a few more. I would like to ask all to buy a state park annual pass for the park. The sticker is more than a small legal obligation. Sticker sales is one of the metrics that Lansing uses to decide on which State parks are active and are in need of funding. We help Bald Mountain by buying these things; it is not just $20 into some black hole in Lansing. Greg Cardillo (your newsletter editor) almost always has the stickers with him; so bring $20 to the club meetings or to the field and Greg will be happy to take your money. (For those eligible for a senior discount, you need to buy your stickers from the park to get the discount. Ed.)

The next (and final of this message) request I have of you is to please have your plane sound checked before you fly. I nagged about this at the last meeting, but I need to emphasize again that the sound of our planes is our biggest Achilles heel and our 94Dba rule is for our continued survival at Bald Mountain. We do not have a long term lease at the field and we need to remember we are essentially guests. Every club member has the responsibility to police.

I am very happy and pleased to announce that Chris Knee has accepted the position of Chief Flight Instructor for 1999. Your club president used his extensive experience and timed the request after I noticed he had a couple of beers at the most recent pilot’s meeting. Seriously though, I am sure many of you have noticed the dedication and patience Chris has shown over the last several years as a flight instructor and I am sure he will do a great job. Please join me in congratulating him.

I have to close with a small correction that your newsletter editor suggested. It seems Greg felt my explanation of what happened to my Super Stinker (the plane I showed at show and tell) on its maiden flight 2 years ago lacked a little detail. I mentioned that I ripped the landing gear off and made a few other light scratches. (I didn’t even hear you mention scratches! Ed.) Greg protested that a few other "scratches" should have been a little more detailed. Well, besides ripping the landing gear off I also, bent both cabanes, broke both inter-wing struts, destroyed the cowl, broke the prop (APC prop, which are very difficult to break), and tore the bottom wing mount off. My only defense continues to be that I never let a few minor facts get in the way of a good story (your newsletter editor will agree to my accuracy on that one!) (May you have far better luck this time! Ed.)

See ya at the field!

Joe Finkelstine

R/C Definitions

Glide Time: The time between the engine falling out and the airplane hitting the ground.

Aeromodeling: The art of turning precision cust and glued balsa wood and foam into toothpicks and confetti.

Crash: Method of seeing inside a model airplane.

Receiver: Part of the radio that picks up interference.

Tank: Temporary storage place for chemicals before they saturate the airplane.

(From the Tri-Valley R/C News via Lapeer County R/C Wing Nuts.)

Meeting Minutes

February 10, 1998 Meeting at Larson Middle School

Minutes from previous meeting:

Minutes not read

Treasurers Report:

Not available

First time visitors:

Mark from Amhurst NY, Gene from England

Swap Meets:

Feb. 21 Owosso, Feb. 24 Skymasters at Larson($400.00 in prizes).

Presentation: prop’s

Speaker Keith Shaw: Has been flying since the early fifties.

A prop is a rotating wing. It has, span, cord, angle of attack, and air foil.

Rule of thumbs:

1) Pitch in inches x Rpm in thousands =approx. speed of plane

2) 10" prop at 12000 rpm has 200 lbs, trying to rip blade off hub.

3) 20" prop at 12000 rpm has 3 tons of force trying to pull it off.

Don’t run a damaged prop.

4) Check prop for wood grain, knots and weakness’

5) Balance it!!! VIBRATION KILLS PLANES, and associated electronics.

6) Remove material to balance a prop off the front and not the back. The back side has the more accurate aerodynamics.

7) If a prop works good, if you change diameter by 1" change the pitch by 2".

8) Match engine, prop and airplane, Trainer 2x1(12x6), sport 1.5x1.

9) When you clean your airplane, don’t forget the prop.

10) A multi blade prop, ( 3 or 4 blade), is not as efficient. If you change from a 2 to a 3 or 4 blade, keep the same pitch, drop the diameter by 10%. General rules of thumb, other factors may apply.

Upcoming Events:

Greg now has the event schedule, see the web site or the newsletter.


Bald mountain involvement day is April 17 Th., this is the rent for our field. This year if you come to work for at least 2 hours, you will receive a gift certificate.


Write the Governor

Please do not fly a new airplane until it passes a DB check!

Show and Tell:

Ross Jones brought a Spitfire that now has a 4-stroke, and Robart retracts.

K.C. Satchell brought in a Hangar nine Cap232 ARF. 11lbs. with a YS 120AC IMAC legal, took less then 20 hrs. to build.

Jim brought in his Goldberg anniversary, "anything but yellow", CUB. 60 size engine, will be on floats. Covered in 21 st century fabric.

Joe Finkelstein brought in his Midwest superstinker. Moki 1.8, 14 lbs 3 oz, carbon fiber prop, 8 servos," gearless airplane last year. can you say, hand launch!

He also brought in what he called a da#*, Gremlin. 3lbs 3oz 40 la Covered in econocote.

Joe Hass Brought in a Patriot ARC. Suppose to be therapy," it was not". 6 servos


50/50 was $23.00,

Old-timers and wanna-bees Breakfast first and third Monday’s at 9 am.

Motion to adjourn and Second 9:35 PM

February 24, 1998 Meeting at Larson Middle School

No business meeting – annual swap shop.

From the Editor…

Welcome to the March 1999 issue of Skywriter.

Many event dates for you this month. The complete Skymasters Event Schedule is included, as well as the full AMRCC Schedule (Association of Midwest Radio Control Clubs) giving all AMA Club events in the area through our 2000 swap shop!

Check your mailing label to see your current membership status. Following your name is (99) is your 1999 dues are paid. Information is as of Feb 15. Please direct any discrepancies to our Treasurer!

I received a request at the last meeting to detail the clubs process for measuring sound levels. It can be found on page ??.

Please send me any input you may have for the newsletter. Please send mail to, or to my address on the

back cover…

Skymasters Events

March 1, 1999 Retirees Breakfast - Dennys in Rochester

Come join the retirees and wanna bees for breakfast at 9:00 Monday morning!

March 10, 1999 Skymasters Meeting – Larson Middle School, 7:30 PM.

Sound Reduction – now that Skymasters is 94dBa at 10 feet, how do we get those marginal planes 1dBa quieter?? Or those already quiet planes even quieter. Come learn and share what works and what doesn’t from your own experiences, and hear those of others. Please bring ideas and samples of what has worked for you!

March 15, 1999 Retirees Breakfast

Dennys in Rochester

Come join the retirees and wanna bees for breakfast at 9:00 Monday morning!

March 24, 1999 Skymasters Meeting – Larson Middle School, 7:30 PM.

Skymasters 1999 Float Fly

So you’ve always wanted to be a movie star!

Now is your chance.

SKS Video Productions has put the Midwest Regional Float Fly on their calendar for this year. (September 11-12) They will shoot several hours of tape and then edit it down into an exciting video that will be marketed both in the U.S. and internationally.

Get started on that special floatplane or a set of floats for an interesting plane you already have. (If Vince can put a float under his F18 then anything is fair game.) You’ll want to be on the video for all of your friends across the country to see!

Fun Times and Opportunities Just Keep Rollin’ In!!!

Other Area Events

Upcoming Programs/Events

Monday, March 1* Skymasters Retirees (and Wanna Bees) Breakfast, Bob Burns 248-628-4666

Sunday, March 7* Ribcrackers Swap Meet, Livonia, Greg Bessette 810-229-9732

Wednesday, March 10* Skymasters Meeting, Larson Middle School

Sunday, March 14 Flying Pilgrims Swap Meet, Jim Repp 734-416-5461

Monday, March 15* Skymasters Retirees (and Wanna Bees) Breakfast, Bob Burns 248-628-4666

Wednesday, March 24 Skymasters Meeting, Larson Middle School

Fri/Sat/Sun, April 9,10,11* Toledo 99, Weak Signals, Seagate Centre, Toledo

Wednesday, April 14 Skymasters Meeting, Larson Middle School

Saturday, April 17 Skymasters Bald Mountain Involvement Day

Wednesday, April 28 Skymasters Meeting, Larson Middle School

*See additional information for these events in this issue of Skywriter!

Event info from mailings received, AMRCC, and Michigan RC Flying Times

1999 Skymasters Events

1999 Skymasters Events

1999 AMRCC Schedule

1999 AMRCC Events

Sound Measurements

As I am sure you know by now, our noise limit this year is 94dBa. At the last meeting, I was asked to publish our procedure for measuring the sound level.

For measurement, our club standard is the Radio Shack Analog dB meter. This meter has been discontinued, though at least 10 members at the last meeting had one…

Most dB meters have a choice of several setting: The first is A or C. Our standard, and the norm for measuring this type of sound is the A scale (dBa). The second if Fast or Slow which indicates how quickly the meter reacts to peak sound. Our standard is SLOW which provides a smoother average reading. The third is the range of the meter in 10 dBa increments. With the meter set on 90, a reading of zero is 90dBa. Negative readings subtract from 90, positive add to 90. The meter is most accurate on the positive side, so if a negative reading is obtained, lower the scale by 10 dBa.

Our measurement is done at 10 feet. The plane is placed on the grass. The sound meter located 10 feet upwind of the fuselage on the exhaust side even with the nose of the plane; held between 12 and 18 inches off the ground at a slight angle to the plane. (Note the wind orientation insures a plane that is ok on a calm day, is ok on a windy day. This is not intended to allow a plane over 94 dBa to make sound on a windy day!) The holder of the plane should be on the opposite side (non exhaust side). Insure nothing else like a flight box is nearby – the sound can echo and give a false reading.

The engine should be run at full throttle until a steady reading is obtained. Note that changing props, fuel, needle valve settings can alter the sound levels and require rechecking. I would encourage you to experiment with propellor and exhaust alternatives. To properly do this, a tachometer should be used as well to compare RPM and noise.

If you need some assistance checking your plane, all you need to do is ask. I have helped out many, both at the field or in their (or my) backyards. Many others will help out as well.

Please continue to remember the spirit of the rule. Our goal should always be to be as quiet as possible.

For Sale

I have the following for sale: all of the planes are bare (no servos, batteries, etc. although they have all of the push rods).

Sig 4 Star 60--only about 8 flights. Excellent condition--$100

Sig 4 Star 120--four flights. Excellent condition--------$120

Goldberg Extra 300 (set up for YS 1.40) Ex. condition-----$140

Great Planes Super Sportster 120. Ex. condition---------$140

ACE 4-60. Excellent condition-------------------------$100

Air Trax (foam wing, pattern style plane) Ex. condition---$120

Great Planes Cub .40 full span. Brand new.--------------$150

I have 21 fuel tanks almost all new (only 3 used): Hayes, Great Planes, Dubro, Sullivan and Graupner. Various sizes from 8 ounce through 20 ounces. I will sell the entire lot for $100.

Dremel disc and belt sander--excellent condition---$75

Northern drill press (1/2 inch chuck) Almost brand new--$130

I have many other items in my "to sell" boxes if you want to come over and take a look. Mike Russell 248-852-7413


  1. It is better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here!
  2. An airplane may fly a little over gross weight, but it won’t fly without fuel!
  3. Speed is life, Altitude is life insurance!
  4. Never let your airplane take you somewhere that your mind didn’t get to five minutes earlier!
  5. No one has ever collided with the sky!
  6. Any attempts to stretch fuel consumption is certain to increase headwinds!
  7. Any pilot that does not privately believe he’s (she’s) the best in the business is in the wrong business!
  8. It’s best to keep the pointy end going first as much as possible!
  9. Takeoffs are optional – Landings are mandatory!
  10. Good judgement comes from experience – experience comes from bad judgement!
  11. An airplane may disappoint a good pilot – but it will never surprise him!
  12. Learn from the mistakes of others – you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
  13. A superior pilot is one that uses his superior judgement to keep from using his superior skills.

(Reprinted from EAA Chapter 907 "Squadron News" via SVRCC Valley Flyer)

Skymasters Information

Skymasters field is located within the Bald Mountain State Park (see map). State Park Permits are required and can be obtained from the Park Headquarters located on Greenshield Road or at club events. Flying is permitted from 10 AM to 8 PM. The noise limit for 1998 is 95dB at 10 feet - this noise rule is strictly enforced.

Wednesday evenings during the summer is Student Night and there are usually instructors around all afternoon. Student night is also ‘pot luck’ buffet night so that you can fly-n-feed (though not usually at the same time). Students are encouraged on other days and weekends. It is a great idea to come on Wednesday, meet the Instructors and arrange for more instruction time together. Our Chief Flight Instructor is Chris Knee. Assistant Chief Flight Instructor is Graham Overton.

From June to August, Club Meetings are held at the field on the first Saturday of the month at 12 Noon - a great chance to fly and gossip too! Winter meetings (September to May) are held at Larson Middle School (on Long Lake just east of John R - see map) on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30 PM. Show and Tell, coffee and donuts, and model-speak are the order of the evening. Come along - they are fun.

The Skywriter newsletter is sent to all members, local hobby shops and other local R/C clubs. Any and all contributions are welcome, please pass any articles to the Editor. If you know of anyone who may be interested in our hobby (friend, relative, neighbor, colleague or acquaintance) - please give them a copy of this newsletter or a copy of an AMA magazine - it may spark their interest and get them into our hobby!

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