2016 Community Appreciation Day

We have been planning our three major summer events for quite some time. The first of them is now history with the Community Appreciation Day on Sunday, June 5th. This is a registered National Model Aviation Day event with the AMA and as such were charged with gathering some money for the Disabled American Veterans.

For a change, be were blessed with good South Dakota weather and the absence of the usual howling winds we have dealt with most of the spring. The day was just about perfect.

We were blessed with good attendance throughout the day. Many spectators and we even gained at least three new members to the group by the end of the day. It certainly didn’t hurt having Smokin’ Hot Catering there to serve their legendary barbeque. Even they sold out most items by the end of the day.

Our first scheduled event was the paintball shoot. We had three teams blazing away at Paul and Gene’s floamies. The Ellsworth Air Force Base Security team walked away with the trophy. Their team of three put up 15 hits on the planes in two rounds of shooting. Second place was the Huber family team. Third place went to the Rapid City Fire Department team. This event was a great deal of fun and I think both competitors and the spectators were taken in by the melee that ensued. It is harder to hit a moving target than most of the competitors thought. Special thanks to Gene Jobgen and Paul Sandal for the donation of their planes and piloting skills. Thanks also to Warren Malone and Justin Gebes for helping with the paintball guns. Say something nice the next time you are at Scheels, as well, for the donation of the paintballs.

About 1 PM, two pylons were placed at the far edge of the runway and the call went out for Assassins. The planes of Gene Jobgen, Paul Sandal, Mike Rossman, Darry Crown, Don Sipes and Brandon Koch answered the call. The rules were there were no rules. We started with hand launches and the first 10 times around the pylon was supposed to be the winner. Good luck on that, but there were certainly many winners on style points. If this is the shape of this summer’s racing, we are going to have great fun. If the prize was smiles, there was not a loser in the assembled pilots.

Brandon Koch, AMA Associate Vice President from North Dakota gave several demonstrations with his racing Quad using FPV googles. That is amazing. If you didn’t get a chance to share the googles you missed an amazing ride.

Bob Olson, Darryl Cassidy and Denny Bernal manned the buddy box all day long. I think the total new pilots on the sticks was more than ten. Dr. Dan Dolan also gave buddy box lessons on this quad. At the end of the day, we drew the name of one of these new pilots and they went home with a trainer airplane and radio -- ready to go. The winner was Darren Schwede. He also gets an introduction membership to Propbusters and will get training to complete his flying lessons. Congratulations Darren and welcome to our group. Thanks to Bob, Darryl, Denny and Dan for hosting all those flights. Your efforts are primarily responsible for our new members.

Just putting things up and tearing down was a long process and all of you helped with that. That denotes the general thank you for all of you who came and helped out. Obviously we could not have done this without you.

At the end of the day, we gathered $75 to be donated to the DAV.

Now on to the IMAC and the Air Rally.

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