News

  • 01 Jan 2017 7:31 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Click here for pics and video.

    It was a frigid 27 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 am, January 1, 2017, as the few brave souls began to gather on the frozen tundra of SLRCFA field. Cold hands assembled cold planes, flipped switches on transmitters, and pulled warm batteries from their LiPo bags to ready for their first flight at 9:30am. Coffee cups were de rigueur, streaming steam around the sippers’ heads as they stomped feet near the hastily-lit bonfire.

    The moment of truth came -- lots were struck from the list of men assembled. Once again, Jim Henke agreed to be the first man in the air, powering up his CarbonZ Cub and quickly taxing for a burp of throttle in the air made thick by cold. In a moment, he was up, steadying his freezing hands while bringing it around for a touch-and-go. The soft tires, now stiff with cold, thudded a little louder than usual, signaling the moment when the first plane was “down” – the “all fly” signal.

    As plane after plane lifted skyward, it was as if the heated electric motors and gasoline engines were churning the air and infusing some temperature. Now above freezing by 10 am, and the air was almost comfortable. A few stragglers showed up to renew and get their DA-70 raffle ticket privileges, or the new PRIME membership for 2017.

    Amid the growing buzz of conversation, motors and engines, an all-too-familiar thud was heard. Like an upside-down Icarus story, one pilot had flown too low to the frozen grass while inverted and had reaped Icarus’ fate. Well, it’s New Year’s Day 2017, and there’s plenty of time to get new stuff ready by Spring.


  • 13 Dec 2016 5:28 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Reposted from GLSMA e-mail. Click here for attachment (St. Louis County Order).

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    G.S.L.M.A  Notice - December 10, 2016

    Attention flyers:

    GSLMA recently met with St. Louis County Parks Department.  The following new County Council Order with Attachment A was approved by the County Council.  Attachment A are updated Buder Park flying field rules showing that both AMA and a Buder Park Permit (for a fee) are required to fly at Buder Park.

    Effective January 1, 2017, St. Louis County Park Rangers will be checking for current AMA membership and a current Buder Park Permit.  If you are flying without AMA and/or a Buder Park Permit, a citation may be issue.

    AMA membership is available at www.modelaircraft.org and the application for a Buder Park permit can be found at www.gslma.com.

    Please contact GSLMA with questions.

    Tony Vitiello

    epasta1@charter.net


  • 11 Dec 2016 3:57 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    2017 Ushers in the Exclusive, new

    PRIME MEMBERSHIP…

    SLRCFA is proud to announce our new Prime Membership starting Jan 1, 2017. We’ve been talking about adding value for those members who attend our events, so Prime is your ticket if you’re in that crowd.

    CLICK HERE TO JOIN/RENEW

    With your Prime Membership you get these
    PRIME MEMBERSHIP EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS:

    • Free pilots fees for all three 2017 events (Fly-In, Show-Me-3D and Warbirds), plus any others we announce (Toy’s for Tot’s excluded – the landing fee is a gift for the kiddos). This Prime Membership Benefit includes the food, event raffle tickets (with registration) and pilot prizes/awards that the other non-Prime pilots will be paying for! This alone is a $75 value!
    • Two, yes 2 free tickets for our 2017 Desert Aircraft 70cc Twin raffle. $50 value! $850 value if you win!
    • The ability to purchase more DA-70 raffle tickets – only those who are members by 1/1/2017 are eligible to purchase tickets at $25 each.
    • Your special Prime Membership card with the PRIME Logo
    • 2018 PRIME RATE GUARANTEE: Your 2018 Prime Membership Dues will not increase. You’re locked in to renew at $250 for a 2018 Prime Membership (as long as you renew by Jan 1, 2019).

    Remember, to get all these PRIME MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS, you need to be signed up and paid by Jan 1, 2016. Better yet: come to the December 15 Christmas Party and get it all done then: we’ll have your DA-70 raffle tickets and membership card printed there on the spot! For those of you who have already renewed, you can move up to PRIME for only $55, as long as you do it by Jan 1st (contact Marshall or Dennis).


  • 11 Dec 2016 3:56 AM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Join or Renew by January 1st for a chance at DA-70!!!

    Get in on the action for a Desert Aircraft 70cc Twin engine with the EARLY BIRD 2017 DA-70 RAFFLE! For every new or renewing FULL or PRIME membership that signs up and pays by January 1st, 2017, we’re entering you in a raffle for a brand new DA-70 (two tickets for PRIME). You’ll also have the option to purchase more raffle tickets… BUT ONLY IF YOU’RE A FULL OR PRIME MEMBER BY JAN 1, 2017!

    Everyone likes the chance to build a new plane with the best, and a DA-70 on the front of your latest 60cc aerobat or warbird is gonna pull like a tractor (or maybe a jet if you prop it right)!

    Just go to www.slrcfa.com/2017renew and get in on the action. There you will find the opportunity to:

    • ·        Sign up or renew for a 2017 Early Bird Full or upgrade to a Prime Membership (read about the new “Prime Membership Privileges” in this issue.
    • ·        With your payment for your 2017 Full or Prime Membership, you’ll receive one or two raffle tickets for the DA 70, respectively. Each raffle ticket is worth $25 each… you’ll be getting yours for free!
    • ·        Plus, ONLY folks who have renewed or joined by January 1st will be able to purchase more raffle tickets for the DA 70 at $25 each. When you sign up, you’ll have chance to go to the DA70 RAFFLE PAGE AND PURCHASE MORE.
    • ·        BETTER YET: COME TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY ON DEC 15 AND SIGN UP, GET YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS AND BUY MORE TICKETS FOR THE DA-70 ON THE SPOT.

    We will conduct the DA 70 raffle at the first Spring club meeting in April (at SLRCFA field), or whenever we hit 100 tickets sold, whichever comes first.

    For questions regarding 2017 renewals, PRIME memberships and the DA-70 raffle, contact Marshall L. Henley at webmaster@slrcfa.com.


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:46 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    SLRCFA Annual Dues will necessarily increase for 2017.  Prior administration slated for the dues to increase to $180 in 2017, but the current Board determined that a more accurate and necessary number to have a surviving club would be $195, a $25 increase from 2016. After surveying other area clubs the board also eliminated the all membership levels except Full, Junior, and Associate.

    2017 Membership Dues

    Annual Dues                                                                    $195
    Junior Dues (23 years old or younger & No Voting Rights)            $25

    Associate Member (75+ miles away & No Voting Rights)               $95


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:45 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Marshall L. Henley, SLRCFA Vice President

    I have my own business as a management consultant. I used to work exclusively with small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and not-for-profits. The biggest single problem I run into with these folks is that they don’t have a realistic plan that gets to the end of the year with some money in the bank.

    Not for profits need to make some money

    Not-for-profits are usually very good at watching costs. Many, including SLRCFA, don’t assume the need to create net asset increases, which would be called profit in the for-profit world. A generally accepted range for a not-for-profit would be to put away (increase net assets) by 10%-20% of expected expenses each and every year, by plan. This means that their annual budget plans to take in 11-12 cents for every dime they spend. So, yes, not-for-profits need to make “profit” – they just don’t give it to equity holders.

    And, without increasing net assets by design, when something like our flood happens, or when you need to take steps to maintain growth, the money’s not going to be there.

    Not keeping up with inflation

    SLRCFA held full dues at $150 since the year 2000 for many year. If you use the CPI Inflation Calculator with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the equivalent dues using the same cost structure in 2016 would be $210. Two years ago we started increasing dues, but too slowly ($10 a year), so that full dues were $170 by 2016.

    What’s the problem?

    So if this is a problem, why haven’t we talked about it earlier? Well, it’s been masked a bit by the following:

    • ·        We dipped into our savings account on occasion
    • ·        We have used our net earnings from events and shows, about $2,000 a year, to fund our operating income.

    Figure 1 - 2012 Estimated Gross Income from Dues, below, shows that we basically would have lost money each year without income from our events ($2,000 a year, which is low, is assumed because we do not have records of actual event income by year):

    Figure 1 - 2012 Estimated Gross Income from Dues

    First of all, notice in Figure 1 that we had net losses for the four years ending in 2015. We made money in 2012, but we spent it in 2013. We made money in 2014, but we more-than-spent it in 2015.

    Second, notice that if we reduce our income by $2,000 a year, the highlighted columns yield numbers generally less than $15,000 (with the exception of 2015). Our expenses were never lower than $12,917 (in 2014), but were generally much, much higher.

    What matters is OUR inflation

    Of course, it doesn’t really matter if inflation is at 4% if your family is spending 20% more this year. The breadwinners will have to bring home more than a cost-of-living increase in earnings or they’ll be short, significantly, by the end of the year.

    In 2016 our share of the property taxes went up to $3,745. Our lease is $2,000. Mowing is generally between $6,000 and $8,000 a year (and that’s at a great price to get the field mowed, $200). We cut the budget to the bone in order to keep costs down, but that’s not smart in the long term.

    Moving Forward

    The board desires to make sure SLRCFA is on a solid footing moving forward. To that end, we’ve put the following principles and practices in place:

    • ·        We have a written Mission & Values: as part of that, we want to continue to be the best club and field available in St. Louis. You can break down our resulting Vision statement into the following three categories:
    • o   FUN – we want to continue developing a reputation as the friendliest, most fun club in St. Louis for folks who are serious RCers (3D, jets, electrics, warbirds, giant scale)
    • o   FIELD – we want to maintain and improve our status as the “country club” of RC flying fields in the Midwest
    • o   FUTURE FIELD – we want to put away money to purchase either our current field in the future, purchase another field in the future, or improve our current field in the future.
    • ·        As part of our Mission & Values, we do not want you, our members, worrying about mowing our grass, with some rare exceptions. Furthermore, our mowers are used for late-season and event clean-up mowing.
    • ·        Because events are not a reliable source of income, we do not want to budget annual operating income based upon anything other than our dues structure. Event income can help build our FUTURE FIELD savings.
    • ·        As good stewards, we want to put away 10% - 20% of expected dues income each year. Our dues structure should allow us to fund our budget and save 10%-20% of budgeted expenses (without using event income).

    Having said that, Figure 2 - 2017 Budget Ranges, below, shows the basic math of our situation. On January 1, 2017, we’ll need a dues structure that provides over $16k as a bare minimum to operate the field. A healthier, more realistic budget that matches our Mission & Values is close to $21k. Adding to that either 20% for the “Slashed” budget range or 10% for the “Recommended” budget range gives us a total between $19.5k and $23k.

    Figure 2 - 2017 Budget Ranges

    2016, for example

    A basic analysis shows that our dues structure has been too low to generate enough operating income to run the club without using event income, and certainly too low to put money into the bank each year for a rainy day. Figure 3 - 2016 Actual Dues, below, shows that it’s impossible to generate enough income to even meet our SLASHED budget for 2017, not to mention putting money in the bank.

    One part of the problem is that while our full members pay $170, many pay far less with equal access to the field, and equal impact on field upkeep costs.

    Figure 3 - 2016 Actual Dues

    So what do we do with dues?

    After a year of discussion by the board, it was clear we need to…

    • 1.      This year, opt for a middle-tier increase to $195 (instead of $210) for full members, trying to properly fund the “Slashed” budget but saving 20%, or about $3,300. This should replace the money spent on the flood repairs in 2016, and put us on a good footing for the following years.
    • 2.      Eliminate the many tiers of memberships, with the exception of youth at $25, and the associate membership for folks over 75 miles away.
    • 3.      Stimulate early membership payment and renewal: therefore we’re limiting full memberships to 100 at this time (we had full, senior, family and dual memberships this year.

    Moreover, we are working diligently to provide value to you as an SLRCFA member. We’re trying to create more low-cost, FUN events and activities for you. We are planning for folks who sign up and pay their dues electronically by January 1st to get free event landing fees AND free event pilot raffle tickets. We are still working on building successful events, but trying to get more out-of-towners so we’re not dependent upon the same St. Louis guys. We want to show off the field.

    Sometimes, change is good

    We ask you to consider the following statements…

    • ·        Other fields in the Midwest with our field quality are charging around $300 a year, often with 150 members or more.
    • ·        Having right-sized dues isn’t something new the club is creating; it’s an overdue requirement of our budget to enjoy the field we already operate.
    • ·        For most of us, a servo or two costs as much as $195. Frankly, most of us feel like $195 is a bargain for the quality of field we operate.
    • ·        Most of us will spend far more on an oil change or two than we will on the 2017 increase.
    • ·        We can all work together to make sure you get the most value out of your membership. Why not hit the field on a Thursday night with the crew? What about hitting breakfast with us Saturday mornings before you fly? How about starting your own affinity group within SLRCFA (like the CombatONE guys or the 3D guys) and getting out more often?

    The board remains committed to understanding your needs while making the necessary changes to keep the club active and healthy. Feel free to contact any board member! 


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:45 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Nominations are officially open for the 2017 SLRCFA board of directors.  To be eligible to serve as a director you must have been an “open” member for at least one year by the date of the election. Directors serve a term of ONE year.  We are also accepting nominations for two officer positions, Vice President and Treasurer.  To be eligible to serve in an officer you must have served on the board of directors for at least one year or be an “open” member with a ¾ majority vote of acceptance by the current board of directors. Officers serve a term of TWO years.

    Nominations will be closed at 12am December 1st.

    Elections will be held at the December 15th Club Meeting.

    Current Nominations Include:

    Vice President: Marshall Henley, James Speelman

    Treasurer: Dennis Chivetta

    Directors (8 needed): Jim Beerman, Geoff Biderman, John K. DeLuca, Barry Klussman, Allen Main, Mark Stellern, Mike Stellern, Doug Thompson, and George Biderman

    Please make nominations in our members only Forum: https://slrcfa.wildapricot.org/page-18139/4304638


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:44 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Have you been out at the field and had a visitor ask you about the Club?  Sure we all have had this happen.  SLRCFA now has a New Flyer holder located under the pavilion near the Electrical Panel.  This container is filled with upcoming event flyers and club brochures, flyers, and Business Cards.  Please utilize this to give our guests information about our club.


  • 23 Nov 2016 2:43 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Marshall L. Henley, SLRCFA Vice President

    From our Mission and Values (adopted in 2016), our annual Vision & Goals is put together. This year, we had some interesting, but possibly premature goals. I say “premature” because we needed good folks to lead those efforts before we committed to the goals.

    As part of the 2016 Vision, we wanted to create the following teams with associated leaders. A team lead could be a board member, and many teams are led by board members, but does not have to be led by a board member. The teams (and leaders) are:

    Already in existence in 2016

    • ·        Vision Team  (Marshall Henley)
    • ·        Field Team (Mike Stellern)
    • ·        Sound Team (Allan Main)
    • ·        Safety Team (John DeLuca the younger)

    New Teams with Assigned Leaders

    • ·        Marketing & Communications Team – Marshall Henley
    • ·        Youth Outreach Team – George Biderman
    • ·        Training Team – Jonathan Hendrickson
    • ·        Finance Team – Dennis Chivetta
    • ·        501c7 & Taxes –Dennis Chivetta

    However, we still need leaders for three teams, created and (hopefully) ready-to-go by the end of 2016:

    • ·        FUN Team
    • ·        Events Team
    • ·        Future Field Purchase Team

    If you feel like you can help us with some team leadership for one of these three teams, let us know by contacting Marshall Henley, webmaster@slrcfa.com. Some basic team / leaders descriptions follow to help you understand the roles:

    FUN Team

    The FUN Team is exactly what it sounds like: keep the club having fun and don’t get bogged down by the stuff we have to process on the board. The leader of the FUN team will…

    • ·        Conceive, promote and implement fun activities that generate club enthusiasm and outreach to potential club members and RC flying enthusiasts.
    • ·        Conduct various fun flying events (separate from the “big four”) that require less coordination, provide a lot of fun, and allow those to participate who are not our every-day flyers. CombatONE is an example.
    • ·        Coordinate FUN at every club meeting: we want standing-room only at the club meetings. Think outside of the box, and NOT about club business. Leave that to the board.

    EVENT Team

    The EVENT Team leader will put together individual teams to run each of our major events. Right now, those consist of:

    • ·        June Model Aviation Airshow and Fly-In
    • ·        3D Fly-In
    • ·        Warbirds over St. Louis
    • ·        Toys-for-Tots / Chili Fly

    We want our events to sparkle, and attract new members to SLRCFA and enthusiasts to the hobby. Each event should be well-run, with a volunteer / responsibility list, lesson-learned after each event, spectator and pilot surveys (when appropriate), pamphlets and hand-outs for the club, and more than anything else, LOTS of pilots from out of town and lots of St. Louis Community visitors.

    We may need to break this up by event, but a single EVENT Team Leader could still oversee those guys running each individual event so we get continuity.

    An important goal is to get the 2017 events on the calendar and get AMA sanctions by mid-December, and get publicizing and organizing them starting in January 2017. Find the right guys and delegate is the key! We had over 40 different event volunteers in 2016!

    FUTURE FIELD Team

    Whether we purchase the field we currently lease, look for another field for 10 years down the road, or make long-term field improvement plans for the current field, we need someone to lead the effort to consider our options. The FUTURE FIELD Team leader should have a good understanding of what it takes to do this sort of analysis, and be able to create presentations and speak before the board and the club.

    ---

    If you think you might be a good fit for one of these roles, contact marshallhenley@webmaster@slrcfa.com

    Thanks!


  • 17 Oct 2016 4:22 PM | Marshall Henley (Administrator)

    Nominations are officially open for the 2017 SLRCFA board of directors.  To be eligible to serve as a director you must have been an “open” member for at least one year by the date of the election. Directors serve a term of ONE year.  We are also accepting nominations for two officer positions, Vice President and Treasurer.  To be eligible to serve in an officer you must have served on the board of directors for at least one year or be an “open” member with a ¾ majority vote of acceptance by the current board of directors. Officers serve a term of TWO years.

    Nominations will be closed at 12am December 1st.

    Elections will be held at the December 15th Club Meeting.

    Current Nominations Include:

    Vice President: Marshall Henley

    Treasurer: Dennis Chivetta

    Directors (8 needed): Jim Beerman, Geoff Biderman, John K. DeLuca, Barry Klussman, Allen Main, Mark Stellern, Mike Stellern, and Doug Thompson

    Please make nominations in our members only Forum: https://slrcfa.wildapricot.org/page-18139/4304638



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