SEN-505 November 26 2000

News and Reports 2000 - second half
SCAT Electronic News 26 November 2000 issue 505

Table of Contents
Goodyear Blimp - Furutani
Field Safety - Furutani
14 Rounder Rumor - McKeever
Patterson 2000 - Leath

Goodyear Blimp
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After many years of watching the Goodyear Blimp fly overhead, I finally got
to ride in it. A former student remembered my love of flying stuff, so when
he was asked if he would like a ride, he asked if he could bring a friend-
lucky me!

We were the first flight of the morning so the blimp was still moored to
the mast. Prepping for the flight included ballasting for neutral buoyancy.
Actually, in my case removing A LOT of ballast. First impression- no seat
belts! The take-off was noisy but very smooth. It was much like a
commercial jet take-off except the ground moved away very slowly. Cruising
altitude was around 1400 ft. A very nice view of LA's southbay. I surprised
to see much open land and wondered if maybe we could find a local field to
fly at.

Flying over the ocean, you could see schools of fish and many sea birds. I
asked the pilot if he encountered many birds at this altitude. He said
occasionally, and when he did they were usually flying faster than the

Controls appeared very simple. The tail surfaces controlled the attitude of
the ship. Altitude and balance and controlled by manipulating air volume in
the front and aft air bags.

For you indoor flyers, I asked about servicing the blimp, which they used
to do in the Tustin hanger, they said they have had to go up to Moffett
since the hangar closed. BUT, the next service will back at Tustin. Maybe a
glimmer of hope?

Back at the mooring, the mast had been put away, and the ground crew held
the blimp by hand. We got off and the next group of passengers boarded-
hmmmm, they had to add a bunch of ballast, too.

Lots of fun! Don't miss it if you get the chance!

-Norm Furutani

Field Safety
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At today's SCAT meeting, the subject of FRS band radios came up. I've been
using a number of the units, both at work, with my family and on the field.

For the cost they are very inexpensive ($60 and dropping) and work very
well. We've tried several different Motorola Talkabouts and I have come up
with these conclusions:

Range: Is probably good for a mile or so, two miles under ideal conditions
(line of site). For example: From where we fly, it is easy to reach the top
of the oil field where the tree(s) are (opposite the entry road), BUT, you
lose the signal at the dip before the exit (where everyone gets stuck in
the mud). Highway 46 is 3 miles from the launch area, you can probably
reach 2 miles if you get on a rise. I believe the more expensive Kenwoods
are able to work this distance. Roger?

Monitoring: Most have a moniter mode that allows you to hear all
transmissions on this band, but it is very noisy. It also does not allow
you to identify the source channel so you can radio back.

Some observations: I use it often on the road to keep tabs when caravaning.
It works much better than most CB units. A side benefit is that you are not
subject to all the CB garbage! Do get the 14 channel-34 code units. Also
get the one with an LCD screen that shows channel and battery level. The
dry cell units are good, most take 3 AA batts. and operate for approx 30
hours- plenty for a weekend of flying. The AA units are more practical
because the batts are cheaper- Costco Kirklands are fine. Finding a wall
plug to charge a unit is tough at the flying field.

For flying: Tom Laird and I have small hiking paks strapped to the front of
the bike. It holds two bottles of water, the Walston stuff, and my radio. I
set another unit next to my stooge. When Ginny is with me I leave another
in the trailer. Uses range from: I'm out chasing and lose site of the
plane, I can ask the timer to watch it to the ground and note the line. Can
ask Ginny to bring me lunch (this doesn't work very well). Can yell at the
kids to bring my chase bike back. Timer gets to tell me that I missed the
max by one second.

Other uses: The most common is when Ginny and I go shopping- Ginny can go
to the crafts store and I can go to the hardware. Don't have to go
searching for each other at Costco. Saves wear and tear while doing the
marriage test- also known as backing up the trailer.

How can we use it?

It's a good way to keep track of the search parties (either human or
airplane). How many times have we gone on a plane search, only to find out
someone brought it back. Once I found a running Honda at Taft, looked and
waited for the owner, 1/2 hour later found a guy wandering around, he
forgot where he left his bike. Radio might have helped.

For the helpers at the big contests, reporting flight times, setting up
flight lines, reminding CD's that the round should have started 5 minutes
ago etc.

Maybe we should add to the airplane ID, radio type and freq. and cell phone

Bottom line: would I bet my life on it? I don't think so. Is it better than
nothing? Yes. Maybe the safest would be to get a cell phone and put that in
the pak also. Want to try it? Let me know.

-Norm Furutani

[At a recent SCAT meeting we did dicuss field saftey sa Norm says. One
of the considerations was having the CD monitor a FRS channel,
a 2 meter [144 mhz] frequency and have a cell phone number available.
One of the questions that arose was
how good are the FRS radios. The 2 meter band requires a HAM liecence.

We did discuss other measures and will publish them shortly.

Because Lost Hills is so large and flat it
lulls us into a false sense of security. There are a significant
number of hazzards, both man made and natural that mean we should
take more care than we do.]

14 Rounder Rumor
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Rumor has it that there's a movement to reduce the Maxmen 14 Rounder to the
Maxmen 7 Rounder. Would seem that would be a large breach in tradition and
I'm not sure I have heard why the reduction in rounds. Yes, last years
contest was (or should have been a 7 round contest) but it is always easy to
reduce rounds for a contest. For the record-I'd like to see 14-want to
reduce the flyoff at the end of 14.....increase round 1 and 8 maxes to 5
minutes, but I'm not sure that's driving the decision to go to 7. One vote
for 14 but I promise not to demand a recount.

Mike McKeever


I know the there was an impression that the European sportsmen
did not like the 14 round format. However I was interested to hear
from Vasily Beschasny that in the Ukraine many sportsmen had heard
of the MM 14 Rounder and wanted to compete in it because it had
that [macho ?] reputation.

We would be interested to hear to opinions of others. ]

Patterson 2000
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This years Patterson 2000 FAI was held at Lost Hills, CA with possibly the
best 2 days of contest weather anyone could ever wish for. Winds were gusting
to 4.9mph with the average of approx. 2mph. Even the long Fly-Off rounds were
just a short chase. Congratulations go out to Peter Brocks for setting a NEW
NATIONAL RECORD IN F1G of 1663 seconds.
The weekend was marred when Pierre Brun was involved in a serious motorcycl
accident. Pierre was taken to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and was diagnosed
with multiple injuries, the most serious being a broken neck. He has now been
transfered to Kaiser Permenante in Panorama City, CA where he is listed in
guarded condition, awaiting surgery on his nose. Our hearts and prayers
go out to Sylvia and Pierre for a speedy recovery.


Don Leath

Jim Patterson Challenge 2000 results

1) Mike Mc Keever--------------- 1290 + 300 + 404 = 1994

2) Peter Allnutt---------------- 1290 + 300 + 225 = 1815

3) Risto Puhakka---------------- 1290 + 160 = 1450

4) Hector Diez-------------- = 1268

5) Ernesto Busnelli-----------= 1261

1) Vlad Andriukov-------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 430 = 2470

2) Bob Piserchio--------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 429 = 2469

3) Walt Ghio------------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 334 = 2374

4) George Batiuk--------------= 1320 + 300 + 408===== 2028

5) Ladi Horak-----------------= 1320 + 300 + 399===== 2019

1) Doug Galbreath--------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 516 = 2556

2) Terry Kerger----------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 369 = 2409

3) John Warren-----------------= 1320 + 300 + 420 + 176 = 2216

4) Guy Menanno-----------------= 1320 + 250 = 1570

5) Ken Oliver--------------========1308

1) Peter Brocks--------------= 600 + 180 + 240 + 360 + 343 = 1663

2) John Pratt----------------= 600 + 180 + 240 + 300 +281 = 1601

3) Jack Emery----------------= 600 + 180 + 240 + 124 = 1144

4) George Batiuk-------------= 600 + 180 + 240 = 1020

5) Bob Critchlow-------------= 600 + 180 + 231 = 1011

1) Brian Van Nest----600 + 180 + 240 + 300 + 360 + 420 + 203 = 2303

2) Ernesto Busnelli--600 + 180 + 240 +300 + 360 + 420 + 147 = 2247

3) Martyn Cowley-----600 + 180 + 240 + 300 + 181 = 1501

4) Lee Hines---------600 + 180 + 240 +245 = 1265

5) Norm Smith--------541

1) Bruce Agustus--------------------600

2) Bill Lynch-----------------------576

3) David Johannes-------------------550

4) Tom Laird------------------------530

[Subsequent to Don's report - Pierre has been released from Hospital
and is at home for a few days. He will have to back soon for an
operation to set his nose. He is somewhat battered but is making progress.]

Roger Morrell