Friday, October 26, 2007

Keeping track of battery usage -- Andre Kilian

Andre posted on the SARFY list this elegant and simple way of tracking battery usage:

I have seen several spread sheets/log books for keeping track of lipos, but my experience is that it is not everybody that has the self- discipline to keep it up to date (myself included!)

What works for me is just to use a black permanent marker to make a dot on the pack every time you charge it, so I know how many cycles the batteries have done. You will be surprised to see how quickly the number of cycles accumulate!

Also keep in mind that the application in which you use them also impacts on battery life. Applications like helis are murder on most lipos, as you run at about full throttle most of the time to achieve constant head speed.



Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

† In Memoriam Sieger Lampen -- Joe Coetzer

I was advised this afternoon of Sieger Lampen's demise.
Sieger was a dedicated glider pilot for many years and will always be remembered for his dedication to soaring.
He assisted with the running of the first ever F3B world championship, held in South Africa, many moons ago.
The newer generation will not have had the privilege of having known him, but those of us, the older generation, who knew Sieger, will have him in our memories for ever.
Our condolences go out to his wife, Mienie and family.
SAMAA is poorer for having lost another stalwart.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

White Hills Electric Fly In October 2007

Some of the many electric aircraft that were there.

Lionel laying down the law at the pilots' briefing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

David Ndawonde

It's Saturday morning in early spring. The usual Saturday morning Staffel are out at JOMAC - Juan Pretorius, Louis Volschenk, Roly Hill, there are others. They see a figure approach up the slope from the valley.

It is David Ndawonde. He is smartly dressed. He carries a model aeroplane. It's unlike anything at JOMAC, but it is beautifully built.

David explains. He lives in Diepsloot. He has built the model over a period of five years. He has saved money from the occasional job he gets to buy the components. Now the aeroplane is finished and he wants help in getting it to fly.

The Staffel pilots examine the aeroplane. They conclude that although it is well made it will be difficult to get it airborne. What to do? Here is a true aeromodeller.

They decide to put together a trainer. Someone donates the airframe, another the radio, another the engine.

Juan and Roly working on the trainer

Now they can teach David to fly. And so they do. He is well on the way to becoming a solo pilot.

Instructor Roly Hill and David

Monday, October 08, 2007

SAMAA Manual of Operations

I've posted on the SAMAA web site the SAMAA Manual of Operations. Acceptance of this Manual is on the agenda for the AGM.

It's a large document, over one hundred pages long. Its author is to be congratulated on an amazing piece of work. It is a major step forward. However I believe it is fundamentally flawed in at least two ways. I would urge SAMAA members to delay acceptance until there has been more debate on it.

First. The Manual is meant to fulfil the documentary requirements for ARO status. These requirements are precisely defined. You can see more detail here. As far as I can see the Manual fulfils some, but not all of these. In particular the Quality Control System is not clear.

ARO status is important so we must ensure that we comply.

Second. The Manual may compromise member insurance cover. There is a clear statement that failure to operate within the code will invalidate insurance cover. At the moment members are covered against general third party liability arising from model flying. There are no if and buts about it.
Now, unless you operate within the ambit of a one hundred-page manual you are not covered.

I recognise and support fully the need for safe flying. But this is ridiculous. Furthermore it gives carte blanche to the underwriters to repudiate a claim on "failure to observe small-print".

The notion that only "solo" pilots are covered has risen again from the ashes in spite of denials by both Joe and Bob.

As I said above this is a major step forward but it needs more debate. Trying to rush it through against an arbitrary deadline is a mistake.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Notice of 2007 AGM

Notice is given of the Annual General Meeting of the South African Model Aircraft Association, to he held on Wednesday 31 October 2007 at 19:00, in the Board Room, Grand Central Airport, Midrand. All SAMAA members in good standing are invited to attend.
1. Welcome
2. Attendance
3. Minutes of the 2006 AGM
4. Chairman’s Report
5. Financial Report
6. General Manager’s Report
7. Acceptance of Manual of Operations
8. Additional voting for management committee members
9. Ratification of election results and announcement
10. General

Note 1. Any member wishing to raise any matter at the AGM under point 10. is required to submit notice of this to the chairperson at least seven (7) days before the meeting.
Note 2. The Manual of Operations (point 7) has been available on the website for discussion for 3 months.

PO Box 1961
Alberton 1450
Tel/fax 011-907-4652

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

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