Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Giving something back. -- Piet le Roux

In December 2007 the chairman of Central Radio flyers in Bloemfontein, Wynand Swart, decided that our club should embark on some promotion and charity work in the festive season. He contacted the Gordenia Youth Care Centre, All Nations for Jesus Christ and the Univesitas Youth Care Centre. It was decided that that kids from these organizations would be treated at an open day.

Children in the care of these organizations had previously helped us to remove rubbish, that were blown from a adjacent rubbish damp onto our field, in preparation for the 2007 pattern masters. They then clearly enjoyed the outing and showed a keen interest in our hobby.

So on a Saturday in December 2007 some thirty odd, presently disadvantaged, girls and boys of all races joined us for a day of fun at CRF.

Photo: Pierre Fouche

They had great fun building their Glider Darts and then seeing them fly.

Photo: Pierre Fouche

Photo: Pierre Fouche

A computer loaded with a FMS simulator was made available at the center and they practiced very hard on it up to the big day. On the day I then gave some of them a taste of the “real thing” by letting them fly”buddy box” with me.

Below is me and Joshua concentrating.

Photo: Charl Devenish- Volksblad

The star of the day was Wesley (holding on to Wynand’s large scale plane below).

Photo: Charl Devenish- Volksblad

He had practiced every day leading up to our open day on a FMS simulator and although he had never flown a model plane before he needed only minimal intervention from me to keep a Stick airborne.

I think that development is an important part of securing the future of our hobby and sport. Planting the “seeds” of the hobby will bring rewards later on when it “germinates”. I myself grew up at our local full size air field where my dad was a member and later I spent more than a decade around aircraft in the air force but it was the times that I spent with a next door neighbor at a model flying site that stayed with me. When the opportunity to fly a model plane presented itself later when I was past forty, I remembered how I envied those model pilots when I was a kid, and did not hesitate.

If we going to spent money on development our main objective must be to increase the number of active pilots and paid up SAMAA members. I have no problem with promoting aviation awareness in general but I feel that this must be left to the big players in the industry, with the big budgets, our member’s money should only be used to promote RC flying and attract new SAMAA members. If these new members happens to be from a previously disadvantage group that’s excellent but if it’s just a case of sacrificing funds to demonstrate our goodwill I think we should rather spend it on the presently disadvantaged youth.

Piet Le Roux

CRF, Bloemfontein

1 comment:

CrazyErick said...

Kudos Piet!!!

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