We had a small meeting and discussed several issues.
1. We are in search for a new high power field. We have not lost access to our existing field in Elsberry, but it is becoming less likely that we will be able to fly there with any consistency. It is a great field when we have access, but there seems to be very little chance of scheduling any launches there (as the last few years have demonstrated). Old timers can remember that our original field - a mile north of our current - had much more robust roads and a small amount of moisture or wet fields did not prevent access. Our future supporting high power would benefit greatly from more reliable access to a field.
We have no leads at the present but we are definitely interested in ideas or contacts for a field anywhere within an hour of St. Louis that would permit us to fly. We have to obtain an FAA waiver for a new field, but Rob Chapie (our Tripoli Prefect) indicated that our FAA contacts are very responsive to our waiver needs. Keep an eye out for possibilities and let the board know if you have any ideas for possible new fields. We won't pass up an opportunity to fly at Elsberry, but there are only 2 more dates this spring that we will attempt.
2. Since it is difficult to fly at Elsberry, we are expanding our Buder Park flying season. We have a launch Saturday morning (3/14) and the weather so far looks very good. We plan to have a launch the Saturday after our meeting from now on until the weather gets bad again later this year.
3.We have received feedback that there isn't much mentoring or fun at our meetings. We have decided to minimize the amount of business at our monthly meetings (second Tuesday of the month) and we are planning more fun meetings in the future. As much business as possible will now be handled using email and we hope to keep the meetings much less boring. We are also looking into having build sessions where everyone can bring projects, get advice and compare notes. We are looking for other locations and times that would allow us to spread out bit and do some building and we're open to any suggestions.
To start off, John Buckley suggested that we have a small boost glider build session at an upcoming meeting where we'll put together a 1/2A balsa glider to fly at Buder. He is putting together a parts list it should be cheap and a lot of fun. Thanks John! Look for more details in the next few weeks before our next meeting.
We are looking for anyone who would like to demo a technique, talk about their projects, or ask questions for general discussion. We're interested in any rocketry related topics. If you have a project you need help with - bring it into a meeting or a build session. I'm also going to try to come up with some suggested meeting themes to help encourage more fun and less boring stuff at our meetings.
4. The board agreed to purge our membership records at the end of March for anyone who hasn't renewed their membership. We won't delete web site accounts or email notifications, but the member's area will no longer be accessible if your account is downgraded. Thanks to everyone who has renewed for 2015!