Jack Bishop (1937 – 2017)

I first met Jack around 1974, he had recently moved into the area and he was introduced to the club by the late Mick Harris. They had been friends for some years and once again there was a connection with Fleet Radio Control, Jack built servos for the company.

It soon became obvious that Jack was an avid aeromodeller. Club meetings at St Barnabas hall were often enlivened by Jack creating an aeroplane from a sheet of paper or a matchstick and a foil sweet wrapper. Most of the competitions we held in the hall which involved creating a model from limited materials were often won by Jack who created some novel flying devices!

Jack was a prolific, talented and rapid builder of model aircraft. I’m pretty pleased if I manage a couple of models a year, this equated to what seemed to be Jack’s output a fortnight! Over the years many models owned by members had their genesis in the skilled hands of Jack. Most recently Jack created what seemed like a flock of ‘Shark Faces’. Jack would tackle all types of model large or small with equal enthusiasm. He also carried out some commission work, making models of buildings. A skilled machinist Jack had a side line in the manufacture of domed prop nuts for model engines, select your material and length on the basis of how much weight you needed to correct the Centre of Gravity.

In the late 70’s and 80’s Jack was seduced by the joys of flying micro light aircraft and his model flying activities reduced. The first micro light I recall Jack flying was a concoction of aluminium tubes and high tensile cables, powered by I think a 60cc motor, a motor much smaller than many large scale models use today. Eventually Jack realised that flying with your feet on the ground involved a much lower level of risk so he returned to flying models.

Jack possessed a great sense of humour. He was an unending teller of jokes and funny stories which certainly kept me in fits of laughter every time we met. In real life he was a precision engineer, working for many years making servicing and calibrating micro fiche machines. After retiring from full time work Jack worked as a workshop technician at Ryeish Green School, a job that exercised his talents to the full. In recent years problems with his eyesight restricted his model flying activities but he regularly visited the field to watch and enjoy the banter that often surrounds the sport.

Jack always looked much younger than his actual age, and many would say he behaved that way too! I shall certainly miss his presence and friendship.

He is succeeded by Linda his wife and son Robert.

Martin (Chairman)

Jack’s funeral is on the 18th January at 11:30 Reading Crematorium. Henley Road. Family flowers only. Donations to Cancer Research UK

And yet another ‘A’ certificate.

This time it is congratulations to none other than Steve Fleming, our Membership Secretary, who gained his ‘A’ certificate last Saturday. Well done Steve and thanks also to his trainer, Dave Grey.

AGM meeting minutes.

Minutes from this years AGM now available – see under Committee and Meeting minutes for 5th Dec 2017.

Use of failsafe on R/C systems.

You need to be aware that it is mandatory to set the failsafe if it is fitted to your radio system, That means all 2.4Ghz radios and any 35Mhz systems using a PCM Rx. The minimum setting required is that the control surfaces hold their last position and the throttle is closed to at least idle. Those of you preparing to take the ‘A’ achievement test will be asked to demonstrate the operation of the failsafe as part of your pre-flight checks. Further to that you should test your failsafe on a regular basis and certainly following any program changes to your models. To demonstrate the operation of the failsafe the model must be restrained, the motor/engine RPM set above idle (but not necessarily full throttle) then the TX is turned off, at which point the motor/engine should go to idle.

FPV flying at Thames Valley Park.

Many of our day-to-day rules have evolved through custom and practice. For example, low flying and high speed low passes with fixed wing and helicopters (although not specifically banned) are considered to be high risk and therefore not carried out.

The recent growth in the use of multi-copters and FPV flying have given rise to a new set of safety considerations. By and large multi-copters are flown lower than most other model types. There is also an interest in racing and obstacle course flying. By their very nature these activities take place at low level, typically between 1m (3’) and 5m (15’). The reason of course is that it is difficult to erect and keep in place obstacles at greater heights.

It should be obvious that flying FPV on our site at theses low levels poses a considerable risk. Obviously much of this flying is taking place at around chest to head height and members of the public, as we know, are notoriously unobservant and will wander into the path of models. Equally many of the dogs are capable of jumping into the path of a FPV model in an attempt to catch it. Both could have serious consequences for everyone.

Therefore, can I ask members who are flying FPV to remain above 3m(10’) except on take-off and landing and to always have a dedicated spotter by their side to keep them informed of any hazards, this is after all a legal requirement.