One Year on - By Arthur (Mac) McComb
If anyone had told me that an arthritic big toe joint would lead me into the world of aero modelling I would have said they were short of a few brain cells but here I am.
July 1998 saw me at great expense on the operating table having the joint repaired. I was hobbling around the golf course and nothing was going to spoil my game so out came the wallet and under the knife I went. The surgeon told me that I would be out of action for eight weeks which would have sent me stir crazy so my son, bless him, suggested I pass the time building a model glider.
Down to the model shop and in no time I had a Sophisticated Lady and a cheap 27Mhz radio. I didnít know any better but as luck would have it a relative into boats soon took the radio off my hands and enabled me to upgrade to 35Mhz. Building the model was relatively easy but I had a few interesting moments with Solarfilm. This was new to me as all I could remember from my youth was balsa cement, tissue and dope. Ferry meadows is just down the road from where I live so, seeking out some long grass, a tentative band launch ensued. No problems but as it was the first time Iíd handled a radio controlled model I didnít really try anything too daring. Time to find help.
Applied to the secretary, Jeff Stocking for membership of PARCS, had to wait a while because Jeff was in the USA at Oshkosh. A couple of weeks later on the embankment met Ken just as he was loading some wreckage into his car and this was an instructor????? Only joking Ken. Jeff arrived later and gave me my first lesson which tested his reflexes snatching the radio back just in time. More lessons over the next few weeks until I decided I could now do it solo. As a result the ĎTí tail on the Sophisticated Lady broke off so many times I thought a better name for the model might be The Lizard?? A change in design putting the tailplane at the bottom of the fin solved the problem. Now, one year on, I can look back on a very enjoyable year in which I made all the usual mistakes. Controls wrong way round on launching, receiver off, landed on club roof (it was a good landing with no damage), ditched in the old sewer works, wing snapped off at top of launch. I canít think of any others but Iím sure they wonít be the last. During the year I completed a total of nine models, one winning the annual Concours much to my surprise. I also managed to achieve the BMFA ĎAí certificate plus silver and gold and the BARCS bronze, silver and gold. Some experience of competition was gained in the postals and I look forward to more competitions in the future. So, as you can see, an arthritic toe can lead to anything and whatís more I have hardly been near the golf course.
I would like to thank both Jeff and Ken for all the help that they willingly gave at the expense of their own flying time. I could not have done without their help and advice.
Here's to next year
Arthur (Mac) McComb
The secretary speaks (again!!)
Thanks Mac, this is just the type of news item that we need to get into print, and it is nice to know that we are appreciated sometimes, when teaching novices to fly, although I must say that you are the only one I have known to be able to pick it up so quickly. There was no-way that I would have even contemplated entering competitions as you have done, in the short time that you have been flying.
So what about something similar from the power scene? We have had a lot of new members come to us within the last six months. How are you progressing? Put something in print to show how your instructors are teaching you, and what you have achieved.