The STARS R/C Club, located in Phoenix, New York, and of which I am a member, has been actively engaged in both supporting and trying to grow the Control Line community in Central New York. To that end, they recently added a concrete Control Line (CL) pilot’s pad to the center of their CL flying circle. This feature greatly enhances the pilot’s experience while flying as it gives them a solid, flat surface on which to stand while flying.
The new pilot’s pad is 10′ in diameter and has textured concrete to give the pilot a firm ‘grip’ with their footing while flying. By special request, it also features a pilot’s balance pole! This is a removable, stainless steel pole that can be inserted into a special sleeve in the center of the pad. While flying, the pilot can use their free hand to hold on to the pole and assist them in maintaining their balance while turning round and round. The pole is rock solid when inserted into the center of the pad, yet slips into and out of the sleeve with very little effort.
The concrete pad was installed a couple inches above ground level in an effort to keep the top surface of it above the water line when heavy rains or springtime meltwaters flood the field due to a very high local water table. Additionally, the pad is ‘crowned’ 1/2″ from the outer edges into the center in an effort to help shed rainwater.
Throughout this build effort, the support and participation of the club, which is made up primarily of Radio Control flyers, was tremendous! Since the pad was finished and first used by the local CL community at the recent club airshow, I have been asked by numerous club members how the pad is and how the CL flyers liked it. They are really interested in making sure that their CL facilities are on par with the club’s R/C facilities. My thanks go out to the club!!
Here is a brief video that documents the build of this pilot’s pad over the past 2 months. Enjoy the video. In the meantime, I am already working on the next CL facility upgrade!