First a few words about “rules”, while every organized RC club has structure, in general sailplane pilots are a fairly laid back group, and this certainly holds true for SLNT. The club leadership governs by a set of well established by-laws. Our objective is simple, promote the maintenance and growth of our club. At the field we take a common sense approach to our hobby, the underling motivation is to have fun while maintaining a perfect safety record and acting as good stewards of our flying fields. In general we adhere to AMA flight safety guidelines with specific local field modification as required. Participation in any contest, or use of our equipment requires the AMA membership. It’s inexpensive and not negotiable, a must for our club affiliation with AMA.
Over the years the club has acquired quite a sizable collection of equipment which is housed in a club funded storage facility. We own and maintain three winch trailers. These world-class launching systems are impeccably maintained and available to any club member. Each trailer is registered with the Texas DMV and is a stand alone launch and retrieval system complete with sophisticated electrical systems and spare parts. Proper training and equipment check-out is required before operating the winches.
SLNT uses one field for monthly contests and fun flying. In addition, we fly at several local fields and parks across the metroplex. Access to these “secret fishing holes” is via the network of local pilots and changes from time to time based on weather and field availability. If you come across a group of guys standing in a field staring into the North Texas sun, there is a good chance you've stumbled across one of our flying sessions, and we hope you’ll approach us and say hello. Otherwise, drop us a note and we’ll put you in contact with a local flying group.
General field safety guidelines and rules
Common sense applies here, if you've flown RC sailplanes in a club or a contest, there is nothing really new here. If you’re new to the hobby, pay attention to these simple guidelines and you’ll fit right in with the guys on day one:
Contest Director - (CD) is the “Air Boss”, during a contest event he owns the field. In general there is no non-contest flying during a contest without the permission of the CD. Before each contest the CD will conduct comprehensive brief which will include a review of safety items.
- You must be a current AMA member to fly with us, you’ll need to show your card.
- Shoot down rule - shoot a model down due to a frequency conflict you created and you just bought a new model, you can have the wreckage of the one you shot down. Our “toys” are very expensive, generally sophisticated models, frequency control is paramount, even during a fun fly, where there may not be a formal frequency pin board in place. Aside from losing a very expensive model, a high performance sailplane quickly becomes a weapon if the radio system somehow stops working. Especially for the new pilots, please, NEVER NEVER, turn on your radio until you know your frequency is clear. For you 2.4GHZ pilots, frequency control is not an issue, however be courteous and make it known to other pilots you’re not a conflict.
- Right of way - Airplanes that are launching have the right-of-way. While in flight, avoid the path of launching aircraft.
- If you join a pilot flying in a thermal, always circle in the same direction as the original plane- to avoid a mid-air collision.
- Driving onto the fields is not permitted for any reason except for setting up winches.
- Avoid flying low over pit areas.
- To operate the retriever you must be checked out on the equipment to operate it
- No alcohol - Quickest way to lose our field privileges, save if for the post contests get together
- No littering - Our policy is to leave if cleaner then we found it
- Parking - No parking in the flying area except to position winches, otherwise, park near the other cars
- Gas Powered models - Never, not in this club, nothing personal, just leave them at home, electrics are fine for fun flying
Eastfield Community College
Our home field is located in Mesquite here we conduct our monthly handlaunch contests and organized club fun fly’s. We also fly our unlimited contests here from time to time, usually after a weather postponed event and schedule conflicts with Southfork ranch dictate a need to move. Informal flying is also done here several days per week year round, including weekdays. Again, drop us a note if your interested in joining us and well get you on the call list.
Local field rules
- Soccer fields - Don’t fly over them ... ever, especially now that the very large sailplane killing light poles have been installed
- Off-field altitude - Maintain at least 60 feet (two telephone poles) of altitude when flying over the surrounding neighborhoods
How to join
The Soaring League of North Texas is an AMA charter club (#1957) founded to promote all phases radio control model sailplanes. Our club dues are $20.00 per year and AMA membership is required and can be obtained at AMA. For more information on joining visitor with us at the field, all are welcome to come to our meetings and flying events. You and also contact via emial by clicking here
We meet every other month at Eastfield College following the monthly contest.