Runway Update 10/6/2017

Good Evening Everyone,

I just wanted to touch base before the meeting and give everyone an update on what has been going on with the county and our runway/park improvements.

The County

Both Charlie Alexander and myself have been in touch with Joseph Z, our contact at Precinct One, separately but on different occasions regarding a timeline for completion of our park improvements.  Due to the tremendous damage caused by the hurricane, the county resources will not be available until the first week in November, at the earliest.  This leads me to believe we could be looking at December or even the beginning of 2018.  Understandably, the priority goes to Houston and helping those in need first before allocating to county parks.

This leaves us in a peculiar position.  With our geotextile runway pulled up and sitting in the middle of our parking lot, it leaves the runway exposed to the elements and is not very good for all of our RC airplanes.  I managed to walk the runway last week after work around 1pm.  I noticed a “crust” or “skin” that develops over the top of the runway after a good rain.  While this seems like something useable at first glance, this top layer is easily broken and what sits underneath is almost like fine sand creating the perfect combination for digging in and ripping gears out, flipping over, or just plain losing directional control of your plane.  I hooked up the roller to the back of my truck and ran the runway several times.  Ultimately, the added weight just pulverizes the top layer and turns it back into fine sand, there is no real compaction of anything at all.  So, the dilemma starts….What do we do for a short term fix?

I would like to have some discussion among our group tomorrow about moving the north end of our safety fence to a position that parallels the pit area.  That would effectively give us a “grass” runway that we can mow and maintain without much hassle.  Our helicopter participation has decreased steadily and I feel it won’t necessarily impede on the chopper area. (Please consult with Mark Conroy if he is there).  If agreeable among the club, we would also have to move the pilot stations as well.  We have had other suggestions of using the parking lot, bringing in some topsoil and seeding the current runway, or even trying to Lyme the runway ourselves and going from there.  All are good potentials, but we have $4400 worth of binding agent and I don’t want to spend any more big money unless absolutely necessary.  However, I am open to any other suggestions as well.  I would like to also gather up the geotextile and put it in pile on the very southeast corner of the field or at the base of the berm next to where the big roller is located.

We need to determine what we want to do for Toys for Tots as well.  Are we in a position to hold the event with a good turn out?  Would it be better to do a monetary donation at this time?  Would postponing the event be viable?  Could we move it to the beginning of 2018?  What other options do we have?

Best wishes!