Update from the President

Honestly, I’m not sure how it’s already September (time sure does fly in a pandemic), but for better or worse, this year has changed our lives and forced us to adapt. I cannot express how thankful I am to all of you who’ve stepped up during these difficult times to keep our chapter thriving!

While our organized Chapter activities are still suspended and we don’t have a projected re-opening date, you will see from this newsletter our Chapter House is still open and our members are still making progress on several projects.

One of our most recent projects was the relocation and setup of our two flight simulators. Both simulators with their various parts and abundance of wiring were located on a large table at the “front” of Chapter House which made it difficult to access the Resource Center. Mary Dominiak come up with the brilliant idea of moving the large one to the office are and everything flowed from there.

The larger flight simulator–generously donated by member Al Olsen– was the first one to be given a permanent home. Several chapter members helped with all aspects of setting this simulator setup which relocation, testing, software installation and many other technical aspects. The physical move, was led by member Sam Bingham with assistance and advice from Jim Stone, Judy Sparks and several others. Sam unplugged everything, moved it over to its new location in the office area, piece by piece, arranged it as efficiently as possible, and plugged everything back in. He took one of the monitors off the big triple bar and put it on its own stand to get the angles he wanted. The flight sim program, X-Plane, was already set up by Al Olsen, Dan Botzer and Chris Mayer. During the move, the monitor plugs were of sequence, and Mike Walpole had to figure out how to re-assign the third monitor to X-plane. Sam’s priority was to make sure everything in the office area worked the same as it did before, despite the seemingly drastic re-architecture of the network. And by all reports, the simulator setup in its new home is a huge success!

The small simulator– RealFlight® 9– was part of our RC Young Eagles Build and Fly kit. RealFlight® claims to be the #1 RC flight simulator in the world. It’s an essential tool new RC pilots can use when learning how to fly. It also makes it possible for experienced RC pilots to practice new maneuvers and to hone their skills so they can become even better pilots.

From RealFlight® – “With more than 160 different aircraft to fly — including airplanes, helicopters, drones and more — at over 40 different flying sites, plus the ability to edit aircraft and sites, there’s an almost infinite number of flying options available. Add in game-like challenges that make flight training fun, multiplayer options so you can fly and compete with other pilots online, compatibility with VR headsets, and many, many more features, and you have everything you need to succeed at the field — because you can “fly” on a PC at home, or on a laptop just about anywhere else.”

This simulator needed to be rehomed to a table/desk with wheels so that it can be moved to accommodate more room for Chapter House events. Chapter member Chris Berg researched possible desk options and after one was selected by the board, he went through the process of setting up that RC as well. This RC simulator offers the option of viewing the flight from the computer screen (another donation from Al Olsen) or from the large flat screen TV (donated by member, Bob Prange.)

A huge thank you to everyone involved in both projects. We don’t know what to expect as we continue to navigate these unusual times but here at EAA Chapter 186 we are grateful for the virtual “glue” that holds us all together. Maintaining strong connections is more important than ever in these times, and we are committed to providing the best support and reliable information to our membership and local aviation community.