September – October Blog

Buckminster Blog September/October

We are overdue a Blog for the National Centre so this one is a snapshot for September and October.
It has been a full on Autumn at BMFA Buckminster and it is pleasing how late into the year the facility is remaining busy.
So, a quick overview of whats been going on over the last couple of months.

September saw us host two Scale events, one a competition that was blighted by poor weather and the other a team trials event which was very successful and featured some beautiful aircraft.
The team selection event was the first use of the north/south runway for an event and it was good to see that it worked well and the scale flyers had a positive weekend, hopefully the next time they visit the wind will be in its more usual direction in order that they can sample the delights of the main runway.

September also saw the first Festival of Pylon event, the weekend went very well and featured international class F5D racers as well as Q40 and some of the electric classes. One of the main themes for the event was to encourage newcomers to attend and try their hand (or thumbs) around the pylons for the first time. This aspect was a success and a number of visitors turned up with HobbyKing EFX racers to take part, there was also a Club 2000 course set up to the eastern side of the site which was in use for the majority of the weekend.

The first of the Introduction to Aerobatics courses was run by Ashley Hoyland which proved to be a huge success (and is now a regular feature in the diary for the first Wednesday of every month), 10 pilots attended the course and the day was split between classroom discussion and briefing time and outdoor flying sessions, all those who attended reported a very positive day.

Wednesday the 27th was the date picked for the PANDAS (Pontefract and District) midweek Retro and Single Chanel Fly-In, the weather was fairly co-operative and over 20 flyers arrived at Buckminster for a full day of all things nostalgia. The site was also fairly busy with midweek activity from our season ticket holders as well as plenty of visitors enjoying the facilities for the first time.

October was perhaps our busiest month to date and as well as plenty of ad-hoc flying there were plenty of events throughout the month kicking off with the SAM35 Octoberfest on the 1st. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too kind with strong wind and rain but over 30 flyers turned up with the majority getting a few flights in during the day, there was also some indoor flying and Belair Kits provided a welcome trade presence with their range of vintage kits and accessories.

The centre hosts a diverse range of additional activities as a method of generating revenue and IFEDA have held a number of fire extinguisher courses with a 3 day session in October, great midweek income that doesn’t affect the model flying activity.

Perhaps one of the more spectacular weekends at the National Centre was the Jet Modelers Association Fly-in over the weekend of the 7th and 8th.
The event benefitted from almost perfect weather with a steady breeze straight down the main runway for most of the weekend (Sunday was the better day), around 40 pilots turned up to fly with a fantastic selection of jets ranging from sport aircraft to scale masterpieces. The standard of airmanship and piloting over the weekend were exemplary and over 300 flights were completed without incident during the course of the weekend, the JMA are already booking dates at the National Centre for 2018. Those attending made good use of the facilities and the Events building made for a pretty spectacular sight when all the aircraft were “hangered” at the end of flying.

F5J Team Trials (large electric gliders) and an F3K (discus launch glider) workshop represented a significant change of pace for the following weekend and provided a very peaceful weekend after the noise and energy of the jets.

For the final booked weekend of the month the National Centre hosted the British FPV Racing Association Championships plus a 3D helicopter fly in.
This was our largest event to date in terms of number of people, unfortunately the weather wasn’t too kind with 40 mph winds but the 60 pilots registered for the Champs coped well and despite some issues with the larger course gates suffering in the wind it was a hugely successful weekend.
The Events Building was also put to good use with Tiny Whoop racing around a really interesting course (featuring a camper van to fly through) which went on till late on the Saturday evening, all in all a very positive weekend for the Centre and a date for the Champs is already in the diary for next year.

Another first for the National Centre was the hosting of a corporate and team building event for Capital One Credit cards security team, a day of building BMFA Aerojets and water/compressed air rockets led to some entertaining competition and everyone went away having learnt something new.

To round a busy month off we hosted almost 100 children from the nearby Buckminster School for a day of model building and flying.
It was a really positive day, supported by a group of our very keen National Centre volunteers, the children all built a BMFA Aerojet and then headed out onto the airfield and the main runway for some flying fun and competition. Some of the volunteers also put on a short flying display for the children which included an aerobatic aircraft, a jet and the Red Baron (very popular). Overall a very rewarding (and tiring) day which was positive on a number of levels, it was a great thing to do in its own right as an educational and “seed sowing” exercise for the children, but in addition there is no doubt that we made a lot of friends and supporters within the local community.  Future educational events are already being planned.

The Centre has hosted a number of meetings with the majority of the BMFA Technical Committees making use of the facilities.
Volunteer Thursdays have been very well attended and the dedicated and enthusiastic team have continued to support the Centre through day to day maintenance as well as new project work, there is no doubt that week on week the team of volunteers are making an outstanding contribution to the National Centre project.

The pictures (below) from the last couple of months give a flavour for the diverse range of activity taking place at BMFA Buckminster.

We have a couple more new events at BMFA Buckminster with the first Free Flight Gala (a celebration of the “mini classes” on the 12th of November and the BMFA Christmas Swapmeet on the 10th of December, there are already 60 tables booked for this event so it promises to be a busy day at the National Centre, the flying site will also be open for those want to have a fly after the swapmeet.