Ontario Physical Distancing Guidlines
Please read this document. These guidelines should be used at both Bayview and Bronte.
RC Flying in the Time of Covid
The death of one Russian soldier is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.
Stalin had remarkable insight into how people think. He recognized what is now a well known fact in psychology; people’s opinions are far more influenced by vivid individual stories than by pallid statistics. Journalists know this well. Front page stories about accidents or wars are typically cast around individual eyewitnesses, not evidence.
What has all this to do with Covid and RC flying? Perhaps quite a lot. Just this week, we have finally opened Bayfield to a collective sigh of relief from all club members. However, regrettably, but not surprisingly, access to the field comes with a number of preconditions – social distancing, masks, gloves, sanitizers, rosters.
It is easy to pass all this off as some kind of ritual. We’re all sick of Covid, not sick from Covid. Every newscast is devoted to statistical updates; every newspaper carries front page articles on Covid. We are overwhelmed with statistics. But not only is the virus invisible; its effects are practically invisible. Do you know anyone who has contracted Covid? Neither do I. To see why, let me give you just one statistic.. There have been 660 cases in Hamilton; that’s about 1 person in 500. So it’s unlikely that any of us know anyone who has contracted Covid. The consequence is that we go through all these rituals in order to prevent an invisible and abstract disease. It often seems pointless. It’s not surprising that when Bayfield opened, there was no indication that any of the fliers on the first day adhered to any of the Covid procedures.
Well, you actually do know someone who has had something pretty close to Covid – ME. Many of you know that I was hospitalized in February. It wasn’t Covid, but the actual disease and management was almost identical. If anything, mine was more severe. One doc who was attending me estimated my chance of survival at about 30% (Covid is about 95%). In the next few paragraphs I intend to describe in detail what I went through, to make the situation real.
It began in mid-February with a nagging cough that did not go away. In the third week , I developed fever and chills unlike anything I had ever experienced. My teeth were literally clattering. And I was coughing so often I could not sleep – every 5-10 seconds. On Saturday night, I became delirious, and my wife called an ambulance in the middle of the night, and I went off to Juravinski.
I was in the ED for 3 days. I was delirious, and kept squirming around, pulling the IV out, muttering. The third day I lapsed into coma , where I remained for 9 days. I, of course, remember none of this.
I was in the ICU for about 2 weeks., then transferred to the ward. By this time I was conscious, but had severe cognitive difficulties. I could not sequence things in time. I could not do even simple arithmetic. My fingers were too clumsy to use a smart phone.
After 4 weeks I was discharged. I had lost 25 lb., and my muscles were seriously wasted. I could only walk, with assistance, maybe 5-10 feet. When I got home I could not climb stairs, so slept on the living room couch for 2 weeks.
By about 2 weeks I could climb the stairs with difficulty. I pushed a walker and could not walk unassisted. I needed help to go to the bathroom. I could not dress myself. I was a useless wreck.
I have gradually improved, so that I am now pretty well back to normal, 8 weeks post-discharge, although I still am not capable of much in the way of yard work or lifting. It seems like it’s taken forever, and there have been many depression days. Needless to say, the strain on my wife and kids (in their 40’s ) has been formidable., particularly during the hospitalization.
But I am a lucky one. Doctor friends, (I have many) have uniformly commented that my recovery was a miracle. Each diagnosis has a significant mortality. Having survived the infections, I was fortunate to be left with no cognitive problems. The 8 weeks of rehab is also extremely quick. So I can count my blessings – I guess.
And when I go out to the field in the next few weeks, you can bet I’ll be suited up. I don’t want to go through this again. Indeed, if I did get Covid, I expect my chance of survival would be minuscule. And I hope you will take the situation seriously and follow the rules – for your sake and mine.
Highlights of the February 27, 2020 meeting – Derived from the minutes
Present: 29 members and 1 guest.
The meeting was opened at 7:00 pm. Mike Block acted as Chair of the meeting and Vic Wells acted as Secretary.
Guest: Steve Wickers was welcomed to the meeting.
Minutes: Minutes of the meeting held on January 23, 2020 were approved as circulated on motion made and seconded.
Member News: Mike reported that Geoff Norman was in isolation in McMaster hospital with pneumonia. Visitors would not be admitted at this time.
Meeting presentation: Colin Tyrell led an excellent presentation on the restoration of a Harvard, currently under way. With several slides, he discussed the work done by the restoration team. Several questions were addressed. Visitors are always welcome to visit the restoration site near the Tillsonburg airport.
Membership: Trevor reported that paid-up membership stands at 123 which is slightly less than the number of members at this time last year. He forecasts membership to be 145 to 150 by the summer, which is also less than the yearly total for 2019.
Wings Programme: The Club needs a volunteer to manage the Wings programme. The programme is an important tool for recruiting new members. Interested members are asked to speak to Mike.
Field Improvement: On behalf of the Committee, Brian Harrington presented 5 options for improvement of the runway at Bayview that are under consideration. Options range from doing nothing (zero cost) to a modified repair (of the depression) and crack repair/sealing/painting at an estimated cost of $14,330. Estimated time frame for the work is 5 to 7 days, which may not be sequential as several contractors are involved. The Committee is working to develop more complete estimates. Several questions were addressed satisfactorily. Brian confirmed that the Committee will report back to the Club after the next meeting with the City of Burlington.
Bronte Field: Mike reported that the status of the Bronte field matter has not changed. Tom continues to communicate with Roy Rymer (ZD) and is waiting for a response. Mike is still hopeful that the issues concerning the field will be satisfactorily resolved. Several questions were address satisfactorily.
Next meeting: To be held March 26. Mike reminded all members that the May meeting will be held on May 21 and not the usual 4th Thursday of the month.
Frost Fly 2020
About 20 intrepid souls ventured out into the icy blasts to celebrate our annual fun fly. Truth be known, while it was certainly blasting, it wasn’t too icy. As a result most of the planes were left in the car, while we huddled in the hut knocking back hot chili, greasy donuts and endless cups of coffee and hot chocolate, courtesy of Ashley.
However for the few who ventured out from time to time, aerial entertainment was provided by Trevor Blum, bundled up in fur hat, for coat, fur mukluks and, for all I know, fur knickers. He flew a Bushmaster masterfully, making it do things that defied laws of aerodynamics. One stunt, which I witnessed, was true STOL. The thing was seen to take off after less than six inches of ground roll. (When Ashley saw this, he decided to disband the runway committee as superfluous!). The plane hovered, almost flew backwards in the wind, and gyrated all over the place. Not to be outdone, Don Larkin got his Bell chopper out to show what true hovering looked like. Additional entertainment was provided by Brian Harrington, with his F4 EDF and Ian Brown, with a Luftwaffe flying wing. Despite the weather, a very good time was had by all. Special thanks to Ashley, for providing the coffee, donuts and chili.
Ted Pritlove has posted an article on how he repairs his foamy EDF jets.
See the Members page.
Warbirds 2019 event at Bayview was a great success! The weather was fantastic! hot and dry. We had to deal with some heavy winds on Saturday gusting almost 50 km an hour! But the flying went on to the delight of all the spectators. Sunday was the perfect day for Flying! Trevor Brum flew his 1/3 scale Stearman and his Alpha jet. What a great show he put on! I must say that all of the pilots at our club we’re flying at their best, Peter Foto, Tim Bidwell, to mention a few. We also had a few pilots from other clubs, Mississauga, and the Niagara region. The prize for best in show went to Brian Harrington for his beautiful Lysander, and he did a wonderful job of flying it to scale. I also want to thank Barry and Bob for running our barbeque and planning all food, drinks and ice purchasing leading up to the weekend they did a great job.We should all thank the members and volunteers who helped plan and execute Warbirds over the bay! Months and weeks before the event, members were cleaning barbeques checking equipment and getting ready for this event. Tony Madage and I arrived at Bayview field Friday morning before the event to find this great group cutting the grass setting up PA systems and making sure everything was going to run smooth for the weekend. Tim Bidwell, Ian Brown, Scott McGregor, Peter Foto, Tony Madage, Ashley Armstrong, Barry Parkinson, Bob Fowler, Geoff Norm and many more! It was a job well done by all! I hope we can do this event again in 2020 and make it even better.
Warbird 2019 Photos
Norm Harris is moving and needs to downsize.
See the Members page buy and sell section for a list of items.
Maidenfest May 4th
About a dozen fliers and another dozen BRCM members braved the miserable weather on May 7 – cold, damp, and grey – to participate in Maidenfest, an opportunity to display the fruits of a winter’s labour. The diversity was amazing. Ashley Armstrong brought out his astonishing Me323 transport, powered by 6 nitro engines. Assembly took longer that than the build time of an average ARF. It didn’t fly, but the fact he got all 6 engines going is a cause for celebration. Trevor Blum dazzled us with his turbo F-16 at high speed.
Air Cadets Model Airplane Course
Starting in January, BRCM members — Ashley Armstrong, Doug Edwards and Geoff Norman — began a model airplane course with the Dundas 737 Squadron air cadets. About 15 cadets joined the course. The goal is to get cadets more involved in model aviation. Ashley is teaching them about construction, using basic Sig rubber-powered balsa and tissue planes. Doug is coaching them on R/C simulators. Geoff does a bit of both. We have also purchased two indoor planes. (Super Cub) to fly in the Community Centre and two outdoor trainers (Sig Kadet). Once the weather improves, we will be getting some of the cadets out to Bayfield for dual instruction. The initiative is supported by a $5000 grant from the Dougher Foundation, administered by the Hamilton Community Foundation.