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This article is a reprint from the May issue of the  Kennebec Valley Model Aviators newsletter.

The following was pulled from the AMA District 8 email list and has as well appeared as a topic of discussion on many of the internet discussion groups:
Subject:  [D8-D] Why "SAFETY" is so important
This is a letter I sent out to our club members about an accident we had.  I forward this to the D-VIII members in efforts that a lesson may be learned by other from our mistake, did not physically enforce safety and prevent an accident from happening.

Hello Folks,
As some of you may have heard, we had an accident at the flying field this last Sunday we (Feb. 10th, 2002). One of our fellow modelers, who I will not mention by name because he already feels bad enough, accidentally hit his 3 year old child in the head while landing. The child is OK and at home after a night in hospital.  The child suffered a fracture in the orbital area, (around the eye) and wound up with some stitches in it's head.  No apparent permanent damage other than some scaring. How did this happen? It was late in the afternoon and most everybody had gone home.  He was the only person in the air at the time.  There was only 4 other adults at the field, 2 were flying that day the other two were doing maintenance. He was standing on the side of the runway instead of away and off the runway. His child was next to him and milling around on and off the runway. The two club members doing maintenance advised the father that there was potential danger to his toddler and to get him away from the flight line. His spotter volunteered to help by taking over the plane so he could tend to his child, but he refused thinking he could handle the situation. The spotter attempted to remove the child, but you know how that goes with strangers and small kids. When he came in for a landing he was standing right up against the runway on the dirt, and was not aware that his child was right next to him.  The cross wind pushed the plane towards him so he naturally stepped back, this left his child in the path of the plane. Imagine his horror as he turn to see the plane go by and hit his child right in the fore head.
I read this originally with particular interest as many of you know I am the owner of a 3 year old who frequents the field with me. Of course it is my desire to get him on the sticks as soon as possible.  However, the clear arrogance with which the father acted was completely uncalled for. The inability to recognize a potentially dangerous situation and deal with it lays the fault for this accident squarely on his shoulders. There was a similar incident at the Sky Streaker's field last summer when a beginner (being taught at the time by an instructor) was shooting landings and flew right into another instructor who was likewise teaching at the time.  Fortunately, the instructor caught the plane out of the corner of his eye and reacted by putting his hands up to block the prop. He suffered some cuts on his hands but was other wise ok. Many of us have instructed in some way during our modeling career. And the subject of accidents comes up. But rarely do we talk to the student about purposely crashing a plane when a situation becomes TOO dangerous.  Accidents happen.  Planes can be glued

June 6th, 2002
Joe's House

Directors Joe, Reggie, and Steve, were  present.

Reggie presented the Treasurer's Report.

Discussed the upcoming picnic and decided.  Joe will buy the hamburger patties and hot dogs, Reggie will bring the ice and Steve will buy the rolls, condiments and flatware.  Steve will send an email reminder to members prior to the picnic.  Ask folds to bring chips, salads, deserts, etc., if the wish to.

Reggie is going to pay Ken for field use.

We have a new member; Arthur Carey, Jr.

[Notes by Steve Jacobs ]



R/C Gulls, Inc. "TALE-SPINNER"
July 2002         Page Two