Greetings L.E.S. Members and Aspirants,
In seems that we are near half-way into the first year of the third millennium, and I have decided to make the most significant change yet in the L.E.S. It will only affect a few people initially and I have been thinking about this for some time.
This update contains --
1. Comments on members' accomplishments.
2. Thoughts on L.E.S. success.
3. The announcement of an addition to the L.E.S. Flight Achievement
1. First off, I want to give recognition to some members for their accomplishments.
Primarily to Bill Jenkins, the first to complete the Flight Achievement Program. The speed and efficiency with which he set about doing this is mind- boggling! The more time that passes since his completion of the program in August 1999 -- he started August 1995 -- the more impressive this is.
Those who are now closing in on their Level VIs know better than any the dedication and skill required in attaining this.
This April 19th, Earl Robinson became the second member to attain Level V and start on his final, Level VI.
Then just May 20th, his son, Larry "Chuck" Robinson, completed his Level V voucher; the third to do so.
Anyone who thinks they fly at this level of ability might read the Level V requirements; anyone who thinks it's easy hasn't tried it.
We have had some new members since the last notice and they are listed at the end.
2. The second item consists of some thoughts on the L.E.S. success. The ranks have been growing slowly. There are some simple reasons for this, but there is only one that we can easily adjust.
First, the enemy of us all, Time, seems to gain strength with each passing, busy year. We are supposed to have more free time now, but I do not see evidence of it.
People today have a lot of things they have to do and there are many demands on our time. Money is not necessarily the biggest issue; Time is.
I remember when the League of Silent Flight (LSF) began and things went pretty fast. I was one of the early members, #688.
What contributed to its success -- besides the program?
They had good publicity in a major magazine because a contributing writer helped start the LSF, but an even more important reason was the timing.
I believe that had the L.E.S. begun when the LSF did and had the same exposure, the ranks would have increased at nearly the same rate.
As more open land is plowed under, built upon and the like, the room to string a winch or high-start will continue to decrease; certainly more so than the area required to fly sailplanes that take their launching motor and battery with them.
I have found that it is cost-prohibitive to pay for magazine advertisements for the L.E.S. We received some free publicity early on and it served the L.E.S., but I understand the practical side of publishing, and as the number of paying advertisers increases, space for "public service announcements" decreases.
There is only one thing I know that can increase our ranks and it depends more on you readers than on me.
Talk up the L.E.S. Push the L.E.S. concept on the flying field. Show the L.E.S. transfers on models, flight boxes, windshields. At the next contest, make nice promises to a pretty lady in shorts to wear a transfer on a thigh. Hey! This will work! Be imaginative.
I wish we had caps and tee-shirts for members.
Still, it depends on each member to make sure everyone is aware of the L.E.S. Make several copies of the Level I voucher and regulations and pass them around to anyone that looks even half-way interested.
Why else do you think we have nearly 50% of the L.E.S. members in one small area of Georgia? These guys recruit and they do it by demonstrating the good fun and challenges of the L.E.S.
And there is the net...those proficient in its use could engage in communications explaining what the L.E.S. is. Give them the website link and/or my e-mail address (email@example.com).
3. The last thing in this notice is to eliminate a downer -- a bummer -- one of those feelings we get when something we have strived for is finally in our grasp and then it occurs to us that something we enjoyed has ended.
It is true that "All good things must end," but that doesn't mean we can't try to make it last longer.
Consequently, the following flight series will go into effect when the third member achieves his Level VI.
On that date, I will announce the beginning of the L.E.S. DIAMOND Series. This is for those who have performed well beyond that which was anticipated. (Think of this as an oak leaf cluster added to a previously won air medal.)
The DIAMOND Series will be available only to those who have attained L.E.S. Level VI.
They simply start over with the program, but now when they attain their "second" Level I, they will have attained a DIAMOND Level I.
When dedicated members attain their Level VI's, we know they will not stop flying. They will not stop competing. They will continue to fly and the DIAMOND Series will give them that continuing satisfaction of flying with a purpose. These fliers deserve this consideration!
The standard flight voucher will be used but it will have a big colorful DIAMOND emblazoned on it. A member will not be in the DIAMOND Series until after the DIAMOND Level I voucher is completed.
Since our last notice, the following members have been added to the roll, and some have their photos on the website.
#019 Gene Chaille, CO Level I
Previous members are:
#001 Bill Jenkins, TN Level VI
Members can have a photo of themselves posted on the website. Every member should send a photo to the L.E.S. Recorder rather than forward images to the Webmaster -- images will not be posted that way.
Please look at the images of Paul Perret, Boyd O'Brien, Ernie Schlumberger, the Robinsons, Richard Renskers, or Ingo Donasch to see what kind of photo we would like.
And remember, when corresponding with the L.E.S., please include three 1st class stamps.
Stay charged-up & keep'em flying,
Ken Cashion, Recorder