Greetings L.E.S. Members and Aspirants
It has been a while since the last general posting and much has taken place in the L.E.S. This letter covers:
I -- An L.E.S. Level VI in TN!
II -- Sailplanes over GA!
III -- Second change to voucher.
IV -- Update of L.E.S. activity.
I -- Bill Jenkins, #001 (TN), has completed his Level VI!
Yes, he really has -- and it should come as no surprise that he would be first. Bill is a superb builder and flier, and his dedication has few bounds. A review of his vouchers with dates, times, distances, and competition history is both inspiring and humbling.
It is important that Bill was first because it shows again that in any endeavor perseverance is rewarded.
The modeling press has been informed of Bill's great achievement.
It is possible that a flier could repeat the program just to maintain a structured, objective purpose in general flying. (No, there is not a Level XII if it is done twice -- perhaps a Level VIx2, though.)
II -- "The Georgia Gang."
During the development of the L.E.S. in 1993, it was thought that TX would be the principal source of members. However, in March '97, Larry "Chuck" Robinson, #008 (GA), sent a note stating that he would like to participate in the L.E.S. program. There was no way to know the tremendous influence he would have in his flying area.
Now he is a Level III, as is his son, Earl, #007 (GA). There are SIX L.E.S. members in this GA group.
And Level II, Ernie Schulumberger, #010 (GA), is flying with his wife, Clare. Clare needs just a few spot landings to be the first lady member. It will be good having her name on the roster, and all L.E.S. correspondence will try to depart from the exclusively (editorial) masculine gender.
III -- A change to the L.E.S. flight achievement voucher.
The e-sailplanes continue to evolve and the L.E.S. can evolve as well, however, no modifications in the program will be in anticipation of change. The L.E.S. is not revolutionary but rather reactionary.
Based on many inputs, in June '97 the vouchers were changed to accommodate fliers using ferrite motors. This was the first change of the original Oct. '95 voucher and it broadened the program's appeal without compromising its integrity.
Now, there is to be a second change and it, too, is a change for which there have been several requests. It removes an operational burden which handicapped a few fliers and has nothing to do with the actual flying.
There is no need to handicap fliers, particularly, those who involve their families in their sport. If not outright encouraged, the L.E.S. at least should not discourage family participation.
Enclosed is a label to be placed at the lower back margin of your voucher. It removes the word "non-relative" from Section IV - Witnesses.
This will help support the interest in e-flight without harming the integrity of the program.
It is understood that this will make it easier for a few to complete their vouchers when present members did not have this option; however, the difficulties experienced by members in achieving the flight portions of the tasks have remained unchanged.
IV -- There are additions to the L.E.S., such as the availability of beautiful blue transfers for planes, flight boxes, etc. Each new member gets one with his/her Level II voucher.
Full transfer sheets (8x11) are available to members. These have the name of the L.E.S. in two fonts, ten initials in three sizes, as well as three level and numbers in two fonts.
You are encouraged to purchase and display these transfers. They are $6.00 per sheet (which was the cost of producing them).
Membership cards are also available now and are mailed to the member with his/her Level II voucher.
L.E.S. vouchers are being worked in 22 states plus Scotland, England, and Argentina. The membership grows slowly because achieving membership is not easy -- it would not be satisfying otherwise.
Members should continue working on their flight achievement vouchers as this is the surest method of increasing interest and membership.
Please remember that when corresponding with the L.E.S. to include three 1st class stamps. If you would like a transfer sheet, 18 stamps would be acceptable -- actually, they would be preferred to checks.
Stay charged-up & keep'em flying,
Ken Cashion, Recorder