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What is the NSRCA and Why Should I Join?

This article was written by Charlie Barrera, our 2015-2016 Secretary for his article that appeared in the May 2016 issue of the K-Factor.  The NSRCA felt it was an excellent article on what the NSRCA does and why you should consider being a member.  We have supplied it here for you in its entirety.  If you've ever wondered about the NSRCA, this article will help you understand.

Hello again, everyone. We’ve just started our contest season here in District 6. Our first contest was held the first weekend of March, at New Berlin, TX, just southeast of San Antonio. Although I couldn’t attend because of personal commitments, I was told that it was great fun, and of course challenging. Later this week, I was in a friendly discussion with one of the contestants of the contest. The discussion centered on being a member of the NSRCA, and “what’s in it for me?”. I know that many of you have been members for many years. Some memberships go way back to the mid 70’s when the NSRCA was first formed. I’d like to address the advantages of being a member of the NSRCA.

I’ve been a member of the NSRCA since 1999. I dabbled in pattern in the mid 70’s, but became very discouraged, mostly because there were limited contests in my area, and there was no pattern interest in the club I belonged to at the time. These were the days of the A, B, and C pattern. Not knowing much about what to expect, and after seeing the schedule of maneuvers, I decided to start in B. I told myself I can do 3 loops, three rolls, a stall turn, and so on. What a mistake! I had no idea about “precision” aerobatics, and what it entailed. And I was stuck in that class. I couldn’t get a do-over and enter in a lower class. Mind you, this was long before turn around existed. I became very frustrated right from the start, and dropped out for over 20 years.

So fast forward 20 years…I have flown in many pattern contests since then. This time, I had help from the get go. Ollie Sonnier, one of our club members at the Tri County Barnstormers here in New Waverly,TX, mentored three of us…Don Ramsey, Luis Rodriguez, and me. He suggested that we all start in Novice (at the time the entry level), with whatever airplane we could fly. He coached us, encouraged us, and was always available if we had any problems or concerns, whether building, or flying. (As an aside, Ollie passed away in 2003. He is the gentleman pictured in the middle on the Home page of Don Ramsey’s Pattern page.) This time, I was hooked. I attended every pattern contest, and many NATS competitions. But as I did so, I began to wonder what organization was charged with these competitions? …The NSRCA. And had it not been for this organization, we would not be who we are now. So I ask you, why be a member of the NSRCA? What’s in it for me?

I’ll begin by stating our “mission” statement from our bylaws.

“The objective of this society shall be to promote the construction and competitive flying of radio controlled aerobatic model airplanes. To aid, insofar as possible, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and other AMA activities, to further the advancement of model aircraft aerobatics.”

We are a Special Interest Group (SIG) in the AMA. The NSRCA advances our interests to the AMA. The AMA represents all modelers within the organization, but without our voice being heard, our segment of the hobby would be forgotten, or at the very least not addressed. Many of you who attend the Nationals (NATS) may not know that the AMA had initially assigned the 2016 Precision Aerobatics NATS, to begin on July 5 th . Because of the 4 th of July holiday, and because of the usual travel involved by many to attend the NATS, this date was not acceptable. The NSRCA immediately protested, and the contest date was changed to July 10th.  

Our purpose is best stated by the following:

“a. Act as a focal point for rules development and progression. Gather intelligence from the AMA precision aerobatics community to provide the basis for AMA rules change proposals.” 

You may recall that last year the NSRCA made rules change proposals to the AMA, concerning telemetry, safety, specifically, electric motor arming, transmitter impound, transmitter failsafe, and weight. These rule changes were accepted by the AMA. These changes enhanced the safety of flying precision aerobatics.

“ b.  Promote precision aerobatics in the general R/C community by providing leadership in all of the objectives of the society."

" c.  Enhance model precision aerobatics as a recognized sport."

" d.  Develop and provide high standards in judging for competitions and provide qualifications and achievement recognition for judges.” 

The NSRCA sets standards for judging. Judging precision aerobatics in District 1 is the same as in District 7. It is through the NSRCA judging committee that the yearly judging review is published. Judging recertification is free to members. (Of course non-members can also certify for a nominal fee.) 

The KFactor magazine – The KFactor is the identity of the NSRCA. It is published once a month. It is the life blood of your pattern community. The magazine can be downloaded directly from the web site, or mailed directly to you. The advent of digital download has greatly decreased publication costs. And because of this digital capability, our editor, Scott McHarg, has delivered the KFactor on time for several years. If it’s April 1st , the KFactor is available! 

There are many interesting articles in the KFactor, whether how to build a particular pattern plane, or how to paint, or which color is best suited for good visibility. The KFactor also provides a means by which your DVP’s can communicate with their district members. Yes, they usually publish contest results as part of their reports. However, contest schedules are published before the beginning of the season. They may also offer a building article from time to time. If you have an interesting article that you would like to share with your pattern buddies, submit it to your respective DVP for publications. 

The NSRCA web page – The web page is your source for nformation in our pattern community. It offers contest results, KFactor access, sequences, judging, district news, and links to industry manufacturers. Your Board of Directors are in discussions on how to enhance our web page, and make it easier to navigate. Also, it has been suggested that a separate link on the web site be dedicated only to building articles. These articles will remain in this location indefinitely, for reference by our members. So, in summary, it is to your advantage to join (renew) your membership in the NSRCA. As you can see, there is a lot “in it for me”.