Welcome New Member


December 2019

Dear New Member,

Welcome to the Silent Knights Soaring Society, and thank you for joining our club. This letter describes some of the basics you will need to get started.  First, you must be a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.  Among other things, the AMA provides members with $2,500,000 of liability insurance.  The club and the park require everyone to carry this insurance.

Club meetings are usually held at the flying field on the second Sunday of the month at 10 AM.  Please try to attend.  The date of the meetings sometimes changes due to club contests or holidays so check the Groups site or the club website to verify the date.  In the winter we hold bi-monthly meetings indoors at a local church, usually on Tuesday nights.

SKSS is thirty years old and has been at White Clay Creek State Park for at least twenty-five years.  We fly RC gliders and electric airplanes — Delaware state parks do not allow gas-powered models and model rockets, except with special permission for special events.  For example, we have permission to fly gas-powered airplanes once a month, solely for the purpose of towing model gliders.  Also, at the request of the park, the club hosts several area day camps that fly model rockets as part of their activities.  These two exemptions are the only ones that are allowed for gas planes and rockets.

Have a look at our website, skss.org.  There you can find the club’s Bylaws, Field and Safety Rules, and a lot of other cool stuff.  Definitely read the Field and Safety Rules.  Beyond the AMA rules, the Field and Safety Rules are the local rules the club follows to stay on good terms with our neighbors.

The membership application, available on the SKSS.org Web site, has information about where to send your dues, where to purchase your park access pass, and how to join the club’s https://groups.io/g/SKSSRC

Our Group website is where you can get the latest news about the club.  Club meetings, events and anything else will be posted here. Feel free to make your own posts.  Anyone can look at the posts on our Group but to post you must be on an authorized list.  You will be added to the Group when joining the club. Contact webmaster@skss.org with any questions.

SKSS.org is more of an official site and our webmaster is always looking for stories to put on this site. Even something as simple as a day at the field with friends is worth talking about. Send a short write-up and some pictures to webmaster@skss.org.

We also have a Facebook page, Silent Knights Soaring Society.  Please post something of interest to the Facebook page whenever possible.  FB is the way we get information about our club to the general public and it is our main way of “advertising” the club to people who may not know about us.

As you know, the club flies from a field located in the White Clay Creek State Park in Delaware.  It is of the greatest importance that members do everything possible to be good users of the park.  We comply with the park’s rules and even their suggestions. Because of this every club member must purchase an annual access pass, which allows you access to all Delaware state parks.  Send the serial number on your pass to our Membership Chairman at membership@skss.org.  He will then send your name and the pass’s serial number to the Park Superintendent.  The park maintains a list of our members and their pass numbers.

To enter the field, turn off of Papermill Road onto Smith Mill Road.  You will see a brown gate across Smith Mill Rd. with a sign that says “Authorized Vehicles Only”.  If you are going to the flying field then you are authorized.  Open the gate and drive through.  You must close the gate behind you.  The gate must always remain closed. If the gate was open when you arrive please close it after you pass.  This next part of the road is designated a park trail, so be very careful of hikers and cyclists.

The entrance to the field is the second gate on the right, after you pass the brown gate. The gate that leads directly onto the field is locked; when you join you will be given the combination to that lock.  If you don’t know that combination, contact one of the club’s officers at president@skss.org, membership@skss.org, or sksstreasurer@gmail.com .

Congratulations, you’ve made it onto the field.  Have fun but make sure you are acquainted with the AMA rules and the club’s Field and Safety Rules.  Above all, use good judgment and err on the side of safety.  The club’s continued access to our beautiful flying field depends on all club members flying respectfully, safely and with good common sense.  Remember that it is every member’s duty to correct anyone they notice who is flying in an unsafe manner.

The club has two small buildings on the field: a club house we call the Bird House, and a shed. The BH has a combination lock and an alarm.  If you want to gain access to the BH ask one of the members present or contact a club officer for instructions on how to operate the alarm.

There are electrical outlets on the outdoor tables and the telephone pole.  We do not allow charging of lithium batteries inside the BH due to the possibility of fire, but you can use the outside outlets to charge batteries.

Shortly after you join you will be contacted by a volunteer member who will personally show you around.  Set up a time with that member to meet at the field.

You will also need to show that you can fly safely.  Bring a model to demonstrate that you can control it.  Nothing fancy, just takeoff and land with a few turns in between.  If you need instruction we can set you up with someone to help. If you don’t have a model, don’t worry; the club has several “training” planes.

Welcome to the club.  I think you’ll find that we are a close-knit group and want each other to succeed and have fun.

Fly safe.