SAFETY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
Safety is the Name of the Game
by Jim Wallen, AMA Insider Club Editor
Every AMA club has a safety officer. It is a requirement if the club is to be AMA sanctioned. All too often we quickly identify a safety officer and then go on our merry way, paying little attention to significant safety issues. Let’s identify a few of them and see if they might make sense for your club.
• AMA issues a safety code to all AMA sanctioned clubs every year and it should be posted at your flying site. This listing of safety requirements has been a valuable asset over the years that has contributed to minimizing accidents and injuries. Take the time to read it to refresh your memory.
• Have your safety officer give a brief presentation at one of your club meetings. Perhaps having a guest speaker come to the meeting and give a talk about procedures to follow for such things as lacerations, heart attack, or some other potential problems that could arise.
• Keep the address or location of your flying site prominently posted in case of an emergency that requires medical assistance. Minds can get fuzzy when you are in the middle of an emergency! If you have to make that 911 call, you need to know where you are.
• We have a lot of hard-earned cash invested in our aircraft. They don’t stay is good shape forever. Take the time to periodically check them out for wear and tear. This is especially true for batteries. Electrical failure is the source of numerous unexplained crashes.
• Pilot error is always a major concern. Maybe conducting classes for pilots to fine-tune their skills would help out. Many clubs provide training for the new fliers but pay little attention to pilots who have successfully soloed. There is always room for improvement.
• Our hobby often puts us in potentially hazardous environments. We need to think of safety issues that are not directly related to flying. Do you have an area at your flying site that is a great hangout for snakes? Stay away if at all possible.
Extreme sunlight can be damaging to your eyes. Take a look at getting some proper eye protection. Some tints of color actually let you see your aircraft more clearly. Polarized lenses are a great form of protection. Our hobby is notorious for putting us in jeopardy from sunlight. Always slather on sunscreen before going to the field. It is a good idea to reapply during the day. Skin cancer is a terrible thing!
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