Did you know that apart from the Association Committee we also have an Events Committee?

This is a group of members who organise the events held during the year which is actually the main purpose of the Association as distinct from the Co-Op. Currently there are four members of this group being Mike Fisher, John Day, Gerry Pels and Andrew Clement. Until recently Neils Jensen was also part of group and now would be an appropriate time to thank him for many years of time and effort putting together some great trips away and particularly the innumerable times he took on the possibly less than desirable task of driving the bus that ferried us all to and from airports, meals and even a lap of Mt Panorama. A big thanks from all of the Membership.

 

The job of the Events Committee is to organise good events for the members so we feel that it is time to explain a little of how we go about this. A few years ago we put out a survey to see what the membership wanted and around half of the members replied. The overwhelming majority placed high importance on good quality food and drinks so we have done our best to meet that request. We also asked if people wanted flying activities (competitive or not) as part of an event, the vast majority did not. That said we have tried to incorporate “fly outs” to nearby places for lunch at many recent events.

We feel that generally flying to different locations to overnight wastes a lot of time checking in and out of accommodation (with multiple bus runs at each end) and also exposes the event to greater weather risks. The logistics of actually being able to get ground transport in many country towns is challenging in itself. The model that we have been using is to look for a main base of operations for the weekend that can provide transport, a range of accommodation together with suitable venues that can provide good quality food for the volume of people that we anticipate attending. We also look for an active Aeroclub that can host us at the airport and we try to find interesting things to see and do which usually involves a fly out for lunch. When we look for fly out locations we consider the suitability of the strip to be used and transport to lunch (or whatever else we may organise). We are a flying group not a car club but we do pick the location of the fly outs to allow people that have driven to the event to get to the fly out location to meet the rest of us so that generally means about 50NM at the most. Importantly this also allows us to travel by bus if the weather is not suitable on the day. This maintains the basic integrity of the event and allows us to pay any necessary deposits with a high level of confidence in being able to get to the location one way or another.

We hold several Events Committee meetings each year to both review past events and see what can be learned and also to plan ahead for future events. The dates and locations are posted on the Association web site and are updated as we get closer to the event. We generally try to get the dates out well in advance and then add the program nearer the time so it is important to keep an eye on it. Registration for events is also on the website. This may be a full registration form for the larger events or a simple call/email for smaller ones but we do need to know if you are coming and will always set a cut-off date a week or so prior to the event.

To make sure all the planned activities run smoothly we obviously use the internet to do preliminary research but generally at least some of us travel to the location to ensure that everything is going to work. This is not funded by the Association.

The Airtourer Association is a great group of people but it is spread all over the country (and indeed in NZ, the UK and HK) so the realistic aim is to please most of the members most of the time.

As mentioned above we ran a survey a few years ago but we have had aircraft change hands resulting in new members which possibly brings a shift in areas of interest. To make sure that we are continuing to provide events that you want to be a part of we are going to ask you to complete a new survey. Please take the time to complete it and if you regularly attend events with your spouse of flying buddy, get them to complete it as well.

Take the survey now.