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It looks as if I won't be doing much flying of RC models for a while.
I've resigned from the local RC flying club so as to lessen the "flack" they've been copping from the national body and the local district council.
Turns out that perhaps the biggest beef the national model-flying body has with the local club is "me".
A few months ago the national body (MFNZ) reported the club to the local district council for "unspecified" breaches of rules and regulations based on undisclosed "complaints" made by seemingly anonymous complainants.
Despite several formal requests by the club for the details of these allegations (or even a list of them), such information was denied --something which clearly must call their veracity into question.
Anyway, after a couple of months it appears that the real problem has been revealed -- and it's "me".
The bottom line is that there is an incredible amount of hatred towards *me* (and that's not too strong a word) within the administration of MFNZ.
It was suggested by a number within the MFNZ ranks, that *my* model flying would not be covered by the Association's insurance scheme because I post videos to YouTube and sometimes earn some money from them.
I was told that this constitutes "commercial" flying and not the type of sport or recreational flying that the insurance allows for.
Now, given that a growing number of people are posting their RC model videos to YouTube and being invited to monetise them, I sought clarification of this.
I asked politely exactly what officially constituted "commercial" flying and what would/would-not be covered by the Association's policy.
Well what a bunfight erupted.
Some of the grumpy old men came out of the woodwork accusing me of trying to "freeload" on the Association's insurance -- because I post videos of the club's flying activities -- most of which earn barely a dollar or two in ad revenue.
The usual grumps then fired off full-bore at me, wingeing, whining and even engaging in personal insults.
Finally, the MFNZ president launched a stinging personal attack filled with highly defamatory allegations.
It became very clear that this level of vitriol and hatred towards me, and not a genuine concern regarding safety, has been the driving force behind attempts to shut down our local club.
It doesn't matter what the local club does to try and satisfy the demands of this bunch of grumpy old men, they will never be free of this persecution and criticism so long as they are associated with me.
As a result, I was invited to resign from my position on the committee of the newly formed club -- something which I believe was a quite understandable request on their part.
However, it's pretty obvious that *any* association between myself and the club would result in ongoing grief from the national body so I have resigned as a member as well.
And now the club is allowed to fly at the Tokoroa airfield again. (Magic isn't it?)
I guess I'm just a real bad-bastard, or maybe it's just that there is no room for principles in today's world.
Dare to be different and you get castigated.
Dare to promote change and you get pilloried
Dare to be successful and you attract the hatred and venom of those who do nothing.
Ah well... never mind, as one door closes,another is sure to open.
Which, in a very round-about fashion, brings me to the subject of today's column.
Given what regular readers know of my background, interests, knowledge and skillsets -- what do you think I should do now?
Go back to work on the XJet engine?
Of course whatever I do, it has to generate enough money to pay the bills and cover the wife's medical expenses (her brain injury claim has *still* not been accepted by ACC -- but hey, it's only been three years -- no rush eh?) :-)
Footnote: it would appear that the president of MFNZ may have had an offer to monetise one of his how YouTube videos -- I'm sure that *now*, such activities will be reclassified as non-commercial (unless your channel name starts with an 'x').
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