Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, Friends and Comrades:
The time has come.? I have been prefect of Tripoli East NC since 2006, 15 years, and it is time for me to step down.? I have enjoyed most of my time in this office and met many new friends.? But age is catching up with me.? My back and knees hurt all the time, setting up launch equipment has become a chore, rather than a delight, and I no longer want to attend every launch on the schedule.? Time for new blood.
There are only two statutory requirements for a Tripoli prefect:
- Certify new TRA L1 and L2 flyers, make sure all documents get sent to TRA HQ.
- Receive and act upon all communications from TRA.
However, that is clearly not all the work that must be done to insure the smooth, successful operation of a good prefecture.? In my opinion, the prefect must either do these things or delegate the authority, and follow up occasionally to make sure the tasks are being done.? I have been very fortunate to have a group of capable, enthusiastic people who have willingly taken on many of these jobs and made my life much easier.
- Collect launch fees and split between landowner and club treasurer.
- Maintain good communication with the landowner concerning launch dates, preferred site for our activities on any given month, and any other item that comes up.
- Call in the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) every Thursday afternoon before the launches.
- Transport trailer to and from the launch field.
- Repair/maintain all club equipment, including the club trailer.
- Deal with all ?PR? issues:? talk with visitors at the launch site, reporters, local residents, and represent the club in a friendly, informative fashion.
- File the waiver with the FAA yearly.
- Communicate with Cherry Point MCAS 2 hours before and immediately after every day?s launch.
- Write launch report.
- Maintain NAR membership and work with any NAR members who want to progress through the certification process.
- Each year, the prefect receives between 10 and 20 requests for assistance with school, church, and civic groups for assistance with an amazing variety of programs, demonstrations, science fairs, and things of that nature.? This will require a lot of delegation, or it will drive you crazy.
- College and High School teams who are participating in various local or national competitions or simple academic projects need guidance and encouragement.? During the past 5 years, 2 high school and 6 different college and university level teams have sought out the Bayboro club for everything from rocketry coaches to simple use of the field for their qualifying flights.? These students approach their projects with much less experience than adults working their way through NAR or TRA certification and require close attention.
- Ensure that all news about individual launch events is communicated to the membership by email notification and posting on the club website in a timely fashion.
As you can see, this prefecture does not run itself.? Looking at the list has made me exhausted, I need to go lie down for a few minutes.? Somebody has to care enough to do the job.? The next prefect may not place the same importance on specific tasks that I do ? and that?s fine, the club must necessarily take on the personality of the leadership.
I will continue to attend most launches, and I will continue to maintain Tripoli Technical Advisory Panel and NAR L3 Certification Committee membership, so I will continue to help flyers in either organization attain level 3 certification. ?As a TAP and L3CC member, I will be able to certify new flyers from both organizations in the absence of the prefect.? ?I will be the first to volunteer to help advise college teams, that?s one of my favorite things to do.? I?ve got a truck and a trailer hitch, so I can tote the trailer on those weekends that I attend the launches.
In January, Dennis Hill will open up the voting by asking for nominations for the next prefect.? I would like to put two names forward for your consideration.??? Kurt Hesse and Joe Hill.?? Both of these gentlemen are regular attenders, very knowledgeable about all aspects of rocketry, they pay attention to everything that is going on around them at a rocket launch (no tunnel vision), and on many occasions both of them have dropped whatever they were doing to help new flyers, visitors, and academic teams.
Anyone else who would like to be on the ballot, or who would like to nominate someone should get in touch with Dennis and say so.?? The more choices the better.? Prefects are obliged to serve for 1 year, and may choose to pass on the responsibility when they wish at yearly intervals.
I am honored that you have chosen to keep me as prefect of your club for 15 years.?? I thank you all for this opportunity, you have supplied me with a wealth of great memories.? You will certainly see me at a lot of launches in the future, but perhaps not when it?s 32 degrees and sleeting. ?
With gratitude,?????? Alan