First Flying Park Work Day

Our June, 2021 meeting was special in that it was our first “official” work day at the Buena Vista Drone Flying Park (DFP). The purpose was to do “final” preparations for the summer flying season.

DFP Latest Map
Courtesy Stu Langrehr

The Planning and Maintenance Team had done a tremendous amount of work prior to the work day. Led by the efforts of Delmar Smith, the Flight Deck zone was moved to the east side of the Qualification Zone. In addition, the first wall of the Obstacle Zone was erected. Thanks to Delmar, Jim Pyles, Alan Simpson, Rick Moen and his son, and Ken Skipper and others for helping accomplish these tasks.

Delmar Smith gets selfie with Alan Simpson

A couple of days prior, Delmar and Taylor visited Valley Precast to pick up more “landing pads” – 32″ concrete covers – and “safety cones” – concrete blocks. Those were pre-placed for the work crew.

The major work to be accomplished was to make the landing pads level with the ground. Since they are about 3″ thick, this wasn’t a slam-dunk task. But it was completed and they look great!

Landing Pads before
Landing Pads after

In addition all of the safety cones needed a clean place to sit and fresh coat of paint. Becky Berry took on this task and along with the help of Kevin Thonhoff and others, the cones all look fantastic!

The buckets needed some touch up after winter exposure, and Phil Crossley took on this task eagerly. It’s now easy to see a full circle in every bucket, so they are ready for flight. In addition, Kevin Thonhoff presented the Remote Targets created by his class of drone students at Salida High School. Now the Qualification Zone is complete!

Nadir view of completed qualification course

Mike DeSanti gets the award for traveling the farthest. He flew his aircraft from Ft. Lupton, Colorado to be there. New member Phil Crossley traveled the farthest via road, navigating Monarch Pass from Gunnison. Several new members contributed mightily to the efforts, including Phil, Jim Amster and Paul Andrews.

Photo of Mike De Santi departing for home
Mike De Santi give wing wave as he departs for home

We were surprised to have new member Sue Benes come by and introduce herself. She is ready to learn how to fly her new aircraft and was happy to see the Park. In addition, Sam Pedregon and his wife dropped by. They watch the emails and Facebook posts to stay informed, and Taylor invited him to join the Club.

Thanks to all who have put in so much effort before and during the work day, including:

  • Honora Roberts
  • Dennis Heap
  • Kevin Thonhoff
  • Delmar Smith
  • Jim Amster
  • Sue Benes
  • Becky Berry
  • Phil Crossley
  • Mike De Santi
  • Brett Mitchell
  • Taylor Albrecht
Photo of work group with Remote Targets
Photo of work group with remote targets

A special thanks goes to Stu Langrehr who led the team since the beginning and put in lots of time and effort to make it happen.


The Central Colorado UAS Club has several important initiatives we are actively pursuing

High School Capstone Curriculums

Working with local high schools we are getting a two-year capstone program for high school juniors and seniors that can then provide college credit towards continued studies in unmanned aviation.

Town of Buena Vista Drone Flying Park

Thanks to the Town of Buena Vista, Colorado we are building the first of its kind drone flying park to promote pilot proficiency. Initially, the park affords pilots of all skill levels and interests ways to develop and enhance their skills. The park will have four zones when complete that support beginners, certification, professional development, racing and recreation.

Drone Flying Corridor

Chaffee County has a unique geography and infrastructure in place that can be used to develop airspace and mission solutions for both small and large unmanned aerial systems.

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