Present:  Mike Karnes, Doug Pilcher, Phil Vance, Samantha McKinney, Toby Silhavy, Primo Rivera, Alex Dreiling, Brad Davy, Rich Whitlow, Manrico Mincuzzi, Clark Hymas, Michael Hobson

Absent:  Jorge Guzman

Guest:  Adi Kochav

Meeting began: 9:01 p.m. EST.

AMA Hard 400 ft. Response to Members – Doug Pilcher

Our membership has been asking in the forums and texts to BOD members about our response to the 400 ft. ceiling.  Doug has been trying to get a stance from AMA on the immediate future.  Doug has posted everything that he knows in the new forums to keep BOD up to date.  AMA hasn’t made a statement regarding this matter.  We are not the only SIG being affected.

Mike is afraid the clubs that host IMAC events are going to panic.  As of right now, we proceed with how we have always done things.  AMA won’t stop sanctioning events.  In controlled airspace, it may be a little tighter as far as altitude.

The question was raised if we should be proactive in our sequence planning now.  AMA is looking at a 1200 ft. maximum, unless AMA gets a deal done.  Rich is confident that we could fly in 1500-1600 ft. ceiling, but we don’t want a maximum ceiling established.  Toby is concerned with how AMA is handling this issue with the 400ft ceiling.  He is afraid that we will lose some contests due to this.  Australia accepts that they can’t go over a 1,000 ft.

We need to get the FAA to reconsider the provision that they are required to put in place a waiver for fixed flying sites.

Rich recommends that we make a general statement to our membership.  This statement should state that we continue as we have been, and that the BOD has been in close contact with AMA.  We could also state that IMAC has been talking with the AMA, senators, etc.  Mike agrees with Rich; that as of right now, we sanction as before, fly as before, and keep our footprint as low as possible.  Each event needs to make sure that the safety protocols are in place.

Rich will write the first draft of IMAC’s statement, and Brad and Doug will review the draft.  Once it is edited, Rich will email it to the BOD.

Amendments to the By-Laws Sec. 1 Eligibility – Brad Davy

There hasn’t been a lot of response to the proposed amendments, but the responses we have received have been positive.  Brad is needing a second motion on the amendments.  Mike has presented the amendments in the forums.

One the first amendment that membership is open to any person, Brad Davy makes the motion and Rich Whitlow seconded it.  Motion passed unanimously.

The second amendment is on the Affiliation Standards, which is more complex.  A new section, Section 5, was added.  It states that the BOD may establish standards for non-affiliate countries that wish to maintain their independent organizations, but conduct IMAC contests using IMAC contest standards.

Michael questioned the second amendment and wondered if we should tighten up the verbiage of the amendment.  This amendment is to establish affiliation membership, while the countries still run under their respective organizations.  With the affiliation membership, it will allow them to host an IMAC contest and receive IMAC unknowns.  Some of the standards might include that a non-affiliate country must have a percentage of IMAC pilots, and they can pay a specific amount on an annual basis for their pilots to be members.

A motion was made to accept the amendment by Brad Davy and seconded by Rich Whitlow.  Motion passed unanimously.

These amendments will be proposed to the membership as an official By-Law change for discussion for 30 days.  After the 30 days, a vote will be held on the proposed amendments.

Moving of Forums from the Old Website – Doug Pilcher

The BOD had voted to pay for a year membership on the new forum.  Through all the beta testing, the new forums are ready to go.  Every current member will have to register with the new forum.  The committees are setup and ready to go.  The email notifications are sent as soon as a message is left in the forums and seem to be very reliable.  As of right now, we have 669 registered users on the IMAC site.  Of those, at last count, 93 users/members have joined the new forums.

It was asked if the information from the prior forums will be archived where they can be accessible on the new forum site.  As of right now, the plan is to have the current forums still in read write status.  Then they will eventually be changed to read-only state on the website.  The forums cannot be imported to the new forum site.  Doug suggested that we as BOD move the important items in a “copy paste” to new forums.  Both within the BOD forums and region forums as necessary.

The old forums will still be in a read write status for at least another month before they become static or “read-only.”

A question was asked if we have rules that will be enforced with the new forums, which include actual names, etc.  Every member needs to add their name, not an alias.

There is a concern about how our International members will benefit with the forums, due to the language barriers.  In Europe alone, there are 25 different languages.  Manrico informed the BOD that many people in Europe do not speak English.  Adi asked if we could put translation on the forums.  Google has an add-on that will translate any page.  Doug will investigate if other languages can be incorporated into the new forums.  Currently, they support Deutsch, French, Spanish, and English.

The entire BOD needs to be involved in getting the word out that the new forums are live.  We can notify everyone through regions’ Facebook pages and mass email from the IMAC website.  We also need to let the membership know that they will need to create new logins.

One of Doug’s biggest concerns is protecting the current website until the transition in 2021.

Doug will draft a letter to the membership and will address this letter from the BOD.  Doug has a summary of the other providers and costs associated with each in his research for new forum site and can be made available to members upon request.

A motion was made for the BOD to formally move their discussions over to the new forum by Brad Davy and seconded by Toby Silhavy.  Motion passed unanimously.

European 2020 Rules for BOD Review – Manrico Mincuzzi

Manrico has been working with Doug on the European 2020 contest standards.  The current problems is how to make the number of known and unknown flight compliant with the IMAC contest standards.  With several drafts and re-writes, the European Rules were made compliant with our IMAC Standards in place.  The Knowns to Unknowns being flown has been changed to follow IMAC Standards.  The new rules will be re-distributed to all forums and websites it was previously released to as a “Release #2.”

Manrico stated that this isn’t a normal IMAC contest.  This is a one-week event.  There will be several judges.  There is going to be 120-140 pilots form 25 different countries.  This event will take place every 4 years.  The Basic class will not be offered.  The spirit of the competition is to be tough and competitive.

Michael said that if we move away form the IMAC Contest Standard Guide, it should be the decision of the BOD. 

Brad suggested to change “flights” to “sequences,” to compare to the contest standard guide.  Since the International regions will have RPS, Brad wondered if any of their points from the Europeans will count towards their RPS.

Manrico believes that one way to relaunch IMAC is to make it very difficult, which cannot be implemented at the local level.

Review of Contest Standards – Doug Pilcher

The BOD needs to review the Contest Standards and need to suggest any changes to be made before the first of the year.

Next year, all nine regions are going to RPS.  Before a contest is approved and posted to the website, it must meet the Contest Standards.  This includes contest information, flyers, etc. to be posted with the contest on the region pages.  All contests and points must be posted to the website.  We are in the process of working on a fix to include the International regions’ scores to be able to post on the website.

Freestyle as Separate RPS – Toby Silhavy

In the past, IMAC events gave RPS to Freestyle.  Freestyle used to bring out a bunch of kids that were into Freestyle and brought competitors to fly in the IMAC classes.  Freestyle enticed pilots to come out and fly, along with spectators to watch.

Toby suggests that we bring Freestyle back to the RPS series.  The pilots he has spoken with is excited to have this possibility brought back.  Doug suggested that this conversation has been discussed in the past and the BOD agreed.  We couldn’t get it programmed and couldn’t make it part of the website.  No one disagreed amount the BOD with the RPS race however.

Mike said that we will include this with the spreadsheet we are writing for RPS.  A suggestion was made to change the RPS Guideline to include that if you fly Freestyle at an event, you must also fly in an IMAC class.  Toby will draft a proposal and post it to the BOD forum for review.

Treasurer’s Report – Phil Vance

The balance in the General Operating account as of the end of September:

Checking       $12,734.35

PayPal           $20,262.13

Total              $32,996.48

The balance in the General Operating account as of October 21, 2019:

Checking      $10,827.37

PayPal           $21,322.91

Total             $32,150.28

Phil will be sending the Executive BOD the financials on the 2019 NATs.  Rich would like a copy of the financials to prepare a budget for the 2020 NATs.

Phil asked if he will be receiving invoices for the regional championships being held in the regions.  Mike said that each RD should be submitting invoices for payment.

Regional Issues – All RDs

The NE region has finished their season and is getting ready for next year.

The SE region just finished the regular season in Tennessee.  Primo is getting ready for the regionals.  He just finalized points and getting the plaques ordered.

The NC region finished its season last month.  Within the next week, Toby plans to have the 2020 schedule ready.

The SC region is in the middle of their triple crown.  Shreveport and Regional finals are the last contest for their season.  Rich has ordered trophies.

The SW region has their regional finals in three weeks.  Alex says there plans to be a pretty big turnout.

The NW region has their season wrapped up.  There has been request for a contest in the Vancouver area.  The judging school will be in the spring.

The Asia-Pacific region will be hosting their regional championship in 5 weeks.  There are currently 60-70 pilots registered.  Michael is working on his ARDs.  Michael believes his organization will join IMAC through the affiliation membership.

The European region is completely going IMAC.  Germany has dropped the EAC tournament and it will become the IMAC Euro Cup.  This event will happen each year.  It will be made out of 7-8 competitions held throughout different countries.  Locally, for each country that is large enough to host from 3-6 events, are creating their own championships.  The countries in his region are in different stages of growth.  Manrico wishes that he could have registered everyone with IMAC all at once, but some of them have done mass registration.

Italy will be hosting a 2-day pilots/judging school.  They would like to get some help from the United States to help with this school. 

Jorge is also wanting to have a judging school held in Mexico.

Adi, our International Liaison to the BOD, thanked Manrico and Michael for all their efforts in the European region.  Manrico says that Adi’s liaison role is very important to the International regions and that this role should continue with the BOD.

Rich will be sending out emails on the last newsletter for 2019.  The articles must be submitted by the end of November.

Meeting adjourned 11:16 pm. EST.