Monthly Archives: December 2016

8 posts

Getting a New Drone for Christmas?


Generally, if you are using a drone for personal purposes and it injures someone or damages their property, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy would provide liability coverage up to the policy’s limits, said Mr. Hackett. (If you are using a drone to make money — even if it is a sideline, like photographing property for a real estate business — that would not typically be covered by a homeowner’s policy).


It is always wise, however, to check with your insurance carrier on the specifics of your policy, said Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Some insurers may exclude drone-related incidents from their policies — and those that do not do so now may decide to eventually, as the number of drones taking to the skies increases and insurers learn more about the cost of drone-related claims.


“Generally speaking, we evaluate every claim on its own merit,” said Justin Herndon, a spokesman for Allstate, in an email. “We continue to follow the evolution of drones and its impact on our customers’ policies.”


It is also a good idea to reduce your risk by brushing up on drone operational and safety rules, Ms. Alderman said.


The F.A.A. requires that hobby users fly drones at or below 400 feet, and keep them within sight. The agency offers a safety video on its website.


Also, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which charters more than 2,500 community-based model-aviation clubs, works with other groups and the F.A.A. to promote safety guidelines and instruction through the Know Before You Fly initiative.


Simulation software that can help you learn to fly a drone on a home computer is available for about $100, said Chad Budreau, director of public relations and government affairs for the model aeronautics group.


Here are some questions and answers about drones:


What other insurance options are available?


One option for hobbyists: If you join the Academy of Model Aeronautics, you will receive group liability coverage as a benefit of membership. (Membership is $75 for adults, free for those under age 19.)


The academy’s insurance policy, issued by a specialty insurer, typically pays out after your homeowner’s policy is exhausted, and it provides $2.5 million in liability coverage for property damage or bodily injury.


What if my drone is lost or damaged?


Homeowner’s policies typically cover replacement of personal belongings, which would include a drone. But most policies have a deductible — say, $500. So unless you have a very expensive drone, it may not be worth filing a claim, Ms. Worters said.


Do I have to register my drone?


Federal rules now require recreational owners to register any drone — or “unmanned aircraft system,” in F.A.A. parlance — flown outdoors. Drones weighing a half-pound to 55 pounds can be registered online on the agency’s website; the fee is $5 per person, can be applied to as many drones as you own and is good for three years.


Failure to register a drone can be costly: The F.A.A. says generally it aims to educate operators, but can impose civil fines of up to $27,500, and criminal penalties can be much higher.

Brad’s Corner for Dec/Jan 2016/17

Brad PicsHey Fliers! I hope you are having a great December, and Santa brings you what you want this year! I have been seeing plenty of hobby related sales popping up in the last few days, and there should still be some good ones from Thunder Power and Horizon on the way for those of you that still have some hobby budget remaining!


As most of you know, Jim and I have swapped our elected positions on the board of directors for 2017. I appreciate your trust as I start the year as club president! The main thing I would like to say is that the change should be transparent. We agree on 99% of every item we discuss. The club will remain member focused and will continue to invest in YOU when it comes to monthly events, and special series events that occur throughout the year. If you have been on the fence about participating I encourage you to get a wing, racing drone, or glider and join us in 2017 – There is a lot of fun to be had, and more than a little crap talk!


Talking about giving back to the members is the perfect segue into the holiday banquet. Remember, this is a bonus to 2016 members and our way of saying “Thank You!” for the teamwork and cooperation you displayed this past year. To re-state some items from last months newsletter, the club holiday banquet is set to occur on 14 Jan. at the Admiral Kidd club. This is on a Naval base in Point Loma, but Non-military people can attend as long as we get your name on their access list for the evening of the event. Like last year, we will be accepting a 5 dollar deposit to reserve your seats and get everyone who attends a ticket for the raffle. You will be able to either pay your deposit via the family/friend feature of PayPal, or with cash to any board member. Reservations will close on December 28th or when we hit 150 guests. I have to have the security forms completed and delivered by the 29th. There will be no late adds, if your name is not on the list – showing up with a slime will not get you in. As I write this, there are only around 40 seats available, so you should get on it in the next day or so. Also, I have received a few mails from people stating they plan to attend, but still have not sent their RSVP funds. Your names are not added until you pay. I was stiffed last year by people asking me to pay for them stating they would pay me back at the banquet, then they did not attend. That will not be an option this year. Remember we will have at least $1300.00 worth of raffle prizes and everyone gets a ticket!


We have had quite a few membership renewals already and I thank those of you who got an early start instead of pushing the lssue. If you know you will be flying next year, why wait? Have you renewed your AMA yet? Even if your current AMA membership does not expire until later in the year, I encourage you to renew now so you are covered for the entire year to let us send you a badge for the entire year instead of a special one that expires mid-year. Remember, AMA Youth memberships are Free, and additional family memberships are $10.00 for youngsters that want to give it a try. There is no meeting at the field this month, but we would like to have “Badge day” at the field on the 31st of December between 9 AM and 12 PM for those who have renewed their membership. If you come down and pick it up you can save the club some postage, and get a slice or 2 of Costco pizza. Isabel and Paul will be on site for those who are unable to renew online and need to do it with a live person. As long as you have renewed your AMA, they can accept cash, checks, or credit cards.


At January’s board of directors meeting we will be finalizing our clubs event calendar for 2017. A lot of old favorites will return with maybe one or two surprises thrown in to keep it interesting. Again, we will attempt to keep our fun-fly events to 2 hours on meeting days so we do not take out the whole day. We will also start the new season of racing for the Popwings and Multirotors, as well as the return of Electroglide. January 14th (yes, banquet day) will be the first Popwing race and last years 1st-4th place winners will be at the field to discuss their set-ups and suggestions on what worked for them last year. Sharing this way stands to make it more fun for everyone, so please take advantage of this!


A couple more Items of interest for Jan, The AMA EXPO will be held between Jan 6th and 8th in Ontario, and the Chula Vista club on Dairy Mart road is having a swap meet on 21 Jan. Usually there is nothing between September and March, so if you attend, tell them Thank you for setting it up.


Finally, If you have a grievance at the field involving another member, please use the procedures outlined in the club bylaws. This way you have some time to think of what you want to say, put it in writing in an intelligent manner, and have us understand what you are trying to say.


Also, prior club member Mike Royer recently passed away, Please pass condolences to his family and friends.


Have a great Month!!


Aircraft Maintenance – UPS Style

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe sheet” which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.  Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.  Here are actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (“P”) and solutions recorded (“S”) by maintenance engineers:

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.


P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.


P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit


P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.


P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.


P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.


P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.


P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.


P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.


P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.


P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.


P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.


P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.


P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.


P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

PopWing Race Results for 2016

Popwing Results – Final Score


By Jim Bonnardel

What a fitting end to a great season! The last race had all three of your top points leaders battling it out for a great finish.
2016 was the third season for PopWing racing, and I am pleased to tell you that it is growing and becoming more popular because it is just so darn fun.
This season we had return pilots, as well as plenty of newbies joining in on the controlled chaos that is pylon racing with a near-disposable, very durable, low budget aircraft.
PopWing racing requires cooperation as well as a competitive spirit.  It succeeds because we all want to race, but we all want to help others race too.  Each month, I witness people helping other racers keeping their wings race-ready.  Whether it is giving someone an O-ring, a prop, or fixing a break with some CA glue, everyone works together to keep the races going.   PopWing also requires people to work together as callers and turn marshals.  PopWing racing also allows you to sharpen your skills when flying other aircraft as you soon learn how when the race timer goes “DING”, you need to control your nerves to stay on a clean line through the course.
PopWing racing was designed to bring club members together for some common fun, not close the field for a full day, and give back to the participants.  This year due to our 400+ club member totals, we were graciously granted the largest value ever for end of year prizes and awards. Trophies, gift certificates and airplanes were given out.  Most of the prizes were raffle-based, so anyone that participated in 2016 had an equal chance to take home some goods. In a slight twist to the usual “must be present to win” raffle, all the racers present for the last day agreed to include EVERYONE that participated during 2016 season into the raffle, not just the members present for the last day. That actually worked out well as some of the goods were awarded to members not present or participating at the last race.
Scoring will have a slight tweak next year,  we will be awarding 1~4 points for qualifying positon as an incentive to not sandbag during qualifying runs since main event points are the same across all the mains. We will also hold a “PopWing Clinic” before our first race in 2017 on Jan 14th.  Be sure to plan accordingly so you can learn some tips, tricks and secrets to tuning your PopWing as a worthy racer.
Kudos to our points leaders who made were sure to make it to each race, and truly hold that competitive spirit.   Brad,  who had 6 consecutive 10 point days (broken only by the one month we skipped),  Jim, who also had 6, 10 point days (non-consecutive) and Eric & Randy who each had 4, 10 point days during the season.

Here are our final, 2016 standings:


Popwing Final Score 2016


Thank you to everyone that participated, and all the other club members who let the field have these special events month in, and month out.
If you would like to participate next year, simply visit our website and review the rules:
Go to or for the aircraft.  Often they are on sale for $59,   and usually have a regular price of $65.  Just put your number on as specified in the instructions.
Racing is FREE. There are no entry or participation costs above your regular club membership.

See you next year!