Daily Archives: February 13, 2020

17 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Feb – Mar 2020

Hey folks! It looks like we’re starting 2020 with rain again… The weeds are already starting to come up in the outer field area, and on the runway. Thanks Dennis for chopping out some of the weeds on the runway and on the approach area!  Jim is going to be using his Mission bay park approved herbicide in the next couple weeks, it is a diluted blend so requires multiple applications. Thanks Jim! Please be courteous to folks that are volunteering to help maintain our field and loudly call take-off and landing at all times.

We’ve had some issues at the field recently were people have been coming in and doing a lot of donuts in the parking lot. Thank God they’re not getting to the runway! I’m not sure if they are hopping a curb somewhere, or if the gate is being left open. Please do your part and if you’re the last one out for the day – lock the gate! I know the lock requires some fiddling as you come in and out,  we’re going to work on that over the next couple of weeks to make it a little better for everybody.

As we move into 2020 there are a couple things I want everybody to take a look at. Please double check your fire extinguishers to make sure they still have a proper charge, and also look at your first aid kits and see if anything requires updating. Last year I was handed a band-aid by a member that must have been over 10 years old, it had the consistency of a rice crispy…

Chairs Are starting to get sparse at the field. A combination of age, and leaning back in them are taking a toll. If you intend to buy new yard furniture in the next couple of months, please bring your old items to the field – we will make good use of it over the year.

We are currently at 240 members, the 200 foot ceiling has not seem to have affected our membership. There are still reports of people flying the pattern during the week up to 700 feet, please don’t be that guy risking the future of our club! We continue to attempt to get our 400 foot altitude limit restored, it seems like it’s going to be a long road finding someone at Lindbergh ATC to have a dialog with.

Swap meet season is approaching, but if you have a few dollars burning a hole in your pocket, there have been some nice items posted in the clubs For Sale By Members area.

Welcome back to Carlos, who continues to recover from his accident one year ago. He is flying again and hoping for a full recovery.

Our club meeting this month will be held on Saturday the 22nd, the fun Fly event will be altitude quest, followed by the meeting and our hotdog lunch.

Hope everybody has a great month!

Brad

Eric Shapiro’s Response to the FAA’s Proposed New Rules

Mandatory R/C Tracking
Flightradar24

keypoints:

sUAS monitoring
ADS-B, what is it?
Flightradar24
calfire tracking

Content

As pilots of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), AKA drones and/or r/c airplanes, helicopters, etc., you will be forced to consider upcoming legislation that may impact your r/c hobby. There is a proposal before the FAA to monitor sUAS aerial activity in the future. The implementation for which is expected in a few years from early 2020.

In its basic form, the government wants to know what you are flying and where you are flying it by using a monitoring system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) by the FAA. In essence, transmitters are now being installed on general aviation aircraft that communicate the aircraft type, its designation, its position (latitude, longitude and altitude) and its speed to receiving stations (Ex.-satellites, internet connected hotspots, etc.) that forward the data to the internet for use by air traffic control and other interested people. The new rule foretells that our sUAS’s will need to be similarly equipped.

There is already some uproar expressed by many r/c pilots that the regulations will be too invasive. This is certainly a concern and deserves your attention. For example, if you fly your r/c aircraft outside of AMA sanctioned airfield boundaries, the rule requires a functioning ADS-B system on your aircraft. Many have voiced their concerns during the public commentary period (closing 3/2/2020) at the government website hosting the proposed rule.

The new rule, “Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (proposed by the FAA on 12/31/2019), is currently viewable at, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/31/2019-28100/remote-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems. You may add your own personal comments on that site.

Despite how onerous this all sounds, the ADS-B system is very handy when you want to know what’s flying above. If you are underneath an airport approach, you might be interested to know what airplane makes the interesting sound you’re hearing. You might be in the field and want to check if the sky is clear for your own aircraft before you take off. Is that the police helicopter flying over the SEFSD field? I find it particularly useful for getting timely updates about uncontained fires being fought aerially in San Diego County that might threaten my home.

The reason is that all (as far as I know) of CalFire’s aircraft provide publicly available flight data. I retrieve this data for myself from Flightradar24.com or the Flightradar24 smart device application. There are certainly others, but this one’s my goto. It’s because flight history can be displayed for each aircraft. That’s very handy once you realize that CalFire’s “air-tactical” aircraft loiter around a fire for long periods as they direct incoming air-tankers to their area of attack. The historical trails of the “air-tactical” aircraft look like circles about a point and that’s where the active fire is being fought in real time. No other source of news has proven to be so timely.

Links to the smart device applications (Apple iOS or Android) are available at Flightradar24.com.

So, is the new ruling onerous? Exceedingly likely. Is the new ruling useful? We’ll see and it depends partially on what the public has to say to the FAA about the subject. At the end of the day, the ADS-B system is pretty cool, but should our r/c aircraft be so-equipped?

Sincerely,
Eric Shapiro
Member at Large

John Forester’s Response to the FAA’s Proposed New Rules

FAA DICTATES THE END OF AMATEUR, RECREATIONAL FLYING OF MODEL AIRCRAFT

John Forester; AMA #523616; Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego; forester@johnforester.com

The FAA’s great mistake is in confusing both commercial “drone” activity (much of which is now only the speculative use of drones to deliver packages to homes and offices) and amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft, putting both within one rule. These are entirely different activities, supported by different industries, used by different people, for entirely different purposes, and dating from different eras. The FAA states that the facilities and airspace used for flying model aircraft will always be diminishing until this activity no longer can occur.

In all this discussion the FAA term UAS (unmanned aircraft system) refers only to those small aircraft that are controlled by radio, with or without an on-board navigational system. By about 1970, radio control had developed so that a model aircraft could replicate the controls of a full-scale aircraft and such aircraft were flying in uncontrolled airspace (Type G). Controlled airspace (Types A to F) existed around and above airports in cylinders of diameter increasing with altitude until all airspace above 9,000 feet was controlled airspace. This met the needs for control of the traffic using airports. The great majority of airspace at or near ground level was Type G uncontrolled airspace. Both full-scale aircraft and model aircraft could operate in Type G airspace on a see and avoid basis, the model aircraft having to be within sight distance of its pilot on the ground. Both full-scale and model aircraft have to have runways (landing strips) for starting and ending flight, and any person who owned sufficient land under uncontrolled airspace could choose to set aside land to be used as runways for either full-scale or model aircraft. Model aircraft pilots flew from these model aircraft fields quite happily and the FAA knew nothing about most of these fields.

But the FAA did know about some model aircraft fields. Some model aircraft fields were near airports but in space that the airport traffic could not use. Such a one is that for the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego (SEFSD). The San Diego Airport has only one runway, on an East/West axis. Airport traffic can leave or approach the airport only along that East/West axis; none can leave or approach near ground level from either the north or the south direction. So the airport traffic cannot use the low altitude controlled airspace to the north or south of the runway. The SEFSD field is two miles north of the airport runway and therefore uses controlled airspace that the airport cannot use. Therefore, in accordance with FAA policy, SEFSD has asked for and received permission from the airport management to operate our model aircraft field. The FAA knows about SEFSD’s flying activities.

Furthermore, both the FAA and the public can identify the owner of each model aircraft. The national organization for flying model aircraft (Academy of Model Aeronautics) has long required each of its members’ aircraft to be identified by a label showing the membership number of its owner, and approves showing the owner’s name and address. After which the FAA assigned a number for each owner and required this to be shown on each aircraft.

The FAA has destroyed this system by issuing a proposed rule regarding model aircraft flying: Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Federal Register Dec 31, 2019, pgs 72438-72524. The FAA has destroyed the existing system by converting all Type G uncontrolled airspace to controlled airspace, as far as UAS are concerned. That portion of the uncontrolled airspace that has connections to the internet is now controlled. That portion of the uncontrolled airspace that is outside the reach of the internet is controlled in a different way, by completely prohibiting all UAS activity in that airspace.

There will be no officially recognized landing fields with their own airspace. Any flight may start anywhere and end anywhere, but must not enter the controlled airspace surrounding airports. In order to identify the operator of any UAS that enters prohibited space, every UAS will be required to continually (every second) transmit an identifying message via the internet. It shall be designed to fly only when its internet connection is active. In this discussion altitude is obtained by air-presure measurement. The message shall consist of: 1) UAS Maker’s identification; 2) Maker’s assigned serial number; 3) Altitude of operator’s position; 4) UAS latitude and longitude; 5) UAS altitude; 6) A time marker. As a transitional measure, only those model airports known to the FAA will be allowed to continue, presumably with sufficient surrounding airspace to allow amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft. There will never be any new model airports, only fewer and fewer as time goes on. Thus, amateur, recreational flying of model  aircraft will die.

The message format just doesn’t fit with model aircraft as we know them, but that is only a detail compared to considering whether this FAA system that supersedes decades of model aircraft history.

The FAA seeks to justify this conversion of all uncontrolled airspace into controlled airspace. The only justification it advances are national security and aid to law enforcement. By these it means such as preventing smuggling, avoiding flying over attractive crowds, and preventing disturbances to airport traffic. These are laughable reasons. Model aircraft have a small radar image and anyone can build one that does not transmit the required signal. I have built probably over twenty such model aircraft. Any person with maleficent intent could build one to accomplish his purpose and fly it to produce his desired effect without being traceable.

The most probable reason for the FAA’s proposal is one that the FAA is careful not to mention. That is, this controlled airspace will be suitable for the hypothetical, as yet speculative, business of using drones to deliver packages directly to home or office.

Are we model aircraft pilots going to give up our activity just to get drones, instead of vans, delivering packages to our driveways and gardens? Congressional action will be required to prohibit the FAA from converting the airspace we now use for amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft into an exclusive highway for commercial drones.

You can read Will Byers’ article on the subject by downloading the .pdf below:  (Starts on pg. 6)

RC Flyer News Jan/Feb 2020

Leave the FAA your comments here.

WATCH THIS VIDEO THEN PLEASE WRITE THE FAA!!

Please take the time to watch the excellent video below.  Following that, send the FAA your comments regarding their new proposed rules.  You have only until March 2nd!!!

—  John Forester has written his response to the FAA below:

“FAA DICTATES THE END OF AMATEUR, RECREATIONAL FLYING OF MODEL AIRCRAFT

John Forester; AMA #523616; Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego; forester@johnforester.com

The FAA’s great mistake is in confusing both commercial “drone” activity (much of which is now only the speculative use of drones to deliver packages to homes and offices) and amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft, putting both within one rule. These are entirely different activities, supported by different industries, used by different people, for entirely different purposes, and dating from different eras. The FAA states that the facilities and airspace used for flying model aircraft will always be diminishing until this activity no longer can occur. . .”  READ MORE

 

—  Eric Shapiro has shared his thoughts in the article below:

“sUAS Monitoring, ADS-B, what is it?, Flightradar24, Calfire Tracking

As pilots of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) AKA drones and/or r/c airplanes, helicopters, etc., you will be forced to consider upcoming legislation that may impact your r/c hobby. There is a proposal before the FAA to monitor sUAS aerial activity in the future. The implementation for which is expected in a few years from early 2020. . .”  READ MORE

 

Click here to comment and make your voice heard!
Don’t Wait!

Two more places to voice your comments:

AMA Government Advocacy

Federal Register

 

BOD Minutes for January 2020

Meeting starts at 7:05 pm

Present: Steven, Brad, Ken, Eric, Steve, Carl.

For this month’s meeting we talked about starting some good old fashion airplane racing.  We discussed several options and are leaning towards the FMS T-28. Keep an eye out for further information on this classic event.

Our dear and beloved runway is still in good shape, we will keep an eye out for further maintenance on it

We talked about our year events and came up with some good add ons and changes.  Please check our website calendar and pencil in some fun times.

We purchased some new speed limit signs, that will be going up shortly.  We also had 50 keys made. Remember if you need a key, it’s 3 dollars.

Finally we talked about the new FAA proposed changes.  there will be templates for addressing our concerns as aero modelers, please keep an eye out for them.

And that concludes our meeting, we wish you a happy new flying year filled with many flying days.

We the Board of Directors thank you, the member for making this the great club it is.

Your Humble Secretary,

Ken Dresser

Meeting Adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

WHAT CAUSED THE MIRACLE FLIGHT?

              

By Frank Sutton

Alex received his Motion RC AL37 jet airliner as a Christmas gift. Of course, he was thrilled. As many of you already know, Alex plans to be a jet airliner pilot and is already flying actual sailplanes as a member of Cypress Soaring (https://www.cypresssoaring.org/) in addition to flying R/C planes with Silent Electric Flyers San Diego (SEFSD). He is preparing to solo in a Cypress Soaring sailplane later this year.

              Alex assembled his brand new Motion RC AL37 jet airliner on Christmas Day, and he installed a known good SPECTRUM AR620 6-Channel Sport Receiver from another plane. Unfortunately, he soon discovered that the lights and retractable landing gear worked but the twin jet engines would not start. Alex spent many hours unsuccessfully troubleshooting the engine problem for several days. All of the receivers he tried would work fine and start the engines on other aircraft, but none of his receivers would start the the new AL37 jet engines.

              We reached out to Motion RC’s Technical Support for assistance and eventually attempted to troubleshoot the engine problem via E-mail and text messages with Motion RC’s Technician “Andrew”. Unfortunately, all the troubleshooting by Andrew and Alex remained unsuccessful – the jet’s engines would simply make a beeping tone and not start.

              We were planning to ship the engines and electronics back to Motion RC for troubleshooting when Andrew told us he lives not too far away in the Lake Elsinore area, and he invited us to bring the plane, or at least the electronics and jet engines, to his home to troubleshoot himself. We gratefully accepted his generous offer and met Andrew at his home in Lake Elsinore on Saturday afternoon, 04JAN2020, after Alex’s sailplane flight at Hemet Airport with a Cypress Soaring Instructor. Continue reading

Safety Corner for February 2020

For the most part things have been pretty quiet from a safety perspective at the field. One item that I have observed that deserves some attention is overflying the pit area when making a landing approach. The goal is to fly the approach so the plane is on or near the center line of the runway. If you find yourself drifting to the south of the runway center it would be better to power up and go around than to continue an approach that may come over peoples heads or get tangled up in the fence.

On the subject of approaches be aware that the line as defined by the field fence extends to our flying area boundaries – and that means all flying must be north of that line. Lately there have been some cases where  fixed wing models were flying south of that line over the heli/multicopter pit area. Be aware of where you are and avoid flying to the south of the fence line!

T28 Racing:
The fleet of FMS T28s is growing and we should be in position to have a gathering in the next couple weeks and stage some demo/testing racing. If all goes as expected then we will schedule a racing event  for March. There has been a couple people ask about allowing use of 1350 packs as they have them left over from the previous racing class. The short answer is I guess it would be OK—but with the T28 being a small light plane the larger and heavier battery may lead to handling problems. Some brought up the subject of mods to the plane—the planes have to be stock——with all the plastic bits associated with the landing gear. Some raised the question of putting better centering servos in the plane—that would be just fine. The basic airframe, motor, propeller must be stock. 

Steve Neu 

Treasurer’s Report for February 2020

We have 240 members as of February 12th with $32,139 in cash. We applied for the AMA Flying Site Improvement Grant, so hopefully we’ll get a couple hundred dollars from that fund. We might have some additional expenses this year since our parking lot was recently vandalized. The grace period for membership renewal is over now, and everyone must have a 2020 badge to fly, with the exception of Chula Vista guest fliers, whose field is closed. 

-Quan

Why the Field Was Closed January 29th

https://www.mosquitoes.org/    These folks headed up this event.  There were 2 other presenters showing off their wares.  Mosquito Control/Abatement was the name of the game.  

Folks representing many counties in southern California were there to see the equipment. There were also a few from the Central Valley.   Everyone was extremely appreciative that our club membership stepped aside to allow this to happen.  They send their many thanks to the club!!

The Blue OctoCopter cost was $42,000 all up.  Includes 6hrs training on the AC and software packages.

All in all,  this event went very smoothly.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/nSQLhGJPvNyNLsw29

Randy Wynant

Indoor Flying for 2020!

If you are at all interested in indoor flying please check out our website and come visit us at the Alliant Gym.  Bring your little planes and have some fun.  If you are new, the first night is free.  If you enjoyed yourself, we would love to have you join us.  The membership information is on our website.  We have 10 sessions lined up for this year:

Below are the 2020 flying dates for Alliant.
All times are 7:30 – 9:30PM unless otherwise noted:

March 27
April 17
May 22
June 19
July 24
August 14
September 18
October 23
November 20
December 18

You can email us at: IndoorModelers@gmail.com

Click the pic below for some indoor flying pics:

RCX is Back!

 

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2019, Norwalk, CT
RCX is Back
April 25th -26th 2020 at The Fairplex, Pomona, CA
The Radio Control Expo is thrilled to announce that RCX will be returning to the Fairplex in Pomona, California, on April 25th-26th 2020. We have a new partnership in place that features the RCX Brand and the SoCal Drone Fest and Conference.
The very top companies in the world of Radio Control will host interactive exhibits to show off the latest in new technologies, radios, planes, on-road and off-road vehicles, accessories, parts, and more. Experts in various field’s will be on hand to provide firsthand knowledge and advice on a wide variety of RC products. Also, there will be live product demos that will be a fun experience for all in attendance.
The SoCal Drone Fest and Conference will also be running in conjunction with the show and will feature everything new and exciting in the world of drones. The Consumer Conference is designed to help all levels of users with the best tips, advice, workshops from the experts, and is designed to help them grow their Drone skills.
The Radio Control Expo is part of our California Power Sports Expo, and as such, thousands of new customers will be seeing many of the RC products on display for the very first time. Companies partnering, and exhibiting with us will benefit, as our objective is to help them reach an audience of potential “New” customers while reconnecting with their existing users in a dynamic way.
We offer outstanding sponsor packages, including opportunities for Category Sponsors that we can customize for your company. Prime booth locations do book quickly and are limited, as are demo areas and times. We look forward to having you join us, and we will do all we can to make the show a great experience for your company.
www.RCX.com  | www.capowersportsexpo.com/
CONTACT INFO:
Brian Vargas | President | www.smashows.com

Show Management Associates, LLC
Landmark Square | 8 Knight Street | Suite 205 | Norwalk, CT 06851
e: bvargas@smashows.com | p: (203)939-9901 | f: (203) 286-2328