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Chairman’s Corner for June/July 2019

Hey Guys and Gals,

I have a lot to put out this month so I hope I don’t put you to sleep before you get to the bottom!

First I need to state the status of our club as it relates to the FAA and Lindberg ATC. At the moment our field is in what is considered class B airspace. That means that there was no “automatic” permission granted for unrestricted model use up to 400 feet. The most recent direction from the AMA was to continue utilizing our site unless otherwise informed. Steve N., Quan, and Eric have been in contact with and received contact information for the lead air traffic controller and local FAA rep and have forwarded same to the AMA who will develop the Memorandum of Agreement which should give us full permission to continue on at our premier site. With this in progress I would like all members to review our club and AMA safety requirements and ensure we are all flying well within our posted safety guidelines. Please limit all flights to the prescribed maximum altitude of 400 Feet, and do not come closer than 25 feet ( 50 feet preferred ) to people or wildlife. Any time we are close to 400 feet a spotter should be used to watch for inbound full scale air traffic. All pilots need to get lower than 100 feet when there is ANY full scale activity in the area anywhere between Fiesta Island and the I-8 .

We have authorized the funds for replacement or the 3 worst tables at the flight line. The member doing the work ( Jim ) volunteers his time and has been very busy lately, so please exercise a bit of patience and do not actively increase the breakdown of the tables by picking away at them, smacking them with hard objects, or sitting on them. We may need another month or two to get them done.

As in years past, we will be having a “Member Only” event at the field on the 4th of July for you, family, and friends. All day long we will ask members to close the gate after you pass through. Don’t let people past you into the lot if they do not have current membership badges. If you have guests arriving later, please arrange to meet them at the gate to let them in, then lock the gate behind them as they pass through.  It is a LOT easier to control the madness if we keep control of access all day. Usually we do an all day event with some of us coming early in the morning and staying for the fireworks. We will have lunch available for purchase on site,  and I am asking for two or three volunteers to bring a couple of small gas grills later for those who want to bring and cook some dinner on site I am going to ask a board member to bring the clubs grill also. As a reminder, you are all grownups, but I am obligated to state that Mission Bay Park promotes an alcohol free/smoke free environment.  The Sea World Fireworks generally go off right in front of us around 10:00 P.M., then as you exit the site afterwards – you go across Sea World drive at the light and turn left onto Old Sea World drive, it will take you a bit east to Friars road where you can make a quicker getaway. The lunch plan has been finalized, Quan has set up the same food truck that was on site last year to set up around 11:00AM and serve until the demand dies down.  Leilani’s Food Truck will be on site to sell lunch tasty plates around 11:00 A.M and the menu will include choices of a Teriyaki plate, Kalua pork plate, Aloha plate, Kalua pork and teriyaki chicken, Teriyaki beef, and Ahi poke with vegetarian options available for Dave Gordon…. Sides will be Rice, Green salad, or Macaroni salad. Beverages will also be available for purchase at the truck, or bring your own. Around noon there will be a really great raffle purposed to raise funds for our end-of-year holiday banquet. The current prize line-up is valued at over $3500 dollars and includes some GREAT airplanes and large brushless outrunners donated by Steve Neu. Tickets for this raffle will be $1.00 each, and I will say that if the people that enjoyed the banquet last year each purchase 20 tickets, that will get us half way to funding next year’s event. There have been some ticket sales at the field, but for those of you that don’t make it down on the weekends, there have been blasts to your registered e-mail account with instructions on how to purchase tickets using either PayPal, credit cards, or checks by mail. Thanks George for managing raffle ticket sales this year!!  [Tickets available in this newsletter, keep reading – Ed]

We are up to 308 members for the year. Not far from our total last year with 5 months left in 2019. Still, I was approached last weekend by a prior member who was flying wearing a 2018 badge who then asked for a gate key while claiming his badge had not expired because the AMA expiration date on the bottom had not arrived. For those that missed it, ALL 2018 memberships expired on December 31st no matter when your AMA membership expired. Club memberships are year to year, and do not include any portion of the following year – no matter when purchased.

I would like to thank the members that have been providing interesting submissions and articles to our editor, Steve for inclusion in our newsletter. Some really neat stuff has been popping up! Also, Here is another plug for members to start using the FOR SALE section of our web site. There has been some great items at reasonable prices posted, so if you are looking, please look here – you may find what you need. If you are selling, send your submission with a picture or two to our editor at editor@sefsd.org and he will post them.  Thanks Steve!

We are still in need of chairs to get us through the rest of the year. If you recently replaced your lawn furniture, please think of bringing your used items down if it will still support rear ends. If you know someone getting their carpet replaced, we could also use the old carpet, and they would save the disposal fees ( no pad please! )

To close out, Saturday the 22nd will be our Fun Fly and club meeting at the field. This will be our second bomb drop of the year, A favorite that anyone who has Soloed can play, and sometimes there is excitement when the pilot watches the bomb instead of the plane. Shifting things up a bit, Jim will be buying a couple of 5 foot subway sandwiches for lunch, which will be served by Lisa and Mark after the meeting.

Hope to see you all at the meeting, AND on the 4th of July at the field!!

The President’s Corner for June/July 2019

Hey pilots,

This month I would like to start off with the big news that everyone is talking about and that is the FAA flying field blue dot marker for our field. Yes we are able to fly in the interim until we are in compliance. That said, there are things that each member can do to help us keep our field open. The best ways are to comply with AMA and SEFSD rules and park regulations. Stay within these parameters so we do not give the wrong impression while we are getting our papers in order. I know it’s a challenging time for our club. Please be mindful of what and where you are doing your hobby. Any extra scrutiny at this time could be detrimental. Full size aircraft always have the right of way, when they are in sight please fly below 100’ or land, we don’t want or need them calling the tower and give them reasons to close down our site.

Now for the 4th of July celebration, we would like to remind everyone this will be a closed gate day. Remember to close the gate behind you, there will be a lot of nonmembers trying to access our site on that day. We have a great assortment of raffle prizes this year, about $1500 worth, so buy a lot and buy often. We have reserved the same food truck as last year to serve lunch again this year. You can bring you our grill for dinner. Gas BBQ grills only. If you want to cook out you can. What you bring in you bring out. Try not to overwhelm the park staff with tons of trash. Remember have fun and enjoy the festivities.

We are still on schedule to have tables replaced. Please don’t sit on the tables, some are on their last legs and it would be a shame for anyone to fall due to the table being not sound. Also the flying surface is holding up well, we will monitor and make a determination and when it gets to a point of disorder we will roll it and get it back in shape.

As always I appreciate everyone of you. with out you this club would not be so amazing. Keep up the good work and see you at the field.

Tony Blackhurst.

June’s Event: Bomb Drop

It’s that time again. Come out for the second Bomb Drop of 2019 on June 22 at 10am. Also if you have any payload releases on your plane you’re encouraged to bring them for some target practice before and after the regular event.  Click the pic for pics from the last Bomb Drop event.

FAA Closes Apollo XI Field

Please click the image below for the entire discussion:

This just in from Sepulveda:

“Just a small correction, Sepulveda Basin is open again but with restrictions:
1. Ceiling limit is 250 feet
2. Absolutely no smoke
3. Turbine aircraft are approved
4. No take offs or landings right to left. If wind is reversed then no flying
Barry Mattingly”

Treasurer’s Report for June/July 2019

We have some great raffle prizes this year for the 4th of July, with over $3,400 worth of prizes, and purchased at a great price to the club. Do please open your pocketbooks and show your generosity so that we can have another great holiday banquet at the end of this year! I want to thank the late Roger Long and his family for donating the sales proceed from his plane collection to our holiday banquet fund. We are at 309 members, with $29,439.07 in the bank.

BOD Minutes for May 2019

Board of Directors Meeting

Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego

Meeting starts at 6:58 pm

For this month’s meeting we talked about fixing the broken tables.  Please do not sit on the tables as they will break.

As of today we have 294 members and we are on budget.  We also talked about the option of moving 50% of the clubs money into a 6 and 12 month CD.

Our current members are being checked with the AMA for upcoming expirations.

We also discussed and think it would be a great idea to paint a center line down the runway.  This would make landings and flybys easier to judge and execute.

Out next topic was discussing the idea of placing “No Parking” signs at the left side of the driveway before the Pilot parking.   Also, we touched on the idea of placing telephone poles on the back of the parking lot for visitors so they understand that the front is for pilots only.

For the 4th of July we decided, like every year, to make it a closed gate event.  Please close the gate behind you on the 4th.

For future club events we have asked Eric and Carl to collaborate and make things happen.  As Ian landed a new job and has his hands full.

And finally we talked about making more keys for the club.

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 8:49 p.m.

Electroglide Report for June 2019

By Jeff Struthers

One would assume that this being June in San Diego, the weather would not favor a glider competition. With overcast skies, a south-west wind of six mph and 67degree temperatures, nine pilots launched at the 10:00 a.m. start.

Arthur Markiewicz flying a nicely balanced Radian had a flight time of 7:12 with a 30-point landing. Scott Vance came in second with a flight of 5:54 and a 20-point landing. Eric Bird was third with a flight of 5:39. Alex Sutton picked up a 20-point landing and Neil Zhu had a 10-point landing. Not bad, considering the gloomy sky.

On second launch, pilots again found the lift with Arthur having the long flight at 9:55 plus a 20-point landing. Scott had a flight of 7:14 with a 10-point landing. Eric came in at 6:54, also with a 20-point landing. Alex Sutton and Jon Graber both picked up 20-point landings, and Stephen Treger had a 10-point landing. I’ll point out that Alex had a flight of 6:20 minutes and five other pilot flight times were at least five minutes long. So, the lift was there, we thought.

Third launch took place two minutes after Arthur landed and flight conditions had dramatically changed. Alex had the long flight at 4:20 with a 30-point landing. Scott came in second at 4:17 with a 20-point landing. Eric came was third at 3:31, also with a 20-point landing. Stephen and I both had a 20-point landing. There was no clear understanding of why the lift conditions so quickly disappeared, perhaps the wind.

Fourth and final launch was into pretty much the same conditions. Arthur had the longest flight at 6:34 with a 20-point landing. Scott came in second at 4:31 with a 30-point landing and I came in third with a 3:58 flight time and a 10-point landing. Neil, Stephen and George Sullivan all had 30-point landings.

Landing in the target circles is certainly a way to pick up extra points when the lift gets hard to find. So, congrats to the pilots who manage to land their aircraft in the circles at the end of each flight.

First place winner for the day goes to Arthur Markiewicz who earned 235 points. Second place goes to Scott Vance at 214 points and Alex Sutton came in third at 186 total points. Nice flying guys!

Thanks to Frank Sutton for taking such great pictures of the event.

In closing I want to remind both glider and powered pilots to be aware of full-scale aircraft crossing through our flight area. The FAA is the boss of our airspace and will take it away if they see us as a threat to aviation. Just the way it is.

The Electroglide Competition will now have a spotter to warn of any approaching aircraft. This person will order all aircraft to quickly descend and land on the runway. We will then restart that launch when the airspace is clear.

Next Electroglide is scheduled for July 20th at 10:00 a.m.

See you there,


Safety Corner for June 2019 – MUST READ!

By Steve Neu

Some members may have heard that as a result of the newly signed FAA reauthorization bill that there likely will be some changes in how we operate and fly at Mission Bay. The AMA has some more details of what this might mean for our hobby flying. One of the items that in the near term that is needing our attention of your BOD is the requirement to have a “Letter of Agreement” (LOA) with the Lindberg tower. We have started the process and there has been some initial contact which has established which person we have to communicate with. The initial response indicated that there are some concerns that we as a club will need to address in order to get a LOA in place. We need to tighten up our flying and pay attention to the 400 foot altitude restriction as well as making sure we drop to below 100 feet when ANY manned aircraft approaches to within a mile of our field. Having a spotter by your side would be advised for pilots flying high performance models or gliders that operate further out.

As a cautionary tale a long established flying field in L.A. was visited by the FAA people from the local tower in Van Nuys—they were told that until they got a LOA in place that there would not be any more model flying. The Apollo 11 field in the Sepulveda basin is shut down for now. The take-away for us is to be good citizens and make sure we do not do anything to get our operation noticed in a negative way.

That brings up another subject—DO NOT HARASS THE WILD LIFE! I have seen drone video of a FPV racer chasing and nearly hitting an Egret well north of the FPV course. I can’t stress enough how bad this behavior is! We are in the middle of an area that is rich in a wide variety of bird life and we must behave accordingly. Leave the birds and other critters alone!

“Mayday!” The Story of Alex’s Lost Radian

Later in the afternoon today Alex called out “MAYDAY” and held his transmitter high over his head – that is his signal informing me that he has an emergency! Alex lost connectivity/control of his Radian Sailplane! 
  We had not experienced such a loss of control in well over a year when, as we eventually discovered, Alex had a faulty transmitter and Horizon Hobby replaced it and a new Mini-Apprentice at no charge (we happened to have dash cam video of the flight and crash that we sent to Horizon Hobby and that probably helped us!). 
  Alex’s sailplane was flying itself very well for a while, but getting further and further away, and it flew out of bounds far away from the runway area and then sharply turned towards earth in a tight spiral down. We lost sight of it behind one of those large trees on the far north side of the runway. Alex ran across the SEFSD runway and field trying to locate the sailplane, and he found it too! It had flown completely over the open water between SEFSD Field and Fiesta Island, and was floating in the water just a few feet from the shoreline at Fiesta Island! He ran back to the van and we all took off (with Joan and Alex in the van as well) to Fiesta Island as fast as we legally could!
  When we got to Fiesta Island, Alex spotted the sailplane still floating in the water at the very edge of beach shoreline towards our left, and we let him out of the van and he took off running again towards his beloved Radian! 
  In the meantime, because traffic is one-way on Fiesta Island, Joan, Codey, and I had to drive all the way around Fiesta Island to get to where we found Alex waiting for us at the shoreline with his Radian, and we picked him up right there (a very bumpy ride through the sand too!). 
   Alex said he first disconnected the battery and couldn’t find the canopy, it must have sunk. Everything else was recovered and thankfully, the Radian appeared to have no physical damage at all – probably because it luckily landed in the water instead of the much harder sand! Of course, the entire Radian was soaked with salt water and covered with wet sand too, so Alex put the Radian in the van and we all headed to the Marina just down the street from the SEFSD Field where Alex gave his Radian its very first shower ever! I told Alex that fresh water would be better than salt water, so it couldn’t make things any worse for the electronics. Alex got some funny looks from a few folks there watching him shower off his sailplane! Ha!
  After returning to SEFSD Field with a freshly washed down Radian, Alex set it on the table to air dry and when we returned home, Alex put dry uncooked rice in the cockpit and engine compartment, then covered it with the canopy from his Electroglide Radian and taped it closed. I explained to Alex that the rice would draw out the remaining moisture from the electronics over a 2 – 3 day period and with a little more luck, his Radian will fly once again! We’ll know in a few days if the electronics are still good or not. We haven’t yet determined what caused the connectivity/loss of control though.  We were wondering how many Pilots over the years have (unwillingly) flown a plane over to Fiesta Island and successfully recovered it?
  Between the mid-air Pop Wing Race collision with Carlos (luckily neither plane was damaged significantly) and the Unscheduled Fiesta Island Flight, we’ve had some really fun and unique experiences today and I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it, we’re very fortunate to have found such a great group of friends and Pilots to fly with!

[Alex is now the newest member of SPLASH. . . – Ed]

A Plethora of New Pics

Click the pics for more pics:

Carl Lewellen the plane fixer,  during Electroglide….took his eyes off for 10 seconds, and UHHHwhere’s my plane??  He got it down after hitting Home Depot for some PVC pipe……

Randy’s Pics from Jet Day 2019

Frank’s Pics from May Electroglide and Open Flying

Frank’s Pics of Open Flying in June

Frank’s Pics of Popwing and Open Flying in June

Frank’s Electroglide and Open Pics from June

Frank’s Son Alex has Been taking Full Size Glider Lessons. 
I was on the ground with Joan and Codey the entire time. I shot the photos with the same cameras I use at SEFSD too. That one photo of Alex and Flight Instructor Jose coming in for a landing with the mountain in the background does look like it could have been taken from above, but it looks that way because Alex had the nose pointed down in preparation for the landing. One thing about those sailplanes, the Pilots have one opportunity and one opportunity only to land in the right place – there is no fly back around to try again! – Frank.

Chairman’s Corner for May/June 2019

Well, we keep having our events rained out… Quite unusual for May! Thanks to all of you for staying off of the field when muddy. Footprints made this time of year are usually still visible in September. The flora growth in the field area is still advancing and I want to say a BIG “Thank You!” to Dennis La Berge and Jim Bonnardel for their efforts in keeping the runway clear. The extra growth means we still have people wandering across the runway to look at the “pretty flowers” AKA weeds. Please try to be aware of them. One nice thing with the late rains is the field is in great condition and we can save the wet down/roll for maybe August!

Recently the FAA sent preliminary guidance on the use hobby type unmanned aircraft. This is in response to the large number of events in the last few years of people violating restricted airspace around the country. A couple of the BOD members along with Mark Davis and Jim Bonnardel have been communicating with the AMA Government rep and the FAA to ensure we are taking the correct actions to keep our flying site safe. In the interim, I ask that all of you follow current AMA directives and register with the AMA – then place your registration number on each aircraft in a visible location. Also, we need to re-double our efforts in reducing reports to the tower of aircraft above our altitude limit. Please restrict up lines to 400 feet or less, and for the foreseeable future it may be a good idea to have a “calibrated eye” when electroglide is underway to tell pilots not to climb higher.

There was some discussion at the last BOD meeting about the yellow rock at the east end of the runway. It seems that some folks have been using it as a target instead as a centerline reference and have been hitting it. When Jeff re-paints the event target at the center of the field, we are going to try a centerline and see if that works better.

We have had issues again with folks leaving the gate and the Porta Potty open. PLEASE take a few moments and lock the gate if you are the last one out! If there are one or two cars on-site, ask them if they are members. If not, let them know you are locking up and they should leave. If there are empty vehicles, lock them in! People donated new chairs about a month ago, and they are all gone already – LOCK the gate.  We have keys for sale again, if you need one approach a board member for info. If you are standing right there and want to let a non-member use the toilet, that’s ok- but please wait and ensure it’s locked when they finish. Don’t just leave it open. It will get vandalized, all of the paper thrown down the hole, or the lock thrown into the field. That being said, we are in need of more chairs again due to theft/vandalism. If you are replacing yard furniture (or carpet) please bring your old (unbroken) items down instead of tossing them out.

There was a recent incident at the field where a spectator was injured by an out of control airplane. This is the exact reason we have AMA insurance coverage. I appreciate the folks that jumped in to provide comfort and first aid to the individual. Remember, sometimes it is preferable to let an unmanageable plane go down in the field, or behind the vehicles in the lot rather than try to get it back to the runway over people’s heads. If you are involved in an incident, please get the individuals name and phone number to pass on to the BOD for follow up.

George Sullivan has started selling tickets for the 4th of July Raffle.[See below] You can also buy tickets from board members. Remember this one is where we get the funds to support the holiday banquet in January, so if you enjoy the banquet with your family, I encourage you to enjoy the Raffle! We already have some great stuff donated by Steve Neu and Bob Stinson with more to come! We will announce the prizes as they finalize.

Assuming the field dries out in time, we will be having Jet Day on Saturday the 25th. Bring them if you got them! Between 10 AM and Noon the main runway will be reserved for jets only. Carl and Eric are making a plan on how to award the monthly prizes. Following the fun fly there will be a club meeting at the field and the customary hot dog lunch. Hope to see you there!!


Tony’s Corner for May/June 2019

Hey pilots,

Another month is in the books. I will start off by saying we unfortunately had an incident on Saturday the 18th. A spectator who was enjoying our hobby was struck in the hand and cut a couple times. The plane was out of control and ended up over the pits. “Heads up” was called out multiple times and most were aware that there was a plane out of control. As the pilot struggled to get it back to the field. He was able to make it just over the fence where the gentleman was standing. As the plane crashed down it struck his hand cutting a couple fingers. I’m proud our members jumped into action to get the bleeding to stop. At that point the man and his friends said they would be taking him to the ER to get a professional assessment. They left so quickly we were not able to get pertinent info. So this brings up a good point; when we have an incident, we need to get some basic info: who, what, when & where. If there is an incident we can provide it to the AMA for insurance claim purposes. That’s why we carry it. So please keep this in mind when we do have something happen. 
We are starting to prepare for our forth of July celebration. We have started to sell raffle tickets for our 4th raffle. We will have a great assortment of prizes. As always, it will be a members only, closed gate event. Fireworks are at sundown so plan accordingly. Traffic on that day can be hectic so please stay calm and give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. There will be more updates as we get closer to the 4th. 
We do plan on rolling the field near the end of June and getting a couple tables replaced this year. As you may have noticed, some are falling apart. With that please don’t sit on top of the tables, they aren’t able to hold that kind of weight over and over. I would hate to pick someone off the ground after a table giving way under them. So please be safe. 
And as always, you are the backbone of the club and I’m proud to help guide this club with great members to be the best club we can. I appreciate all of you for being great members that look out for each other and always have fun flying. 


Tony Blackhurst. 

Jet Day

May’s Club Event is:

Jet Day


Assuming the field dries out in time we will be having Jet Day on Saturday the 25th. Bring them if you got them! Between 10 AM and Noon the main runway will be reserved for jets only. Carl and Eric are making a plan on how to award the monthly prizes. Following the fun fly there will be a club meeting at the field and the customary hot dog lunch. Hope to see you there!!

[ ] Smooth scale take off

[ ] Scale turn from take off

[ ] Smooth level flight. Maintain altitude.

[ ] Aileron roll.

[ ] Scan your area of patrol. A smooth high G turn like blue angels for example.

[ ] Perform a round loop. The rounder the better.

[ ] Low high speed pass. Below  flagpole from end to end smoothly gets extra points. Hitting the ground loses points and hurts airplanes.

Will be giving out Gift Certificates.
Sincerely, Carl Cox

7/8th Scale Fiesler Storch

By Robert Stinson

On April 13th, there was a small airshow at Gillespie Field. Our field was supposed to be closed that day, so I went there instead. What luck! One of the planes on display was a 7/8th Scale Fiesler Storch, and I spent nearly an hour talking with the pilot and owner Steve Lund.

Those of us who have flown models of the Storch know that it isn’t the most forgiving of airplanes. Steve confirmed that our models exhibit authentic behaviors, and that they require a lot of attention. I thought I’d share some of his observations.

Due to its slow airspeed and zero dihedral, the Storch’s ailerons are not very effective. The pilot has to work the rudder constantly to stay on course. Flying from his home base in Torrance, he was berated by Air Traffic Control because he couldn’t maintain a constant heading!

I asked why the Storch had such relatively small wheels, since so many STOL planes use tundra style tires. Apart from the aesthetics, he said that landing speeds were so slow that they weren’t necessary, and would create substantial unwanted drag.

On one occasion though, the landing speed issue caused some damage to the plane. His plane originally had a skid on the tail. He was landing on a dirt field, and approach speed was about 30 mph. At that speed, there is so little airflow over the control surfaces, in his words, “you were just a passenger”. Once he touched down, without a tail wheel ground steering could only be accomplished by using the wheel brakes individually. He stepped on the right brake, the wheel dug in, and he veered right and hit a telephone pole alongside the runway, bending a landing gear strut. Fortunately, the field operator knew of a nearby machine shop. They removed the strut, straightened it out and were back in business in two hours. He now has a tail wheel instead of a skid.

Steve has spent many years making the plane as authentic as possible. He had 7/8th scale instruments custom made so that his panel matched the plane scale. The real plane had a map compartment under the panel. He made a fake map cover that masks his modern avionics.

The birdcage cockpit canopy is oversized, to meet the requirements for a reconnaissance aircraft. Sitting under glass, the pilot gets very hot! Steve fashioned prototypical accordioning roof and side shades and uses them all the time.

Great pains were taken to make the paint scheme authentic. For instance, the green “Z” on the fuselage denotes a headquarters squadron, and the yellow wing tips are Eastern Front theatre markings.

There was a lot more, that I won’t go into here. If you’re interested, search YouTube for Steve Lund FI-156. He posted a lecture covering much of this there.

So, for those of you who have struggled to fly an R/C Storch, just know that you are in good company flying a piece of history!

Treasurer’s Report for May 2019

By Quan Nguyen

As of 5/22, our club has $29,697 in cash, and 299 members. This month, the board is looking at CDs (Certificates of Deposit) to invest our reserves so that it keeps up with inflation. We’re also going to start updating the AMA website’s membership list at the club level so that it matches the actual members. We haven’t updated that list since I became treasurer.

Report on The 2019 AUVSI XPONENTIAL Show

By Mark Davis

The 2019 AUVSI XPONENTIAL show took place recently. This is the biggest annual show dedicated to unmanned systems. Although it covers unmanned everything, the focus in recent years has been >80% unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Airbus Vahana (air taxi) prototype was popular. Attached are a few photos of the cockpit and externals. This air taxi opportunity (such as Uber Elevate for example) is drawing a lot of investment both from aircraft incumbents (Airbus, Boeing, Bell, Embraer, etc.) and a slew of startup companies. Almost all of the vehicles are Electric VTOL that also have an efficient forward-flight mode.

Boeing’s CEO gave a keynote speech and covered many topics, including their supersonic prototype. This topic (supersonic commercial service) is resurrecting recently, with NASA X-59 and other prototype efforts well underway.

Counter-UAS was a big theme, as always, with both kinetic and electronic methods on display.

The weirdest thing I saw was definitely this “aerial motorcycle.”   It has electric motors for VTOL and a jetcat for forward propulsion. Uh….no thanks.

Safety Corner for May 2019

While generally we have had a good safety record with few serious problems lately. That said there have been a few accidents which have resulted in small fires and wounds from props. If there is an event which brings a response from the fire department or a visit to urgent care or the ER we need to make sure some basic information is collected in case there is a later insurance claim of other followup. This is something that any club member can and should do—get the basics—names of the people involved, contact information, time and date of the incidence and brief description of what occurred. This information should then be provided to the club safety officer or member of the SEFSD board. 
While we are talking safety please take a few minutes to review the AMA safety code. I know 99% of us never bother to read it but given the closer scrutiny that our activities have been getting from government agencies lately it is in our best interests to be aware of the current safety code. The flying site you save may be your own!


Steve Neu
cell 619-318-8301

An MQ-9 Story pt. 4 – Empennage

By Bob Kreutzer

The fitting of the empennage.

After fitting the motor, the empennage needed to be installed. As the factory was advocating just gluing the empennage onto the airframe and I realized that that would not work if I ever wanted to remove that nicely tucked-in motor I would need to make the stabilizers removable. This was easy enough with some hitch-pins and some more graphite rods.

Note the little copper L-pins I used for set-up. These were replaced with the proper sized hitch-pins.

Note also, the tight linkage set-up. This factory set-up was a disaster and the controls clashed with each other at full deflection. Yikes! What you cannot see is the severely misaligned dihedral of the stabilizers .The dihedral was off by almost 1 inch” I guess the poor Chinese worker was distracted on that day. I don’t think this is going to fly straight.

It took a little minor surgery to correct this.

Next up: the elevator linkages.

Oh, wait. The supplied elevator ball link is split!

Imagine that, the rudder link is split too . These early production run models had a history of falling out of the sky. I bought all new hardware.

Here is the factory set up with new hardware. This is when I found out the elevator was going to crash into the rudder on full up and full left. I had to cut off the rudder and cut down the wire and re-bend about an inch lower and re-install it. That took care of it.

This is the final flight worthy result. It is a bit busy in the back. Here you can see the final hitch pins that allow the elevators to be removed for motor servicing.

Here is the final result. It is starting to look like a real MQ-9!

Electroglide Report for May 2019

It was looking like we were going to have a terrific Electroglide this month. The weather consisted of clear skies, warming air and little wind. Nothing resembling the early predictions from Lindbergh Field. Scott Vance, young Neil Yieh Zhu and I had our gliders up about a half hour before the 10:00 start time. The lift was not hard to find.

Abundant lift was anywhere north of our runway, all you needed was about 150 – 200 feet of altitude. Scott and I noticed that even with moderate down stick applied, our Radians continued to go up. I watched Neil put his glider in a tight left turn and with wings banked, the glider maintained its altitude. This was looking like fun!

The 10:00 o’clock start time soon arrived along with, some western wind. Seven pilots sent their aircraft aloft, looking for that thermal lift and it was gone. With lift now disrupted, Scott Vance had the longest flight at 3:30 minutes with a 20-point bonus landing. Bob Anson came in second at 2:53 aloft, also with a 20-point landing. Dennis La Berge was third at 2:30 and a 10-point landing. Eric Byrd and Neil both picked up 20-point landings

This was looking depressing; the wind had blown away that great lift.

Second launch took place two minutes after Scott retrieved his Radian from the runway. Seven pilots again took to the skies with a slight change in the wind strength. Five pilots found the lift and with careful piloting were able to get long flights. Bob had the longest flight at 9:30 minutes. Eric came in second at 8:54 and Scott was third at 8:50 aloft with a landing bonus of 20-points. Dennis picked up a 30-point landing. Alex Sutton had a 20-point landing. Neil and Stephen Treger both had 10-point landings. This was looking much better.

Third launch now had eight pilots trying their best and the lift had vanished again. Scott had the long flight at 3:35 plus a 30-point landing. Second longest flight was from Eric at 2:30, also scoring a 30-point landing. Bob came in third at 2:26 aloft. Dennis picked up a 30-point landing and I picked up a 10-point landing.

Fourth and final launch was into pretty much the same conditions. Vince Gonsowski had the long flight at 5:00 minutes with a 30-point landing. Bob and Scott both flight times at 3:30, Scott getting a 20-point landing. I came in third at 3:07 with a 10-point landing. Neil picked up a 30-point landing, Dennis and Stephen both had 20-point landings.

Good flying to all involved in the Electroglide. The weather was frustrating, but pilots made the best of it. Kudos also to all who continue to score the bonus landing points. It’s a hard thing to do, placing your aircraft in the target circles so often.

Thanks again to Frank Sutton for the great pictures of the event.

Next Electroglide is set for June 15th at 10:00 a.m.

See you there,


2006 Mid-Winter Electric Write-Up

[Some nostalgia for those who might remember this]

By Steve Manganelli

The 10th Anniversary Mid Winter Electrics Spring Fling (MWE) was held May 16th, 17th and 18th at SEFSD Field, Mission Bay Park. From my perspective as Contest Director (a pittance effort really), we did another beautiful job. More specifically, Stelio Jackson did a beautiful job. As chief organizer, equipment orderer, personnel herder, Boyscout facilitator, hat maker, setter-up-er and taker-down-er, Stelio is the hero of MWE, congratulations on a job well done!

Next in line for the most selfless include Night Watchmen Lou Rosse and John Hainlen, Impound Coordinator Frank Gagliardi and the ever cheerful raffle and merchandise sales team of Don and Donelle Griffin, this year assisted by Michelle Baker deemed an enthusiastic addition to the team. Wayne Walker was the master of the parking delimiters, parking enforcement and provider of the flag used for the daily flag raising, and Tim Attaway, the transporter of the Club Trailer from which the PA system, signs, tents and other SEFSD owned equipment magically jumped into their positions on the field…NOT! The blistered hands, filthy clothes setup crew included Tim, Tom Brown, Zeke Mazur, Bob Anson, Lou, Stelio and several others, the teardown crew included myself, Michelle, Stelio, Lou, Wayne and Tim. Sam Wright handled the announcing chores like the pro he is on Saturday and he was also responsible for the Kyosho donations. Sunday, I advised hydration, raffle ticket/memorabilia sales and merchandise purchase from our vendors. The 10th Anniversary Logo was designed by graphics professional, Jack Hix and the announcer of the lucky raffle winners both days was Mr. Mark Wood. Ray Fulks got our Government permit from the City Parks folks, Chuck Grim coordinated the sanitation equipment, Frank Smith did an outstanding job with trash management, and Doug Rubin coordinated the caterer serving us the tasty chow. Special thanks to Boy Scout Troop 24 for gate/crowd control both Saturday and Sunday. Scout leaders included Dick Thorn, Jennifer Calvert, Shawn Shepard, Joe Strickland, Abby Voigt, Dan Machado and Nick Amicone. Scouts doing the heavy lifting included Pavel Thorn, Michael Orona, Conner Shepard, Jack Bowman, Steven Strickland, Micah Schatz, Cody Machado and Nick Amicone. Thanks folks!

MWE wouldn’t be what it is without vendors and sponsors. I’d like to mention Hitec/Multiplex, NeuMotors, ThunderPower RC, Aeromodel/Hacker, and Castle Creations as key sponsors contributing not only merchandise for the fabulous raffle but cash $ to pay for the equipment rentals, thanks gents, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks also goes to RC Sport Flyer Magazine for their donation. The rule for vendors requires a minimum donation of merchandise of $150 retail value. If you saw the prize haul for the raffle and counted the vendors you’d realize it didn’t add up : our vendors were very, very generous! Besides the sponsors and vendors we also had contributions from Great Planes, Horizon Hobby, E-Flite, Medusa Research, Kyosho, LipoSack, Tower Hobbies, RC-TEK, and Zurich Sunglasses. The vendors present at the event included NeuMotors, Aero-Model/Hacker, DW Foamies, Extreme RC Products, Innov8tive Designs, Discount Hobby Warehouse, Hobby Town San Marcos, E-Power RC, Center Stick, Electronic Model Systems, Cermark, Fun RC Hobby, MikroDesigns and last but not least the AMA booth manned by Dist X AVP Tim Attaway and his capable crew of AMA volunteers.

Part of the package for being a sponsor and vendor is allotted time for the Noon-time demos. Steve Neu and Pedro Brantuas showed off respectively F-5B (Multitask) and F5 (Pylon) models equipped with judicious amounts of NeuEnergy Cells and NeuMotors. Pedro followed up with a precision aerobatics demonstration with his 35% size YAK-54 flying on a NeuMotor 2215 and 14S 4900. Hitec/Multiplex used their slots to show us a couple of new aerobatic models and a substitute for a “typical .40 glow size trainer”, but purpose built for electric. These new models are made from a new foam called “Elapor” which is both resilient and serviceable. Hitec also brought out a couple of their very popular Twister EDF jets which flew very well in out of the box form and even better with Neu-excess power. Formation flight with a couple of these was memorable. Mike Morgan and his DW-Foamies had a virtual “airforce of foam” in the air during his demo time. Fourteen year old Ryan Archer from Scottsdale AZ and our own Pedro probably shared the prize for most prolific demo pilots each flying for at least (3) different outfits. To be in such demand at a young age is a tribute to young Mr. Archers’ skills! Speaking of young, Mr. Kyle Dahl of Delano, CA was our lone and very competent Helicopter demo pilot. Expert aerobatic pilot Mr. Steve Nelson treated us to an Unlimited Class Aerobatic Demonstration with Ray Fulks’ “Miss Ellie”.

What would an MWE be without famous demo pilots? Sean Plummer of Aeromodel/Hacker brought the goods! Jeff Szueber Jr. and Matt Szueber both expert caliber precision aerobatic pilots wowed us with their 3D flying or large aerobatic models set to music. Their takeoffs followed immediately by a wingspan height rolling circle set the stage for harriers, hovering, tail touches and other crowd pleasing maneuvers. The final demo of Saturday’s fest was super-expert Mark Leseberg flying a large (like 40% size) biplane. Mark’s fabulous combination of both precision and 3D aerobatics set to music was a fitting cap to the Saturday demonstrations.

MWE is not really a contest but a funfly. Nonetheless, we gathered all the Electroglide enthusiasts together Saturday A.M for three tosses for plaques created by Stelio. Bob Anson was declared the top Electroglider followed by Stelio and Dick Prentice. Before noon on Saturday, we also gathered all the scale models and handed out plaques for both “large” and “small size” categories. Each pilot had the run of the field to operate his model in a scale like manner, including a crash that the judges deemed scale and earned the pilot a respectable second place. Large scale was captured by “Eindecker” which I’m sure was the aircraft not the pilot whose name escaped our records, followed by Ray Fulks with his Extra 300 and Brad Bender with his J-3 Cub. Smaller scale was taken by Steve Neu with his F7F Tigercat, then Wayne Walker’s Yak-54, 2nd and Mark Ferreria’s HondaJet in 3rd. Of course, what would an MWE be without the Evil Dr. Jet’s limbo combat? The Limbo Combat was the last official event of the MWE before the final Sunday raffle. I think Mr. Mike Morgan of DW-Foamies actually outdid the evil Dr. Jet (aka Bill Knoll) in the planning of this very twisted task. Mr. Morgan designed and built a drill powered “rotisserie” approximately 10 ft wide and 4′ off the ground. The rotisserie was liberally embedded with 12″ long spinning carbon spikes waiting to fillet any unsuspecting foamy flying too close to the bar! Part of the fun of Limbo combat is that any points accrued by a competitor you take out, go to you! The other fun part is the mystery of the configuration, known only to Mr. Morgan until actually set up : no practicing!  After the foam chips cleared in round one, only Mr. Richard Carlton had a semblance of a lap completed. Dr. J, then simplified the task to just getting under the limbo for Round 2. Again Mr. Carlton proved victorious and claimed the plaque and bragging rights to Limbo combat champion for MWE 2008. Second and third place? There’s no second or third place in Limbo Combat!

What else? The weather cooperated perfectly all 3 days, maybe it was a little too hot, record setting hot in the East County making Mission Bay the place to be. The 72 registered pilots came from not too far and not too wide probably due to high gas prices. Richard Carlton and son Alex came down from the Sacramento area, Chris Stephenson from Las Vegas, Charles Steed from Wyoming and Roy Hooker from Peoria AZ; most the rest from the greater Southern CA area. Thanks for coming all; we’ll see you next year!

Respectfully Submitted,

Steve Manganelli, SEFSD Chairman of the Board, Contest Director