General Interest

365 posts

The FAA’s New Rule Proposal For Drones and RC Aircraft – PLEASE COMMENT

Seems the FAA just isn’t ‘Happy’ enough.  The following is from Model Airplane News:

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the proposed rule for remote identification of drones, which by strict definition include RC model aircraft. We encourage our audience to read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking now in the Federal Register and share their comments.

The following regulations are in the proposed rule and would impact the RC hobby.

>It would limit the number of approved flying sites

>All flying sites must have internet capability

>Requires registration of every aircraft


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


Below is the response from SEFSD member John Forester:



To: United States Senators and Members of Congress

The FAA has issued a proposed rule regarding model aircraft flying: Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Federal Register Dec 31, 2019, pgs 72438-72524.

The proposed FAA system will destroy the present system for amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft. This contradicts the promises FAA has given to the public and to Congress that the present system for amateur, recreational flying of model aircraft will be maintained. It appears that Congressional action is required to force the FAA to keep its promises.

Present flying of model aircraft

At present, model aircraft may be flown within sight of the pilot on the ground, at low altitude,  anywhere except in specified spaces around airports where the model’s operation would interfere with the operation of full-size aircraft. The only means by which each model aircraft is identified is by a label that states its owner and his address. Such an aircraft requires a landing field that acts as its airport but may not be recognized as such by any other person. If that landing field is close to an airport, then permission to operate that landing field must be obtained from the airport operations office.

The FAA  has allowed certain community-based organizations to establish rules for the safe operation of model aircraft by their members. One such organization is the Academy of Model Aeronautics, of which I am a member (#523616). The AMA was started in 1936, has about 200,000 members, and is the only organization authorized to hold international model aircraft events in the USA. I, myself, am 90 years old, born in 1929, started making models in 1940 and started flying radio-controled models about 1970.

My local club is Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego, flying from a field near Mission Bay. Because this field, while two miles from San Diego Airport, is completely out of the traffic pattern of that airport, we operate under permission from that airport.  SEFSD has about 350 members, and we have members flying every day in which the weather is suitable (except when we are notified that all private flying is closed to protect an important person, say a visit by the President). Our runway is usually operated with westward traffic. The simplest flight is takeoff westbound, fly an approximate circle to return near the east end of the runway, and then land westbound. The most complicated flight would involve a complex sequence of aerobatic maneuvers (the kind of flying I like best). We allow up to six planes in the air simultaneously. Despite having this mixed pattern of simultaneous use, by keeping eyes open we have an acceptably low level of mid-air collisions. Continue reading

Safety Corner for Jan. 2020

By Steve Neu
We have a couple important goals in the coming year to continue to operate safely and to work on reducing the restrictions that were imposed on us in the LOA that was we signed with the Lindberg tower. I expect that this will take sometime to make a favorable case to the Lindberg tower. Our new VP Steve Manganelli has agreed to spearhead this effort.
At this point Electro Glide is the most affected but I  think with some adjustments that the long running event will be able to continue even with the altitude restrictions. 
Keep in mind that the most important thing is to make sure there are no conflicts with manned aircraft. If a manned aircraft comes in to within a mile of SEFSD descend to 50 feet or less and stay there until the manned aircraft has left the area. Remember that in all cases the manned aircraft has priority!
On another subject—Racing may be back at SEFSD. At the last BOD meeting the subject came up regarding a replacement for the Pop Wing racers.  For some reason I volunteered to look into options, The popular Horizon 1.1 meter T28 was discussed but I found it is no longer in production. I kept looking and found that the FMS T28 is available for $109—it has a 800mm span and runs on 2 or 3 cells. the plane comes as a “PNP” with all the servos, motor and controller installed. It took all of 15 minutes to assemble. I will be doing some testing in the next couple weeks and if it handles well. It might be our new club racer. The race format would follow what has been done with the previous series with the only difference being that the planes will do a runway takeoff.
More after I get some flying on this plane.

Treasurer’s Report for Jan. 2020

Thank you to the 115 members and guests who attended our winter banquet last week. I would especially like to thank the three members who chose to put their prizes back into the “youth raffle” to encourage young pilots to participate in the hobby! Also thanks to Brad, Lisa, and Tony for helping grab some more prizes, and putting together the finishing touches for the event. We are currently at 225 members for 2020.

Photo Albums for January 2020

Please thank Frank and Alex Sutton for their outstanding contribution to our photo library.  Pretty much everything that happens at our field and other events is captured in the lens of their cameras.  Make sure to show them your appreciation. 


Below are just a few of their latest albums:

Click on a pic

Twas the Weekend Before Christmas


Twas the Weekend After Christmas


Freeze Fly 2020


General Flying and New Jets –

“Don’t know if you heard or not, but Alex flew his Motion RC Airliner and no problems on the  Maiden Flight, but it was a near-disaster Miracle 2nd Flight. Alex lost connectivity and the big bird pitched over and did a nose dive at full speed and seemed to start leveling off just above ground towards Sea World. We lost sight of it for a brief moment and we all thought it was a hold in the ground full of foam, but miraculously, that Boeing 737 flew up and away and Alex did an emergency landing!
  We believe the problem is with the new receiver, and we went up to the hobby shop in Corona yesterday and got the same type of receiver that is in the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 737. Hopefully, we won’t have another near-disaster like that again. Alex has already tested the new receiver, and we look forward to flying his Motion RC AL37 again this weekend! I intend to write an article about this too, with details on the receiver types we’ve used and have now to help anyone else avoid this disastrous situation. I’m also going to be informing our new good friend and Motion RC Technician, Andrew, on what’s happened. I have a few photos too of Andrew and Alex troubleshooting his Motion RC AL37 and will be sending those photos with my article within the week.  Included are photos of the Maiden Flight, and GoPro Video of the Miracle Flight.” – Frank

AMA Expo East and West Come to an End

“MUNCIE—After a good 20-year run, AMA Expo as we know it, has come to an end. AMA officials announced the decision at this year’s show AMA Expo West, held November 1-3, in Pomona, California, after the AMA Executive Council voted to end the show.

In 1999, AMA acquired what was then known as the International Modelers Show (IMS), from Bill and Anita Northrop. The couple founded the event in 1978, with the first IMS held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They later moved it to Pasadena, California, where it was held for 20 years until it was acquired by AMA.

After AMA purchased the show, its name was changed to AMA Convention, then to AMA Expo. For many years, the trade show was held at the Ontario Convention Center, in Ontario, California. The event traditionally took place in early January each year.

In 2018, AMA Expo West was held twice. The first was held in January in Ontario, but the second AMA Expo West that year took place November 2-4 at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California. The show was moved to the fall in hopes of attracting Christmas shoppers. The new venue also provided space for outdoor flying.

In 2019, the January AMA Expo West was eliminated, and the event was again held in Pomona in November.

Since Bill and Anita first established the trade show, the aeromodeling industry, and how modelers shop, have changed tremendously. When the event began, AMA members came from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the newest products. Rows and rows of vendor booths showed off new goods, with the hopes of exciting potential and returning customers.

Years later, we saw a boom in e-commerce. Instead of only seeing new products at trade shows, hobby shops, or in magazines, shoppers could find and purchase them online. Across the country, attendance at hobby trade shows began to dwindle, along with the number of exhibitors.

In lieu of hosting a national trade show once a year in Southern California and in New Jersey (AMA Expo East), AMA has decided to explore multiple district events across the country in 2020 and in the years to follow. This allows AMA to serve and impact more members.

This new approach embraces elements of Expo West that members have grown to love, such as the fun-fly and educational opportunities. If you live in Southern California, look for details on the District X Fun Fly tentatively slated at the Las Vegas Radio Control club in October 2020. We will provide more information in the coming months.

AMA thanks all of the members, sponsors, and exhibitors who have supported AMA Expo throughout the years. Also, thank you to those who have volunteered at our shows.”

Report and Pics from the Last Ever AMA Expo

  Alex and I attended, Joan and Codey stayed at our nearby Holiday Inn Express and we just got back earlier this afternoon. This was our first year going, but Alex and I enjoyed it so much, we plan to do this again next year! Of course, Joan and Codey enjoyed getting away and enjoying the swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel too so we’ll do another weekend getaway next year. Alex got a nice new FA 18 Hornet for a $50 discount and really fast Blade (drone) for a whopping $200 off the normal $350 price! WOW! These were early Christmas gifts, but Alex helped pay for some of it with his birthday money he’d saved.
  We watched the 1100 show on the main stage with “The Paper Airplane Guy”, it was really a great show and he has the Guinness World Record for longest paper airplane flight (indoors) – it was just short of a full football field length! Alex and I sat right in front, center stage and he had more than a dozen pre-made paper airplanes that he talked about and flew right over our heads out into the audience. He had a slide show going on the side too showing the paper airplanes in detail, and everyone in the audience got to make a paper airplane too (like I have never before made) and we all flew our planes at the conclusion of the show!
  After the show, Alex and I met with “The Airplane Guy” and Alex bought his book ($20) which he autographed to Alex and I got a photo of the two of them. Of course, I got a few photos of him as well while he was presenting his show and flying airplanes over our heads – I’ll forward a few of these photos to you too.
  The R/C Exposition certainly had plenty to offer for eating and drinking! We ate a late lunch and had some leftovers that we had to carry with us back to the hotel and put in the refrigerator for later! It was a little expensive but it was very good and huge portions too! We easily could have gotten by with just one order of French fries instead of two!
  We stopped at the Kearny Mesa Hobby Shop on the way home this afternoon and Alex cashed in $160 worth of Gift Certificates from SEFSD and bought a new Turbo Timber plane too. Of course, I had to help him with the additional overage cost! Joan and I have figured out Alex years ago now, when it comes to him buying a new plane he operates like ENRON did! If you don’t know about ENRON, do a Google search on it! Ha! Alex says it’s not really COSTING me the extra difference when he doesn’t have all the money to buy a new plane or new battery or parts, it’s SAVING me the money that I’m having to pay! Now that’s what ENRON would have said too! Haha!
  Have a great week ahead, and perhaps we’ll see you out there Saturday morning – Alex is looking forward to flying his new planes soon if the weather cooperates!
Frank Sutton
Click this pic for all the AMA Expo pics:

Otto’s Journey to Marks Vintage Fly in MD & Home Again

Practicing for the Marks Vintage Fly In back here in MD. Swan Hardor RC Field.

Otto’s Vintage RC Trip Home

A year ago I met up with Meyer Gutman (AZ), a long time RC flyer and full scale Pitts performer. Meyer had seen a video of my Classic Pattern Marksman and had the original 1965 fiberglass molds from Paul Ennis, the plane’s designer. Meyer surprised me with a freshly molded Long Nose Marksman fuse.

A few months pasted and in the mail I received another fuse, this time the 1970 evolution of the earlier Marksman design. I was “all in” at this point and had laser cut ribs made for both fuses. I called Meyer to thank him for the additional fuse and he told me of a possible Vintage meet planned in Salisbury Maryland, home of the Marksman’s designer, Paul Ennis, now 88 years young.

I was 13 when I first met Paul in 1967 at my first AMA contest. Paul was the dominant RC flyer in Maryland and competed successfully at the National level. To a kid (me) he was an RC God. I studied everything he did at contests and occasionally he’d provide some pointers and advice.

After a few months of building, my Marksmans were getting close to flight. Meyer informed me he had two Marksman in production and was planning to drive East for the October 12 event. He offered to transport my planes to the event if I brought them to Yuma. I could not say no and plans were made.

Well we had a great time competing with old friends and made many new ones. The Mid Atlantic Radio Kontrol Society (MARKS) hosted the event and provided perfect California weather. Meyer and I brought home all the top hardware placing 1st and 2nd in Vintage Pattern and winning the Pilot’s Choice award for my red Long Nose Marksman. Paul and his wife Ellie made it to the event and he even flew my red Marksman. It was a perfect day.