General Interest

388 posts

Let’s Help Out Our Local Hobby Shops During This Difficult Time

Franks Gagliardi sent this letter out to a few folks.  He certainly captured to sentiments of many others.  Here is Frank’s letter followed by a couple responses.  Please see here for a list of the Local Hobby Shops.

Friends,

I was thinking about John Weaver today and wondering how Discount Hobbies was coping with the current crisis, so I called him and could tell by the tone of his voice that he is concerned for the health of his employees and his business and rightfully so. We as modelers have an advantage over those who are coping with home-bound restrictions. We can dream, read, build and converse with fellow modelers. We can also help our local supplier and friend by patronizing his business when possible and not taking the “easy way out” and shopping on line to strangers that we don’t really know and who may or may not be there when we need help or advise. So, let your heart be your guide during these difficult times and remember who we depend on to keep us happy!

Semper Fidelis

Frank Gagliardi”

————

David wrote:

“Great email Frank!

I was over there on Monday and bought 3 BNF Eflite planes.   Air Tractor, P-39 and the Extra 300.  With plenty of time on my hands Ethan and I have already had a few flights with each!  

To the rest of you, get out there and pick one up!”

 

Eric wrote:

“Thanks Frank I picked up a little toy myself there. absolute best cure for COVID-19 in my front yard”

SEFSD Field is Closed

Flyers, 
By order of the San Diego Police, the parking lot for our field, and all other parking lots within 1/2 mile of the beach, is officially closed to vehicles.
If you do park at the field, you may be asked by the police to leave.  I was told to leave Sunday 3/22.
No idea when this order will end.
If you have questions, please contact Brad:  bradley.bender@cox.net
Good luck,
Steve

Brian’s Amazing Save

“Hi Steve,

You saw me flew my jet yesterday. Later during the day, luckily caught on video, I flew it again then this happened.”  – Click the pic below for the video:

 


“I happened to use the rx involved in a crash before. The tx kept warning me rx signal low, but I kept ignoring it. Almost cost me the whole plane.
I think it is good to let other members precaution about using used rx or rx involved in a crash.

Thanks!  

Brian”

SEFSD Field Pics and a Vid From the Earlier years

Mike Morgan provided some old photos he had taken with his giant Cub aerial platform.  Most are from the 2002/2003 season.  Click the pics to enlarge:  See the In-Flight Video below.

 

Some SEFSD Racing Rules from 2002:

SEFSD Dragonfly Pylon Racing Continue reading

Indoor Flying Cancelled for March

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 9 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 – Cancelled
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:
 

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

 

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

 

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:

“INCOMPLETE DRAFT: FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT ONLY  John Forester

F. A. A. PROPOSES TO KILL AMATEUR, RECREATIONAL FLYING OF MODEL AIRCRAFT

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