President’s Corner

32 posts

Chairman’s Corner for March/April 2019

Well, we finally managed a few decently dry weeks. I believe we were all ready! Last weekend every table was full both Saturday and Sunday! With that many fliers at the field, there was bound to be a couple of “Whammies” and while I hate to see a plane go down, the pilots were in good spirits just being at the field for a change.

The recent rains have started a weed explosion in the outer field area. This will bring hundreds of people out in the next few weeks to take pictures with the “flowers”. Please do not harass them, and please stay well away from them with your flying machines – both fixed and rotary winged. Dennis has been doing manual weed control ( THANKS DENNIS!! ), and Jim has been using the approved herbicide to keep the weeds from encroaching on the field and pit area. Please give them space while working as we appreciate their volunteer activities.

With the accelerated growth in the field, we can expect a higher risk as the year progresses. Last weekend a couple of people were showing off their extinguishers with pride until I pointed out that the gage indicated no pressure. Please take a look at your safety gear and ensure it is in the condition you expect.

The field itself is in good, compact condition. I am going to call another sweep day on the 23rd in an attempt to get the sand off. Our last couple of attempts were thwarted by the rain and wet sand. Please bring a broom and maybe a few folks can bring shovels and we will make the field even better. I am still asking all pilots that belly land to remove all skegs/pins/protrusions from the bottom of their planes to keep from busting up the nice surface. Most of you have removed these items, but if you are approached and asked, please understand that we are looking out for the continued enjoyment of us all.

On February 25th the new FAA Interim Final Rule went into effect requiring all drone and model airplane pilots to register ( if they had not previously ) with the FAA at  and to display their registration number visibly on the exterior of all of their aircraft. If you registered in 2015, and did not ask for a refund when offered, that number is good until 2020. New registration costs $5.00 and is good for 3 years. The AMA is onboard with this requirement.

Some of you know that Carlos Mercado suffered a work related injury last month. I went to visit him a few weekends ago along with Frank and Alex Sutton to give him a get well card and a framed Photo that Frank had provided. Carlos is in good spirits considering his injury, and his doctors have reason to believe he will make nearly a full recovery. His family is starting a GOFUNDME page in the hopes to assist with some of his medical requirements and I will forward that information when it comes to me.

My monthly statements:

Always Lock the gate upon exiting if you are the last member on site.

Fly the prevailing pattern – if you don’t know – ask!

Look both ways and loudly call out when stepping onto the runway for any reason.

We are always in need of plastic chairs and used carpet on site.

This month’s Fun Fly event will be the POKER FLY. Expect to sweep the field around 9:30, Fun fly starts at 10:00 and club meeting followed by hot dog lunch before 12:00.  Have a great month!


Brad’s Corner for Nov/Dec 2017

To begin, I would like to mention that we are moving this month’s meeting/board member voting from our usual fourth Saturday to Saturday the 18th to avoid conflict with Thanksgiving holiday travel. We will have the meeting/voting around noon with pizza provided by the club for attendees. Jim has sent out absentee ballots for those that cannot attend, please ensure that if you do vote absentee – you fill in your full name as it appears on your membership card. If we can’t verify that you are a member, your ballot will not be counted. No cemetery voters please…
Finally, it has cooled off a bit! It is crazy that we had to wait until November to get a break this year. Still waiting for some rain to smooth the field out and reduce the risk of fire at our site. We really haven’t had many fires this year, and I want to thank all of you for being careful and having your extinguishers ready as needed.
Jim and Dennis have started replacing the worst of the tables at the main runway. Please throw them a thank you for giving up a few flying days to work for us instead. They started with the worst four and will continue into next year as the existing tables give out. Not bad, we have nearly 4 years on tables we expected to last one.
 A reminder on etiquette at the field, safety concerns, and just plain common sense: In the last 2 weeks I have observed folks walking out past the fence without letting other pilots know they were stepping out. Please call loudly, there were a few VERY near misses! Also, please look and verify no one is on approach before loudly announcing take-off and landing. Also judge the point at which you call your landings, calling too early can leave others stranded with low batteries waiting for a landing that should have been called thirty seconds later. Finally, after landing, if you taxi – please do so near the fence to reduce risk of others coming in after you.
One of our club members, Butch Bucciarelli, heard my call in September that we were looking for a venue to have our Holiday banquet in Jan. He came through for us in a big way, and our Banquet Committee ( Randy and Quan ) are finalizing the details. It sounds AMAZING!  Plan for a blast to all 2017 members to come out in early December with all of the info. Details will not make the web page or be posted to Facebook ( Pictures will post AFTER the event) to avoid the party crashers/freeloaders as we experienced the last 2 years. If you are a member, and do not get the club e-mails, email your friendly editor and he will make sure you get yours:
As I look over the newsletter for the last few months, I notice a great amount of content provided by members. Thank all of you that have hopped on board! Steve Belknap has been doing a great job of putting it all together for us, and it makes his life a bit easier if he does not have to search for all of the content himself. If you have a neat project, please share!
The Board has voted on and approved a small increase in membership dues starting 2018. Dues will go up to $50.00 a year when we start accepting 2018 applications next month. The club costs have been going up over the last few years and this will allow us to keep even. One exciting thing you will see next year is a new style of badge we will be issuing to take some of the load from the membership coordinator – THANKS GEORGE SULLIVAN! We failed to realize how much of a load we had put on Isabel as we took the club from two hundred to four hundred members. Thanks again to Paul and Isabel Guidice for the service to the club for the last seven years.
Please join us on Saturday for the meeting and vote. If you want to give back to the hobby you enjoy, I greatly encourage each of you to spend a bit of time on the board so we can all benefit from your ideas and experiences.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and please be safe. I think I saw a video on YouTube of Skip trying to deep fry a turkey. It was scary! I will be having ham now…

Brad’s Corner for Oct./Nov. 2017

I open this month’s newsletter with some sad news.


Last week our official Candy Man and unofficial club greeter, Fred Duffy, passed away. Fred was a welcoming member of our weekend crew over the last several years. 50-60 of our newest members thanked Fred for his approachability, and willingness to help a new guy out. Fred passed following a brief illness the morning of the 17th. He was where he wanted to be – At home with his loving Family. Freds son, Mike, has expressed his gratitude for the supportive texts, mails, and comments I have passed to him. Freds home life was very private and Mike said there will not be an open service per Freds wishes. The family will commemorate his life and their Mothers life together in private at a future date. We will miss Fred, and will do something to remember him on Veterans Day – November 11th. Mike will take a few weeks off, but we hope to see him back out at the field when affairs are in order.


Fred & Mike


As we approach the end of the calendar year we have finished up our monthly event series – Popwing races, Electroglide, and Multirotor FPV racing. If you would like to propose an event for next year, or run one of the current events, please let Jim or myself know.


I have been seeing quite a few damaged items stacked next to the garbage cans the last few weeks. Please, if you brought it to the field, and it is too big to fit into a can, please bring it out with you and dispose of it elsewhere. Do not leave it for the park folks to haul away. Also, the buckets of sand are for dumping over a battery fire, not a place to leave bad batteries for someone else to take care of.


We are less than 2 weeks away from the end of daylight savings time for 2017, have you been getting your night flyers ready?


Last week I opened nominations for the board of directors for 2018. There have been a few nominations, but I am still looking for some folks to step up and share your unique ideas while helping guide the club into the New Year. To reiterate what I said last week:


Any position currently occupied is open for competition.  Specifically, positions we need filled for 2018 are:


President – I expect to step away from the seat, which will automatically make me chairman for up to 2 years.


Vice President – Jim plans to run for a member at large position. He will still be involved, but life priorities require that he concentrate on other activities.


Treasurer – Paul has decided to end his service to the club and devote some time to just flying and enjoying his membership.


Safety Officer – I am trying to convince Randy to take the position from either Jim or myself.


Secretary – I am also sweet talking Quan…


Also, the 3 at large positions are always open for competition, I would like our current folks in these positions to move up.


Nominations received so far:


Secretary – Ken Dresser


Members at large – Ken Dresser, Steve Neu, Carl Cox, Jim Bonnardel, and Tony Blackhurst.


I continue to enjoy reading the submissions from club members on their special projects, and anything else related to our activities they may have seen or done. Keep it up!


This month’s event on the 28th will be a new one, MAMBA BABY! HOW LOW CAN YOU GO!!  Followed by the club meeting and lunch. This one should be a lot of fun.


Have a happy Halloween folks!

Brad’s Corner for Sep/Oct 2017

BradHey Team!
As this newsletter comes out we will be officially ending the last week of summer. Finally! It has been a hot and nasty one, That’s for sure.
To start off, I would like to thank the folks who participated on our Labor Day Raffle. We made some great progress towards funding our holiday banquet! The raffle was a lot of fun, with a slew of great prizes, and Subway sandwiches served by Julie and Joe Bonnardel. I would also like to say “thanks!” to the folks who donated prizes to the raffle, the items were really appreciated. Randy Wynant and Quan Nguyen have started looking for a venue for the banquet. If you know of a nice indoor location that can handle 130-140 people at a reasonable price, please let them know and we will look into it.
I want to say to all that I really appreciate the efforts most of you make to keep our club drama free. I hear often from other local clubs on how hard it is to keep the peace at their sites. With that being said, I would like to reiterate some things to the few people that want to push the boundaries… First, some basics. Please give each other the courtesy of loudly announcing your intentions to take off, land, or cross the field. DON’T say it only to yourself, say it so others can hear. To continue this thought, announcing this action does not alleviate your responsibility to turn your head and visually verify you are in the clear to proceed with your action. If you are doing multiple touch and go landings, you must announce EACH landing approach so others know what you are doing. The flip side is the folks who announce “On the runway.”  Then step out without turning their head to see if the runway is actually clear. There were a few near misses last month that could have easily been avoided.
There are also a couple of folks that are always flying opposite pattern, or straight up through the pattern as if there are no other planes in the air. This results in angry people staying on the ground instead of risking their craft by flying with someone acting like a fool. Please share our site with others respectfully. If you must fly like a clown, I hear the Chollas park guys are having a membership drive… To everyone else, feel free to say something to the folks that are not considerate to others. If you say nothing they assume it is ok. If you wait until later and send me an e-mail – they assume it is ok. I will rarely send a message to desist on something I did not actually see myself.
Moving on,
Last month’s newsletter had some great input from members and was a great read. Again, our editor Steve Belknap works hard to give you quality, but input from members on projects, shop tricks, and experiences are the icing on the cake. Keep those submissions coming!!
We are almost at 400 members as we enter the last quarter of 2017. A few less than last year, but not by much. We are still looking for current membership badges to fly at the club. I always like to state this time of year that our club still has great value – even at the end of the year, and most other clubs within an hour of us charge more than $15 bucks a month plus initiation fees to boot.
 Thanks to the folks that brought brooms and shovels to the last meeting day on the field. We were able to remove a lot of the sand and dust that had lifted from the surface and distribute it into the field. Jim is on the waiting list for rental of the water truck, but will be wetting the field prior to the end of the month. We expect this round of field maintenance to take us to the end of the year.
October will mark the end of the event series we hold on Saturdays. Pop wing racing, Electroglide, and FPV racing will wrap up and start anew in January. There is some tight competition for the top spots so make sure you don’t miss out!
We are a month away from nominations for 2018 board of directors, with voting happening at the November meeting which will be held on the 18th to get ahead of Thanksgiving.
 Board members that currently plan to leave their current positions are: Myself, I intend to vacate the President seat, which will automatically move me to the Chairman position – still involved, but with a different role.  ; Jim Bonnardel intends to step back from the Vice President position into one of the Member At Large positions to allow him to concentrate on other endeavors. Again, still involved, but with different responsibilities. ; Paul Guidice has decided to vacate the Treasurer position to enjoy some long anticipated travel with his Wife Isabel. This means we will also lose Isabel as our membership coordinator.
The President, Vice President, and Treasurer are positions that require a vote to occupy. The membership coordinator however, does not and can be appointed at any time. While it was handy for Paul and Isabel, the treasurer and membership person does not have to be a husband and wife team. With that being said, I am putting out a call for any member that would like to be involved without taking an actual board position, and understands how to use/manage spreadsheets. The membership coordinator could expect to spend 2 to 3 hours per week managing applications and mailing badges. Is this you? I need someone to take this position quickly, so they can spend some time with Isabel learning the ropes before we start the new year.
For the board positions, I again ask you to look inside yourself, ask the question of yourself on whether your skills, experiences, and qualities would make you the person to advance our club to new heights. Don’t think about what a few hours a month would affect you, instead think about the ways YOU could improve the experience of everyone in the club.

With the Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, I would like to raise awareness that we routinely have homeless folks using our facilities. With that in mind, Paul strongly recommends to all members that they buy and bring a quality hand sanitizer with them for those occasions when the water tank in the porta potty is empty.
There are some really neat items on the sites For Sale tab. Make sure you take a look.
 This month’s meeting is on the 23rd, and the fun fly event will be “ Don’t Spill the Beans”. Any member can play, and get a chance at $150.00 in cash prizes! Following the fun fly will be the monthly meeting followed by our hot dog lunch. Staying with the Bean theme, Jimmy is trying to convince me to make a pot of Chili…
See you there!


Field Sweep

Brad’s Corner for August/September 2017

BradHey Fliers!


We had a cooler week or two recently with agreeable winds, and I hope you had a chance to take advantage and get some flying in. It will be warming up again this weekend, presumably through September so I will re-visit things mentioned in previous letters. Please bring plenty of liquids and stay hydrated! A couple of guys seem to bring water for their dogs, but none for themselves. Sunscreen is your friend, I have heard a couple of folks talking about having small melanomas removed this summer -that can lead to deeper issues. Fire safety is still a big concern, I appreciate that I have seen members walking to mishap areas carrying extinguishers. If it is a fairly good hit – just bring one. It is easier than having to run back. There is still some aggressive pollen on the dry weeds in the outlying areas. I am not normally allergic, but still have blisters (healing) on my legs after walking out to look for a small helicopter 3 weeks ago. There is still a possibility of snakes in the field. Please be careful!


We are around 390 members finishing August, pretty close to where we were last year at this time. If you haven’t renewed yet, please get it done. There is no advantage in waiting, and you may be discovered and not get to participate in an event or two. The yearly dues are the most economical in the county if you take into account the fact that no one is charged an “initiation” fee. I still see folks at the rotor plex wearing badges from 2016, and while I like members that wear badges, they have to be current.  I do anticipate dues to go up slightly next year to keep up with higher costs to maintain the porta-potty and our event support systems such as flags and banners, race gates, power systems, and materials to roll/wet the field. The City has stated there may be an increase in rental cost for the site, but has not been specific yet, so we will adjust as necessary.  I am still seeing new faces at the field and again would like to thank all of you for the welcoming attitude you present to the public. You are the reason we are one of the largest clubs in the AMA. Please feel free to chat with new members about safety at our site, if you see an unsafe action, please step up and discuss it, do not wait to tell a board member.


The last few years we have been able to plan and execute our end of year banquets using mostly funds raised outside of membership dues. While our “ambassador of fun” Jim Bonnardel has been bringing money into the club from sources wishing to use our facility, we have not seen the income we have been used to that was based around the rotor plex area. We are about two thirds of the way to our goal of having another great banquet this year. With that in mind we will be having a club raffle on September 4th – Labor Day as a banquet fundraiser. I am selling tickets at the field on weekends for $2.00 each. The same price if you purchase one or fifty tickets. If I don’t approach you, feel free to approach me for your tickets. Since I know quite a few are primarily weekday flyers, I will be accepting ticket purchases via PayPal to . Please ensure you use the “Family or friends” option to send funds and put your full name in the comments block if your e-mail name is not your actual name. Last year I had to decipher: SKIPDUDE@WHOSYOURDADDY…  If you purchase via PayPal, I will write the name you provide on the back of each ticket. You do not have to be present to win. Jim is still purchasing items for raffle, but I can say we expect prize value to be over $2500 dollars. There are quite a few items donated by members (NIB ARFs, unflown receiver ready planes, and new general use items) along with new items being purchased. If everyone that attended last year’s banquet purchases 10 tickets – we will be fully funded. If we don’t make our goal, we may ask for a bit more to reserve seats this year.


I would like to plant a little bug in people’s minds early this year. In 2 months we will be opening nominations for board of director positions to take the club into 2018. From recent conversations I expect a one or two current members to step away from their positions to make room for new blood. Even if the position you think you would fit into is not vacated, feel free to run against the incumbent if you feel you have ideas to offer. I am going to challenge each of you to determine whether you feel your experiences, knowledge, and possible desire to change something you may not agree with is justification to run for a position.


Randy is still boxing it out with a local locksmith to get a new (and a spare) lock for our gate. It has been a great pain in his neck, so I am glad I was able to voluntell him on to this assignment. He has taken it like a trooper! Our main goal is to get locks that match the keys that have been issued, hopefully by the end of the month. Thank him when you get the chance.


Please check out the for sale by members page, there are a couple of nice items on there. To get your items posted simply send a mail to our editor at with a description of the item for sale and a couple of good pictures. The flip side of course, will be to let him know as items sell so he can remove them.


Our editor, Steve Belknap fills a volunteer position and devotes numerous hours to getting this newsletter out and managing our e-mail blasts and contact lists. Please thank him when you see him. He is constantly looking for aircraft related articles to put in the newsletter for our enjoyment. If you see/hear something neat, and feel like sharing – type something up and send it in, we want to hear from you! If you want pictures of your planes featured in our gallery, send them!


It has been quite a while since we have had measurable rain which results in our clay surface breaking up badly. This Saturday (Meeting and Fun Fly) I am asking all attendees to bring a large broom and pitch in sweeping the loose material away in preparation of wetting the field down around the end of the month. If all hands pitch in, it should only take around 30 minutes.


This month’s event will be spot landing (no Micro’s please) followed by the monthly meeting and lunch provided by the BOD. This is always a fun event and I encourage all to enjoy!


Stay Safe!



Mark's Biplane

Brad’s Corner for July/August 2017

Hi Folks!
I hope mid-summer is meeting your expectations. If your expectations have included heat, humidity, and crosswinds – it has been a spectacular month! Well, we knew it was coming, so all we can do is smile and wave. Some of us have been hiding in our air conditioned spaces, but I would like to throw a shout out to Tom, Tuan, and Brian who have been determinedly raising their proficiency in crosswind landings. Great job guys!
For my standard banging of the safety drum, I want to say thank you to the folks who are always on site with their fire extinguishers and ready to save us if things get out of hand. The entire outer field area is very dry and flammable. Please bring enough water to stay hydrated for your expected stay. You can re-fill empty bottles at the boat ramp if needed. Finally, it is not a bad idea to bring and use sunscreen this time of year. I saw Randy after a long Saturday, He looked like a red Papa Smurf…


Jim has been spraying the field to keep weeds down lately, Thank you for not trying to get extra points by seeing how close you can get to him ( Skip!! ) while he is around the edge of the runway. Thanks also to Dennis for countless hours weed whacking, and Tom and Chief for keeping growth down around the tables. We have had a couple years of use from the tables at the main runway, and we know they are starting to wear. Between now and the end of the year we will change out the worst of the tables to something closer to what was installed at the rotorplex last year. Please do not hurry the demise of the current tables by picking holes into them or striking them with hammers.
As a group comprised mostly of grown-ups, I have to ask you all to take the initiative if you see something unsafe. You do not have to wait to tell a board member, or wait for someone to handle it. Please step up and say something, if you need back-up – ask another member to join you and you can both have the discussion. Jim and I saw some VERY unsafe actions at the rotorplex a few weeks back, and both approached from different directions to have a few words. I am positive we would have had the same response if we were not on the BOD. Please join us in keeping everyone safe!
We had a pretty decent showing for the festivities on the 4th, the evening cooled off nicely and some of the fireworks were visible this year through the smoke which plagued us the last couple of years by drifting right at us. Thank you to the folks that stayed into the evening for not leaving piles of trash in the pit area.
My last conversation with Isabel puts us around 360 members for 2017. A bit behind last year, but still growing. Thanks to everyone that has been stepping up to invite new people to join the club. Steve, Randy, and Fred have been going out of their way to answer questions.
The monthly meeting/fun fly/lunch on SEFSD is coming up on 7/22. This is our summer bomb drop event and is a lot of fun, which can be had by all levels of flyers. If you can take off, go to an approximate minimum altitude, and make an approach, you can play!  And win prizes!  But don’t forget to watch your plane!!  When we do the summer bomb drop, we change up lunch a bit by ordering a couple of large subway sandwiches, which will be served by Jim and his wonderful wife Julie.


Brad 3 pic

Bring brooms on Saturday. Most of you have noticed that the heat has not been friendly to the field. The clay has powdered in places and is mixed with sand. Before kicking off the fun fly event I would ask that folks bring a broom and we will spend 20-30 minutes sweeping the runway in preparation of Jim doing a 2 day mid-week dousing and rolling of the field. We want to get water down deep so the surface should last the remainder of the year. When Jim puts down the water, we will close the main runway to flying for 2 days so no one puts foot prints on it before it is dry.
See you Saturday and have fun!!



Brad’s Corner for June/July 2017

300XHey Folks!
We didn’t see much May Gray, or June Gloom this year, and now the summer heat is on us! Most important is to bring plenty of liquids with you when you come for a day of flying. Last summer we had a member nearly go into kidney failure because he simply wasn’t getting enough fluid. Sunscreen is also your friend!!  I am going to once again bang my drum about fire safety. The outlying field area is now extremely dry. A small fire can turn into a big problem very quickly! Thanks again to those people that keep their extinguishers handy and are not afraid to use them.  A few other things to think about: there is a lot of dried up pollen on the weeds at the moment. If you have allergic responses, please be careful. If you have trouble breathing after a walk in the field, please mention it to someone so we can, at a minimum, keep an eye on you – or call emergency responders if necessary. I walked out for my plane with Tom and Tuan almost 3 weeks ago and still have blisters on my lower legs from the pollen. Finally, with the recent heat comes the possibility of snakes. Watch your step and listen for indications. Most of all, BE SAFE!!
A couple of interesting items: We had a couple of people lose some large and expensive aircraft this month. Even though it still stings, I am going to mention the issues in hopes of you avoiding the same pitfalls. Richard lost his 105 inch Laser due to a propulsion failure. The post mortem indicated the possible failure point as the connectors in the wires between the ESC and the motor. At least one of the connectors was able to be pulled apart with little or no effort. As we move to higher amp systems there is quite a bit of current going through these wires and a good chance that your connectors are heating up. I have seen a motor connector on one of Scotts jets get so hot that it melted the solder out causing failure. This type of heat cycling can cause bullet connectors to loosen over time. With most of the available HV speed controllers, there is an option to reverse the motor using the software or programming card, so you don’t have to swap wires to get the direction you desire. In these instances it would be preferable to just solder direct and leave the bullet connectors off completely. If this is not an option, or you just cannot bring yourself to move away from your affair with connectors, Randy mentioned a good solution. After he verifies that his system is sound and turning the proper direction, he goes back over each connection with a high quality heat shrink to ensure they do not come apart. After all, our intent should be to make the system bullet proof instead of making it easier to move gear to a different plane after a crash… A week after Richards loss, I also lost a 105” Extra on its second flight due to what ultimately came down to me pushing to get a few flights on a new model – even though I knew there were some conflicts with the way my radio system was configured. There is a known ( not to me at the time ) issue when using Hitec 7950th HV series servos on Spektrum Powersafe receivers with unregulated 2 cell lipo batteries. I tried to work around the issue by using a much lower capacity 6v LIFE battery which made it through a gentle maiden flight, but couldn’t handle the load when I threw all 7 high draw digital servos quickly to their end points in a full power snap roll about 30 feet up from take- off. The receiver browned out and recovered, but the motor would not re-arm – so I lost a battle with altitude. I have since re-built, and maidened the replacement (Pictured above), but will take away an expensive lesson: There is always tomorrow to fly your plane. If something isn’t EXACTLY the way you expect, take it home in one piece and figure it out.
Randy also threw out another pearl of wisdom this month: “Don’t forget your HOLE.”
Your vent hole that is. Sometimes you need to be inventive in allowing cool air into your airframe, and allowing warm air to exit.  A good majority of us are using over 1200 watt power systems. Even if your system is 90% efficient, that means 120 watts of waste heat being generated. When was the last time you closed your 40 watt soldering iron in the palm of your hand? Heat is the enemy to the magnets in your motor, connectors, batteries, and your speed control. To keep everything operating trouble free – we need to ensure we keep things as cool as possible. An old rule of thumb is to have twice the area on the outlet side than the area of the inlet vents. This ensures good cooling flow without pressurizing your airframe and blowing your hatch off (Right Raphi?)


Due to lack of support from vendors, and life in general getting in the way, we were not able to pull together a solid raffle for the 4th of July. I still have and will hold the items that were donated, and we will attempt to have a good show for the next holiday – which will be Labor Day on 04 September. We have some banquet money in the coffers, and hope to fund the remainder for the banquet with this raffle.
Speaking of the 4th, we will again be expecting a full day of flying. The board will serve a hot dog lunch around noon with chips and soda. We cannot plan for the numbers of people, so it will be on a first come, first served basis. If you plan to stay all day, please bring picnic supplies and beverages with you. We will have the clubs small BBQ available, and one or two members have agreed to bring and share their personal GAS BBQs with people that want to bring a protein and cook on site. No Charcoal grills please. Also, as part of mission bay park- glass bottles are prohibited. If you bring an adult beverage, please fly responsibly. Feel free to bring family and friends. This is the perfect time to bring your night flyers and light up the sky prior to the fireworks. For those who have not seen the Sea world fireworks from our field, we have a perfect front row seat. And there is a pretty decent exit point using old Sea world drive to Friars road east and hooking up with interstate 8 in mission valley. We will probably leave the gate open until around 6:00 PM at which time we will close it and lock it to non-club members. Jim will again post the ‘Members Only” sign. Over the last couple of years there have been issues with inebriated revelers causing problems at our site and I want to minimize that chance. If you arrive and the gate is closed, feel free to open – pass through – and close/lock it behind you. I don’t want anyone to get into a physical alteration, so if it comes to that with someone trying to force their way in, just let them in. Please don’t get upset if you leave the gate open behind you and you are asked to go back and close it.
While on the subject of the gate, PLEASE close the gate if you are the last one out! Again there have been reports of members arriving in the afternoon to an open gate and non-members on site flying over Sea world drive and the marsh refuge area. Kind of hard to argue that it’s not us if they are standing on our site while doing stupid stuff…  Close the gate.

We had an issue last month on meeting day about the preparation of hot dogs for members. It involved comments, yelling, and hurt feelings. I proposed to the board during our recent meeting that we stop doing lunch altogether on meeting days. My feelings are that if my volunteers are getting yelled at, we don’t need to do it. I was voted down by others on the board, but to be frank – I will not tolerate further abuse to the folks cooking the dogs. If there is an issue, come to me.
This month’s event is Warbird Day starting at 10:00 AM on the 24th. Come show off your favorite bird for a chance at $150 in prizes! Club meeting and Costco hot dogs to follow.
Have a great month!

Brad’s Corner for May/June 2017

Lee NortonHey guys,
With temps spiking last week we have had our kick-off into summer. It’s very likely we will not see much more rain for the next few months and the outlying field area is drying out fast. There is still a little green out there, but most of the growth has the consistence of barbed wire, so avoid it if you can – both with yourself and your aircraft! The pretty nasty brush fires in the county this week are a sign of things to come, please be prepared to respond in the event of fires. Also, there was a report last summer of a rattlesnake in the field, so if you do venture out there, go a bit slow to ensure you don’t startle something into biting you.
If you have not heard, a federal court recently shot down the requirement to register all model aircraft with the FAA. If you use your aircraft in a manner which involves any type of commercial use, you must still register – along with additional licensing. I doubt there will be a refund involved (sorry Dave…).
As I mentioned last month, fund raising is quite a bit down from last year as we were not the US host city for international drone day this year and as such have not received any sponsor donations this year. Our chance to get some money in the end of year banquet coffer is coming quickly. Jim has already started picking up some neat stuff for our 4th of July Raffle. Quan is donating the receiver ready Joker sport plane he won at the 2015 holiday banquet, as it is not his style of plane, to the raffle. We expect to start selling tickets mid-June.  If you have any thoughts for fundraising, bring them to me!
A couple of things coming our way next month. On June 4th SeaWorld drive will be closed between 6:00 AM and 12:30 PM for the rock & roll marathon. Their course map has runners coming up behind us to the boat ramp parking lot and then along the path towards fiesta island. With so many people about we are discouraging anyone from coming in at 5:00 AM to have the morning to themselves.  Also coming up is the traditional father’s day swap meet in the back parking lot at Discount Hobby Warehouse. This seems to be the best one with more quality items being presented. Don’t miss out!
Please keep an eye out for full scale craft in our area. If they are within a half mile of us stay around 50 feet until they are well away. We continue to have pilot reports to the FAA that we are too high and that is not a positive thing for us.
This month’s fun fly event on the 27th will be Poker fly, followed by the club meeting, and our hot dog lunch, See you there and fly safe!

Brad’s Corner for April/May 2017

WACO TOHey Fliers!


I hope you are having a great month! As we finish out April, I would like to make a few comments related to safe use of our site.


First, most of you have noticed the amount of new growth at our site due to the wet start to the year. In some places it is over 8 feet! This raises a few concerns. For those of you (like me) who suffer from pollen allergies, be sure to use your medication of choice before you head for the field, sneezing and watery eyes do not make you a successful pilot! Next, there has been a plethora of people coming off of the street to take pictures of the pretty flowers (weeds). People are all over the place, and we need to avoid flying over them with planes, or ‘taking a closer look’ with multi-rotors. Please give them the courtesy of safety. Also, all of this growth is going to raise our fire risk greatly. Last weekend I saw a couple of people grab extinguishers and run to a smoking aircraft. That is the response we need as we move into the summer. Thank you all for being vigilant!


Next, I need to touch on full scale aircraft in our vicinity. Under NO circumstances do we have the right of way when full scale are overhead. Yes, I understand they are not supposed to be below 500 feet. However, they are sometimes vectored through at 300 or 400 feet due to other concerns. We were reported to the tower at least twice this month, and need to get this under control. Please get to 50 feet or below any time there are full scale around. If you are practicing for an event that requires you to momentarily go above 400 feet, like electroglide or the F5 competitions, please ask someone to spot for you so you have another set of eyes looking out for issues.


Finally, take a few minutes to review and replace items as necessary in your first aid kits. We hope to never need them, but there are some items that expire. I ended up having to replace a large number of band aids that just wouldn’t stick due to age.


Membership is proceeding at a decent pace. We are a bit behind last year’s numbers, currently at 336 members. Not a surprise that things are a bit slow, we are not hosting drone day this year, so some of that member base did not show up. Keep looking for folks flying without a badge and encourage them to join the club. Remember that no one is allowed to fly at our site without AMA, and potential members (not prior members) are allowed 3 guest days with AMA before we require them to join the club.


I am still getting a lot of prior members asking for keys to the gate. We have NOT changed the lock, so you do not need a new key every year. From this month forward, keys will cost $2.00 unless you are a new member. Along with the privilege of having a key goes the responsibility to close the gate if you are the last one out. Almost every night this month the gate has been left open with no one around. This leaves us open to all sorts of bad things. PLEASE lock the gate!


Our fun fly on the 22nd will be altitude quest. A fun event that only requires you to fly to your designated altitude and land. $150.00 in gift certificates from Discount hobbies will be divided amongst the 5 pilots closest to their mark. This will be followed by lunch and a brief club meeting. Being discussed will be some fundraising ideas for the 4th of July event at the field. Without drone day, we are way behind where we were last year fund wise, and need to generate revenue to support our end of year banquet. It you have ideas – please share!


Brad Waco Waco To Roll

Click to see Randy’s pics and a vid                                       Click to see more pics and a vid


The pics this month are a few of the big Waco I picked up at Don Rice’s estate sale and had the honor of finishing. I am using one of Steve Neu’s new large outrunners, which pretty much prove the fact that there isn’t any plane that cannot be converted to electric power. At 54 (ish) pounds, it is the heaviest plane ever to fly from our field.


Have a great month!




P.S. Skip and Dave- I know you did scary things this month, I just let you off the hook…

Brad’s Corner for Mar/Apr 2017

As we move into spring, I want to throw a hearty thank you to the folks responsible for taking care of our flying site and the general vicinity. The rainy season is almost over, but it sure started some growth in our area.  Dennis LaBerge has been working tirelessly at clearing the weeds encroaching on the field, even to the point of taking his weed wacker and knocking down the growth along the primary landing approach. Chief Griffin and Tom Erickson have been doing a great job of keeping weeds out of the field and pit area, recently passing that torch to Jim Bonnardel who was out spraying numerous times in the last 2 weeks. THANK YOU guys! I really appreciate your efforts!
This month kicked off the return of EMAC to our club. Please pass on your appreciation to Steve Belknap for organizing the event and Tim Attaway, Steve Neu, Steve Manganelli, Steve Dente, and Ray Fulks for speaking and assisting newbies through the initial pattern. There were about 30 members listening and participating and I think everyone learned something – so I call it a great success! I have linked one of the trimming articles Tim mentioned for your review. There was some confusion as to the initial date and some people showed up Saturday instead of Sunday and missed out. I have asked Steve and Tim if they would do another trim clinic along with their next event, and will support that if they agree.
Membership reached 320 this week. We are a bit behind last year, but progressing. Thank you for renewing and wearing your 2017 badge while on site. We still have quite a few people showing up and attempting to fly without AMA or club membership. Please don’t be bashful about approaching people not wearing badges and ask their status. Remember, part of our agreement with the city includes that people flying at our field will have liability insurance, which requires AMA as an absolute minimum. Also, people have been showing up with AMA park flier – 3 month memberships which we cannot accept, Full membership for the year please. Another challenge we recently had: if you are paying the dues for a member other than yourself, please send a follow-on email to Isabel, or specific comments in PayPal defining your actions – she has no way to determine your intentions from just the PayPal transfer.
The first swap meet of the season was held last weekend. Not as many sellers as usual, hopefully that picks up as we move into the summer months. Please look at and use our ‘for sale by members’ section, you never know what you will find! If you are selling, you can usually get better prices from people who have seen your item than you will in a swap meet “ bottom dollar” environment. If you post items for sale, please shoot our editor Steve an e-mail when your item sells, or monthly if it doesn’t and you want to keep its post active. I want to avoid having items on there for months on end as it makes that section irrelevant and people stop looking.
There have been quite a few evenings recently (like 5 out of 7)  that the gate has been left open. Some have resulted in our driveway being used as a dumping site. I really cannot do more than plead with members – if you are the last one out, PLEASE close and lock the gate! In the past we have had motorcycles burn out up and down the runway, All of the tables and chairs set on fire, and general mayhem just because people leave the gate open. Protect our site people!!
I had the dubious honor or earning the nickname “Captain Crunch!” a few weekends ago in what was probably the most violent mid-air collision I have ever seen at our club. It always seems to occur when there are just 2 or 3 planes in the air. There have been quite a few mid-airs this month, so be careful out there! Jim says they come in threes, so this weekend…
We also saw some pretty sketchy flying the last few weekends.  It wasn’t Skip for a change! While I’m sure others will mention it also, I need to clearly state “ Plane pilots need to stop overflying the multi rotor pit area and the porta-potty!”  Seriously, there is no reasonable excuse for going over people’s heads multiple times in one flight. Be respectful of the safety of others. We have (again) also seen people shout “ on the runway!”  and immediately step out without looking to see is someone else is already committed and landing. One pilot lost his aircraft after yanking it back up to avoid someone, then not having the electrons to make it around and back to the runway. Please look first before stepping onto the field.
There is currently a sign near our driveway saying that parking will be secured from 0630 – 1000 on Saturday the 25th. Jim has been trying to find out whether they will let us to our driveway, but numerous messages to the city event coordinator have yielded no response. As that is our fun-fly/meeting day all I can recommend is to come a little later, or risk having to wait a bit. We will push our fun fly start time from 1000 to 1030 to give people time to get in and set up.  This month’s event will be spot landing, with the prize value at $150.00, followed by our hot dog lunch! March is also the month that we ensure some of the new members who are spending a lot of time at the field have fire extinguishers for their vehicles/tables. Please only take one if you have not received one already – if you use it we expect you to replace it so you always have one on you. Have a great month!!


brad 1

Brad’s Corner for Feb/Mar 2017

Happy February Team!


I have seen some of you show up with planes and drones that your wife bought you for Valentine’s Day, BRAVO! It’s nice to see you getting that kind of support for your hobby.


Last month I mentioned how nice it was to be getting some rain. This month I am going to borrow (almost) a quote from Patrick Swayze : “ It’s nice, until it’s time to not be nice…” I think we have only had 3 dry weekends since the beginning of December, and I am starting to miss the drought!  While on the subject of missed weekends, we lost a few events this month because the field was muddy. For scored events we skipped the monthly wing races and electroglide. Since no one earned points it should not affect our year end tallies. We also lost our last full FPV race practice day with the field fully set up. Next month FPV counts for totals so practice as you can.




Lastly we had to give up our EMAC Starter event and Trim Clinic. We are going to schedule a make-up day for this one as I feel it is critical to get this started. Thanks again to Steve Belknap for stepping up to get this arranged and getting the right people to volunteer ( or was it voluntold? ) to discuss proper plane setup and trimming techniques, and then provide pattern demonstrations. The new date for this is Sunday, March 5th starting around 10 A.M. The field will not be closed, but I ask members not participating to be mindful of what is happening at gates 5 and 6 and give them the courtesy I have come to expect. No buzzing the expensive airplanes Skip!!  Also, still on the subject of wetness ( Hush Dave G! ), the field weed growth has exploded. Thank you to Dennis Laberge for the numerous hours spent with a hoe removing encroachment from the field proper. The outlying field also has more green than I have seen in a long time. Please be careful out there as now it’s almost impossible to see the rabbit holes and rocks. Walk carefully and protect those ankles. This much growth will inevitably result in a lot of dry kindling in a couple of months. During the March meeting the board will disburse 15 – 20 fire extinguishers to new members that are maintaining a solid presence at the field. This will be the 5th year we have had this practice and it still warms my heart to see people walking out to crashes with extinguishers. Remember though, the club will provide one, but if you use it, we want you to replace it so you always have one with you.


I am sure Randy will chime in, but I want to touch a bit on safety. A couple of people received prop bites this month. Please, if you are working on your electronics on the table – and not immediately going to a gate to fly, take a few minutes and remove the prop. On that note, those of you that come with first aid kits should take a quick look and see that they are all good. I bring two, just in case.


Jim sent a blast out, but I would like to elaborate on proper LiPo battery disposal. The orange sand buckets are for either dumping sand on a burning model, or a temporary holding area for a damaged battery so you do not have a problem at your table or under your hood. When you leave you are expected to take the damaged batteries with you in either a LiPo Sack or ammo can. If you just dump 15 – 20 batteries in the bucket and leave them, there is no recourse for someone with an actual problem. The best way to dispose of old batteries is to completely discharge either by adding a load using some 12V auto bulbs – 1 bulb for 3S, 2 bulbs in series for 4, 5, and 6S, or use one of the voltage checkers ( ask Randy ) that drain your battery to zero if left for a few days. I have an old BBQ that I set them in for discharging. Once at zero, cut off the connector, strip the leads and twist them together. They are now inert and can go in the trash.


Membership is continuing at a decent rate, there are still quite a few people showing up without 2017 badges though. Please get it done, there is nothing to gain from holding out, we are year to year and membership expires in December whether you pay for it now, or thing you are being “ thrifty “ waiting until June… It is disappointing to be asked to leave without flying because you have not renewed. Remember, guest privileges are for AMA members using our site for the first time ( up to 3 visits ) and are not for use by past members.


I have been handling the hot dogs on meeting days for just over 4 years. Thanks to Dennis Benitez who will be taking over from me after this month’s meeting. Things may change a bit as we pretty much decide what we want to bring, but in its base form there will be beef hot dogs, chips, and beverages. Periodically I will bring a pot of Chili as I know how many of you like it. Thanks Dennis!!


It’s that time again to call out for people that are replacing their patio furniture to bring their old chairs down to the field. We lost some to the recent winds and have had quite a few broken ones lately.


This month’s fun fly event will be the Don’t Spill the Beans between 10 and 12 on the 25th. If you have a plane that can fly stable at a moderate speed and lands softly, you have a chance to bring home CASH!!.  You will place a supplied container with 20 beans on your plane, take off, fly above 100 feet, pull a loop, then land as softly as you can. He with the most beans wins a share of $150.00 worth of gift certificates from Discount Hobby Warehouse. The monthly club meeting will follow, and we will return to open flying while enjoying the hot dog lunch provided by the Board of Directors.

See you there!


Brad’s Corner for Jan/Feb 2017

BradWOW! What a wet start to the year we have had! I think 5 out of the last 6 weeks have seen rain. If we had to have only one dry weekend though, I’m glad it was in line with the Holiday Banquet on the 14th.  A great time was had by all. The food was fantastic, the venue was amazing, and the raffle finished the evening out in a fine manner. I’m sure our editor, Steve Belknap, has some fine pictures to share. Thank you to the members of the banquet committee – Randy Wynant, Julie Njaa, Quan Nguyen, and George Sullivan for getting it all set up! Thanks also to all that attended and participated, I am glad the clubs efforts at fundraising this year were put to such great use. Please, when you have the opportunity, say thanks to John Weaver at Discount Hobby Warehouse for his support all year towards the clubs raffle prizes and fun fly gift certificates. He really helps our club stretch the fun dollars.
Before moving away from the rain conversation I want to make a cautionary statement. All of the rain has caused a growth explosion in the field surrounding our site. The short green plants seem to be some kind of stinging plant variety and caused a severe allergic response from a member about a month ago. No one expects to be walking out there, but maybe some long socks and shoes in your vehicle would not be a bad idea for those that wear shorts and sandals routinely.  Also, thanks for staying off of the main runway while it is muddy. I know it sucks to not be able to fly for a few weeks, but the footprints usually last for months if we are not careful. It helps if the last one out (any time of the day) closes the gate behind them. It deters unauthorized use, and keeps people from trashing our site. It was noted numerous times in the last month that the first person in at sunrise found an open gate, and a couple of times there was some trash dumped in our driveway.
Badge day on Dec 31st came off surprisingly well considering it was another wet day. The rain stopped just before Paul and Isabel set up, but the field was too wet to fly. We had between 60 and 70 people stop in for their 2017 badge, and a slice of pizza. A few members renewed on the spot to boot.  Right now we are around 240 members for 2017. As you read this, membership renewal has be open for 8 weeks. If you have not renewed yet, Why not?   Membership is not pro-rated and will not get cheaper if you milk it… On Feb 1st we will begin enforcing the “No Badge, No fly” policy. Remember, AMA and club membership are required to fly.  The badge style has changed slightly making it more obvious whether someone is wearing a 2017 vs. an older badge. 2 weeks ago a couple of fellows were flying with badges from 2014. When asked, they “didn’t know” that AMA and SEFSD membership required yearly renewal…   On that note please wear your badge at all times while on site and please understand when someone asks to see yours, or asks you not to fly if you are not currently a member.
As we move into the new year, please take a few minutes to ensure you are still familiar with the field rules posted on our web site, and the AMA safety guidelines posted on our frequency board at the field. The guest policy remains the same, but let me throw out a reminder that no one flies at our site without current AMA insurance unless they are holding a student radio in a buddy box configuration with the instructor having valid AMA membership. If you bring/sponsor a guest to our site please ensure they understand our safety procedures and flight boundaries.
As before, we continue to ask members not to use tobacco products on the carpeted side of the logs. The second hand smoke is disturbing to many, and kneeling next to a model right into a pile of Copenhagen spit is distasteful. In my monthly shout out to our buddy Skip – it is also recommended not to take a big swig out of someone else’s frosty beverage when you have a big wad of chew in your mouth!! For the smokers, I have noticed 60 – 70 white cig butts next to the logs between gates 2 and 4. These will take years to decompose and obviously stand out on the dark asphalt grindings. In an attempt to head this off before it gets worse, please bring/use some sort of container to dispose of these instead of leaving them lay.
We finally received approval from the city to mount the large sign at the gate that announces who we are to the public. This has taken quite a bit of effort, and if you like it as much as I do, please take a moment to look it over and tell Quan what you think of his design! Thanks to Randy and George for getting the sign up!


Due to rain the electroglide was cancelled for Jan, The Chula Vista Flyers swap meet was postponed until Feb 11th, and FPV racing was postponed until Jan 28th to occur alongside the clubs monthly meeting, fun fly, and hot dog lunch. There will also be an estate sale for Don Rice’s family on Feb. 11 and 12 in Mira Mesa with Frank Gagliardi as point of contact.   This month’s event will be FLYING FREAKS. If you have something wild, weird, or wacky bring it out and compete for a prize (one entry per pilot please) between 10:00am and 12:00pm. It should be a dry day at last!!
This month’s picture is again an example of a poor unattended plane being molested by a rascal…



President’s Corner for March/April 2019

Hey Pilots, 

Another great month of flying down. The weather is more accommodating and looks to be done with rain for the season. So a big thank you to all for staying off the field when it did rain. Your efforts helped to maintain a solid flying surface. We are planing to have another sweep day this month to get the last of the sand and loose rocks off the top. 
We are currently at 275 members which is just a few less than this time last year. We thank you for being a key part of our club. Without you this club wouldn’t be as great as it is. 
We are getting more keys made. So if you are a new member and don’t have a key yet, or lost your key, they will be available for 3$ each. Also, the gate is to be closed by the last member leaving. It helps to keep the non-authorized people off our site. As most of you know we have had some vandalism in the past few months. Most recently the lock on the porta potty was Broken off. I know we can’t keep everyone out, but keeping the gate closed will greatly decrease the amount of vandalism. We will be adding a sign at the gate to remind us all to close the gate when you are the last to leave the site. 
As we start heading into the warmer months of summer please remember to bring water with you, dehydration can be a very serious event.  Having drinking water with you will keep you safe from a potential problem. Also, sunscreen is a good idea when spending time out in our field. 
Last but not least our field will be drying out over the next few months. So please bring a fire extinguisher and have it readily available for the unforeseen event that will require one. The best defense is a good offense. So think proactively about what could happen and be prepared for anything. Fire extinguishers are a great way to keep a crash form becoming a bigger issue. 
And remember the most important thing Have a great time flying. 
Respectfully yours
Tony Blackhurst. 

Chairman’s Corner for Feb/Mar 2019

Usually we are complaining that we do not get enough rain, but REALLY??

It has been a wet one, starting right after the banquet in Jan. The good news is that most people have kept off of the main runway, and there isn’t a hundred footprints in the clay for us to deal with. The bad news is that growth in the field has been raging and ground cover is getting thick.  Be careful out there as there is a lot of holes now hidden and I wouldn’t want anyone to break an ankle…

I think I have only been able to fly 3 days out of the past month and am getting withdrawals! We did have a wet Pop Wing opener on the 9th, but Electroglide was scrubbed for the second month in a row due to a muddy field. Maybe next month will be the charm. It has been nice to see a few of you with new airplanes this month, and I have seen a couple of the raffled planes from the banquet showing up. Let’s get them built and ready for the main flying season which is almost upon us.

Now would be a great time to pull your planes into the shop and ensure everything is still how you expect it. Time and vibration can work fasteners and electrical connections loose. Make sure your prized possession is good for another season! Now would also be a good time to go through your first aid kits, and ensure your fire extinguishers are charged.

Membership is progressing with 257 members having renewed by the 10th. Keep the renewals coming! If you haven’t signed up for 2019, the grace period has been over for about a month, and you will be asked not to fly at our site if you are not current. Past members are not eligible to fly as Guests. That is only for folks visiting ( with AMA ) that have never flown at our site. Remember, ALL 2018 badges are now expired. Please display your 2019 badges on your person while flying, and do not get upset if you are asked to present it if hidden.

We have had lots of issues again with the gate being left open with no members on site. PLEASE PLEASE if you are the last one out close and lock the gate. This prevents unauthorized use of our sit and vandalism of the items we keep there. It is also a long standing requirement from the city that we secure the site when we exit to dissuade dumping and people sleeping in vehicles in our driveway. If there are non-members on site when you are leaving, ask them to leave and let them know you are locking the gate. Speaking of vandalism, a few months ago we had nearly all of the chairs on site destroyed by some industrious individual one evening the gate was left open.  With the hope centers starting their spring lawn furniture sales a few of you will be replacing your tired chairs, and we could really use your old ones on site. That goes for used carpet too. If you have friends/relatives replacing their carpet, they can save at disposal fee and bring it to the field instead, between the runway fence and the Porta-potty.

A lot of people asking for keys recently. We have not re-keyed the lock, it uses the same key we have used for the last 15 years. One of the batches we had made last year was slightly off and will work the gate lock, but sticks in the commode lock. If you have one that sticks, bring it to a board member and we will get you a replacement.

This month’s club meeting ( hopefully dry ) will be held on the 23rd at the field around noon. It will be preceded by the fun fly event which is “ Don’t’ Spill the beans ” starting at 10:00.

Hope to see you there!  Fly Safe,


President’s Corner for Feb/Mar 2019

Hey pilots,

I wanted to thank all of you for helping to keep our field free from big ruts and shoe craters. We have had quite a bit of rain this winter and more is in the near forecast. We all have the itch to fly and when the field is wet the itch can almost be unbearable. I’m proud of your self restraint and not just say “It’s mostly dry let’s fly”.
Secondly, one way to help keep our field in good condition is to minimize the amount of traffic coming through. And the best way to do that is keep the gate locked. If you’re the only one at the field and don’t want to have to ask people to leave when you do. Just lock the gate behind you, Problem solved. And if you’re the last one off site please lock the gate behind you. This will help keep a lot of traffic off our field and that’s a good thing. 
I would like to reach out to our drone pilots, and ask for someone to be a liaison to coordinate with the board so we can all have input in how the club is run. At this time we have little drone representation. So to have a complex that you want to use we as the board would like some input as to what you would like to do to make the complex more accessible and the way you want it. As much as we want to we can’t read minds. So if you have suggestions please bring them to our attention. As the saying goes “squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I’m ready to grease, I just need to know where to put it.
Also, remember minimum distances are for your protection. Maintaining minimums keeps you far enough away to prevent an accidental human strike which will make your life very difficult. Pleas remember minimums and be safe…
With all the rain, fire extinguishers are not as much of a necessity but you should have one regardless. As we progress through the year the need grows. Pick up a fire extinguisher and keep it with you at all times. You may not need it but I know someone will and the more we have the better. They are cheap and easy to carry. And will help keep the fire depot from showing up when we can control it our selves.
Remember this is your club so act as if you own it, because you do. If I don’t know where you want to go I can’t get us there without your input. So please have fun and be safe. 
Tony Blackhurst. 

Chairman’s Corner for Jan./Feb. 2019

Hey Folks, it was very nice, though wet, end to 2018!

Thanks to everyone for staying off of the runway while it was wet and soupy, that can be problematic this time of year. The field is in great – compact condition following the rain last week, and the only detractor is the layer of sand that has blown across since October. Randy, Jim, and Ian have been attempting to get a sweeper truck with nylon brushes to come out and sweep for up, but they are weirdly hard to locate. In conjunction with this weekends club meeting / fun fly, I would like to have a sweep day. I encourage members with garage brooms to bring them and hope to have a pretty large group starting at 9:00 AM that can make short work of the sand. Also, if a couple of people could bring out leaf blowers and clean up the pit area – that would be ideal.

The end of year banquet was a complete success! Thanks again to Quan and Randy for making the arrangements! There were a lot of neat prizes, and odds of winning were the best we had seen in years due to the fact that we had raised ticket prices a bit so we could almost double the amount of items purchased this year. The spouses that I spoke with were appreciative that there were some gifts tailored specifically to them. It was real nice to see some of you cleaned up and having a good time away from the field, and I enjoyed visiting with folks I only see once a year. Thanks to Tony and Kenny for checking in all of the guests, and letting me help them passing out the raffle prizes. We advertised ticket sales starting on Dec 01, and were fully booked after Christmas. I was contacted by a couple of folks after seats were sold out asking for spots. All I can say is don’t be left out next year! Get your RSVP in early.

Membership is in full swing for 2019, the last update I had from Quan had us shy of 200 renewals. That is great! For those that have not renewed, the grace period is over as of this newsletter. All members are again asked to display their 2019 membership card on their person while flying. All non – members will be asked not to fly until they renew. We do not pro-rate membership, so there is no value in waiting. Heck, even Dave Gordon has renewed, and we all know he can make Abe Lincoln cry…I heard one member telling another again last weekend, and the previous 4 weekends, that the expiration date on the bottom of your 2018 membership card is your membership expiration date – this is not true, that is your AMA expiration date. ALL 2018 memberships to SEFSD expired on Dec 31 2018. We attempted a 2 year membership in 2015, but it was difficult to manage so we abandoned it. I still hear from people that they paid for 2 years and still haven’t received their card for 2019 and wonder why. Some simple math needs to come into play.  Thanks to the folks that picked up their badges at the field late December and early January, saving us over a hundred dollars in postage.  All badges paid for have been  mailed and George stays very caught up on sending to new/renewing members. If you put a different address on your application than the place you currently receive your mail ( Snowbirds ) it is likely at home waiting for you. Send me a good mailing address and we will get you a new badge.

A couple of weeks ago I sent a blast concerning drone users keeping their machines further away from people than we had in the past. Traditionally and in accordance AMA standards we had been stating our rule to maintain a minimum of 25 feet vertically and horizontally away from people and animals. Over the last 6 weeks we have seen numerous complaints from the public concerning high speed drones at head height along the dirt paths in the field, within 20 feet of pedestrians. Quite a few of the FPV drone users now have drones capable of 100+ MPH and after talking to a few users one recurring theme was the statement that “once we actually see a person, we are past them before we can avoid flying over them.”  As speeds increase we need to be even more aware of the personal safety of people sharing Mission Bay Park with us. If people continue to let San Diego Police, The Mission Bay Park Director, and the City Councilman assigned to our district know that they are in fear of physical injury in our area – we stand to lose quite a bit…  I received feedback from a few members that I/WE had overstepped, or wrongly changed the safe distance requirement from 25 to 50 feet. I Disagree. It is a primary mission of the Board Of Directors that our club endures, and that we maintain our relationship with our lease holders to keep our site open for our club into the foreseeable future. If people report enough times that we are unsafe – that will directly jeopardize our clubs future. While we cannot reduce the safety requirements set by the AMA, We – SEFSD BOD are within our rights to increase safety requirements if we feel it is warranted.  For now, the BOD asks members to maintain a safe distance ( 50 FT. ) while we explore options. As one of the other options we are looking at include changing our official flight boundaries to exclude any area within 50 feet of the dirt foot path which would also exclude the large trees in the field on the far right of the foot path. We will vote on a final plan at the next BOD meeting on 08 Feb. I am willing to accept reasonable discussion on the matter via e-mail prior to that – keeping in mind that public safety has to be at the top of any discussion.

Over the next couple of months I hope you will see newsletter submissions from more members of the board. They each bring new ideas and experience to their positions and I am excited to see what they want to share with the rest of us. That being said, our Editor ( THANKS Steve Belknap! ) is always on the lookout for new and interesting items to include in the newsletter. I have seen great submissions recently from Bob, Mike, and Jeff and would like to hear about the fun or neat projects some or all of you are working on. Please send a write up and a few pics if possible to and we will include you.

Before closing, I want to commend the quick response of club members this month for getting a LiPo fire contained following an aircraft crash that damaged the battery. Please ensure you have your extinguishers handy, and understand how to use them.

This months event – following the field sweep at 9:00 AM – will be BOMB DROP starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday the 26th. Piiots can use any plane they desire, but you must be able to mount the basic drop mechanism using tape, rubber bands, or velcro. There will be $150.00 in gift certificates to the high scorers as usual. You must be a current member to participate. Following the fun fly we will hold the first club meeting at the field for 2019, followed by a Hot Dog lunch cooked by our new DOGMASTER Mark Davis. Thanks for taking on the duties Mark!

Hope everyone has a great month, and as always – Heres to wishing for no WHAMMIES!


President’s Corner for Jan./Feb. 2019

Hey pilots,

I wanted to welcome everybody to a great year ahead for flying, I look forward to serving to my best potential for the club and everybody involved. 

I wanted to take a minute and And tell you a little bit about myself. I have been flying models for around four years but I have been in the aviation industry since I was a little kid. I spent four years in the Navy as a jet engine mechanic after that I got my A&P license. I have been fascinated with all things RC I have flown helicopters driven boats cars and now I’m flying airplanes that is the most fun. 

We are still on track to get the field swept down at the end of this month or the beginning of next so that we can have a nice runway to fly off of. And thanks again for staying off the runway during the wet and rainy seasons. Foot prints make it hard on landing gear. 

We did have a minor fire at the west end of the field we had 2 fire trucks show up. Fortunately for the pilot who crashed there were fire extinguishers at the site to help keep the fire from spreading when it first started. Please if you have a fire extinguisher bring it to the field with you. If you don’t use it great but it’s always good to have just in case. 

And finally to hit on the Christmas party we had a great time everybody was joyous and happy. Even the wives got prizes this year. The food was excellent the Harbor House venue was amazing. A big thank you to the Harbor House for putting on the event for us. 

A new year, a new you. Remember to have fun. This hobby is as great as you make it so make it the greatest hobby you can. And remember we are all safety officers. 

Respectfully yours,

Tony Blackhurst. 

President’s Corner for December ’18/January ’19

As we roll into the holiday season I would like to express how much I enjoy being part of SEFSD. As a 400 member club, we are bound to have a few anti-social folks, too friendly folks, and folks that – no matter how long they fly, will never get out of the “dangerous” or “unpredictable” category. I want to commend the rest of you for patiently putting up with these few and keeping drama at the field to a minimum.  We are all there to have a good time and share our interest in flying machines with others – What could be better?!

I want to touch on quite a few matters this month and hope not to bore you with the length of this one!

We have some big changes on the Board of Directors for 2019. When you see them at the field, please pass on a “Thank you!”  to the people that have stepped up to manage the club for the next year.

Chairman: Brad Bender
President: Tony Blackhurst
Vice President: Ian Mckinlay
Treasurer: Quan Nguyen
Safety Officer: Steve Neu
Secretary: Ken Dresser
Member at Large: Carl Cox
Member at Large: Eric Shapiro
Member at Large: George Sullivan

I would like to add personal thanks to Randy, Jim, and Dennis for their past service to SEFSD and for allowing new blood into the board.

There was a troubling incident at the rotorplex that I would like to share. On the day it happened there were 5 or 6 members at the main runway, and one member alone at the rotorplex  with all of his FPV drones and extensive support equipment on a table ready for use. He determined that he needed a zip tie to affix something and stepped away to ask for one from a member at the main runway. Upon his return 3 or 4 minutes later – he found ALL of his gear was missing, even his coffee cup, prescription glasses, and his jacket that was on a chair. The supposition is that some people with questionable upbringing were parked along Old Sea World drive and saw him walk away, then they ran through the back field and took everything. There was no vehicle traffic through our lot at that time. While our members are a trustworthy lot, please remember that we are in the middle of a publicly accessible area and you never know who may be watching… I would even go as far as preferring you set up at the last table on the east end of the runway and fly your drone from there rather than being alone at the rotorplex. Some of the great drone guys pitched in to help him buy some gear so he can continue to fly while checking with his insurance policies to see if any of it can be claimed. Please be careful, especially if you are alone anywhere on our site!

On the opposite side of the same coin, please do not leave your items out if you plan to depart the flight line for more than a few minutes! If you are going to buy a sandwich and be back in 15 minutes – Great! I understand having to go home for a radio, wing tube (been there!), or another forgotten item as it happens on occasion. However, to go home to Poway and take a nap for 4 hours is completely unacceptable behavior while someone is stuck watching your items. If anyone asks you to watch their items while they leave the field, I would like you to weigh the risk before you accept the burden. Is this person reliable? Will they come back TODAY? If they don’t come back, can you transport their items along with yours when you leave? Would you enjoy them harping on you for the rest of your life because something they left unattended on a table came up missing? If the answer is no to any of these, please do not accept their burden! Tell them to pack it up and take it with them.

The main runway is in good, compact condition after the recent rains. Thank you for staying off of the surface while it was soft. We have been trying to coordinate a sweeper truck to come out and remove the sand that has settled on top. If we can’t make it happen before the club meeting at the field in Jan, I will call a sweep day and ask members to bring brooms and we can knock it out. Also, a couple of volunteers to bring leaf blowers to clean the sand out of the pit area would benefit us all. One thing that has been tearing up our surface for the last couple of months is gliders with skegs, teeth, or pins attached to dig in and stop the plane upon belly landings. I understand people are practicing in anticipation for the return of electro-glide next month, but if you can remove the dirt brakes and land without them, it would be greatly appreciated by everyone else!!

We have had around 140 members renew for 2019 to date. Keep them coming! The process that Quan has set up on the web site couldn’t be easier. It works for those that want to do it totally online and pay the $50.00 dues via PayPal, or do the online form and mail a check, or print the form to mail along with a check. There will be a new design for 2019 badges – picked by Quan, and the badge will be vertical vice horizontal so you can tell at a glance whether cards are valid. For people that renew prior to December 31st we will have “ Badge day” on Saturday Jan 5th at the field. Come down, collect your 2019 Badge, and enjoy a slice or two of pizza! Badges not collected will be mailed out the following week. Jan 19th will be the weekend we start requiring a 2019 badge be displayed by all pilots flying – but why wait?? Last weekend I was again approached by members who do not remember that SEFSD membership runs by calendar year and does not pro-rate membership based on purchase month. ALL 2018 memberships for SEFSD expire at midnight, 31 December 2018 – no matter when in the year they were purchased. The expiration date printed on the bottom of your membership card is your AMA expiration only. Keep in mind that whether you joined in January or November –  it’s time to renew. SEFSD is the premier club in the San Diego area, and you always get amazing value at a great flying site. Even the folks that joined right at the end of the year can see some return if they attend the post-Holiday Banquet on Jan 12th.

As of Wednesday we were over 110 seats reserved for the banquet. Only 20 left – don’t be the one standing outside!! If you missed the previous notifications, our 2018 banquet will be held on Jan 12th at the Harbor House in seaport village – 831 W. Harbor Drive. Seating can commence at 6:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:30 pm, and the event will end at 9:00 pm.  We had a great dinner there last year, and I have high expectations again this year. Tickets are $20.00 per persons having a meal, with half of that charge going towards the Raffle. Member Michelle Manganelli suggested we have some raffle prizes that are the fairer half specific, and we agreed. When you check in for your seats and raffle ticket- you can specify whether you would prefer a ticket for an airplane related item, or a spouse oriented item. With so few seats left, the preferred way to reserve yours will be to send $20.00 per members and guests (sponsor must have been a member during 2018) Via PayPal using the friends feature to  Alternatively, you can pay cash to a board member, or send a check (quickly) to:

3954 Bancroft St. #16 
San Diego, CA 92104

However, 3 weeks into sales – if we hit 130 seats reserved before your check arrives it will be returned and you can try again next year ( Skip B take note! )

During the month of December we usually do not have the club meeting and fun fly at the field as a lot of us are away on travel. All of Decembers weekends are open flying so if you have em… The next organized days are:

Jan 03 – Night flying
Jan 05 – Badge day
Jan 12 – Pop Wing Race season begins
Jan 12 – Post holiday banquet  Harbor House
Jan 19 – Electroglide series resumes
Jan 26 – Club meeting at the field – Bomb drop for prizes!

Lastly, I like to express at the end of each year the importance of safety at our field. If your radio supports throttle lock, please get into the habit of having it engaged at all times your model is not taxiing or flying. There have been some VERY close calls this year. In the last month a member attempted a self-vasectomy and another narrowly avoided needing facial reconstruction when randomly bumping the throttle. Please look BOTH WAYS before calling loudly and stepping out onto the runway! If you step out without looking, there’s only one person that can be blamed. When you call your landings and take offs – make a strong attempt to be heard at the other gates. If you hear someone else calling out like a little girl – feel free to call out for them so other pilots know the situation.  Finally, I use New Years as a check point to inventory my first aid kit for proper content and any items that have expired.

I look forward to seeing everyone next year, so please have a safe and happy holiday season!


President’s Corner for November/December 2018


This months pictures include a sad reminder of why the last member leaving the site daily HAS to lock the gate on the way out. The gate was left unlocked Sunday night, and the Monday early fliers arrived to see that 90% of the plastic chairs at the main runway and the rotorplex had been destroyed over night. An industrious individual took their time and threw a very large rock through each one – even the brand new ones…  Jim has contacted the city to see if they will task a couple of trucks to get rid of them, if not – members will need to dispose of them a few at a time. For the next month or two, if you need to sit while at the field – plan on bringing your own chairs. That being said, most of the chairs on site were donated by members as they replaced their yard furniture going into summer. If you generally buy new chairs each spring, can I ask you to bring your old stuff down now instead of April?

Back to the gate.  It is part of our agreement with the city that we maintain control of our site and prevent unauthorized use/access to the area we control. The last member out MUST close AND LOCK the gate as they leave! We need to stop being our own worst enemy here. If there are non-members in their vehicles, ask them to leave. If there are one or 2 cars on site, and If you don’t know the person(s) with them, ask if they are a member. Tell them you are about to lock the gate, you will be surprised with how many who claimed to be a member will immediately leave if they know the gate is being locked.  If there are empty cars on site with no one around, lock the gate!

Field maintenance: There is currently quite a bit of sand on top of our clay surface. This adds to the complexity of taking off and landing for the ducted fan and tail dragger folks. We have authorized funds to have a sweeper/vacuum truck to come out in the next few weeks to clean the sand and give us a better surface as we get into the rainy ( ? ) season. I’m not sure what day yet, but if it happens on a day you are there, please be respectful of what we are trying to do and keep your planes on the ground while the truck works. We are trying to get 6 more months out of the older tables on site. Please don’t sit on them, pick or chop them with anything destructive…

We will start 2019 membership renewals around December 1st.   All 2018 memberships will expire on December 31st no matter when in the year they were purchased. We do not pro-rate membership. The majority of us have our AMA on the same cycle, so this is a reminder to renew your AMA now so their system has you documented for 2019 Before you attempt to renew at SEFSD. The system will not allow you to proceed with renewals if your AMA membership will expire shortly. Quan and Steve will shut down the 2018 membership button on the web page, and Jim will disable the Facebook link after Thanksgiving, and an e-mail blast will go out when 2019 renewals are available. If you need a new card immediately let me and/or Quan know and it will be sent out directly, otherwise we will attempt to hand out new cards to all early renewees on badge day at the field on Jan 05 2019. There will be Pizza between 11:00 and Noon for all that pick up their badge. I want to put out a big THANKS to George Sullivan, who is not only running for a club officer position, he continues to be our membership coordinator – processing all of your badges. Quan is still taking submission of pictures for the 2019 badges, so if you have a nice aviation related image ( portrait oriented ) , send it to him and it may be picked!!

Randy and Quan have finalized plans for our post Holiday Banquet. Last year we had an amazing night at the Harbor House. Even though we sadly lost Butch this year, his partners have agreed to host us at the same discounted rate they gave us last year, so we will again have our banquet at the Harbor House – Saturday, Jan 12 the evening of our first pop wing race of the year.  We had around 125 folks attend last time, and I expect to have around the same attendance this year. As previously stated, the fundraising this year for the banquet was not as lucrative as last year, even though we doubled the dollar value and quality of the raffle prizes for the Independence Day raffle, members were not feeling it, and we actually lost money. A few members donated directly to the banquet (THANK YOU! ) and Jims efforts selling T-shirts has brought us closer, but still short. As a result, admittance cost will be a bit more this year, with tickets costing $20.00 per person for anyone with their a dinner plate, which is an amazing value for this venue! Evey year I am asked about discounts for children – Young children that eat from a parents plate are free – but if you expect a plate and raffle ticket for your two year old, the fee will be $20.00.  $10.00 from each fee will go towards the venue and $10.00 will go towards the raffle prizes, so approximately $1250.00 worth of prizes this year. There will not be additional raffle ticket sales, one ticket per paid seat. I will put out a separate message when Banquet registration starts, but plan on giving your RSVP and payments to Ken Dresser just like we did last year.

Kevin Shaw and Ken Dresser have taken the first step to an organized night flying event the first Thursday evening monthly from dusk to ??. Their first get-together on November 1st was a success, and their next one on December 7th is expected to draw more folks now that daylight savings has ended. If you do attend, please dim your lights in the driveway and limit the use to white LEDs in the pits to preserve everyone’s night vision. As with everything we do at our field, AMA and club membership are required.

Thanks again to the members that have sent stories and images to Steve Belknap, our Editor, for inclusion in our newsletter. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with fresh content to keep everyone interested. Do YOU have a neat project on the bench, or an inventive way of doing something that you would like to share with everyone? We are interested!!

BOD Voting is coming up on 17 November, you should have received absentee instructions a day or two ago. Please say THANKS to all of the victims that stepped up to manage the club next year!!

Most of the year we hold our meetings at the field, and the associated fun fly, on the 4th Saturday. With the end of year holidays falling around the same weekend, we push November to the third Saturday, and do not have a meeting in December. That being said, our last meeting and fun fly is rapidly approaching this weekend – the 17th.  The fun fly will be Warbird Day, beginning at 10:00AM followed by the club meeting, Officer voting, and Hot Dog lunch provided by the club. One of the new Members at Large will be taking over hot dog duties after this weekend, so please thank Dennis Benitez for his efforts over the last 2 years!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Lock the Gate!


President’s Corner for October/November 2018

Well, we finally broke the heat wave, sort of… With the end of October still seeing the 80’s, it seems like we can’t win! A couple more weeks, and daylight savings time, should give us some respite.

We just finished our 2 monthly competition series, Pop Wing racing, and Electroglide for 2018.

For the Racers, Eric Shapiro took First place again this year, With Jim Bonnardel in second, and myself in third place. Jeff was not feeling well, so I did not get the Electroglide winners, but should have that info by the meeting on the 25th. Both events will have their prizes awarded at the monthly meeting. I would like to thank all participants and even more so a big thanks to Jim and Jeff for running the yearly events. Both will return in Jan 2019.

A member recently mailed me about organizing some night flying as we head into our “winter“.  if you are interested, we should have more info in the next few weeks. If there is something you want to do at the club, and you want to organize and run an event, feel free to let me know. All ideas are on the table, as long as they are safe, and do not have an increased risk of destroying aircraft.

I have had a couple of weekend members approach me over the last month talking about some unsafe behavior that is increasing. Please DO NOT come across the field directly at the pits at full throttle and yank it up at the fence. We have all seen servos, clevises, and thumbs fail at the most inopportune moments, and deliberately putting others in danger is not to be tolerated – I don’t care how good the pilot is. Please continue to call “take offs”, “landings”, “low passes”, and any time you step on to the runway for any reason. And PLEASE look before doing so. I still see people stepping, and calling out – right in front of a plane on final that they did not see because they did not look…

During the November meeting we will be voting for club officers to take the club into 2019.

I have to say that I am dismayed by the lack of response from club members when I ask for people to step up and help guide the club. For 400 members to only have 2 volunteers is disheartening…

People say that they like the club the way it is, and do not want things to change, but our bylaws put term limits on BOD members and it is time for new blood. That being said, I need 4 or 5  more people that want to get involved.

I can no longer be president, and while I had hoped Randy would step into presidency, he has some personal interest items that will require him to come off of the board completely. Voted positions are listed below.

President : empty

Vice President: empty

Treasurer: Quan Nguyen – plans to run again, thank you.

Safety Officer: Tony Blackhurst – plans to run again, thank you.

Secretary: Ken Dresser – plans to run again, thank you.

Member at large: Carl Cox – plans to run again, thank you.

Member at large: empty

Member at large: empty

Only 2 members have accepted nomination for positions. Both Eric Shapiro and Ian McKinlay are nominated for Members at large. I need participation folks!!

Please send names to me in the next 2 weeks so I can get them publicized before voting.

Last October we laid to rest Fred Duffy. He was our venerable Candy Man who welcomed members, family, and guests to our site with a smile and the offer of a sweet treat. We still miss him, and as a memorial to Fred, we held our second memorial flight of T-28 Trojans ( Freds favorite plane _ on the 20th. About a dozen pilots paid tribute in a 3 minute flight which ended with a missing man formation. Freds children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were on site and very appreciative of our efforts. The board has filled and passed Freds candy cooler amongst ourselves and continued Freds tradition for the last year, and we passed the cooler to Freds son, Mike at the conclusion of the memorial.  Thanks to all that remembered Fred!

This month’s club fun fly event will be Foam Frenzy. Between 10:00 and 11:30, fly a foam plane to earn raffle tickets towards $150.00 worth of discount hobbies gift certificates. Randy will instruct at the pilots meeting how to earn tickets. Following the fun fly, we will have the October meeting and this month there will be dogs from Costco.

Since it will come early next month, not to interfere with Thanksgiving –  I want to mention that the club meeting/voting and Warbird Day will be held on November 17th.

Be safe, and most of all – Have fun!


See more great pics of the flyover here.

President’s Corner for September/October 2018

As we finally move into Spring I am really looking forward to some cooler weather.

The Santa Ana wind patterns may keep us warm and dry over the next few weeks, but as long as it cools off shortly after, I will be good with it. The outer field areas are very dry and there is still some fire risk – I appreciate your diligence when it comes to fire safety! We are into our seventh month with no measureable rain, and the runway is extremely dry. There has been a shortage of water trucks during fire season, but it sounds like we will have one available to rent this weekend. I Have my fingers crossed!! This means a possible hour or two with no flying each weekend afternoon while laying down water and rolling the field.

We are coming up on the end of the year which means a few things. Our monthly series events – pop wing racing, and electroglide are coming to an end. October 13 and 20 respectively will officially end 2018 for these events. A BIG thanks to Jeff and Jim for spearheading these events yet again this year. If you would like to get involved in next year’s series, please see them and ask what you can do to help us carry the fun into 2019.

Also, we are again at that time of year when we are looking for new blood in the Board of Directors. I am at my term limit and will be passing the presidency on to the next shining star that wants to steer the club into his own vision. I believe Randy will throw his name into the hat for this. The other board members have stated that they would be willing to carry on into next year – but I need to point out that ALL positions are open for competition if anyone else would like the opportunity to give back to the club by serving

On the BOD. Our current members:

Chairman – Vacant

President – Brad Bender – will automatically become Chairman and vacate Presidency

Vice President – Randy Wynant

Treasurer – Quan Nguyen

Safety Officer – Tony Blackhurst

Secretary – Ken Dresser

Member at Large – Jim Bonnardel

Member at Large – Dennis Benitez

Member at Large – Carl Cox

We will be accepting nominations all of October for positions. It is acceptable to self-nominate if you would like to run. Nominees must accept their nomination (to avoid being railroaded while on vacation…). On November 1st we will officially announce nominees and send absentee ballots to 2018 members that have other plans on voting day. The vote will occur at the field during the monthly meeting on NOV 17th ( held one week early to de-conflict with Thanksgiving travel). If you want to see the club safely into the future, or even change the vision of the group as a whole, Now is your chance! I look forward to the future with someone else at the helm!!

Jim will announce shortly a new banquet fundraiser through custom ink that will offer more variations of club wear – responding to requests by members. If you have enjoyed the banquets over the last couple of years, please support the process by helping us fund it and get some nice items. Bumper stickers are also in the works!

Last October we lost our dear Friend and Candy Man – Fred Duffy, after a short illness. We still miss the way he welcomed strangers to our site, and I know a lot of current members talked with Fred before joining the club. For the last year the BOD has been carrying on the tradition of ensuring Fred’s candy cooler was stocked with goodies and on site over the weekends for those that wanted a sweet treat. Randy has the cooler now, and I will finish it next month and give the cooler back to Fred’s son, Mike.  Also, in conjunction with the October Meeting/Fun Fly, I am going to take 10 minutes and do another Fred Duffy Flight in which I would like members to fly their various models representing T-28 Trojans, which was one of Fred’s favorite planes.

If you are a member, and do not have a key for the gate and the porta potty, please take action and get a key.

We are charging our cost for keys – which is only $3.00. If you absolutely cannot afford a key, come see me and we will figure it out… DO NOT relieve yourself at our site outside of the porta potty – PERIOD!! If credibly reported, I will remove you from our club, and possibly inform the authorities if you made an obvious display… There is absolutely no reason for it.

There have been a few occasions this year when members have submitted stories about a plane they are proud of, have on their project list, or just an aviation related experience from their past. I have REALLY enjoyed these additions to our newsletter, and encourage you to keep it up. Steve Belknap, our editor, works hard to provide you a quality newsletter – and every bit helps! Also, a few more people have had success buying/selling in our “for Sale” area. You have better odds of getting a quality item from a member than from a random stranger on craigslist or RC groups…  Check it out!!

Just to bang my safety drum… There were more accidental flights over the pits and over the folks at the rotorplex area the last couple of weeks. I am not sure what is causing the trend, but we need to rectify. One way to get this under control is to remind folks that the runway is for taking off and landing only. High speed passes should be performed no closer than the edge of the grass at the other side of the runway.  This ensures a better view, and if a Dumb Thumb or Fat Finger pulls you closer to the fence, you have time to recover without making people dive under the table! Call your landings, take offs, touch and goes, and low passes. Please remember we try to fly a pattern that is dictated by the wind at the time. Into the wind over the edge of the grass – 50 feet out, and downwind 100-200 feet out. This minimizes head on collisions. Also, there is risk any time there is not blue sky between aircraft – depth perception being wildly different between individuals.  Lastly, more people are bringing larger planes and enjoying them. With larger motors and planes with multiple blade props, there is more rotational mass at the front of the plane which will increase the tendency of the plane to torque left as the tail wheel comes up. Then this really gets bad if the pilot nails it to try to get out of trouble… A nice smooth throttle coupled with being ready to apply right rudder is the key.

To close up for the month, I want to say thanks to the members for keeping drama low! Thanks for keeping the politically charged conversations somewhere else.  This month’s fun fly event on the 22nd will be Micro Madness. Between 10:00 AM and Noonish there will be events at 3 of the runway gates designed for Micro planes. Any of the UMX line will qualify to enter. There are a couple of other brands that should qualify – but Randy will have the final word. Following the fun fly we will have the monthly meeting and hot dog lunch. Dennis is trying to convince me to make Chili…

Have a great, SAFE Month!


President’s Corner for August/September 2018

Well, the heat wave continues…

The runway is dry and dusty, and while we had planned to wet it down and roll it out this month, none of our usual suppliers have any water trucks ready to rent. We will keep an ear open to get it done when we can. Along with the hot, dry conditions comes a few dangers. A few years back a member reported seeing a rattlesnake out in the brush. The hawks and other raptors do a pretty good job of controlling the critter population in the outlying field area, but please be careful and remain aware of your surroundings. The brush itself is very dry, sharp, and flammable. Keep your extinguishers handy if needed please!

I want to thank Jimmy Bonnardel for his fundraising efforts promoting the sales of SEFSD shirts through Custom Ink. After a fun Independence Day raffle that actually lost us a few dollars, Jim’s T-shirt sales have brought in over $600.00 towards the holiday party! The shirts are on the way and should be received soon, Thanks to those that supported! There were inquiries about more colors and women’s sizes, they may be available in the next order – keep watching for club e-mail blasts with more info.

About 2 weeks ago I received a phone call from a city administrator around 8:30 AM on a Wednesday stating that he was at the gazebo and airplanes were flying circuits over his head. He said 2 planes were out of boundaries each pass. Remember, we must stay within our boundaries – do not go past the dirt path on our side of the cement path. It is critical that people on the cement path or at the gazebo do not feel endangered. Reports like these haunt us whenever we renew our contract with the city and puts our right of entry permit at risk…

Please remember that you do not have to be on the board of directors to identify and call out a safety hazard at our field. We have 8 BOD members for a club of 400 people and if everyone waits on them, some crazy stuff can happen. Last weekend, during electro-glide – a private airplane approached over the parking lot. While BOD members were present – we were not paying attention until it was too late and the pilot saw our gliders and diverted. There were a few comments that folks were waiting for us to call it, but we were messing around with our individual gear as we don’t play the glider event – and missed it until one of the event pilots asked “ Is that a plane? ”  I will take the heat as I was on site and missed it – but why are people waiting on me if they know what’s right?

On the same token, there was some discussion recently at the rotor plex concerning helicopters and multi-rotors hovering in the landing approach area for the main runway. This is not a shared flight area and MUST be open for winged aircraft to make their final approach for landing. While the majority of rotor pilots stay low and get farther out into the field (shared area), there are still some that cause a hazard to the plane guys attempting to land by being between 20-60 feet high in their approach. Sometimes it’s new people – who do not understand the rules or common practices at our site. The problem with that is when drone guys present at the time do not instruct the new guys. Why? “Because I am not on the BOD” seems to be a common answer… I am looking into making some changes to the fences over there, but if you need me to police your activities instead of you spreading common sense – not everyone will be happy with my solutions… I need the people who have been members for a while to ensure new members understand, and to keep asking to see membership badges as folks you don’t recognize show up. We still – in August – have non-members flying with members at the rotor plex.

Lastly, I want to talk about common courtesy and just being a good club member. I always appreciate that we do not have a lot of drama with our club. To keep that positive streak going, I want to ask people to keep their political beliefs to themselves and enjoy the mental freedom our hobby provides. If you hear something you do not agree with – please just move on. If you don’t like someone because of their job, or something they have done in the past – please just move on. Sometimes it is easier to just leave for the day than to say things that cannot be taken back – please move on…

This month’s event will be the LIMBO! No Micro planes allowed, but anything that uses a 3s 220 or above will be able to compete for prizes. Afterward there will be a hot dog lunch and the monthly club meeting. Come have fun!


President’s Corner for July/August 2018

Hey Guys! I hope your July was as much fun as mine! If it weren’t for back to back heat waves it would have Perfect!

Our Independence Day at the field was almost a total success. I say almost, as the raffle was supposed to be a fund raiser that if it followed the tradition of the last few years – would have funded half of  our end of year holiday banquet this coming Jan. Sadly – we did not meet our fund raising goals, and actually lost a couple of dollars to boot… A couple of folks made banquet donations that have us even (Thanks Hoang Nguyen and Mark Davis!) But we are a long way from our target of $2500.00 to get us on the right track. On that note, you should have all received a blast from the club on Tuesday telling you how to buy club shirts and support the banquet at the same time. If you missed it, the link is here: it has been a few years since there have been club shirts available and I am glad to purchase some! Thanks Jim for setting this up for us.  Following up on the Independence Day at the field, the lunch catered by Leilani’s Food Truck was a smashing success and there was not one complaint from the crowd. If there is enough interest, we will ask them back!  The fireworks were better than the last 2 years as the prevailing wind blew the smoke east instead of directly at us so we had “in your face” visuals of most of the show. Thanks to everyone that came down and enjoyed the day – and a bigger thanks for taking your trash with you instead of leaving it on-site.

It sounds like the end of July will carry on the heat wave, so I would like to remind everyone to bring sun screen, and plenty of fluids when they come.  Also- please keep the extinguishers handy. The outlying field is very dry and would be difficult to save if a fire gets out of control. We will be renting the water truck and the roller in August to soak and compress the field. Tony is also looking at filling in the Grand Canyon that is forming at our entrance gate. We will announce the specific date as it arrives and close the field for 24 hours to let everything set.

For the folks at the rotor plex – There is NO flying north of the fence that parallels the main runway. This is NOT a shared area as it puts helicopters and multi-rotors right into the landing path for airplanes. We are having signs made to this effect and ask the person(s) that keep dragging carpet to this area to STOP. As seen from the rotor pit area, you can take off and land directly in front of you at the opening between the two fences – or on the opposite side of the right hand fence. No flight from the left hand fence.

We lost our scale day event at the end of June due to some stiff cross winds, and were unable to make it up. I did see some folks bring neat looking planes though. If you would like to share weathering techniques, write a short description of your efforts and send along with a few pictures to Steve Belknap at . He likes new content!!

This month’s event is our summer Bomb Drop. Randy and Jim are changing it up a bit to appreciate those that have created their own drop mechanisms – should be fun! The event starts at 10:00 AM and runs until approximately noon – followed by the monthly meeting and lunch.

Have a great month!!


Bombs Away!


Mini Mamba

President’s Corner for June/July 2018

It looks like we avoided a lot of the May Gray and June Gloom this year! A couple of foggy mornings, and Warm days – but overall a GREAT prelude to our summer flying season. As always I am going to bang my drum a bit about safety items…  Please ensure you have proper UV protection that matches your skin type. Hats may not be enough.  I have had about a dozen members tell me this year that they had to pieces and parts removed due to overexposure. Look for at least SPF15 sunscreen, and I also recommend a SPF rated lip protection also. Hats help, but are not the entire answer. Also, please ensure you bring enough water to last your expected stay. Dehydration can sneak up on you and have some devastating effects. Finally, since we haven’t had a lot of water this year, the outlying area is already dry as a bone. Please be careful and continue to bring your extinguishers out to crash sites if they look serious. If things do get out of control – a 911 call requesting emergency services at South Shores Park will get help headed our way. Now would also be a good time to look at your first aid kits to see if they are still up to the task. Doc Marvin also made the suggestion that folks should keep an unopened bottle of water in their vehicle in case they need to wash out a wound or rinse a prop bite.

I am really excited about our upcoming “Member Only” event at the field on the 4th of July for you, family, and friends. Usually we do an all-day event with some of us ( addicts ) coming early in the morning and staying for the fireworks. We will have lunch on site paid for by the club, then later there will be a grill or two for those who want to bring and cook dinner on site, the Sea World Fireworks go off 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, Randy has set up a top rated food truck to cater for us at the field.  Leilani’s Food Truck will be on sight 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. Sides will be Yakisoba noodles, Green salad, or Macaroni salad. Beverages will be available for purchase at the truck, or bring your own. We are providing lunch to you and your family if they want to join you. After lunch will be a really great raffle purposed to raise funds for our end of year holiday banquet. You do not have to be present to win! We purchased approximately $2500 dollars’ worth of raffle prizes this year including some GREAT airplanes and a new DX9 radio system… Tickets for this raffle will be $5.00 each, and I will say that if the people that enjoyed the banquet last year each purchase 4 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 – Kenny Dresser will be accepting funds via PAYPAL to purchase your raffle tickets. His PAYPAL address is:   . Please ensure you send funds using the family or friends option so that we do not have to pay the 3% fee on our fundraiser.  Ken will write your names on each ticket you purchase and respond with an e-mail stating your numbers.  THANKS KEN!  Thanks also to Larry Kosta JR. for manufacturing the “MEMBERS ONLY” sign and donating it to the club. We will post the sine on the gate for the 4th and that day will be a CLOSED GATE DAY. I expect all 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 close the gate.

While on the topic, I am still asking that the last members out at the end of the day close and lock the gate behind them. We risk vandalism and destruction of club property when unauthorized people are on our site without supervision. Also, please get in the habit of locking to porta potty after each use. 2 weeks ago, someone left it open on a Friday evening and the lock disappeared. Randy had to buy new locks. I would like to minimize the need for this. The porta potty uses the same key as the main gate. We have been using the same key for at least 15 years – so yes, if you received a key in the past it should work for both locks. If you need a new key, they are $3.00 each.

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, Steve at  , and he will post them.  Thanks Steve!

This month’s Fun Fly event on June 23rd will be “Scale day”. Bring your models that are replicas of full size flying aircraft. It doesn’t have to be military – just scale. Between 10:00 A.M. and noon, be prepared to demonstrate your ability to fly your model in a scale like manner. As usual, there will be $150.00 worth of prizes up for winners, followed by our monthly club meeting, and the customary Hot Dog lunch.

Have a great month!


President’s Corner for May/June 2018


What a nice month to be flying RC aircraft! Just a touch of precipitation, but not enough to ruin your day and the winds were generally right down the runway. We definitely fared better than the rest of the country.

As I said last month, we haven’t had the normal growth explosion in the surrounding field area. This is both good and bad. It is easier to find aircraft components out there, but everything is already bone dry and more susceptible to fire. Please keep bringing and using your fire extinguishers to help keep our site safe. Also, with how dry the weeds are – they are more like barbed wire than anything else, try to avoid going off of the runway unless you would rather spend more time repairing damaged aircraft than flying…

A couple of neat things to talk about this month. First of is the Fourth of July event which is about 6 weeks off. For the newer members that are not aware of the benefits to our location on the fourth of July, I ask: How would you like a free lunch, a fun day  flying with your friends, a front row seat to the fireworks, and a “little known” exit strategy that will avoid most of the post fireworks traffic jam? We have all of that – and more! We traditionally have a MEMBERS ONLY – closed gate day for you, family, and friends. We will have lunch on site, there will be a grill or two for those who want to bring and cook dinner on site, the Sea World Fireworks go off around 10:00 P.M., then as you exit the site – if 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 is not finalized, more on that in the June newsletter- but we are providing lunch to you and your family if they want to join you. After lunch will be a really great raffle to raise funds for our end-of-year holiday banquet. We have authorized the purchase of approximately $2500 dollars’ worth of raffle prizes this year, and I will say that Jim and I already possess 2 of the 6S receiver-ready planes included in the raffle and they are among both of our favorite planes. Tickets for this raffle will be $5.00 each, and I will say that if the people that enjoyed the banquet last year each purchase 4 tickets, that will get us half way to funding next year’s event. If you have not been attending these, we have been having a great time and I want to see you there with your spouse if possible! Larry Sarkozy has a head start on purchasing his tickets – He will not be back in our zip code until after the holiday, but already purchased his 4 tickets.  For the rest of us, ticket sales will start this Saturday, the 26th at our monthly fun fly event. You can purchase tickets from any of the board members, or as a last resort via PayPal like last year. I would rather avoid the online stuff as last year I had to write names on over a thousand tickets myself and my knuckles were sore for a month…

After just 2 weeks of locking the porta potty there has been a very noticeable change in overall cleanliness. I had just assumed some of us were slobs and others were just plain nasty. NICE Surprise! It was the general public that see our unit from the road and blow in at 50 miles per hour!! We also received permission from the vendor to camouflage the unit again to make it less visible from the street. Jim (Picasso) did the spray out and I know it really helped to keep unnecessary traffic down the last 2 weekends. The porta potty lock is keyed to match the gate, so please ensure you have your key with you. Keys can be purchased on site for $3.00 (our cost) from myself, Randy, and Dennis LaBerge.

 PLEASE, PLEASE, and in case I didn’t say it yet, Please – if you are the last member leaving the site – close and lock the gate behind you. If there are random vehicles there, knock on the window and inform them that the site is being locked. If there are empty vehicles there, lock the gate- they will figure it out. Part of our agreement with the city is that ALL people flying aircraft at our site will be insured (AMA), and will be versed and monitored for correct safety practices (SEFSD Membership with safety officer).  Randy and I stayed late a few weeks ago and were surprised at the number of people that rolled in to the runway and rotorplex area late afternoon that stated they always come late when no one else is around and the gate is open. Even though it is posted at the main gate, at every flying gate at the runway, and at the rotorplex the AMA and SEFSD membership is required – they all “Magically” didn’t know about any such requirement. Again – close the gate upon exiting.

We are approaching 330 members for 2018. Still a bit behind last year, but I am thinking that may be because some prior members still have not renewed for this year. In the last couple of weeks Jim, Randy, and I have approached quite a few people (flying) that stated they thought they had renewed ( but had not) and people that claimed they had paid for a 2 year membership. We only did that in 2015, and those expired in 2016.  Please continue to wear your badges while flying so we know you are a member. Members – please continue to ask people not wearing badges to show you their badge. If they are a prior member, Guest privileges do not apply and they need to join the club before they continue flying (they can join from their phone on the spot of their AMA is up to date) If they have never been a SEFSD member and are visiting (with AMA) we will let them fly as our guest up to 3 days before asking them to join our club. They are required to sign the guest log and a member must brief them on our safety practices and observe a flight to ensure the person is not a menace.

There were a few more close calls last month involving people either failing to call out their intentions, or calling too lightly to be heard at other gates. Please LOUDLY announce when you are crossing the field, taking off or landing, doing touch and goes, or are making low passes at the edge of the runway. Not only does bad behavior is this respect put aircraft in jeopardy, it can cause serious personal injury. It is ALWAYS ( did I say always?) the responsibility of the person stepping onto or placing an aircraft onto, or taxiing onto the runway to LOOK at planes in the air or on the runway to determine if it is safe to proceed. Last month I heard a pilot (Loudly – thank you) call landing – who then landed – to immediately destroy his plane hitting another whose pilot failed to listen, failed to look, and gunned his aircraft at full throttle from the gate. I myself, after I called landing twice (Loudly), nearly hit a member with a 30 lb. plane already on the ground and rolling out when he started crossing (unannounced, of course) from the gate immediately to my right. Luckily I was able to yank it up over his head, and once clear of him I powered up and went around. I would hate to think what that carbon prop would have done to him. Please be aware – safety is for all of us – not just the safety officer…

As we pass Memorial Day, a lot of people are setting up their back yards for the summer events and parties to come. As you look at your yard furniture from last from previous summers and you contemplate replacing things – we are always accepting donations of used chairs, and even umbrellas. Last year Ray and I each donated $100.00 to purchase 10 chairs from Home Depot, only 2 of those remain.

I know I have been long winded this month, but needed to say things, so to wrap it up:

The Good Time Race League will be kicking off their summer race series at our rotor plex area this weekend. Drone racing is a lot of fun to watch, and for those on the fence – this may be your chance to see what it is all about. I ask that all plane pilots be extra vigilant to carry our fence line out in an imaginary line towards Friars road, and not cross that line. This will keep you from flying over people at the rotor plex area.

Our monthly fun fly event is the extremely popular “Don’t spill the beans!” event which will start at 10:00 A.M. Saturday the 26th to be followed by the monthly meeting and our customary hot dog lunch for members.