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 ken@red2tech.com.  Alternatively, you can pay cash to a board member, or send a check (quickly) to:

SEFSD 
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!

Brad