Yearly Archives: 2015
FPV Multi Rotor Racing Results for 8/29/17
Click the racecourse pic for the latest FPV results:
Thank you to everyone that participated, and all the other club members who let the field have these special events month in, and month out.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
These past few weeks have definitely brought in some cooler weather! I thought the heat wave would never end. The small amount of rain we received this month made the field even smoother, and there are no complaints about that!
To kick off this months newsletter I would like to throw out a plug for our SEFSD holiday banquet. By doing it right after the holiday season, we received a great price at a great venue and it should be an amazing evening of family safe dining and fun! It will be held on Saturday January 16th starting at 5:00 P.M. at the 94th Aero Squadron – 8885 Balboa Ave. Just like last year we will be asking a small fee to RSVP your seat, give us accurate numbers for laying in the food, and pitch in a little more towards some great raffle prizes. We are expecting approximately 150 attendees with room for more if we identify early. This will be a family friendly event (water/soft drinks). The fee will be $5.00 per person and can be paid in cash directly to any board member or sent to me Via PayPal using the gift or family option. Do not send it as a merchandise purchase unless you also pay the fee. To keep one person from buying a lot of tickets and walking away with 2/3 of the prizes, there will be one ticket per paid guest. My Paypal address is Bradley.firstname.lastname@example.org I will be collecting between now and December 15th. I have received payment from about half of those I expect to come, so let’s get those reservations in there!
This month we are moving the club meeting and fun fly event forward a week to the 21st to avoid conflict with holiday plans. This meeting is election day for club officers. To date we have only received one nomination and that is for the member at large position that Bob will be vacating. Should be a quick vote!! The event will be Warbird Day. Bring what you have and fly, but keep in mind that the window between 10:00 and 11:30 will be limited to Warbirds of all eras. Following that, Jim has set up a Turkey drop – so bring your bomb drop plane and try to win a sweet Turkey!! After the Turkey drop we will have the club meeting/voting and a great hot dog lunch served by the board of directors.
I would like to throw out a thank you to the club members who have been taking on roles as leaders and mentors in our club. Either by stepping up to run a few events, spending some of their flying hours to help a new person with training, or generally being a good ambassador and welcoming to visitors. You all are the reason the club has grown in the last couple of years, and we appreciate your willingness to share your hobby!
I am going to use that as a segue into another topic. We have a lot of new faces at the club right now. Some of them are amazed at how cool the low high speed passes look when properly performed. So amazed in fact that a lot of people are trying to emulate these passes before they are quite ready. This has resulted in high speed/ low attempts over the runway by some pilots that are barely in control of their planes at 3 mistakes high and the end result is a lot of planes over the pit/parking area/heli-pad on almost a daily basis. People, vehicles, and planes have all been hit in the last few months. We have been a little lax for the last few years on enforcing the flying RULE at our club that states “All low flying shall be done north of the runway except for take off, landing, and touch and go operations.” . Out of necessity we will be more vocal about keeping aircraft in the safe area and not over the runway itself. This included helicopter and multi-rotor activity. After discussing with Quan, our safety officer, we will make an exception for micro aircraft in the interest of visibility. These can fly between the center of the runway and the edge of the grass, but should not come close to the fence.
We have mentioned before that while it is the job of the board of directors to enforce rules and ask habitual offenders to leave the club, safety is the job of every member at our club If you see something unsafe, please feel free to say something to the pilot in a respectful tone. Sometimes you will need to raise your voice to be heard, but no yelling or screaming please. Physical violence will not be tolerated. Don’t save your issues until the arrival of a board member as I for one do not prefer approaching people with something I did not personally witness. That devolves into he said / she said and loses value. If you see someone routinely doing something unsafe or breaking the rules and they are not swayed by conversation, put it in writing -with the offenders name and a few witnesses – to the board and we will approach that person officially and ask them to change their behavior.
Jeff Struthers asked a very appropriate question last week and I would like to elaborate on the answer. Jeff asked when the responsibility of an instructor would end when it comes to getting someone safely in the air. It depends on the student, but as a whole, we owe it to them not to cut them off with only enough instruction to be dangerous. Some people need to be on the buddy box a few days or weeks past their first successful landing or first solo flight. Some students need constant reminding not to fly over the foot path, pits, or Seaworld drive. Please, if you are taking the time to train someone – make sure they have the minimum tools to fly safely before cutting ties.
Have a great Thanksgiving and safe flying!!
Date: Oct 2, 2015
Date: Nov 6, 2015
– Isabel: Renewal’s not online until Dec 1st. Badges will be the 2nd of January.
They then took us to a hotel and fed us in a banquet room. The food was delicious and we were ordered to drink their beer when offered. It didn’t taste too bad and was only about 2-3% so the brass weren’t concerned about us being able to fly afterwards. Then they took us to museums—their War Museum on the first mission. They had parts of our warplanes that had been shot down and also showed us the gun where Hanoi Jane Fonda sat for that infamous picture. I don’t know if it was the real gun or not—didn’t matter—I think they just wanted a reaction. They got none from any of us!
We were allowed to take photos of certain areas. They wouldn’t let us take pix of their rail marshaling yard which was full of bomb craters and wrecked engines—I got some anyway with my little Minox spy camera. On the next trip they took us to the Peace Museum. Absolutely stunning!!! Lots of HUGE White Jade figures. A beautiful museum. Our bombs never got close to it. Strangely enough—they told us that the wrecked train yard was where they were fixing their engines. If you didn’t know better, it could have looked true. There was not a single bomb crater outside of the yard. All buildings were intact!! A lot more happened there, but don’t want to bore you with all the details. They were very proud of their many manhole covers in the sidewalks which they used to hide from our bombing raids. All three trips were interesting!!
Anyway, that was why I was chosen to lead a two-ship formation to retrieve our fallen Heroes. I just happened to be TDY at U-Tapao from Clark AB where I was stationed. That should set the stage. A little too wordy, but it should help you to understand my involvement. I was one of only a few crew member on either plane to have been there before. Our Mission Commander was Col Novas and we had a One Star on board with an open line to President Nixon. It was a fairly high priority mission. After stopping in Saigon for a final briefing, our two C-130E’s (with augmented crews) left Tan son Nhut AB and went “feet wet” up the coast of Vietnam.
We stayed about 30 miles off the coast so as not to bother anyone. We hit the mouth of the Red River and turned upstream toward our destination—Gia Lam Airport just east of Hanoi. We were encountering broken clouds which were getting worse. After going over Thuan Nghiep, the river straightens out considerably so I requested we drop to about 1500 ft so I could better make out the landmarks—both on radar but mainly visual—when I could see the ground. I wasn’t about to trust the radio aids from Gia Lam nor Hanoi. Before we descended, we could easily make out Hai Phong harbor on our radar about 40 miles to the Northeast so we were on track.
We made contact with Hanoi and advised them of our impending approach into their territory. This had all been pre-arranged, so no problem there. It was on up-river that they started screwing around with us and trying to subtly get us confused. They were trying to get us lost and force us to abort the mission so they could say we caused an international incident by not picking up those who died in captivity when everything had been arranged. That’s another reason I had been picked to lead. They tried to spoof us on earlier missions by moving the ADF and VORTAC ever so slightly to locations which would cause us to fly into restricted airspace. In fact, a crew a few weeks earlier bought the spoof and was threatened with a “shoot down” if they didn’t abort the mission, so that made this mission even more critical.
If you were watching closely enough, you could see the needles quiver a little each time they changed location. They were good at it though, so I had the other Nav continually watch for that in case we lost visual or radar contact. I had my head out the front searching for ground fixes. Then, they really tried to get us fouled up. The second plane was following closely, mainly by keeping us on their radar—depending on us to lead them in. Hanoi Approach Control called us and told us to take up a heading to final. The pilot started to turn and I virtually screamed into the mike “Negative, negative–maintain heading”. That was the first of three times they tried to get us to turn too soon.
After the second time, Col Novas told the pilot to ignore the tower and go by my direction only. I knew we were still about 30-45 miles out and they were doing their best to get us off course and lost in that bad weather with low ceilings and get us to an area with which we were not familiar. The weather was really bad—the cloud cover was closer to full than “broken”.
We would get a break in the undercast every mile or so. We descended to about 1000 ft which helped some. Now—remember that bridge that they tried so hard to take down during the war?? We lost a lot of Thuds & F-4’s there. That bridge and a huge sand bar about 3 miles downstream were my aiming points. I was getting a little concerned when they weren’t coming in view as fast as I thought they should. Guess I was just overly anxious. I checked radar and found both about 15 miles ahead. I alerted the pilot to be ready to turn and he relayed to #2 that we would turn in a couple of minutes.
Ground Approach had given up trying to get us to turn early, after a few scoldings from them that we were ignoring their instructions. We did not answer. We descended a little farther so I could get a visual on both the sand bar and the bridge. I remembered where we had turned on my earlier approaches. We flew about 30 seconds past the sand bar, and with the bridge in sight, I told the pilot to turn to the appropriate heading—I seem to recall it was 335 degrees—but not sure now. Descent was begun and both planes broke out at about 750 feet. There it was—right in front of us. I strapped myself in. The other aircraft radioed a “Talley Ho” so we knew everything was fine—or so we thought.
After we landed, Ground Control took over and marshaled us to the proper area to pick up the remains of our guys. There were two green tents and they were having us come in and turn so that our prop wash would flow directly on the tents—probably blowing them away. Our Aircraft Commander called for neutral props and warned the second aircraft to do likewise. Both planes coasted in to a nice easy stop in the right place—I’m sure to the disappointment of the martialing crews.
Col Novas made the decision on the spot to set up an Honor Guard in front of each tent. This time, we were in our Class A’s and were not under orders to associate with the enemy. We all felt better about that!! He sent us out two at a time at 15 minute intervals, Each pair did facing movements to relieve the previous pair as time dictated. The first pair at our tent was Col Novas and our pilot. The tent flaps were tied wide open. What the first set of Honor Guards—and ultimately all of us—saw was several stacks of green boxes with a rock on them with white painted names and dates. The sight was shocking and really ticked us off. Unfortunately, I do not remember any of the names. The boxes—which in reality were coffins—-were about 30 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches. It tore us up to think that our guys who had suffered so much were in those tiny green boxes.
We all decided individually and as a team that the Vietnamese would never touch our fallen comrades again. The Honor Guard rotation was maintained for well over two hours while the final release papers were being signed at their government offices in downtown Hanoi. Obviously, the North Vietnamese didn’t know what to think of the Honor Guard. We saw the guys who had been our escorts on earlier trips. They smiled and waved at us. We glared back at them. Some civilians tried to get close to watch—they were chased back over the dikes by armed guards.
We were finally given the OK to load our precious cargo onto the waiting C-130’s—their cargo ramps open, sat waiting. As the word came that we could begin returning our guys to American Soil—in this case—our C-130’s, the North Vietnamese moved in to begin loading. We immediately formed a cordon around the tents and, though unarmed, we motioned for them to stop and basically dared the armed Northern troops to try us. They stopped with a puzzled look on their faces—but never tried to cross the line. They had touched our heroes for the last time.
It was early evening by then and the General was back and became part of our new makeshift Honor Guard—set up on both sides of the ramps. I was part of three pairs who tenderly picked up a “coffin” with its “headstone” and proceeded up the ramp. Two more were inside the plane to place an American flag over each man as he came on board. We exited thru the crew door to go retrieve another hero. The General led the others on either side of the ramps in a “Hand Salute” as each box of remains passed on board.
I don’t remember exactly how many bodies we recovered—seems like 36—but each was treated with ultimate respect. We took our time to make sure all were properly honored. It took a considerable amount of time, but we didn’t care. We did it right. We finally all boarded and buttoned up the aircraft. As we were getting all four turning, I noticed the pilot had a wicked smile on his face. I listened on a discreet channel while he suggested to the other pilot to change pitch after they began moving and turn the planes so that the prop wash would now hit the tents and the Vietnam officials and soldiers gathered around them. The turn was smooth, slow and graceful until the loadmaster gave the word. Suddenly eight turboprops were at full forward pitch for about 3-5 seconds and brakes on. They then changed the pitch back to the taxi setting and we got turned around in time to see the tents flying.
After a few squawks from the tower thus began an uneventful trip back to Saigon and on to U-Tapao to the Identification folks stationed there. The General informed President Nixon that extraction had been completed successfully. Further ID would be performed at Hickam AFB as necessary.
Our heroes were taken to Hickam AFB by C-141’s. I have talked to many people about this extraction of our fallen comrades—and to a man—they thought that the C-141’s did the entire mission. I hope someone will set the story straight someday. In fact, I have never seen anything about C-130’s being involved with the extraction of the first of those who died in captivity. Believe me—-I know they were!! I may have missed some story about it because I had to get busy for my PCS since.
Well, Bill, that’s about it. As I said a lot more little things happened on all three trips—even some funny things on the first two, but that third mission was the best thing I ever did in my 24 year USAF career. Sorry to be so wordy, and focused on “I” & “me”, but I’m not sure how else I could tell it with any conviction.
PS: Somehow, I forgot to turn in my log and charts from the mission, and no one else thought about it. I had them for a long time, but they disappeared—probably on my move to CO from AL. I sure wish I could find them again!! They are really historical documents.
I did meet a woman at one of our reunions whose husband’s remains were onboard that day. I was completely speechless as she thanked me.”
As we approach Halloween we have had another record setting month – again both for temperatures and precipitation levels. Sounds like the next 5 months will be interesting as El Nino rolls upon us. I would like to thank our club members once again for keeping off of the runway immediately after the rain stops. We have had a small amount of footprints to deal with, but nothing compared to last year.
Thanks to Jeff Struthers who stepped up to take over duties as Electroglide Master! We look forward to this event continuing under his direction. I believe fellow board member George R. is running this month’s fun fly event. On that note, I would like to encourage you all to volunteer periodically to run or assist with an event. It’s never hard and you get to meet people outside of your normal group. If you have an event in mind that you think our members would enjoy, feel free to bring it up to a board member for inclusion in our discussions at the board meeting.
The club sent numerous e-mails to all members before the weekend of the 10th that the field would be closed without exception from the evening of the 10th until the afternoon of the 12th due to NOTAMS (a written notification issued to pilots before a flight, advising them of circumstances relating to the state of flying to include unmanned and model aircraft) Issued to restrict all flight activities within a 30 mile radius of Lindbergh field (we are a hair over 3 miles away). Jim went down and double locked the gate to keep people out. This is VERY SERIOUS. If we are documented as having model/hobby aircraft in the air within 30 miles of the airport while Air Force One is in the area that WILL be the last day of flying EVER – did I say EVER??? at our site. Pay attention to this! If anyone cuts the lock off and is flying in a restricted situation they will be asked to leave the club (I would vote permanently).
Everybody should have received their Ballots for AMA District X Vice President. Please take the few moments and vote. Ours is one of the largest clubs in the District so our vote can make a difference in the election. The nominees are Jerry Nueberger, the current president of the Miramar R/C Flyers, and the incumbent VP Lawrence Tougas who joined us at the September meeting/fun fly to say a few words.
While on the subject of elections, our year is coming to an end and starting October 24th we will be accepting nominations for the 2016 Board of Directors. While most of our current board has indicated their desire to maintain their current positions next year, I encourage each member to reflect upon themselves and decide if they feel they can bring something to the table that will benefit the club as a whole. The Board of Directors are responsible for safely guiding the club for the year. They make all business decisions regarding the clubs operation, serve as grievance arbitrators, and have the ability to suspend, revoke, and re-instate membership as mandated by club by-laws. Board members are volunteers and as such do not get paid for their services, and they pay for their memberships just like everyone else. Nominations will be open from October 24th until the November 21st meeting at which time the vote will take place. Nominations can be made this weekend at the meeting, in person or via e-mail to a board member during the open period, or the morning of the vote. If desired, each nominee can have a few moments to speak before the vote.
As we near the end of the year we are still accepting new member requests for people wanting to join the club for the last quarter of 2015. I would like to remind current members that we are not able to accept renewals for 2016 until it is announced mid-November that our system has been configured to accept the new year. If you attempt to renew early, there will be a bit of a hassle as we have no choice but to return your payment. There has been a change in the way AMA processes their membership that can cause a timing conflict between their membership periods and ours. The best way to avoid conflict is to ask that all current members make a determined effort to renew their current AMA membership BEFORE it actually expires on December 31st.
As put out last month our holiday banquet will be happening on 16 Jan at the 94th Aero Squadron. It will be a GREAT time and there should be an amazing raffle this year. Just like last year we will be asking a small fee to RSVP your seat, give us accurate numbers for laying in the food, and pitch in a little more towards the raffle prizes. We are expecting approximately 150 attendees with room for more if we identify early. This will be a family friendly event (water/soft drinks). The fee will be $5.00 per person and can be paid in cash directly to any board member or sent to me Via PayPal using the gift or family option. Do not send it as a merchandise purchase unless you also pay the fee – the club needs $5 per person. To keep one person from buying a lot of tickets and walking away with 2/3 of the prizes, there will be one ticket per paid guest. My Paypal address is Bradley.email@example.com Please make sure your full name is in the comments block as I have seen many of your addresses and some are difficult to figure out who the owner is… I will be collecting between now and November 30.
This months fun fly event on the 24th will be the wildly popular POKER FLY which only requires a pilot take off and land a couple of full flights (safely) to earn cards towards your deck. Winning hands get prizes – no special skills required so EVERYONE (Fred!) can join in. Following the fun fly will be the club meeting (nominations ). Breaking from the norm, the club officers will not be providing lunch as there will be a food truck Tasty Sliders on site in support of a separate event going on at the Heli-pad. Continuing that thought – the Heli-pad will be closed from 08:00am to 4:00pm in support of IDRA FPV drone racing. Also, unless you are using DJI Lightbridge all FPV flying from the main runway will be restricted to allow the racers full access to channels.
With all the planes we fly, pre-built in China, have you ever wondered what the future of model building would look like? Well take a look at this guy! Eric Maglio has created some incredible models entirely from scratch. The term “scratch” has a different conotation today than it did when I was putting models together. Today modelers, like Eric, don’t bother with sheet plans, balsa, plywood, glue and clamps, they use 3-D modeling, 3-D printers, 3-D routers and laser cut their own parts. Not only does Eric design, engineer and build his own planes, he makes all the parts himself. In the picture below you will see some of his creations. Make no mistake, those planes did not come from overseas, they are one-of-a-kind engineering projects. I can testify that they all fly extremely well. -Ed. Please check out his build threads below the picture:
Bombardier CS100: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1964904
Mini Tricopter (didn’t have this one with, but flew it at the International Drone Day back in March): http://flitetest.com/articles/3d-printed-mini-fpv-tricopter
I also have an F-35B build in progress, but it’s been moving pretty slow. Turns out VTOL is hard!
I was pleased to see fellow competitor and friend Bruce Brown arrive for some practice flying on Thursday before the racing.
As I write this story late in October, we haven’t had rain in a month. The last rainfall we received was Thursday and Friday evenings before the race! The result was a soggy flying field in addition to cool temperatures and gusty winds (18 – 22mph). Unlike AMA heat racing, F5D is strictly a timed event where your score is your cumulative time with one throw-away round for every four flights. We flew six rounds each of the two days (12 total). A single pylon cut results in a 10% time penalty and two cuts (or a DNF or DNS) results in an automatic 200. During a race, the pilot cannot see the far pylon because he is focusing strictly on his plane. Pylon racing is entirely a team event because the pilot relies on his caller to count off the cadence and announce when to “TURN” when going around the far pylon (pylon 1). Timing and trust in your caller are absolutely critical to fast laps.
Bruce started out shaky, but he got better every flight as he continued to work out the jitters. With the exception of a motor failure for my last flight on Friday (resulting in a DNF and a score of 200 for that round), Jim and I both flew well with no other problems. Six rounds were in the books for Friday, so we called it a day.
More rain overnight made for an even “soggier” field on Saturday, but we soldiered on not letting a little water (and wind and clouds) ruin our fun! We got the motor in Bernie’s Viper going again and he was eager to get back in on the fun with a competitive plane again! We all started where we left off on Friday with every flight getting better and better. I put in a “barn-burner” which turned out to be the fastest time of all with a 61 and change, but Bruce and NMPRA District 5 President Jim Nikodem were hot on my heels with more clean flights of their own. It’s an interesting dynamic because when each of us is calling for each other we are a team, but when flying against one another we become competitors. That’s the nature of such a small group of good people.
When it was all said-and-done I took the overall win with Jim a close second and Bruce in third comprising a full, three-man team for the World Championships next year. Bernie wasn’t able to recoup from the previous day’s misfortunes, but we hope he will stay with the team and join us as a manager and caller. He is also eligible to compete in the two-day Open F5D contest just prior to the four-day world championships.
n the big picture we all know F5D is a small piece of the pylon racing pie, but F5D planes are as fast as the fastest in the other pylon racing classes and are powered by electric motors for those who enjoy that aspect.
Click the pic for the good news. . .
Maybe this will help. . .
Wow! What a September!
We broke numerous heat records and also a rain record that had stood since 1906. When we saw the rain predictions we were hoping a good wetting down would firm up the west end of the runway until the next scheduled maintenance. It came out looking great (only a few footprints) and will easily get us to the next scheduled day with the water truck / industrial roller.
I mentioned a couple of things at the last club meeting, but wanted to throw them into the newsletter for those that do not always make the meetings at the field: We are starting our search for the image we will put on the 2016 badges. If you have a really great shot of planes or people at our site please e-mail them to me firstname.lastname@example.org. The board will select 10 finalists around the end of October – and our membership coordinator, Isabel Guidice, will make the final selection. Also, I mentioned the support we have received from John Weaver, Owner of Discount Hobby Warehouse. For the last couple of years John has never batted an eye when we ask him to help with prizes or gift certificates in support of our events or raffles. He usually discounts us at least 20% off or better. When you are in his store and happen to run into him, please give him some personal feedback. I know he enjoys a “thanks” from time to time. Since I know his support for us comes right out of his pocket, I tell him thanks every time I see him!
A couple of things seem to recur no matter how many times we mention them, so they still need mentioning… 1. We had more reports from people on the cement footpath of multi-rotor aircraft flying over their heads. Our boundaries are 100 feet from the footpath/road. If you are over the dirt path, you are too close. Also a few people reported being buzzed at less than 10 feet while walking out to recover downed aircraft. Remember, we need to stay farther than 25 feet from any living things while in flight. These incidents have an immediate effect on the people who share Mission Bay Park with us, and if they do not stop ( NOW! ) it could ultimately lead to a vote to ban multi-rotors and FPV flight at our club. 2. The Flight Pattern should match the takeoff / landing pattern that is determined by the prevailing wind. Our pattern is normally right to left over the runway, into the wind – and left to right over the field for the downwind leg. If all pilots observe this it greatly reduces the chance for head on collisions. If there is no wind ( rare ) the pattern stays right to left, and if the wind comes from the east – then we shift left to right. A few members continuously fly exactly opposite, and some ONLY fly over the runway-both ways. If you are the only pilot in the air, this is not an issue – but why should everyone else have to dodge you? 3. There were a couple more crashes into the pits and a vehicle damaged this month. No blood, but a lot of surprise since in all of the incidents I heard about, no warnings were called out. If you do not have solid control of your aircraft and it comes over the fence line, YOU (yes YOU) MUST shout “HEADS UP!” to warn members and give them a chance to avoid possible injury.
We had a great time on Jet Day! Only 13 pilots actually flew, so the odds of winning a gift certificate were really good. (3) $25 gift certificates were awarded for best military, best civilian, and pilots’ choice. Each person that flew a jet was given a raffle ticket for the last certificate. Thanks to Jojo who won the RTF Jet (donated by Vince). Jojo gave the jet to a young member who had it flying the next day. I had no chance of winning anything, but no one complained that I was flying a prop-jet instead of a ducted fan. Paul and Tony made the dash to COSTCO to get the foot long dogs and made it back just as the club meeting ended. Thank you!
The board spoke in depth about our past experiences with Barter Day at our field. We agreed that is not in our best interest to continue this event. It could be perceived as holding a swap meet, which would not present well to the city. That being said, the last swap meet event in the county will be held by the Weed Whacker club in Lakeside at Cactus Park on November 7th.
Jim has been managing the electro-glide contest for the last 7 years. He is ready for a break. He has asked at numerous events that the participants either take turns running the event monthly, or have each person take a year to spread it around. Sadly, no one has stepped up to bat. If no one volunteers to run with this by the end of November this will be our last year. It sucks to let it go after 18 years, but I am not going to ask Jim to do it next year, if there is not enough interest in the current group to keep it going…
We are still getting a couple more new members each month that are paying for the rest of this year. Sorry, we do not pro-rate membership. It will be easier if you think about it this way: the other clubs in our area charge $15-$50 bucks a month anyways – so $45 dollars to finish off 2015 at our great site isn’t as bad as it sounds outright. While talking about membership, I know most of you purchased your 2016 AMA membership before the price increase on the 15th. Please DO NOT attempt to renew your SEFSD membership now. Our system is not set up to process next year and then there will be a hassle refunding you. Please wait until you receive the e-mail blast letting you know we are ready for 2016. Also, we are no longer accepting 2-year memberships. One year only starting 2016. Our antiquated system can only do one year at a time and it is difficult to manually track anything out of the ordinary. If you paid for 2 years last year, Isabel will process your payment.
Our holiday banquet committee has finalized our plans for the end of year banquet. Not to steal their Thunder, I will let them make the announcement at the club meeting on the 26th, Should be a great time for all.
This month’s event will be scale day on the 26th. If it looks like a real plane, and you can fly it like a real plane, Bring it!!! The event will start at 10:00 and the meeting will run between 11:30 and noon followed by freshly cooked dogs, chips, and liquid refreshment.
It should be another warm one, Hope to see you there!
By Scott FUller
Attendees: Paul, Scott, Dennis B, Quan, Jim, Brad, George
– Barter day being canceled indefinitely. Sales permit costs $1200.
After two or three over-corrections the Little Champ crashed into the ground, under full power, much to the disappointment of the young man. With its nose crushed and wings dinged the little boy was undeterred. Full power and off into the air again! The Little Champ staggered into the air with all its heart, and with over correction and mis-control once again. Too soon, it was once again nose down into the dirt under full power. Over and over again, the young man would launch the Little Champ into the sky and little by little would fly just a bit longer with each flight. Over and over the determined young man would launch the Little Champ and over and over the Little Champ would “power on” into the air.
As the young aviator’s confidence grew, he became more brave and sure in his aeronautical endeavors until one day, in the blowing winds of a bright Romona afternoon, he launched the Little Champ for one last fateful flight. Under full power, the Little Champ struggled to maintain control as the winds started getting rough. But in the end, the Little Champ was tossed, never to be seen by the young boy again. The mighty Champ would be lost.
The Little Champ was blown and buffeted by the mighty winds. Over and over again it was tossed. The Little Champ set ground in an uncharted Romona field with no one to see it’s final flight.
The Little Champ was crumpled and crushed. The days became weeks, the weeks became months as the years went by in the harsh Romona sun. As the sun bleached the Little Champ he thought about the days of “face plants” and how they did not seem so bad now. The moments of soaring through the air were, well, a little more sweet as the sun bore down so relentlessly.
Fast forward to the present.
A gentleman was tending his property and stumbled upon the broken and faded remains of a little model airplane.
He saw that this was a pretty darn cool modern R/C model airplane and gently picked it up and took it home. In the late hours of the evening he looked upon the broken and faded wings of the Little Champ and decided that this little plane should be given a better home. This is where the story gets fuzzy, as a friend of a friend, or a friend’s friend gave it to my father because he has a full scale Aeronca 7AC. Anyhow, my father gave it to me because I fly R/C.
I now had this broken (wings folded, nose crushed, stabilizer folded, sun bleached, prop split) Little Champ in my possession. (Let’s be real, you have to pull for the underdog.) And so, I found a random battery in my pile of stuff and after a new binding sequence, lo-and-behold, the Little Champ woke up, wiggled its tail feathers and revved its motor happy to be alive once more.
The Little Champ that could!
I have straightened, patched, and repaired everything I can. The Little Champ is beat up and dented, dinged and faded, crushed and twisted. A pretty pathetic looking little survivor. But it now has new spars of carbon fiber and every time I put a charged battery in it, the Little Champ takes off and flies with all its heart just like it did for that little boy with the big eyes so long ago.
We contacted the local RC club “Maui RC Modelers” got the wheels turning to take care of the necessary details. The club flies off a old WW2 Maine training field that is now shared with race cars and motor cycles. The club members were very helpful in all aspects of making the event happen–including getting city permits and even having breakfast in the early morning for the fliers/helpers and organizers!
It turns out that getting to Maui is now easier than ever—Alaska Airlines flies daily nonstop flights from San Diego! What could be easier. Even hauling models is pretty easy—just get a “Sport Tube” which is normally used to haul show skies around the country—airline people see them all the time and don’t ask many questions! In this case someone taking a ski container to Maui in August did not raise any questions.
The event was run over 3 days in August starting the 28th. Two full rounds were flown each day with daily flight schedule being done by noon—why stop so early you ask? It’s easy–so people could go enjoy the many attractions to be found on Maui.
Several Club members from SEFSD including Steve and Michelle Manganelli and Wayne Walker made the trip to run the event. Steve was the CD and Michelle spent hours out in the hot sun pressing the button at the base “B” turn. Wayne helped keep the timing equipment setup going back in the pit area.
This year the Japanese team came very well prepared—in practice flights on Thursday before the start of the contest they put the fear of god into us when they posted a 54 lap distance run while we were getting 48 laps! The weather that day was perfect–thermals and very light winds—-but things would start to change. A hurricane was making i’t run near Hawaii and as the contest progressed the winds did change(much stronger)—-and as it turns out towards our favor.The Japanese planes were very light which was ideal for the light wind conditions—our planes on the other hand were fitted with much heavier motors. As the conditions became tougher the favor moved to the heavier models.
In the end the US took 1st and 3rd places with Japan in second place. The RC groups web site has a thread with more pictures and scores: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2358411
After the contest most people played tourist and just enjoyed Maui.
On behalf of all San Diego modelers, I wish Don a big Happy Birthday!! A pillar of model aviation in San Diego, Don Madison reached his 90th this month. Please check out this video from a previous article where he talks with Larry Himmel about his live-in model airplane museum.
The “Cornfield Bomber” was a Convair F-106 Delta Dart, operated by the 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of the United States Air Force, that made an unpiloted landing in a farmer’s field in Montana, suffering only minor damage, after the pilot had ejected from the aircraft. The aircraft, recovered and repaired, was returned to service, and is currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
This in meant as humor only. SEFSD does not advocate the use of ammunition.
The day Ian and Brad took a shock under the tent from a very close lightning strike.
First time I ever saw Brads eyes OUTSIDE his sunglasses 😉
Happy August everyone! And boy did it turn out to be a warm one… I was glad to see a large number of people with coolers, or toting around jugs of water this month to stay hydrated. The smell of sunscreen was in the air. Also, I noted that quite a few of you are setting your extinguishers out on the tables to provide a quick response if needed. Thank you for your vigilance!
A couple of things happened this month that I would like to talk about. A few members reported seeing planes actually above the intersection of Friars Road and Sea World Drive as they were on final approach for landing. Since one of the reported offenders was myself ( EEEK! ), I would like to tell those of us with larger planes or jets to think about their approaches and come in a bit tighter and lower to keep us at least 100 feet from the road. This goes for multi-rotors and helicopters too. Some of the FPV guys have been getting closer to the footpath than is desirable.
During this month’s electro-glide contest one of our pilots lost radio control of his glider and it continued straight (motor off) until it landed hard in the boat dock parking lot. The plane was pretty much destroyed, but no damage to people or property. As the pilot was recovering his plane a couple of bystanders (not injured) approached him claiming hurt feelings, and stated that an apology was not good enough. Not sure exactly what they were looking for, the pilot apologized again and returned to the field. This escalated into the bystanders calling the police with some wild claims that included our member starting a verbal altercation. This seems to have been resolved after a conversation between the Ranger, the pilot, and Bob Stinson in which the pilot reported the facts. Where I am going with this is to mention that if you are approached by anyone that is worked up or upset about our hobby or our site, it may not be a bad idea to start a recording on your phone or even take a few pictures if there is a possibility of questions later. A little bit of evidence goes a long way towards calming situations caused when people attempt to escalate a minor issue into a major confrontation…
This year we have been trying to incorporate more fun events that expose members to different aspects of the hobby. Along with having a different event each month on meeting days and the long running electroglide, we have added Popwing racing, F5B/F5D practice and racing, and a quarterly FPV race. Most of these events occur on a Saturday and are designed to start between 9:30 and 10:00 AM, and finish before noon to allow plenty of time for open flying before and after the event. We have received some amazing feedback from a lot of members that these events allow them to push their limits and become better pilots. There is always a HOWEVER… I have received some emails, and been approached by some members at the field that tell me (very rudely on an occasion or two) the wing racing ruins their lives, or that getting there early to fly before an electroglide is costing them their marriage, or that Multi-rotors are the DEVIL!! Each time I hear that ambiguous “ OTHERS” feel the same way. Please understand that with a large group of individuals it is impossible to make everyone happy all of the time. We are an open club, and we try to make it enjoyable for everyone, and right now it sounds like the majority IS having fun, but if our fun fly events are really destroying you, and your “others” are real people that want to be named – we want to hear about it. Instead of accosting me on the weekends, or sending me e-mails that tend to ruin my week, Jim has accepted the responsibility to receive e-mails from members that feel we are ruining their lives, marriages, or disrespecting them in general. SEFSDPres@gmail.com. He will answer judiciously or bring your concerns to the entire board if a vote or action is required.
Flip side to that, If a group of you wants to propose an event, either to add to our monthly fun-fly events for next year, or as a monthly/quarterly event, please let us know – We are always looking for ways to make the club more fun! If you want to do an event of your own, come up with a plan and present it to the BOD at least 30 days prior to the event and if we agree, we will put it on the schedule.
Even though I tend to ramble in my monthly newsletter submissions and take up space, Steve Belknap – our club Editor, is always looking for articles or neat stuff to include in the newsletter. If you have an interesting build going on, a wild or difficult electric conversion, or just saw something neat (aviation related) on the internet – feel free to send your submissions to email@example.com before the third Wednesday each month . If your submission is in good taste (sorry Dave…) he will add it to the newsletter. If you have some good shots of your aircraft, send them in also for inclusion in the clubs photo gallery – or post them on the clubs facebook page.
I would like everyone to throw out a “Thank You” when you have a chance to our holiday banquet committee that has been working diligently to bring us a great year end event. The committee is comprised of Bob Stinson, Quan (20) Nguyen, Randy (flyaway) Wynant, and Amy Blackhurst. This is in no way an easy task, and I really look forward to their event!
In closing, I would like to invite all of you to this weekend’s monthly event on the 22nd. Open flying until 10:00 A.M., then we will kick off Jet day. If it looks like a jet- BRING IT and FLY IT!! I anticipate the event to finish before noon. There will be prizes for Best Military jet, Best Civilian jet, Pilots choice, and everyone that actually flies a jet will get a raffle ticket for a prize.
Upon conclusion of Jet day, we will have a brief club meeting followed by foot long Costco Beef hot dogs (Thanks Paul!!) and open flying for the rest of the day.
Hope you all finish off the month with good times and safe flying!
Aug club meeting
Jim, Scott, Quan, Bob, Dennis, Paul, Brad, George
It will probably take minds greater than mine to figure out how to do this properly. I suggest we contact the news media next time we have a drone event and make a big deal about how we, and others, use drones responsibly. Make it a “media education day”. The news folks have no clue what is good and bad drone pilot behavior. Let them know that we strongly advocate the proper use of our hobby drones. The media needs to understand, and hopefully report, that drones over fires that block water bombers are not flown by the same species as us. We need to strongly condemn those activities.
I know we have some drone activity rules on our website but we can make a bigger deal out of it. We can modify the website to make these rules more obvious. As a club we can create some guidelines for drone modelers, member or not. We could contact anyone selling drones and ask them to add a sheet of our guidelines to all drone sales.
Of course there is social media that can be exploited for this purpose. Those familiar with those outlets should have some ideas.
If we do not become a loud voice for the responsible drone hobbyist then who will? We have a chance to help steer the narrative regarding future drone legislation. If we do not, then someone else will and probably not in our favor. I feel it is time to start the discussion about what we can do. I know a lot of folks will have a some great ideas where to take this.
One might think this is within the purview of the AMA. I think it probably is ultimately. Unfortunately the AMA seems to be heavily involved with other, larger, matters regarding the FAA rule making. Lets help them as well with our expertise and proactive attitude. We should keep the AMA involved/informed about all our efforts.
Many in our area sell drones. I would think this would be a positive step towards securing the future market for drones and avoiding any unwanted legislation. I call on the leadership of SEFSD and other local leaders in the industry to start the discussion about how we can begin to reshape the negative perception of “Drones in the News”.
(This is not meant as criticism. Our president and others have already done a lot of great work in this direction. I hope a discussion can be started to see what more can be done. Hopefully it will involve, at least, club leaders, industry proprietors and the AMA.)
Responses so far:
“In general I think it is a very good idea to promote “drones” as well as model flying in general in a positive light when ever possible. I think that in our case with the proximity to Lindberg field some caution is in order so as to not generate too much interest from the FAA tower people or city for that matter. I think it would make sense to try and contact members of the media before holding a event and brief them as to what we do and how we are different from the people that are out interfering with fire fighting efforts so as to try and guide the message somewhat.
What we don’t need is a 6pm news story about a “hot bed of drone activity” less than 2 miles from Lindberg field.
“At the same time it’d behoove us to provide a facility, where some of these potential members can learn about the AMA and safe operation of their toy. Some of our members are already doing outreach through some of the drone user groups. Such as the San Diego DUG Meetup. Granted some of those pilots are flying up north..
Another challenge right now is the FAA / AMA legal battle. This has placed many clubs, including ours, in the middle.
To Steve Neu’s point.. We don’t want a “More news at 10!” moment at the field. At the same time we don’t want a “Drone launched from Fiesta Island takes down News Chopper 11!” moment as well. It’s a fine line to walk.
“I appreciate your inputs and will definitely join Scott in this discussion at the next BOD meeting.
We have already been doing outreach events with regards to the media and community.
For international drone day at our field in march we invited local media and had 3 news trucks running spots on what we were doing locally and I think I heard the words ” educate the public” come out of Jim’s mouth at least 100 times that day.
I am completely open to suggestions if anyone has recommendations.
Hello fellow flyers!
I would like to open this month’s letter with a note on how successful our Independence Day event at the field was. We had a pretty good turn-out of club members and guests. Some came early, left, then returned later for the fireworks, Some stayed all day and watched fireworks. The weather was perfect, and the winds cooperated by coming straight down the runway at less than 10 MPH! I would like to spotlight and thank 3 people that really went out of their way to make it a great event. Rich Bonnardel did an amazing job at controlling access to our site at the gate. He probably covered 8-10 miles walking back and forth to let members without keys in/out while keeping non-members out (not an easy task!). Randy Wynant and Jim Bonnardel also went out of their way to bring in 2 LARGE gas BBQ grills and lit them up for a couple of hours for anyone to use. The late afternoon raffle went well, and the winners that were not present were contacted within the following week and notified that they had won. It was a great day – I would like to thank all that participated.
In the area of field maintenance I would also like to say THANK YOU to Dennis LaBerge for weed whacking the foliage that was creeping over the entire northern border of the runway, and Chief Griffin for his constant efforts with weed killer on the runway and the pit area. Jim had planned to sweep/soak/and roll out the field this past week, but it looks as if the “MONSOON” took care of that for us. We will keep an eye on conditions as we move into August.
Even with the recent rain, the scrub area surrounding our field is getting bone dry. I have noticed quite a few of you grabbing extinguishers before walking out to impact sites (major or minor). I appreciate your vigilance.
One thing I need to mention this month: If you bring guests or children to the site, please make sure they are courteous and follow basic rules: no burning donuts in the parking area, no throwing rocks in the parking lot or pit area, and no running/riding bikes in the pit area, and please do not mess up the porta-potty.
The rangers were accommodating and put up 2 more signs by the foot path intending to warn pedestrians of low flying aircraft if they chose to cross the field at our site. Nice to have them, but it doesn’t seem to slow people down. Please don’t buzz the pedestrians or their pets with your planes/multirotors. Part of the reason we have kept our site at this prime location is the general feeling by the city that we promote goodwill through a family oriented type of hobby – and it would be a shame if we change that perception.
On the safety side of things I need to mention again the need to announce your take-offs, landings, and intentions to cross the field in a voice that carries more than 3 feet. When you announce, it is still YOUR responsibility to turn your head and verify the pattern is clear before doing these actions. There were a few close calls last weekend where a member consistently told his buddy flying with him at the same gate that he was stepping out on the field and just stepped out in front of someone that was taking off – then a few minutes later stepped out in front of a plane landing…
This month’s event is the Bomb drop on the 25th. I encourage all of you to give it a shot. It’s a fun competition and Jim has a few prizes set up those who get the most points. Following the bomb drop will be the monthly club meeting and Lunch brought in by Julie Bonnardel.
Have a great and SAFE month!
By Bob Stinson,
In 1965, the Canadians designed and flew a tilt-wing VTOL airplane, designated the CL-84 Dynavert. Although it was generally successful, it never became operational. It showed promise in Search and Rescue, and could carry ordnance, but advances in jet and helicopter technology eliminated the niche it filled. Vertical, transitional and forward flight were all controlled manually; computer controlled, fly-by-wire flight still being a thing of the future. In 1973, the last one was grounded.
It flies again, albeit in model form, thanks to the advances in our radio control hobby! Unique RC, a company in China, has produced an electric powered version that takes advantage of multirotor and fixed wing stabilization technology. In hover mode, the main wing and motors are tilted vertically, and produce lift. A third motor, mounted in the rear, provides pitch and yaw control by changing rpm, and twisting side to side. In the multirotor world, this is called a “3Y” configuration. Flipping the transmitter’s gear switch rotates the wing to a horizontal position. The balance control board then changes to a fixed wing mode. The rear motor shuts down, ailerons and elevator become active, and the craft becomes a standard airplane. Landing reverses the shift, bringing the plane to a hover for a vertical descent.
The Dynavert runs on a 4S 2200mah battery, using a 6-channel radio system, and can fly around 4 minutes on a pack, more if you want to take a chance on running out of juice during your landing hover! How well does it fly? The fact that it flies at all is a wonder! Hover mode is like a slightly sloppy multirotor, and forward flight is very stable, thanks to the balance board. Transition is very controllable. However, the board won’t allow rolls and loops. This is a fantastic period in our hobby, a real golden age. Ten years ago, you couldn’t have flown a plane like this, for any amount of money. Here’s a link to some video we took recently.
Photos and Video by Vince G.
On 23 June 2015 we put to rest Donald Gulihur Command Master Chief USN Ret. Not many of you knew him, but many of you benefited by his generous donations to the SEFSD . Don would give me items to sell and I know members of the SEFSD are flying some of his aircraft. He was also an AMA District 10 Associate Vice President for many years. In his later years, unable to attend or fly in events at Miramar or Mission Bay, he would always be there to lend moral and financial support. When Toys for Tots came each December and members were asked to donate a $10 toy, Don would arrive with TWO BRAND NEW BIKES for the kids! Such was his generous nature……..He will be sorely missed. “Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate”