Daily Archives: August 21, 2015

3 posts

Brad’s Corner for August/September 2015

Big BeastHappy 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 editor@sefsd.org 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!



Meeting Minutes for August ’15

Aug club meeting
Date Aug 7, 2015
Time 7:28 PM ~ 9:15 PM



Jim, Scott, Quan, Bob, Dennis, Paul, Brad, George
– Agreement with Lindberg will be taken up with the AMA
– Bob is still working with the city and parks. Gathering information for the city.
– City owned Porta potty? They exist on Fiesta Island.
– Party planning. Looks like positive info on venues.
– IDRA – Drone racing. Oct 24th, will use the helicopter area. Open to the public. Talk to parks about permit.
– Sign up sheets go to Isabel
– Documented an issue with a member and discussion actions the board wants to take.
– Issues with a selling services at the field. Discussed
– Updated flight instructor list.
– 387 members
– Discussed the budget – Includes race gates, and event costs.

Drones in the News – Open Letter


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.



Steve Neu”



“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.

Steve B,
If you have any ideas on adjustments to the web pages, feel free to fly them past us as I trust your insights. Possibly a change to our mission statement to include promotion of the safe use of drones?


We have already been doing outreach events with regards to the media and community.
on 27 December Jim had 4 local radio stations promoting that if you received a drone for Christmas, feel free to bring it to SEFSD for training and instruction in safe operation.

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.