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Daily Archives: May 26, 2016

8 posts

Brad’s Corner for May/June 2016

Drone DayHOLY COW!
 International Drone Day was a major success! For those that missed out, there are some amazing photos on the web site as well as the facebook page. Not only did we successfully host the largest event in the country, we had a great time doing it! We had 3 separate multi-rotor/drone events going on at the same time and things went off like clockwork. We had a full day of FPV racing at the rotorplex, the AMA UAS4STEM search and rescue group on the east end of the runway, and our Multi-rotor Fun Fly event at the west end.  I deeply appreciate the hard work that went in to coordinating and executing this event flawlessly. A BIG Thank you to our President, Jim Bonnardel for all of the effort he personally (and nearly single-handedly) put into making us shine!

Quite a few members also spent the day helping us out and I would like to thank them.  First off, our Parking lot coordinators: Brad Alix, Carl Cox, Tony Blackhurst, and Eric Shapiro.  We had over 300 vehicles on site at one point. They really kept things organized and under control. Keeping tabs on the FPV Racing was  Scott Fuller and George Robello. Next I would like to thank Julie Bonnardel, Quan Nguyen, Richard Bonnardel and David Story for stepping up to keep the youngsters from the UAS4STEM team on track.


Also keeping an eye on overall safety during the event – thank you to Quan Nguyen and Eric Shapiro.  Lunch was paid for by Sohn Systems and was prepared and served up by Dennis Benitez, and Eric Shapiro. Thanks Steve Belknap and Randy Wynant for taking many quality photo’s and videos documenting our activities, and a big thanks to Paul Guidice and Scott Fuller for running the raffle with an iron fist. Thanks Julie Njaa for coordinating shirt sales and preorder pickup. Julie also coordinated the printing and acquisition of all of the event banners and signs, and personally manufactured many of the prizes and trophy’s. Finishing up with the fun fly activities was myself and Jim Bonnardel. At the end of the day, Carl Cox and Randy Wynant stayed until almost dusk helping me take down and stow pop-ups and get all of the trash centralized for removal.  Again a big thanks to those folks that stepped up instead of stepping back, You really make it a pleasure to be in this club!!


I am going to go back and mention the raffle. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors in giving us deeply discounted prices, Donating prize items and some cash donations, our raffle provided us with enough income to outright pay for the sweet lap timing system for the FPV course as well as set us up with the funds to have a great holiday banquet again this year! A shout out to the sponsors – if you see them and or buy from them, please pass on your thanks for supporting our club events: Aerial Mob, Go Professional Cases, 5d Robotics, Drones Made Easy, Discount Hobby Warehouse, EZ Drone, Holybro, NewBee Drones, Flying Cinema, Lume Cube and the crew from Flite Test.


—- Don and Christina sent an email of thanks to Jim:
“Subject: National drone day and STEM competition


The Quad Squad is truly grateful for the SD club’s support hosting the STEM competition Saturday.  We realize that the SD Club is unique to our State and a True champion of helping young professionals grow into the technology of modern flight.  We had a great time !  The whole day was awesome, and our team is very inspired.  Thank you again for stepping up to help kids like us.  


The San Benancio Middle School Quad Squad” —-


Moving on to the rest of the month, Mother nature has been very cooperative, and as long as you aren’t afraid of a little breeze – everyone should have had some great flying days. I have seen quite a few new faces at the club, some flying planes, some using the multi-rotor area and would like everyone to welcome them, and just ask them if they have any questions or need a hand. Take a moment and remember when you were shiney and new and not sure who to ask for help… After a couple of recent mid-air collisions, I have again heard people state that they were not aware of any suggested “flight pattern” at our site. Things can get exciting and quite expensive when someone is flying exactly opposite of everyone else!  The preferred pattern at our field is into the wind over the runway to about 50 feet over the weeds, and the downwind 100-300 feet out in the field. With the wind primarily coming from the left, this means right to left over the runway is the pattern 90% of the time. On the rare occasion the wind comes from the right, the pattern shifts 180 degrees.  In a crosswind, stick to the prime pattern and fly right to left over the runway.


I want to have a pre-emptive chat about the 4th of July at our site.  Like the last couple of years, we will be having a closed gate event at our club. If you haven’t seen the fireworks from our field, you have been missing out! Part of having a closed gate – means controlling who comes in the gate… We openly invite club members to bring their families and a few friends, but we attempt to keep the general public away. This is a major member benefit.  Last year, Richie Bonnardel volunteered to spend most of his evening stationed at the gate keeping access under control, and I really appreciate that sacrifice. I won’t count on him to do it this year and am making an open call everyone to CLOSE THE GATE after entering or leaving and for a couple of people to volunteer to switch off for a few hours throughout the evening between 5 and 10 PM. If Richie volunteers, I will accept- but lets spread it around!  Since we raised a good amount of funds from Drone day, we have decided that the club will pay for dinner for members and families on the 4th. Sorry, but if you bring a lot of non family guests, please have them provide for themselves.


Before I close this out I would like to put a call out for chairs at the field. With summer upon us, a lot of you will be replacing the older plastic yard furniture with new stuff. Please bring your old chairs down and we will put them to good use. Quite a few people lean back in the chairs ( DAVE GORDON!)  and those chairs then usually break within that month. Please keep the legs on the ground.

I know this is already a bit lengthy, so will wrap it up… This months fun-fly event on the 28th is “Don’t spill the beans”  Which is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by anyone that can fly a plane. $150.00 in prizes!! This should go from 10:00 to 12:00 and will be followed up by the monthly meeting and hot dogs for lunch.
See you at the field!!


Brad Bender

May Safety Officer’s Report

By Quan Nguyen,


Caution- the first paragraph is more about engineering in schools, so skip to the second paragraph if you’re more interested in the safety report. We had a great International Drone Day this month, and I want to thank everyone who helped out, including Karl, Brad, and Eric for helping direct traffic in the morning. I had the pleasure of helping out with the AMA’s UAS4STEM competition. The event is participated by youths, and designed to encourage students to get their feet wet with engineering. I think it’s critical for all students to have a chance to be exposed to software and electrical engineering. As a practicing engineer, I’ve had to deal with a shortage of engineering talent over the past few years, especially with software engineering. Despite the rising enrollment numbers into engineering programs at universities, it takes more than a four year crash course at a university to become a productive engineer. The earlier students become acquainted with design and software programming concepts, the more ready they will be to enter the workforce when they graduate. There is an insatiable, global demand for this kind of talent, and I think producing high quality, ready-to-be-employed engineers right out of college is the best way to put millennials to work.


Now back to safety. Nothing earth shattering at our field lately. Just a few isolated incidents that were handled by your crack board of directors. Bak brought to my attention an injury he sustained last weekend while flying at another flying site in North County. Apparently, he was hit by a plane that had landed, then blown airborne again by a gust of wind, with the prop spinning. The picture of his injury is too bloody to be shown on this newsletter, so I’ll leave it out (He toughed it out and was flying again the next day). This is just a reminder to be careful and not let that incident happen here at our field.


When you fly on the north edge of the runway, make sure you’re flying in the right direction. 95% of the time, that will be flying Westbound. I was involved in a mid-air not too long ago with Scott’s A6, so I know what happens when I fly in the wrong direction!



Electroglide report for May 21st. 2016

 By Jeff Struthers,


 It was a windy, but beautiful, day to be outside on Saturday. At 8:00 a.m. the sun was peeking out of a broken cloud layer to the east. We had blue sky above the flying field and no marine layer!  

The wind, however, would prove a challenge. At 9:00, Lindbergh Field was reporting westerly winds of 9 mph. By the first launch at 9:30, the westerly wind felt stronger and was straight down our runway. Eight pilots took to the sky with seven Radian’s and one Easy Star. All were quickly batted down by the wind, with the Lucky Dog winner at 1min. 10sec. The longest flight was 2:14. Bob Stinson was the only pilot to score a bonus landing of 20 points.

On the second launch the wind slackened a bit, with pilots powering hard and straight to a good altitude.  Bob Stinson, Scott Vance, Dennis La Berge and Vince Gonsowski were able to make the altitude pay off with times above 4 min. Dennis found some lift with a round winning time of 7:30.  The landings were better too, with Bob, Vince, and Scott all scoring an extra 30 points. Rich Rogers picked up a landing of 20 points.

For the third launch, the wind had picked up causing flight times to drop below 4 minutes. Ground turbulence was starting to be a problem as well, causing two off-field landings. Still, Rich and Jon Graber picked up 30 points on their landings. Scott picked up a 10 point landing.

The fourth and final launch had the same tough and windy conditions. Flight times were all below 4 minutes with only Vince scoring a landing bonus of 10 points. There was one off field landing.   

Winners for the day: 1st place was Vince Gonsowski with 121 points. 2nd place was Bob Stinson with 116 points and third place was Rich Rogers at 113 points.

Thoughts for this tough day: The windy conditions pushed all pilots to fly their best. Landings were a pain and forced pilots to fly ahead of their airplanes to even make the field. Congrats to all of you who managed to get bonus landing points… that was hard.

We can’t do much about the weather, but we can develop our skills to handle the situations we get into. You all showed great piloting skills on Saturday and it was fun to watch it.

Next Electroglide June 18th.



Otto’s Awesome Antics

By Otto III Dieffenbach,


Just finished my Antic Bipe and Antic Monoplane. The Bipe has wheels, a std. Antic top wing and a Spad type nose. The Monoplane fuse uses the top wing, nose and tail from the Bipe and is on Proctor looking floats. I put LEDs along the main spar of all four wing panels. White in the top panels and red and green in the bottom panels.


First flight on the Bipe is Saturday around 9am at Mission Bay SEFSD.


I found the 40+ yr old kit talking with Frank Gagliardi. I had mentioned that since I was 15 I wanted to build an Antic and built a smaller homebrew back in 1968. He went to a storage area and pulled out the Bipe kit, a gift from Lou Proctor just before he pasted. Time passed and I decided to buy it from Frank and he threw in another partial kit he had found at a swap meet. This enabled the second fuselage.


Next stop was Don Madison’s to get some ply for the 2nd fuse. Don handles estate sales for modeler’s widows in the area and just happen to have an Antic on floats bound for a restaurant display. Well, I bought up all his 1/32 ply, traced the floats and now have two Antics after 45 days of work. 



Otto Mono Antic

Otto Antic 1

Otto Antic 2

The Strange History of the Word ‘Drone’


Aviation Week & Space Technology

The Strange History Of The Word ‘Drone’

Nobody likes the word, but is there a better one?

Droning On


The one thing that almost everyone in the world of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can agree on is that they hate the word “drone,” which in their view has become clickbait-speak for a sinister agent of robotic death and destruction. But alternatives range from cumbersome to misleading.

“Drone” spent 60 happy and productive years defining in five letters any crewless air vehicle that was not a missile. Both Aviation News (Aviation Week & Space Technology’s predecessor) and Flight started using the term frequently in late 1945 or early 1946, as if it had been around forever. It seems most likely that the first use of the word in aviation was by U.S. Navy Cmdr. Delmer Fahrney in 1936, when he was directed to develop pilotless target airplanes. The inspiration and pattern for the project was the Royal Navy, whose target aircraft—designed by de Havilland, which had a pattern of double-barreled insect names—was named the Queen Bee.


Winston Churchill inspecting a de Havilland Queen Bee target aircraft. Credit: Imperial War Museum

The first alternative to “drone” that gained official approval was “remotely piloted vehicle” (RPV). It emerged in 1970 in the title of a classified conference organized by the Rand Corp. and U.S. Air Force. An official Rand history says the term was chosen “to sweeten the bitterness of the idea” that pilots would be edged out of critical missions—and the same is true of the “remotely piloted aircraft” term used by the Air Force today. “RPV” burst into public view in the pages of both Aviation Week & Space Technology and Flight International in the summer of 1971 and enjoyed a brief vogue.

But it is neither necessary nor usually desirable for a UAS to be literally “remotely piloted,” and it may often be impossible. Aeromodellers pilot their aircraft by direct control inputs, sending radio commands to control-surface servos, and most early UAS were recovered in the same way. Both crash frequently. With the rising capability and falling cost of inertial reference sensors and automated systems for flight, navigation and vehicle management, UAS are increasingly autonomous with intermittent telecommanded modes.


The CIA and U.S. Air Force tested Lockheed’s Mach 3.5 D-21 “drone.” Credit: AW&ST

“Unmanned air vehicle” appeared in Aviation Week & Space Technology in 1986 and ruled the roost into the 2000s, together with “UAS”—the latter is more comprehensive and embodies the fact that the system is much more than a vehicle. The term was complicated in the mid-1990s by the curious variant “Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle,” which, once again, was intended to imply that the vehicle was not autonomous but did not have a human operator on board.