Daily Archives: June 23, 2016

6 posts

Brad’s Corner for June/July 2016

Brad MambaHey Folks!!!
I would like to start off this month’s note with a few safety concerns. First, there was a report of a couple of rattlesnakes spotted at the edge of the runway. Please be vigilant and keep an eye out when going into the rough area. The weeds are pretty tall and the recent heat wave has dried them out so they have a texture approaching barbed wire. Trying to do a controlled landing out there can be detrimental to your aircraft, and walking out there in shorts can be a bit painful. Mentioning the tall weeds allows me to segue into a mention of fire safety. With the brush fires in the area lately, you can imagine what will happen if an accident gets out of control… I will once again be handing out 10-11 fire extinguishers to new members on a first come first served basis at the club meeting on the 25th. These are for people that have a pretty steady presence at the field, and will be willing to grab the extinguisher and go into the field after a major crash, whether it is theirs or not. Along with taking one of the extinguishers, I will ask that if the member uses it to extinguish a fire – they replace it themselves.  The idea is to always have a few on hand every day of the week. Finally, with temps at the field hitting the high 80’s this past week, please ensure you bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. Please do not count on the generosity of others to give you water, plan ahead!
We had a pretty good month of flying which sadly saw the demise of some nice aircraft. Please give others the courtesy of letting them assemble their aircraft before engaging them in conversations or asking for help with your own project. One moment of distraction can result in servos being plugged in incorrectly, left unplugged completely, taking off with the wrong model selected, or a plane lifting off with the wing bolts still in the tool box. Another thing I saw this month that could have resulted in unplanned landings is people looking at and unintentionally re-arranging other people’s batteries on the tables. A couple of times discharged batteries were felt for heat and then set in the charged pile… One thing I practice before EVERY flight is to hook up a battery checker on every battery immediately before putting it in the plane. If it leaves my sight, I will check it again before plugging in.
I am going to put out a general call to members to LOCK THE GATE if you are the last one out. Part of our agreement with the City is that we will control access to our site and secure it when we are not present. It is pretty easy to see the multiple places people have been spinning donuts in the parking lot recently. It is only a matter of time before someone rolls in while the site is unoccupied and tears up the runway or the rotorplex area. We have had chairs stolen and tables vandalized, and I am asking each of you to think of our field as an extension of your back yard. Do you leave it open so others can come in and trash it? So to clear up some confusion on some of the responses I get when asking people to lock the gate:  If someone leaves there car unattended all day and is not around when the last person leaves, lock them in. The ranger has a key and can let them out if need be. Not having a key yourself is not a reason to leave the gate open. If you need a key let me know and I will meet you at the field the following weekend. If you are getting ready to leave for the day and there are spectators in the lot, please ask them to leave so you can lock the gate.
Thanks to those of you who answered the call and brought your older lawn furniture and donated chairs to the club! We could use about a dozen more, so if you have some you no longer need, we would appreciate it! On that note, the chairs at the field are generally well used and it does them no good to lean back in them so far the front legs are 18 inches off the ground.  DAVE – nuff said…
Let me also ask people not to post for sale items on the porta potty. It simply presents a trashy appearance. Paul and Steve put in the time to re-vamp the for sale by members section accessible on the left side of the clubs web page, so feel free to post your items for sale there.
Gearing up for the 4th of July, it should be a great day to hang out, get fed, and maybe win a prize! We are promoting the 4th as a gate closed event for members, family, and close friends. As most of you know, we are positioned for a front row seat to the SeaWorld fireworks show, and also have quick access to Old SeaWorld Dr. by passing through the stoplight instead of turning. A left turn will then take you to Friars road (go carefully – there is a SHARP turn at the end) where you turn right to hook up with HWY 8 around mission valley/Qualcomm. You avoid nearly all of the post firework traffic. Earlier in the day, there will be open flying with a catered BB lunch for members and immediate family. Jim had an e-mail blast sent out a couple of weeks ago with a link to register for lunch. He will send it again. Please register if you plan to be there so we can order the correct amount of food.  Like last year, you can invite friends, but we will not be providing lunch for them.  Paul has taken over the duties as raffle master and has purchased some great prizes and a couple of gift certificates provided to the club at a great price by John at Discount Hobby Warehouse. (Please thank John for his ongoing support when you see him next!). The Raffle will follow lunch and you must be present to win, so come down for lunch and maybe a prize!

  I still need someone step up and assist with the gate… The last time the gate was uncontrolled, we had someone swing around the logs and park his RV on the runway for the show…  I would like to see a couple of people who would be willing to cycle at the gate between 5 and 10 PM.  Also, PLEASE close the gate upon entering or exiting – attempt to keep people from slipping by – but not to the point of getting in trouble…
Membership is nearly at 400, so we are still on track to bypass the numbers we had last year. Again, I would like to thank YOU for welcoming new people to the club, and your willingness to recommend the right stuff to allow the newbies to see success and enjoy our hobby. A special shout out to John Forrester for his continued efforts in making sure new people have a proper foundation for success as they start out. I still listen-in periodically as he is giving instruction, and his points are valid. Again, keep wearing your badges at the site, and don’t be upset if you are not wearing it and Countersomeone asks to see it. We have had non-members show up at the club demanding to fly without membership and/or AMA membership in the premise that we are on city property. I like to tell them that we, like SeaWorld do lease the property from the city. Just like SeaWorld, people cannot just come in and do whatever they please.  Politely ask them to leave after telling them how easy it is to get a membership.
No death defying antics from Skip #1 this month, so in lieu of harrowing tales I want to show you a photo of one of Steve Neu’s planes. It has dual propellers which are counter rotating. If you see (Hear) it at the field, take a few minutes to ask him (Sorry Steve!) about it and what the benefits are of that system.
In Closing, I would like to remind everyone that our spot landing fun fly will be on the menu this Saturday. This is an extremely fun event, and anyone that can take off and land should have a chance at $150.00 in prize money. The fun fly will start at 10:00AM and will be followed by the monthly club meeting and a hot dog lunch.

Have a great month!

June 2016 Safety Officer’s Report

The summer is upon us! We kicked it off with a scorching hot weekend. Please remember to drink lots of water and stay hydrated on the field. Our club has been very successful, and that means a busy airspace, especially on weekends. As such, I would like to remind everyone that flying in a pattern (generally clockwise), within the Flying Area as defined by the signs on the fence, and below 400 ft is mandatory. There is a busy pedestrian sidewalk just beyond the palm trees, so it’s very important that we do not fly past the line of palm trees. We’ve updated our maps last year to remove the Soaring Area per the park ranger’s request that we do not fly over the water. Loitering on the northwest area of our airspace is likely to take you out of bounds, and possibly over people. If you see someone not in compliance, wait for them to land if possible, and politely remind them of the rules. If you witnessed the problem and I didn’t, then you are in a better position to talk to them than I am. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching them alone, flag me down, and we’ll talk to them together. When everyone follows the rules, it creates a safe and comfortable airspace everyone can enjoy.



Electroglide Report for June 2016

It was a sunny morning for the Electroglide competition this month. No June gloom, just blue skies. We did, however, have some wind. At 9:00 a.m., Lindbergh Field was reporting 8 mph winds coming from the north. By the 9:30 launch time, the winds were shifting to the west and approaching 10 mph.

 On the first launch, we had eight pilots start, but Fred and Scott had to drop out due to problems with their aircraft.  All remaining aircraft being flown were Radians.  Vince and Tom were able to find the lift to the west of the field. Vince stayed up for 8:53 and scored a 20 pt. bonus landing. Tom had a duration of 7:10 aloft and picked up a 10 pt. landing.

 The second launch was into a north west breeze. It blew all the lift away that Vince and Tom had made such good use of in the first round.  On my way back to the landing zone with the timer approaching 4 minutes, I found some ridge lift just east of the boat launch area. It was a nice little bump that turned my short flight into a pleasure of 7:08 duration.  Hitting a 20 pt. landing bonus was the cherry on top.  I should also mention that all pilots in the second launch scored bonus landing points, all of us.  Has that been done before?

 The third launch was into tricky wind and flight times were on the short side. New member Bryan Respess got the longest flight of 5:22. The rest of us were well below that. Only myself and Roger were able to hit the bonus circles on landing.

 The fourth and final launch saw conditions not much better, with flight times under six minutes. Roger got the Lucky Dog award for a 47 second flight, but landed center circle for 30 bonus points. Nice save Roger.   Again though, only two pilots scored a landing bonus. Vince being the other with a 20 pt.

 Winners for June: Vince Gonsowski came in first with 175 points, I managed second place with 170 and Tom Erickson came third with 143 points.
Mark your calendars for the next Electroglide, July 16th.

See you there,
Jeff Struthers

AMA Drone Zones

Drone Zones


Hello, AMA club officers!


AMA is pleased to announce a new initiative to make city and town officials aware of AMA clubs and members in their communities. The program will show community leaders how partnering with an AMA club can help resolve concerns that they might have about model aircraft and drones.

With all of the publicity about drones invading airspace and threatening air travel safety, cities and towns are looking to create local laws and ordinances that could restrict or outlaw model aircraft activity. Although local government may be trying to ensure the safety of its constituents, poorly written laws often create unintended problems for modelers.


AMA feels that a better approach is to advise local cities and towns to work with AMA clubs to create model flying sites, or “drone zones.” We use the word drone because it is the buzzword that is being used by government officials.


By creating an AMA flying site, local leaders can point to a safe place for model activity, including the flying of multirotors. As most of us know, if someone is flying a model aircraft (especially a multirotor) and is asked by a police officer to stop, he or she will likely find another place to fly. It would be better if the police officer could point him or her to a flying site where the activity is allowed.


This is much like what happened with skateboarding. Skate parks were created in communities so that the activity could be done safely, in dedicated locations. Creating drone zones can be the answer to a similar concern with multirotors, especially when AMA clubs work with cities and towns to create such spaces and help teach safe flying.


AMA Headquarters will be sending information in the next few days to thousands of cities and towns across the country. In this information, municipalities will be asked to contact AMA Headquarters. AMA will assist these community officials and we may contact you about this happening in your area. We hope that you will be willing to help. If you are already working with your local city or town government officials, they might contact you directly.


Check out the postcard we are mailing below.


Drone Postcard


We will also follow up with the municipalities through email.


If you have any questions, please contact Tony Stillman at AMA Headquarters at (800) 435-9262, ext. 230, or by email at: FSAC@modelaircraft.org.


Thank you for supporting AMA and model aviation in this effort!




Tony Stillman
Flying Site Assistance Coordinator


FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule



Dear Members,


We are pleased to share that today the FAA released its final rule for small UAS, which will apply to commercial and civil operations. We believe these rules will be highly beneficial to the UAS industry overall and look forward to seeing widespread commercial and civil operations of unmanned aircraft take flight.


It is important to understand that the final small UAS rule does not change model aircraft operations for AMA members. In fact, the rule affirms Congress’ intent in the Special Rule for Model Aircraft that the FAA not promulgate any additional regulations on our community. We are very pleased that the rule helps to maintain this exemption for model aircraft.


For more on the FAA’s final small UAS rule, we encourage you to read this USA Today story, “FAA completes landmark rules for commercial drones,” which includes a mention of AMA’s analysis of UAS sightings released earlier this month.


We also wanted to share on update on our work with Congress to strengthen and improve the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in the next FAA reauthorization bill.

As you may remember, the Senate version of the FAA reauthorization bill includes language that could be problematic to our members who have been flying safely and responsibly for decades.  As of today, the entire legislative process has stalled and we have learned that Congress may delay the legislative process further by extending the current 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act for a third time. 


Congress is expected to make a determination and finalize plans for an extension in the coming weeks before the July 15th deadline. If an extension is passed, hobbyists can continue to operate as they do now, under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft passed in 2012. 


Thank you for your continued support of AMA. We will continue to be engaged in the process and share updates as they become available.

Kind regards,


AMA Government Affairs Team