Daily Archives: January 21, 2021

4 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2021

Guys, let me start 2021 by saying “Thank YOU” to our board of directors! Also, well deserved Thanks to Steve our Editor, and George our membership Coordinator! Thanks for stepping forward to keep our club steady during perilous times.

We face challenges on many fronts: Thanks to everyone for continuing to practice social distancing while on site. I have seen folks keeping distance, and wearing masks when distancing is not possible. While our area qualifies as a safe, outdoor activity – we still need to project compliance with park/county/state Covid guidelines. Also, altitude limits were imposed by the FAA and Air Traffic Control and we were required to sign compliance in December of 2018 to continue operations at SEFSD…  We are 2 years in to the 200 foot limit, and while we don’t have a ruler in the sky and know some folks come close for a few seconds here or there, a few of the members will get some very pointed letters from the board about putting the club at risk by their obvious activities.  Finally, Remote ID. A proposed rule has been disseminated. While it seems likely that non-hobbyist drones in general airspace will require remote ID transponders, it sounds as if we will not have to put transponders in every aircraft that flies at our site under the auspices of Hobby club membership at a recognized FAA Blue Dot club, and membership in a community based organization (AMA). We will still be required to register with the FAA as hobbyists and put our number on each aircraft. A couple of the board members have been digging into the nearly 500 page document – and will give their impressions moving forward. The AMA is involved with fighting for hobbyist rights, and we will get more guidance over the next 30 months. It is in our best interest to keep the club open by following protocols and rules as written.

Membership renewals are moving along well. We changed the combinations at the gate and the portable restroom last week and most people have adapted to the new locks. The combination is on the back of your 2021 membership card.  If you renewed very recently and have not received your card yet, shoot me an email the night before you fly and I will send you the combo. If you have not been to the club since the new locks went on, I recommend you read the club e-mail that was sent on 14 and 18 Jan describing the differences of the new locks. Quite a few non-members have been showing up recently from other clubs. Welcome them, ensure they understand our safety protocols, and inform them that guest privileges are good for up to 3 visits. If they like the site, please join!

Quite a few people have asked me in the last year to let them know when I plan to downsize my RC fleet. I am running out of space so I will be moving 40-50 planes of all sizes and types on to new owners over the next few months. I will offer fair prices to club members before going to the forums for sales. Let me know if you want to be on my mailing list. I will send mails to that group first based on stated interest, ask Steve to put them on the web site for a few weeks, then post to forums.

Have a great month!


Brad with Mamba

President’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2021

Hello and Happy New Year 2021 to all the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego.  I hope all had a great Christmas and New Year.   2020, if we could ever have the most unusual year, I think we can say “2020” was that year when all changed.  COVID – 19 sure, it changed our world. It has taken jobs away from many and our way of life.  Luckily for me, I am one of the fortunate ones able to work from home and have my job.  Unlike many Americans currently with no income, yeah 2020 was some kind of a year.

There is a glimmer of hope, Flying RC Airplanes.  It really takes the stress off your shoulders, as you’re doing a few loops with, perhaps your new airplane that you just made your maiden flight with.  But the best part, taking it home the way you brought it out, in one piece.  Now that creates a huge smile on your face, but who cares, you just had a great flight!   We all had to wait some time before we were able to head back to the field.  During that time, I had some time to complete one of my airplanes, a Cessna 172 Skylane!   This is a TopFlite kit and it’s a real nice airplane to build.  It’s just about ready once I install the ESC, give her a test and away we go.  I have gotten so excited about my Freewing AL37, (Hawaiian Air) (ever since the field reopened) that I have set aside my Cessna…….needless to say I did bring it out to the field on Thanksgiving Day and what a day it was, just perfect San Diego weather.  Oh Ok, my Cessna, she flew very nice in the sky, the colors really look good. 

Freewing, a foamy model airplane company…..a foamy.   To be honest with you I never did think foam airplanes would be as cool, as detailed, fly extremely well and actually take a beating on landings are well, a pretty darn good flying model.   My Hawaiian Air has been a fun airplane to fly, as long as the wind is coming from the west.  Cross winds, forget it, not in that airplane.  And if you don’t believe me then check out how the Big Boys do it in the full-scale aircrafts on You Tube!   Good for me I have a very good co-pilot, when needed!!!  Now I have purchased the Corsair F4U, Birdcage version and man I tell you that is a nice airplane.  Very clean and the detail is amazing.   The Corsair just lifts off the ground in the most graceful way as it gains altitude.   She doesn’t get knocked around when she is flying in the sky and she turns ever so smoothly along the horizon. 

Now that the field has been open for some time more members are starting to come out and it’s good to see!   The club has been able to start some fun events recently and that has been the T-28 Races. Steve Neu has done a great job in getting the races ready and boy these have been a blast to watch.  Got to see some very close races, hey look out for that Frank guy…….  Our November race was one for the books.  Not only did we break a record, but in the wrong direction…Otto had a total of 9 cuts in just one exciting race.  You should have seen Alex, he was slicing up the sky with his tight turns that kept him in the lead.  He had a couple of close calls with the ground in his turns, but was closely followed, he kept his lead until the last turn in which once again got to close to the ground… I know I am looking forward for some of the other events to restart back in 2021 (Electroglide, Spill the beans and Limbo just to name a few), just as soon as this COVID-19 has left the building!!!

It is with deep regret that the Club has to cancel our Holiday Event Party for January.  Once again thanks to COVID.   We hope by next year we will continue our tradition and even make it a better one to make up for the loss of this year!

COVID-19, the best we can do as a club is to continue to use good judgment when you’re at the field.  I have seen many ware masks and also keeping social distant. Thanks and keep up the good work!

So yes, there was a Glimmer of hope last year and we all made it to 2021.  As president of the SEFSD, I hope I can rub off the energy that I have with the enjoyment of flying model airplanes. I look forward to meeting all the Club members and hoping we all can make 2021 better year! No matter the size of your aircraft (as size does matter to some and needing a Blankly to protect it…..no names mentioned here) just have fun in flying your model with our members.

Our Memberships are due, head to www.SEFSD.org and get your membership renewed for 2021 and also make sure your AMA/FAA are up to date in order for you to complete your membership and once you have renewed, we will see you all at out the field here in 2021.   I will also like to welcome our new members who have just joined us for the first time, I welcome you to Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego!

A Huge Thank you to Jim and Mark for getting the tables completed.  Those two have done a fabulous job with all the benches.  Thanks Guys, for your hard work!

So, grab your planes, batteries, charger and don’t forget your TX and let’s go Fly!


Farewell to Fred Harris, 1931 – 2020

Fred Harris was a member of SEFSD in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  “50 Watt Fred ” as we called him was the first member to really see and demonstrate the usefulness and versatility of the ubiquitous ‘Speed 400’ motor.  The “50 Watt” refers to the electrical output from the motor and full tilt.  Input was ~100 Watts but the motor was only 50% efficient.  As most of us scoffed at the idea of using the cheap little motor, Fred was applying it to several of his home made planes.  The performance was better than most of us thought possible.  Thus the age of the Speed 400 was upon us thanks to Fred.  There were more firsts courtesy of Fred.  Long before any of us were doing anything with aerial video, Fred had a complete air to ground video downlink system with a monitor and VHS recording.  I remember putting his camera in my first “Big Red” Sig Kadet Senior.  The camera went inside just behind the windshield giving the illusion you were actually flying in the plane.  Fred was a fundamental component of our club’s growth and edification in the early years.  Thanks Fred!

Please click Fred’s picture for his obituary

Steve Belknap