Monthly Archives: February 2021

14 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Feb – Mar 2021

Hey guys, as we finish up February I want to personally thank all of you for your continued safe practices when it relates to social distancing and personal safety while at our field. As vaccinations proceed across the country, safety margins are increasing – but we will likely be under Covid protocols for the rest of 2021.
I am seeing a lot more members returning to the field now, and I am really enjoying catching up with them. Last week I managed a visit with Lee Norton. He and his wife Rosie are doing well, but still isolating for their safety. He wanted me to pass on “Hellos” to everybody for him.
Along with prior/current members returning and flying their aircraft, we have had a large influx of new members join in the last couple of months. I have seen members from Miramar, Chula Vista, and Chollas RC clubs on recent weekends. Each of these clubs have had interesting challenges this year between FAA regulations, Site issues, and drama between members, and members are looking for alternate flying sites. I have heard some pretty odd claims on what is acceptable safety wise at other sites so I am going to restate some of our best practices, and our safety procedures for all users at SEFSD.
To start with, Our flying site is situated within a 50 foot altitude restricted area in accordance with the UAS Facility Map for the San Diego Area. Our current agreement ( Dec 2018 )with the FAA and US western Division of Air Traffic Control has given us up to a 200 foot altitude limit. There is no one out there with a tape measure, but most people have a fair idea of where 200 feet is. If you think you are close, ease down a bit. If you are “close” too much, expect a personal discussion. We have engaged the AMA on our behalf in attempts to restore our previous limit of 400 feet, but just hearing back from government bureaucracy can be a chore.
Along with the altitude limitation came a restriction on night flying. flying is not allowed at our site between dusk and dawn any day of the week.
The FAA also requires UAS recreational pilots ( US ) to register with them and place our registration number in a visible location on EVERY aircraft. While the club itself will not check your planes for registration #s, there has been an FAA enforcement officer at our club in the past with stern talk of a $2000.00 fine for every aircraft on site without a registration #. In the changing Remote ID environment, it is best to not be labeled as “outlaws…”
At our site we are surrounded by the community at all times, no fences. That means that we have random people walking across the runway and outer field by themselves and with pets. Do not harass people or animal in the outer area!  If they are on the runway you can tell them it is not safe and ask them to move on. Always maintain an absolute minimum of 50 feet from any living creature. If you are flying a drone that can go over 50 mph at less than 50 feet altitude , be especially cognizant of pedestrians. Our outside boundaries are posted at every flying gate and at the Rotor Plex area. Please be familiar with the boundaries prior to each flight. Most importantly, do not come within 50 feet of the cement pedestrian pathway by the beach or get within 100 feet of any road bordering the outer field area.  Do not fly over the water, and definitely do not fly to Fiesta Island. All Flying must remain within Line of flight – within our boundaries. Just because your drone can go 3 miles doesn’t mean you can…
In order to minimize mid-air, head to head collisions, we promote the use of a standard pattern while flying airplanes from the main runway. Over the runway or near the runway passes should be conducted into the wind. Downwind passes should be conducted 75 to 125 feet out over the field. The air space above the runway is reserved primarily for aircraft taking off and landing. If you desire to do a high speed pass over the runway, loudly call out your intention so other pilots know, and make every attempt to keep your high speed pass on the far side of the centerline ( I did a high speed pass with a jet on the near side of the centerline a few weeks ago – and needed to apologize to a few startled pilots -sorry..).
NO flying over the fence or the pit area. If you are out of control and pass over the fence line YOU are obligated to call out a warning to other pilots and family present.
If you need to step onto the runway or cross the runway for any reason, please loudly announce your intention to do so. Also pause and look both ways to ensure there is no one in the landing pattern before stepping out.
Pilots must loudly announce take offs and landings so others on the flightline are aware. Whispering it to yourself does absolutely no good. Make sure you are heard!
VTOL aircraft such as Helicopters and drones are allowed to fly from the main runway as long as they are flying in a scale like fashion. If they are in the pattern just like an airplane they are good. If they are out over the field away from the standard pattern they are good. No extended hovering or loitering on the field or directly in the airplane pattern is allowed – get it moving or move it to the Rotor Plex Area. We strongly discourage Helicopter 3-D over the main runway. The only exception to this is if there are no other aircraft in the sky at the time. If you intend to fly your helicopter in a non-scale manner and planes are utilizing the main runway, you must use the Rotor Plex area to avoid collision.
Mission Bay Park is designated as a non-smoking, no alcohol allowed area. Absolutely no smoking or drinking in the pit area is allowed. If you must smoke, please do so away from the parking/pit area and be downwind so your smoke doesn’t blow and everybody else’s face.
Mission Bay Park is also designated as a no pet area, and citations have been issued by rangers in the past to people with pets outside of their vehicle. Be careful with your animal.
A few more notes, and I’ll bring this book to an end…
T-28 Racing has started for 2021. It is held the second Saturday each month and starts at 10:AM. The FMS 800 MM Trojan cost $110.00 and are available from Discount Hobbies and Horizon.
I expect electro glide to resume in the next couple of months, a mail blast from Jeff will announce the exact date.
As positivity rates continue to decline, the Board of Directors will be watching and will determine a safe time to resume meetings at the field and fun-fly events.
I’m going to ask a favor from each person using the main runway over the next few weeks. The slight rain we received last month didn’t do much but uncover a lot of small rocks on the runway. If people take 5 minutes each day they fly and pick up a few handfuls of rocks to throw into the weeds or the parking lot, that will help set us up to wet and roll at the end of March.
Finally, the homeless have been extremely active again and are stealing all of our chairs rapidly. If you plan on replacing your lawn furniture this season, please bring your old chairs to the club – we can use them!

Stay Safe!

President’s Corner for Feb – Mar 2021

Here we are in February and we’re still dealing with COVID 19.  I cannot express the gratitude that everyone is using commonsense out by the field by wearing your masks and keeping that distance between us by 6 feet. Thank You All for your continuing efforts. It has been good to see a lot of members renew and and we also have received new members to our Club, and I would like to welcome all our new members to the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego, we appreciate you joining our club!

Today I would like to introduce a new airplane, Black Horse Model, Fairchild 24W ARF and yes its by Motion RC.  I know, spending too much money with Motion..anyways this is a pretty nice model.  The Fairchild is an all Balsa – Plywood Construction and its covered with Oracover, for those of us who use an iron to apply the covering material…..Here are the specs:

  • Wingspan: 79 inches
  • Length: 38 inches
  • Weight: 41 lbs.
  • Wing area: 1dm2
  • Wing loading: 62 g/dm2

Had its first flight on FREEZE FLY day.  Happy to say, this is San Diego, it turned out to be a very pleasant day of flying! Had many members show up and even saw a lot of new airplanes.   Thanks to Frank Sutton and his great photograph, he was able to capture all the new aircraft! As I was saying, the 24W had its’ maiden flight and she flew as well as expected.  I had a video camera mounted in the cockpit, so I hope you have an opportunity to watch its’ maiden flight. However I will warn you about a very hard bounce at landing and Yes this issue is being resolved with low bounce wheels…..

How about that rain we got this past January?   Boy did that make a huge improvement on our runway.  Finally, the soft sand is now nicely packed to the ground, just waiting for us to tear it up, in a good way.   I took a picture of the runway, just after the rains and it really look good.   However, I would like to make a comment here and that is, just after it rains the runway can be very saturated with water and if you try to fly, you’re going to see your tire marks, and if you get stuck, yep you guessed it, footprints, or footprints crossing the runway.  Please, may I ask that we have a little patience and once it had a chance to drain and dry out, we’re all going to love the results as we see today!  Thanks Club Members!   New stripe down the runway, Thank You Jeff Struthers for getting that done for us!  In the meantime, hopefully we still get some more rain, we really do need it.

On another note, I would like to add and it’s to all club members that when you’re flying and perhaps it is a 2-meter size aircraft, and we all know we must stay under 200 feet and stay in our fly zone.  But sometimes one could be flying on a very cloudy or clear day and in a blink of an eye, it’s gone, just disappeared.  You’re not seeing your aircraft and at that point, you might wish you had an extra set of eyes.   We had a couple of situations that this happened not too long ago.  Without fault to the pilot’s, it just happens.  Perhaps a co-pilot would be helpful before you launch your model and if you or any member request help, Please ask us, we have a lot of good people out at the field and I know that anyone of us, including me, would be more than happy to be an extra set of eyes or just being a co-pilot …..

T-28 races are back up for 2021, and we had our first race of the year this past February 13.  We had a great turnout of pilots.  In our first round of heats of racing we had very close races, however we did have Frank doing loops and water landings off in the bay then racing….and can you believe we had no cuts in the race and to me, something was wrong.  Until the Gold Cup Race.  We had Otto, Alex and Steve M. in final heat.   Alex’s started ahead of starting bell.  Otto and Steve were racing up the sky’s, with Alex just behind them.  Otto crossed first and Steve came in second and Alex came in last as this was the Unofficial Results.   The whole day we had not cuts, not a one.  But Otto came thru like a Pro with 3 cuts and Steve had one.  Alex, even though he started early, he had no cuts and was our Gold Cup Winner for February 2021.   Congrats Alex.  Now you have a challenge for next month in being the defending Gold Cup Winner!  Silver Cup went to Steve N. and the Bronze was given to Brad B.   Otto was given a special award for his recorded breaking Cuts (nine) in last year’s finally.

Thanks to Steve Neu for organizing the event and bringing us Medals and some very nice goodies that were offered as a raffle to pilots and supporting crew!  Thanks Steve!

Weekend is coming so Grab your batteries, chargers, radio and planes and let’s go Flying.  See you all out at the field!


President of SEFSD

Lindberg Warning – New Sign on the Sign

By Steve Manganelli

You may have noticed the message below on an added decal on our main field rules sign and wondered “why is that?”. The answer is compliance with our agreement with the Lindberg Field Control tower to allow our continued operations at SEFSD/Mission Bay Park Field! In that agreement (aside from fly below 200 ft), we are required to inform the Tower if a model is flying toward Lindberg in such a manner so as to effect manned aircraft operations. Realistically, stable escapes from our field are so remote as to be virtually irrelevant; most of our crashes as we well know are on the field in plain view and if departing the field, still in plain view and not effecting manned aircraft operations in any way. However, in the extremely unlikely event of a fly away that is heading for Lindberg field flying stably, any useful notification would have happen literally within a minute, thus typically “notifying a BOD member” would be pointless and your BOD has taken the step of providing you the direct contact phone number to the Control Tower with the associated admonition about when to use it. I wouldn’t say put that number in your phone on speed dial, just be aware and know that the emergency instructions are on the sign in large font!


In Case of Stable Fly-Away Toward Lindberg

Warn Control Tower at (619) XXX-XXXX (Actual Sign shows the number)



It’s a Win-Win-Win For All

By Frank Sutton

                Carlos happened to be flying at SEFSD Field back back in the Summer of 2018 when Alex and I arrived for the first time to fly his brand new R/C plane – a Radian. We met Carlos and after talking with him, he pointed out (then) SEFSD President Brad who was the second SEFSD Pilot we met. Both Carlos and Brad were of invaluable assistance to us because little did we know at the time, we had the wrong type of transmitter for Alex’s brand new Radian. With their help, Alex was eventually able to fly and we both happily joined SEFSD. Since then, we have made so many great friends we are thankful for, and our lives have been extraordinarily changed for the better!

              Alex’s appetite for flying is insatiable; whether in the cockpit of a sailplane or at the transmitter controlling an R/C plane, Alex loves all aspects of flying and wants to make it his career flying cargo or passenger jet airliners. Alex’s Mom, Joan, and I are encouraging him to do well in school and follow his aviation dreams.

              Over the past nearly three years, the number of R/C planes in Alex’s “hangar” has steadily increased.  Alex’s hangar used to be a spare guest bedroom, but now it looks more like an actual aircraft hangar and Aviation Repair Depot!  Even after experiencing a few setbacks when a plane would be totaled in a disastrous crash, Alex’s collection kept slowly increasing and increasing until there was no room left in Alex’s Aviation Repair Depot with planes everywhere from floor to ceiling in all states of repair and disrepair!

              Brad’s recent announcement to sell of some of his outstanding planes inspired Alex, Alex’s Mom Joan, and myself!  We decided that it was time to reduce the size of his fleet.  Alex and I nearly simultaneously thought of giving some planes to one of our good SEFSD Pilot Friends, Carlos! Quite a few of Alex’s planes have not even been flown once in the past year because Alex has his favorites, so we knew this was a great opportunity to make a plane donation to a well-deserving best friend!

              Carlos has been out of work for nearly one year after his accidental eye injury on the job, and Carlos has always been busy designing and creating his own custom planes like none we have ever

before seen – just take a look at his triangular FA/18 Blue Angels plane, it actually flies great! Carlos is also always skillfully rebuilding and repainting planes and making them fly and look brand new again, we thought he would love to have some of Alex’s planes and the price was certainly right – FREE!

              Alex looked around and found three planes he wanted to give to Carlos, then he looked some more and found five, then six planes. Eventually, Alex selected a grand total of seven planes for Carlos!

              We asked Brad to help us contact Carlos because we didn’t have his E-mail address or phone number, and Brad passed our phone number to Carlos (Thanks for the assistance, Brad!). After a series of text messages, we offered to drop the planes off at his home but Carlos and his wife came out to our home to pick up the planes on the afternoon of Monday, 08FEB2021. Before Carlos’ arrival, Alex lined up all seven planes (and one transmitter) along with any spare propellers/parts in our back yard for easy

retrieval for Carlos. When Carlos arrived, Alex and I could easily see the big grin on his face as he saw all the planes and I can tell you that I could see a grin just as big on Alex’s face too!

              Alex walked with Carlos along the line of planes and gave him some information on the condition of each one – some had a minor problem which Carlos advised would be no problem for him to repair with a little foam board and glue. I can assure you, Alex and I both were very happy to see Carlos was so appreciative and excited to be given these planes. For me personally, it was truly a heartwarming experience to watch and listen to these two expert Pilots discuss the planes and flying with SEFSD!

              Carlos loaded the planes in his van and was so thankful, he could not stop thanking Alex for the planes!  We told Carlos that we were very happy too that these planes which Alex has loved to fly, now had a new Pilot that would fly and love them as much as Alex had. This was WIN-WIN-WIN for all……

A WIN for Carlos, the gift of seven planes!

A WIN for Alex and I, it is better to give than to receive!

A WIN for Joan, now there is a more room in Alex’s Hangar/Aviation Repair Depot!**

             ** SEFSD Logic:  More room means more space for more planes!


  Frank Sutton

T28 Race Report for February 2021

With the C19 situation heading in the right direction we decided that with some reasonable precautions it was time to restart our T28 racing. The first race of 2021 was held earlier this month on the 13th. We had 9 pilots sign up and fly. The format is the same as last year but this season there will be medals for the winners and a small raffle for the fliers and people that help run the contest. We also welcomed a new T28 racer to the series Daric Knight. 
During the first flight of the preliminary round Frank Gagliardi’s T28 decided to head north for a refreshing swim in the bay—it washed up on Fiesta Island and was brought back to the filed by a passerby—the T28 was largely undamaged. Frank said it would live to fly another day!
The rest of the preliminary races went off without much drama—believe it or not there were no cut turns recorded during the preliminary rounds which left in doubt who would get the “better luck next time” medal for the  most cuts. After the results were tallied the finals races were set everyone put their best batteries in their planes and got ready. 
The Bronze cup race matchup resulted in Brad Bender  taking first, Randy Wynant second and Daric Knight in third.
The silver cup only had two slots filled—Quan had smooth sailing to a first place finish after Steve Manganelli decided to see if he could reduce the course length by 3 feet by going through the #1 pylon rather than around it—other than dashing his chances of a win in the silver class there was no damage to the plane—it will return to do battle nest month. 
The gold cup races were between Otto Dieffenbach, Alex Sutton and Steve Neu. The planes and pilots were quite well matched with the planes generally staying within a few feet of each other for the first half of the race—in the second half Otto and Steve moved a little ahead with Steve crossing  the finish line first, Otto second and Alex third—the celebrations for the Steve and Otto were short lived however—when the cuts were counted Alex took first—Steve second and Otto third—proving once again that avoiding trouble often gives the best results. Congrats to Alex. 
After the races the medals were handed out with Otto being the recipient of the “better luck next time” for his 3 cuts in the gold cup race. The raffle included  batteries, chargers and various electric related accessories. A good time was had by everyone—if you want to have a taste of low pressure fun racing  please come down for the next race which should be on March 13th at 10am. The rules and information on the series and how to setup your plane can be found here:
Steve Neu

Custom AMA Numbers

Here’s the link to get more info and apply for your customized AMA Number.  For now through MARCH2021 it is on sale for a half-off one-time fee of $25.  After  MARCH the one-time fee goes up to $50 if you want to customize your AMA Number.  Maximum characters are 10. I’m getting my number changed, but I haven’t decided what yet – how about you?  Check out the link for more info!
Frank Sutton

SEFSD BOD Meeting Minutes for February 2021


SEFSD Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Quorum at 6:44 PM 2/10/2021, meeting convened.

In-person participants: Brad, Steve N., Quan, Steve M.
Online participants: Eric, Carl, Jovi (late arrival)
Not present: Kenny, Jeff

Eric keeping notes.
Meeting held at Steve N.’s home.

Brad: High speed passes over pits not acceptable, mostly by newer members.
R/C cars not permitted on runway.
No night flying in our locale due to FAA agreement.
Be sure to call out when entering runway to retrieve plane.
Main runway for pattern type use only.
No drinking on site.
Tables completed – thanks to Jim and Mark.
Karoake machines due for inspection – Steve N. and Jeff.

Steve N.: T28 racing this weekend, February 13, 2021
Reissue common warnings about field safety as spoken about earlier.

Jovi: Recommend diligence about having Visual Observor’s at the ready.

Quan: 242 members as of 2/10/2021.
Bank balance sufficient and financials available to club members upon request.
No updates on ROE (right of entry).

Eric: I have filled out the necessary paperwork for money market account.
We are awaiting contact from bank.

Vote and second for T28 racing monthly awards, $30/month.

Next meeting date March 10, 2021.

Meeting adjourned at 8:09 PM 2/10/2021.

Eric Shapiro
SEFSD Secretary 2021

Treasurer’s Report for February 2021

By Quan Nguyen

We have 242 members in February. Thank you everyone who joined or renewed for supporting the club. Despite the pandemic ravaging many social clubs financially, even disbanding some (non radio-control related) groups, SEFSD remains in a strong financial position. We’ve allocated a budget to give out prizes to the popular T-28 racing series and continue to maintain the field. We also keep up to date on local and state health orders and wait for the moment we can resume and fund the activities we used to have before the pandemic, including lunches at the field, regular contests, and the annual banquet. The covid case positivity rate has been receding rapidly the last several weeks locally and nationally, and I’ve heard some of our older adult members receiving their first or second dose of the vaccine, so I am cautiously optimistic this is the beginning of the return to normalcy.