Thanks to Mike B.
Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Date and Meeting : Home of Steve Neu, 11 May, 6:30 P.M.
Board Members Present : Chairman of the Board-Murek, President-Manganelli, Vice President–Nguyen, Safety Officer-Neu, Member at Large-Kosta
Via Zoom : Member at Large-Struthers, Member at Large-Cox
Not Present : Secretary-Dresser, Editor-Belknap
Called to Order by Manganelli at 6:40 P.M.
Old Business ;
- Membership renewals : 271 as of 5-1-2022.
- Club Trailer/ Storage vs divest it : Trailer to remain stored until at least September, 2022. BOD to reconsider at that time.
- Banquet expense as compared to membership dues. BOD Decision January 12th : Dues will not increase this year; club finances will be revisited toward the end of the year to determine a prudent banquet expense for 2023 and possible dues increase for 2023.
- Raising altitude limit via AMA/FAA sanctioned Safety Risk Management (SRM) Panel. SEFSD is in the queue, we will be appraised approximately Fall, 2023 when we get close to the to the top of the list. In the meantime we must maintain positive relations with Air Traffic Management (ATM) by abiding by the terms of our current agreement!
- All T-28 themed SEFSD Sports and “repurposed” medals have been distributed. There are (10) “Better Luck Next Time” and (8) SEFSD Sports Medals remaining. Possible use could be July’s Raffle/Funfly.
- UCSD Student Competition approved for Friday, June 10th from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Field closed to sport flying. Proctors/observers to be Jovi, Dennis L.
The Electroglide for May was held last Saturday and unexpectedly, was quite fun. The weather conditions didn’t look favorable; 61 degrees, a 10 mph wind from the Southwest and overcast skies. At the pilots meeting before the contest, we debated then voted to begin the contest anyway. A little after the 10:00 start time, seven gliders took to the skies.
Surprisingly, the lift was there, high and slightly westward. The Southwest wind crossing the San Diego river channel, created some lift that the Radian gliders could make better use of.
Scott Vance, flying a Radian, was able to get the long flight of 6:26 minutes. Neil Zhu, flying a Conscendo, had the next longest flight at 4:43 with a 20-point bonus landing. Dennis LaBerge, also with a Radian, had the third longest flight at 3:26. I was able to pick up a 20-point landing.
One pilot had his glider get away from him and end up in Mission Bay. A thank you goes out to the friendly jet skier who returned the swimming aircraft to the pilot waiting on shore.
On the second launch, the secret was out. Most of the pilots headed to same high west spot that worked so well for Scott and Neil. Dennis made good use of the lift, flying for 7:06 minutes. Scott had a flight of 4:48 with an excellent 30-point landing. Alex Sutton came in third with 4:04 minutes aloft and a 20-point landing. Both Neil and I picked up 10-point landings.
Third launch had Scott again winning the long flight at 8:30 minutes. I was second at 8:21 with a 20-point landing and Neil was third at 4:40 minutes. Bob Anson nailed a 30-point landing and Dennis had a 10-point landing.
Fourth and final launch had the fun lift disappear on us. The long flight was earned by Scott at 3:16 with a 20-point landing. I had the next long flight at 1:59 and third place is shared by Dennis and Alex at 1:48. Dennis, Scott and Neil all picked up 20-point landings.
I would like to point out that getting any extra landing points via the target circles was a hard thing to do, what with the Southwest wind and ground turbulence.
Good flying everyone and kudos to those who made the small 30-point circle.
Thanks to Frank Sutton for again supplying the event photos.
Next Electroglide will be on June 18th. Ten o’clock, first launch.
See you there,
Our May T28 races were held May 14th with most of the usual suspects in attendance. Racing got underway at a little after 10am . Larry had some bad luck starting out when his plane decided to make a hard left turn after takeoff right in to the side of Jovi’s pickup truck—most of the damage was limited to Larry’s pride but the crash put him out of the rest of the races. After that most of the races were mostly without drama—there were a number of very tight races with planes crossing the finish line wing tip to wing tip. Several of us got tagged by eagle eye Jovi at the starting line for crossing early—protests proved pointless:)
About a year ago I sold about a dozen planes and received some good feedback on the fair pricing and flight qualities of them.
Life happens and after my recent medical concerns, I am looking at moving quite a few planes to new owners in the next few months so I don’t leave a potential problem for Lisa if things go downhill. I will be moving sizes from small foamies up to 100CC sized planes. Prices will be fair, but since I’m not dead yet – I won’t be giving them away. I look to target about 60% of their value – but will consider offers. Nearly all will be RTF on Spektrum.
I still have the names of people I sent the sale to last year. If you would like to be on my mailing list this round, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the planes shown below will be for sale:
As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, the question I’m most often asked is ‘How fast would that SR-71 fly?’ I can be assured of hearing that question several times at any event I attend. It’s an interesting question, given the aircraft’s proclivity for speed, but there really isn’t one number to give, as the jet would always give you a little more speed if you wanted it to. It was common to see 35 miles a minute.
Because we flew a programmed Mach number on most missions, and never wanted to harm the plane in any way, we never let it run out to any limits of temperature or speed.. Thus, each SR-71 pilot had his own individual ‘high’ speed that he saw at some point on some mission. I saw mine over Libya when Khadafy fired two missiles my way, and max power was in order. Let’s just say that the plane truly loved speed and effortlessly took us to Mach numbers we hadn’t previously seen.
So it was with great surprise, when at the end of one of my presentations, someone asked, ‘What was the slowest you ever flew the Blackbird?’ This was a first. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of a story that I had never shared before, and I relayed the following.
I was flying the SR-71 out of RAF Mildenhall, England, with my back-seater, Walt Watson; we were returning from a mission over Europe and the Iron Curtain when we received a radio transmission from home base. As we scooted across Denmark in three minutes, we learned that a small RAF base in the English countryside had requested an SR-71 fly-past. The air cadet commander there was a former Blackbird pilot, and thought it would be a motivating moment for the young lads to see the mighty SR-71 perform a low approach. No problem, we were happy to do it. After a quick aerial refuelling over the North Sea, we proceeded to find the small airfield.
Walter had a myriad of sophisticated navigation equipment in the back seat, and began to vector me toward the field. Descending to subsonic speeds, we found ourselves over a densely wooded area in a slight haze. Like most former WWII British airfields, the one we were looking for had a small tower and little surrounding infrastructure. Walter told me we were close and that I should be able to see the field, but I saw nothing. Nothing but trees as far as I could see in the haze. We got a little lower, and I pulled the throttles back from 325 knots we were at. With the gear up, anything under 275 was just uncomfortable. Walt said we were practically over the field-yet; there was nothing in my windscreen. I banked the jet and started a gentle circling maneuver in hopes of picking up anything that looked like a field. Meanwhile, below, the cadet commander had taken the cadets up on the catwalk of the tower in order to get a prime view of the fly-past. It was a quiet, still day with no wind and partial gray overcast. Walter continued to give me indications that the field should be below us but in the overcast and haze, I couldn’t see it. The longer we continued to peer out the window and circle, the slower we got. With our power back, the awaiting cadets heard nothing. I must have had good instructors in my flying career, as something told me I better cross-check the gauges. As I noticed the airspeed indicator slide below 160 knots, my heart stopped and my adrenalin-filled left hand pushed two throttles full forward. At this point we weren’t really flying, but were falling in a slight bank. Just at the moment that both afterburners lit with a thunderous roar of flame (and what a joyous feeling that was) the aircraft fell into full view of the shocked observers on the tower. Shattering the still quiet of that morning, they now had 107 feet of fire-breathing titanium in their face as the plane leveled and accelerated, in full burner, on the tower side of the infield, closer than expected, maintaining what could only be described as some sort of ultimate knife-edge pass.
Quickly reaching the field boundary, we proceeded back to Mildenhall without incident. We didn’t say a word for those next 14 minutes. After landing, our commander greeted us, and we were both certain he was reaching for our wings. Instead, he heartily shook our hands and said the commander had told him it was the greatest SR-71 fly-past he had ever seen, especially how we had surprised them with such a precise maneuver that could only be described as breathtaking. He said that some of the cadet’s hats were blown off and the sight of the form of the plane in full afterburner dropping right in front of them was unbelievable. Walt and I both understood the concept of ‘breathtaking’ very well that morning and sheepishly replied that they were just excited to see our low approach.
As we retired to the equipment room to change from space suits to flight suits, we just sat there—we still hadn’t spoken a word since ‘the pass.’ Finally, Walter looked at me and said, ‘One hundred fifty-six knots. What did you see?’ Trying to find my voice, I stammered, ‘One hundred fifty-two.’ We sat in silence for a moment. Then Walt said, ‘Don’t ever do that to me again!’ And I never did.
A year later, Walter and I were having lunch in the Mildenhall Officer’s club, and overheard an officer talking to some cadets about an SR-71 fly-past that he had seen one day. Of course, by now the story included kids falling off the tower and screaming as the heat of the jet singed their eyebrows. Noticing our HABU patches, as we stood there with lunch trays in our hands, he asked us to verify to the cadets that such a thing had occurred. Walt just shook his head and said, ‘It was probably just a routine low approach; they’re pretty impressive in that plane.“