Monthly Archives: January 2023

16 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2023

Happy New Year to all Club members, I hope you all had a great Holiday Season and I hope you also got that new airplane you’ve been wanting.  My Christmas was great and peaceful. As we all know, this past January we had some good rain which we needed. Not sure if we needed all that rain at the field, however it has helped the field and it looks rather good. Thanks to Dennis LaBerge for maintaining the field during our raining season. I will have more on Dennis in just a bit!

Since this is the new year, I just want to go over some rules at the field, this is just a friendly reminder to all members. We have received more chairs that Jim got for us from an auction, and we have also identified these belonging to SEFSD. These are better chairs to sit in. Now that we got these, let us make sure we take care of them and not abuse them. Remember to call out your intentions when getting ready to “Take-off,” “Low Fly-by,” “Landings,” using your manly voice so if you’re in the middle, both ends hear and if you’re at one of the ends you’re really need to project your voice so everyone can hear you, NO whispers.  Remember to check the windsock to see the direction of the wind and then flying in that corresponding direction. And remember there are other pilots flying so do not go the opposite direction and cause a mid-air. 

Everyone must lock the bathroom when you are done using it. Please do not leave it unlocked and just hanging because the field may be filled with flyers and you think this is a clever idea, well it is not and we have the chance of losing our lock and having a homeless person invade our Clean Bathroom, we need to still LOCK the Bathroom. Driving in the parking lot is five miles an hour, not 10 or 15, it is 5 miles.  We need to keep safety in mind when driving, too many people hang around our field so let us watch out for them as well. And my last note is when you’re the last, or close to being last, and you see people by their cars who are visitors, Please go to them and inform them that since your last or the last person is getting his last flight in, Please tell those visitors that they could get locked in since the last person who is flying must lock the gate, but don’t leave some visitor locked in.  In the meantime, have fun flying and being with other members!

The Banquet, now that was a fun time being with everyone who came. It was a genuinely delightful atmosphere at the Air and Space Museum. I do have to apologize for the members who were kept out of the Museum. The guard did not get the message that all members who showed their badge were allowed in the museum. The area not available was the banquet, which was to start at 6pm which it did. I am sorry for the mix-up, even though it was small stuff.

Thank You Lisa and your staff for putting on a great catering festive. The food was outstanding, and your helpers were all so friendly with all our members and guests, Thank You Lisa and staff!  I hope you all enjoyed the food, and yes Brad made the appetizers, yummy, those were good, Thank You Sir!   The night was filled with a lot of laughter and joy. Jim Bonnardel and Brad Bender both spoke, and Jim was telling us about the events he has planned for this year. We have our monthly meeting, (This month it is Spill the Beans $175.00 in cash prizes).  Brad was giving thanks to everyone on how he got support when he had heart surgery, and we are all glad to see that Brad is doing very well and having a wonderful time flying! After a while everyone got food and were feeling great, all enjoyed the hospitality. I want to thank Frank and Alex for taking pictures of those who wanted a picture by the Spirit of St. Louis and Thanks for making the memory’s video which was running in the background during our event. Then it was my turn, I talked a bit my last job and job I currently have now, in building nacelles for Falcon 6X, G400 and Boeing’s 787. Yep, I love it!

I want to Thank all the members who participated in my video that I created. It looks to me that everyone enjoyed the short flick. For those of you who missed seeing it, click below: 

This year we had an award go to one of our members. This award is known as the “Founders Award.” Who are the Founders of the SEFSD, that would be Steve Manganelli, Steve Neu, and Steven Belknap. Steve Manganelli present, first ever award and that award went to Dennis LaBerge. Dennis has spent countless hours cleaning up around the field, making sure the field stays in great shape. When it is time to roll the field, Dennis is the one who commands the Roller and rolls the field for us.  Dennis is giving us a great field to fly off. Thank You Dennis and congratulations!

Now it was time to have some fun and give away our raffle. I want to thank Michelle Manganelli in getting the women’s gifts (our better half’s) and I hear they were surprisingly good gifts too. For us guys boy did we have a bunch of batteries to give away and I know how much fun we had with the batteries, those all came from Steve Neu, Thanks Steve. I was happy to see that Alan Isaacs showed up and he won a T-28, Congratulations Alan! Oh, I guess I cannot forget about Larry Kosta, I should! Well, he helped me with all the planes in getting them out of my car, cannot forget about the other guys who helped too.  But the problem with Larry was he said I am going to win this Glider, we had two of them and one person won, and I forgot who that was. Towards the end I had the glider left, I think a T-28 and our grand prize. Of all the people who came, Larry Kosta won the glider, I was like are you kidding me, and I had two of those instances, Frank Sutton won the King Twin, but wait who really got the King Twin, you should have seen Alex carry out the King Twin.  He had the biggest smile I have ever seen!

I want to thank all who came to the banquet, you all made it an exciting time! Next year our plan is to go back to the Air and Space Museum. This year we are going to try to reduce the cost of ticket for the Banquet, yes, this past banquet was up in price. Brad Bender has a great idea to lower our cost on a ticket.  Brad is playing a game called 50/50. This game will be played every T-28, Electro Glide and Club meetings. Each ticket cost $10.00, at the end of the event, we will draw one ticket and that winner will half the money and the other half will go to the next year banquet. This will work out to about $2250.00 to $2500.00, that is a substantial chunk of change for next year. I know I am going to play!!!   This will be a fun year for the club, we have other ideas as well on how much fun will be for all, so look out for more exciting news as the year goes on!

All right members, this coming Saturday is our club meeting and our engagement for Don’t Spill the Beans, so I hope to see many of you out at the field!

Thank You all again and Happy Flying!


Chairman of the Board

President’s Corner for Jan – Feb 2023

Hey Fliers!

Welcome to the new year, I hope Santa brought you a new Plane, Helicopter, or Quadcopter! I have seen quite a few new toys over the last month and a lot of Smiling faces.

I saw a lot of you at the club banquet on the 13th. I wish more were able to attend. It was a great time at an amazing venue, and a chance to see the spouses that put up with our craziness. I hope to see more at next years event.

One answer I heard quite a bit when I asked members why there were not attending was the cost of the banquet this year. All I can say is that it should be a surprise to no one that EVERYTHING is way more expensive this year. Costs are out of control. The club still covered over half of the total costs for the venue, dinner, and raffle prizes for the pilots and guests – that goes to show what the overall cost was.

To remove some of that burden from next years event I have initiated some fundraising efforts. At each organized club event this year I will hold a 50/50 raffle. For those that have never played 50/50, I will sell tickets for $10 each. When the event ends, generally before noon, we will draw one ticket and the ticket holder will win 50% of the funds collected, with the other 50% going into the fund for the next banquet. There will always be a winner, and always money towards the banquet to reduce individual cost. Winners so far are Fritz Logan, and Scott Vance.  Additionally, Jovi is procuring a tidy sum of money from the BOD which he will use to get some higher end prizes for at least two fundraising raffles this year. For these events, you know the reasoning and You will benefit at the end, so please participate as able and let’s have a grand event next year!

  One thing I mentioned personally at the Banquet was to say “ THANK YOU!!” to everyone. Some of you know that I had open heart surgery just before Christmas in 2021. A few of you have shared similar experiences. I will say that the friendship and camaraderie of club members was crucial in getting me out of the recovery bed and back in action. Randy brought me to the field a week after surgery, and I had a radio in my hands less than 2 weeks out. Each day since has presented different challenges, but I always look forward to weekend flying with the greatest group I have ever been a part of.

As we move into 2023 we have seen a large amount of rainfall and the field is in amazing shape right now. Moving forward we can expect the rainfall to taper off drastically. We may have one or two more showers before we hit the dry season. Our runway is made of clay and footprints/gullies will stay for months if we don’t stay off of the wet runway. I have been AMAZED at the amount of pushback we received this month when asking members to let the field dry for a few days before use.  Sadly, Alligator tears kept the surface damp longer than required… Please, as I mentioned in a note late December – Exercise common sense. If there is standing water in the parking lot or on the runway – save your flight for a day or two. If there are noticeable dark spots on the runway, avoid them as if they are quicksand, and finally- if you know your landing skill is not at a capability level to avoid the dark spots, please save your flights for a day or two.  I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times a member has stated “ My tiny plane won’t leave marks!”, only to see him get his “tiny plane” stuck in the mud and walk his not so tiny 200 pounds out to retrieve the plane.  Again, Common Sense Please!

  I want to promote knowing each other better as a club. In that effort I am going to ask 3 or 4 of you each month to participate in a volunteer only member in the spotlight. I will ask each to prepare a paragraph or two with a quick background on yourself, how long you have been in the hobby, what aspects you enjoy the most, and anything else you would like to share. I will tag a few members at this months meeting and see what we get.

Talking about this months meeting at the field:

It will be on the 28th, and the fun fly event is one of the clubs favorites, and the only one where you can win cash money as a prize. DON’T SPILL THE BEANS!  Don’t miss it! The fun fly will kick off around 10:00 AM and will be followed by the first club meeting of the year, then lunch.

I hope everyone has a GREAT year!!


Founder’s Trophy – Dennis Laberge

The Founder’s Trophy was introduced for the first time this year at the Holiday Banquet.  This trophy will be given annually to someone in the club who has demonstrated selfless contribution of time and talent well beyond the call.  No surprise it was given to Dennis LaBerge for his dedication to the care and maintenance of our field.  Please congratulate Dennis next time you see him.

Don’t Spill the Beans!

January’s Club Event: 

Don’t Spill the Beans! 

Our FIRST event for ‘23 is one  

EVERYONE can participate in! 

Beans & carrying devices are provided. 

You get 20 beans, you do a flight with a loop or roll, and land.   

Beans left in the cup count. 

Leaders get $1.00 per bean PAID CASH MONEY! 


Saturday 1.28.2023 

Beans start flying at 10 am 

Club meeting and BBQ to follow. 

Typical 3S 2200 style airplane preferred.  Not an event for Micro, or Large Scale. 

And the Award Goes to. . .

By Steve Manganelli

Those not at the banquet and those not involved with T-28 racing missed out on award presentations to two of our Club Heros. Let me back up a bit to Fall of 2022 where the BOD voted to create a perpetual award to be handed out at the Banquet to a non-BOD member making the greatest contribution to the operation of the Club during the previous year. I coined the name “Founders Trophy” the intent being that it will presented by one of the original founding members of the Club to convey our appreciation.

At the banquet, I was most pleased to be able to present the trophy to Mr. Dennis LaBerge whose contributions toward maintaining the field are innumerable and exemplary: Thanks so much Dennis! Dennis also received a plaque commemorating the occasion which is his forever, but the Cup/Trophy he has to surrender at the 2024 banquet to be awarded to the member making the greatest contribution in 2023. Who’s that going to be, you?

Those at the banquet were privy to Frank Sutton’s pictorial essay of our previous year thus know what a great photographer he is, but did you know he does medals too? A couple of year ago, it was decided that “cheesy” medals would be a appropriate recognition  for T-28 racing Gold-Silver-Bronze Cup winners. Then later, I discovered that a custom picture insert could be included for only a little more money and I of course turned to Frank for the artwork. For this year, we decided that a T-28 appearing to be hitting a pylon and a tree was the perfect homage to T-28 racing.  Below is me presenting the first 2023 T-28 to it’s artist, Mr. Frank Sutton. Thanks for all your hard work, Frank!

BOD Minutes for Jan 2023

I have returned as the club secretary and look forward to a great year!
This was the year’s first BOD session and there was much discussion about the upcoming banquet.

Quorum at 6:35 PM, meeting convened.

In-person participants: Steve N., Brad, Jovi, Steve M., Quan, Eric, Carl, Nick
Online participants: Steve B.
Not present: N/A

Meeting held Steve N.’s home.

Brad: Thanks to new board members for stepping up.  Thanks, Brad!
202 members currently.
Tee shirt sales doing well.
Members not attending banquet will have raffle ticket with name on back to win prizes.

Jovi: Banquet walk through looked good.
Banquet details finalized amongst BOD members.
Jim Bonardel won new club chairs at auction to replace missing/damaged chairs.
Stickers for new chairs needed for identification as theft deterence.

Steve N.: All women to receive special gifts at banquet.

Steve M.: Bank account remains adequately funded.
Sold club trailer for $2500.
Shared chair theft deterrence decals with BOD.

Steve B.: Will provide notice about T-28 race on website as dictated by weather.
The website operating smoothly.

Larry K.: Nothing new.

Nick: Welcome aboard Nick! Nothing new.

Eric: We should work on the Droneplex’s aesthetics and maintenance, otherwise nothing new.

Carl: Nothing new.

Quan: Passed out club donated blankets to St. Paul’s Pace Program.

Primary Club Concerns:

Field condition remains good.
Park Master Plan to continue being addressed. We are discussing how best to preserve this site into the future.
Droneplex maintenance to spruce up area.
Reviewing porta potty contracts.

Upcoming events:

Banquet attendance has been updated to 90 people for Friday 1/13/2023
Banquet expected to last from 6 PM to 9 PM.
Aerospace Museum gift shop will be open to till 4:30 PM, but not open during club party.
Aerospace Museum open to banquet members all day and reentry to facility allowed if you are part of the banquet.

Weekend field events:

T28 racing at 10:00 AM Saturday 1/14/23 as dictated by weather.

Organized field events will now include 50/50 raffles to help fund club banquets and other events.
The organized events to include Electroglide, T-28 racing, Bomb Drop, Don’t Spill the Beans, etc.

Next BOD meeting 2/8/2023 @ 6:30 PM.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.

Eric Shapiro
SEFSD Secretary 2023

T28 Racing Report for Jan 2023

We took a weather gamble and lucked out for our first T28 racing session of 2023. The forecast was for rain by early afternoon which gave us the motivation to expedite getting through the racing in  record time. We got all the racing done and awards presented in a little under an hour. A special thanks to Jim for being the race master and keeping things running fast and smooth. 

Now to the actual results. We had 8 pilots dueling for top honors —after the preliminary rounds the order was set for the finals. The results were as follows:
1) Frederick
2) Fritz
3) George
1) Otto
2) SteveM
1) Brad
2) SteveN
3) Alex
In general the quality of flying is getting better with fewer errors and cut pylons and more wing tip to wing tip flying resulting in more planes separated by just a few feet when crossing the finish line. 
Our next T28 race is scheduled for Feb 11 at 10AM. There was a small fleet of T28s awarded at the club banquet —for those who won a plane and want to join the fun please follow this link to read up on the rules and tips to setup the planes to race: New pilots needing a race number please email me and we will get you setup.

Electroglide Report for Jan 2023

January Competitors

 We had a pretty fun time last Saturday morning. Ten glider pilots showed up for the first Electroglide of 2023. Eight pilots flew in the Radian class and two pilots flew in the Open class.

 The weather gave us a beautiful blue sky day, on the cool side at 57 degrees, but some thermal lift was there to be found. The Radians made the best use of this light thermal. Longest flight was by Scott Vance at a little over 8 minutes.

 First launch had a midair collision resulting in the loss of one Radian and an event timer malfunction. We restarted that launch and all went well.

 Dennis LaBergh and Stephen Trager both flying Radians, had the longest flights at 4:30 minutes each and both picked up 30-point landings. Scott Vance, also flying a Radian, had a flight of 4:15 min., and getting a 30-point landing. Jeff Struthers, Radian, was third at 2:35 min. Fritz Logan, flying a Radian and Bob Stinson, flying open class, both had 20-point landings and Alex Sutton (Radian) and Bob Anson (Radian) both had 10-point landings.

 On the second launch, the lift was a bit harder to find. Bob Anson was first place with a flight of 4:21. Jon Graber, Radian) and Dennis both had flights at 3:30 and both picked up 20-point landings. Jeff was third with a  flight of 2:51 min.

 Third launch had some much better thermal lifts as the flight times jumped. Scott, (Radian), had the long flight at 8:29 with a 30-point landing. Stephen was second at 7:59 with a 10-point landing and Alex was third at 6:03. Jeff picked up a 30-point landing. Dennis, Fritz and Jon all had 10-point landings.

 For the fourth and final launch, the lift had slacked off a bit; Dennis had the long flight at 5:40 with a 30-point landing. Alex had a flight at 4:42 and a 20-point landing. Fritz and Bob Anson tied for third at 4:10. Jeff had a 30-point landing. Stephen, Alex and Bob Stinson, flying open class, all had 20-point landings.

 Point winners for 2023’s first Electroglide are:

Radian class:

Dennis LaBergh – 207 pts.

Stephen Trager – 165 pts.

Scott Vance       – 137 pts.

Open Class:  (only two pilots flying)

Bob Stinson –       111 pts.

Louis Dotson –          7 pts.

 It is impressive that with all the rainy days and poor flying conditions during this past month, the glider pilots flew very well. Fight times were respectable for such gentle lift and there were a lot of extra points added from target circle landings. Nice going guys!

 Thanks to Eileen for running the event timer and to Frank for the event pictures.

 Next Electroglide is scheduled for February 18th.

See you there,

Jeff Struthers