Daily Archives: June 23, 2023

9 posts

Chairman’s Corner for June – July 2023

Hello members, can you believe it we are halfway thru the year and what does that mean, little over 6 months away for our Banquet.  With the efforts that Brad is making, our 50/50 is going to save our members a good amount of money for their tickets, which go on sale in December.  Our fourth of July Raffle is soon upon us!  Only one more week to go and we get to see who will win the Grand Prize, a Spektrum iX14 radio.  This is all happening on July 1, 2023, which is a Saturday.  Better show up for we are going to have Tri-Tip for lunch alone with fixnes.  This will be a great event for everyone.  It will be a fun day of flying and a great opportunity to meet other members who we haven’t met.  The raffle is going on, all the way up to the event.  You can still get your tickets from the blast which we were sending out for the last week.  And you can get them on Saturday during our lunch.  Must be present to have some Tri-Tip for lunch, this is coming from Smokin Joe’s BBQ.  We will have enough food to cover 100 members, so come on out and enjoy the Tri-Tip sandwiches.  Club will provide drinks for everyone.  If you miss out and you have purchased tickets, do not worry, if your name is called as a Winner, you will be notified by me of your winnings.

This weekend is our club meeting and fun fly with Jim holding “Bomb Drop”, and this is another fun event that Jim has created for us so be sure to come out and enjoy the laughter and fun.  We’ll have news for our members from our Pres, Brad, and of course we have our fantastic Hot Dogs, being cooked by you know who, that right I be you chef for the day!  Mark has to attend to family matters.  We’ll see him cooking up the dogs in July!  Also want to remind you that this coming Sunday, June25, is the clean up of the Heli and the Roto Plex.  As I had asked before I would like to have a few volunteers’ help in getting the Roto Plex back up again.  Also, I would like some help with the Heli area in getting it cleaned up as well and make sure that the polls are up for the borders in which they are to fly in.  What we will be doing is restoring the course for the Roto Plex. In doing this we will clean up the brush around each gate. Flat shovels will be needed to clear the brush. We are also going to reset the boundaries around the Heli and Roto Plex by removing old stakes and replacing them in new areas around the field. Here are the tasks that I would like to have volunteer’s for:

  • There are 10 gates that will be relocated around the field. Attached is a map of the area and where the gates will go. Those areas will need the clean-up around each gate.
  • Redo the outside border lines with the stakes that are at the field. We will also paint the tops, at least 1 ½ feet with red paint to make the boundaries.
  • Clean the Heli section.
  • Tools needed are Flat shovels, carbon steel digging bar, (to help remove old stakes), slag hammer (I have a large one, smaller one would be better).
  • Dennis, do you have the city approved weed killer? To remove weeds growing on the carpets.

I have to mention this again about some of our rules once again.  Many of you are calling out your intentions, Take Off, Low fly by and Landing, some call out for touch and goes, greatly appreciate it very much.  But we still have a few that are not calling out intentions and not using their Manly Voice.  Please guys yell it out, if you’re at the East end and the guys at the West end can’t hear you and vice versa.  We do have a few people calling out for you when you’re not yelling.  So please use your Manly Voice.  Also, when doing low fly-by’s, please stay on the north side of the white center line on the runway, please do not fly close to the gates, you might and could hit someone.  Thank You all for complying with the rules and don’t forget to always wear your badges when you’re flying, or you will get me asking you where your badge is.    Thank You for hearing me out!  See you all at the field and if any of you have questions to ask, please do not hesitate to ask me or any of the BOD members.  As a last to note for our Raffle I would like to thank Hitec for their contribution to our Raffle by donating  a RDX2 Pro High Power Dual Port AC/DC Charger.

Hitec has supported our club in the past and they continue to show how great Hitec is in our community. Thank you Hitec for you continued support.

I look forward to seeing a lot of you out on July 1, 2023, for our Fun Fly day and who gets to walk away with Brand new iX14 radio, I’m excited, hope you are too!

Happy Flying,


President’s Corner for June – July 2023

Hey team, this past week saw the first official day of summer. Hopefully June gloom will soon be in the rearview mirror and we can get on with some blue sky flying.

 The first day of July will also be the anticipated raffle day for our summer fundraiser to collect funds for more yearly banquet prizes. As Jovi mentioned above , we have some great prizes being raffled off, and some great Catered food for members and their immediate families on a first come, first served basis. Food should be available around 11:00AM. We paid for quite a bit of food, but if you come late – you should bring your lunch with you. 😊.  You really don’t want to miss out on tri-tip sandwiches, and your chance to win the iX14 Radio! Raffle tickets will be sold all morning on June 24th and the 1st of July, and the raffle will be held around noon on the 1st. Funds donated to this raffle will go towards additional raffle prizes at the end of year banquet in January.  While talking about fundraising, I also want to thank all the participants in the 50-50 raffle over the last couple months. Club members have won $1970 to date, meaning the club has too! I am near my goal of $2000 to reduce ticket prices ( by $20 for each ticket) for the hundred members attending the banquet in the Air & Space Museum. Any further funds raised before the end of the year will also go towards a variety of raffle prizes.

 As we approach Independence Day, I would like to remind members of the front row seat available from our site for the holiday fireworks. SEAWORLD has one of the best shows in the State and you are only a couple hundred yards away from the launch site when watching from our club pit area. Traditionally, we do a closed gate day where members will pass through the gate and close and lock it immediately behind them, their family, and their guests. We attempt to keep the random public out of our site as they tend to leave their trash, shoot firearms, and start things on fire. I am not able to attend myself this year, so I am looking for a volunteer to take custody of the “Members Only” sign to be placed on the gate during daytime hours, and then removed after the fireworks as members depart. Please let me know if you would like this task.

In my last newsletter, I talked a little bit about safety, and we had a few words about flying safely at the last members meeting at the field.  One thing I realized during that discussion is that some people are having so much fun that they can be flying in an unsafe manner without realizing it. They may not actually know they are over the pits, parking lot, and drone area unless someone verbally tells them. I would ask every member on site to remember that they are ALWAYS part of the safety strategy in our club. We cannot let ” I didn’t know!” be a recipe for stitches or an ambulance ride out of our field! You don’t have to be a board member, or the safety officer to say something when someone else is unsafe or reckless. That being said, I don’t expect you to yell at anybody – just make a statement about what they are doing, and that you’re feeling unsafe. A little bit of peer pressure goes a long in stopping people from flying over the table area, or doing high-speed passes over the fence. Recently we haven’t been saying too much if you do a high speed pass between the center line and the weed line – but you should NEVER be between the center line and the fence unless taking off or landing.

Along the same lines, some members apparently don’t understand that, in their excitement, they are doing 20-30 MPH in the parking lot and are dusting people out. If you see it, PLEASE say something. They are not actively trying to be jerks, they are just excited…

One of the main things I love about this club is that we mostly have a group of well mannered, courteous members who are mostly drama – free, all trying to enjoy a hobby together. Recently, it has come to my attention that a few members are being discourteous to others with the weird thought that they have permanently reserved tables at our site. This is NOT the case! If you arrive early, select a table, and would like to put a chair at the table next to you to save a table for your friend, or flying partner that are on the way, Feel free to do that. If your friend is late, and the other tables are full – move the chair to give someone else a slot. BE COURTEOUS! If you want a specific table, get there early and park at that table. If you arrive late, and someone else is at the table you normally use, use another table. DO NOT CURSE at people and tell them to get the F** off of “your” table and go somewhere else. This will not be tolerated, and can result in your expulsion from this club. I currently have the names of the persons that believe they OWN property at Mission Bay, and the next offense will result in official action from the Board of Directors.

This months monthly fun fly event will be on 24 June. This one will be a club favorite, the bomb drop. Like most events, any pilot that can safely fly their airplane can participate. You don’t need to practice 30 hours a day to place!! There will be prizes for the top winners, followed by the monthly club meeting at the field, and a hot dog lunch.

Please join us and have a great time, but remember to watch your airplane!

I hope everyone has a great July!


Bomb Drop


Saturday,  June 24th  10:00am 

The club favorite returns,
s time for the annual 


This year, we are adding NEW ORDINANCE!

A new twist has been added!  

You can choose your weapon loading the regular bomb 

or the new MEGA BOMB!

At 10:00am the bombs start dropping for score.  

As usual,  $175 in certificates for DHW are up for grabs, 1st through 5th place, and the top three earn the coveted
SEFSD ’23 medal!

Bomb drop devices, and bombs are provided.


Stay for the meeting, awards & lunch afterwards 

Remember,   don’t watch your

watch your

UCSD Executes Capstone Design Engineering Class Competition at SEFSD Field

Click the pic above for more info, links and videos.  See Randy’s Pano Shots Here.

By Steve Manganelli

Friday, June 16th was a whirlwind as UCSD executed their own cargo competition at SEFSD field. The competition had (8) teams of (4) to (6) students each plus supporters, parents etc. The flight line was full and 2nd row parking nearly full!

Two years ago, our Chairman of the Board Jovi Murek was approached by UCSD Professor John Hwang about using our field for an Engineering Design challenge involving R/C model aircraft. In it’s inaugural year, (4) teams competed and only one aircraft made a successful flight. Our Founders Award holder Dennis Laberge was their designated pilot. I met informally with one of the leaders scouting the field ahead of time and was told the students were forbidden from flying their aircrafts before the competition!

Skip forward to this year where Jovi was approached by Dr. Hwang for a repeat and the appointed date set for June 16th,  2023, coinciding with the end of UCSDs Spring Quarter. I volunteered to help Dennis this time whom reprised his role as (co)test pilot. When I drove up the field a few minutes before the designated 8:00 A.M. start I was shocked to find all the tables taken with eager students and their creations and the rest of the parking lot full. Based on last year’s experience, we did not plan to close the field to members; however this year’s event was way too large to allow concurrent sport flying. I apologize to the Friday A.M. group expecting to sport fly; next year we will issue a Field Closure blast to prevent any expectations for field availability.

Dr. Hwang and his team certainly learned a lot from the inaugural year as at least (7) of the (8) models made at least (1) successful flight in 2023! The students were constrained to use the same motor and approximately 3S1800 battery packs which were charged and provided by school staff. The models all used the same small servos and each team provided a Radio Master transmitter. The students were allowed to select their own propeller and of course had complete freedom in airframe design. Most were tail dragger monoplanes fabricated from everything from additive 3D printing to laser cut balsa wings with ribs and film covering. Non-built up wings were blue or pink foam with some let-in carbon reinforcement. Teams were very creative in control surface actuation methodology, some of which Dennis and I pronounced unflyable and sent the students back to the bench for rework! In my years of working with students in Design-Build-Fly, control surface hinging, security and placement of the control horn pivot over the hinge line always an issue with fledgling model aircraft designers.

The competition involved maximum speed and payload, the former measured with GPS devices carried in the models and the later : golf balls, the more the better! The teams that had the most serviceable designs engaged in a “top this” competition with more and more golf balls added as the flight window wound to a close. The winning team had (10) golf balls designed to be carried internally to the fuselage and (3) more taped to the outside. Their top speed was in the neighborhood of 70 MPH. Dr. Hwang provided award certificates for fastest model, best design, most payload  and of course best speed/payload and then wished the students a great Summer and a successful career.

I want to thank Randy Wyant for providing dynamic drone footage of the takeoffs and landings and to Dennis Laberge and Aaron Nguyen, recent UCSD graduate for assisting SEFSD in a selfless community service effort. Personally, the elation of the students watching their model take to the air, make a circuit of the field and land successfully for the first time is something I relish and being part of it (8) times was the icing on the cake! It was an honor for SEFSD to help UCSD’s 2023 Aerospace Engineering graduating class and look forward to seeing next year’s class in 2024.


SDSU DBF Students Present at AIAA Conference

By Steve Manganelli

The leaders of the SDSU’s Design Build Fly (DBF) Team were honored to be invited to give a presentation at last weeks American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference. The national gathering of aerospace professionals was held this year in Downtown San Diego at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and SEFSD was there! Myself, DBF Mentor and Pilot, Steve Neu were on hand June 13th to cheer on the team and presenters Max Dommers, Jeremy Johnson and Gabriella Gonzalez (L to R in photo) describing their journey that led to their top 10% finish in the DBF Flyoff. See writeup in Aprils issue. The students were quite poised describing their trials and tribulations leading up to the DBF Flyoff. They described experiments with composite fabrication, subteam assignments and division of labor, finite element modeling of their wing structure, prototype aircraft fabrication and real world flight performance vs predictions. They described their schedule beginning with release of the rules/missions in early September to the flyoff in April, 2023.

Mr. Johnson and Ms. Gonzalez are next year’s co-leaders and face the challenge of their experienced team being “decimated” by Graduation! Recruiting will be a top priority said Ms. Gonzalez. Twenty- twenty four will be a rebuilding year and SEFSD mentors will be there to guide them to another successful effort. Watch for info here about next year’s DBF effort and cheer on the test flights as we support our San Diego community of Aerospace Engineering students at our Mission Bay Park field.

Tesla’s Little-Known Prehistory – The TZero

Click the pic below for a fascinating article from a 2021 issue of Autoweek.  You’ll read about the vehicle that made Tesla possible and its creator Alan Cocconi.  Plus, below you’ll see the connection to SEFSD founder Steve Neu.


Pictures from August 31 2003 at SEFSD field.  Click the pics below for more info on the TZero.

“Alan called me (Steve Neu) up and said he wanted to come down and fly planes at SEFSD in San Diego—He drove down from Glendora and flew planes then headed home —nearly 300 miles round trip without charging. The car had something like 5000 18650 lithium ion cells in it. It was the first long distance trip in the TZero since it got updated from lead-acid to lithium. Alan showed us the future is electric!”

Dead Stick Challenge Event Recap

By Jim Bonnardel

I believe the overwhelming opinion was that the Dead Stick Challenge game is a keeper! This was the first time we tried this event, and it took a couple of players to go through before we fine-tuned the game.

First change was the “Mulligan” rule (and yea we also defined what a Mulligan is, a do-over). At first I was asking pilots to call their mulligan BEFORE the airplane touched the ground, but that proved to be just a tad bit of cognitive stress on the pilots, so we changed it to simply applying power and going again. You still got 3 mulligans for the event.

The next change was we went to 3 “play’s” per pilot because as a competition, it goes really fast. You are done in just a couple minutes.

Last change was only providing 10 seconds of motor on power. I’m SO GLAD we didn’t do 20 seconds! OMG, it was amazing how many pilots were successful right up to 199ft with just 10 seconds of power~!

So with that, we began the game. Pilots did high-power launches to get to their best height and then it was on! Early pilots were treated to calm winds, pilots who launched a bit later, were treated to the typical AM thermals that the Electroglide pilots all love!

George Sullivan was the brave soul that stepped up first. His first RTH (return to home) was not so successful, so as he went out to the field doing the walk of shame, Brad went ahead and launched. Brad, being the first pilot to launch and return, set the bar at 42 seconds of glide, and a BULLSEYE 30 point landing. Well now…. thats showing the gang how its done! There was more excitement as we saw virtually ALL types of aircraft come to the line. EDF, Military, Sport, Micro, & Trainer. Balsa and foam planes!

Corey even stepped up with his Helicopter, and did 3 Autorotation landings that of course gave him the opportunity to be flawless with his landing placement in the target. He was the only pilot to get all bullseye 30pt. landings.
What was also interesting was how the pilot’s paid attention to the contest, and learned from each other VERY FAST! It was Brian G, who very early in the event, did the first DOWNWIND landing and showed how he had so much flight control right up to the stop GENIUS! Pilots watched where the lift bubbles were, pilots timed their landing and then dove in, committing like a pro! The longest flight (coast) of the day was Jim’s 1:51 with a 30 pt landing.  That was a single round worth 131 points!
All in all it was very exciting to watch, and we have to give thanks to the Pilots who KNEW that sign-up order breaks ties (and it DID) and jumped in early, not knowing what the best strategies were. There was 1 tie between Brian G and Bob S who both scored 177. BRIAN got the placement since his sign up was ahead of Bobs. Mulligans were spared (meaning people didnt use them all) because many simply couldn’t remember to use it in time! Remember,  first time with this game… I think we did pretty darn good.

Scores were varied and impressive. Getting 1 point per second of airtime, and then the landing bonus of 30, 20, 15, Scores were worthy!

In Finishing order:

Brad B       16th        123
Steve M      15th       131
Mark D       14th       132
Jon U         12th        163
Bob S        11th        177
Brian G       10th       177 * signed in ahead of Bob S
Larry K       8th         209
Alex S        7th         210
Quan N       6th         223
Jovi           5th         269
Scott V       4th          276
Phil           3rd          277
Bruce D      2nd         314
Jim B        1st          323

Congrats to the winners, THANK YOU to all the pilots for participating. Its the club’s membership that makes these events fun, and through participation, continue.

Next month, BOMB DROP!!

Make Your Voice Heard!

Recently the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate both released their draft versions of FAA Reauthorization. In these bills, AMA was successful in securing higher altitudes in uncontrolled airspace, clarifying large model aircraft operations, and providing additional protections for educational UAS operations.

However, AMA’s work isn’t done. We have amendments in both the House and Senate that would allow for higher altitudes for everyone in Class G airspace and would also allow AMA and other community-based organizations to self-declare FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs). We encourage you to TAKE ACTION immediately, it’s critical that Congress hears your voice now. Thank you all for participating in this CALL TO ACTION. Change cannot happen without you!

AMA Government Affairs Team