Daily Archives: December 27, 2023

16 posts

Chairman’s Corner for Dec ’23 – Jan ’24

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all SEFSD members.  “Christmas is the season of joy, of gift-giving, and of families united.” “Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day.” “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” “Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance—each beautiful, unique, and gone too soon. “

This has been a great year for our club.  We did a lot this year and in all the fun we have had in our club events.  I want to Thank all of those who participated in the fourth of July raffle as well as the 50/50 which made this year very exciting.  With both events we were able to lower the cost of the tickets and get a few extra airplanes and I am proud to say, we have sold out the banquet.  I look forward to seeing all who bought tickets at the January 12, 2024, banquet.  I am looking forward to the T-28 races and looks like we are going to add in “Pop-Wings” for next year.  Jim Bonnardel will conduct the race.  Also, our Electroglide which follows the T-28 races the following weekend is going to continue with Jeff Struthers in our upcoming year.  Our monthly meetings have had a great turnout with members coming down to field this past year and engaging in the events.  I do look forward to the upcoming year and the fun will continue.  Thanks to Jim Bonnardel, we will have a calendar with all the events happening in year 2024.  We must also thank our “Hot Dog” man Mark Davis who continue to provide our lunch.  Mark is still looking for extra help with drinks on that one day of the month, would be nice is someone could help him with this!

We have a lot of airplanes this year that will be raffled off with your get ticket that you will receive once you have signed in at the front desk of the Air and Space Museum.  As a reminder all airplanes and the iX 14 Spektum radio are going to be given to our members. We also have a special set of prizes for our younger members that are being donated by Santa Claus, so look for that as well. Our wives and guest will have their own set of tickets and thanks to Steve Manganelli’s wonderful wife, she has put together a great selection of goodies!  I want to remind you all who are coming to the banquet that your ticket you paid for allows you to the enter the Air and Space Museum anytime during the day.  Just give them your name and guest name at the front window as you enter the museum, The banquet begins at 6:00 pm.  You should be able to sign in just before 6pm to get your ticket.  At around 6:30 to 7:00 pm will start the dinner process which will be the same as we have done in the past, one table at a time.  During that time, yours truly will be hosting the event.  Once we have all had our dinner being provided by Lisa Bender, we have a couple of short videos to present from last year. Here is a list of our prizes:

  • Freewing Vulcan High Performance 70mm
  • Freewing Vulcan 4S 70mm
  • Freewing Banshee 64mm
  • Freewing F-35 Lighting II V3 70mm
  • Flight Line P-51 850mm
  • Freewing F-16 Falcon 64mm
  • Freewing F-22 Raptor V2 4S 64mm
  • Skynetic Popwing Black 900mm
  • Night Radian
  • FSM T-28
  • FSM Viper V2 70mm
  • Spektrum IX 14 radio

As soon as all the prizes have been distributed out we still may have time to talk with other members for our event ends at 9:00 pm.  The bar, which I forgot to mention closes before 9:00 pm.

I do have a subject to talk about when flying down at the field.  With the increase of practicing the T-28’s and Pop-Wings starting up, we seem to be dangerously flying in the wrong direction when others are flying in the normal direction.  We need to follow some simple rules and common sense.   Our normal flight pattern is in the clockwise direction, Right to Left when the wind comes from the West.  During the Fall time we get Santa Ana, winds, coming from the East.  We then fly Left to Right and we are in the counterclockwise direction.  If it is a calm day and our windsock is straight down, our flight direction is Right to Left, clockwise direction.  And if the wind is light from the east, we still fly in our normal flight direction.  Don’t change the direction if other pilots are flying in the normal direction.  If all planes are down and you want to change direction due to the wind, CALL it out that you’re going to start flying so that others are aware and will fly in the same direction and we will prevent any possible midair’s.  I also ask that you call out your intentions.  Taking off, low flyby, touch and goes and landings.  If you’re in the middle of the pits you just might hear someone at the west end calling, take off.  However, if you’re at the east end and someone is at the west end saying take off, it is very difficult to hear.  So please, gasp extra air and yell it out in a loud voice calling out your intentions.  Does not matter is your west or east ends of the field YOU must call out your intentions.

And last, I have a few Inspiring Christmas quotes for you all:

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

“I love the excitement, the childlike spirit of innocence, and just about everything that goes along with Christmas.”

“It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.”



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you all at the field and on January 12, 2023, at the banquet!

President’s Corner for Dec ’23 – Jan ’24


As we close out 2023 I would like to throw out a “Thank You!” to each and every member.

It is your participation, and your efforts to keep drama at a minimum that makes ours a great club!

To start my newsletter for the month I will touch base on the Banquet. I was not shy last month when I mentioned that it would be best to buy your tickets early, so I am still surprised to hear people realizing just last weekend that the tickets have sold out.  There may still be one or two available the closer we get to banquet day as a few people may be under the weather or on unexpected travel when the party day arrives. I have asked Jim Bonnardel to be the front man for unused tickets, so please contact him if you may have an extra one or two, or are in need of a ticket. No Guarantees, but a chance is a chance.

For those that purchased early, Thanks for getting it done! All 100 available tickets were purchased by 04 December, which was a record timeline for ticket sales. The list containing Member and Guest names of attendees will be forwarded to the Air & Space Museum before the event so they will be able to verify you are actually part of the event, and your participation includes full access to the museum for the day. We will seat for dinner with appetizers and an open Bar at 6:00 PM, and after a few introductions will start our catered prime rib dinner. There will be a neat video by Jovi, and a scrolling photo presentation by Frank to accompany dinner. Afterwards, will be one of the best SEFSD raffles I have seen in quite a while. There will be specific prizes for the actual members, and special prizes for their guests. After the raffle and awards presentation, we will clean up and plan our exit around 9:00 PM.

I want to thank the players of the 50/50 raffles I held at the field on event days during 2023. There were numerous cash winners, and the club proceeds were sufficient to remove thirty dollars from the admission price for every ticket sold. A pure WIN/WIN in my book. A few people not only played the 50/50 but also directly supported the 50/50 endpoint with standalone cash or raffle prize donations, and I would like to share their names – and ask you to thank them when you have the chance:

Jon Vance

Laura LaBerge

Andy LaBerge

Phil Barlow.

 Also, as we end 2023, Membership renewals for Calendar year were available beginning December 1st. Quite a few have renewed already, but not as many as I have seen in previous years. There is nothing to gain by waiting. ALL 2023 memberships will expire at sundown on December 31st. You DO risk being asked to not fly and go home if you show up to the field with a smile – and no membership for 2024… About half of the club also needed to renew their AMA membership this month, Have you?

For those that have renewed, there will be several badge days at the field this year for you to pick up your 2024 badge ( If you have renewed).

Plan on badges being available for pick-up between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on the days listed below.

The first day will be 30 December, when I also plan to have several Pizzas on site for members who pick up first. Pizzas should arrive around 10:30ish. Follow on badge days will be 31 December and 01 Jan, and 06, 07, 13, and 14 Jan.  Badges may also be available at the sign in table the evening of the banquet.  As a quick note, Badges are not instantaneous. Peter does a great job. But if you renew your membership at 1:00 AM on the 30th, I hope I don’t see you at 9:00 AM demanding your badge (It Happens…) Any badges not picked up by 14 Jan will be mailed to members on or about 15 Jan. Badges will be mailed to the address you put on your membership application. If you are here for the winter, your badge may be waiting for you in your home mail box when you return there. Hopefully you either pick them up, or put a note in the comments section of the application on where to send your badge..

  A couple of people have been absent at the field this month, and I miss them. Their absence was caused by propeller injuries. I was asked not to scare people before Christmas by posting the grisly pictures, but I will say Thanks to Brent and Jon for prompting me to remind people of the dangers of spinning propellers. Fail safes and Throttle cuts do fail from time to time – don’t count on them100%.  Always be mindful of the sharp end of your airplanes. Always be watchful of what is happening in the pit areas and on the tables when you are walking the back side of the flight line. NEVER taxi any airplane in the pit area. AND, if you must work on a plane with the Motor/ESC energized, PLEASE take a few moments and remove that propeller. Electronics and people fail – and an instant can cause a lot of tissue damage and pain. A quick review of your first aid kits would also be a good idea as we start the year. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend even a basic kit as part of what you bring daily to the field. I would also like a few of you to re-think flying alone at our club. Not only can you be target by vagrants, but you could be in a position that requires help. Both of the gentlemen hurt recently needed assistance from others.

Finally, I would like to talk about how we fly, and the need to get along at the field. 18 years ago we were having issues with improving technology allowing Helicopters the ability to fly 3D and stay in the air longer than 2 or 3 minutes at a time. They were flying 3D directly over the runway for extended periods and making it difficult for plane pilots to safely land. After several accidents, We pushed them to the rotor-plex area. Most complied 12 years ago, MultiRotor aircraft became the Hazard while hovering over the field and in the flight pattern. After several accidents, We pushed them to the rotor-plex or to the outer field area. Most complied.

Recently, light profile aircraft have come into their own as extremely light, rigid planes combined with powerful small motors and batteries are able to achieve nearly a 4 to 1 power to weight ratio. One problem is that they are fairly small and to really wring them out, you need them close in to see their quick responses. Several normal plane pilots have voiced concerns of midair crashes as they fly the normal pattern and attempt to land. I have had a chance to speak with 3 or 4 of the profile pilots and DO NOT want to push them to the rotor-plex area. They are flying fixed wing planes and we need to get along. They have agreed to fly near the north edge of the runway when others are in the air, and to listen when others announce taking off and landing so they can clear the area. HOWEVER – they ask that you CALL OUT LOUDLY your intentions to do low, high speed passes, and LOUDLY announce when you are landing.  We can work together – but communication is the key. If you hear someone whispering their intention to land and the 3d planes are not moving – repeat their intention in a loud voice for them.

Remember, if you feel uncomfortable with the way someone flying at the same time as yourself – YOU can land and save it for a few minutes.

Or, if you see someone flying like DAVID, YOU can make the choice to save your plane and watch his/their madness.

There are certain people that I NEVER risk a valuable airplane to share the sky with.

If you see someone flying in an unsafe or uncourteous manner, YOU as a member of this club, have the power to approach them and explain how to do it right. Quite often they just don’t know and will appreciate your interaction.

Finally, as a person that likes to throw my planes around as much as anybody – If you are flying outside of the pattern and doing advanced maneuvers – it is YOUR responsibility to have situational awareness as to what the other planes are doing. DO NOT do a vertical up-line directly in front of a ducted fan, DO NOT do a low, high speed pass as someone is on final to land.  Common sense and communication has always been keys to success in our club – let’s not lose sight of that.

The field will be open flying with no organized events until Saturday, 13 Jan which will see the return of the Monthly T-28 Racing Series, and also the reintroduction of Popwing racing.

 I hope everyone receives what their hearts desire for Christmas, and also for 2024.

Love you guys!

Be safe.


SEFSD Blanket Donation

by Quan Nguyen
Each year, SEFSD donates 40 blankets to St. Paul’s PACE, a Medicaid program serving lower-income seniors. Many of these seniors live alone, have no family nearby, and these blankets are sometimes the ONLY gift they get the entire holiday season. On December 5th, Quan delivered two bundles of blankets to the non-profit for distribution to the seniors.

The Gallaudet Seaplane Project, Pt. 4

by Allan Flowers


The cockpit shroud was formed from aluminum sheet over a wooden form, annealed and bullied into shape with a dowel. It’s not perfect (first attempt was a failure) but the cockpit combing will hide the worst of it .

Continue reading

Treasurers Report for December 2023

By Steve Manganelli

Greetings and Happy Holidays from the SEFSD Treasurer’s desk. Our planned expenditures and income for our Fiscal Year (FY), completed 30 November, was perfectly in-line with expectations and plans to execute 100% of FY revenue without dipping into reserves. A new budget based on FY2023 actuals with appropriate adjustments for inflation was approved by the BOD in November, resulting in no increase in dues necessary for 2024. The BOD felt that not increasing the 2nd household member dues last year was simply an oversight corrected this year. We have President Brad Bender and Chairman of the Board Jovi Murek respectively, to thank for 50/50 raffle revenue and 4th of July transmitter raffle revenue. This allowed both largesse in Banquet raffle prizes and a significant reduction in Banquet Ticket prices in spite of higher food costs and more high-end food selections.

Each month, the BOD sees a Cash Flow ledger showing actual income and itemized expenditures for the past month plus our net worth. As our Website is fully public, specifying actual dollar amounts historically invited fraud/phishing and other scam attempts, so we avowed to no longer do that. However, if any member wants to know specifics of our financial situation they make arrangements to meet me on the field and I’ll be happy to show them details of our financial plans.

T28 Racing Report for December 2023

Click the pic for all the racing pics

We held the final T28 race of the year on December 9th. We had a strong turnout with 12 pilots battling it out . Several of the races were very tight with less than 5 feet between first and second places at the finish line.  After the battles of the preliminary round matchups and results for the finals were  as follows:


1) Jeff
2) Larry


1) SteveM
2) Corry
3) Carl
4) Fritz


1) Max
2) SteveN
3) Glen
4) Brad

Next year we will be continuing with the same successful rules and format. For those new to our T28 racing please read about the rules here: https://www.sefsd.org/club-contests/t28-racing/t28-rules-information/

All planes should display their 2 digit number as per the rules—if you need a number please contact me at sneu@mac.com and we will get one assigned to you.

Also if you have any questions about setting up or trimming your T28 feel free to see me at the field( most Sundays) or by email at the above address. There is no secret tuning or tweaks to the T28 planes, motors/props or controllers that make much difference in speed—all planes are very close. The differences have to do with trimming and practice. Settings for sport flying usually result in a plane that is difficult to fly smoothly 10 feet off the ground—spend some time on setup!

For those looking to acquire a T28 there will be 4 given away at the annual party in January!

The January T28 races will be followed by the return of Pop Wing racing. Be sure to bring lots of charged batteries!

Repeat after me “ go fast and turn left” !

Steve Neu

Editor’s Note:

Happy Hollidays to everyone.  I apologize for the lateness of the newsletter this month.  My computer went belly up a week before Christmas.  I got a new one and I now have it just enough housebroken for it to be useful.  See you all soon.  – Ed.