Daily Archives: January 25, 2024

13 posts

President’s Corner for Jan – Feb ’24

Happy wet week SEFSD!

  As 2024 kicks off, there is quite a bit I would like to touch on.

The 2023 close-out Banquet went Spectacularly! Thanks to those that participated and purchased their tickets early. It was a full house event without an empty seat. Many thanks go out to the Board of Directors for their efforts this past year to make this event possible. Those that participated in the July fundraising raffle, and the 50/50 ran throughout the year, helped us finance the event and are already participating in fundraising for this years party. The only part of the banquet that will count as “ unplanned” was that the Air&Space Museum chose that week to hang a new display in the entrance – finishing late Friday on the day of the event. This prevented our members from having full access to tour  the venue as expected. Since attendee admittance to the museum was part of our price to rent the event center, the Museum has agreed to share 100 adult passes with SEFSD so that party goers still have that chance. More info will be coming on How/When to claim your passes.

  As we closed out 2023, and during the first 2 weekends of 2024, Myself and Brian held multiple Badge Days at the field. Pizza day on December 30th seemed to be the most popular. By my count, nearly 220 members renewed early, and half of them came to personally pick up their 2024 membership cards. Thank you, not only does it save the club on postage, and save our membership coordinator, Peter Kalenak, a “death of a thousand cuts” from having to lick all of those envelopes – It allows me to get a face to face hello with quite a few members. All remaining badges have been mailed to members at the address listed on their application. Renewals from here on will be mailed Bi-weekly.

  For those that have not renewed their membership yet, I can only ask “ why not?”.  We do not pro-rate, there is no advantage in waiting. You pay the same dues on Jan 01 as you will on Nov 30…  Non-members cannot participate in any club events or monthly raffles ( members only ) that use membership funds to give the winners gift certificates or prizes. The site combination locks have now changed. Paid members have the combinations. I have asked all paid members not to share the combo with non-members. Please wear your 2024 badges at all times while on site.

 The Red Lock was in use again this past week – for good reason. The whole premise is to reduce damage to the main runway when the surface is too wet to walk on. Believe me, I have heard all of the excuses : My plane doesn’t leave tracks / I Never walk on a wet runway / I fly drones/ I drove here to fly, so I should be able to – no matter what… All of which culminates with a damaged surface.  As I exchanged in a mail with a member recently, one of my priorities as President is to keep the runway in useable condition for the majority of flyers to use.  Every time I have trusted members to do the right/reasonable/common sense thing, I have been sadly disappointed. Notable this month is the member in the white truck that jumped the curb on 01 Jan with his child, and flew on the muddy runway surface, leaving around 300 DEEP footprints – and the Flyer in the white SUV who flew on Sunday  the 21st with his 2 children. He slipped in during a short break in the rain ( Common sense –remember?) and left about 150 footprints in the mud before I could get there and put the red lock in place.  I get lots of drama about the red lock – but more pain and alligator tears are inbound when the surface is destroyed for months by selfish members who can’t let it go for a few days to benefit the majority.  On average, the red lock is placed about 20 days a year. Please accept that. If it has rained within the past 24 hours – or flooding conditions had occurred within the last 48 hours, please count on the field being unusable and stay away.

  There are quite a few new members so far this year. Lately they seem to show up, park away from everybody else, and put aircraft up without asking even the basic safety questions at our site. People in the state of California seem to line up when figuring out how to sue people. This is the reason you sign a waiver with the city when you join. The flight boundaries are in place to keep the general public, and you, safe. I will state a few need to knows, which will be reminders to most members. All flying must be conducted North of the fence line at the main runway, and Northeast of the fence line at the rotor plex area. There is no acceptable reason to fly over the pit areas, the tables, or the parking areas – EVER.  Never fly over SeaWorld Drive, or South Shores Parkway.  For the drone area, Never fly within 100 feet of any roadway or foot path. Do Not fly within 50 feet of persons or animals in the field area. Never “BUZZ” people. That would equal an immediate expulsion from the club for safety violations. The North end of our field is bordered by a foot path, just past the palm trees. Familiarize yourself with this area and don’t fly past the trees. Please do not conduct high speed passes between the runway centerline and the fence, one servo failure and your plane can cause unnecessary damage to people and property. If your plane is not responding to your control, or is going down, ENSURE you call out to the other members on site that you have an emergency so they can maybe avoid taking a hit.

 T-28 and Popwing racing has resumed. T-28 is following the past process of qualifiers and mains while the Popwing master, Jimmy B, is developing the rules and point system for the Popwings. The next race day will be Feb 10th at 10:00 AM. Electroglide, the longest running powered glider contest in the country, has also resumed. Thanks Jeff S for again being the Glide Coordinator, and keeping the lines painted on the runway. We are looking for a reliable person to take over running the Announcer/Timer Tasks which the pilots rely on when scoring the flights. Basically you will be calling the competition on the 3rd Saturday of every month between 10:00 and 11:30 AM. For more information, please see myself or Jeff Struthers.

 Jimmy B. has populated both the website and Facebook calendars with our monthly fun fly competitions for the year, Please take a look and ask questions about anything you do not understand. This months event will be POKER Fly on the 27th beginning at 10:00 am, followed by the monthly meeting, and hot dogs.

  Here’s to a GREAT year!


Poker Fly

The first event for 2024 is the POKER FLY!
Ya gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em!
Saturday,  1, 27, 2024  SEFSD    
Poker hands start being dealt at 10:00am   Be there for the pilots meeting!
One of our most simple events,  just take off and land to earn a card to build your hand.
Club meeting and BBQ to follow.

2023 Founders Award

Click above for banquet pics

By Steve Manganelli

Introducing SEFSD’s 2023 Founders Award recipient, Mr. Frank Sutton! Selection of this year’s award winner given to a club member providing great service to the Club, but not on the Board of Directors, was made by unanimous vote back in November of 2023 and presented at the January 12th banquet. Generally, secrets such as these are not well kept and the recipient knows about the award. However, Frank was completely surprised and the only non-BOD member let in on the secret was his son Alex Sutton whom was quickly drafted as substitute photographer.  Frank of course is the photographer of all Club events  and the creator of the SEFSD Memories slide show premiered at the 2024 Banquet and can be seen below:

Frank as most of us know, is a club member but does not fly himself, deferring the family flights to his son Alex whom is a great R/C pilot, glider pilot and aspiring Airline Pilot.  Frank has proven his dedication to SEFSD by continuing to attend and photograph all club events even after Alex went away to College in August of 2023. I am personally grateful to Frank for attending an F-5B Practice and making a documentary video of the class competition; this had never been done prior to Frank’s effort.  Our “SmugMug” page and the photographs therein are glue that keeps us together.  One of the photos by the way, became the medal artwork for the 2024 T-28 medals.  Frank and I ply the archives of T-28 race photos to come up with a suitable picture that can be cropped into a 2” circle. The winner from his last (3) submittals was presented to him at the banquet as well. As the first T-28 race of the year was held the day after the banquet, Frank is the first 2024 T-28 medal recipient: thanks for all you do, Frank!

The Founders Perpetual Award was created by the BOD in 2022 to recognize a non-BOD member providing the greatest service to the Club in the preceding year. It’s hard to believe that our little organization is now 30 years old and we are old enough to have a history and that some of our original founding members are still active members (and Officers) of the Club, but it is so. The intent is as long as one of our original founding members is still active, the perpetual trophy would be surrendered and re-awarded to the new recipient at the Winter banquet each year. The picture is L-R, Frank, myself (Founder), Steve Neu (Founder), Dennis LaBerge (2022 Recipient) and Steve Belknap (Founder).


BOD Meeting Minutes for Dec ’23 & Jan ’24

By Brian Glensky

Public Memorandum to Club Members

Subject: Board of Directors Meeting, December 6, 2023

The board of directors convened 12/6/2023, the meeting was called to order at 6:38pm and adjourned at 8:00pm. The following board members were present: Jovi Murek (Chairman), Brad Bender (President), Quan Nguyen (Vice President), Brian Glensky (Secretary), Steve Manganelli (Treasurer), Steven Belknap (Editor), Steve Neu (Safety Officer), Larry Kosta (Member), Phil Barlow (Member)

The following business and items of interest were discussed during the board meeting:

Old Business:

1) All information has been provided for the 2024 membership badges; the membership coordinator expects to review a few samples before placing the final order. They will be available for pick up at the airfield December 30, 31 and January 6, 7.

2) A ‘Freeze Fly’ event will take place January 1, 2024; badges will also be available for pick up.

3) Reminder a new gate and Porta-Potty combo will be in effect on January 14, 2024.

4) Charitable donations (blankets) that were received to the club have been successfully discharged to the St Paul’s PACE organization. Thank you, Quan, for making the arrangements.

New Business:

1) As we have been renewing membership for 2024, it has been noted that several members’ AMA memberships expire at the end of 2023. As a reminder, an active AMA membership is required to fly at our club; please review your AMA membership for required renewal to prevent lapse in coverage.

2) Treasurer confirmed funds to purchase 36 competition medals for 2024.


1) Please be sure to follow the established take-off direction and flying pattern, avoid cross pattern take-offs, and have a look around before take-off to understand the environment. Be courteous and respectful to your fellow flyers already in the air. 

2) If you are a member hosting children or other adult trainees, please ensure you are providing the correct level of supervision/assistance necessary to that person’s skill level.

3) A couple of members were injured in the last month from propellor strikes. When performing troubleshooting take the time to remove the aircraft’s propeller, and always remain aware of prop arcs when connecting batteries.


Subject: Board of Directors Meeting, January 10, 2024

The board of directors convened 1/10/2024, the meeting was called to order at 6:36pm and adjourned at 7:55pm. The following board members were present: Jovi Murek (Chairman), Brad Bender (President), Quan Nguyen (Vice President), Brian Glensky (Secretary), Steve Manganelli (Treasurer), Steve Neu (Safety Officer), Larry Kosta (Member), Phil Barlow (Member), Jim Bonnardel (Member), Steven Belknap (Member)

The following business and items of interest were discussed during the board meeting:

Old Business:

  • Banquet:
    1. The museum will be closed to public day of banquet, awaiting confirmation from curator on availability for club member access before dinner.
    2. Catering setup will begin at 1600, 11 tables for members and 9 for catering team.
    3. Steve Manganelli coordinating center pieces and the recipients of the center pieces.
    4. 18 guest items to be raffled in bulk.
  • Badges
    1. New gate/porta potty combo will change afternoon of 1/14/24.
  • Donations
    1. 3 planes donated to banquet raffle, member requested anonymity and for prizes to specifically be available to teen club members at the banquet.
    2. 1 used (assembled/flight tested) aircraft provided by member for children’s banquet raffle.
    3. Member to provide four drones for the children’s raffle.
  • Field signs: Quan is making plans to rework the field signs including the area map and posted rules board; plans to include AMA/Fria information.

New Business:

  • FRIA approved for SEFSD, site license and sign (AMA Fria logo) to be posted on premises.
  • Discussion concerning members managing guests and family appropriately; a member’s guest is their responsibility.
  • Fun Boss
    1. SEFSD Facebook Event calendar set for 2024.
    2. New talent show event has been developed.
    3. Will provide list of cash requests/certificates to the Treasurer to support events.
    4. Requested $550 dollars to support POP Wing races, president motioned to provide funds and seconded by board members.
  • Editor needs event schedule for posting on club website.
  • Drone Safety Day is scheduled for 4/27/2024.
  • President requested to start plan for reinstating the club’s AMA Gold Leader status.

PopWing Racing Report for Jan 2024

Return of PopWing Racing!
Hello racers!
January’s PopWing event was met with a LOT of participants,  and for that ,  I personally THANK YOU for RACING!
I’ll say first that we are SCRUBBING the points for January.   Going to consider that a practice run,  and yea,  revise the program.
There were some new rule changes, as well as some changes to the format.   Some worked,  some did not do so well.
So,  we will tune the event to be a bit less stressful on the racers, callers, turn marshals’ and even the event coordinator.
All good intentions aside,  it was pretty evident that 8 aircraft in the air at a time was just too much. I wanted more than 3 aircraft races, but when we got to 8,  it was clear that it just got too messy to keep track of the positions.  I’ll try a max of 5 aircraft (but that is always dependent on how many show for the event on race day).
Having the race “End” at the crossing of the leader (at 10 laps) was also just too confusing as callers cannot be responsible for knowing the pilot’s position also.  Sure, if we had electronic lap counting that would be easy, but we do not!    Making it smooth and easy is the key to success, so we are just letting everyone go to 10 laps,  even if it takes them 10 minutes….
10 lap events are not a problem for batteries,  I did 2 races on 1 battery pack (1800mAh) and still had plenty of electrons for later.
 There was also a bit of trouble hearing the starting countdown on the PA system,  I will modify that for next month so we can hear the tones.
Even with the program changes, everyone still had a great time lapping the flags again,  and I’m sure it will grow as members see what fun it is on a smaller budget.
See you next race!!

T28 Racing Report for Jan 2024

Our first T28 race of the year had 15 pilots going for the gold. The weather was nearly perfect with calm winds. We had most all of the usual suspects plus several new faces. Alex made the trek down from school up north to race—dedication!
With large numbers of pilots we had numerous fast paced 4 plane heats with lots of wing tip to wing tip duals resulting in one injured plane(mine). My backup T28 was standing at the ready for the next round—as Brad likes to say “Rubbing is Racing”! 
After the dust settled for the preliminary rounds and the results totaled the matchups for the finals was set. The 10 lap finals tend to reward consistency over risk taking.
The finals results were as follows:
Bronze: Jeff
Silver: Steve
Gold: Max
After the medals were passed out we had a raffle for the pilots and people who helped run the contest as a way to say thanks! 
For those interested in joining our monthly races, getting a FMS 800mm T28 is pretty easy with planes available at our local Discount Hobbies in Kearney Mesa of from various online retailers. One of the rules is that each plane needs to have a “racing number” displayed on both the top and bottom  of their wings to help identify the planes to the turn judges. If you need a number please send me a email and we will get one assigned to you. Additional information on the racing format and the planes can be found here:https://www.sefsd.org/club-contests/t28-racing/t28-rules-information/
That is it for this month—be sure to “ go fast and turn left”!
Steve Neu

Electroglide Report for Jan 2024

The Electroglide season for 2024 started last Saturday. This being wintertime, flying conditions were not so great. Temperature was 60 degrees and the wind was from the Southeast at 9 mph and the skies were mostly cloudy.

I had my Radian up at 9:30 when there was little wind and actually found some lift off to the West of our field. By the 10:00 start time, the wind had picked up.

First launch had six pilots try their skills, five Radians and one Conscendo.  Dennis LaBerge, (Radian), had the longest flight at 2:54 minutes plus a 30-point landing. Stephen Treger, (Radian), came in second at 2:44 and Jon Vance was third at 2:36 with a 10-point landing. Neil Zhu, (Conscendo), and Fritz Logan, (Radian), both picked up 20-point landings.

Second launch again had short flight times with Dennis having the longest flight at 2:30. Stephen came in second again at 2:23. Fritz Logan, (Radian), was third at 2:08. Neil Zhu again picked up a 20-point landing.

Third launch had a little bit longer flight times with Dennis again having the long flight at 3:30 minutes. Stephen came in second at 3:00 with a 10-point landing. Neil was third at 2:36 and a 20-point landing. Fritz also picked up a 20-point landing.

Fourth and final launch had almost everyone going to the area above the Rotoplex, the spot found for the third launch, but the lift was no longer there. Stephen tried the far western area of our field and found some good lift, giving him the longest flight of the day, a time aloft of 4:05. He also had a 10-point landing, just clearing the weeds at the edge of the runway. Second place goes to Dennis at 2:15, with a 20-point landing. Third place was earned by Neil at 2:12, also with a 20-point landing. Fritz picked up a 30-point landing.

I would like to point out how hard it is to park a glider, (dead stick), in the target circles while dealing with a South crosswind. The fact that so many pilots scored extra point landings Saturday is quite impressive.

Thanks go out to Alex Sutton for the event pictures.

Next Electroglide is scheduled for February 17th. The first launch being 10:00 a.m.

See you there,

Jeff Struthers

Frank’s Friendly SEFSD Photo Tips
























And now you know!  Of course, many Pilots already knew and

occasionally practice these Friendly SEFSD Photo Tips!

See you at the Field!


Fly Smart, and Fly Safe!


Frank Sutton

Hobie Sutton Studios