Chairman’s Corner for June – July 2024

Summer is upon us, weather is getting warmer, and the field is getting dryer.  Hello members, I hope all are doing well and getting ready for summer.  We have a couple of great events happening in July and September.  But first, this weekend with our club meeting we are not going to have Hot Dogs, we are going to have a Taco truck on the 4th of July, this will be a fun event of just flying our planes and having a great time with our members.  I hope to see you all on the 4th of July event.  Just a couple of reminders, that the gate will be locked.  Meaning when you enter the field, lock the gate behind you, we are going to avoid any unwanted guest parking their car and walking down to the beach.  Also, no charcoal BBQ, only gas ones are permitted.  No Alcohol or drugs are permitted at the field at any time, not just the 4th of July.  Greatly appreciate that everyone complies with the rules.  Thank You.

Jim Bonnardel has another great event; do you know what it is???  Altitude Quest, can you hit the mark at 200 feet?  Guess we will see who will get the closest and get the top gift certificate for Discount Hobbies…  50/50 is still in play and thank you Brad for your continued effort in cutting the price for the banquet.  Our Raffle is also going on for September 2, 2024.  This Labor Day event is when we raffle off the prizes which you can see every Saturday at the field.  One dollar could win you the top prize, who knows, maybe you will be the lucky one that all your tickets get called and you win everything…. but to do that, one must buy more then 1 ticket.  Tickets are available via the internet straight from the flyer that comes out every Friday.  Here you must buy 10+ tickets.  Down at the field, you may buy one if you like.

This coming Sunday, look to the sky’s, to the west and SpaceX will launch at 8:45pm to 12:39 am if there are delays.  Make sure you have your camera ready, it’s a great site to see.  Plus, our weather is looking good so the sky should be clear. 

See you all at the field,


Chairman of the Board.

President’s Corner for June – July 2024

Hey Flyers!

We officially hit the first day of summer this week, and it’s starting to warm up out there. As temperatures are rising, I would like to remind you to bring plenty of fluids with you to the field to ensure you (and any guests with you) remain hydrated. Also, ensure your fire extinguishers are charged and ready for use if needed. The outer field area is very dry now and at risk if we lose control of in incident with a damaged battery. Also, there seem to be a lot more sticker bushes out there than in the last few years – Thought needs to be given as to your attire if you regularly walk out to the field after a plane. Shorts may not be the best option.

There have been a lot of new faces at the club lately, and newer people asking how to get started in the club. A lot of you have been taking your time to explain the best ways to get started, Thank you.  One thing to remember when you’re talking with someone without any experience is that you want them to be successful with a positive experience. A lot of them show up with stars in their eyes thinking they’re gonna fly a Mustang or a Corsair or be a 3-D God with their very first airplane. We all know that’s not generally the case. We have had one member show up with a jet for his trainer, and he was successful with it. However, He is the exception-not the rule. Please recommend a good beginning Aircraft and a good radio system for a beginner. Keep in mind that while you’re radio may be the favorite for you, if it is one that is not widely utilized at the field, the person will not have much luck when asking for help. I have seen a few members, recommend the radio master transmitter, which while a great radio – hardly anybody understands it enough to help a new person sut up and program a new plane. Most of all, please try to give a friendly welcome to newcomers as they attempt to enjoy this wonderful hobby.

Over the last month, the ants had done a wonderful job of tearing up our runway surface. The board is currently looking at options for a water truck and a roller to touch up the runway surface. The company we’ve used for the last few years has sold their water trucks, and they’re no longer available. Quan is investigating alternate routes and we will wet and flatten the runway when possible. The parking lot is also dry and dusty. The 5MPH speed limit is the LAW in all off-pavement areas of Mission Bay Park – and by respecting that, you also keep from dusting out everyone trying to have a fun day. Smiling and stating that you were ” Only doing 15 MPH ” doesn’t earn forgiveness from anyone… We are an approved model aircraft site. Any RC Cars used in the parking lot are also limited to 5 MPH to keep the risk of injuries, and the dust down.

 A quick comment on safety, while we always encourage people to REMOVE the propeller from their airplane while doing any type maintenance or repairs at the field, it is also your responsibility to Look And Ask what is going on before stepping in front of a propeller. Situational  awareness is primary to staying safe.  As always, I would like everyone to respect each other while on site, and be safe in all model flight activities.

 With the Fourth of July approximately 2 weeks away, I would like to touch on what we have planned. Our site is a great location to enjoy some flying in the day, and watch fireworks after sundown. SeaWorld has one of the best shows in the county, and the floating barge they light their fireworks from is directly visible from our field. Sadly, we remain a dawn to dusk use facility by FAA Mandate, so night flying with lighted aircraft is prohibited.  In previous years, we had a quick exit route by using Old SeaWorld drive as a shortcut to Friars road, and taking that to Interstate 8 in Fashion Valley. I’m not sure if that will work this year due to construction on Friars Road, so take a look ahead of time to plan your post-show exit. The show will be great if you are willing to wait in any post-fireworks traffic. The Park rules state no glass bottles and no charcoal or pellet grills. If you have a small gas grill that you would like to use, that is acceptable.

Instead of having Hot Dogs after our club meeting on June 22nd, we will roll those funds into a Taco Truck that will be on site for members between approximately 11:00AM and 1:00PM on the Fourth.  As the day progresses, we will close the gate and our site will be locked, but available only to members and their guests past 3:00PM. You can come and go, but please close and lock the gate behind you.  Experience has shown painfully that if we allow general public use of our site, non-members will dump trash and diapers, and go to the bathroom wherever it is convenient – giving us a lot of clean up over the following days. The city generally closes the surface streets heading to Mission Bay around 4:30 PM, so plan accordingly.

Please pack out your trash with you. The few City waste bins on site are only emptied monthly, and we are not to pile trash next to them.

This months Fun Fly event on June 22nd will be a club favorite. Come join us at 10 AM for ALTITUDE QUEST where the members will compete for Gift Certificates to Discount Hobby Warehouse. It should take 60-90 minutes depending on the number of participants, and will be followed by the monthly club meeting at the field. Remember, there will NOT be a lunch provided by the club – as we will do Tacos on the 4th instead. Please bring your lunch if you plan on staying after 12PM.

Stay safe and respect others on site!

Monthly Meeting and Event

The Monthly Event is June 22, 10AM


Saturday June 22nd, 10AM
Meeting to Follow
Prizes 1st through 5th Place

SEFSD Supports UCSD Model Aircraft Design Competition

Dennis’s Team

By Steve Manganelli

Twenty-twenty four marked the third year of SEFSD supporting the flyoff of University of California San Diego (UCSD) Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering professor John Hwang’s MAE-155 Aerospace Engineering Design class. The design class started March 27th with the competition taking place on June 14th at our Mission Bay Park field. This class is the culminating exercise for graduating senior aerospace engineering students whom design and fabricate a payload carrying R/C model. The flight mission changed a little from last year as this year’s  payload was water filled 20 ml syringes vs golf balls.. The object was to carry as many as possible on a successful flight which was a takeoff, fly around the pattern and landing in one piece (more or less). The scoring formula had to do with weight and size envelope of the model without payload and the number of syringes carried. The models were carefully weighed before each flight attempt and tentative scores recorded.

Flying the explicitly unflown models is where  SEFSD support was paramount: none of the students were R/C pilots and none appeared to have R/C model building experience! Myself, Dennis LaBerge and Glen Merritt each adopted (2) teams for the flying chores. Before flying, each model required some rework: poorly hinged control surfaces, excessive control throws, flexible servo linkages, incorrect Center of Gravity and weak landing gears plagued most of the models. Once corrections were made, the models took to the air!

Glen Merritt’s all white model made the first scoring flight followed by my team, “Build With Friends” (BWF). The BWF team can be seen in the group photos wearing light blue shirts. I felt sorry for Dennis’s black and red team as they initially had an unworkable aileron hinging system and a (4) wheel non-steerable landing gear configuration. However, just pointing the plane into the steadily increasing wind (which fortunately stayed mostly down the pike) coupled with Dennis’s  great flying skill eventually proved victorious in the competition with I believe around 40 syringes. My BWF team finished 2nd with around 32 syringes and I believe Glen’s charges were 3rd. Other teams suffered from either inadequate power or too large a propeller or “aero-elastic” problems that resulted in crashes.

You might think something bad could happen with all these inexperienced aviators together, but it’s really quite safe: the students are provided the same propulsion system, radio system, servos, a selection of appropriate propellers and a supply of 3S-1800 batteries charged and maintained by experienced UCSD staff member Paul Arcoleo.  Paul’s position is to provide basic guidance on tool use and of course assure safety during the fabrication and be the master instructor during the flyoff. I really enjoyed the elation of the students watching their handiwork take to the air for the first time; it’s a feeling cherished among us experienced R/C model designers as well.

I also want to recognize Frank Sutton whom came and took many pictures for our album, to Larry Kosta for helping out Frank with a few mobile shots, to Jeff Struthers for loaning us a fire extinguisher (unneeded as it turned out) and of course my co-pilots Glen and Dennis.


SEFSD Vice President Quan Earns His Private Pilot License

It took ten months, 148 hours of flight training, a lot of money, and two checkride attempts, but on June 9th, 2024, I finally passed my checkride, earning me the privilege to fly passengers for pleasure around the country. I actually got into RC planes first because when I was younger, my parents considered it too dangerous to jump into a clapped out (but still airworthy) Cessna Skyhawk to go on a discovery flight in French Valley Airport in Temecula, where I grew up. Flying a model plane from the ground seemed like a safer option.
Learning to fly took me about three lessons a week, about 1.5 hours each, and $295 an hour. This is not to mention the 40 hours of ground school I had to do at home online, as well as in the classroom. There was also a 60 question FAA knowledge test to take before being eligible to take the checkride. During my training, I learned slow flight, stalls, ground reference maneuvers, and handling emergencies like engine-out scenarios.
On my checkride day (that’s like the final exam for student pilots), there were two portions, a 2 hour oral exam, and then a 2 hour flight portion, if I passed the oral portion. I blew through the oral exam in just under two hours. The flight portion didn’t go so well though! After a successful short field landing and staying in the pattern, my DPE (examiner) asked me to do a slip to a normal landing, and I missed my touchdown point by 200ft. FAILED! “Oh well”, I thought, I tried my best, but failed before I even left the airport.
I still opted to continue the checkride and do airwork, since whatever portion I passed, I don’t have to redo next time. So I finished the checkride flight 2 hours later, and returned to the Carlsbad Airport knowing I wouldn’t be getting my PPL today. What a bummer, I thought.
So I spent the next three weeks practicing a forward slip to landing, making sure I could land anywhere I wanted to, and retook the test in Ramona. I passed and flew back to Carlsbad as a Private Pilot! My journey is just starting though, as I’m working on my instrument rating, and hope to own a Bonanza 36 someday!
Your Vice President

Letter to the New Members

Hello SEFSD New Flyers,

My name is Larry Kosta and if you are interested in learning to fly model airplanes, please contact me at my email address:  I am listed on our website as the primary flight instructor.

Once you enroll with the AMA, you will then be eligible to join our local club, Now that you have established your membership in both organizations, we can get to the fun stuff, flying!

I have a Buddy Box system, that consists of two transmitters (Instructor & Student) tied together. You can take full control of the plane on the student transmitter, but you do not have to worry about crashing because I will take over on the instructor transmitter if you get in trouble.

Initial training starts with our club safety rules and an explanation of where the flying boundaries are and what is expected of you to fly safely at our club.

If possible, invest in a flying simulator for your computer for under $200, and practice a few hours there. Buy the simulator here at Discount Hobby on Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

You’ll be surprised how easy the transition is from your simulator to your actual trainer airplane!!! 

Keep your wings level and we’ll see you at the field!!!   

Electroglide Report for June 2024

  We had a pretty fun Electroglide this past Saturday. Only five pilots showed up, maybe because the weather conditions didn’t look so good for glider flying in the early morning hours. By 9:30 however, the sun was shining and there was a nice westerly breeze.

 At 10:00 and the first launch, we had three Radians and two open class gliders looking for some thermals. Nothing much was found. Dennis LaBerge,(Radian), found a little lift, coming back at 4:30 minutes plus a 30-point landing. Neil Zhu,(Conscendo), was second at 2:13 with a 20-point landing and Fritz Logan,(Radian), was third at 1:35 with a 20-point landing.

 Second launch had a much greater thermal activity to play with. All pilots found the lift or at least parts of it. Flight times jumped with Neil having the long flight at 9:35 minutes, Dennis was a close second at 9:20 and fritz was third at 4:32 with a 30-point landing.

 Third launch had the pilots heading to the same spot but the lifting area was moving away. Neil had the long flight at 5:14 with a 30-point landing. Dennis was second at 4:40 minutes and Fritz was third at 1:34.

 Fourth and final launch was a quick one, the westerly wind having picked up and blowing the thermals away. The long flight being recorded by Dennis at 3:20 minutes with a 20-point landing. Neil was second at 1:49, also with a 20-point landing. I don’t have enough returned time sheets to verify but it seems like the other three aircraft landed off-runway, thus not getting a time aloft score.

Winners for the day:

1st.  Place-           Neil Zhu                  185 total points

2nd. Place            Dennis LaBerge     162  total points

3rd. Place             Fritz Logan             118  total points


Thanks again to Frank Sutton for the pictures of the event.

Next Electroglide is scheduled for July 20th 2024

See you there,

Jeff Struthers

T28 Racing Report for June 2024

Click for More Pics

By Steve Neu

We had a near record turnout for our June T28 races with 13 pilots signing up to race! With such a large group  many of the preliminary heats had groups of 4 pilots which resulted in some close racing.

With such a large group we tried to work out way to accommodate everyone in the finals which resulted in 5 pilots in the gold race.

Our T28 races are “spec” races which means the planes must be completely stock with all the plastic bits that come with the plane present when you place the plane on the runway. So please review what is and is not allowed —the planes and motors must be the ones that came with the planes. You can change out the controller and use a APC 7x6E prop—see me for the prop adapter bits if you want to change to the APC prop. No modifications to the airframe are allowed. The compete rules can be found here:

The results:


1) SteveM
2) Artie
3) Larry


1) Max
2) Brad
3) George


1) Corey
2) Jeff
3) Glen
4) Fredrick
5) SteveN

Many thanks to all the people who helped as turn judges and callers and a special thanks to Jim for being the one to crack the whip to have racing done as efficiently as possible. Our next race will be July 13th!  As usual if you need a racing number assigned let me know by email ( Your racing numbers should be easily readable on both the top and bottom of the wing.

New Pics for June 2024

All photos by Frank Sutton


Dead Stick Challenge


Open Flying


T28 & PopWing Racing


UCSD Design & Build Contest

Bombs Away

Frank S. took this great shot of a B-25 dropping bombs.

A Tale of A Downed Plane, A Drone & A Spider

Recently I accompanied Frank G. out to our field to watch him re-maiden his 20+ y.o. Goldberg Extra 300 that he had just converted to electric.  It took off great but he lost contact with it half way around the first lap.  We saw it go down somewhere off to the East.  Frank & I thought it was a good idea to tromp through the dried weeds and brush to look for it.  We never found the huge blue and orange plane but I did run across this giant man-eating spider that I swear was about the size of a Volkswagen.



I quickly ran the away screaming.  On the way home, from what some might call an unsuccessful flight, we contacted Randy of Aerial Traffic and arranged for him to canvas the area with his drone.  The plane was found the next day sitting quietly waiting to be picked up.  Happy ending?  Not so much.  When Frank got home he chopped it up and threw it in the trash.  -Steve B.


Valley Fliers – A Novel

Set in the world of remote control model aviation, a story that evokes Top Gun but with drones and remote controlled model planes…
Book blurb:
Jay Smalley, seventeen, loves remote control aviation.  He spends most of his time flying model planes at a San Fernando Valley miniature airfield near his home.  When a newcomer arrives at the field practicing risky maneuvers with a military-grade drone, Jay suspects there is more to this stranger than meets the eye.  But Jay has always been a little paranoid and too prone to conspiracy theories for his own good. 
As Jay rallies his fellow Valley Fliers to help unpack what he believes the drone pilot is hiding he sabotages his budding romance with co-pilot Cassie and alienates Kent, the father figure who manages their tiny airfield like it’s Edwards Air Force Base.  He even puts his scholarship to flight school at risk.  Is Jay deluded or the only one who can see a clear and present danger posed by the cocky new flight suit on the tarmac?
Valley Fliers was just featured in the February issue of Model Airplane News.  See attached pdf.