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Chairman’s Corner for Dec – Jan 2020/21

I hope everyone has a nice Christmas and New Years. Hopefully Santa brings you something you want. Luckily, I am my own Santa, and Santa is good to me!

It has been an odd year, and while I have heard feedback of members and their family catching Covid, I have not heard of any member fatalities attributed to Covid, and hope it stays that way! Our club’s flying site continues to remain open. As we rent from Mission Bay Park, and Parks and Beaches are sanctioned as safe outdoor recreational sites, we are able to operate during the stay-at-home order.

Thank you to the members that continue to practice social distancing on site.

Membership renewal for 2021 is open, and it looks like quite a few people have already renewed. If you were at the field the morning of the 19th, George had a stack of new membership cards for 2021. He may be back on the 26th, but please don’t hold me to it. Officially we will have our annual “Freeze Fly” on Jan 1st. No food or prizes, just enjoy the cold morning. January 2nd is Badge day when you can pick up your badge.  Your second chance will be on 09 Jan.  Following that George will put them in the mail. Please remember to let us know if you don’t want them mailed! Last year a member from Arizona was upset that we has sent his card to the address he had provided… Who Knew?? I will be shifting the lock on the gate and the portable restroom on 15 Jan. The new combination is printed on the back of the 2021 membership cards. If you like the image on the new cards, It was selected from numerous submissions and was provided by Carl Cox.

As we roll into the new year, I would ask everyone to look at your fire extinguishers and see if they still have a charge. A few years back we distributed around 150 fire extinguishers to members to ensure there was always one on site. The caveat was that if it was used, the member needed to replace it themselves – and continue to bring one. If you received one of these, and it still hasn’t been used, look at it and see it the handle is plastic or metal. The Manufacturer ( Kidde ) was replacing them for free a while back due to failures in the plastic heads. There is a phone number and serial number on the label so you can verity if you are eligible. We recently had an ESC failure cause some pretty good damage to a helicopter. A member tried to help, but had one of plastic head extinguishers fail and the fire burned for a minute longer than it should have. Also, if you carry a first aid kit, please look at the contents to ensure they are still usable. There is a shelf life on a lot of those items.

We are behind on our rainfall for this season, and I’m hoping we get some catch-up precipitation in the first quarter of 2021. When we do, please do everyone a favor and stay away from the main runway when it is wet. I can’t count the number of times someone has come out with a micro on the premise that it is light, Then left four inch deep tracks across the runway when it stuck to the mud and they walked out to get it. If it dries like that we have to deal with it for months.

Our incoming President, Jovi Murek, has stated that he will start writing submissions for the newsletter, and I’m excited to get his input. He has been enjoying modeling in many aspects over the years and brings a fresh point of view.

Let’s hope 2021 levels out quickly and we can get closer to normalcy!


Our Friend Pandi Has Passed

Pandi was a great friend to many of us at SEFSD.  I remember his smile and prevalent good nature.  He called me this last Spring after not talking with him for several years.  We had a nice chat and in retrospect I think he was saying goodbye.  I’m glad he called.

You could see him most weekends at the field flying something he had put together.  Even though some did not fly as well as he liked, he was always back with something new the next weekend.  He owned Sureflite Hobbies on Convoy.  That was back in the days when we were blessed with three hobby shops in the area.  Seems so long ago.

Pandi’s Obituaries:

Tis the Season of the Outlaws

By Steve Manganelli

The Holidays are the season of the outlaws. We know how it goes: somebody gets a flying Christmas present, they have  general recollection that right near Seaworld is “the place” to fly such things. They timidly set up near one end of the field so as not to disturb anyone else (if there’s anyone else). It’s usually toward the afternoon and most folks have left and the wind is usually blowing. Perfect time for a newbie pilot to maiden a new airplane : how hard could it be? Usually it’s a quick crash, another broken toy, no harm to the rest of us SEFSD members.

This is the fixed wing scenario. As members, and/or officers, our control mechanism is to invite them on a walk to the rules sign while we point out the features of the field, our relationship with the various Government activities that gave us our flying privilege, how to select and instructor pilot, etc.  We strongly suggest they join the AMA, like now, before they try to fly and eventually our club and register with the FAA to become completely legal.  Failing that, if one of us volunteers to be the pilot in command that makes it legal for that day and a successful maiden voyage that will encourage them to come back for more, join our club, be part of our activities, just what we want.

Then there’s the drone scenario.  An out of the box commercial drone should be able to fly without pilot skill. Once again, they may perceive our field is the right place to fly. Hey, maybe even a good place to fly; get some birds eye view pictures of Seaworld, maybe a close up of some Jet ski action just off Fiesta Island, who knows. Never mind that these vantage points are outside our defined safe flight boundaries. These people have probably read our sign, maybe decided following all the rules is too much trouble, and there’s too many of them anyway.

“Hey, I don’t want any hassles, I just want to fly my drone!”  A couple of Sundays ago, we “counseled” (2) drone pilots who pitted out of a corner of the boat launch parking lot.  One of the two of them had previously tried to launch at our field but was dissuaded by Brad due lack of AMA, club Membership, etc.  I guarantee Brad did not suggest the boat launch parking lot was the alternate flying field for outlaw drones! The second drone was observed from our field; his flight path suggested origination from that same parking lot and he clearly wasn’t respecting our flight boundaries nor our altitude limit.

Remember, we are the only R/C Model institution associated with Mission Bay park. Anything bad or good that happens in the vicinity either indirectly or directly comes back on us.  These outlaws have nothing to lose, but we do! I’m suggesting that we should all be vigilant. Each scenario is a chance to bring a new member into our R/C community or make a disenfranchised outlaw.  Politely challenge what doesn’t look right.  Help the newbies that want to be helped and seem willing to understand and abide by our rules and strongly suggest to the outlaws to find another place far from here. If nothing else, point out the altitude limit, field boundaries and the obvious proximity to Lindberg field to which many of our rules originate.

T28 Racing Results – Dec 2020

We held our last T28 race for 2020 on November 28th. We had a good showing with 9 hard core pilots who all came ready to do battle in the sky. The first round kicked off at a little after 10am. The first heat went off smoothly with Brad taking first followed by Frank and George. With heat two things started to get cut throat with Mark, Otto and Steve Manganelli all trying to capture the lead—some just tried too hard  and managing to set new records for the number of cuts in a single race heat. After the fur ball fight Mark got the win simply because he flew cleanly avoiding making any cuts. Steve M and Otto ended up with 4 and 8 cuts respectively. The third heat of round one was clean with Alex first SteveN second and Quan third. Rounds 2 and 3 of the preliminary rounds all saw some great flying with very close finishes. The scores were totaled from the preliminary rounds to determine the matches for the finals. 
The bronze cup final had George taking an easy first place due to the abundant cuts of SteveM and Otto who managed to get rewarded with 4 and 11 cuts —a new record! George managed to avoid their fate and got the first place finish.
The silver cup featured Quan, Frank and Brad. Frank jumped the start putting him a lap down and handing first to Brad and second place to Quan. 
The gold cup had Mark, Alex and SteveN battling it out—for much of the race the lead went back and forth between Alex  and SteveN—on the last lap Alex’s plane went down resulting in a DNF. That left Mark and  SteveN in the race with Mark getting the first place in the end. We were all done flying in less than an hour—a lot of action packed into a short period.
We hope to restart the T28 racing series in January but we will be looking at the virus situation and making adjustments to the schedule as needed. I would like to ask members what they like and don’t like about the current format and what improvements they would like to see. Please feel free to send me your thoughts to:
I would like to thank all the members who have helped me with equipment setup, turn judging and “master of ceremonies” duty which without we could not have our T28 races.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and stay safe in the New Year!
Steve Neu

Analyzing Video Footage Of Collapse of Massive Arecibo Telescope

Incredible drone inspection footage of Arecibo telescope inadvertently capturing cable failure and resulting total collapse of the array during an aerial structural inspection. As some of you know I work with a group in the Navy in Point Loma that set up a drone inspection proof of concept program in 2017 to inspect Navy radio communication tower structures for structural integrity and maintenance so this really hit home for me watching this amazing footage.
Mike McGinnis
Click the pic.

Editor’s Notes for Dec – Jan 2020/21

Newsworthy Items:

Merry Monolith everyone!
1.  Please check the calendar for the new schedules for: Meetings/Events, Electroglide, Float Flying, and Indoor Flying.
2.  The Torry Pines Gulls have their outstanding newsletter available online.
3.  Please check out all the other great items for sale in our “For Sale by Members” area.
5.  Please check out these fine newsletters from other clubs:
The Harbor Soaring Society has a wonderful newsletter here.
6.  There is now a complete list of club instructors under the “Resources” tab.