40 posts

Safety Report for Feb – Mar 2024

Common safety concerns at Mission Bay:

1) Please let your fellow pilots know your intentions by announcing in a loud voice when you are starting the following activities: Takeoff, Touch and go, Flyby and Landing. All too often people forget to announce or do so in such a weak voice that they can’t be heard down the flight line. Get in the habit of announcing your intentions even when you are the only pilot in the air!

2) Direction of takeoff is right to left (west) except when there is a steady wind from the east. Steady means just that—not the light puffs that occur on some calm mornings. If you want a number I would use 5mph to define steady. Trust me you can takeoff and land just fine with a 5mph tail wind!

3) Taxing in the pit area using the motor is not allowed for safety reasons—so avoid driving your model to the gate or off the runway using the motor—this applies to prop planes, EDFs and multicopters.  

4) Testing or checking the motor in your model in the pit area must be done with caution—if you need to test be sure that everyone is clear from in front and the arc of the prop for at least 20 feet——better yet take the model to an area of the flight line that is unused to do the checks. We have had several members injured by spinning props!  

Enough for now!

Steve Neu

Safety Report for June 2023 – Safety is Everyone’s job!

Please take a few minutes to review both the AMA safety code: as well as our field rules:

One of the things I see happening too often are pilots flying over the fence line when making passes down the runway—doing so leaves no margin for error. The written field rules state that flight operations other than takeoffs and landings will be to the north side of the runway boundary. Flying towards yourself from the north and turning away at the last second with a fast plane might be fun but when others are present just don’t do it! 

Everyone in the club is a “safety officer” and has a responsibility to help others understand and follow the rules. If you see something that is happening that is breaking the AMA or SEFSD field rules wait until they land and politely mention your concerns to them—don’t start an argument. We have a reputation as a friendly club—let’s keep it that way—and be safe at the same time!

Steve Neu

Prop Safety is Important!

By Steve Neu

I have seen a number of cases of our club members handling and standing in very close proximity to their planes that have their propulsion systems armed and radios on.  In some cases people are standing in front of the plane turning or handling the prop. The electric motors can develop full torque at zero RPM and accelerate to full RPM in a few 10ths of seconds.  Getting tangled in a prop can easily lead to an ER visit of worse. Here are some simple suggestions:

1) Do not plug the propulsion battery to the motor controller until you are ready to fly.
2) Do not work on the prop, spinner with the battery plugged into the motor controller.
3) Do not depend on “safe or arming” switches on the controller OR the transmitter —if you need to work on something unplug the power connector.
4) If you need to test run your motor at the field do it well away from others —point the plane away from people make sure people are out of the arc of the prop is if it fails—yes it happens!

Don’t put your safety at risk by depending on a micron of silicon or a few lines of computer code to keep you safe—stay away from the blades of your prop when it is armed!

Safety Corner for August 2021

We have had a pretty mild summer with lots of good flying days at Mission Bay. For the most part everyone has been using common sense and flying safely. There are however a few things that I see starting to be issues. In no particular order here are things we all need to work on:
1) Call out ‘takeoffs’ and ‘landings’ in a clear loud voice so people up and down the flight line can hear!
2) Takeoffs and landings should be aligned with the long axis of the runway and into the wind—taking off across the width of the runway is just plain bad practice which risks not only your model but others who may be landing.
3) When there are other people, flying please follow the standard “race track” pattern with the upwind leg aligned with the near edge of our runway and the down wind leg 100-200 feet further out. This helps avoid mid air collisions. 
Regarding the entry gate—please follow these simple guidelines:
1) First person in opens the gate and should leave it open for other members or visitors.
2) Last member to leave should inform any visitors that the gate is going to be locked when they leave and that they should leave to avoid being locked in.
3) There maybe situations where the gate should be closed after every entry or exit to prevent the flying area from being used as a parking lot for special events—if this is to be implemented members will be told in advance.
Homeless people—We have some homeless camps in the areas near our field and there have been a few cases where our members have had some physical altercations with persons that clearly were having some mental issues. Try to avoid these people and if you feel threatened call 911. Let the police deal with the problem—retreat to your car and avoid contact. No good will come from any physical interaction with these people!
Stay safe and enjoy nice flying weather!
Steve Neu

Safety Corner for March 2021

We have had an influx of new fliers at SEFSD due to some issues at several nearby flying fields. One result is an uptick in helicopter operations. We do allow helicopter flying at both the “Rotorplex” and the main runway with some restrictions. People who want to do helicopter 3D aerobatics or extended hovering should do that at the Rotorplex. Helicopters are welcome at the main runway if they are flown in a manner that integrates their flight pattern into that of the fixed wing planes. This means no 3D flying or extended hovering practice  at the main runway area. 
Some of the new members may not be aware of our flight boundaries or altitude limitations. If you see someone flying outside our field boundaries please let direct them to our the field maps and rules posted on the rules board at center field.  Please be welcoming to the new members. 
Lately I have seen a few people taxiing their planes out of and into the pit area. This is against our field rules and can pose a hazard to nearby people—often we have young kids and pets visiting and they might not know the dangers of spinning propellers. Please don’t start your motor until you place the model at the gate and shut it down before bringing it into the pit area. 
That is all I have for this month—
Steve Neu

Safety Corner for January 2021

The new year is here and it is a good idea to start out by reviewing some basics regarding our field operations. In no particular order here are ten things that need to be kept in mind when flying.
1) Be sure you have your FAA number on your mode
2) Be  aware of where you are flying—never fly south of the filed fence line. If in doubt check the signs posted at the pilot stations.
3) Announce in a loud voice” takeoffs”,” landings” and “on the field” so others are aware of your actions.
4) Never launch models from south of the filed fence line in the pit area. 
5) Stand or sit at or near the pilot station when flying.
6) Follow city rules and guidelines regarding the use of masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of C19.
7) Takeoff/landing direction will be the the west unless conditions warrant an easterly takeoff/landing direction. Cross field takeoffs are to be avoided.
8) If you are the last member leaving the field and there are visitors still parked in our area try to let them know that they need to  leave to avoid getting locked in.
9) Avoid flying over the water as it is out of our approved flight area
10) If a full size aircraft approaches within a mile of our field you MUST descend to 50 feet or less  until the aircraft departs the area.
We have had a brief halt in T28 races for the past two months. Assuming the C19 situation is stable or improving we will restart racing in February on the 13th. For the new season there will be some awards/prizes for those who fly and help at the races. Details TBD.
Steve Neu

Safety Corner for March 2020

We are shut down from flying models for the duration due to Covid-19 virus. The best way to get back to normal is to observe the directions from our local health officials. Over the previous week when the weather turned nice thousands of San Diego residents headed to the beaches and parks—exactly the wrong thing to do if you want to prevent the spread of a virus— which then triggered the further restrictions of access to parks like Mission Bay on Sunday the 22nd. 
On the positive side look at the extra home time as an opportunity to do some building or fixing of models. I am sure most have a collection of kits that have been collected over time—now is your chance to spend some quality time in your shop. Get your T28s assembled and ready for flight—cross your fingers that we will be able to start some T28 racing.
Your club directors will be keeping tabs on the various restrictions and will let everyone know when we will be allowed back into our flying site.
In the mean time—build something and stay safe and healthy.
Steve Neu

Safety Corner for February 2020

For the most part things have been pretty quiet from a safety perspective at the field. One item that I have observed that deserves some attention is overflying the pit area when making a landing approach. The goal is to fly the approach so the plane is on or near the center line of the runway. If you find yourself drifting to the south of the runway center it would be better to power up and go around than to continue an approach that may come over peoples heads or get tangled up in the fence.

On the subject of approaches be aware that the line as defined by the field fence extends to our flying area boundaries – and that means all flying must be north of that line. Lately there have been some cases where  fixed wing models were flying south of that line over the heli/multicopter pit area. Be aware of where you are and avoid flying to the south of the fence line!

T28 Racing:
The fleet of FMS T28s is growing and we should be in position to have a gathering in the next couple weeks and stage some demo/testing racing. If all goes as expected then we will schedule a racing event  for March. There has been a couple people ask about allowing use of 1350 packs as they have them left over from the previous racing class. The short answer is I guess it would be OK—but with the T28 being a small light plane the larger and heavier battery may lead to handling problems. Some brought up the subject of mods to the plane—the planes have to be stock——with all the plastic bits associated with the landing gear. Some raised the question of putting better centering servos in the plane—that would be just fine. The basic airframe, motor, propeller must be stock. 

Steve Neu 

Safety Corner for Jan. 2020

By Steve Neu
We have a couple important goals in the coming year to continue to operate safely and to work on reducing the restrictions that were imposed on us in the LOA that was we signed with the Lindberg tower. I expect that this will take sometime to make a favorable case to the Lindberg tower. Our new VP Steve Manganelli has agreed to spearhead this effort.
At this point Electro Glide is the most affected but I  think with some adjustments that the long running event will be able to continue even with the altitude restrictions. 
Keep in mind that the most important thing is to make sure there are no conflicts with manned aircraft. If a manned aircraft comes in to within a mile of SEFSD descend to 50 feet or less and stay there until the manned aircraft has left the area. Remember that in all cases the manned aircraft has priority!
On another subject—Racing may be back at SEFSD. At the last BOD meeting the subject came up regarding a replacement for the Pop Wing racers.  For some reason I volunteered to look into options, The popular Horizon 1.1 meter T28 was discussed but I found it is no longer in production. I kept looking and found that the FMS T28 is available for $109—it has a 800mm span and runs on 2 or 3 cells. the plane comes as a “PNP” with all the servos, motor and controller installed. It took all of 15 minutes to assemble. I will be doing some testing in the next couple weeks and if it handles well. It might be our new club racer. The race format would follow what has been done with the previous series with the only difference being that the planes will do a runway takeoff.
More after I get some flying on this plane.

Safety Corner for November 2019

We are getting towards the end of the year and with a little luck we will continue to operate safely. During the past month the number of fliers has been lighter than usual—so it is a good time to do some flying without feeling crowded out! 
I urge all members to keep informed on what is going on with the FAA and Congress in regards to rules regarding limits that may be imposed on our model plane activities. Some of the proposed restrictions would pretty much end our ability to fly at Mission Bay. There is a good chance that some adjustments to the proposed rules will be adopted and allow clubs like ours to continue to operate safely. It would be a good idea to keep up to date with the news regarding the moves by the FAA and this link is a good source for what is going on: 
One simple and easy thing you should do is to make sure your FAA numbers are on each of your models.  If the FAA sends someone out to check, it will help our cause if they find that our members are making an effort to comply with the new rules. 
The club was sent a copy of a “letter of agreement” (LOA)  by the acting air traffic manager at Lindberg Field. The LOA as drafted has some limitations that are very restrictive in how high we can fly. The letter appears to be a “one size fits all” agreement that did not consider our long history of safe operation at the site.  Your board is soliciting advice from the AMA and others before responding to the LOA. 
It is important to continue to observe all the AMA and safety rules at this sensitive time.
Steve Neu
Safety Officer SEFSD 

Safety Corner for October 2019

The past month has been fairly quiet on the safety side of things at Mission Bay. Aside from the couple of the pit overflights when a model gets away from the pilot there is nothing major to report discuss. 
There is little news to report on the LOA with the FAA/Lindberg tower—we are as they say “in a holding pattern”. The best thing we can do is continue to observe all the club rules and be especially aware of any full size traffic in the area and decent to 50 feet or less until the traffic is well out of our field area—a mile or more would be a good rule to follow. If you are flying higher performance model that flies higher and faster please have a fellow club member act as your extra eyes to keep you aware of any full size traffic.
The FAA rules do require that you have your ID number on your models—there is a sizable fine possible for not complying. 
Steve Neu
Safety Officer SEFSD

Safety Corner for September 2019

Things for the most part have been pretty quiet at the field with few major safety issues to report. We have had some destroy the latch and hardware on the outhouse a couple times in the past month or so. Brad has beefed up the latch and hardware in hopes that we can keep the night crawlers out. For our who are the last to leave the filed please make sure the gate is closed AND locked. Be sure to make sure any visitors are aware that they need to leave or risk being locked in. 
On the FAA letter of agreement front no news is good news. We have not done anything to cause any concern which means members are doing their part to operate safely and avoid bringing notice to our activities. Please continue to observe the field boundaries as well as the altitude limits. For many you will be getting your AMA membership renewal notices—while you are doing that it would also be a perfect time to get your FAA number and put it on all your planes. Is is a FAA requirement—it is easy to comply with and does not cost much. There is a hefty fine possible if they catch you without the ID numbers on the plane.
One last thing—even though the weather is getting a little cooler the brush and grass at our field is very dry and the risk of fire is high. Please take care with models that go down to get to them quickly and remove the batteries and dispose of them properly to avoid fires. 
Stay safe!
Steve Neu

Safety Corner for August 2019

So far there is little new news to report on the process of getting a LOA (Letter Of Authorization) from the Lindberg tower. We have submitted our letter and after from prodding from Quan, did get an acknowledgement that they had received our letter. They only said that they would be writing their own version and that they would be back in touch at some point in the future. So for now we can continue to as we have. 
Some things that we can do to bolster our standing is to be proactive in making sure every member gets their FAA number and puts them on all their models. The requirements are pretty easy—the numbers need to be on an external surface of the model—there is no size requirement. If you don’t have one you can pick up an inexpensive label maker like this Brother label maker: I expect that at some point we might get a visit from some FAA people and it would be in our best interests to be able to show that we all are complying with the new rules.
If you have not already started the process please visit this AMA web link and start the process. The FAA will charge you $5 which will get you a number that is good for 3 years.
Finally we need to get used to the fact that for gliders and larger planes that operate at higher altitudes spotters will need to become routine. Please follow this link and review the “see and avoid” document from the AMA: I can’t stress enough that full size manned aircraft have the absolute right of way at all times!  Having a spotter is a fun way to share your flying with your friends.
Fly safe!
Steve Neu
SEFSD 2019 Safety Officer

Safety Report for July 2019

By Steve Neu

As most of you already know the club is working on complying with the new requirements that were put into law with the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. One small part on that law is the requirement that “drones” and model planes that weigh more than 250 grams have placed on them the FAA registration number of the operator. If you haven’t already done so, in the next few months all club members will need to register with the FAA and obtain and display the number on the outside of your models—the rules are pretty lax as to location and size so for now you can be creative in making the numbers non obtrusive. Here is the link to the FAA registration web site as well as to a AMA instructional video on the subject. 

Also, as part of the same 2017 law our cub is required to obtain a “LOA” (Letter of Agreement) with the tower at Lindberg Field. This letter for the most part spells out what what we do and what safety rules we operate by. Mostly it is common sense stuff but we will all need to make sure that we observe the various requirements so as to preserve our access to a unique model flying location. There will need to be some adjustments to old habits— one of the most  important ones is for pilots flying larger models and other higher performance planes to have a spotter stand with them to keep them informed of full sized aircraft that may be in our area—and to descend to 50 feet if the full size plane gets within 1 mile of our field. The requirement to descend is not new but the addition of a spotter is new and needs to be observed.
So—the bad news is that we will need to deal with some additional regulations. The good news is that with the work the “gang of 4” BOD members: Quan Nguyen, Eric Shapiro, Steve Belknap and myself plus Steve Manganelli have drafted a “LOA” and submitted it to our contact at the Lindberg Field tower for consideration. They may ask for some changes to our letter as submitted but we will do our best to make sure we can continue to operate safely with as few restrictions as possible. I want to make a special thanks to Steve Manganelli for crafting a LOA that is complete and written in the best bureaucratic style possible—30 plus years of working for the US government has not gone to waste. The feedback on the draft LOA from a former club member who now works for the FAA on safety issues was very favorable. We need to cross our fingers and wait for the response.
Fly Safe!

Safety Corner for June 2019 – MUST READ!

By Steve Neu

Some members may have heard that as a result of the newly signed FAA reauthorization bill that there likely will be some changes in how we operate and fly at Mission Bay. The AMA has some more details of what this might mean for our hobby flying. One of the items that in the near term that is needing our attention of your BOD is the requirement to have a “Letter of Agreement” (LOA) with the Lindberg tower. We have started the process and there has been some initial contact which has established which person we have to communicate with. The initial response indicated that there are some concerns that we as a club will need to address in order to get a LOA in place. We need to tighten up our flying and pay attention to the 400 foot altitude restriction as well as making sure we drop to below 100 feet when ANY manned aircraft approaches to within a mile of our field. Having a spotter by your side would be advised for pilots flying high performance models or gliders that operate further out.

As a cautionary tale a long established flying field in L.A. was visited by the FAA people from the local tower in Van Nuys—they were told that until they got a LOA in place that there would not be any more model flying. The Apollo 11 field in the Sepulveda basin is shut down for now. The take-away for us is to be good citizens and make sure we do not do anything to get our operation noticed in a negative way.

That brings up another subject—DO NOT HARASS THE WILD LIFE! I have seen drone video of a FPV racer chasing and nearly hitting an Egret well north of the FPV course. I can’t stress enough how bad this behavior is! We are in the middle of an area that is rich in a wide variety of bird life and we must behave accordingly. Leave the birds and other critters alone!

Safety Corner for May 2019

While generally we have had a good safety record with few serious problems lately. That said there have been a few accidents which have resulted in small fires and wounds from props. If there is an event which brings a response from the fire department or a visit to urgent care or the ER we need to make sure some basic information is collected in case there is a later insurance claim of other followup. This is something that any club member can and should do—get the basics—names of the people involved, contact information, time and date of the incidence and brief description of what occurred. This information should then be provided to the club safety officer or member of the SEFSD board. 
While we are talking safety please take a few minutes to review the AMA safety code. I know 99% of us never bother to read it but given the closer scrutiny that our activities have been getting from government agencies lately it is in our best interests to be aware of the current safety code. The flying site you save may be your own!


Steve Neu
cell 619-318-8301

Safety Report for April 2109

By Steve Neu

As a long time club member and your safety officer I get concerned when I see members taking a cavalier attitude in handling their electric powered models. People need to be aware that many of their “toy planes” have more power than the average lawn mower and can do similar damage to flesh with their spinning props. With the battery connected the only thing between you and a running motor are a couple microns of silicon and some computer code.

Some suggestions in no particular order are:
1) Treat a model with a battery plugged in (Armed) and propeller installed as loaded gun—stay behind the prop and don’t point it towards others—also stay out of the arc of the prop rotation.
2) Keep your friends, curious kids and the public at a safe distance when the model is ‘armed’.
3) Do the final ‘arming’ of the model only when you are at the fence line and are ready to taxi or launch your model
4) Never “taxi” your model in the pit area at any time—for multicopters that means no takeoffs from the pit area.
5) Turn off the RC system before bringing the model through the pit area after flying

In closing, please be careful and try to not get distracted when getting your model ready for flight—in my experience a large percentage of safety errors occur when you are working on your plane and talking with your friends—people really don’t multitask very well!

Stay safe!

Safety Report for Nov 2016

By Quan Nguyen


This month, due to some recent incidents, I need to bring up the requirement of having a spotter with you when you fly FPV. This is the one rule I need you to all help me keep our club in compliance 100% of the time. We need to enforce this to make sure we can keep our field. I realize this is a sensitive issue, and it’ll require compromising for everyone. FPV fliers often don’t want to bother other members to spot for them, especially when they intend to fly a marathon, back to back sessions for hours. Bystanders, on the other hand, are reluctant to bother FPV pilots when they’re just keeping to themselves enjoying a relaxing afternoon FPV flight in perfect San Diego weather. However, the problem is that some recent stray drones have shown the limitation of FPV technology, and it’s simply not ready to be safely flown solo for hours at a time from a lawnchair.
FPV fliers must have a spotter at all times in order to fly. I apologize in advance to those who fly extended flights and can’t find a spotter. You’ll have to find a spotter before you can fly. If you have an FPV monitor connected during the flight, you are no longer a Line of Sight pilot, even if you are looking at the drone most of the time. This is how the latest incident happened.
Fellow members, try to offer your assistance to spot for FPV pilots, and FPV pilots, please be courteous and limit your FPV session to a reasonable time so the spotter can enjoy their hobby as well.
If you see someone flying FPV without a spotter and you can’t spot because you’re leaving or something, please do the club a favor and politely remind them they cannot fly without a spotter. I understand it’s difficult to tell someone who is enjoying their hobby peacefully in solitude, but there have been enough incidents of drones wandering off to where they shouldn’t be, such that a strict enforcement of this rule is needed to ensure the continued operation of the club for the 425+ members.
If you inform the FPV pilot politely and they don’t listen, simply back off and contact myself or another board member, and we will handle it.

Safety Report for October 2016

By Quan Nguyen
Our field is getting quite busy again, so I’d like to remind everyone about our flight boundaries. It’s imperative that pilots fly within the Flight Area marked on the sign at the gates. This means no flying past the line of palm trees. Not only is there a pedestrian walkway beyond that, but there’s also a sandy shoreline a little further out where beachgoers hang out and sun bath. The last thing we want is a model plane going down there. Flying over the water is an absolute no no. Equally important is to not fly over the parking lot, pit area, and porta-potty area. When in doubt, study the sign posted at each gate.
The next issue is aircraft setup. Beyond the mundane things like making sure wing bolts and aileron wires are attached, I noticed many pilots who maiden their aircraft have way too much control surface throw. This results in an aircraft that is difficult or impossible to fly. One such incident resulted in a jet being ditched in the shoreline… a major safety issue. For most aircraft, a nudge of up elevator throw, 7 to 10 degrees, is enough. No need to make it swing like a door.
Lastly, I’ll be stepping down as safety officer, and running for secretary. It’s been a great two years, and I appreciate you all making my job easy.

September Safety Officer’s Report

Overall, another quiet month at our field. I want to point out a safety issue I’ve noticed recently. There are some people flying scale aerobatic pattern that requires the model to return in the same “line” they started for proper execution. There have been a few times where this has caused some close calls, because the return line goes against the flying pattern at our field. When you are about to fly a scale pattern that requires flying out of our field’s pattern, please give people a heads up so we can clear the skies for you for a few minutes. I love watching well performed scale aerobatics, and it certainly requires a lot of skill. However, I just ask that it be done with minimal risk of a mid-air collision.


Also, a note about fire extinguishers. If you fly towards the end of the day after everyone else has left, you should have a fire extinguisher before you fly. If you’re the only person at the field, you’re the only one that can put out a fire if your model crashes.


That’s it for this month. I’ll see you guys this weekend!

Safety Report for August 2016

By Quan Nguyen,


It’s been another fairly quiet month at the field. If you want to come down on weekends to get your flights in, there are plenty of gates available! We had good weather, with only one weekend where there was a nasty south wind that kept most of us grounded. The only safety issue I noticed several times was some members flying opposite the pattern when they are along the northern edge of the runway. If you want to go fast downwind, please keep it on the northern edge of the field, away from the runway. While the skies haven’t been too crowded, we still want multiple models to operate safely without risk of a mid-air collision.


I had a few reports of kite fliers on the northern end of field who get in the way of the flight line on the weekdays. On one occasion, Brad, Hoang, and I walked over to the shore when they were flying and very politely informed them that they were letting their kites fly too close to the field. We had some success in getting them to cooperate and reel it in. At our field, members have right of way over non-members intruding (deliberately or not) in our organized, city-sanctioned hobby. When you have people doing things that prevent you from flying safely (whether they fly a kite over the field, or walk across the field), you can bring two friends with you (safety in numbers) and inform the encroachers that they are in a model plane field.


On to more exciting news. The holiday committee and myself have been checking out some very nice venues for our winter banquet. Last year, we had about 120 attendees. This year, we are looking at booking a high quality venue that can hold up to 200 people for a sit down dinner. We hope to get as much attendance as possible from our 400+ members for this special gathering. Expect an announcement in the upcoming days as we confirm a venue.



Safety Report for July 2016

By Quan Ngyuen


It’s been a quiet several weeks since my last newsletter. I’m thinking the prospect of OTL (Over the Line Tournament) traffic has kept people at home. Indeed, there were 30 minutes of traffic on Sea World Drive last Saturday, but those who braved it were rewarded with calm winds and an open airspace. The issues I brought up last month about flying over the palm trees and against the pattern have been resolved, and I want to thank everyone for flying safely.


A note about taxiing on the runway. Please be prompt about clearing the runway, especially if someone else yells ‘landing’. Taxi your plane from the nearest gate where you intend to take off, rather than taxi your plane up the runway for three gates, and possibly in the way of an incoming model.


Also, I just want to remind members that although many people stand in front of the gate to fly, the safest place to be is behind the fence- it is designed to offer some protection from wayward models.


In other news, the “FAA Reauthorization Bill” containing the clause that contains the “Special Rule for Model Aircraft” has passed. This simply affirms the status quo for us as a community based organization with minimal regulation by the FAA. Let’s keep it this way by flying safe.


Also, we are starting our holiday party planning early this year. Randy, Julie Njaa, and myself have volunteered to help put the event together. It’s going to be bigger and better than ever! We have a few venues in mind, although it’s in the very early stages of planning. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let one of us know.

June 2016 Safety Officer’s Report

The summer is upon us! We kicked it off with a scorching hot weekend. Please remember to drink lots of water and stay hydrated on the field. Our club has been very successful, and that means a busy airspace, especially on weekends. As such, I would like to remind everyone that flying in a pattern (generally clockwise), within the Flying Area as defined by the signs on the fence, and below 400 ft is mandatory. There is a busy pedestrian sidewalk just beyond the palm trees, so it’s very important that we do not fly past the line of palm trees. We’ve updated our maps last year to remove the Soaring Area per the park ranger’s request that we do not fly over the water. Loitering on the northwest area of our airspace is likely to take you out of bounds, and possibly over people. If you see someone not in compliance, wait for them to land if possible, and politely remind them of the rules. If you witnessed the problem and I didn’t, then you are in a better position to talk to them than I am. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching them alone, flag me down, and we’ll talk to them together. When everyone follows the rules, it creates a safe and comfortable airspace everyone can enjoy.



May Safety Officer’s Report

By Quan Nguyen,


Caution- the first paragraph is more about engineering in schools, so skip to the second paragraph if you’re more interested in the safety report. We had a great International Drone Day this month, and I want to thank everyone who helped out, including Karl, Brad, and Eric for helping direct traffic in the morning. I had the pleasure of helping out with the AMA’s UAS4STEM competition. The event is participated by youths, and designed to encourage students to get their feet wet with engineering. I think it’s critical for all students to have a chance to be exposed to software and electrical engineering. As a practicing engineer, I’ve had to deal with a shortage of engineering talent over the past few years, especially with software engineering. Despite the rising enrollment numbers into engineering programs at universities, it takes more than a four year crash course at a university to become a productive engineer. The earlier students become acquainted with design and software programming concepts, the more ready they will be to enter the workforce when they graduate. There is an insatiable, global demand for this kind of talent, and I think producing high quality, ready-to-be-employed engineers right out of college is the best way to put millennials to work.


Now back to safety. Nothing earth shattering at our field lately. Just a few isolated incidents that were handled by your crack board of directors. Bak brought to my attention an injury he sustained last weekend while flying at another flying site in North County. Apparently, he was hit by a plane that had landed, then blown airborne again by a gust of wind, with the prop spinning. The picture of his injury is too bloody to be shown on this newsletter, so I’ll leave it out (He toughed it out and was flying again the next day). This is just a reminder to be careful and not let that incident happen here at our field.


When you fly on the north edge of the runway, make sure you’re flying in the right direction. 95% of the time, that will be flying Westbound. I was involved in a mid-air not too long ago with Scott’s A6, so I know what happens when I fly in the wrong direction!



Great LiPo Safety Articles – MUST READ!

As users of LiPo batteries, we cannot be too careful with their charging, usage and storage.  For your own safety and peace of mind check out these articles.  They contain a lot of excellent information that could keep you from having a disastrous fire.




Jamie & Adam of the Mythbusters have a website:  Click the pic above to go to an article about the basics of LiPo batteries and how to take care of them.  Good read!




Click this pic and you can download an in-depth article: A General Discussion of Li Ion Battery Safety”.

Fire and Shop Safety

The following is from a member of a different RC club, not in San Diego:


Burnt Barn“I am fortunate to have a 20 by 30 foot workshop on the second floor of a barn.   It is a great place to work and build.   I was refinishing a piece of furniture using Watco Danish Oil last Wednesday evening.  It was quite hot and my air conditioner was not working well.  I threw the rag I was using into the trash and shut everything down at 9:30 p.m..  By 6:50 a.m. the next morning fire was bursting out of the second floor window. ??I lost everything in the workshop.  (I do have insurance so most will be restored) ??Cause of fire:

    •    High ambient temperature (above 90 degrees)
    •    Stagnant air (fans were off)
    •    Crumpled up oily rag
    •    Plastic Garbage can.

?Please be wary, this stuff really happens.  I have been using this product for 30 years without a problem, but when the right (or wrong) conditions exist you can loose your workshop or house! ???there were 28 models, 9 kits and bags of electronics plus a full array of woodworking tool all gone.”



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Fire and Shop Safety

The following is from a member of a different RC club, not in San Diego:


“I am fortunate to have a 20 by 30 foot workshop on the second floor of a barn.   It is a great place to work and build.   I was refinishing a piece of furniture using Watco Danish Oil last Wednesday evening.  It was quite hot and my air conditioner was not working well.  I threw the rag I was using into the trash and shut everything down at 9:30 p.m..  By 6:50 a.m. the next morning fire was bursting out of the second floor window. ??I lost everything in the workshop.  (I do have insurance so most will be restored) ??Cause of fire:

    •    High ambient temperature (above 90 degrees)
    •    Stagnant air (fans were off)
    •    Crumpled up oily rag
    •    Plastic Garbage can.

?Please be wary, this stuff really happens.  I have been using this product for 30 years without a problem, but when the right (or wrong) conditions exist you can loose your workshop or house! ???there were 28 models, 9 kits and bags of electronics plus a full array of woodworking tool all gone.”



Charging Sacks are a Good Idea

Our very own Jack Hix was able to drive his car home a few weeks ago after his LipoSack prevented a fire in his trunk.  The sack was in the trunk with the lipo inside while charging.  Several folks noticed smoke from Jack’s car and alerted him.  But that was it, just smoke and a small scorch spot on the carpet.  Happy ending.


Jack n Sack

Disposal of LiPo Batteries

Unlike NiCd batteries, lithium-polymer batteries are environmentally friendly.
For safety reasons, it’s best that LiPo cells be fully discharged before disposal (however,
if physically damaged it is NOT recommended to discharge LiPo cells before disposal –
see below for details). The batteries must also be cool before proceeding with disposal
instructions. To dispose of LiPo cells and packs:


1. If any LiPo cell in the pack has been physically damaged, resulting
in a swollen cell or a split or tear in a cell’s foil covering, do NOT discharge the battery.
Jump to step 5.


2. Place the LiPo battery in a fireproof container or bucket of sand.


3. Connect the battery to a LiPo discharger. Set the discharge cutoff
voltage to the
lowest possible value. Set the discharge current to a C/10 value, with “C” being the
capacity rating of the pack. For example, the “1C” rating for a 1200mAh battery is 1.2A,
and that battery’s C/10 current value is (1.2A / 10) can be used,
such as a power resistor or set of light bulbs as long as the discharge current doesn’t
exceed the C/10 value and cause an overheating condition.
For LiPo packs rated at 7.4V and 11.1V , connect a 150 ohm resistor with a power rating
of 2 watts (commonly found at Radio Shack)to the pack’s positive and negative terminals
to safely discharge connecting it to an ESC/ motor system and allowing the motor to run
indefinitely until no power remains to further cause the system to function.


4. Discharge the battery until its voltage reaches 1.0V per cell or
lower. For resistive load type discharges, discharge the battery for up to 24 hours.


5. Submerse the battery into bucket or tub of salt water. This container should have a lid,
but it should not need to be air-tight. Prepare a plastic container (do not use metal) of cold
water. And mix in 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. Drop the battery into the salt water.
Allow the battery to remain in the tub of salt water for at least 2 weeks.


6. Remove the LiPo battery from the salt water, wrap it in newspaper or paper towels and
place it in the normal trash. They are landfill safe.

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