Right off the bat I would like to touch on the pandemic status in San Diego County. As most of you know, there has been an upward trend of positive cases over the last 2 months. The number of fatalities has thankfully remained low. There were never statements that the vaccines were 100% effective, so even vaccinated persons can still contract and spread Covid 19. Reliable medical officials state that vaccinated persons generally do recover faster with less of the serious side effects that unvaccinated persons are still suffering from. The Pfizer Vaccine has recently received FULL FDA approval, I hope this helps if you have still been on the fence… Please do what you feel is necessary to keep your loved ones, and associates safe. As before – stay home if you feel sick.
We are halfway through summer, with potential for another 90+ heat wave or two expected before things start to cool off. I do notice people drinking lots of water on site and am happy to see that. During previous summers I have seen numerous folks get shaky from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Since we spend several hours on site at a time, portable shade canopies and beach umbrellas are still recommended along with Minimum SPF15 sun block to protect you from harmful rays. There are a couple of members having biopsies on “questionable” moles this month. At least we could attempt to wear a hat.
Along with the suns effects on us, the outer field area is EXTREMELY dry. The tiny bits of moisture we have seen this month was of no help. I have recently seen a few members carry extinguishers into the field when a crash occurs ( Thanks Jovi and Jeff! ), and suggest we continue this practice for the remainder of the year.
Thanks go out to Quan and Dennis for procuring and driving the equipment to wet and roll the main runway this month. Dennis was on the roller for 7 hours straight – like a BOSS! Quan also had the water tanker driver soak the parking lot area, which will reduce the dust from the ‘Andretti’ like persons speeding through our lot. While thanking Dennis, I would also like to highlight him for the hours of weed abatement and random trash removal he does for us. On top of all of this, I see him helping others with their projects for hours at a time – sometimes not getting in a single flight on his own planes all day. Such sacrifice!! Thanks again Dennis!!
We continue to look at ideas for improving the surface of the main runway. We thought we had a way ahead with stabilized decomposed granite, and the park manager was agreeable with the idea. Sadly, once the local contractors found out we were attempting to upgrade city property at Mission Bay, they assumed we were funded by the city and the cost estimates became astronomical. While we would all like a more consistent surface, the BOD will not bankrupt the club to do so… Steve Neu and Carl Cox have recently approached some contractors that are friendly, so there is still hope of reasonable resolution.
Quan has again volunteered to head up the end of year banquet committee. If you would like to join him in planning efforts, please let him or Jovi know. While the pandemic kept us home last year, the years prior were stellar events – also coordinated by Quan. Sadly the Harbor House is no longer available as a venue, we are looking for alternative locations. In the past we have enjoyed dinners that were served as well as buffet style. We are already discussing some pretty awesome raffle prizes, more to follow as we finalize plans.
Membership is close to pre-pandemic numbers and we should end the year with around 350 members the way things are going now. As people tend to ask this time of year – Sorry, we do not pro-rate membership rates. The $50.00 initial fee and $10.00 family member fee applies no matter which part of the year you join. I feel there is incredible value if you participate in the monthly events, and especially if you attend the banquet!
On a safety note we have some newer members that are now good enough to be dangerous. That being said, while you have the ability to do high speed passes directly over the fence, please refrain. While you have the confidence to come in at 90 degrees to the runway – aiming directly at the pit area at full throttle, with the plan to yank it away at the last possible second…, please refrain. One wrong input or a failed servo has the potential to put your plane into a fellow member, spectator, or vehicle. Some people may remember past BOD member, Scott F. – he took one to the temple a few years ago. It happened so fast the pilot had no time to react. You could see the specific cuts the full throttle propeller made to the bill of his cap as it hit him. Luck was with him, and he didn’t need to be hospitalized, but the potential was there. Please consider the safety of all while determining your flight path! I saw another near incident last weekend when two pilots were flying from gates one and two. The gate two pilot called “landing” way early. While gate two pilot was still on his 3 minute landing approach, the gate one pilot landed in the weeds at the end of the runway. He failed to notice the other guy was ( finally ) on final – and stepped out directly in the path of the plane now 10 feet away and headed directly at him. While he stated he called “on the runway”, if the guy at the next gate can’t hear you – you need to find your “ Man voice”. A few take aways : Please call landing when you are actually on final – not 2 or 3 passes away. If you need to go around – call it so others know what is happening ( they may need to land and could be waiting for you). Also, LOUDLY announce any time you are stepping on the runway surface AFTER (AFTER) carefully looking in all directions to ensure it is safe to step out. As a final safety note, if you are losing control of your aircraft – YOU should be the one warning others with a loud “HEADS UP!” announcement.
There will forever be homeless people in Mission Bay Park. There are no fences to keep people on foot and on bicycles out of our area. No matter how many e-mails I receive stating that it is somehow my responsibility to get them out of the field, the reality is that it is beyond my control. Periodically the city comes through and moves them out, but they come back within a day or two. There was an incident late in July where a homeless individual loudly approached a lone drone pilot screaming at him for “ spying on him “. The pilot quickly packed his items and left, which is what I recommend if you feel at risk. Again, if you are there alone, it is your decision to fly or wait for others. If you fly FPV, you are required to have a spotter at all times anyways – so you should never be ‘under the hood’ while by yourself. There are commercially available items such as pepper spray that you can keep on you or in your flight box if needed. Immediately call 911 if you or your property is injured or damaged in any way. A picture of the aggressor is recommended if possible.
It looks like efforts from our editor, Steve – and his tech support, Quan, have our For sale by members area of the website operational again. If you would like to sell items to make room for more ( of course ) please send your submissions to Steve at email@example.com. Include a description if the model, components, condition, price, contact information, and a pic or two.
3 or 4 of you have personally mentioned that you were thinking of nominating yourself for a position on the Board Of Directors for 2022. We will start taking nominations in October with voting in November. If you would like to sit in on a meeting let any BOD member know. The next meeting will be on September 8th.
This months Fun Fly event and club meeting at the field will be this Saturday, the 28th and will start at 10:00AM. Jovi has been going a great job of selecting and running events since we re-started them. If you have a fun idea, let him know maybe your event will make the calendar! For August, the event will be Altitude Quest, which is a favorite because any pilot that is past solo stage can play and it’s fun to see how accurately people can judge their height. Thanks go to Jovi, Mark, and Carl for coordinating and executing the hot dog lunch to follow the meeting.
See you there!