Hey Folks, it was very nice, though wet, end to 2018!
Thanks to everyone for staying off of the runway while it was wet and soupy, that can be problematic this time of year. The field is in great – compact condition following the rain last week, and the only detractor is the layer of sand that has blown across since October. Randy, Jim, and Ian have been attempting to get a sweeper truck with nylon brushes to come out and sweep for up, but they are weirdly hard to locate. In conjunction with this weekends club meeting / fun fly, I would like to have a sweep day. I encourage members with garage brooms to bring them and hope to have a pretty large group starting at 9:00 AM that can make short work of the sand. Also, if a couple of people could bring out leaf blowers and clean up the pit area – that would be ideal.
The end of year banquet was a complete success! Thanks again to Quan and Randy for making the arrangements! There were a lot of neat prizes, and odds of winning were the best we had seen in years due to the fact that we had raised ticket prices a bit so we could almost double the amount of items purchased this year. The spouses that I spoke with were appreciative that there were some gifts tailored specifically to them. It was real nice to see some of you cleaned up and having a good time away from the field, and I enjoyed visiting with folks I only see once a year. Thanks to Tony and Kenny for checking in all of the guests, and letting me help them passing out the raffle prizes. We advertised ticket sales starting on Dec 01, and were fully booked after Christmas. I was contacted by a couple of folks after seats were sold out asking for spots. All I can say is don’t be left out next year! Get your RSVP in early.
Membership is in full swing for 2019, the last update I had from Quan had us shy of 200 renewals. That is great! For those that have not renewed, the grace period is over as of this newsletter. All members are again asked to display their 2019 membership card on their person while flying. All non – members will be asked not to fly until they renew. We do not pro-rate membership, so there is no value in waiting. Heck, even Dave Gordon has renewed, and we all know he can make Abe Lincoln cry…I heard one member telling another again last weekend, and the previous 4 weekends, that the expiration date on the bottom of your 2018 membership card is your membership expiration date – this is not true, that is your AMA expiration date. ALL 2018 memberships to SEFSD expired on Dec 31 2018. We attempted a 2 year membership in 2015, but it was difficult to manage so we abandoned it. I still hear from people that they paid for 2 years and still haven’t received their card for 2019 and wonder why. Some simple math needs to come into play. Thanks to the folks that picked up their badges at the field late December and early January, saving us over a hundred dollars in postage. All badges paid for have been mailed and George stays very caught up on sending to new/renewing members. If you put a different address on your application than the place you currently receive your mail ( Snowbirds ) it is likely at home waiting for you. Send me a good mailing address and we will get you a new badge.
A couple of weeks ago I sent a blast concerning drone users keeping their machines further away from people than we had in the past. Traditionally and in accordance AMA standards we had been stating our rule to maintain a minimum of 25 feet vertically and horizontally away from people and animals. Over the last 6 weeks we have seen numerous complaints from the public concerning high speed drones at head height along the dirt paths in the field, within 20 feet of pedestrians. Quite a few of the FPV drone users now have drones capable of 100+ MPH and after talking to a few users one recurring theme was the statement that “once we actually see a person, we are past them before we can avoid flying over them.” As speeds increase we need to be even more aware of the personal safety of people sharing Mission Bay Park with us. If people continue to let San Diego Police, The Mission Bay Park Director, and the City Councilman assigned to our district know that they are in fear of physical injury in our area – we stand to lose quite a bit… I received feedback from a few members that I/WE had overstepped, or wrongly changed the safe distance requirement from 25 to 50 feet. I Disagree. It is a primary mission of the Board Of Directors that our club endures, and that we maintain our relationship with our lease holders to keep our site open for our club into the foreseeable future. If people report enough times that we are unsafe – that will directly jeopardize our clubs future. While we cannot reduce the safety requirements set by the AMA, We – SEFSD BOD are within our rights to increase safety requirements if we feel it is warranted. For now, the BOD asks members to maintain a safe distance ( 50 FT. ) while we explore options. As one of the other options we are looking at include changing our official flight boundaries to exclude any area within 50 feet of the dirt foot path which would also exclude the large trees in the field on the far right of the foot path. We will vote on a final plan at the next BOD meeting on 08 Feb. I am willing to accept reasonable discussion on the matter via e-mail prior to that – keeping in mind that public safety has to be at the top of any discussion.
Over the next couple of months I hope you will see newsletter submissions from more members of the board. They each bring new ideas and experience to their positions and I am excited to see what they want to share with the rest of us. That being said, our Editor ( THANKS Steve Belknap! ) is always on the lookout for new and interesting items to include in the newsletter. I have seen great submissions recently from Bob, Mike, and Jeff and would like to hear about the fun or neat projects some or all of you are working on. Please send a write up and a few pics if possible to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include you.
Before closing, I want to commend the quick response of club members this month for getting a LiPo fire contained following an aircraft crash that damaged the battery. Please ensure you have your extinguishers handy, and understand how to use them.
This months event – following the field sweep at 9:00 AM – will be BOMB DROP starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday the 26th. Piiots can use any plane they desire, but you must be able to mount the basic drop mechanism using tape, rubber bands, or velcro. There will be $150.00 in gift certificates to the high scorers as usual. You must be a current member to participate. Following the fun fly we will hold the first club meeting at the field for 2019, followed by a Hot Dog lunch cooked by our new DOGMASTER Mark Davis. Thanks for taking on the duties Mark!
Hope everyone has a great month, and as always – Heres to wishing for no WHAMMIES!