Dedicated to the Promotion of Electric Propulsion in all types of Aeromodeling

President’s Corner for Mar – Apr 2024

  Hey Flyers! Welcome to Spring!!
  We had a very wet month again, and even a couple of rainy days this week.  Hopefully we’re on the verge of drying out. Thanks to everybody for staying off of the wet runway. The red lock when wet protocol seems to be working as the field is in really good condition right now. As we move into the dryer parts of the year, we may still see the red lock in use when the field is secured due to city events in Mission Bay Park, and flight restrictions imposed upon all aircraft (Full scale and Models) due to critical aircraft movements in the area. Think Airforce One is on final approach and always dominates the airspace within 30 miles. There have been a few people walk in from SEAWORLD Drive carrying models when the red lock closes access via car or truck.  This is risky, if there is an actual notice to airmen ( NOTAM ) restricting flight, and you are found flying by the authorities, you will spend a bit of time in a 6×8 cement room…
As I’m talking about the gate, there were several instance of the gate not being locked as the last member leaves the site over the last several weeks. There has been dumping in the driveway area as well as unauthorized use of the site itself. Please treat the site like you own it, and you have to repair or replace damaged or stolen items. Basically you DO own it as we pay rent for the site from members dues, and you DO replace it – as we will need to increase dues again to repair or replace tables, chairs or the fence, or pay to have dumped items removed.
The outer field area is in bloom with wild flowers. All of the rain this season means the growth will likely get over 8 feet in quite a bit of the field. Pilots have already lost a few helicopters and many plane parts in the field, and the poppies are only 3 feet tall at the moment. If you are a pilot that regularly ventures out to find an aircraft, I recommend looking into a locator device such as a loss of signal buzzer available on Amazon –  or a GPS tracker for your IOS or Android phone. Both are small, light, and easy to install. As the Poppies ( weeds…) grow, we are already seeing people all over the field and runway area taking selfies and pics of their kids and spouse. Please don’t scream at them, or approach them with your aircraft. They just don’t know that they are in the wrong place. Encourage them to move along, especially if there are planes in the air and they are on the actual runway. Finally, along with all of this growth, come the weeds trying to reclaim the runway. Thanks go out to Dennis Laberge, Dorian Kunch, and Scott Vance for conducting field maintenance – Keeping the weeds from taking over the entire area. I really appreciate your time!
  The main thing I wanted to discuss this month is situational awareness while at the field. While I do understand that there’s a lot going on sometimes, I need people to have eyes in the back of their head and see what’s going on around them. I know a lot of you focus intensely on your aircraft while you’re flying. However, I need you to be aware of what’s going on upon the runway and in the air. Last week we had a member step onto the runway to retrieve a glider, after loudly announcing his intention to step on the runway. Within five seconds, another member flying from the NEXT gate flew down the centerline, doing a knife edge at head height. While I don’t like to actually yell at people on site, I will raise my voice if an injury or safety issue is imminent. I did get loud, the pilot pulled away, and there was no blood. The person walking towards his glider was very upset, and had to be talked down a bit. I apologize to the young man that I yelled at, but in that instance, that was the response that was needed.  We have to look out for each other on the runway and at the field. I’m going to say again if you are doing any maneuver over the runway, it is YOUR responsibility to look left and right up and down and make sure you’re not putting anybody in danger while you’re conducting your maneuver.  The same awareness has to be practiced when full-scale Aircraft coming into our area. Per the AMA rules, we have to get our aircraft down below 100 feet anytime there’s a full scale Aircraft within our boundaries. I would personally prefer below 50 feet, but the official rule is to get below 100. There are quite a few people that are hard of hearing, and may not hear the chopper or biplane coming towards our site. For the most part, we know who these people are, and if you know, an aircraft is inbound step up to them and tell them to get down.
Lastly, As I previously posted, there should be no spinning propellers in the pit area, ever.  No taxiing of aircraft in the pits. Yes , that includes ducted fans. If you are walking through the pit area, please be cognizant of what is happening in the pit area. Sometimes there is activity on the tables that could result in spinning propellers. If you are working on your plane and you’re going to put power your motor, either on the table or in the pit area itself, please remove the prop. Remember it only takes 1/10 of a second to let the blood out!
  I still have several tickets to the air space Museum from our banquet in January. They don’t expire until December. If you purchased a ticket to the banquet, and would still like to do a walk-through of the museum this year, come see me at the field either Saturday or Sunday and I will issue your tickets. Tickets left over after this weekend will likely be donated to children in the community.
  I have been seeing more people flying larger planes lately. I have had great success over the last several years with 12s,14s,and16s aircraft. If you want any info on what I use, please feel free to ask. At this level, there is no such thing as cheap aircraft or components, but you get what you pay for – and reliability is key. You don’t see me walking to the scene of the crash very often.
  This week‘s fun Fly event on the 23rd will be spot landing. This is favorite event of most people in the club, as anyone can play. Some people come straight down on the target, making it interesting, but its all in good fun… Jim Bonnardel, our event master, said he has a twist in the rules to make it more interesting, so come join us Saturday at 10 AM and let’s have fun.
Following the Fun Fly, we will have our standard monthly club meeting at the field, and hotdog lunch served by Mark and Lisa! See you there.