The fun stuff first….. Saturday is Scale Aircraft Day at SEFSD…start at 9- 9:30 or so. We will celebrate with Hebrew National Dogs after the festivities. Bring your Scale Aircraft and participate in the flying and get in the mix for Peoples Choice Award. We will have a vote and we do have a prize in mind but we will be keeping you all in suspense. The field will be closed to all other flying during the Scale Airplane Celebration time starting as stated above. Fly anything you want before or after the event. The General Meeting should start around 11 AM and then the dogs will be served shortly thereafter. The SEFSD Board of Directors sincerely hopes to see you there to participate, spectate, critique, vote, talk about important issues and chomp some Hebrew National Dogs.
The agenda for the General Meeting is focused on the well being of the club in several areas. The recent FAA interpretation of the “section 336” which has onerous implications for all of us modelers and our club has some new developments. If the FAA interpretation goes into affect there is a good chance that Lindberg ATC will opt to close us down rather than worry about us in their airspace. One hundred clubs like ours have lived in Class B airspace for many years safely but they might not survive. An action was filed on Aug 22 by the AMA in a U. S. Court of Appeals in D.C. challenging the FAA Interpretation of the special rule for Model Aircraft. Hopefully Steve will be able to include a copy of it for all to read at the end of my commentary. Maybe you have had a chance to read AMA president Bob Browns take on all of this in the recent issue of Model Aviation. I think you will sense a feeling of betrayal that he and many others feel as a result of the FAA action. Dave Matthewson, a lawyer and Executive Director for AMA also gives his input which is very well written on the FAA Interpretation. From all that I know the FAA does not care about doing the right thing by us just what ever simplifies their protection of the National Air Space. It remains to be seen if we will prevail but at least it is in court and we have many of us writing about our discontent. The FAA will not enforce these new rules rather it will fall to airport and law enforcement organizations to apply the new rules. I don’t think they will welcome additional work load, it just doesn’t seem reasonable that they will be reasonable. By the way the best way to voice your concern, opinion, discontent etc. is to use email.
The link is www.regulations.gov <http://www.regulations.gov> . then search for model aircraft and follow prompts. Please know that if AMA members’ efforts fail to change their minds about the interpretation and Congress fails to act and the Court decides in their favor our site and many others will be terminated nation wide.
Our club enjoys a great site: central to all right on the Bay and with recent improvements in signage, log placement (thanks Dr. Ray Fulks and Don Griffin) we have rationally protected our status in some ways. However, that said, there have been a rash of incidents that are dark clouds over our collective heads. Model aircraft have been seen way too high and way too far away from our boundaries. Individuals are hovering multi-rotors over working electricians along the walkway to our North. FPV flyers are sometimes flying without spotters. Board members and club members are complaining of a lax attitude when it comes to following rules that are posted. Mysterious flying has been seen with no apparent SEFSD pilot doing the flying at our site.???
It is worth noting that non -AMA, non -SEFSD members are frequently flying off of Fiesta Island and that problem has been addressed as Dr. Ray Fulks had asked the Rangers to do what ever they can to control that…..it is not a perfect situation. We are addressing it as best we can at this time.
What can you do as a Silent Electric Flyer you ask?
Write to the FAA and voice your concerns and then……….
1. Follow the rules yourself and encourage others to do the same.
2. Stay well away from the outer boundaries of our flight zones as listed on maps, observe 400 feet ceiling.
3. Please avoid flying low near the palm tree line which is used by park walkers.
4. Avoid any full scale aircraft immediately and get down to a low altitude or land.
5. Get yourself prepared for repercussions if you break the rules and get cited.
6. Prepare for the possibility of temporary closure of the field by the board of directors to highlight the importance of following the posted rules.
Come Saturday and we will talk about all of this and more.
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