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Amazon, Google, NASA Contemplate 200 Foot Ceiling for "Hobby" Aircraft to Make Way for Their Delivery Drones

Earle Levine, editor


Here is my take on the latest details from Amazon, Google, and NASA. Maybe I am worrying too soon but here is what it sounds like to me. This is very early in the process and these are basically ideas that are being put out. Click the link above to read the article. [AMA Government Liason Rich Hanson is in communication with the parties involved. Yay, AMA! ]


The FAA seems to be giving NASA and industry control (input) over how the proposed increase in drone traffic will be managed. The airspace between 200 and 400 feet (above what?) would be reserved for high speed, autonomous UAS traffic, controlled both centrally and on-board with various sense-and-avoid systems. "If you’re operating a radio-controlled quadcopter with no internet connection, then you would be relegated to the area below 200 feet."


What about our "traditional" model airplanes? It sounds like those could be operated on distant "test sites", maybe in Nevada. Don't look for any in southern California. Here is what they suggest:


"Amazon’s plan also tries to make room for hobbyists and researchers, by including airspace for open flying fields where anyone is welcome to operate, regardless of the kind of equipment they are carrying. This would be a safe space to fly at great heights and without meeting all the command and control requirements, as the airspace would be marked off and avoided by commercial flights. "We need a predefined low-risk area where people can experiment," says [vice president of Pirme Air Gur] Kimchi. 'We don’t have any plans to fly at 12,000 feet, but if that is something you are interested in, go for it!' "


If you have not joined, renewed, or made an additional contribution to AMA, you might want to consider doing so now. I looks like AMA now has something bigger than the FAA to contend with.




Beware the Danger of the Sun

We live in southern California and we fly model airplanes. We are out in the sun, a lot. And most of us have been exposing ourselves (so to speak) for many years. The bad news is that sun damage is cumulative. The results of sun damage range from unpleasant (wrinkles, spots, flaky patches) to fatal (melanoma). A member recently had a melanoma removed from the back of his hand. How many of us go out of our way to keep the sun off the back of our hands? And what part of us is exposed more often? Here are some tips - it's not too late to start.

  • Minimize sun exposure during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm, when the sun is strongest. Try to plan your outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon. 
  • Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when out in the sun. Choose tightly-woven materials for greater protection from the sun's rays. (It may not be fashionable but neither is skin cancer. Native desert dwellers never get skin cancer because they cover from head to toe.)  --->
  • Apply a sunscreen before every exposure to the sun, and reapply frequently and liberally, at least every two hours, as long as you stay in the sun. The sunscreen should always be reapplied after swimming or perspiring heavily, since products differ in their degrees of water resistance. I recommend sunscreens with as SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more printed on the label.
  • Don't forget to use your sunscreen on overcast days. The sun's rays are as damaging to your skin on cloudy, hazy days as they are on sunny days.
  • Individuals at high risk for skin cancer (outdoor workers, fair-skinned individuals, and persons who have already had skin cancer) should apply sunscreens daily.
  • If you develop an allergic reaction to your sunscreen, change sunscreens. One of the many products on the market today should be right for you.
  • Beware of reflective surfaces! Sand, water and concrete can reflect more than half the sun's rays onto your skin. Sitting in the shade does not guarantee protection from sunburn.


sand people

AMA Dues

AMA Dues Will Increase Sept 14

Renew before then for 1 or 2 years and save big!

Read AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson's
editorial in USA Today. AMA is working for US!


Loss of Control Incidents at the Field;
Incident Report Form Created


There have been reliable reports of loss of control during some flights on 2.4 frequencies. The causes are not readily apparent, with radio interference a possibility. However interference on 2.4 mHz is particularly hard to detect due to the widespread use of Wifi, and the fact that we broadcast on a band rather than on a fixed single frequency as on the 72 mHz channels, and that there are multiple factors that affect aircraft behavior on each flight.


 We are looking for the possibility of interference from legitimate, industrial uses, but there is a remote possibility of intentional jamming aimed at us or others. Jamming of ANY radio transmissions is prohibited and actively enforced by the FCC. Be aware of and report any DLR (Doesn't Look Right) activity near, around or just outside the field: persons with electronic equipment, loitering, occupied parked cars, antennas (I know it's "antennae" but that is for insects!), that could indicate the presence of interfering equipment.


See Gary Stevens informative article in the July Newsletter.


We recommend that you do a RANGE CHECK before every flight for the time being.If you do not know how to do this, check with the manual for your transmitter. All 2.4 transmitters should have a low power mode for range checks. Be sure your transmitter and flight batteries are properly charged - make note of the voltages before flight.


If you experience a loss of control or other anomaly during a flight, please complete and submit an

SFDRCM Interference Report

 supplying as much information as you can. We will analyze reports and take necessary action.




Ed Flaot

 Lots of new Swap Shop Ads

If you haven't looked at the Swap Shop lately, check it out. Lots of new ads today - heli, EDF, gas, etc.


 Special DX9 Black Edition Raffle!


Thanks to our friends at Pegasus Hobby, we are having a special raffle of a Spektrum DX9 Black Edition radio system. This includes carrying case and receiver, and is valued at $599. Intuitive and powerful. Infinite model memory.

Special red raffle tickets are $5 each and available from any board member. Drawing will be at the Christmas party December 12. (No tickets for this will be sold at the Christmas party so buy your tickets in advance.)


 New Gate Installed to Curb Trespassing at Field


Photo credit: Tom Traeger

Thanks to President Rich Rannis for spearheading the effort to install a gate on the northern entrance to our field. Since Gold Line Extension work began last year, the normal Duarte Road gate has not been locked, leading to increased trespass at our field, including graffiti and car and ATV tracks and burnouts. Hopefully the gate will reduce this significantly. The design of the gate is one side for club use with one club lock, and the larger side for other utility use with the usual multiple locks. Center post is removable when both gate are unlocked. Also thanks to Gary Stevens, Tom Treager and Wayne Brown for financial donations toward the project. And this should qualify for the AMA Field Improvement Fund award program.


SFDRCM License Plate Frames

If you can't make it to the meeting
to order online - same price

Laser engraved, anodized blue, very attractive, appear to glow!  $14, 2 for $25

Let use know at




SFDRCM Open House and Sale April 11 Report

Report moved to Event Reports page


 12 V Power Supply from Old Computer Power Supply

Need a 12 volt power supply (or an extra one) to charge your batteries at home from a DC charger? How about recycling one from an out of service computer for next to nothing? And save ewaste from a landfill? Win Win! The few parts needed are available at Orvac Electronics 1120 Shamrock Ave Monrovia (or maybe Radio Shack).

Click THIS LINK to find out how

12V Power Suppy



 New to Radio Control? Get a Quad, Heli, or Airplane for Christmas?
Don't risk a crash. Free setup and flight instruction!
Contact us at

Didn't get one but want to get started?
Contact us at


 Know Before You Fly

 Christmas Gifts

New Hobby Shop Specializes in Multirotors



We will be meeting Wednesday mornings 8:00am to 10:00am for those of you

who would like us to help you advance in piloting your machines, please

contact us about meeting so we are aware of how many people will

show up, this way we can focus on areas that you need improvement with. 

Why send to Hong Kong and wait for your multirotor parts? DJI Phantom, Graupner, Gemfan, etc.
Kits, parts, FPV, custom builds; competitive prices.

I stopped by and met the owner Tony. Shop is super well stocked with multirotor RTF, parts, video accessories, props, etc etc. Tony is totally knowledgable, friendly and willing to help. The kind of hobby shop hang out we all think we remember. Tony is eager to come to a meeting and do flight demos at the field. Stop by and say SFDRCM sent you.
Located at:
13953 #B AMAR RD
LA PUENTE, CA 91746 facing Willow St. - don't go into the center.



Find more about Weather in Duarte, CA
Click for weather forecast




See event reports on EVENT REPORTS page

Newsletter On Line
We will now be delivering the newsletter only on line. See the Club Newsletter tab above to access current and past newsletters. Those requesting newsletter by mail will receive a meeting reminder postcard.


Float Fly May 2014 video by John De La Cueva, including Ed Villanueva's custom rescue boat.

 Aeromodeling Pioneers: The Good Brothers Video Uploaded

When the Cindy Good and Mallory Nelson, daughter and granddaugter of RC pioneer William Good visited, they left a DVD that was a very interesting documentary of about the innovative Good brothers. I have been able to upload this to YouTube for all to enjoy. This is fascinating and inspiring look at RC history, with interviews to preserve the presence of these brothers. As with many modlers, their interest in model aviation was coupled with significant technical achievements in other areas. Let us all be inspired by their work and their enjoyment of this hobby.

Video as approx 26 minutes - thank you to YouTube for permission for the extended length upload, and to Mallory and Cindy.

Good Brothers 


Meeting Time & Location Information
Wednesday at 7:30 PM
Arcadia Red Cross on Methodist Hospital campus
376 W Huntington Dr
Arcadia , CA 91007  map it
7:30 Second Wednesday each month


Meeting Time & Location Information
Wednesday at 7:30 PM
Arcadia Red Cross on Methodist Hospital campus
376 W Huntington Dr
Arcadia , CA 91007  map it
7:30 Second Wednesday each month


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