Academy of Model Aeronautics






A Fun Fly With Spice






On June, 26, 2011, the Pylon Racers of Puget Sound (PROPS) held a Fun Fly at Sanderson Field, Shelton, WA. The PROPS pilots were joined by pilots from the Sanderson Field RC Flyers (SFRCF). There were six competitions in the fun fly. The six competitions required only basic flying and aerobatic maneuvers, and included one event to measure a pilot's ground-handling ability: Some of the competitions were timed events. For example, "The Terrible Two's" required each pilot to takeoff, do two loops and two rolls, and land as close to two minutes as possible. CD Tom Strom Sr. noted that including the distraction of aerobatic maneuvers made it much more difficult for the pilots to keep track of the time. Distractions from other competitors further tested a pilot's ability to concentrate on the task at hand—and added spice to the event.

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Briefs the Pilots.
Pilots Eric Ide (C) and Steve Mortenson (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. Briefs the Pilots. Pilots Eric Ide and Steve Mortenson.

Marc Winz Flying "The Terrible Two's" With "Help" From Fellow Pilots
Marc Winz Flying The Terrible Two's With Help From Fellow Pilots

John Calhoun Performing a Touch and Go
John Calhoun Peforming a Touch and Go

Dan Nalley won the Touch and Go competition. He might have done even better had he not picked up a rock during one of the landings.

A Handicap for Dan Nalley During the Touch and Go Competition
A Handicap for Dan Nalley

A Little Spice

Here is a bit of what happened during the Terrible Two's and the Bomb Drop:

00:00
Pilot-1 launches his aircraft for the "Terrible Two's" competition.

00:10
Pilot-2 begins telling a joke in Pilot-1's ear.

00:30
Pilot-1 completes two inside loops and two rolls.
Pilot-2 shouts, "Only 50 seconds left!"

00:40
Pilot-1 performs several aerobatic maneuvers while *his* mental clock continues to count the seconds.
Pilot-2 attempts to engage Pilot-1 in conversation, "Say, Pilot-1, are you still making lots of trips to Eastern Washington?"

01:10
Pilot-1 is very cool. He listens to the jokester and carries on the conversation about his trips to Eastern Washington—while still maintaining focus on his aircraft and the time.
Pilot-2 advises, "Just about out of time, Pilot-1. If you land right now, you'll be spot on 2 minutes."

01:30
Pilot-1 does two perfect outside loops.
Pilot-2 yells, "You just undid your inside loops with the two outside loops. You're going to have to do your loops again: outside loops cancel inside loops."
Pilot-1 stays cool.

01:45
Pilot-2 says, "Almost 3 minutes, now—too bad, Pilot-1."
Pilot-1 performs a few more maneuvers and prepares to land his plane.

02:06
Pilot-1 lands his plane after an outstanding performance.

After the The Terrible Two's and Touch and Go competitions, pilots prepared their aircraft for the Bean Carry and the Bomb Drop. For the Bean Carry, the CD loaded 16 beans into the styrofoam "bomb bay" mounted on each aircraft. Amazingly, more than one pilot landed with all 16 beans after a take off, circle, and landing.

Dan Nalley's Eratix 3D Ready for the Bean Carry and Bomb Drop
Dan Nalley's Eratix 3D Ready for the Bean Carry and Bomb Drop

For the Bomb Drop, the CD loaded a balloon containing several beans into the "bomb bay."

CD Tom Strom Sr. Loads the "Bomb Bay" for Pilot Dick Robb
CD Tom Strom Sr. Loads the Bomb Bay for Pilot Dick Robb

Pilot-2, the jokester, began the Bomb Drop competition. The CD loaded the "bomb bay" and Pilot-2 launched the aircraft and banked right towards the big X on the runway: the target was the center of the big X. As the plane banked right, Pilot-1 planted a seed, "The bomb fell out! Oh, too bad, Pilot-2." Pilot 3 concurred, "You banked just a little too hard, Pilot-2." Pilot-2 shouted, "I didn't even see it fall." Pilot-4 yelled, "Bad break, Pilot-2."

Pilot-2 continued flying past the big X on his way to a landing approach. The CD advised Pilot-2 to complete the bombing run. "You never know," he said, "maybe it didn't drop out." Pilot-2 answered, "What's the use. They said it fell out." The CD still advised Pilot-2 to make the attempt—just in case. A frustrated Pilot-2 turned the aircraft back towards the target, rolled the plane, and—miraculously—a "bomb" dropped out of the plane and hit the runway 85 feet from the target. "Foul!" shouted Pilot-2. "That wasn't fair."

With a grin of satisfaction, Pilot-1 quietly remarked, "You *never* believe what a competing pilot says during an event like this."

Eric Ide Measures Drop Distance to Target for Pilot Dan Nalley
Eric Ide Measures Drop Distance to Target for Pilot Dan Nalley

After the Bomb Drop, pilots took a break for a barbecue lunch. The lunch was provided by SFRCF and was cooked by SFRCF member Bob Treinen.

Bob Treinen Prepares the Dogs and Hamburgers for Lunch
Bob Treinen Prepares the Dogs and Hamburgers for Lunch

The competition ended after the Balloon Burst and the Taxi contests.

Balloon-Burst Mission Accomplished by pilot Dick Robb
Balloon-Burst Mission Accomplished by pilot Dick Robb

Steve Mortenson (R) Taxies His Trainer Around a Balloon
Steve Mortenson (R) Taxies His Trainer Arround a Balloon

After the Taxi contest, scorekeeper Tom Strom Jr. calculated a score for each pilot and determined the contest winners.

Scorekeeper Tom Strom Jr.
Scorekeeper Tom Strom Jr.

The winners were Bob Beatty (first), Erick Ide (second), and Dick Robb (third). The first place winner received a gallon of fuel donated by Tom Strom Sr.. The second and third-place winners each received a premium subscription to RC Report Online.

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards First Place to Bob Beatty (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. Awards First Place to Bob Beatty

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards Second Place to Eric Ide (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. Awards Second Place to Eric Ide

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards Third Place to Dick Robb (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards Third Place to Dick Robb

All pilots enjoyed the fun fly. At no time were the distractions allowed to interfere with a pilot's ability to safely control his aircraft. The pilots' ability to focus on "the mission"—in spite of the distractions—amazed the author. The event winner flew a gas powered plane while the other winners flew electrics. Especially during the Taxi competition, the light-weight electrics were at a bit of a disadvantage in the afternoon due to a variable 5mph wind.

Competing pilots were Steve Mortenson, Marty Hoppe, John Calhoun, Eric Ide, Marc Winz, Dan Nalley, Bob Beatty, Dick Robb, and Burt Daggett.

Special thanks to Tom Strom Sr. (CD), Tom Strom Jr., and Eric Ide for organizing and running the event. Also, special thanks to Julia at RC Report for donating the subscriptions used for prizes.








 I hope you enjoyed this article,
Royce Tivel


Royce Tivel

 Royce Tivel
rtivel@selectdigitals.com







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