Academy of Model Aeronautics






First Annual "Lucky-Hand Fun Fly" at Sanderson Field






On Saturday, July 30, 2010, the Sanderson Field RC Flyers (SFRCF) hosted a fun-fly competition at their home field in Shelton, WA. In spite of a bit of mist and a cross-wind of 12-15 MPH, the event got underway at 10AM.

At the pilot's meeting, Contest Director (CD) Tom Strom Sr. described the six events that were to challenge even the most experienced pilots present.

Tom Strom (R), CD, Conducts Pilot Meeting. Pilot Dan Nalley (L)
Tom Strom Sr., CD, Conducts Pilot Meeting. Pilot Dan Nalley

The six events required only basic flying and aerobatic maneuvers, and included one event to measure a pilot's ground-handling ability. The events were as follows:

(1) The Terrible Twos -- Pilots were required to do two loops and two rolls and then land in as close to two minutes as possible. The pilot that accomplished both maneuvers--and landed the closest to the two minute mark--earned the most points for the event. Bob Andrew did both maneuvers and landed in 1 minute and 58 seconds to "win" the event. As CD Tom Strom Sr. said, including the distraction of aerobatic maneuvers made it much more difficult for the pilots to keep track of the time.

(2) Touch and Go -- Pilots were required to takeoff, do repeated normal-landing approaches, perform a touch & go each approach loop, and at the end of two minutes, land the aircraft. The pilot who accomplished the most touch & goes within two minutes won the event. Dan Nalley, flying an electric Hangar 9 Pulse, scored the most points with 8 touch & goes.

(3) Balloon Burst -- Pilots were required to takeoff, do a normal landing approach, land, and then taxi to and burst a balloon--all within 30 seconds. The pilot who burst the balloon in the least amount of time won the event: there were no points given unless the pilot managed to burst the balloon (with the plane's propeller). As with the other events, pilots found managing their aircraft in the strong crosswind a challenge. Even though the balloon was anchored to the runway, the balloon still moved around quite a bit in the wind and was not all that easy to hit and burst with a propeller.

Tom Strom Jr. Blowing up Target Balloons
Tom Strom Jr. Blowing up Target Balloons

Successful Balloon Burst by Dick Robb
Successful Balloon Burst by Dick Robb

(4) Taxi -- Two balloons were fixed to the runway several feet apart. Pilots were required to taxi around the balloons in a figure-8 pattern. The pilot who completed the most figure-8 loops in two minutes got the most points.

Tim Strom (L), Eric Ide (C), and Tom Strom Sr. (R) Set up the Taxi Course
Tim Strom, Eric Ide, and Tom Strom Sr. Set up the Taxi Course

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L), Pilot Bob Beatty (C), and Eric Ide (R)
Ready to Taxi the First Figure 8
CD Tom Strom Sr., Pilot Bob Beatty, and Eric Ide<br>Ready to Taxi the First Figure 8

(5) Bomb Drop -- A regular-sized styrofoam cup was fixed to each contestant's plane. The CD placed a balloon containing several beans in the cup. Pilots were required to takeoff, turn, and drop the "bomb" at a balloon target attached to the runway. The last contestant, Tim Strom, won this event with an exciting low approach followed by a steep vertical climb above the target to drop his bomb.

Dick Robb's Well Engineered Styrofoam Cup Attachment
Dick Robb's Well Engineered Styrofoam Cup Attachment

The Bombs
The Bombs

(6) Bean Count -- In this event, the CD placed 15 beans in the cup. Each pilot was required to takeoff, circle, and land. The CD awarded points to the pilots based on the number of beans left in the cup after touchdown. This event required a gradual takeoff, gentle turns, gentle approach, and smooth touchdown to keep the beans in the cup. Surprisingly, more than one of the pilots were able to keep all 15 beans in the cup.

After each event, pilots were allowed to draw a card from a deck of playing cards. At the end of the fun-fly, and before the awards ceremony, the pilots submitted their best or worst poker hand from the six cards they drew. A separate prize was to be given for the winning hand: the CD flipped a coin to determine whether the prize would be awarded for the best or the worst poker hand.

Bob Andrew's Winning Poker Hand
Bob Andrew's Winning Poker Hand

The first three events were concluded before lunch. After a barbeque lunch, the last two events were completed and the CD conducted the awards ceremony. The winners were determined by the total points each pilot earned for the 6 events. Tom Strom Jr. served as the event timer and score keeper throughout the competition.

Tom Strom Jr. -- Timer and Score Keeper
Tom Strom Jr. -- Timer and Score Keeper

After all points were added for each pilot, the winners were as follows:

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards First Place to Dick Robb (R)
First Prize -- Dick Robb

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Awards Second Place to John Tupper (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. Awards Second Place to John Tupper

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

Winners were presented with a framed certificate and a gift card from RC RemoteControl Hobbies, Olympia ($30 for first place, $20 for second, and $10 for third).

The best poker hand went to Bob Andrew. His prize was a GreatPlanes Escapade ARF donated by RC RemoteControl Hobbies, Covington, WA.

CD Tom Strom Sr. (L) Presents the Lucky Hand Prize to Bob Andrew (R)
CD Tom Strom Sr. Presents the Lucky Hand Prize to Bob Andrew

Tom Strom SR., the CD, was aided by Tom Strom Jr. and Tim Strom. The Stroms did a terrific job of organizing and running the competition.

The competing pilots were Tim Strom, Eric Ide, Dan Nalley, Dick Robb, Bob Andrew, Bert Daggett, John Tupper, Bob Beatty, and Chuck Kentfield.

After the award ceremony, Dick Robb expressed special thanks for the work done by Tom Strom and his sons. All participants of the event, including pilots and observers, were *very* enthusiastic about making the "Lucky-Hand Fun Fly" an annual event at Sanderson Field and about including competitive challenges in other scheduled fun flies and fly-ins.

Special Thanks to CD Tom Strom (L) from Dick Robb (R)
Special Thanks to CD Tom Strom from Dick Robb








 I hope you enjoyed this article,
Royce Tivel


Royce Tivel

 Royce Tivel
rtivel@selectdigitals.com







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