By Jim Quinn
Let’s meet our Event Director for the 2021 RC Aerobatics Nats! Jon Dieringer was asked if he would like to become the Nats ED. It took all of 20 seconds for Jon to answer, “Yes.”
As he disconnected the line, he thought to himself, “What have I done?” In the weeks and months ahead, he contacted many people for advice. Monte Richard, a former ED himself, Charlie Barrera, the NSRCA president, and many of the AMA staff, to name a few.
Jon was impressed with how many functions the AMA was doing on an autopilot-type function. He assembled a great team, as we’ve read about earlier in the news. As the NATS approached, it seemed, “like I was pushing a large rock up a hill.” As the Nats were about to begin, Jon, “gave a final nudge and the rock rolled down hill easily.” The three key words to a successful Nats: “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.”
Jon’s interest in RC started when he was about 12. His flying was off and on for many years.
In 2016, he started to get more serious. He had an E-Flite Commander MPD. His KAOS with a 15cc gas engine got him one step closer to Precision Aerobatics.
He was at Toledo in 2018 and talked to all of the key people. He came home with a Vanquish and also flew the Acuity, Nuance, and an Epilog. He’s been hooked ever since. We are all so happy that this pleasant, mild-mannered man easily has moved us through a two-hour delay on day 1, the wild delay on day 2 with the helicopter crop dusting, and a major storm to punctuate day 3’s afternoon.
Who could be a first timer on the FAI line? Vince Bortone is a longtime Nats pilot flying mostly Masters. For 2021, however, he wanted to fly FAI to better understand the pilots and maneuvers he normally was judging at local and regional events. He will be back to Masters in 2022.
Vicente grew up in a small village in Venezuela. His first aerobatic airplane was a biplane made by a local dentist. He’s been a fan of biplanes ever since. Vince first came to the Nats in 2001 with the Focus that so many of us had in those years. Later, he came with a Glow and later and electric Abbra. He had a midair with his electric airplane, which severely damaged one wing. He did land safely and was able to swap the damaged wing with the good wing form his glow Abbra.
Luckily, the above two photos were taken earlier in the week. When I took the disk out of my camera for this edition of the NatsNews, the disk had somehow corrupted. I have no idea how I happened.
So you cannot see the happy “crew” of Intermediate pilots/wives and director.
You can’t see Elvie shooting a tennis ball Nerf gun high into the air for Shelby, a great 1 -year-old chocolate lab, who caught it midair before it fell to the ground.
You can’t see all of the 6 Masters finalists:
Nor can you see all of the 8 FAI finalists:
More photos by Matt Ruddick:
Here are some photos from the Advanced Class, taken by Rachelle Haughn.