July 25, 2021: RC Aerobatics Concludes

By Jim Quinn

Our fourth and final day of RC Precision Aerobatics always starts with a special and newly fresh atmosphere. The 2021 Nats was no exception, but the SPECIAL had a whole new meaning this year.

Kevin Young, a regular at our Nats and World Championship competition, made this year extra special. Yes, Kevin is special, but … Kevin was joined this year by his wife, Sarah, and their beautiful daughter Allee. Thank you Sarah and Kevin for this extra special start to Day 4.

A pilots’ meeting began the competition for day 4. Tim Jesky, Site 1 Director, Jon Dieringer, ED, and Jon Carter, Chief Judge, briefed the 8 finalists in FAI. Tim and Jon Dieringer explained procedures while Jon Carter went over the finer points in the two new sequences.

Friday evening, three Unknown sequences were computer generated. Of the three, two were used Saturday morning. A non-competitor blindly  draws 2 tiles to decide which of the 3 Unknowns will be used. The pilots also have a blind drawing to determine the flight order. Pilots are forbidden to practice either Unknown sequence before the contest the next morning.

Day 4 marks a whole new contest for the 8 FAI finalists. The 2 Unknown sequences and an additional sequence of “F” are flown. All three flights are counted for final scores. No rounds are dropped.

Given the importance of these three final flights, additional judges are used. The Electronic Scribe is used so the judges can observe the plane in flight without looking down to write a score down. Each judge has a controller. Using the buttons on the controller, the judge can make downgrades and move from maneuver to maneuver without ever losing eye contact with the airplane.

As the 8 finalists have never flown the 2 Unknown sequences, they practice the morning of the contest using “stick planes” to memorize the maneuvers and understand the elements of each individual maneuver. Mark Hunt, a regular finalist in FAI, is using this technique.

Before the Electronic Scribe (thanks Peter), paper score sheets were used. They would regularly be “run” from the flightline to the tabulation center, “The Whale.” These scribes would have to manually enter the scores into the scoring computers.

One of our runners, who actually drove around in old carts from site to site and to the Whale, has joined us this year. Thanks so much to Evelyn Jesky for her years of service driving from site to site in the blistering Muncie sun for hour after hour.

Keeping our planes’ electronics cool is vital. Check out this “plane wrapper,” as the company calls it. There is a matching stars and stripes Allure under the “wrapper.”

We bid goodbye to our 5 first-time pilots from Site 4. When asked to complete the sentence, “My first Nats was…” they all smiled first and added comments such as, “Great time, nerve wracking, eye-opening experience, informative, a pure pleasure, I’ll be back.”

The day and the competition were drawing to a close. The banquet and awards were waiting for us all. The dinner looked great. There was plenty of food and beverages. Everyone seemed to have a grand time.

MC Rusty Dose encouraged more participation in the Nats and suggested some Classic RC airplane competitions take place at your local events and even nationally.

NSRCA President, Charlie Barrera gave a plaque to thank our new Event Director, Jon Dieringer.

There were a surprising number of couples at the Nats and at the dinner. Here is just a small sample from one table.

Jon Dieringer took over once everyone was full and deserts were consumed. He announced the pilots in each class who will receive awards.

INTERMEDIATE

First                       Scott Campbell

Second                 Jeff Mueller

Third                      Wilfredo Salvador

ADVANCED

 First                      Scott Pavlock    

Second                 Steve Miller

Third                      Matt Baccari

Fourth                  Justin Wells

MASTERS

First                       Jonathan Mowrey

Second                 Chuck Edwards

Third                      Chris Fitzsimmons

Fourth                  John Wolfe

Fifth                       Don Ramsey

Sixth                      Cliff Bradford

FAI

First                       Andrew Jesky

Second                 Jason Shulman

Third                      AC Glenn

Fourth                  Joseph Szczur

Fifth                       Chip Hyde

Sixth                      Greyson Prichett

Seventh               Mark Hunt

Eighth                   Chris Gini

3 comments

  1. My wife, Wendy, and I would like to thank all those who ran the event and made us feel at home. We had a great time watching the pilots fly and were very impressed with their skills. I was also very impressed with the facilities and the museum. I also thought the event ran like clockwork. Thanks again for making our trip so enjoyable. As soon as my batteries are all charged up, I’m out to fly this morning. Steve Coltrin

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