Thursday, May 26, 2005

Monday, May 23, 2005

The ballad of the Bubble Dancer by Ryan Woebkenberg

"The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
The king is gone but he's not forgotten."

On the final round of the day in Cincinnati on Saturday, I had a battery failure on the Bubble Dancer. Final round was a 15 minute task. I had noticed before launching on the final round that my spoiler servo was buzzing. It normally does not buzz. When I moved the spoiler stick a bit, it stopped buzzing, so I thought I should be fine.

Launch was a bit low in the down wind conditions at the time of that launch. One pilot managed to find lift in that round and got pretty high. Not sure how the other guys did, as I pretty much fought my own fight that round. After about a minute and loosing most of my launch altitude, I found some decent lift but got pretty far down wind. After about 6 or so minutes into the task, I started back up wind. I worked my way up wind for about 2 minutes, until I found a small patch of lift over a lone tree. At this point I was probably at about 100 feet of altitude.

I worked this bubble for the next several minutes. Re-cored a number of times. About 12 or 13 minutes into the task, I noticed that the plane did not want to change diameter of the circles. I gave hard right stick, nothing. I tried to see if I could stall it, nothing. Gave full spoiler nothing. At this point, I realized I did not have the plane.

So I of course go running after the plane. That seems to be the first instinct when something like this happens. I ran after the plane as it started to thermal higher (and move down wind). On my run, John Dinitz from JR pulled up behind me in his vehicle and offered to drive and chase the BD. I hop in his SUV, and we drive down the roads at Voice of America Park. We get to a closed road and ask the security guy if we can go through as we were chasing a plane. He said we could not, so I thanked John for the lift and took off on foot. I chased the plane about another half mile, and finally stopped to at least get a line on it as it seemed to be descending. Then, of course right as soon as it descended it would climb again. I stopped and watched it for what seemed like forever. It eventually disappeared from sight in the sky. Probably at 500 to 1000 feet of altitude. It seemed odd to just turn back when I could still see it, but I knew that it was so far away and thermalling so nicely that it
was unlikely I would be able to run it down on foot.

On the walk back to the field, John came around in his car again. He drove me back to the flight line. He said he took another route around that closed road after he dropped me off. He had driven about 2 or 3 miles after the plane. He eventually got to a point where it was low (and over a park). But then of course it re-cored the lift and went up and out of sight.

Even though I was not able to recover the plane, I really appreciated John's help. He could have missed his flight assignment but he chose to help me chase after the plane anyway. John is a heck of a good guy, and JR has been supporting the OVSS series very well. I have been a JR customer since 1996 when I purchased my 783. I have bought gear from other manufacturers since (as well as a ton of JR servos and receivers. I'm particularly fond of the 610 for use in small HLGs and other small planes). JR has found another lifetime customer in that small act of camaraderie on Saturday.

My last image of that Bubble Dancer was it working the lift masterfully. As much as it hurts too loose a plane that took me 7 months to build (not to mention the gear including the good JR servos), I like to think it is still up there somewhere, still working thermals. My name, AMA number, and phone number are inside the canopy, so if anybody finds a red, white, and blue Bubble Dancer in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky, please give me a call.


Highveld Thermal League number 2. Photo by Evan Shaw.
Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Andre on Slow Fly prop balancing

I have seen many guys struggling to balance a prop by scraping or sanding down the heavy blade. This is especially a problem with the electric or slow fly props, because you do not have that much material to scrape away (blades are lighter & thinner on electric props as you do not have the same vibration/eccentric forces than on IC motors).

What I have found to work best is having a small can of clear aerosol spray lacquer paint handy - simply spray the back of the lighter blade until it balances! I have been using the same can of paint since 2002, so it is worth investing in a can of paint.


John Cunningham on the 2005 Aerobatic Nats

Link to John's report. Not only is John an Old Master of aerobatics he is also a Master when it comes to a report.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Paula Denysschen on the Graaff Reinet Jet Fly In

The fly in that was organized by Ross in Cape Town from the 27th April to 2nd May was an absolute blast! Graaff Reinet is a very pretty Karoo Town situated on the route from Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth in the eastern Cape. The town, with its prominent white painted houses, lies at the foot of a mountain range. There is a road that takes you to the top of the mountain overlooking the town and the valley of desolation. From there you cannot only see into the future but also into the past.
The actual activity took place on the municipal airstrip just out side the town.

On arrival at the airfield on Wednesday afternoon after the trek from Gauteng all the Capetonians had already parked their trailers, their planes were already assembled and had done a flight or two. By Thursday morning everybody had arrived barring Chris and Terry who only arrived on Friday morning. After a short pilots briefing it was time to fly. The weather for the whole of the weekend was absolutely awesome. In the early part of the day it was breathless but in the afternoon we had a breeze straight down the runway. There was a good spread of planes to be seen ranging from scale planes to jets.

Some of the Cape Town boys used the weekend to sort out their new jet models as well as themselves, but by the end of the weekend they were pro's. Bernard Langa from Cape Town flew a large Ultimate Bipe, which at times performed some very precise aerobatics. The times when it did not perform so well was when he tried to pretend it was a large Helicopter.

Zane Mannell flew his Eurosport now fitted with an AMT Pegasus, which has vertical performance like a home-sick angel. Brian Martin who has also now joined the jet scene flew an identical colour Eurofighter as Zane's. He also used the weekend to come to grips with jets and by Sunday was flying formation aerobatics with Zane. It was good to see a few ducted fans tearing up the skies as well.

Oloff Schoemann was at his normal self -- arriving at the field with an incomplete aircraft. At last years outing to Graaff Reinet he worked on a plane and was ready for test flight on the last day but due to a strong cross wind he did not manage to test fly the model. This time round he completed the model and managed a test flight. The aeroplane is a Boet - Cat that actually belongs to Norman Kempsley who was to make the trip down with us from Gauteng but at the last minute cancelled due to work commitments. Better luck next time Norman.

Not everyone had a good long weekend in the sun as some were plagued with some sort of bad luck or misfortune. About four jets were totalled but the worst and saddest was the B.A Hawk belonging to Christo Groenewald from Cape Town, which on maiden flight after not even one minute in the sky went into a severe spiral straight into the ground and burst into flames. It took the team of salvage hunters a long time to locate the wreck, which landed in the adjacent nature reserve. They had to make use of a full size plane to spot it from the sky, after which they managed to find what was left of the plane.

Another group of pilots who made the trek to Graaff Reinet were the men from Upington. Alex flew his F15 with ease but was plagued with a sick controller on his Raffael. Terry clocked more flights on his good old trusted Dominator but Chris had his fair share of gremlins that crept into his F16.

On Friday evening an organized braai was held in the nature reserve, which was attended by just about all the pilots, and on Sunday evening everyone went to a local restaurant for a social evening. All in all it was a great weekend spent with a wonderful bunch of modellers from all around the country. So watch out for the dates for 2006.

A special thanks goes to Brian Jones who helped with the organizing with the local club, municipality and he organized the accommodation for those he needed help.

A few prizes were arranged just as a good gesture to some pilots -

Best Prop - Bernard Langa - Ultimate
Best Jet - Zane Mannell - Eurosport
Best Test Flight - Ross Holing - F20
Best Aircraft - Bernard Langa - Ultimate
Best Jet - Ray Anderson - Pantha
Hard Luck - Christo Groenewald - BA Hawk

Then their were a few joker prizes handed out just for fun which was best geriatric and was deservedly won by Ross Leighton . The worst fireman went to Bernard for pointing the fire extinguisher at his foot instead of at the fire in Ross's aircraft. I can think of a few other titles that come to light for prizes and that is for the pilot who brings an unfinished aircraft and actually completes it at the event. This year there were at least three pilots in the running to compete for first place. I must say Oloff won the race, it must be due to his experience as this was his third attempt. Other prizes could go to the most miserable pilot or the hardest working helper. The list could go on and on. Lastly a special thanks to all the pilots who attended the weekend, as well as those who made the weekend possible.

For those of you that have noticed and those who have shown concern about the website not being updated for a long time, the problem is with the web site host. In the past Phil ran the whole process but since he has not got the facility to host the site he has made use of another service provider. Apparently there is a problem getting access to their site for changes and updating of information. At present the service is free of charge. It has now become quite embarrassing and something has to be done about it. We are going to do some investigating and come up with an alternative provider. If we have to pay for the service then so be it. If anyone can assist with information regarding this problem please contact either Boet or Phil, it will be greatly appreciated by all.


For those that receive the newsletters via email from the Jet Association and are unhappy about receiving them please feel free to send me a email to have your name removed from the mailing list, as you are under no obligation to receive it.

Due to dealers passing on email addresses and information of new pilots that have joined the ranks the list of Jet pilots in the whole country has grown by 0 percent. It is in your interest as well as ours to keep the list updated so please send us the info. For the pilots who forwarded their info to the committee we welcome you and hope to see you sometime, somewhere at a fly in.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tom Copp on the length of servo horns

Tom Copp posted this on the F3F Yahoo group.
I have his permission to reproduce it here...

Are your servo control horns too long?

Your servo control horns are too long if:

You re got the rates cranked down for that servo.

Your end points or travel volumes are well below 100%

You have lots of Expo on that servo.

You are always breaking gears.

If you re only moving the servo 10 or 15 degrees for full throw you are not using all available travel and your resolution for that control surface is null. It would be better replaced with a button.

Sometime a unique install is needed because of bad servo placement or ?? and a long arm is needed to short cut the fix or its simply was no other solution.

On a normal installation using 75 degrees or more servo movement for full deflection will get you a very smooth and controlled input and result in better feel You can make small changes in flight input and get small changes out of your model. Yes it will slow down your rate of deflection but if you re the guy with long arms and 5 cell packs that keeps us ducking for cover on race day learn the ZEN secret of slowing down to go fast

Tom Copp

Friday, May 13, 2005

Keith Williams on Iso Mounts

A lot of us pattern flyers make our own iso mounts. This is how:

1. Use silicone glue and make a layer of around 2mm directly onto the back (circular/square) section of your motor mount. Once the silicone is on, lay it flat on a piece of wax paper, make sure that the silicone is relatively even all the way round & leave to dry. Once dry, pull off the piece of wax paper and trim any excess silicone around the outer & inner edges of the mount. You can now pull the silicone off the back of your mount and you will have a nice silicone ring or square. I normally just leave it stuck to the back of the mount.

2.Buy 4 small rubber tap washers and similar sized metal washers. Place your mounting bolts through these with the metal washer closest to the head of the bolt and the tap washer next. Now cut 4 pieces of fuel tubing which will be long enough to fit through your mount & the silicone stuck to the back of the mount. Slide one of these pieces of silicon onto each bolt behind the tap washer.

3.Re-drill the holes in your engine mount which are used for bolting the mount to the firewall so that they are big enough to allow the piece of thick silicone fuel tubing through. Insert the bolts with thewashers and silicon tubing through the engine mount & you now have a very effective iso mount.



Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Claude's report on the 2005 Aerobatic Nats in Bloem.

I think Claude must be a follower of Jackie Chan. This is a perfect example of; "...give me a report, detailed and simple, starting at the beginning".

The Magical South African Aerobatics Champs
2005 in Bloemfontein- Orange Freeze State.

1. The journey home from the Nats must be one of the saddest journeys that a pattern pilot can experience, but when you reminisce about all the old friendships that were renewed, and the new friendships that were made...the journey suddenly does not seem that sad - a smile breaks out all over your face - it was all so worth it! Somehow in our hobby, we always find a positive experience, and immediately start planning for next year's trip... There is no one event in the calendar of aerobatics that can conjure up so much magic - such powerful magic - the magicians being all the pilots, Oom Danie who is always there, Digby & his dogs, Walter, his kitchen staff, the scorers, the cool drink vendors, the little runner, the TX control, the judges, as well as all the supporters - they all seem to be able to create some magic. Thank you one & all! I will always remember a comment made by Lindsey Ousman, who in years gone by when she controlled the Novice (Sportsman nowadays) flight line, she said that it was a wonderful experience to meet these fine young men starting the journey to the Masters flight line - the magic starts right there...
2. If I ever have to hear the joke "How do you know when a person is from Cape Town? The answer: They will tell you!" Then I will shoot the teller!! When you sit around at the Nats, you will end up at sometime or another in the company of Digby, who in recent years, I must warn you, has not matured into a 'Graceful old Man'. Just to get the angle right here: Digby's email address is 'oldfart'@'. Now whenever Digby tells a joke at the Nats during one of his many highly intellectualized (indabas) discussion groups, the joke spreads around the Nats like wild fire. Digby must have told the above joke at about 3.25pm on Sat, and by 4.25 pm I was told that same joke at least 5 more times - even my son Kurt, who does not generally tell jokes, had to tell us this joke. He does not know how close he came to total annihilation! The other joke that did it's rounds goes like this: An inexperienced pilot is flying a Boeing, and radios the control tower desperately asking for help, telling them that he is upside down. Control asks him how does he know that he is upside down. His reply 'because there is something warm & smelly running up my neck!' Now these 2 jokes have reached the level of 'Digby's Urban Legend class joke status' (like the helicopter 'hurl' statement). Please use them on unsuspecting club members, not at anyone that been to the Nats - he would most probably have heard it 50 times by now - you may suffer sharp pains to the head if you do... For a list of Digby's Nats Urban Legend type jokes, please ask him to repeat all 465 thousand of them at the next 'highly intellectualized' indaba at the next Nats... OK...
3. ......Happy Birthday Amanda (Pierre.M's Wife)........From Louw, Jane, Josh & the gang for CapeTown as well as all who attended the Nats. . May God bless you & your family.
4. The Nats began with the Wednesday being the official practice day. The weather was brilliant... This phrase I would have to repeat for each day thereafter, so instead of being repetitious, accept that the weather was stunning all the way through... The lines of aircraft to fly were so long that it took an hour or more to get a second practice round in, but all in good spirit, no jumping the Q was allowed. This was the time when the prelim sassing out the enemy began - checking on what type of aircraft your main rival was flying, and asking him 'polite' questions to sass out his weaknesses... From here on the nerve-ends started twitching... Now here I must say I have an advantage - in the expert division that I fly in, all had the high-tech '2x2' planes, while I had a plane I borrowed from Nazeem Harris for the competition, as my trusty old Super Tiger broke a crankshaft just the day before we packed for the Nats, so the chances of me being anything other than last was a distinct possibility. But let me not use the aircraft as an excuse - my pattern-ability is also highly suspect! If you are last (Percentage be politically correct) you can't do any worse, so you have no reason to stress... I was contemplating going up to Masters next year, so even when I come last in Masters, I can at least say I fly in the Master Class...
5. Now from day One, it was evident that Walter & his team were very well jacked up - the food stalls were in place, the cool drinks stand was pulled in place and shade was erected. But as pattern pilots are generally passionate about their models, after CRF erected a tent that gave us a large shaded area, the pilots soon took advantage & placed their models in the shade, & chose to rather bake in the hot burning sun themselves... Priorities is what it's all about - skin cancer is easier to fix than an expensive spray job on your ship (Medical Aid pays...) And those who could not find shade for their aircraft bought a aircraft 'panty' @ R280.00 each to cover the planes - these very same meddlers were moaning about the price of sun lotion that costs R50.00 for a large bottle, it all boils down to priorities... Plane comes first always.....
6. On a fine & bright sunny morning, the first flights took of under the ever watchful eye of - who else but 'Oom Danie' Potgieter (where he gets the energy from I don't know - if I was to make an infomercial about some energy drink, I would use Danie, as he never seems to run out of steam - I have an idea that he is in some way Nuclear powered). Anyway, all the contestants were lined up & ready to go after a brief pilot's briefing in which 'The Don' (Ivan.O) gave us flyers a brief but interesting insight into what the judges would be looking for. The judging panel would be rotated so that every flight u flew, you would do so with a different combination of judges... The trend to have a female judge on the flight line has intrigued me for a little while - I'm wondering if the fact that females can multi task has something to do with it...(just a note here: females can multi task by doing many things at once, men on the other had can also multitask - by screwing up many things at once)... Now here I'm letting myself in for a blasting from the fairer sex... they would be able to keep the line neat & tidy, not the way an all male judging panel looks like with empty cool drink cans, empty packets of chips or 'toppies' strewn all over the immediate grass... Or is it that it keeps the judges from using 4 letter words, as they have to respect the presence of the fairer sex? Now for the clanger... it is common knowledge that females in general talk more than males, but on a flight line with 'Die Bek' - our walking talking Judge-line entertainment centre Christo (our highly esteemed & well paid judge from Cape Town) would have competition... It is also cheaper to bribe a female judge as females will generally melt when presented with chocolates & flowers, & with the rest of the bribe money I could pay off my account at the hobby shop... Urban Legend-type quote from Digby - and I quote: "I'm the best Judge money can buy..." I wonder how many 4 letter words Christo had to swallow when describing some of the manoeuvres, because of female presence on the line...
7. In the Sportsman category, the first round battle lines were drawn between Dirk & Anton with a mere .33% difference, then Kallie & Hugo were embroiled in a fight with a 2% gap, and lower down, or to be politically correct, the percentage challenged Ozzie, Quinton & Marius were having it out...
8. In the advanced category Tommy & Josh with Josh in the lead by 2% were slogging it out - a pity that Calvin had motor problems. The big ding dong battle starts with both 'Ou Toppies' Digby, Pierre.F at 60.39% & Stephan.F a mere .13% better than them ... only 3.01% between the first 5....this was the battle royal to watch... The next ding-dong was led by Francios.v.P on 55.5% with Danie.K & Nico.E on 51% & Rodney in close pursuit - unfortunately Damion's engine did not like the cold Bloem air & flamed out...
9. In the Expert Division Marcel flew a stunning round scoring 61.56% followed by Kurt with a 60.05%, Martin.E in third position with 58.89% & Walter on 58.6%, closely followed by Chris.T on 55% and at the tail end, yours truly on 49%... I suspect that my bad scores are as a result of calling the 'Donners' all sorts of things in the past - it's obviously not my impeccable flying that got these bad scores... Just for those who don't know... 'Donners' is not a derogatory term - it is derived from chief judge Ivan who is affectionately known as 'The Don' so the other judges are by default called 'Donners'... Geddit...?
10. P-05 - for those who are not schooled in aerobatics, means 'Die Groot Kokkedoore' or put in proper Oxford English, 'The Great Koke Doors' . They were off to a good start with battle lines drawn between Pierre.M. who was off to an early lead after putting in a stunning flight of 77.87%, followed closely by André's impeccable flying with a score of 76.34% & Danie on 72.69% with his new stunning Eye Candy design, followed by Kaapie Marc Wolffe with 70.23% & Carel.G with his Evolis on 68.29% another Kaapie Nazeem with 65.28% with Bert.B from the Eastern Cape on 64.72%....
11. Above a helicopter pilot's bathroom mirror... 'Warning: Objects in mirror are dumber than they appear'.
12. Now unknown to many, the Kaapies had a rather sinister reason for coming to the Nats... We were a large contingent, so we could easily hide our ulterior motives i.e. to get all the Gold back to Cape Town. Not in the usual way the Kaapies would do it - that involves the use of firearms & other means of extortion - this time we got our equipment from 'Spy's are us'...we were determined to find what André, Pierre & Danie do to impress the Judges, so with our spy equipment in place at 'Kaapse Draai'..(our campsite at the Nats) we filmed with high speed cameras, using the latest motion enhancing software, all the motions of the top pilots... Now the idea was to film André & Pierre during their flight - we finally, after much editing & careful scrutiny, found the secret... Now picture the flight line: The 2 male 'Donners' & a female 'Donneress' sitting in their comfy Judging type chairs - André & Pierre walk out from behind the judges chairs, Danie brings up the rear with the ever faithful Quantum... as they pass the Judges, something strange happens: They synchronize their walk... Long very accurately measured steps (we all know how André builds planes accurate to the nearest .0000005th of a micron...) so now each step is exactly 1.023 meters long, Pierre is in perfect sync with André, but as they pass the judges, heads are held high, like 2 sexy models on the catwalks... the TX is rested on André's stomach, the caller & pilot now in perfectly synchronized step, walk to the starting area... Danie holds the aircraft at an exact 94 degree angle, André in a totally casual mode flicks the prop, the engine comes to life in an instant... it is gently revved to warm up. Happy with the engine, Andre & Pierre synchronize their steps again, long strides back to the pilots area, and plant themselves firmly in front of the judges, exactly 1.23 metres between them... (at this point they relax a bit)... Now for the neck-ser-size, both André & Pierre in unison move their heads from side 2 side 4 times (synchronized of course), then the posture settling manoeuvre, i.e. moving the bum from side-to-side, rapidly followed by the shoulder side-to-side adjustment. Now at this point, this position they are now in, will be referred to as 'The Stance'. Pierre then checks if André's all settled in. He then gets 'The Nod'. Now Danie, who has by now carefully placed the Quantum on the runway, looks at Pierre, and their eyes meet. With a very calculated action, without upsetting The Stance, Pierre gives Danie 'The Release Nod', who on this command releases the beast, turns around, and looking the Judges strait in the eye (which is hard to do as it's very seldom that their eyes are actually open) walks back, using the regulation size steps... At this point, I think the judges are totally intimidated. All the calling is done in 'The Stance' mode. On landing, Pierre turns to the judges and gives a graceful 'thank you m'lud' nod - this nod is different from the 'Airplane Release' nod as this one is much slower & is accompanied with a smile as well, as it starts from the Boep upwards... He then proceeds to collect the Quantum, still using regulation size steps, and returns the plane to the pit area, giving the judges a second smile and a little nod just as he passes them. If you ever want to be in the winners circle, you would need to pay attention to these finer details of the 'stance' & the 'nod' must be worked on and perfected if you want to be in the wining circle... On a lighter note, when Bert B gets to the pilots area and in an effort to settle himself, he moves his feet like Tiger Woods does just before putting, except after Burt does this manoeuvre, Walter & his team have to patch up the paintwork at the pilots area as Burt had trampled right through the paint.
13. The second morning started off with a vengeance. Those who had to fly the early morning line had my sympathy - this must be the most difficult line of all. The pilot has no decent references, nor does the poor caller, except for the flags... As a matter of interest, whoever thought of using Correx boards for flags needs to get a medal for meritorious service to pattern - one is able to see these easily... well done CRF...
14. I don't know if you know about Carel's (who is a Boeing pilot) suspension from SAA. He was able to take part in the last Great Western Province Championships because he was suspended from duty when he did a 4-point roll with a Boeing to keep the passengers entertained... The 1st class passengers did not like it as they have all the sexy air-hostesses to keep them entertained, as well as TV. But back in the cattle pen... nothing... so Carel, being the nice person he is, decided to entertain the working class by doing a 4-point roll as I mentioned in the WP Champs report... These old well oiled 'old f**ts' in 1st class were very upset as their Klippies & coke spilt, their dentures fell out & their gazillion Rand 'natural' hair toupees fell off while he was inverted... (this was embarrassing as the sexy air hostesses had to collect the toupees & put them back in place )... Back in the economy class, the seats are so narrow that you get shoe-horned in, so when Carel was inverted, they could not fall out... Now to make amends, Carel decided that he would reverse all the damage he had done, so he did a reverse 4-point roll the next time he was on duty... He still does not understand why, once again, they suspended him... Shame on SAA - they should get a life!!!!... Once a pattern pilot, always a pattern pilot...
15. Every morning when like clockwork Walter's true love Myrna, and her crew, would come around for breakfast orders. Everybody that ordered breakfast was pleasantly surprised that there was so much to eat that u had some left over to nibble on for lunch... Well done! The kitchen was run by Myrna van Huyssteen, Liesl Schreuder& Dorothy Ferreira - it was always a good feeling when one went to order food as the food was always freshly made, like they do at top class restaurants... the food was also made with so much care & love... Very tasty & it came with broad smiles from the kitchen slaves... Many thanks from all. Most pattern flyers will not know about top class restaurants in any case, because once one has finished paying for a 2x2, all you can afford is to sit on the pavement with a packet of fish & chips...
16. Now young Julian Bode did a sterling job of running, i.e. taking the scores from the judges to the scorers. Now if you work this out, there were 33 pilots, the distance being 100 meters per trip, so in effect young Julian did a total of 12,300 meters of running during the contest... I take my hat off & have the greatest admiration for this young man... 100 cheers for Julian... this is more running than the average pattern pilot does in a year or 2... (can u believe that pattern pilots actually run?)
17. Did you know that the judges had to fill in a total of 2496 individually-scored manoeuvres at this Nationals (some of the manoeuvres had the judges baffled, as some of us decided to re-write the schedule - I hope the judges realize what flying genius it takes to invent such complex manoeuvres in front of a panel of respected judges as we had - Brownie points for me to be scored here)...
18. Anyone can give up smoking, but it takes a real man to face cancer.
19. At the braai on the Saturday night, all the stories were told, & retold & retold... depending on the number of beers consumed... Then out of the blue, Walter decided to do some night flying. He set up a model with red & green light strips on the wings, and did an outline of the body with a yellow light strip... and took off. It was as if one was in wonderland - the aircraft behaved well... It was the most successful night flying I have ever witnessed - but come time for the landing, Walter forgot that in the dark you cannot see the runway - so he klapped the ground with one almighty bump... but received a standing ovation nonetheless... Now it was back to the beer stall for some further 'light refreshment'... Remember...booze is good food... All at the braai had a wonderful time... After we all returned home from the Nats, somehow the braai is one of the events that stay's with you... It's the pattern camaraderie that wins...
20. Somehow the Central Radio Flyers convinced the powers from Above to bless the Nats with the great weather we experienced, but I suspect that they had an ulterior motive as one of the first 'things' that was moved in place was the drinks caravan. With the hot sun beating down on us all day, Braam le Roux & Jaco Myburgh were kept busy all day, selling ice cold, I mean ice cold cool drinks to the thirsty masses. Not often does it happen at events such as these that we can get cold cool drinks & beers all day long... Thank u chaps for always being so pleasant - it goes a long way to making this event the success that it was.....
21. Now if the Judges are called 'Donners' as derived from 'The Don', then what do we call the people that come from Bloemfontien... Bloomers?
22. On the Saturday afternoon the wind had swung through 180 degrees, so all the flying was reversed... This led to some interesting situations, for those who practice in one direction only beware... Rodney, one of our club members, had to fly 3 rolls from right 2 left, something he had never practiced, so he went into what can only be described as 'highly confused mode' - the rolls looked more like 'Koeksusters' and the loops like... thinking of something here... it is actually quite hard to describe what it was... At the dead centre of town, next to the flying field, they were laying some poor soul to rest. Rodney nearly took out the preacher man... but we were not too worried about that, as in our ranks, we also have a preacher man who could easily have continued the service... Rodney came so close to the procession that the poor soul that they were saying good bye to, had another heart attack... Quinton, our own preacher man, is so good at his job that every time before I 'call' for him, I have to say a prayer - for me...
23. I Have decided that the detailed scores are of so little consequence that I will not go into a blow for blow description of what happened - I will add the detailed round-for-round score as an attachment to this report... Who wants to be bothered with stupid things like scores when we are having so much fun...
24. Scoring was done in the same place as TX control - this area was as expected always busy - Pierre Fouché was in charge of scoring & did a wonderful job, never wavered under pressure. Thanks Pierre...
25. TX Control was handled by Riaan Bezuidenhoudt, who did a sterling job - not one incident of TX problems - thanks for keeping our models safe......we know it's a thankless job but a vital one, a heart full thanks once again.
26. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it (Confucius). Now with this profound statement from such a learned one as Confucius, I think we must send all our judges on a cultural awareness course because according to my score sheets, they could see no beauty... they need to be sensitised to the finer things in life - like my flying... they also need to be more sensitive to the feelings of pilots... Some pilots went out of their way to be creative on the flight line, reinventing some old & boring manoeuvres, and inventing some brand new ones, but do you think they were impressed? NOOO... Shame on you judges...
27. Heard in ready-box 1: The only reason that judges love the new 'Big & Fat' type of aircraft, is that they are so blind that that is all they can see...
28. Proof that evolution can go in reverse: A renegade & disgruntled pattern pilot left pattern for helicopters...
29. Two of Cape Town's old Springbok flyers made a special effort to be at these Nats... (when I say old I actually mean ancient... but one has sometimes to be politically correct) John Cunningham & Johnny Califato (aka JC2) - they came up all the way to help another old meddler, Digby, to get to the flight line on time. They had to carry the poor old soul out to the runway - the problem was that they had to start carrying him from the pit area (after a hot cup of heavy water) at about 7am the morning, in order to get to the runway at 12... all of them had to rest up after every 2 steps - we also had to have perde-medics in attendance in case of emergency... But if any of these 3 had a heart attack, we would not know as it would be pretty normal to not see any signs of life for a hour or so... This is what kind of friendships are built around the Nats - even the old & infirm with fading memories such as this duo helped poor old 'Die Hard Digby' to the line.. Another problem was that the caller had to use an extra loud loudhailer as even Digby's 539 hearing aid has stripped a gear... He had his TX custom made out of copper as well as copper sticks, as this helps with the arthritis... It also has a container on the side of the TX to carry the heart pills - just in case... and a plastic bag discreetly taped to his leg disguised as a vericlose vein, for you-know-what kind of emergency on the flight line... Now for the 'thing': When old men go through a midlife crisis, they always end up by dating a young 'Babe'... To prove to all that he still has 'it' (but old meddlers such as Digby do it differently), he flies one of Danie's latest eye-catching design's the 'Eye-Candy' done up in striking colours, as well as some serious airbrush work on the plane... This is an example of 'pattern pilot midlife crisis'... At the next Nats John. C & the other one will appear with even younger models, just to show us 'Who's your Daddy'... Digby got a 66.20% for that flight... Congrats Old Man...
30. Just imagine... Digby's caller in a very refined voice: '...and the next manoeuvre - three rolls!!' After a slight pause, Digby says: 'What did you say?' The caller, louder and a little less refined: 'I said THREE ROLLS...' Digby again: 'What did you say?' Caller again, much louder this time, turning the loudhailer to max and in a totally pi**sd-off voice: '.I S A I D T H R E E R O L L S!!' Digby once again: 'What did you say?' Caller now totally beside himself: 'Ag forget it man, next manoeuvre is a Humpty Bump' 'What did you say?' After a flight like this, Digby lands & remarks to the judges that he must change his caller since his caller was suffering from laryngitis...
31. Peninsula Radio Flyers, who had a team of 8 pilots in various categories at the Nats, want to thank René & Peter of Southern Hobbies for giving the PRF team a generous donation of fuel - they sponsored all the fuel the PRF flyers flew on... Thanks Southern Hobbies... They also gave us the use of the Southern Hobbies 'Big' trailer that took up most of our models. Also thanks to Christo 'Judge Dred' for the use of his trailer...
32. The Committee of Central Radio Flyers were able to get valuable sponsorship from Dunlop the rubber people, as well as Kloppers, a well known sales house in Bloem, as well as Pinnacle Micro - thanks from all the flyers that attended the Nats, to these generous souls who through their generosity oiled the wheels (that just happened to have Dunlop tyres on them) that kept the Nats wheels rolling - Kloppers placed the judges in stunning camping chairs - they lived in the lap of luxury on the line, with their thermal flasks that were sponsored by Pinnacle Micro... Thanks for keeping these 'old grumps' comfortable on the line - who knows what would have happened if they were not so well looked after?
33. Just as a matter of interest: Peninsula Radio Flyers fielded a team of 8 pilots in all four categories at the Nats... Just goes to prove that if one small club in Cape Town can do this, pattern is alive & well... It's all about how you train your beginners at your club when you teach them to fly - u teach them pattern basics. From there on, it's plane sailing, as they say in the classics. I believe that Tygerberg has taken up the 'fight' under the watchful eye of John Cunningham, an 'old' Springbok flyer, with great success... Let the clubs around the country start implementing a 'Pattern is Alive' campaign from grassroots level...
34. Marc Wolffe thought he was very 'laarnie' when he did a side-slip cross-wind landing on one of his flights, but forgot to straighten out before he hit the runway - the result was a badly graunched wingtip & a retract that stripped its gears... Some of these Master pilots must go back to the Sportsman class to learn how to land...
35. The last day of the Nats was used for a final round for the P05 Flyers, in other words 'Die Groot Kokkedore'. There was tension in all quarters, round after round was carefully watched by all, the flying was spectacular - from a layman's point of view, I had difficulty in separating the top 3 pilots' manoeuvres - they flew textbook manoeuvres. There was a hush over the field when they flew - this was pattern at it's very best... It was where all pattern pilots want to end up sometime in the future... then André, Pierre & Danie said that they would share some of their secrets with us. A lesson in calling & setting up aircraft followed, every word they spoke was hung onto by the other pilots & callers alike... Thanks fellows, it was great help... and thanks for being such great sportsmen by sharing & helping us to become better pilots - we are lucky to have such true champions in our midst, that have the interest of pattern at heart... Thanks once again fellows...
36. Louw was, putting it diplomatically, 'extremely agitated' when Josh landed with retracts in during a practice flight on Saturday - he had to repair the trusty old Swallow...then became heated up a degree or 59 when Josh, during one of his competition flights, did a 10 point landing & halfway down the runway decided to pull the wheels back up... Shame on you Josh if the old man has an 'ajal'... Cape Town's slang for a heart attack - it will be all your fault...
37. JMC hobbies put up a trade stand at the show... What a relief to know that in an emergency spares were at hand... Just a note here: When a stand with chucky gliders makes its appearance at a event such as the Nationals, I see the little boys & girls playing with these gliders... their creative imagination converts these gliders into the most powerful 2x2 pattern machines - I wonder how many dreams of being a pattern pilots, or even a full size pilot started here... I wonder... thank you Peet Venter of JFC hobbies to helping to build dreams...
38. Now for the final episode of the Bloem Nats 2005 - the prize giving... Now before I start on describing what can only be called an evening of pure magic... One point I wish to bring to the fore: The organizers of the Nats did a sterling job in staging the Nats - we salute them... Now, at the Prize Giving Ball, it was obvious that a lot more space was allowed for people than had actually attended. Walter & his team had spent endless hours of hard work to get such a stunning venue for the function. This function is an integral part of the Nats; it's the high point of the Nats for the contesting pilots. I wish to appeal to the sensitivities of all the pilots & supporters: Please honour Walter, Pierre & all those at Central Radio Flyers who had put in all the hard work into making this such a momentous occasion, as well as to honour the pilots who for years practiced hard, spent many hours at the field come rain or shine - this banquet is our way or honouring their effort, lets celebrate with them, in simple terms honour them with your presence... Let us make it a night to remember... It's all part of the Magic of the Nats...
39. The City of Bloemfontein must in my humble opinion rate as on of the most progressive cities in the country. Councillor Rassie Erasmus delivered a welcoming speech to all at the Banquet, making all the visitors to Beautiful Bloemfontein feel so welcome - he went to great lengths to explain how he & his fellow city councillors felt about aeromodeling and how they would support initiatives that encouraged visitors to the city, and how aeromodelling was creating a recreational opportunity for the local people... I hope that other city councils could take a leaf out of Mr Erasmus' book and support our sport... .Many thanks from all the pattern pilots in the country... Rassie you are the greatest... The hall was decorated in such a way that it felt the same way Alice felt in Wonderland... Digby did duty as MC for the evening, telling many modelling anecdotes ... The presentation and announcement of the winners was left to Pierre Fouche, who had the privilege of presenting the winners with the floating trophies as well as most exquisite trophies which were crafted by Johan Els, a club member of Central Radio Flyers. Those who were lucky enough to win these, will I'm sure, treasure them... Pierre started from the 'Sportsman' category - the winner in this division was Dirk van Rhyn with a score of 69.67%, with Anton Pretorius & Kallie Beukes in close pursuit in second & third places respectively. In the Advanced category Tommy Dreyer took first place with Josh Smit only 0.51% behind him, Calvin Schroll took third place, but I must add that he had a lot of bad luck at the competition - Calvin scored the highest single score in this division of 73.57%.... well done Calvin & good luck for the future... In the Expert category Kurt MacKrill took first place with a score of 62.95%, followed by Marcel Bode on 60.22% & Walter van Huysteen in third place with 59.95%.. .well done chaps, this was a hard fought battle, as the leader ship changed a few times. Now to the Groot Kokkedoore - P05. André Stockwell took the honours with a well deserved score of 78.10%, followed by Pierre Marias on 77.53% & Danie Potgieter on 74.51%. Now, at this point Digby had to leave, as his wonderful wife was not feeling well... Best wishes & good health to her from all... Pierre Marais took over the job as MC/Auctioneer... Happy Birthday Amanda.... Now as has become tradition, Pierre auctioned off a flying jacket that was donated by Peninsula Radio Flyers, and which fetched R450,00 as well as some modelling goodies donated by Peet Venter of JMC hobbies which fetched a further R600.00 Carel Germishuys (Springbok Team Manager) also announced that he had started an initiative to get in funds for the team's travelling expenses - all you had to do was to send an SMS & by so doing, donated R 30.00 to the team's travelling expenses... Now last but not least, I must mention the food at the Banquet... There was a selection of food that could please any palate. The food was prepared by student chefs that were being trained by the Bloemfontein City Council - I must congratulate Rassie Erasmus once again - the spread was stunning - the mere fact that so many went up for seconds, one could deduce that the food was absolutely divine... Congrats and a heartfelt thanks to all those unknown trainee chefs & the charming ladies that cleared the tables - you were all a part of a wonderful organization that made our trip to Bloemfontein so worthwhile ... Thanks once again to all the contestants, the organizers , the judges, little Julian Bode, the 'marathon' each & every person that took the time out to be there ....You made the Magic that was Nats 2005 Bloemfontein...

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