Aerobatics @ Tect Park – March 14th 2020

After a very successful first ever contest at the Tauranga MAC Tect Park site in January, we asked the club for another date. No worries they said, how about the 14th March ? Perfect !! It will be dead calm, hot and sunny for sure on that day. And it was. We certainly have had a good run of weather for running events lately.

So Tect Park, in case you don’t know, is cut out of the Forest partway between Tauranga and Rotorua. Tauranga MAC have their club site up there, and it works great for Aerobatics. The bonus this time, being our second event, not as many people got lost trying to find the field !!

Blue skies, no wind, we got underway at “half past”. Given this was a one day contest, with limited time to get the event through, even though it was a combined IMAC and Pattern meet, pilots were asked to choose one class to fly in, and we made up the classes to suit. This approach seems to work well in a one day contest, we get a few more people coming and flying, than if it were just a Pattern event, or just an IMAC event. So the order of the day, 5 in Basic IMAC, 5 in Sportsman IMAC, 3 in Advanced IMAC, 2 in F3A Pattern.

First up, me and Granny got in a couple of rounds of F3A, flying the P21 prelim sequence. Tect Park is elevated, I’m not sure how high it is, but it’s definitely higher than sea level. I’m guessing it could be 800 feet above sea level ? It was only 2 weeks since our last event at Awatoto, and I noticed a definite reduction of power while flying my YS powered model.    

Tauranga MAC flyer Dean Hill with his biplane

Next up, a bunch of keen locals all about to have a go at flying Basic IMAC. Some of them first timers, so I did a demo flight of the Basic sequence and pointed out some tips. You can fly any type of model in Basic IMAC, and we saw quite a range of models which was cool. The lineup was Richard Brown with a Sebart Angel S pattern type model, Dean Hill had a 30cc “Wots Biplane”, Fraser Brodie had a World Models Extra, Dom Clarke now had his Seagull Extra 330LX text flown and ready to go on a DLE60cc twin, plus Max Briggs, the only none local, also flying the same type of model on a DA50. A slight cross wind blowing in, these guys all had to deal with keeping the model “out” during the sequence, which made it tricky for some. At the end of the day, these guys all enjoyed the experience, and we look forward to seeing them all back again next time, plus maybe a few more too. Dean Hill, according to the judges was most improved. Fraser Brodie thought he was going to come dead last for sure, and he surprised himself and placed was 2nd. Young Dom Clarke mentioned to me that he enjoyed reading fellow junior Tawhai Webby’s “Nats Report” article in the latest MFNZ Mag, so quick as a flash I said, guess what, you’re up next mate …. your home work for next week is to write me a paragraph on today’s contest, so I can post it in the report. And here it is:

Early Sunday morning Dad and I made our way up to the field ready to fly. The safety and layout briefing was pretty brief and before we knew it the competition was underway! There were some classes before Basic (which I was flying in) which was good because it gave us some time to put the plane together, fuel up and get into the groove. Time passed quickly and we were up straight after Mr Bogan gave a demonstration and a few tips to all the pilots competing in Basic. Our first flight went pretty good as it was our first full schedule on the new Extra that had arrived earlier in the year. The Extra was “gangsta” and was definitely my favourite. The 2nd round went better than the first but the 3rd topped it off! Soon enough after different classes flew the day was over and we were already packing up to go home! At the end of the day I was happy with my win in Basic and thrilled about the whole day!  (Written by Dom Clarke copyright 2020)

Thanks Dom, well done. Dom is a year 8, and if you don’t know how that system works, think “Form 2”.  I think I might call on other junior at the next comp, to write me a short paragraph too.

Tauranga MAC flyer Dom Clarke with his new Extra 330LX

Sportsman IMAC had 5 flying, and a couple of guys who we haven’t seen for a while. Gavin Madsen was flying his Extra 260, with DLE 60cc twin up front. Lyndon Perry made the trip over from Hamilton too, and he’s obviously been taking under the wing of Aunty Finlay, some very tidy flying. Paul Tomlinson from Waiuku was there too, he’s taken to flying IMAC now with his 50cc Extra. Steve Sherbourne from Te Awamutu was back flying his Inversa, and Aaron Maitland was down from Tuakau with his Slick. Rick Splinter aka “Shrek”, we haven’t seen him for a while, was there with 3m Red Bull Extra, but decided to sit it out after round 1 due to not much flying lately. Another that doesn’t show on the scores was Mike Briggs aka “Baldrick”. Took off with only one aileron plugged in, managed to fly it round in a circuit under the guidance from Aunty, but then on landing attempt it rolled over, hit in full knife edge, and you can only imagine the result from there. The good news is its back together already !!

Tauranga MAC flyer Fraser Brodie, his first time competing in Basic IMAC with his World Models Extra 330L

Advanced IMAC, 3 flying in that class. There must have been some planetary alignment thing going on, it turns out that this 14th March date we chose didn’t clash with a Market Day, an AMP show, an Airshow, a Model Rocket Display, a Piper Cub Show, and many other events that “Aunty” Grant Finlay is a prolific attender of these days (in case you didn’t know, Aunty was NZ’s top Aerobatics Pilot way back, he’s like our Obe Wan Kenobe). So I’d gotten a call from him during the week, “Hey Bogan I’m thinking I might come over and fly my Yak at this Tect Park contest”. Well I was straight on the phone to John Knox and Mikey Wilson, hey guys, Aunty says he’s coming too, you guys can leave you pattern models at home, look like Advanced IMAC is on. All jokes aside, Aunty sure hasn’t lost it. John Knox was put to task for the first time in a while, and if not for a few broken rudder hinges that stopped Aunty from flying the last round, the scores would have been very close between these two. Mikey was having some trouble with his caller it seems, and in round 3 he lost a big chunk of film off his model and had to land early.

Tauranga MAC flier Richard Brown with his Sebart Angel S

Another awesome day, I think it was close to 6pm before we did a mini prize giving.

Thanks again to the local Tauranga club for use of their field, we look forward to having another comp there when we can.

I’ll tell you one funny thing worthy of mention. A few times I’ve been sitting in the judging chair, watching the current flyer on his last maneuver, and not hearing the motor of the next pilot even started. At this time he really needs to be taxi’ing out and getting airborne, so the judges spend less time in the chair, and we get lots of flying through. What’s happening back there ? Come on mate, why aren’t you airborne already ? We don’t really have enough people at these meets to assign a dedicated line boss, and once we get started flying a class it’s usually up to the pilots to be onto it, get started early, and keep it cranking through. In reality it doesn’t always happen like that, and it’s usually because the next guy up isn’t paying attention, cause he’s having a chat with his mate. Is he on his first sequence, or is he on his second ? Um, I dunno Jim, I was talking to you and drinking my coffee, I’m just your caller. I think he’s on his first. Oh shit, look he’s all done and lining up to land, and we aren’t even running yet. That’s the usual scenario.  

So … what to do, hmmm … ideas, thoughts, bingo, I’ve got it … what we need is a “get ready you’re up” buzzer mounted to the starting gates, that the judges can control. Like a foot pedal or something. Solution. Wireless doorbell. Yes, that will do the trick. So I bought a cheap one for $10 at one of those bargain stores. We attached the speaker part to the starting gates and gave the judges the “clicker”. When you are judging, as the guy that’s flying ends his first sequence, you have time to click the buzzer, and the next pilot knows to stop chin wagging to his mate, and pay attention, because its engine starting time very soon. The trial went well. At the end of the day, I asked the guys what they thought of the buzzer. If you are a pilot, you don’t like it much at all, cause it makes you pay attention, and if you are slow you really get it. If you are a judge, you love it !! It makes the next guy pull finger and go early. Perfect. If you are the next pilot, and you aren’t onto it, you can easily end up getting “door bell” harassed by the judges, who are usually in stitches with laugher. If the guy flying gets to the end of his second sequence, and they are all done putting in the final sound and ACS scores, and you are next up and you still haven’t even got your motor going, right away they get on that clicker and man they keep giving you the “bing bong, bing bong” relentlessly. Give me a turn on that thing !! Guys can’t wait to get out there and do some Judging so they can have turn on the clicker.  

At one stage I was judging Advanced. Aunty was up next, and he had a problem with his motor. He already said to me prior to the round, that it can take a while to get going. I said no worries, just don’t go last. If you can’t start it at all, the next guy can go. Bit try and get it started early. Well we could hear he had been flipping and flipping it pretty much all the way through John Knox’s second sequence. Granny was judging too, and you can just imagine how it went from here. As soon as Knoxy was done, Granny was on that clicker so much, the door bell went beserk. While poor Aunty was still trying to get his motor going, his ear only a metre away from the speaker, it sounded like 50 people had just walked into the local fish and chip shop !! So I’m not sure if it’s going to work long term, but it sure was funny, and it sure did make people pay attention and get started early. No one wants to get that dreaded “bing bong, bing bong, hurry up”.

Scores and some photos from the day follow. I only got a chance to snap some pics of the Basic guys, so if anyone else has some photos from the day, please send them in and I can add them to the story.

Basic IMAC

Rank Pilot Final Score Known
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2
1 Dom Clarke (Extra 330LX) 4,000.0 1,000.0
thrown
1,000.0
thrown
1,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0
2 Fraser Brodie (Extra 330L) 3,448.1 814.0 905.8 919.5 807.8
thrown
659.7
thrown
808.7
3 Max Briggs (Extra 330LX) 3,374.9 891.9 632.7
thrown
734.7
thrown
810.4 741.4 931.1
4 Dean Hill (Wots Bipe) 3,189.0 574.9
thrown
662.3
thrown
736.2 668.7 811.3 972.7
5 Richard Brown (Sebart Angel S) 2,293.8 401.5
thrown
471.4 523.5 452.1
thrown
708.2 590.7

Sportsman IMAC

Rank Pilot Final Score Known
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2
1 Gavin Madsen (Extra 260) 3,995.4 1,000.0 1,000.0 914.1
thrown
1,000.0 765.6
thrown
995.4
2 Lyndon Perry (Yak 54) 3,888.1 962.4 862.1
thrown
1,000.0 925.6 796.0
thrown
1,000.0
3 Paul Tomlinson (Extra 330LX) 3,810.7 739.7
thrown
936.4 849.0
thrown
877.2 1,000.0 997.1
4 Steve Sherbourne (Inversa Sukhoi) 3,690.3 983.4 924.3 719.8
thrown
977.1 788.8
thrown
805.5
5 Aaron Maitland (Slick 360) 3,476.6 912.7 875.7 853.1 835.2 748.0
thrown
690.8
thrown

Advanced IMAC

Rank Pilot Final Score Known
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2 Seq 1 Seq 2
1 John Knox (Extra 330SC) 4,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0
thrown
887.6
thrown
1,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0
2 Grant Finlay “Aunty” (Yak 54) 3,611.1 791.7 909.8 1,000.0 909.7 0.0
thrown
missing flight score(s)
0.0
thrown
missing flight score(s)
3 Mikey Wilson (Extra 300 ?) 2,462.5 405.3
thrown
597.1 739.4 585.7 540.3
missing figure score(s)
0.0
thrown
missing figure score(s)

F3A Pattern (P21)

Rank Pilot Final Score Known
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Seq 1 Seq 1 Seq 1 Seq 1
1 Frazer Briggs “Bogan” (Allure YS185) 3,000.0 1,000.0 1,000.0
thrown
1,000.0 1,000.0
2 James Danby “Granny” (BJ Fantasista Contra) 2,695.8 883.1 902.8 909.9 878.8
thrown