Basingstoke NPOD - 18th October 2008
Basingstoke NPOD - report by Richard Christopher. Sorry this report has taken so long to materialise – I couldn’t let the day go without mention. It really was a fantastic day. The weather was kind although the wind steadily increased during the course of the day, making it difficult for some of the lighter models. Nine members of the Basingstoke MAC took part at this NPOD, with several other club members coming along to watch and help with the BBQ! We began the day with a short briefing to explain the format for the day. With 2 mentors available at the start of the day we divided the pilots in to two groups and performed a demo of the Clubman schedule with an E-Flite Brio. The first brave pilot to fly was Neil, who was flying a Kyosho Osmose. Neil decided to give the Clubman schedule a try and, despite early nerves, soon began to improve and adapt to the challenges of flying a turnaround schedule. As with all the NPOD’s held so far, a wide range of models were used. Power plants included 4 stroke, 2 stroke, electric and petrol. Models included F3A designs, some EPP foamies, Sports models and also an O/D biplane based on the Pasedena Special which performed very well with its quiet petrol powerplant. Pilots also had a wide range of experience – it was great to see a recently qualified “A cert” pilot have a go at some of the clubman schedule with his Uno Wot. Clearly very nervous, he soon got the hang of the manoeuvres even those he hadn’t heard of before. Indeed he won a great deal of admiration from us all and just goes to show the Clubamn schedule really is a great introduction to F3A without having to invest anything other than some dedication and time! Mark Webster (who was the driving force behind organising this NPOD) was flying his Shinden 2m with Plettenburg motor. Mark has already been practicing the Clubman schedule, and I hope we will see him at some contests next year (along with some of the other attendees too!) With our 3rd mentor arriving shortly before lunch (Stuart smelt the BBQ I think!!), we had a fairly constant flow of pilots eager to have another go and put some of the advice in to practice. Clearly we had an attentive audience as without exception the quality of flying improved during the course of the day (despite the wind strengthening!). The Intermediate schedule and Clubman schedule were demonstrated by Andy halfway through proceedings and at lunch time I was asked to demonstrate an FAI schedule so I flew the F09. While all this was going on Stuart was able to point out our mistakes! It was great to see the sense of satisfaction and enjoyment on everyone’s faces – indeed rather than flying tailing off as it got colder, there was a sense of wanting to keep flying (particularly Brian, who was really starting to enjoy the challenge – see his big grin in the photos!!!). To have so much interest for F3A within one club is brilliant. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the BMAC committee for providing a warm welcome, lovely venue (and very welcome BBQ), Mark Webster for making the necessary arrangements with the club, Andy Waterhouse and Stuart Turrell for “mentoring” and lastly ALL the BMAC members – they made the day so enjoyable. We were also asked to hold a similar event at the Alton club in Spring 2009, so keep your eyes on the forum for a date in the New Year.
GBRCAA Champs - 27th September 2008
Prospects for the good weather to continue through the weekend of the Championships was high as I travelled down to Barkston on Friday afternoon. I stayed on the same site as I had arranged for our Saturday social evening meeting where those pilots flying the ‘Unknowns’ would choose the manoeuvres. Again the weather on Saturday morning looked promising as Matt Hoyland and Andy Prime met me at the main gate at Barkston at 7.20am to set up the flight line. The mist was clearing but the grass was so wet, sorry about footwear Andy, flippers would have been more appropriate, but as expected you just got on with it with a smile, thank you. By 8:15 the mist had dropped making it difficult to see more than 50 metres as we made our way back to the main gate for our pilots briefing at 8:30. Mervyn Selley, Chairman, Grantham and District Model Flying Club was waiting to welcome us to Barkston again. It is only with the agreement of the club that we are able to use their perfect facilities. At the briefing it was the first time we had confirmation of who would fly the Fs and U/K schedules, four hands were raised: Richard Christopher, John Harrop, Arthur Silsby and Matt Hoyland, so the arrangements posted on the forum some 3 weeks earlier were adopted. As we made our way to the flight line it was obvious that the start would be delayed due to low cloud. We finally started flying at 11:40 after which we had pleasant sunshine and a reasonable temperature for the rest of the day. Bob, Alan and Peter were our judges with John, Richard and Matt sitting in to judge Advance and Intermediate. We managed almost three full rounds but leaving the masters pilots to finish round 3 on Sunday morning. It was good to welcome our event Sponsors Andy Hinton and Len Boosey of Optifuel. They said they enjoyed seeing a new flying discipline, (Andy and Len are Helicopter enthusiasts) and they stayed with us most of the day. We are very grateful for their sponsorship and for the prizes of fuel. Visit the Optifuel web site where you will see their full range, but for YS and F3A flyers they are intent emulating the fuel the majority use, and it is sold in full 5 litre containers. Lee Wilson, a new member of the Association flew Advanced in his first GBR/CAA competition, and although he had said before entering he wondered if he had made a mistake choosing to fly that schedule. Lee is a member of the RAFMAA and although I think he will be the first to admit he learned a lot over the weekend he should not have worried about his ability, he is our new Advanced Schedule Champion. We finished flying around 17.50 in time to pack the models away and head for our evening venue just down the road from the main entrance of the airfield. Woodland Waters is a camping site set within wooded grassland surrounding fishing lakes, but uniquely Woody’s bar and the Lakeside Restaurant is a central feature of the site being open to ‘none residents’. We were shown to our tables in a reasonably private area where we were able to set up the two laptops and printers and gather round to watch the four pilots choose the manoeuvres. I had been concerned for a little while as this was all new to me and wondered how we would produce the calling cards once the manoeuvres had been picked. Matt told me not to worry. Lots were drawn to decide who would pick the first manoeuvre, Arthur was first and although he did not think this to be significant at the time he soon realised it meant he would be the first to fly it. The sporting code was scrutinised and each manoeuvre was picked from the hundreds listed. Only one out of each category is allowed and after checking for 'end' or 'centre' manoeuvre and wind direction the number was entered by Matt into his own design data base. One interesting observation during this process was that as Matt and Alan were verifying the manoeuvres with their stick models one of the bar staff walked past to enter a nearby store room, she had almost past by Alan when she stopped and turned, with a very strange expression on her face, to take a second look at this handsome gentleman flying his model aeroplane on the end of a stick, when she return past the table a few minutes later she took a quick look around the table at all of us and I think decided immediately we were all beyond help. After all 17 manoeuvres had been chosen, as if by magic the calling cards and score sheets were printed. Matt had told me earlier not to worry and I shouldn’t have. Whilst this was happening Bob (Ailles) produced and printed the Aresti drawings. Five of us stayed for a chat and meal before Matt headed home and we wondered off through the trees to our beds. We had arranged to meet at 8:30 next morning but some 10 minutes early we were signed in and moved onto the runway. As we put our models together the weather was gloomy but flyable. Ten minutes later the mist had dropped. I took off for my third round flight, but after only a couple of manoeuvres ( which were the best I had ever done of course) it was impossible to carry on. It was about 10:30 after several hopeful weather sorties by Masters pilots and one with Andy’s electric bipe and a couple with Lee’s electric Helli, before the mist had lifted and we could start again. So at 10:30 we had three full rounds to fly plus the Masters pilots to finish their round 3. Matt and Brian sat in to judge the Advanced and Intermediate schedules this time and we completed the competition around 5:40. It was good to be able to award the top IC pilots flying each schedule with a gallon of Optifuel blended to emulate our usual preferred fuel specially for us. The photographs will say the rest, except to say how much I enjoyed the weekend, I must survive on stress as I am sure the single breakfast bar and chocolate finger on Sunday would not have sustained me under normal circumstances. Thank you to all who made this weekend a time to remember. Ashley Hoyland
BMFA Nationals - 23rd to 25th August 2008
CD: Matt Hoyland. Judges: Alan Simmonds, Stuart Turrell and all FAI pilots. Scorer: Kath Hoyland. PR: Ashley Hoyland & Stuart Mellor. Flight Line Control: Trevor Plumbe & Darren Knight. Eight rounds over the three days made this one of the most enjoyable events of the year. We had a short delay to the start of flying on Sunday due to rain but we made a start around 10:45. 196 GBR/CAA leaflets given out to visitors to our line who very much appreciate the commentary on models and description of manoeuvres as they were flown.
Proturf Gainsborough - 10th August 2008
CD Ashley Hoyland Judges: Peter Cappleman, John and Richard Howarth. Ken Moss, Brian Hoare. Scoring Matt Hoyland. I made my first visit to Proturf on Tuesday the 29 July to make preliminary arrangements for our competition. On arrival, the field we had used before was now 95% brown and much activity harvesting the last strips of turf. I was asked if the field next to it which was being mown at the time would do for us. It did not take me long to say yes thank you. The trophies which had been temporarily prepared could now be finished as I had confirmation we had a competition site. Saturday was a time for making sure the field was laid out and I normally stay overnight but the weather was so bad that I decided to make a early start on Sunday morning. We were promised wind for the Sunday and as I arrived at the field around 7:10 I realised the forecast was right although not as bad as I had thought. The entry list was exceptionally good up to a week before the competition with 20 pilots wanting to fly. I never feel comfortable turning any one down so our judges were in for a full day. At the last minute seven pilots could not make the day so we finished with 13 to fly. In spite of the wind two full rounds were flown and the Clubman and Intermediate flyers should be particularly pleased with how they coped with the windy conditions. Advanced, Masters and FAI are usually a little more tolerant of such conditions but by the middle of the third round with the wind constantly in the higher 20mph and gusting to 32mph several decided to be content with 2 rounds. For those who did fly the third round, the lay of the land makes for very little turbulence, and the huge area made landing a bit easier. I hope everyone had a good day and several or may be all pilots travelled home knowing they could cope with high winds, congratulations to all. It was good to see Brandon flying his Adventure at a Domestic competition so we could see just how it should be done. When I visited the field the next day there was little evidence of our competition being held there, so a good result. Ashley Hoyland
4th Centralised - 27th July 2008
CD Ashley Hoyland. Judges: Bob Ailles, Alan Simmonds, Peter Brett. Scorers: Alison, Marion. The same advance party who helped at the first and second Centralised agreed to officiate at this comp. Bob Rowland, Matt and I from the North drove down in perfect weather until some ½ mile from Barkston where it was raining, Mel drove through rain the whole of the way from home. Undaunted and with complete confidence (a good decision although it was probably made due to us all still being asleep) that Barkston would come good for us, we started to get pretty wet setting up the flight line. By 8:00am the rain started to clear. The runway was starting to dry by the time we made our way back to the main gate for the scheduled pilots briefing at 8.40am. Although the subject was covered at the pilots briefing and time was allowed for anyone not fully understanding the rules to ask questions some confusion arose later. I can only urge the Association again (and again and again) to provide a full rule book for everyone to read before the start of each season. Our hosts the Grantham and District Model Aircraft Club asked us to move our flightline some 50 metres to the right so that club members could fly off the runway intersection to our left, which presented no problems for either group. It was good to see some members turning out to their first competition of the season although it was sad that two had pulled out due to loss of models over the previous couple of days and one through illness. I hope all three are recovering well. Mike Williams flew first at 9:36 after the organising team had processed all the models for pilots who wished to enter the FAI Centralised Competition. All competitors would be competing for league points but those meeting the full rules of a Centralised Competition would be extracted to provide normalised scores for a UK Team league place. Bob and Mel weighed, measured, checked battery voltage and noise checked all models through the day and we should recognise the effort they made at the three Barkston Centralised to help make a relaxing day for the pilots. Other members who attended to scribe John and Darren Mee and none member Julian Boden made it possible for pilots to only scribe 1 or 2 flights per round rather than 3 planned. I also noticed that several pilots did more then their share of scribing, thank you to those. If I had only insisted on that 30 minute break for our judges at lunch time. Our judges were doing an excellent job and I thank them for their willingness to stick to our timed program, it makes the CDs job so much easier and makes for so much more professional event, I also believe pilots prefer to get on with their flying, so why should I have insisted we push on earlier in the day? Well a lesson to be learnt for all CDs, whilst ever the weather is good do not waste time, the day can change and spoil itself. So as Richard Christopher flew through his last few manoeuvres on the last flight of the day rain spotted the runway and dark clouds circled above. Unfortunately it did not wait for Richard and Andy Waterhouse to get their models away before the heavens opened in a big way and I don’t think anyone avoided getting at least a little wet and some more than others. I hope everything dried out for Richard and Andy and the rest of us should be thankful as we had a drier time. So our team competing in the World Championships in Portugal in 2009 was decided: John Harrop, Richard Christopher and Kevin Caton with Matt Hoyland as first reserve, but before that happens we have our team, John Harrop, Richard Christopher and Stephen Simm, chosen last year, competing in the European Championships in Italy at the end of August. Good luck to you all. By the time you read this we will know the results. Ashley Hoyland
St Neots MFC NPOD - 19th July 2008
This was the first Npod I had agreed to CD organised by another club, and although agreement was reached to follow the same format as earlier events we not sure what to expect. The day did not start quiet as planned as when I set the alarm for 5:00am to give me time to pack the car, I inadvertently advanced the time some 30 minutes. Not realising this error until after the car was packed and ready to go, I was a good 30 minutes advance of my planned time, so no excuses for being late then. Having picked up Matt the journey was uneventful but on arrival we had to try the combination locks on several gates before we found the right field. Thank you Mel (Garlick) for your help, and Matt who did most of the coaching. On reflection I should have given Mel the lock combination so he could have avoided the tour of the airfield perimeter track, my apologies. We were greeted at the field around 8:30am by several members who were keen to get a flight in to settle their nerves before our pilots briefing. It was a bit windy and unfortunately two models were damaged on their first flights, and a third on the first supervised flights mainly due to unreliable engines. A quick rethink by our host meant that four pilots would now use the club trainer and one would make a quick trip home for another model. The second round, which was scored, created some competition and friendly discussion to say the least, and by the third round which was scored by Matt and Mel gave us all a great deal of satisfaction to see the improvement made through the day, even in the windy conditions. A Mustang kit had been donated by Inwood models and this was presented to the winner just before we had a sharp shower while disassembling the models before we made our way home around 5:30. I hoped for an uneventful drive home but found we were just five minutes late to use the A1 as it had been closed over two long stretches for bridge replacement and finally arrived home some 17 hours after my alarm awoke me prematurely. I would also like to mention our host Trevthetrowel for his hospitality and testing the clubs new barbecue to the limit. It was very much appreciated, and one last thank you for bringing my brief case to the Nationals which I left in the St Neots club house. If anyone would like to run one of these days please let me know, you will find them really rewarding. Ashley Hoyland
Triple Crown - 5th to 6th July 2008
CD Bob Wasson In the run up to this event I started to realise how much time, effort and thought must have been put into the event by Bob Wasson as Contest Director. I had agreed to help in a general way and I had made steps to renovate the Nationals score boards originally made by Alan Simmonds ready for the Nationals and found a way of giving them the International feel so they could be used at the Triple Crown. I left home at 7:00am Friday morning to meet Matt at the LMAC field at 9:00am for some practice. Well I would have done if it had not been necessary for a neat three point turn (more like 10 point with the caravan) just a few hundred yards from the field. There were 57 practice flights through Friday, the atmosphere was really good and you could feel the anticipation building for the competition over the next two days. Saturday was breezy but two rounds were flown. Unfortunately poor weather conditions stopped us flying on the Sunday. Several reports have been written by Bob Wasson including one for the RCM&E and one which was published in Issue 90 of the BMFA News. Ashley Hoyland
3rd Centralised - 22nd June 2008
CD Ashley Hoyland Judges: Alan Smmonds, Brandon Ransley. Scorer: Alison Harrop. I was somewhere on the South Cost of Devon when I heard I had volunteered to CD the third Centralised to be held at Ashbourne. So many members had been involved in the re-organisation of this event after original costs had been questioned, so I could hardly say no. On returning home on the Thursday evening prior to the competition there was little time to organise more than the very basics, in reality that was really unnecessary after Matt had pulled everyone’s efforts together over the previous 10 days. With no time to recruit volunteers, processing models would not be possible but we did agree to time flights. The weather forecast was not good with high winds and showers, the showers did not materialise but the winds certainly did. Some pilots decided not to fly but as this had been such an emotive event I was determined that with some logical agreement we should at least try to make a competition of it. A jury was formed: Alison as Competition Secretary, Alan Simmons and Brandon, our judges and I as CD met to check wind conditions and decide on the way forward. The wind speed was within limits although we had seen gusts of 37MPH. A secret vote was then held asking pilots who wanted to fly, 3 said yes so we had a competition. Two others elected to fly as well, so we had 5 entries to fly the first round, it was agreed the jury would meet again before the second round. Kevin was first to fly and with the wind 90° to the flight line model attitudes looked very strange. We had already agreed that a go around (or more than one) was acceptable if landing proved to be difficult in the turbulent conditions. More than one pilot accepted the option and all models landed safely in the end, unfortunately Keith had to make it first time due to an uncharacteristic engine cut at full throttle after just a few manoeuvres. A short break was called and the jury met at 12.20 to discuss further proceedings. The wind speed had increased but still within limits, however the calmer moments had disappeared altogether. We decided to call a halt at that stage and the result was based on round one. Brave or should I say skilful pilots and everyone was so pleased no models were damaged. I would like to thank everyone again for their advice and support and the good nature of all concerned during this competition. Also of course the Derbyshire Radio Control Flyers for the use of their field at Ashbourne. Ashley Hoyland