10/29/94 Combat Meet - Doug Powell
Let me open this short report with a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the five companies that very generously send us kits to be awarded to our contestants. Those companies were, "The Airplane Factory" - Kombat .40 kit; "Direct Connection R/C" - Pattern Bat Kit; "First Step R/C" - Scorpion (FS-20) kit; "Gilbert Aircraft Performance Products (G.A.P.P.)" - Diamond Dust kit; and "RA Cores" - Gremlin kit. These folks also sent along some discount certificates to be used toward the purchase of their products and information packages about those products. G.A.P.P. send along a video tape of their Diamond Dust and Diamond Unlimited kits in action. Rich Maurer has that tape in the club library and you should treat yourselves to this unbelievable footage! The video was shown at the meeting, but there was not enough time left to watch the whole tape. Check it out!
Now, to the action! The morning dawned overcast and cloudy but the morning began to warm up as the preparations got underway out at the field. There were at least eleven club members present to help out with the judging and various jobs to be done. Rich Maurer took the helm for me as the event CD. I had discovered only a week before the event that I had a conflict in schedules and would not be able to CD or fly in the event. I want to thank Rich for stepping in for me on such short notice. From what all I have heard about the event, he did an excellent job.
By flight time we had seven pilots signed up, warmed up, tuned up, and keyed up. There were four rounds of four pilot matches flown before the lunch break and three more four pilot matches flown after lunch. The action was hot and heavy for the whole day with a mid-air during the morning and the second one in the afternoon. The first couple of flights in the morning were hampered a bit by a problem with the dew on the grass making weak spots in the streamers causing them to break on their own. [Ed note: in New England we regularly see this problem and have taken to launching with the streamer being pulled out of an open paper grocery bag, thus never coming in contact with the ground before flight] Once this problem was overcome the action was absolutely relentless.
The final standings for the event saw Billy Brock from Weatherford taking first place [I've heard he was flying a Gremlin!]; Ken Baker, also from Weatherford, taking second place, and our own Phil Henry taking third place. Each of the top three place finishers won a plaque and a kit. Terry Moore, who was involved in both mid-airs was awarded a kit as the hard luck pilot for the day. The Diamond Dust kit was raffled off and the winner of that kit was Mr. Jerry Harris.
The pilots that flew in the event were Terry Moore, Kurt Chelf, Tim Noble, Billy Brock, Phil Henry, Ken Baker, and Matt Vastine.
I would like to thank Robert McKain, Ron Kemnitz, Charlie Young, Doyle Irwin, Phil Henry, Kurt Chelf, Terry Moore, Ray Hudson, Kevin Lillie, Jack Craig, and Bob Adair for coming out and helping Rich Maurer pull this event off so successfully. If I leftout anyone's name, please let me know and I will recognize you in the next newsletter, because you weren't intentionally left off the list and I honestly feel that if you took the time to come out and help, that you deserve recognition for that effort. Thanks to all of you guys that came up from Weatherford to play with us.
In closing I would like to once more thank the vendors who so graciously
answered my plea for donations to our prize table. It is nice to be able to
take home a trophy and bragging rights for "placing" in any event, but it is
always a bit nicer if you can take home a prize of some sort. You vendors made
this possible for my flyers and on their behalf and from the bottom of my
heart, I thank you VERY much.
Doug Powell (the author of the above article) can be mailed to at
Wichita Falls, TX 76310
A perfect autumn morning clear sky, still air, and a comfortable temperature. John Nataloni was at the field early to handle registration and impound. Soon after Dick Easton volunteered to help and became the cut judge. Kay Fisher had already made the long drive from Orange to compete, and his wife, Pat, agreed to be the timer. Within an hour there would be a lot more pilots. Later we would have 16 pilots and a gaggle of spectators for a perfect day of combat.
With twelve contestants in Open and eight in Stock, we had three complete rounds of each before the elimination flights to rank the top pilots. Jim Reith won Stock; Yassemedis and Christiansen took second and third. Open was won by Yassemedis followed by Christiansen and Friedrichs. With a first place and a second, Yassemedis was declared the Grand Champion Gremlin and awarded a special mug.
There wasn't much in the trash barrel at the end of the day. Ray Mierzejewski demolished a wing in the trees. Someone elses wing suffered from a mid-air. [Ed note: This was Yaz's wing from the final flyoff mid-air with yours truely, Jim R.] All the rest of the carnage went home for repair. Not bad for a day of combat.
We had two mishaps that could have been nasty. Ray lost control on a take-off and consequently flew over the pits; not nice! His later launches were watched attentively. [Ed note: In all fairness for Ray, this was the initial flight of his backup plane after going into the trees and his rates and trims were off. Note for CDs... allow a "trim flight" whenever substituting planes during a contest]
John Robinson had a fly-away. At New Boston that would ordinarily mean a plane down somewhere in the woods for a long time. John was lucky; the plane landed a half mile away near a house on the highway. It was good news that the plane was found and only the plane suffered damage; it was humorous news that the German Shepherd that lived there had declared finders keepers and was guarding it.
The last Gremlin Combat event of the year was held at Beattie Field, home of the Rhode Island Aeromodelers, on Sunday, Nov. 13th. Because it was determined we would have needed a larger turnout for an effective team competition, the usual one on one format was employed. Eight pilots from each class (Stock and Open) took to the clear skies, facing a fairly steady 10 - 15 mph breeze from the NNE. A breeze strong enough to keep the planes blowing back toward the pilots and pit area causing judge Art Massie to continually tell the pilots to "get back in the box." Once in the box, the competition was fast and furious. Spectators were treated to seven "cuts" and two midair collisions. The "cuts" came early, with three in the first round by Rene Rusche, the always tough Steve Winter and "Russ" Russell from Heli's Angels. There were no cuts in the second round, but there were two very spectacular mid-airs. The first was between Steve Winter and Warren Johnson. What started off as one of the best matches of the day between two very quick and maneuverable planes came to a foam crunching halt about half way through the match drawing a chorus of "Wooooos" from the spectators. The impact tore Warren's engine from the fuselage, lightening it enough to float to the ground after Steve's, and as the Gremlin rule for mid-airs dictates, was awarded one point for being the last fuselage to hit the ground. After an extensive search by almost all present, Warren's engine was found and the competition resumed. Only two matches later, an equally spectacular collision between myself and "Doc" Gunn, caused another engine separation and another search by all present. A spectator found my engine (or what was left of it) in an area I would not have looked, quite a way off line from where the collision took place. But I did get a point for being the last fuselage to hit the ground. Thanks, that point and $74.99 will buy me a new 40FP. Jim Reith was also forced to retire after the second round due to elevon problems, and Ray Mierzejewski had to go to his back-up plane after experiencing problems. There were two cuts in the third round, Ray Smith who has cast away his flying bricks and was sporting his new Gremlin "Lite," cut yours truly (do I sound too spiteful?) and Rene Rusche, flying very well, scored his second cut of the day.
So after the three preliminary rounds in the stock class the four top point getters going into the flyoff were; Rene Rusche, Ray Smith, Kay Fisher and Charlie Hochstrasser. In the open class the final four were; Ray Smith, "Russ" Russell, John Garlock and Rene Rusche. After a short lunch break the always exciting and hard fought flyoffs began. In the stock class, Ray Smith came out on top over Rene in the opening match. I went up against Kay Fisher in the next match. I always enjoy going up against the guys from Central Ma. because they all like to mix it up. This match was no exception. During this match our streamers entangled and mine held on. It could just as easily have gone the other way. In the finals, I was looking for revenge against Ray Smith who had cut me in a preliminary round and Ray was kind enough to fly in front of me and deposit his streamer on mine. These Gremlin flyers can be very gracious.
Also, at this meet, we were missing a Gremlin Combat stalwart, Barry
"Moose" Schubert. Barry's father passed away last week and he was with
his family, out of state. On behalf of the Gremlin Combat community, I
would like to extend condolences to Barry and his family. Best wishes
for the upcoming holidays and hope to see you all next year.
........... Charlie Hochstrasser
The Oxford MA Gremlin contest on December 3rd was greeted with the promise of warm, unseasonable temperatures. Even though the field was covered with a haze of white frost at 8:15, by the 10am start time we had 10 entrants and sweatshirt weather. Since only 2 contestants brought open class ships and they had stock planes as well, it was decided to maximize the number of rounds flown and just have stock class. The rules were modified slightly in that we had 3 points for a cut and a 2 and 1 point landing task. The initial round was flown with the landing section for 2 points being 3' radius circle and 1 point being within 6' but after the first round we decided that the 6' circle would be the 2 point bonus and if nobody got that, the closest person would get a single point. We also extended the round/heat to 4 minutes from the usual 3. We had tried 5 minutes in the past but people couldn't concentrate that long. 4 minutes seems to work well and we had several cuts in that "overtime" minute.
With up to 5 points available to people per round, since we allowed the landing task even on "cut" rounds, The contest was always at stake and the point spread seemed better than previous contest. We were also lucky enough to have NO frequency conflicts among our 10 fliers. Out of 29 heats flown, we had 7 cuts, 2 midairs, a crash, a spin in, and two deadstick landings. All the contestants were able to fly in the following rounds after the crashes and midairs through the use of spare wings and fuselages and backup planes. Our only concern of the day was when Dan Snow tried to feed his finger to his engine and needed to get three stitches to his index knuckle. A big thanks go to all the first aid kits that showed up and Gary Guidi and friend that drove Dan to the hospital to get checked out. Another big thanks goes to Ray for setting the event up and Ron Gagner for hosting it as well as taking pictures for us.
Dan also had a bit more bad luck when he was involved in the first mid-air with Charlie Watt in the second round. Dan has been really mixing it up since he's had midairs the last four contests he's attended. Glad to see the damage was light enough that he was back in the next round. Charlie spent a bit more time swapping out and engine and wing but made the call in the third round as well. The third round opened with Steve Smith and Ray tangling in a midair with Ray coming down in multiple pieces. His backup plane proved to be flying better than his primary in the following rounds. It looked like Steve just had some prop strikes that were covered with tape for the following rounds. It seems Steve's plane liked that little taste of blood since he went on to have a string of three successive cuts in the following three rounds. Evil Eric Henderson (the designer) showed how the new scoring system can really let you come back from behind when he had a perfect landing after a cut in round 5 for 5 points.
Thanks to all the contestants for the dedication to keep repairing and flying for all six rounds. The spectators really seemed to enjoy it!
The seven plane Gremlin Gaggle at the end with people chasing streamers and making balloon runs was a great sight even though a few people got a little too involved and damaged planes. I can wait to see the pictures!
As we were leaving the field, Ron Gagner was heard to mention that we might have another one next year AND he might get his Gremlin back out of mothballs for it! Sounds like a plan to me.
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