Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memphis Indoor Classic 2009

Its been a week since I last posted......... and its been even longer since I've thrown a leg over my bike.......

Thats because I was incredibly busy last week.

Last week was the Memphis Indoor Classic. I've been working on this race with Al Glenn for several months. First off, he deserves all the credit for getting this event together, and simply consider myself lucky enough to have helped.

I started the event the week before in building my newest design. It still does not have a name, but it flies well. I finished that airplane on Wednesday evening. Thats the cool thing about FAI F3P-A, finish your competition airplane in 4 hours instead of 400.......

People started showing up for the event on Thursday night. While I tried to stay out of trouble with the wife, RJ and AC showed up and started working on RJ's latest prototype. FancyFoam had shipped the raw kit to my house along with prizes for the competition. After laying a simple but attractive paintjob on the bird, RJ took to framing it. For me, it was a bit frustrating to watch, as it took RJ about 4-5 hours to complete, and I can do the same job in less than an hour....... However the results were pretty awesome.

We showed up at the facility on Friday morning and helped Al set up the facility with tables and concession stand. By 10:30 we were flying, trimming and practicing. I put up approximately 15-20 practice and trim flights just in that one day. By 5pm, we were handed the unknown and sat down for a pilots' meeting. The unknown looked scary on paper, but was really not that bad in the air. It certainly was not easy (it was an ass kicker) it was just not as hard as it looked on paper. That was definitely a good experience for me. We finished the evening when Riley K's father brought pizza in for all the pilots.

Saturday began very early and very rainy. Thank goodness we were flying indoor! We started the morning by realizing 2 of the pilots we were sure were going to fly backed out. Their loss. We flew 2 rounds of F3P-A and 2 rounds of unknown. I felt really good about the known flights and my first unknown flight. My second unknown flight was going great and I managed to zero the last maneuver!!!!!!! Thank goodness we were allowed to drop our worst flights.

After the morning precision contest, we had open flying for several hours. People flew all sorts of flying, and we managed to get some impromptu pylon racing in. That was some of the most fun I've had at a contest in a while. I flew my trusty little SCAT delta (own design) and whoooped up on everyone else. By the last race, one of the HobbyLobby guys finally had his bird tuned to outrun my airplane on the straights. At that point, I genuinely had to outfly him on the course to beat him- and I did!!!!!! Of course that was all just for fun. : )

Saturday afternoon, we got ready to hit the freestyle section of the competition. Frankly, I flew my first flight to a new song and the routine just plain sucked...... Then I flew to my 2008 ETOC music and my routine was significantly better, even though I had not flown it in almost a year....... and then I crashed. I genuinely think that d@#$ airplane was jinxed. Needless to say, I won't rebuild it.

The real freestyle competition was between Riley K and RJ. Both put up absolutely killer flights. They were on fire. Well choreographed, challenging maneuvers and sequences and pretty dynamic overall.

In the end, RJ came out on top on both Precision and Freestyle. Huge congrats to him.

Personally, I came out in 4th place overall. I'm actually pretty pleased with that. The competition in front of me was/is pretty doggone good.

After the competition was over, we sat down for some 'Interstate' barbeque. There is nothing that compares to Memphis bbq. I had not had any bbq in so long (still trying to lose weight) it was really nice to have a plate of it. We spent the rest of the evening flying helis, some more pylon and generally acting stupid.

Sunday, we flew a bit and helped clean up. I ended up having to work Sunday morning, so I missed most of my friends before they left.... : ( but I'm glad I was there to help Al wrap everything up.

Next year will be an even better event!

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