By Don DeLoach
Official flying wrapped up for the lightweight events (F1D, HLS, Intermediate Stick, ROG Stick, Cabin, F1R, Helicopter, Ornithopter, F1L, and Easy B) on Friday, May 27, at 9 p.m. Several records were set and there were 12 fliers in F1D including no fewer than seven AMA youth. This was certainly the largest F1D turnout at the Nats in a decade or more.
Saturday, May 28, was a shorter day of flying, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events left to complete were in the mid- and heavyweight rubber classes, and F1N/HLG/Catapult.
I spent the first minutes of Saturday freeing my Limited Pennyplane from a hang-up. It spent the night about 65 feet up between a row of lights. I’d had a really good flight going Friday night when the ship suddenly drifted behind the lights and wrapped itself in a coil of electrical cord. At first it looked unlikely that I’d get it down, but a single bump from a balloon freed it with only a slightly broken fin. Five minutes later I was back in the air and managed a 10:44 in Pennyplane and 11:32 in Limited Pennyplane shortly thereafter.
There were other several notable performances Saturday. Josh Finn put up 12:30 to win Pennyplane by a wide margin. He also snagged third in AMA HLG with the only two 70-plus second flights on Saturday, despite the air being not particularly good. Josh was nearly unbeatable all week. He won a total of six events with a number of close seconds and thirds. He did all this while timing flights, helping his young kids fly, and mentoring numerous other fliers. For his efforts he was crowned Rubber Category Champion, AMA/FAI Category Champion, and Grand Champion. Congratulations, Josh!
George Nuñez scored wins in FAC Peanut, High Wing Peanut, and Coconut Scale. George’s son Jonathan’s nearly perfect Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien won FAC Rubber Scale handily enroute to earning Jonathan FAC Category Champ. Jonathan was also honored with a surprise presentation of the FAC’s Blue Max Medal, for achieving 16 victories in FAC competition over 20-plus years.
Three-year-old Paul Finn set an AMA Electric record of 3:55 enroute to winning the Junior Championship. Anjulie Sorbello earned the Senior Championship after placing highly in several combined ages events, including F1M where she placed a close second to her mentor Chuck Andraka.
More AMA records were broken on Saturday. Adith Alagiri bested the F1L Junior record set earlier in the week by Caleb Finn. And Ross Clements picked up three more Senior records in F1N, Standard Catapult Glider, and AMA Electric.
On to the AMA Nats at Muncie. Outdoor Free Flight week is July 25-29. See you there!
2022 Indoor Free Flight National Champions
A-6 Hamish Christie 9:26
ROG Stick Josh Finn 15:38
Easy B Karen Khanagov 16:49
F1D Brett Sanborn 38:53
F1N HLG Stan Buddenbohm 3:32.2
Limited Pennyplane Josh Finn 11:06
AMA Electric Paul Finn (J) 3:55
NFFS Towline Don DeLoach 4:34.6
Hand Launched Stick Ross Clements (S) 30:55
Intermediate Stick Josh Finn 20:34
Ornithopter Josh Finn 3:13
Helicopter Ross Clements (S) 5:04
Ministick Karen Khanagov 9:45
P-18 John McGrath 3:39
Pennyplane Josh Finn 12:30
Unlimited Catapult Stan Buddenbohm 2:43.6
HLG Tim Batiuk 2:29.2
Manhattan Cabin David Aronstein 7:58
ROG Cabin Ross Clements (S) 21:21
F1D Brett Sanborn 38:53
Std. Catapult Glider Xiaoguo Tang 2:19.0
F1L Mike Fedor 22:06
F1R 35cm Josh Finn 41:53
F1M Chuck Andraka 23:39
AMA Bostonian Jonathan Nuñez 384.0
P-18 Mass Launch John McGrath 3:00
NFFS Coconut Scale George Nuñez Potez 36
FAC WWII Combat David Aronstein Fiat
FAC WWII No-Cal Mike Fedor Spitfire
FAC Greve Thompson Don DeLoach Goon
FAC Greve/Th. No-Cal Mike Fedor Chambermaid
FAC Jet Catapult Scale Stan Buddenbohm 2:31
FAC Phantom Flash 5g Hamish Christie 7:22
FAC Phantom Flash Hamish Christie 9:31
FAC Embryo David Aronstein 545 sec.
FAC Golden Age Jonathan Nuñez 278
FAC Simplified Scale Don DeLoach 227
FAC Peanut Scale George Nuñez 150
FAC Rubber Scale Jonathan Nuñez 148
Thank you to the Indoor Nats staff!
Tom Gaylor, overall director. Tom is retired USAF fighter pilot. He lives in the Phoenix area and is the current president of the Phoenix Model Airplane Club (PMAC). He enjoys small rubber-powered models. This is the second Indoor Nats he has directed.
FAC event director Rich Adams started models when he was 11 in 1966. Rich has built and flown Control Line Stunt and Scale, R/C Scale, eventually settling on Free Flight. He spent 32 years in various areas of aerospace engineering as a structural and mechanical systems designer. He lives in the Phoenix area.
Bruce Grawburg, head scorekeeper. Also a rubber flier, Bruce is another PMAC member who was also scorekeeper at the last Eagar Nats (2019). He lives in the Phoenix area and is newsletter editor for PMAC.