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August 4, 2021: RC Helicopter

By Mike Unger

Muncie, Indiana, gave us another awesome day of weather at the AMA Site 5 for Day 3 of the AMA Helicopter Nats.

High temps of 78°, a sunny sky, and low wind made it idea for flying.  Just like the day before, we picked up again Tuesday with the first flight at 8 a.m.

The AMA Sportsman class was up first, followed by the Advanced class. The Sportsman class is our biggest this year—with lots of good competition, fun, and most of all, learning. As it turns out, even though doing a Hovering Figure M and a simple loop might sound easy, doing it at an exact location on the field, with the perfect shape, with the beginning and endings being right where they are supposed to be, is not at all easy. Add some light 5-8 mph wind and 20-30 people watching you, and it is significantly harder than you think. 

By now, all of these pilots who are somewhat new to the sport have learned a ton. Everything from lowering head speed for an easier control in hovers, to adjusting for a tailwind during a stall turn has been shared with them by all the other veteran pilots throughout the last few days.  Comparing the scores from round 1 to round 6, everyone is getting better, which is great to see.

With six rounds complete and one more to go, this is how things stand for the AMA classes.

Sportsman (dropping lowest round)

Chris Goodin                      5000.00

Cliff Lewis                            4909.17

Charles Crespo                  4445.34

Michael Lewandowski   4425.67

Richard Sowers                 4053.26

Nathan Essex                     3889.06

Geena Tucker                    3699.62

Derek Townsend              3359.66

Advanced (dropping lowest round)

Daniel Tureac                     5000.00

Peter Bisbal                        4561.27

In the FAI F3C and Masters classes, these pilots have been working though extremely challenging maneuvers throughout the competition. The F3C class moved on to the "F" flight pattern, starting with round 5. The maneuvers in this pattern are very difficult. There are lots of pirouettes, while translating up and sideways in the hovers, and a significant number of flips and rearward flight for the aerobatic ones. Learning these maneuvers alone takes a significant amount of time and practice, in addition to just a bunch of raw skill. 

After 6 rounds this is where they stand

Nick Maxwell                     2000.00

Clifford Hiatt                       1726.47

Yasunobu Muraki             1691.48

Michael Goza                     1622.80

Timothy Diperi                  1458.05

Chris Diamonte                 1262.96

Robert Montee                 1212.56

Masters (dropping lowest score)

Gordie Meade                   5000.00

Jim Hall                                 4602.29

Angel Rojas                         4449.49

Michael Parker                  4390.85

The Scale pilots also completed their third competition flight for the Nats.  Their best two flight scores, along with their static score, give them the final standing. 

I can’t stress enough the presence that these machines have in the air. If you get a chance to see them fly in person, I highly recommend it. Below are the results through two rounds of flying.  Check back Thursday for the final results.

Sport Scale

Mike Zaborowski                              1400

Evan Sayres                                        1191

Tim Diperi                                           1098

Mark Allen                                          1054

518 Scale

Mark Allen                                          855

We will finish up Wednesday morning with the final rounds of Sportsman, Advanced, Masters, and F3C, followed by the trophy ceremony.  As always, if you are in town swing by to see some of the best pilots in the country.


Mon, 04/11/2022 - 12:18pm Joshua Fonnet (not verified)

Hello Mr. Unger, I Joshua Fonnet thank you very much for the article. The few times I have been to IRCHA, I would make time to spectate the event. I enjoy this type of flying more than the aggressive 3D. Sincerely: Joshua Fonnet AMA # L993789

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