The fourth NSW Pattern Comp for the year was held at the Gloucester Air Field.
The runway was prepared to perfection by Francis Bennett, with assistance from Gavin Dark, who maned the cylindrical mower to produce a bowling green like surface, (well, almost). Only ten pilots competed in this competition comprising four Advanced, one Expert, one F3A and four Sportsman. Unfortunately, Francis was a late withdrawal.
This time F3A, Sportsman and Expert were grouped together and Advanced flew in their own grouping. The Competition got underway around 09:30 with Rob Greenwood from Sportsman given the honours of flying first followed by Ray Smith, Roger Chapman and the new kid on the block, Adam Huszarek (Always great to see new competitors). Expert was next to fly with sole competitor Brian McGowan taking centre stage followed by F3A with sole competitor, Gavin Dark. Advanced was the next group to fly with Rod first up followed by Felix, Kahl and myself.
This year, we have been rotating the flight order up one each flight so the sane competitor is not all ways first to greet the judges. A total of four rounds were flown on Saturday and the remaining two on Sunday.
Once again, Sportsman proved to be a close battle with our newest competitor, Adam Huszarke taking the overall honours winning the first three rounds and achieving a score of 4972.16. Rob Greenwood finished in second place with a score of 4912.39 and winning the last three rounds. Ray Smith finished in third place with 3427.73 points. Roger Chapman finished four on 2688.70 after completing rounds one, two and three only. Unfortunately, Roger was unable to complete the last three rounds. Both Adam (in his first comp) and Ray achieved promotion points with Rob now progressing to Advanced. Welcome to turnaround, Rob.
Advanced was not such a one horse race this time with the overall scores showing close competition between all pilots. At the conclusion of flying, Rod Bailey showed the way in first place with 4998.29 points, winning the last four rounds. Most of the other competitors feel Rod has an unfair advantage with his wife Faye giving such a brilliant running cometary. Next comp, we have threatened to wire her up to a PA system for all to hear. Not winning a single round, but finishing in second place was Kahl Eckersley on 4912.39, proving once again that consistency is the name of the game. Yours truly finished in third place on 4885.34 and winning round one. Felix finished in fourth place only 12.61 points behind myself on 4872.73 owing to rounds one and five being a little below par. Rob Bailey achieved his first promotion point with an average of 305.5 and Felix, well, what can you say, 304.5. So close to what would have been his second promotion. Unfortunately, Felix achieved his first promotion to Expert at this comp last year so, that point has rolled over and this point would have been his first, again.
Expert was, well, a forgone conclusion with Brian McGowan winning every round and achieving 5000 points. The same was the case in F3A with Gavin Dark winning every round on 5000 points. Gavin also achieved an F3A retainer.
With so few pilots in the higher categories, it was time for the Sportsman to step up to the plate and judge. Rob Greenwood, Ray Smith and Roger Chapman all judged for probably what was their first time in the judges seat. It was decided to give the new judges a lesson in what to look for when judging and Gavin Dark stepped up to the challenge with a well presented lesson on the finer points of judging Precision Aerobatics. Well done to you all and hears looking forward to many more hours in the seat.
Dinner on Saturday night was at the Gloucester Soldiers Club where we were greeted to a delicious Chinese meal. The only downside was the longish walk up stairs to get a “real beer”. (Sorry, us Old Ale, not age, drinkers). The aero club parked their Cessna 172 outside allowing us to place our models fully assembled in the hanger overnight. Fantastic. It should be compulsory for all model flying fields to have such facilities (in ones dreams).
Finally, we must give a very big thanks to Francis and all the club members for the use of their fantastic field and facilities and a very big thanks to Carol Bennett for a fantastic lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.
Our next comp is scheduled for TCMAC at Albury, May 21st & 22nd but this may change to the Rebel Club near Newcastle at short notice if the height clearance at Albury is not granted.
F3A-FAI: Gavin Dark
Expert: Brian McGowan
Advanced: Rod Bailey
Sportsman: Adam Huszarek
Advanced: Rod Bailey
Sportsman: Adam Huszarek & Rob Greenwood
Competition results: HERE.
Competition promotions: HERE.