past October I made the trip out to Tucson, Arizona to check
out the shootout. Now if you haven't heard about the Tucson
Aerobatic Shootout it's growing into one of the top aerobatic
competition here in the states and is starting to draw an
International following. This year's prize payout totaled
$85,000.00 in cash and prizes.
got very interested in going to the shootout after watching
Wildberry Productions' DVD Tucson Aerobatic Shootout 2004
last year. If you haven't since this yet I suggest you either
borrow a copy from a friend or purchase a copy from Wildberry.
one thing that I had to do this year so I could get to the
shootout was convince my girlfriend that it would be fun to
go out to Tucson and see the show. Well, I'm fortunate in
that she really likes to go to these RC events to watch 3D/freestyle
flying and she's a fan of Quique Somenzini and Jason Shulman.
So booking the trip wasn't a really problem.
done some review work for RCUniverse so after my trip was
booked I spoke with Marc Vigod to see if I could cover the
event for RCU. He thought it was a good idea since they were
one of the sponsors of the event. I agreed to start an event
thread on RCU to post event photos and information. If you
haven't seen the official RCU Tucson Aerobatic Shootout coverage
thread then click
here to read it. You can also check out all the video
coverage at RCUVideos.com.
shootout takes place over five days and follows the AMA RC
Scale Aerobatics rules. They use the IMAC Known sequences
and choose from the IMAC Unknown catalog to put together the
Unknown sequences. This is for Sportman thru Unlimited classes.
For the Invitational class the Known sequences are prepared
specifically for the Shootout. These were released in August
so the pilots had time to work on them. The Unknown sequences
were drawn from the 2006 Edition of the Aresti System. The
4-minute Freestyle sequences followed the IMAC guidelines.
first 3 days of the event were dedicated to Sportman thru
Invitational classes flying their Known and Unknown sequences
and the last 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) had the freestyle
sequences take place.
first I thought that this event might have a chaotic feel
to it. This was my first big aerobatic competition that I
attended. I was curious to see how they were going to get
through 60 plus pilots flying 2 sequences and not going late
into the evening. Well I have to tell you that Mike Marcillin
(CD) and Dave Johnson ran a very smooth event.
sequence flying would have two pilots up at one time being
judged on their sequence. At about halfway through the sequence
the next two pilots would take to the air and stay out of
the aerobatic box. Once a pilot finished their sequence they
signaled that they were done and left the aerobatic box. The
next pilot waiting would be able to set up to enter the box
and start their sequence. They really had this working like
clock work all five days.
thought that the first 3 days might be a little boring as
compared to the freestyles but it was actually interesting.
I started to learn more about what it really takes to fly
in an IMAC competition by listening to the other pilots talking
about someone's sequences. I realized there's a lot I need
to work on before flying in a basic IMAC competition. This
turned into a really good learning experience for me.
got a real special treat Saturday. Doug Bry from WildBerry
Products invited everyone at the event to see a preview
of their soon to be released Electric
Flight School DVD. They had set up a large movie screen
and projector out on the field. All we had to do was to bring
chairs and the popcorn. If you want the full details about
the Electric Flight School DVD go to the Wildberry site. My
girlfriend and I found it to be really entertaining even after
sitting out in the desert night and having temperature go
from 75 degree down to 50 degrees by the end of the movie.
I already have my pre-order in for this and their Top Gun
DVD. So here's two items you can add to your holiday list
if you haven't already.
Spillmann from Switzerland and his cheese head crew.
Practice makes perfect
this is something that you'll see just about every pilot
doing during one of these competition. They practice
their next upcoming routines using small scale planes.
This especially helps them practice and visualize the
Unknown sequences since they only recieve these in the
morning before having to fly them.
Noll Jr. and son Jason working through one of the routines.
Bill Hempel's 50% Edge 540
plane looks beautiful on the ground and in the air. Too bad
it won't fit into my mini-van or my Town House. Listen
to Bill talking about his new plane and see Jason
Shulman flying it in his second freestyle.
all you electric guys out there you need to check out this
plane that Bernd Beschorner was flying. He calls his plane
the Raven. The only thing that was a little strange when he
was flying wasn't that it was so quiet but more of the feeling
that come over the place. I really don't know how to explain
it but it was as if we were on a break. You could hear people
talking and moving around. You didn't have the noise of an
engine drawing your attention to the sky. It was a little
more like watching a sailboat race as oppose to watching a
motorboat race. I don't know if engine noises seems to add
a little more excitement to the event for me.
some photos of the Invitational pilots during one of their
known flights. Unfortunately I missing photos for Chip Hyde
and Bernd Berschorner.
Pilot:Mark Leseberg Jr
Pilot:Jeffery Szueber Jr
Caller: Kevin Young
Caller: Joey Hayes
Pilot:Frank Noll Jr.
was vendors booths on Saturday and Sunday.
Aircraft showing off their engines and selling shootout
merchandise. I've added the DA50 to my Christmas list and
I have to figure out which one of the planes that I'd seen
Dietrich Aircrafts or AeroTech
R/C Models to also add to the list. I'll have to also
get some field support equipment from
AbellRC. Boy, I'm going to have to get a big Christmas
tree this year so all of this stuff can fit under it.
donated a fully configured 40% Sukhoi, DA150 and Fubata
radio system with a special Tucson Shootout paint scheme.
This is a new model coming from AeroTech this winter.
The money raised from the raffle went to cover the prize
purse for the freestyle event.
Freestyle event is the big crowd pleaser of the show. The
first freestyle seqence of the event took place on Saturday
to a packed grandstand of spectators.
of the things that the crowd really loved to see was the down
on the deck(DoD) flying. They went crazy for the low hovering,
low rolling circles and low knife edge passes. One of the
pilots that really stood out was Kyle Woyshnis. He was a real
crowd pleaser. Some of the DoD type maneuvers don't qualify
for scoring and any ground contact would result in a zero
score for the sequence.
aspect of the freestyle sparked a bit of debate on the RC's
forums of who's routine was the best. I know there was quit
a debate over Quique and Kyle and who should have won the
freestyle event after some of my video coverage was posted
you haven't seen any of the videos here are the links to Quique's
and Kyle's first freestyle and a link to all the videos posted
to RCUVideos on the Tucson shootout.
out all videos and you decide who was the better freestyle
pilot. I think they were all great.
Jason Krause Heli Demos
only thing I can say about the demos that Jason Krause put
on is WOW! I don't know how these
guys can do these maneuvers and still know which way the heli
is going. They are really something to see.
Wood was the scorekeeper for the event and she did an outstanding
job getting the scores posted as quickly as possible. They
had each event's scores and an overall standings posted by
the end of the day on the DA web site.
you want to see any of the days results click the day below.
first that I had heard about the boat racers was on Saturday
of the event when Bob Sadler mentioned that after the awards
ceremony on Sunday the boat races would be taking place with
the US team taking on a team from the rest of the world. This
sounded interesting but I wasn't sure what kind of event this
would be. Here we are in the middle of desert there is no
water around so how are they doing to have any type of boat
race. Boy was I surprised to find out on Sunday that the event
was a drinking race. This brought me back to my college days
and made me feel old since I didn't think of this. It's been
a while since I've been around a drinking competition. It
was fun to see all the pilots cutting loose after the competition.
and yes the US team defeated the challengers from the rest
of the world.
have to agree with Bob "Biff" Sadler with the thumbs
up on this event and I must say that Bob did a great job announcing.
He helped to keep the event rolling along and everyone informed
(Note: You'll have to check out the Electric Flight School
DVD for the "Biff" reference)
you to Dave Johnson and Mike Marcillin for making us feel
welcome and taking care of us with the press passes. You guys
really put on an excellent show. Also a big thank you to rest
of the crew from DA, all the volunteers and the sponsors that
made this event happen. My hat is off to all of you. Great
girlfriend and I got to make some new friends while we were
out there. We meet Doug and Jill Bry from Wildberry and Jill
got my girlfriend Alberta into a new hobby. She introduced
her to bead jewelry making. Hey what can I say. At least it's
something that she can do when she comes with me to our field
or one of these events. If it keeps her happy, it makes me
happy. Everyone wins here.
Geffon, it was great meeting you and congrads on taking first
place in the unlimited class. I hope that our paths will cross
Pilcher and the Monster Energy drink crew: Curtis keep up
the great flying and thanks for the Monster energy drinks.
They helped to get through the days after a long night of
posting photos and videos of the event.
if you haven't yet been to the shootout I would highly recommend
making the time next year to see it. You won't be disappointed.
It's a great event with a bunch of great pilots.