Team Canada 2011

Team Canada 2011
Team pilots Mark Byrne, Chad Northeast and Dezso Vaghy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Epilogue part II

Things are getting back to normal as we look back on the last two plus weeks in Indiana. I have added an additional picture link from Robyn (Pattern Wife) Byrne for your viewing pleasure. A different perspective that we can all enjoy.

Hartley and Pat are in Genesee Park just off I-70 west of Denver CO. and will spend a few day exploring the area. The mighty F-350 will haul the RV up the highest paved road in North America... oops I stand corrected... he's just going in the truck. Check out the ride  at

Sunday, August 7, 2011

AMA Nationals 2011 - Epilogue

Hi folks

Well what a marathon! We arrived home last night at 10:40 local time in Victoria, BC Canada. Our odyssey to the Worlds and the AMA Nationals was now pretty much complete.

We were able to get some limited information at the IND airport as well as YYZ as we traveled home. We checked RCU and all our sources to get info as soon as possible and we wished we could have been there in person but it wasn't to be. We witnessed the incredible efforts everyone put in to make this event happen and greatly appreciate the work the volunteers did.

I have added some of Kieth's flicker pictures to the AMA Nat's Picture folder on the right. Thanks to Keith for sharing these with the RC community at large! Those are great shots of the cooler dump!!! LOL

So we know this.....

1. Rick Byrd
2. Archie Stafford
3. Dave Snow
4. Tony Frackowiak
5. Chris Odom
6. Glen Watson
7. Joe Walker
8. Stephen Byrd

1. Dave Lockhart
2. Chad Northeast (from Canada)
3. Mark Leesberg
4. Don Szczur
5. AC Glen
6. Richard Christopher (from Great Britain)

I will add the rest of my pictures that I have yet to upload in the next little while and I hope you have all enjoyed the blog as much as I did.

Pat & Hartley are working their way back across the USA and are in Waco, Nebraska last night. The weather has been harsh and they have experienced a big storm move through yesterday.

Chad & Nedim are also driving back to Calgary, Alberta and were pushing past Chicago last night... not sure where they stopped on the way home.

That's it for now.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

AMA Nationals 2011 - Day 4 -Finals

All packed up and departing the hotel this morning. Our flight home departs IND at 16:00 so we will only see the first F-11 and Unknown #1 in all likelihood.  I will do my best to update everyone but it will depend on wifi and data that I can access.

The entire crowd at Site #1

On site #1 the pilots flew the first round of F-11 in front of a panel of three judges. The judging pool has been so depleted with folks going home that the organizers canvassed the pilots for the best options. A three judge panel was the best choice under the circumstances.

This years finals is truly international as British F3A Team member Richard Christopher along with Canadian Chad Northeast vie for the podium in Muncie. Marcelo Colombo of Argentina narrowly missed the cut when Pete Collinson edged him out of 8th place by 81/100th of a point.

The winds were light out of the south west and the skies hazy with some broken cloud. These were very nice conditions although a bit what else is new! LOL

Pretty solid flights all around with a few soft spots in some flights. The real challenge will come in the Unknowns as callers and pilots fly these cold i.e. no actual plane practice....only stick plane.

Chad’s flight was solid with the exception of the 1-1/2 snap in the Cuban Eight... slight over rotation was evident. Ac Glenn had a nice round as well and was treated to a rousing applause from the Canadian contingent. He had requested it :-)

The F round was completed by 09:30 and the Unknowns got underway. Mark was asked by Line Coordinator Tim Jesky to call the maneuvers for the judges so we can now add the label “FAI Unknowns #1 Judge’s Caller” to his every growing RC resume.

Matthew Hoyland accepted the honor of the demo flight for the Unknowns.... the Brits come through as everyone else had left or declined.

Matt preps before the demo.

Here we go.....

Richard is up first with winds left to right. It's 10:02 local.

Chip calls for Mike.

The Unknowns #1 are now over and there is a short break before the next F-11 rounds start. Hard to say who handled the flights the best as they all looked good. There was a few soft areas and some geometry issues in each flight but it's up to the judges now. The loop with the full roll has been key I think along with hitting the snaps.

The first F scores will hopefully be posted but there is nothing as of yet. Some F raw scores are coming in...looks like Dave Lockhart set the bar high (I didn't see the flight) and Chad is 100 points behind him. Not sure how the others did at this point... still no normalized scores for Round #1 at this point.

The F flights are midway through now and Chad had a great flight. Hit every snap! Great geometry so we will see how things play out....

I am afraid I have to stop updating as we head to Indy for our flight home. I'll try and update from the airport and/or YYZ.


Just read RCU and got a text from Chad. Dave Lockhart was declared the US Nationals FAI Champion for 2011. Chad was in the second spot. I am unsure of the third place pilot at this time but that will be on RCU or NSRCA shortly. I'll update when I hear the placement of the other finalists when I get to Toronto.

It was a real marathon for Chad and we are all proud of his accomplishments.  Congratulations to all those who participated.

Friday, August 5, 2011

AMA Nationals 2011 - Day 3 FAI & Masters Results

Out of bed and off to breakfast with Kelly early this morning.  Everyone split up as I had to judge Masters at Site #1, Chad judged at Site #3, Hartley flew at #3 and Mark took Robyn to the practice site to get some F-11 polished up for the afternoon FAI Semi's...... just another day at a contest!  Hartley was also busy packing up the trailer in between rounds as they start to head back to BC this afternoon.

Kelly dropped me off for my Judging duties and headed back to the hotel to get some stuff done. I spent the next 3.5 hours watching the Masters guys do their stuff. Some people have coined this the No-Show Nats but I witnessed some top notch flying today from some of those that did show up. It will be a battle in both Masters and FAI.  I was on a judging line with Mark Atwood whom was scheduled to fly in the semi's this afternoon. Turns out his Spark was lost last night when the RX lost signal somehow. His plane made an unceremonious arrival into a corn field and was destroyed. Felt sorry for him as he has had a string of bad Karma.

The Masters guys finished off rounds 5 & 6 and the FAI boys both flew a round each at Site #1 and #3 respectively. The top 9 Masters guys go at it in the morning as well as the top 8 FAI pilots battle it out for top spot.

The FAI guys also flew with in the afternoon and Mark had his first F-11 semi's indoctrination! He was not pleased with his flight but we watched Chad put in a burner round. Very solid. The boys packed up and headed over to site #1 to fly their next and possibly final round of F-11.

While this swap was taking place we stopped to say goodbye to Pat & Hartley as they started their journey home. It was sad to see them drive out of the AMA site but we will soon see them again back home. They were great hosts to our BBQ' s and "debrief sessions" and always welcomed us... except early in the mornings :-) I am sure Hartley would love to come back and participate again... I believe  he really enjoyed the experience and will never forget the trip.

Camp Canada 2011

Mark was up first and finished strong with a solid flight. Considering that he was pushing the P-11 elements these past couple weeks at the Worlds his F was pretty good. Chad once again also had a great flight. Tim Jesky was handling our flight line and he ran a steady contest at this location. Jerry also had things under control at site #3.

Once the top 8 FAI guys spent a few hours picking the two unknown sequences they were printed and released to the pilots and public to practice their stick planes on:-)

Unknown #1

We went off this evening for a nice dinner at Vera Mae's Bistro in downtown Muncie. This place was suggested by Mark Atwood while conversing during the judging session this morning. It was very good!

We arrived back at the hotel and visited with Chad & Nedim for a bit. Looked at the schedules and planned tomorrows activities.... watch Chad and the boys battle it out.

Off to bed..... if I can make it there:-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

AMA Nationals 2011 - Day 2

Same routine... up, out, Starbucks, unload, fly, load, unload, fly.....:-) The gals slept in today.

Hartley was up on Site #1 at 8;00 am this morning.  There was a slight delay after a few pilots as low cloud moved into the area. Flying recommenced and Hartley finally flew after Chuck Hochhalter finished off his incomplete flight. It was Hartley's best flight so far at this event and he was pleased. Mark did the calling and that may have been the difference... or not:-) I shot a bunch of pictures with Hartley's camera

Ginsu trio!


After a short break, round 4 started and Hartley was preparing for his flight. Mark was calling as I started taking pictures... never know when he'll be back in Muncie so I wanted to make sure this trip and these flights were well documented.

Hartley's starting position looked good but he started pulling early on the Figure M's first radius. Things went south from that point as he struggled to regain proper position. The Cuban Eight got him all kittywonkas and he flew the remainder of the flight out of sequence in the wrong direction. He came down and was laughing at himself.  What else can you do.... even Mark could not quite figure out when it got crossed until later in the pits. Two more rounds tomorrow to finish on a positive note.

We loaded up the truck with HH's plane and headed back to Site #3 for the afternoon session. With the exception of Paul Hepworth, we will all fly the last two rounds of P-11 this year together. It should be fun and we all hope Mark can put in two solid rounds to finish off the P rounds. They will take the top twenty guys into the semi's tomorrow afternoon.

We are just doing the swap out of judges as the Site #3 Masters are running late due to weather... Chad is up first..... Chad has just flown and I followed him... not the best spot but hey I am here for the fun! Chad had a solid round to lead things off and everyone followed. Some very strong rounds by several fliers like Dave Lockhart and Don Szczur.  

Mark had a couple strong rounds and we finished up the FAI flights by 16:30. Pilots waited around for results and it was decided to remeet at Site#3 at 18:00 to draw the flight order of the semi-finalists. We adjourned to the RV and enjoyed some debriefing chatter. Mark had two solid rounds and we were all hopefull that he would make the top twenty cut.

We stopped and took some pictures of all the Xigris airframes at our flight line today... looking good!

At the appointed hour we all gathered around and Mark made the list at 18th place! Whoot!

It was time to draw for the two flight line orders and everyone pulled their number and subsequent flight line. Odd would fly at Site #1 and Even at Site #3. Pilots will rotate flight lines and fly once at each line during the afternoon. It should be fun as both Chad and Mark fly together at Site #3... fittingly by Camp Canada. I am very happy for Mark as this was one of his goals this trip.

Dave Lockhart goes in to pick his flight order.

I judge early on Site #1 and Mark, Chad & Nedim will practice at a local site. Hartley will fly his last two rounds of Masters in the morning with the FAI Semi's going in the afternoon. I am once again totally beat and look forward to getting back to work next week so I can rest :-)

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AMA Nationals 2011 - Day 1

Ok the days are all blending into one as I try my best to keep you all up to date. Day one started off with mother nature laying a whooping on the Muncie area in the early morning.Thunderstorms, lighting and heavy rain pummeled the AMA site.

The weather passed and it looked like the flight lines would start on time but they delayed the start a bit due low clouds. Things started in earnest when Hartley Hughson took to the skies as the first one off our site this morning. Hartley dearly wanted to just get through it as the subtle pressure of his first Nationals was evident. He did great although he would like to have a few maneuvers back as mulligans!  Both Hartley and I hung around site #3 awaiting his second flight. I did some calling for D-7 pilot Bill Wallace while Chad & Nedim arrived to watch the action and get ready for the afternoon. Hartley’s second flight was a little stronger and after a debrief we then repositioned the truck.... logistics action was going full tilt! LOL
Hartley after his first appearance/flight at the AMA Nationals

Paul with his "rental unit"

We did a plane swap and positioned Mark’s plane over to site #1 where he was judging the morning Masters session.  He hung out with the Brits and Hartley stayed there to call for him in the afternoon FAI session at site #1. Robyn also joined them to cheer Mark on.

My FAI flights on site #3 got started about 15 minutes late but everything ran pretty smoothly after that.  Chad, Nedim and Paul all flew off this site so it was easy to get callers and help everyone out. The winds were quite strong and everyone worked hard to maintain distance and geometry. The top guys put in very nice rounds and everyone else followed with varying results.

We only had two glow powered planes on our site which was dominated by E powered setups of all kinds. Unfortunately one pilot had a flame out at the start of his sequence and then suffered a “no start” on his second flight. Turns out his kill switch was on for the first 40 seconds of starting before realizing it. A very tough way to knock out of the Nationals. There is a lot to be said for plug & play at times like this.

Mark had some solid flights on his line and should score well. He has ditched his tray and gone to back to the neck strap, changed his radio settings and is considering changing his hair color in order to improve his flying :-)  Dave Lockhart and Don Szuzur head up the leader board although Dave did suffer a power loss on one round and shows a low position at this point. He will drop that round and be in the hunt on day #2.

Chad & Mark Leseberg dominated the flying on our line and set the bar high. We all followed them:-) My flights were ok but nothing worth writing about. Paul and Nedim also had some good elements but struggled in some areas. Everyone had a good time and we watched the rest of the flying. We all retired to the RV for a “debriefing” and had an early BBQ chicken dinner (7pm). Scores were not posted for our site due to some glitch with the way the score sheets were labeled. Site #1 Line 1 etc.... it was all worked out and we heard some scoring through Andrew Jesky in Utah! Thanks AJ!

Remember that the placings will change as each pilot flies in front of each judging panel. Lots more to go yet.

Masters Site #1

Masters Site #3


I have added a "Pattern West News Nats Pictures" link as well and will add pictures as able. Reception at Site #1 is very spotty.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Goodbye's and Hello's - The AMA Nats are up next!

Well folks the 2011 World Championships are now officially complete. We saw several different judges, pilots and groups start their journey home this morning. For some it's a couple hour drive, for others it's a two day marathon (Australia & South Africa!).  We wish them all a safe journey to wherever home is.

Our stay in Muncie continues as both Chad, Nedim, Mark, Hartley and myself along with fellow Canadian Paul Hepworth compete in the AMA National Championships this week. I was going to start a new blog and then thought I might as well continue right here. It's only a couple extra days of blogging and thus a one stop for those on the net:-)

So... you guessed it... up early and off to the practice site as Hartley picked us up at the hotel. Paul was also waiting and was loaded down with some loaner items. Paul had suffered a ESC fire on his plane back home just before coming down but made the trek anyway to support the team. He got talking with some of the guys and presto... magic happened. From Ac Glenn a Visa pattern plane, Marcelo Colombo contributed a JR TX and Andrew Jesky threw in his charger and battery packs! Now that's a great story!

Off we went and after starting to set up our planes we had additional AMA pilots arrive in search of a practice site. The AMA sites were plugged and there was word of at least two mid-airs. Chris Moon was involved in one and lost his plane... not sure who the other pilots were or just where on the site it happened. I am sure RCU may have additional information and I will try and get the details. I do know that Chris is getting lots of assistance in getting another airframe ready for the event.

We had a great day of practice with the US guys and really enjoyed the stories and discussion on all sorts of topics pattern related. We all packed up and headed to the AMA site for the Pilot's meeting. Rusty gave everyone the latest news and Jon Carter reviewed the ranking system for the Masters guys. We broke for dinner and watched the various planes iat the different sites going fthrough thier respective maneuvers. We did witness what appeared to be another plane go down at site #4 tonight but I have no detials on what occurred. I'll send my ace reporting team in tommorrow and try and get some details for everyone.

Tomorrow morning the contest starts with Masters and Intermediate on the morning shift at 0800. FAI and Advance will fly starting at 1300. Hartley is up first on Site #3 in his first ever appearance at the AMA site... he is excited.

Off to bed after a great dinner at Camp Canada!!