We had a pretty big jump in participation also, a 38% increase in competitors over last year. You could tell it was a big event, parking was at a premium! We had 2 full rows of parking going on, many pilots could not park against the pits as the spaces were all gone. Promptly at 09:00 we wrangled everyone in for a club meeting. President Frank Gagliardi updated the membership on some key topics, and gave some details of where the club is headed next. Right at 10:00 we started getting folks ready to drop bombs for points.
This year we had an incredible variety of airplanes participating. The Bomb Drop proves to be one of the events we hold, that no matter what you have to fly, you can come and play. Almost every airplane you can fly can be used to drop our bombs during this event. I will give big kudos to Bob Anson and Gad Snannan, Bob flew the smallest airplane in the event, and Gad flew the largest. Bob was flying his tiny little flat foamie that worked pretty well in the mild wind, and Gad was flying his EMAC ship, a big Extreme Flight Extra. We had warbirds, trainers, 3D planes, and even a gorgeous pattern ship flown by Sean Belknap. I love the variety of airplanes that get showcased during this event, that is one of the things that makes it so unique.
John Forrester started the event off with (I think) an Acromaster. During practice, John was having trouble getting the bombs onto the target. I don’t think he was able to land a single one. BUT, once the event started, John was able to get all three down for points, which had him in the lead for quite some time. He was holding onto 3rd place up until nearly the end. Roger Bohn was the only pilot who had a momentary loss of thumb coordination catching the fence. He got the crowd sympathy award and the spectators were rooting for everyone to do well. Jeff Struthers set the bar pretty high right off the bat. As the 2nd competitor, with a score of 35, everyone knew what the target was. Norm Arndt had a bomb holder already on his scale warbird but he used the factory ‘antenna’ right behind the canopy instead. I was impressed how well it worked. After working out the timing, he was able to put 2 bombs on the runway for points.
There was a change in the rules this year from last, where we enacted the “Dente Rule”. The Dente rule was a minimum height marker used to keep the Ace, Steve Dente from flying 12″ above the target and performing another superbly executed slow roll, setting the bomb down in the bulls-eye three times like he did last year. I give kudos to Steve, as he is a good sport and took the personal attack on his masterful skills with a smile. I told him that it should be considered a privilege to have a rule set up to try to level the playing field in his honor. It apparently worked, because Steve would only squeeze out 20 points, putting him right in the middle of the scoring pack.
Frank Gagliardi used his pylon racer T-28 and landed 40 points, which as the 15th pilot, put him in the lead by 5 points over Mike Eberle. Right after that, first time competitor RIchard Bonnardel took to the skies for his run. Richard had never competed in any RC event before, and was incredibly nervous, right up until the moment he took off. Without any fly-by’s or missed approaches, RIchard honed in on a straight line attack from the end of the runway, flying a smooth approach to put 3 drops down for 20 points each. His timing was pretty solid as each of the separate drops were within a foot or so of each other. 60 points became the high mark with me as the last man up. I managed to get 40 points, tying with Frank for 2nd, which bumped Mike off the podium. Frank and I did a 2 bomb ‘drop off’. Frank got 20 points with 2 10 point drops, and I got 25 with a single 20 point drop and one missing the target completely, but on the dirt for 5. It was kind of a moot issue as 2nd and 3rd place shared the same dollar value certificate from Hobby King, but it was still fun never the less.
So the leaderboard shaped up like this: 1st place Richard Bonnardel, 2nd Place Jim Bonnardel, and 3rd Place Frank Gagliardi. Once again, the youngsters showed us guys how it is done. Good Job Richard. Norm Arndt was the recipient of the Happy Hour medal, his Zero had a scale bomb drop system and bomb that was very clean. He won a medal that was pure RC Bling!
Please join me in a hearty thanks to the board of directors that approves these events, and the membership that comes down to play (we would not be able to do it without a solid membership). If you would like to see more events like this happen (and your participation indicates it is), then please take a minute or two to share your feelings with the board of directors. Also, if you have any ideas about some fun type events, don’t hesitate to share them and participate in getting them going.
Until next time, thanks to all that came down and participated, it is my hope that you all had some fun.