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JR Challenge 2004
How to setup your rotorhead
9Z for Dummies
3D Downunder
Victorian F3C Champs
Visit to Model Engines
Flying the Fury Tempest FAI
Pilot Profile - Pete (Panos) Niotis
Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Pilot Profile - Russ Deakin
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Toolbox Essentials
Setup for F3C
Vigor Refit
Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
JR Challenge 2003
Pilot Profile - Len Sabato
Helicopter Resources
Comparing the Webra 91AAR and the YS 91ST
Engine Tuning
Curtis Youngblood in New Zealand
Futaba GV-1 Governor
Pilot Profile - Malorie Zastrow
Scale: Flybarless Heads
Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
JR 10X
Pilot Profile - Mark Christy
Futaba 9Z WCII
Pilot Profile - Alan Szabo Jr
163km/h with a Vigor CS!
Raptor 60 V2
Low cost, high camera!
TSK & the Squirrel Part (V)
Follow up - Hirobo Freya
Follow up - Hirobo Shuttle RG
Sceadu 30 update
Hirobo Shuttle RG
Vigor CS - My thoughts
Bye bye little Ergo
Kyosho Caliber 30
OS 91
JR Voyager 50
Hirobo Sceadu
TSK & the Squirrel Part (III)
NZ Team Returns from Heli World Champs
Hirobo Freya
OS 50 Review
Millie vs CS (Part III)
Living with the CS
TSK & the Squirrel (Part II)
Promoting the Hobby
Ergo Z230 Gasser
Millie vs CS (Part II)
Millie vs CS (Part I)
TSK & the Squirrel
TSK & the Squirrel (Part IV)
JR Challenge 2004
Due to the rain we'd had previously, we had to locate the pit area on the top of the shooting mounds to keep the area dry.
Wayne Ratcliffe calling for Aaron Williams in the Advanced class.
Competitors waiting for their turn.
From left, Lew Woods, Neil Harker, and Mike McCormick judging the event.

Simon Lockington

The weather here in Wellington, and infact most of New Zealand, has been absolutely tragic over the past few months. Rain, flooding, landslides, and now they say summer is over, well if that's it, I want my money back!
It was so bad infact that we just about had to cancel the JR Challenge this year. Luckily, the forecast started to come right for the weekend and with a bit of contingency planning, the event looked safe.

The JR Challenge was started last year as a way to encourage people to have a go at new maneuvers and push themselves. It's aimed more at the beginner and intermediate guys rather than the top dogs.

The competition is split into three classes, Clubman (basic), Sportsman (intermediate) and Advanced. The classes have different compulsory maneuvers that get judged just like a FAI competition, then the pilot chooses three K-Factor maneuvers that get used as a multiplier to produce a score for that round.
K-Factor maneuvers range from basic circuit through to inverted knife edge figure eights. Each maneuver has a value for each class. For instance, a loop for Clubman guys might be about 5 K-Factor points, whereas for Sportsman it might be 1, and for Advanced, none.
This system allows entrants from all three classes to compete equally with others in separate classes.

I was quite strict in who could enter each class. Those who were at hovering and early forward flight stage entered Clubman, basic aerobatics pilots were in Sportsman and those into advanced aerobatics and 3D entered the 'Advanced' class. This was to ensure that a class wasn't going to be dominated by people who should have been in the next class up.

Friday before the event heralded the arrival of some sun and fine weather, though it took some of us a little while to work this out on account of not seeing any sun or fine weather for so long!
Dean Williams turned up with a very flash 'racing red' lawn tractor complete with catch and proceeded to mow everything in sight. It turns out this machine had been in storage for ages and he saw this as a great opportunity to play on it.

Guys started turning up from Rotorua, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whakatane as well as Auckland and even Christchurch for the welcoming BBQ and a bit of practice flying as the tents and fences were erected ready for Saturday morning start.

The winds over night had kept me awake thinking about the large tent that we'd decided to leave up at the field. I'd got this off a local community trust and wasn't confident that it would stand up to the winds very well. It was at least still standing when we got to the field, albeit in a somewhat drunken state.

People began turning up and establishing themselves in the pit areas and the first registrations and scrutineering took place. Because the event had been publicly advertised, we had to be sure that we covered our bases with safety.

With most people now present we held the pilots briefing where we explained the field rules, the time table for the weekend and the process for the competition. With everyone happy, it was time to draw up the pilot order whilst people had their warm-up flights.
The idea for this competition was to mix everyone up so people of all classes fly together. However the position of the sun meant that it would have been unsafe to hold the aerobatics classes at this time. Instead we held the Clubman class which was based upon hovering maneuvers for it's compulsory round and so the flight order was re-jigged so that clubman fliers were up first which would hopefully allow time for the sun to move on before the rest of the fliers were up.

Most of the guys in this competition had never before entered in any other competitions and so many did not know what the compulsory maneuvers were supposed to look like. In hindsight, I should have arranged demonstrations of the compulsory maneuvers so that the competitors knew how the maneuvers were supposed to be executed. You live and learn.

I had suggested that the guys start out comfortably, picking K-Factors that they knew they could pull off safely so they could get warmed up and used to how the competition runs and most heeded this advice. A few however had a crack at maneuvers they hadn't done before, for example, both Dean and Martyn found out that doing a Cuban 8 correctly isn't as easy as some might think J.

The only issue in the first round was a bit of a botched auto from Neil Parkinson, however Neil was so rapt with the progress he'd made in his flying already that he wasn't that worried about it.

A few guys came a bit too close to the pits/spectator area and had to be waved off, but there were no other incidents.

The judges, Mike McCormick and Lew Woods, along with record keeper Neil Harker did a great job of evaluating people's flights by keeping in the spirit of the event, giving pilots two attempts at the K-Factor maneuvers.

At lunchtime in between rounds it became obvious that everyone was really getting into it as pilots discussed their next maneuvers and asked others for advise on how to execute particular maneuvers, then going out and practicing before the second round began.

While this was going on, the scores from round one were calculated and posted on the scoreboard, but it immediately became clear we had a problem. The first three pilots in the leaderboard were in the advanced class which is not what I had wanted. It was clear that the reason for this is because the three pilots in the advanced class regularly competed in F3C and so their score in the compulsory section (F3C style maneuvers) were a lot higher than the competitors in the clubman and sportsman classes. Infact the difference between the third placed pilot and the fourth was so great it wasn't funny.
We decided then to introduce another multiplier to at least bring the scores into the same ball park. This worked by multiplying the Clubman scores by two, the Sportsman scores by 1.5 and leaving the advanced scores as is.
This did work, but we would have been in trouble had we had a top scoring clubman flier who did very well in the compulsory rounds! Putting these multipliers in at least shifted the placings around and now a pilot from the Clubman class was in the lead. However, it had already become clear that most people didn't really care who was winning, rather there were lots of duels going on between pilots to see who could out do the other!

Page Two

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