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Articles
Asia Pacific F3C Open
American Adventure
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
Fury-ous!
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)
Pete with one of his new X-Specs
Flying the Xcell Fury

Pilot Profile - Pete (Panos) Niotis
Pete Niotis

1. Tell us about yourself, where you live, occupation, etc
I am 33 years old, born and raised in Chicago. I relocated from Chicago to Grand Haven, Michigan about nine years ago and now married with two daughters ages five and seven. My wife and I currently own and operate a Chicago Style Fast Food restaurant here in Michigan. My father owned several restaurants in Chicago so this has been a business that I have been around since I was old enough to remember. My previous passion/hobby was playing the drums, my obsession for the drums lasted about 15 years.

2. How did you get started in RC helis? When did you start? What equipment got you started?
I always had a fascination for R/C when I was little because we would occasionally drive by an R/C related park in Chicago and sometimes my parents would pull over so we could watch the R/C plane guys fly. A little over three years ago I decided I needed a hobby and did some research online in regards to R/C and to my surprise stumbled onto some R/C related helicopter sites, the date would be around the end of April 2000. One week later I had a Nexsus 30 Deluxe with an OS32 and Realflight Deluxe. Almost one month after that (May 27th, 2000) I hovered the Nexsus for the first time and was very successful considering I had no help initially besides the info I found online.

3. What do you think have been some of the greatest advances in RC helis?
I would have to say primarily the advancement of digital servos, gyros and the introduction of big block motors.

4. How many gallons would you burn in a year?
My first year, I burned about 50 gallons flying a 30 size heli and closer to 100 gallons the second year flying primarily 60 size helis. This year I've burned over 100 gallons primarily through big block motors.

5. What do you enjoy most about the hobby?
I really enjoy the comradery shared between us pilots when attending events, making new friends and meeting up with friends that I've made over the past three years.

6. What advice do you give to someone just starting out with RC Helis?
Baby Steps; don't jump past the basic fundamental maneuvers, be patient and you will progress at a much quicker pace. Leaping past the fundamentals will always slow you down later and possibly compromise the safety of yourself and others.

7. Tell us about the setup of your primary machine.
My current setup is a Freya X-Spec - Standard mechanical mix (7.91 Gear Ratio), 690mm V-Blades, V-Paddles and Tail Blades, YS91, MP2, GY601, GV1, Duralite 3600mah rx pack, Airtronics 8 channel PCM receiver and Airtronics 94758z's on cyclic and collective.

8. You've been sponsored by a number of brands in the past and have now gone back to Hirobo flying the Freya X-Spec. During this time you would have experienced many qualities of different helicopters. What qualities do you look for in a helicopter now?
I look at tracking and precision qualities, minimal control interaction, position of fuel tank, overall durability, simplicity in mechanics and adjustability of the head.

9. Lately there has been a lot of development in the formats of 3D oriented competitions, such as the Xtreme Flight Championships, 3D Masters and lately, the 3D Glory Cup, how do you feel about these competitions and how they develop the cause of 3D flight?
I think these competitions are great! I believe these competitions will give the community of 3D pilots common goals to reach while also allowing each of us to artistically express our flying through the freestyle part of the competitions which will increase the interest level for the pilots and spectators.

10. This year you competed in the Xtreme Flight Championships. How did you prepare for this event and what lessons did you learn that would be applicable to others who are thinking of entering such events?
Preparation for me involved burning four gallons a week of disciplined practice; I would go to the field and work on the required maneuvers mostly and also work on some basic maneuvers that I believed needed work. My advice for those interested in competing in an event like the XFC or 3DMasters is to diligently keep working on the fundamentals in all orientations and most importantly to practice deliberate placement of entrance and exit of any given maneuver.

11. What has helped you make the greatest advances in your flying? (Flying buddies, certain heli, certain radio, lots of fuel etc?).
Burning fuel and attending events.

12. Who would you say has been an influence in your flying career/style?
Curtis Youngblood was the pilot initially that really sparked my interest in smooth and controlled 3D. Flying with Jim Stark has also influenced my flying style; we have been good flying buddies the past two years and continue to push each others limits and share ideas and concepts in regards to the hobby.

13. What do you feel are some of the biggest misconceptions in our hobby?
Pilots searching for stick input help for any given maneuver is something I believe to be a misconception by both the pilots asking for the help and the pilots that provide them with the stick input help. I truly believe if you have to ask what stick inputs are needed to do a given maneuver than you are not ready to do it. Stick input help should only be passed along to new pilots learning to hover. Learning to fly an RC helicopter safely while exhibiting a high level of skill requires all of us to follow a logical sequence of practice.

14. Our hobby can be very trying at times, we all sometimes get runs of bad luck, give us an example of a frustrating run you had.
I'd have to say Ircha 2002 was the most frustrating for me…I crashed my Fury the first day at ircha due to pilot error and the last day of ircha I crashed my Fury due to a mechanical failure.

15. What would you describe as some of the highlights of your flying career?
Competing in the XFC and overcoming obstacles in my flying that sometimes made me feel like I wanted to give up.

16. What are some of your short term, and long term goals for your flying?
Short term goal is to win a competition like the XFC or 3DMastersJ, Long Term goal is to keep learning about the mechanical side and to hopefully participate in the R&D process in the furture.

17. Any closing comments?
Practice, Be patient, Be safe, don't be afraid to express safety concerns to others, common sense is your best friend.

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