2021 Plum Island IMAC
I wanted to give a recap of the contest this last weekend. (I guess this is the “official” report) We had a smaller number of pilots than in previous years, but it was still a lot of fun. The weather overall was great with comfortable temperature and low humidity, though we were tested on the first day with some strong wind (even more so on practice day). We had many familiar faces as well as a new contestant in Basic. We flew four known rounds, plus one unknown and did not have to interrupt anything for weather. Mainly, we had the occasional full-scale takeoff and landing including an outstanding simulated engine out side-slip landing by a student pilot. We finished all of our flights before 1pm on Sunday.
Basic/Novice – We had one novice pilot flying for a single round, Mitchell, who had also flown last year. He flew an RV-8 and showed nice improvement from his last contest. Liam Melvin joined us in Basic and flew in his first contest for a full 3 rounds plus the unknown. Cody Wojcik has worked with him as a mentor and caller. Congrats to Liam on completing his first contest!
In Sportsman, we had Ron Czikowsky, who spends his summers up in Maine, but has the benefit of flying in some contests down in Florida in the colder months. (harder to get rusty that way) We missed not having Steve Bourassa and Steve Pennypacker competing this weekend. (I know both of them would have liked to be flying) However, both of them stopped by during the contest to watch for a while and see everyone.
At Intermediate, we had Daren Hudson and myself. We had a number of laughs at a few mistakes from either of us. For instance, on my first roller both Daren and I were laughing (and I swear the judges did as well) and then there was a slow clap in the audience. (the rollers did improve after that, I swear) It was either that or we were doing our rolls in the opposite direction of what Steve Brentson had called for us. (rightly or wrongly…) Steve took first place and Daren came in second.
The Advanced class had almost half of the pilots of the contest with four competing this year. Dave Dupre wasn’t able to make it, or it would have been even more competitive. This also seemed to be the class with the most plane trouble unfortunately. First, Seth Dixon (the youngest pilot of the contest) had been fighting with his engine for at least two weeks. After replacing almost everything in the engine/fuel/electrical system thanks to help from Skip and Ron, the engine was finally running well in time for the first round. Then we had Skip, who had been having some intermittent issues with the ZDZ engine on his JTech Extra. On his first flight, he had a dead stick prior to calling the box and performed one of the best deadstick landings I’ve seen as it rolled to a stop about 10 feet in front of him. He was able to successfully fly his backup for all of the rounds. Peter had a fine first round flight, but unfortunately landed in a tree instead of on runway 28 (hey, at least this wasn’t a pattern contest!). Thankfully, it appears to be repairable. He flew his backup EF Extra for the remaining rounds after sorting out the radio. Anyway, I suppose I should mention the actual results… First Place was Seth Dixon, Second Place was Steve Brentson, and Third Place was Skip Messick. These three were separated by only 86 points after 4 known rounds plus an unknown. The unknown round was flown very well and only had a spread of 116 points across all four contestants.
Finally in Unlimited, we had Cody Wojcik flying against himself. A few of our other usual Unlimited pilots had conflicts and couldn’t be there. (would you skip Plum Island to go to OshKosh? Duh, of course you would!) Of course, Cody put on a few good 3D shows with his 50cc.
Lastly, I would really like to thank everyone who helped out over the weekend. Andy Dixon (Seth’s dad) did most of the scoring with just a tiny bit of help from me. He also judged Basic/Sportsman in every round. Ted Wojcik was a huge help by sharing the judging in Advanced (and other classes) as we only had 4 people qualified to judge at that level. Pretty much everyone had to judge something in each round in order to share the load. I also want to thank Daren Hudson since he provided a lot of help getting me up to speed as well as bringing equipment and being the host CD.
Hopefully we’ll see all of you and more next year,