2018 Ben Oliver Memorial
Knoxville, TN
August 25-26
, 2018

Scores                                               Photos

Pilots L-R: Duane Wilson, CD Phil Spelt, Jamie Strong (rear), Ken VandenBosch, Steve Drake, Jim Strong, Terry Boston, Scott Sappington, Warren Oliver (rear), Jeff Owens, Dave Phillips (rear), Jerry Black, CO-CD Jimmy Russell, Vic Koenig, Bruce Underwood, Russ Chiles, Bill Dodge, Jim Johns, Vince Vlassick, Dave and Alesha Patrick

KNOXVILLE, TN.....August 25 & 26, 2018.................Phil Spelt and Jimmy Russell shared the Contest Directors' position for this delightful weekend. It was "old hat" for Spelt but a new "gig" for Russell. They worked like the inside of an electric clock....."never stopping for a power failure"!

These guys have dominion over the "most scenic flying site in the South". I hope every modeler reading this has a chance to at least visit the KCRC flying field if you haven't already. From the instant you round a slight curve and see the welcoming "marquee" it is indeed an impressive facility. The club of about 100 or so members has the political favoritism of the county commission in this Tennessee county. The site is shared with a huge waterfront dock and launch which is some few hundred yards beyond it on the rivers edge way below the elevated runway, central building and the covered flight preparation areas. Each of us contestants were provided with an elevated model service area completely covered just behind us with cushioned benches and 110 volt power. "As comfy as any flying site in the country, maybe even moreso"! There's a few feet, maybe 100 or so to traverse from the parking area to the prep area, uphill, but well worth the exercise gained by the short trip from the vehicle. For those unable to make the short climb the club allows an unload visit in one's vehicle to the area.

One "crash" was experienced during round one when returning pattern pilot Vincent Vlassick, SR's model ran out of space between it and terra-firma and it was "re-kitted". Another "overfly" of the rather short asphalt runway was experienced a time or two, but nothing major in the way of damage.

Spelt and Russell got the ball rolling just as advertised, at about 9 AM both mornings with 4 complete rounds in most classes on Saturday and two on Sunday. Awards given by about 12:30 on Sunday.

20 names appear on the "print-out" of the results. Jim Johns opted to devote his entire week-end to scorekeeping as he has done so many contests this season. His expertise on the computer was certainly evident again this weekend. Jim, and the folks who assisted, "so many thanks!"

From the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing of the National Anthem (Phil used a recording this year due to the illness of Mr. Hebert) the invocation and pilot's briefing, the weather couldn't have been nicer. Maybe a tad warm for some, but the humidity was low enough to eliminate much of the "dog-days" stickiness that sometimes accompanies this time of year. Engines performed nicely as did all 19 of the contestants.

After Vincent Vlassick lost his model in round one, Terry Boston sailed to first place in NOVICE. Terry put away his model after a couple rounds and set forth assisting KCRC in the chores such as judging, running and the like. In SPORTSMAN, Jim Strong took 1st with three K's and a 4 round total of 3927. Vic Koening flew 4 rounds on Saturday earning 2nd place score of 3825. Duane Wilson carried 3rd place hardware back to Asheville, NC with 3823. Ken VandenBosch scored 3792 and Charlie Johns 3661. Jimmy Russell posted 4 K's in ADVANCED for the win with fellow KCRC clubber Bill Dodge scoring 3900 with two rounds won. The EXPERT class was another display of the rule book maneuver descriptions as Jerry Black amassed 4K's for the win. Jamie Strong with his electric-powered Curare just back of him at 3972. Local pilot Warren Oliver was 3rd with 3793 and Steve Drake (trying his 1st electric power) kept them honest with 3616. In the SENIOR EXPERT class, it was a joy to welcome Dave Patrick to our competition with his old Rossi blackhead 61 equipped with a Top-Flite super maple 11-7 3/4 and Jett tuned-muffler. Dave said it tacked at 13,500 RPM's. It really pulled his recovered Tower KAOS ARF with ease and with Dave's talented thumbs he made it look easy to best this class with a perfect 4000. Your old reporter managed a 2nd at 3942, and Jeff Owens won 3rd scoring 3854. Russ Chiles powered his pretty model with a SAITO 91 to 4th with 3276. That SAITO was so eager to start, one time it "backfired" and ruined a nice Tru-Turn spinner and APC prop. (See photo). Great to have Dave Phillips back in action...Dave kept us honest with his 3145 4-round tally. As I mentioned earlier, Jim Johns opted to devote 100% of his time to scorekeeping.

We were able to get about an hours "nap" at the motel prior to gathering at our nations' foremost BAR-B-Q RIB restaurant, Calhoun's. This place is known, even INTERNATIONALLY" for it's tasty ribs. Take a look at some of the photos of the gathering and just imagine you're hearing a "slurp" sound as you enjoy them (the pictures), because that's what you would have heard had you been alongside us at the annual CALHOUN's gathering.

It was so consoling to have the newer pilots from our President's state of Florida. President Owens confessed he has told the SPA story to many modelers in his sunshine state and to have them show up and fly with us in Knoxville was a joy. They all contend "we'll be in Chattanooga in October".

KCRC had two raffle awards, one a PULSAR BIPLANE which was won by Mr. Phil Cope, a former pattern flier and KCRC member. Warren Oliver had donated a Ken Blackwell Compensator kit that he didn't want last year -- then he built his other Compensator, and likes it so much he wanted his donated Compensator kit back. Well, Jim Johns, who won the kit last year, didn't want it so he donated it back to us for this year's raffle. Just as Dee VandenBosch was drawing the winning ticket, someone was overheard saying "wouldn't it be something if Warren won it again"? IT HAPPENED! Warren purchased a pile of tickets and one of them was the winner.

Phil and Jimmy, and KCRC we salute you again for the hospitality and the "smooth" contest you guys ran, thanks ever-so- much to the KCRC members who assisted, it was a "super" weekend.

Bruce Underwood,

Final Scores