1st SPA East-West Shootout
Clover Creek Aerodrome, Toone, TN
 August 4-5, 2018

Scores                                                Photos

The Pilots and Friends
L-R: Frank Cox, Jim Strong, Jamie Strong, Sean Robertson, Fred Robertson, Jane and Bruce Underwood, Wayne Galligan (rear), Tab Bowland (blue shirt), Lori Bush, Jeff Owens, Gary Alphin, Ken Knotts, Jimmy Russell, Tommy Scarmardo, Terry and Jane Boston, Missy Varner, Scott Anderson, Duane Wilson, Sam Corlett, Bobbie and Jim Johns, Chris Berardi, and Steve Drake
Far right - David Moser, Skip Kixmiller, and Sam Pankratz of Clover Creek Aerodrome

TOONE, TN……August 4 & 5, 2018

The initial of what is hoped will become an annual SHOOTOUT between the EAST and WEST SPA groups was held these dates and was a HUGE success. The opening sentence, I’m certain, will be attested to by the 20 contestants and all their family members and friends who attended with them.

Are you familiar with the word “Manifest”? My own definition of that word is “to make REAL”. I used a friends computer phone and asked GOOGLE, “What is the meaning of the word MANIFEST? It gave us a printout on the screen and a digital voice that said “ to make CLEAR or OBVIOUS to the eye or mind!” What I’m leading up to is this…most every RC contest flyer or just a sport flyer often dreams of having what he or she envisions “the perfect flying site”. One with an air-conditioned storage area for his airplane, air-conditioned refuge from the hot elements of a humid and just down-right “sticky” hot summer day. Showers and air-conditioned ladies room. The ideal meeting place for talking and visiting with one’s flying buddies. Loads of photos of important modeling events to spark memories of delightful modeling events that have occurred in the past and serve as seeds for conversation. A runway and flying area consuming some 200 acres of “golf-green” grass that reminds one of Augusta International: Look at this to just give you an idea:
Nary a weed anywhere…..just “golf-green” turf.

Skip Kixmiller told your reporter, the site consist of 215 acres of which 50 acres is mowed every other day by David Moser who operates 3 mowers of different types by John Deere. One is a zero-turn, the other a fairway mower, then a 20 foot “batwing”. David is a man of many talents, in addition to his site manicuring skills, he is a 3 times UL Nats Champ in IMAC. I was told that he and the Clover Creek area IMAC modelers practice consistently there two months prior to each IMAC national championship.

This reporter was told by a staffer that John and Tina Schroder created Clover Creek Aerodrome. John’s dad was the late Walt Schroder …..columnist and publisher of Model Airplane News which all of us enjoyed for years. John passed away some months ago and I was told that John was cremated and his ashes loaded into a model which a pilot flew over the runway at Clover Creek, near the center of the flying area, inverted the model allowing his ashes to be dispersed over the site he and his family and staff had developed into this delightful aerodrome.

CD Scott Anderson and Missy Varner did a SUPER job directing this event. They heaped praises on Mrs. Tina Schroder with a special plaque presented her by SPA to remain on display along with the many others on the walls at the sites building. In the photos accompanying this text, you’ll see photos of Scott’s presentation as well as the staff members and a good photo of Mrs. Tina Schroder who was overheard saying “hope to see all of you again”. That left us with anticipation of a repeat contest the coming years at this lovely site.

When I stated, “Scott did a SUPER job directing this event”, he did just that! He opened with the invocation and “pilot’s briefing” right on schedule, by 9 AM on Saturday morning and concluded with 4 rounds on Saturday, maybe 5 for 1 class, then when he announced “wheels up at 8 AM on Sunday, he kept that schedule…..wheels were up at 8:03 AM on Sunday morning and the other two rounds were completed as he committed. He was complimentary of the designer of Clover Creek for having laid out the flying area so the sunshine in the summertime at no time was in the flyer’s eyes. It rose off one end of the runway and set at the other allowing a full days use of the facilities. To use Scott’s words, “it was a thoughtful modeler who designed this facility”!

See scoresheets elsewhere for specifics. Terry Boston , probably the closest SPA participant to this lovely site, won the NOVICE division with a perfect 4,000. Doc Fred Robertson came in 2nd with 3791, Tab Bowland was 3rd with 0. Jim Strong continued his dominance in SPORTSMAN with 4000, Scott Anderson was 2nd scoring 3794. Duane Wilson was 3rd with 3667. Frank Cox kept them honest with that lovely KAOS pictured, scoring 2910. Five contestants in ADVANCED saw Jimmy Russell demonstrate all that practicing he’s been doing ace this class with 4K, followed by Sam Corlett, just 15 points behind him at 3985. Chris Berardi was 3rd with 3842, Gary Alphin 4th with 3807 and Tommy Scarmardo scored 3503. As expected, the EXPERT class was a delight to view and judge. Jamie Strong and his powerful electric Curare won the Blue plaque with 4K. Wayne Galligan (who flies IMAC as well) won the red with 3964 and Steve Drake 3rd with 3890. President Jeff Owens blew us away in SENIOR EXPERT winning every round for 1st with perfect 4K. Your reporter, Bruce Underwood with a sick OS 91 managed a distant 2nd of 3935. Ken Knotts, pride of the WEST was 3rd with 3493. Jim Johns, in addition to scorekeeping racked up 3484 and “Ole Timer” Tom Stennis drug his electric powered KAOS off the wall (didn’t even dust it off) rounded out the old-codgers with 1268 flying only two rounds. What a joy having Tom back active and bringing another Mississippi modeler from yesteryear, Mr. Mike Montgomery along with him. Tom tells me both he and Mike are gonna be active again in the near future.

Scott and Missy promoted perhaps the largest raffle EVER this week-end…..there must have been 50 raffle prizes in all. The two BIG winners included Jim Johns who won the UFO Kit and Jim Strong who won the Graupner radio. Congrats all you winners.
Let me repeat, it was a genuine joy to arrive at this lovely site and see the vehicles with TEXAS license plates on them. Sam Corlett told me there were 8 from Texas, 6 of whom were members of the Texas Thunderbirds. I had a chance to spend some time with Mr. Ken Knotts and personally thank him again for the “sparkplug” he has been for the progression of SPA in the WEST. Several years ago I called Ken and requested he run for my Vice-President. Being the gentleman he is, he said “Bruce, let me discuss this overnight with Joyce (Mrs.) and I’ll call you back. I was so happy when he called back and agreed to run…..he was elected and thank goodness, you WEST members know what an inspiration he has been since.

Let me wrap up this bit of text by complimenting Scott Anderson and Missy Varner again for the great job they did in directing this event which we sort of dubbed “our NATIONALS of SPA”. I hear rumblings this may become an annual “Shootout”…..wouldn’t it be nice?

I urge each modeler to spend a bit of time on the excellent photos of the event submitted by Bobbie Johns, myself and an excellent photographer and reporter from the IMAC organization who was on the scene shooting photos with some professional camera gear which she said was going to be dispersed to the internet as well as their publications.

Scott and Missy, we are so fortunate to be elbowing with the likes of you two. You two have “what it takes” to make an ordinary event “something special”. Eager to attend your’ contest in Chattanooga this season. Most grateful!

Bruce Underwood, SPA PIO

Final Scores