2019 SPA East Masters
Cullman, AL
October 12-13, 2019

Scores                                               Photos

The 2019 East
Masters Pilots
L-R: Front Row - Terry Boston, CD Steve Byrum, Joe Grant, Jim Johns, Bruce Underwood and Jeff Owens
Back Row - Ken Blackwell, Dave Phillips, Jim Strong, Charlie Johns, Jamie Strong, Jerry Black, Vic Koenig, Duane Wilson and Ken VandenBosch

CULLMAN, AL….October 13, 2019…..The East applied the “icing to the cake” on the 2019 SPA season this weekend with the “dandy-dozen” plus two  participants enjoying what we most like doing…..flying our SPA Pattern airplanes in an organized contest.

This “finale” was overseen by “the most experienced Director on our circuit”.  I’m describing :

Steve Byrum at “Briefing” Saturday morning

Following some 46 days with nothing by drought conditions, the National Weather Service saw fit to predict morning temperatures in the upper 40’s and low 50”s for Saturday and wouldn’t you know it, their prediction was accurate!  There was cold and stout winds of 15 to 25 MPH, but the Clouds that precipitated the conditions were just what the CD ordered for the flying area faces the Eastern sunrise til about mid-morning……….allowing him to start about 1 to 2 hours PRIOR to the normal start time here.  This allowed completion of 4 rounds for all classes but one; and 5 for that one. This allowed some contestants who are HUGE college football fans to flock to their radios and TVs for the Alabama/Texas A & M, Tennessee/Mississippi State, Oklahoma/Texas or other favorite games that kicked at 2:30 PM Central time.

Sometimes the author reports on crashes and mishaps…..NONE to report on here.  Despite the wind and cold conditions on Saturday morning, mishaps remained away from the Cullman flying site.  Some gathered in the nearby steakhouse on Saturday night.  Dave Phillips said he and Peggy swapped steaks they had as the others’ suited their “cook-too” preference when they arrived.

Sunday morning brought a 180 in weather conditions, with the air as calm as ever in the state of Alabama this Sunday in Cullman.  Cloud cover allowed Experts Jerry Black and Jamie Strong to each exercise their favorite pastime……..”flying their pattern models”.  Low and behold, just about 10 AM CDT, those clouds yielded to that beautiful Alabama Sky that normally prevails….so…..off came the light jackets and out came the sunshield for the first few flights and then away it went to the storage shed.

The two remaining rounds were completed by noon…..even before the ladies had completed their yarns to each other about their “grandkids” and relays regarding whose husband enjoyed our sport of modeling more than the others.  Here are the ladies just after the group photo of the participants was made…….and Bobbie Johns has graciously agreed to label each of the wonderful ladies names:

L-R: Marie Grant, Ann Johns, Peggy Phillips, Bobbie Johns, Dee VandenBosch, and Lori Bush

Aren’t we the luckiest guys alive to have had this group say “I Do” to us when they did???????????

Joe Grant had the NOVICE class to himself and a good weekend of preparing to “move” up after acing the class.

Vic Koenig had a perfect score of 4000 in SPORTSMAN followed by Terry Boston, 3890.  Charlie Johns was 3rd with 3802, Ken VandenBosch 4th with 3644 and Duane Wilson capped the Quintet with 0000.  I never did learn why Duane didn’t fly but he was so kind and helpful to your author on Sunday by calling and assisting on the flight line.  (Duane, when you publish the “write-up”, please advise)
Webmaster's note: Duane had transmitter battery problems and decided NOT to risk his pretty Daddy Rabbit.

Jim Strong piled up a quartet of K’s in Advanced for a tally of 4,000.  Ken Blackwell kept him motivated with his 3285 in 2nd.

Jeff Owens and myself had the most difficult job of the weekend, I think (Jeff Agrees)…….finding any “flaws” in the flights of Jerry Black and Jamie Strong in the EXPERT class.  It was a typical weekend of sheer joy watching these two experts fly our maneuvers like they are drawn in the book.  Jerry scored the most points of 4000 to Jamie's’ 3958.  Thanks for the performances, guys!

In the quartet participating in the Senior Expert Class,  President Jeff won all but 1 of the six rounds for a perfect 4000…..Bruce Underwood shakily put in  3934, Dave Phillips was 3rd with 3408.  Jim Johns elected to give a day of rest to cold and flu-like symptoms on Saturday, and manned the scoring computer on Sunday.  Jim, not only the Cullman Aeromodellers these weekend, but all other clubs you’ve been so much help to want you to know how much you are appreciated.  This word….THANKS from us all.

One of the highlights of the MASTERS each year is the presentation of the POINTS CHAMPIONSHIPS for the year. Steve made those presentations for the EAST DIVISION at the conclusion.  They were:

NOVICE – Dan Jackson
SPORTSMAN – Terry Boston
ADVANCED – Jim Strong
EXPERT – Jerry Black

Jeff explained that the “fly-off” for the annual Memorial Trophy this year and last was called-off due to the unavailability of “qualifiers”. He assured, “the Memorial trophy is safely stored in my storage shed and in good shape”.

In his parting remarks, he encouraged all to make plans to participate in the coming season, and “the same pattern flown this year will be in it’s 2nd year in 2020”.  Jeff says he is contemplating naming the coming cycles’ “pattern-committee” in the Spring to fly and perhaps publicize the coming schedule in plenty of time for comment and discussion before a decision is made for 2021-2022.

Webmaster's note: If you have any input about specific maneuvers you would like to see added to or removed from the 2021-2022 patterns, send your ideas to Jeff or myself.

Cullman Aeromodellers, “GRACIAS” (tad of Spanish lingo there) for this great weekend.  It was, as stated at the beginning,……………..”a DANDY!”

Bruce Underwood, SPA PIO

Final Scores
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