2019 SPA West Spring Opener
April 27, 2019

Scores                                               Photos

West Spring Opener Pilots
L-R: Nathan Haycock, Paul Mayhan, Tony Stelly, Eddie Bernaldez, Ken Knotts, Frank Cox,
CD Pat Ensign, Dave Dingman, Bobby Zikes, Gary Alphin, Bob Redmon &Tommy Scarmardo

SPA West Spring Opener Recap

A new venue for the SPA West Spring Opener, April 27, brought a change of scenery for pilots. Texas Wings RC hosted this year's first contest, attracting 14 pilots across all classes.

Two relative newcomers joined the fun and games. Nathan Haycock flew Sportsman in his first contest in some time. Bob Smith, who flew one or two contests over the last couple years, flew in the Novice class.

Pilots were excited to get the season underway and most arrived early enough that the contest started well before 9 a.m. By late morning two rounds had been completed.

The weather cooperated most of the day with mild temps and partly cloudy skies. Before mid day, though, a strong breeze whipped up during the second round of flying and progressed into a light shower just in time for lunch. By the time pilots and workers finished what has become the traditional Texas Wings Taco Feast!, the rain was over and the winds calmed down.

Round 4 finished around 3:30 p.m. As the final scores were tallied, CD Pat Ensign drew names for pilot door prizes and made the last call for raffle tickets for chances to win one of three prizes an OS 65, starter, and Taurus kit.

Only one plane suffered severe damage. Advanced flyer Tony Stelly lost his radio and crash landed north of the field out of sight of everyone. The damage was minor and with a little tape, Tony was ready for the next round. Competing was not in his cards, however. Tony said he pulled instead of pushed and then it was too late. The Dirty Birdy took a nosedive just past the edge of the runway at center field. “It's all part of it,” Tony said with his usual smile as he walked into the pits with the pieces.

Fortunately for Tony, he won the OS 65, so all he needs now is a plane! Paul Mayhan won the starter and the Taurus kit went to Pat Ensign. All pilots walked away with pilot gifts of either Super Glue or a glow plug.

The moment everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived when the contest awards were presented. Smith won the Novice class as the only contestant. Mayhan took the Sportsman class, with Frank Cox coming in second and Haycock taking third. In Advanced, the largest class with six contestants, Chris Berardi finished first, Bobby Zikes second and Eddie Bernaldez third. Less than 22 points separated the three! In the Expert class, Pat Ensign finished first,with David Dingman taking second. In Senior Expert, Bob Redmon came in first with Ken Knotts second.

A big thanks to JT's Hobbies for its continuing support of the SPA West by donating and discounting contest prizes. Thanks to Lazerworks for support with the Taurus kit.

We also appreciate club president John Ebert and all the Texas Wings RC club volunteers for providing lunch, making sure the field was in excellent condition, and ensuring the generator was powered up to run the computer and printer. Finally, a shout out to Leslie Ensign for scoring and to Jennifer Mayhan who spent the day learning the scoring system.

And, a good time was had by all.

Pat Ensign, CD

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Final Scores
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