2020 Roberta SPA Contest
@ CMJ Hobbies, Roberta, GA
September 19-20, 2020

Scores                                               Photos

The Pilots
L-R: Joe Ryan, Norman Bonnette, Jamie Strong, Ken VandenBosch,
CD Greg Hoke, Jerry Black, Dave Phillips & Jeff Owens

CMJ SPA Contest Report

The faithful started gathering Friday September 18, 2020 at the CMJ Hobbies flying field near Roberta, Georgia for some practice and catching up with friends. Right away things got interesting as Dave Philips had his throttle stick partially open – not enough to fly and too much to land. A fateful cartwheel in some tall grass took the nose off of his Ultimate Kaos. It turned out to be a bad receiver channel – but it took a lot of investigating to realize that. Undeterred, Dave reassembled the Kaos and had it airworthy by Friday evening. Jamie Strong had the canopy of his Komet depart the airframe for parts unknown which necessitated switching to a backup E Dirty Birdy. Numerous trips to the tall grass by several pilots failed to find the errant canopy. Dave Philips is going to build another canopy for Jamie.

After all that excitement those present were treated to a wonderful low country boil arranged by Debbie and Greg Hoke and cooked by Chuck of CMJ Hobbies. Wonderful food – and previous times with Duane and Penny’s low country boil in Asheville came to mind.

It was good to gain a new member at this contest – Joe Ryan. He has a Curare at the finishing stage with the wing monokoted and the fuselage ready to paint. We look forward to seeing him at future contests down the road.

Saturday dawned overcast and slightly on the cool side with a direct cross wind blowing in our faces from the east. The good news is that we didn’t have to worry about facing the morning sun! Eight intrepid aviators signed up for the event - Norm Bonnette and Ken VandenBosch represented Novice and Sportsman while Greg Hoke, Jamie Strong, and Joe Ryan represented Expert and Senior Expert had Jerry Black, Jeff Owens, and Dave Philips. One flight line was all that was needed and the rounds went quickly. Not without some excitement, though. One Dirty Birdy (neither the pilot nor the owner will be named) met its demise when the wrong model was selected on the transmitter. Meanwhile, Dave Philips had his Kaos back in the air. But becoming disoriented in an inverted three turn spin led to him pulling up when he recovered inverted with the resulting impact with terra firma being truly spectacular. That cat used the last of its nine lives. After two rounds we broke for lunch. Debbie Hoke and her daughter Debbie had prepared a surprise for Lori Bush who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday and for Jeff Owens whose birthday is September 23 (the same as Bobbie Johns). They presented us with cupcakes decorated as flowers for Lori and with handmade frosting airplanes for Jeff. Both were excellent and much appreciated. Two more rounds were flown after lunch and then a short shower called an end to the day’s formal activities.

One of the great joys of having a contest at CMJ is the presence of a hobby shop on the field. Most of us made multiple trips to purchase needed items and to enjoy being in a well-stocked hobby shop – something that is all too rare these days.

Sunday dawned overcast with a temperature of 58 degrees and a 15 mph wind in our faces with higher gusts from time-to-time. Several pilots opted to sit out the remaining rounds as prudence dictated that their planes should remain safe on the ground. Four of the pilots did fly the remaining two rounds, however. Norm Bonnette suffered an engine flameout at an altitude of about 50 feet right after take-off. A gust caught him as he landed and his plane broke in half behind the wing - but it looks like it can be repaired.

Flying was complete by 11:00 at which time the plaques were handed out. The scores will be posted elsewhere. In the final analysis Norm took Novice and Ken took Sportsman. In Expert the finishing order of first through third was Greg, Joe, and Jamie while in Senior Expert it was Jerry, Jeff, and Dave.
Raffle prizes included three gallons of fuel and some ball caps and tee-shirts donated by Aero Composites. The big prize – also from Aero Composites – was a new UFO kit – fiberglass fuselage and foam wing and stab won by Joe Ryan.

Many thanks to CD Greg Hoke for a well run contest and for the logistical support provided by Debbie Hoke and her daughter. If you haven’t flown at CMJ you are missing a real treat – it is a great facility. I sure am looking forward to coming back next year!

Jeff Owens

Final Scores
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