Pylon Race report: The March 17
Pylon Races were marked by fair weather, calm air,
fast action, and several collisions
The Hernando Aero Modelers field proved itself again
as a great venue for racing. Eight pilots from the
area participated in the event, including past
champion Charlie Poulton and previous contestants
John Hartley, Ralph Rogers, Jerry Dittmar, and Mark
Lackey. These race veterans were joined by Keith
Holcomb, Tom Blackburn, and Rolando Perez.
The first heat of Round One was won by Dittmar,
followed closely by Hartley and Rogers, with Holcomb
lagging behind. The second heat was won by Poulton,
followed by Lackey, Blackburn, and Perez.
With the opening round finished, action heated up in
Round Two. The first heat was won by Poulton, with
Perez and Hartley duking it out for a tight
two-three finish, and Rogers swept through in open
skies to take fourth. The second heat featured an
impressive mid-air collision near the north “pink”
pylon between Dittmar and Blackburn, while Holcomb
also scored a DNF when his engine quit. That left
Lackey clear air to cruise to a checkered flag and a
first-place victory. While flyers took the “walk of
shame” to recover their downed craft, spectators
scored food and refreshments at the H.A.M. Burger
In the first heat of Round Three, Hartley led Lackey
and Holcomb over the finish line. Poulton led the
way in the second heat, followed by Perez, Rogers,
To open Round Four, Holcomb managed to nail his
plane directly into the north pylon, littering the
pasture land with re-kitted parts. That DNF left
Poulton to finish first for the fourth time today,
followed by Hartley and Perez.
In the second heat, Rogers was followed by
Lackey and Blackburn.
After the four rounds, Poulton had a total of 16
points, Lackey had 13, Hartley 12, and Rogers 9,
qualifying them for the Gold Cup Race. Poulton flew
smoothly and fast, as usual, but was called three
times for cutting short around the pink pylon.
Lackey nailed the pink pylon with his plane, tearing
the wing off. But Hartley flew without incident to
victory, followed by Rogers and Poulton.
A big “thank you” to the members of Hernando Aero
Modelers Club for staffing the contest with judges,
lap counters, score keepers, announcers, parking
attendants and chefs.
Photos of the
races are available at
-- Mar 17, 2018 (Paul Johnson)
Coordinator highlights primary
If your aircraft is able to taxi it must take off as
close to the center of the runway as possible.
Landing in the center is also your goal but
reasonable allowances will be liberal. I suggest
practicing landings every opportunity and making
more than one landing per flight is highly
All flight activity,
including flybys, must not be any closer to the pit
area than the center of the runway.
If you are trying something new and
potentially risky for your skill level, please move
back across the West fence to operate over the cow
When taxiing to or
from the runway please keep the speed very
controllable. If you must taxi near the pits for
more than a few feet keep it slow and as far away
from the pilots as possible to allow a deadstick
landing or similar situation. Never taxi in the area
behind the pilot's fence.
Never fly over the
pits for any reason. If you are experiencing radio
problems or lose visual with your model warn people
immediately as soon as any problem begins. -- Ma 3,
2018 (Ed Carpenter)
AMA Safety Code Revised: The
Academy of Model Aeronautics revised the model
aviation safety code with the intent of covering the
same safety principles, but making it shorter and
easier to understand. Read the latest version at:.http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf
FAA Registration: Last
month, AMA shared new
information about the FAA's UAS registration
requirement, which Congress has reinstated. Today,
AMA is writing to let you know that President Trump
has signed this bill making UAS registration a
federal requirement again, including for AMA
members. For more information and frequently asked
questions, please visit the AMA federal registration
page. -- Dec. 12, 2017 (AMA Government
Club Social: The annual H.A.M. Club Social will begin late morning Saturday, December 9, 2017. All H.A.M. members and their families are invited to partake in hot dogs supplied by the club. Members are asked to bring a side dish or dessert if possible. In order that we not have too many of the same side dishes or deserts we would ask that you contact Mrs. Giselle Roman and advise her what you would like to bring. If it appears that we may have too much of one or more foods she may ask if you would consider a substitution to even out the dishes. We very much hope to see all H.A.M. members and their guests at this annual function. It is usually the only time in the year that we are fortunate enough to have most or all of our membership present at one time. Come early and stay as late as you like! -- Dec. 3, 2017 (Tony White)
New club officers and directors were elected at the December meeting. They are:
President: Frank Simkins
Vice President: Ollie Hugo
Treasurer: George Yager
Secretary: Paul Johnson
Directors: Ed Carpenter, Tony White and Steve Perry join Ken Henkaline and John List.
Your support of these offiicers and directors, and their work to pilot the club to even higher flight levels, is greatly appreciated. Thanks and applause to the outgoing officers! -- Dec. 2, 2017 (Tony White)
A word about safety: There continue to be safety concerns wherein pilots are sometimes making passes or landings much too close to the flight line. Members are again STRONGLY reminded that all aircraft are to be flown NO CLOSER THAN 20 FEET IN FRONT OF THE FLIGHT LINE BARRIER, PERIOD!
Hand launched aircraft can be launched to the west but thereafter must remain no closer than the 20 feet limit from the flight line. All aircraft with landing gear MUST be taxied to the center of the field for take-off. Landings of ALL aircraft are to be made in line with the runway (South or North) and shall be landed close to the center of the runway. Please try hard to avoid landing or taking off at an angle that results in the airplane heading toward the flight line as it traverses on the runway. Repeated violations of these reasonable safety requirements may result in temporary suspension of flying privileges. -- Dec. 2, 2017 (Steve Fernandez)
Club 40 Pylon Race Report. This was the first Club 40 Pylon Race since 2013 and it was a great event with a lot of familiar faces as well as new ones in the crowd. It was nostalgic as well as exciting and incredible fun!
The Hernando Aero Modelers flying field is a great venue for pilots competing in pylon racing as the pilots are actually standing just a little higher then the ground on which the pylon poles set which is a real advantage when racing.
The pilots had an opportunity to practice the week before and shake the rust off their planes. Unfortunately Jerry Dittmar had a mishap and
his plane was destroyed. That didn't stop him from competing as he borrowed a plane and was able to compete in the actual race day event.
The field was in incredible shape and ready for racing. The weather was great! It was in the low 70's to start but quickly begian to warm. This was good as it quickly burnt off the fog overlaying the pylon course and allowed pilots to practice before the race began.
It was like old home week with pylon racing greats in attendance, Bay City Flyer Charlie Poulton, Yellow Shirt Racers Jerry Dittmar and Ralph Rogers, Hernando Aero Modelers Mark Lackey, Southern Eagle Squadron Jim Soltysiak, Flying Gators John "the Entertainer" Castronover, world-class UK pilot John Hartley and Yasunobu "Nob" Muraki.
After four hard-fought rounds of racing, first place was earned by Charlie Poulton, second by Mark Lackey, and thrid by Ralph Rogers.
A big Thank You to the Hernando Aero Modelers Club for a great day of racing and we all hope to see it continue into the future.
Event photos are available here. -- Nov. 4, 2017 (Charlie Poulton)