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IAC Contest Results

The Gulf Coast Regional was held Labor Day weekend in Galveston, TX. The turn out was huge. I arrived Thursday evening, just before sunset and was met by Contest Director David Mafrige and Ass. Contest director Andy Miller. These guys had been laying out "the Monster Box" all day, and were sweaty and dirty to prove it.

Although extremely well marked and well laid out, the box at Galveston was just about the most difficult box to fly in I have ever seen. Galveston Island is a very narrow island. In fact, the northwest boundary was in the water; therefore, there was no boundary marker there. Outside the box markers, there were no landmarks to use for reference. South of the box, for 180 degrees of your reference is the Gulf of Mexico. The water meets the sky and you can't tell the difference (ie. NO horizon). The shoreline was not parallel with the south end of the box either. Galveston has 2 very nice long wide runways 13/31 and 17/35...these runways look exactly alike from the air. The box was lined up with 17/35, but MANY of us during spins, push-arounds, etc., got lined up with the wrong runway (40 degrees off heading). When you read the results and wonder why many of the percentages were so low, it was likely that the competitor either got zeroes or very low scores due to heading problems. It was incredibly challenging, and it was obvious who the most experienced competitors were -- the one's who kept their bearings.

There were several firsts at this contest. Most notable was the pilot who flew the warm-up flights for the Sportsman category. Zachery Heffley, son of Unlimited pilot Lynn Heffley, doesn't turn 17 until September 28...therefore, no license, no compete. Zach does have over 400 hours though and has been practicing the Sportsman sequence in his dad's Pitts S-2A quite a bit-- and it shows! Zach's dad Lynn acted as safety pilot to make it all legal, and the judges did score Zach on both flights. Although Zach's scores aren't in the official contest standings, I'm here to tell you he did a fantastic job. Zach plans to take his private check ride on his 17th birthday in his dad's 1930's era Fairchild "The Velvet Elvis". Watch out for Zach next summer Sportsman pilots!!!!!!!

Another first was the Foundation for Aerobatic Research, Training, and Safety's Speedo Contest. Each pilot who posed for a picture with their plane in nothing but a Speedo and tennis shoes was eligible. If I'm not mistaken, each of the entrants even flew their Known flight in their Speedo too. The winner of this award was Unlimited pilot Dan Clark (Dan did wear a Nomex suit over his Speedo during his flight -- Safety first!). It was a sight to behold watching these pilots walk around the ramp in their Speedo's...all 10 or so entrants were male (I didn't enter -- got about 15 pounds to lose before you'll catch me in a bathing suit in public!).

One other thing to note was that the 4-Minute Freestyle was actually flown at this contest. We just don't see this too often any more. It was a scheduled event, and the public showed up big time! We saw some spectacular flying! Lots of lomcevacs, centrifuges, spiralling towers, torque rolls, and SMOKE!!!! Did we ever see SMOKE!!!! This was a real treat, and it was great to hear the crowd cheer as the competitors taxiied back after thier flights.

This contest was first class all the way...from the accommodations to the Friday night dinner, to the Sunday night banquet at the Lone Star flight museum. Wow, what a place. The museum treated us like VIP's all the way. The banquet was spectacular...imagine eating delicious food in an air conditioned hangar so spotless it would make your mother proud, sitting among World War II era planes listening to WW II era music. What an experience. This really was the type of contest that was fun for the whole family. I overheard Henry Coffeen telling his fiance Emily not to get too used to this...that the first contest he ever went to he stayed in a hotel that cost $13.95 a night and woke up to cockroaches scampering around!

Before I post the results, I would like to say that all the volunteers were outstanding. I was the Volunteer Coordinator, usually a very tough job. Luckily, since the contest was so huge, it wasn't necessary to work the pilots in more than one category. Since most of the pilots brought friends and family along with them, all the spots were easy to fill. I appreciate all those who eagerly volunteered to Judge, Assist, Record, panel flip, run, corner judge, etc. You made my job easy!!!!! There were a few there though that did more than their share of work:

Contest Director: David Mafrige!!!!!!! Planned this thing like you wouldn't believe. Found sponsors and made the arrangements for everything like a veteran contest director. David has only been in the sport a little over a year, but you'd never know it by how well he planned this contest.

Ass. Contest Director: Andy "Airshow" Miller!!!!!!!!!!! Having CD experience, he kept David in line and kept the contest moving. Way to go Andy!!!!!!!!

World's greatest starter: Clifford Hurley!!!!!!!!! Clifford doesn't take any breaks and keeps those airplanes in the air. He keeps the pilots calm and comfortable too. Clifford is THE BEST!!!!

Registrar: Cathy Swanson!!!!!!!!! Need I say more? Cathy was my registrar at Nationals last year, I wouldn't have asked anyone but the BEST!!!!!

Score Room Operators: Mr. and Mrs. Guerrerra (forgive me that I can't remember your first names!) and Beth and Teresa Richard. The scorers have the air-conditioning, but they miss a lot of the flying! We appreciate their sacrifice and hard work!!!!!


Rank Pilot Aircraft %pp 1st Phillip Bohner Pitts S-2A 85.3% 2nd Bob Buckley Pitts S-1S 85.2% 3rd Tibor Farkas Pitts S-2B 83.5% 4th B. J. Boyle Eagle II 82.1% 5th Rob Traugott Decathlon 81.5% 6th Jack Saunders Pitts S-2B 80.2% 7th Craig Dobesh Pitts S-2B 79.5% 8th Thomas Jacomini Pitts S-2B 78.2% 9th Mike Gallaway Pitts S-2A 78.2% 10th Glenn Wiltcher Decathlon 77.3% 11th Rick Hernandez Staudacher 77.2% 12th Randolph Henson Decathlon 77.1% 13th George Toombs Skybolt 77.0% 14th Bonnie Peterson Stampe 75.3% 15th Mike Skaggs Pitts S-2A 75.0% 16th Amie Woods Decathlon 72.3% 17th Scotty Newsom Pitts S-2B 50.6% 18th Patty Hilliard Pitts S-2B 43.9% 19th Nick Fisher Acro Sport II 31.7% 20th Chris Wajnikonis Decathlon 31.0%


Rank Pilot Aircraft %pp 1st Mike Plyler Cub 78.8% 2nd Bobby Phillips Extra 200 76.7% 3rd Joe MacGuire Pitts S-2A 72.7% 4th Tommy Jacomini Jr. Pitts S-2B 71.2% 5th James Smolen Pitts S-2B 71.2% 6th Stu Baldwin Pitts S-1S 71.1% 7th Jack Stovall Pitts S-2B 68.6% 8th Klayton Kirkland Pitts S-1S 67.6% 9th Daryle Grounds Taylorcraft 59.8% 10th Chuck Alley Pitts S-2E 50.4% 11th John Collier Pitts S-1S 46.8%


Rank Pilot Aircraft %pp 1st Andy "Airshow" Miller Pitts S-1S 78.5% 2nd Gary Henry Pitts S-1S 78.4% 3rd Gary Swanson Edge 230 72.5% 4th Don Peterson Zlin 50 71.2% 5th Allyson Parker-Lauck Pitts S-1T 70.9% 6th Henry Coffeen Edge 540 70.3% 7th Chris LeMasters Pitts S-2B 68.4% 8th Max Moore Pitts S-2S 64.8% 9th Brad Lang Pitts S-2B 64.4% 10th Robert Salter Pitts S-2B 57.0% 11th David Mafrige Pitts S-2B (Last--don't know the %%) :-)


Rank Pilot Aircraft %pp 1st Dan Clark Patriot 79.0% 2nd Andrew Lundgren Edge 540 76.2% 3rd Janet Fitzke Edge 540 70.7% 4th Bill Marcellus Edge 360 66.5% 5th Debby Rihn-Harvey TX Hurricane 64.8% 6th Lynn Heffley SR 300 59.8% 7th Kurt Haukohl Black Eagle 57.8% 8th Ray Le Blanc Sukhoi 26 44.7%

Unlimited 4-Min Freestyle

Rank Pilot Aircraft %pp 1st Debby Rihn-Harvey TX Hurricane 92.4% 2nd Andrew Lundgren Edge 540 88.7% 3rd Lynn Heffley SR 300 76.3% 4th Ray Le Blanc Sukhoi 26 76.1% 5th Bill Marcellus Edge 360 70.5% 6th Kurt Haukohl Black Eagle 56.7% 7th Dan Clark Patriot 41.0%

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Last Update: Sat Aug 29 16:11:27 2009

© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Retired Email Guenther Eichhorn