Wood Crafters
Dedicated to those that build and fly wood R/C Sailplanes

Wood Crafters 2002 Soar In Reunion Report

AMA Flying Site - May 25 - 26, 2002

2002 Photo Album

2002 Slide Show (large downloads)

2002 Entry List

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Number of paid entries 51, number of flyers at flying field 46.

Number of flyers that signed up Sunday afternoon at the flying field to secure their frequency to next year's event was 44 and the remaining two participants signed up the following week.

Number of Diner participants was 28 at the Wood Crafters first annual awards banquet. Dinner activities included Commemorative Plaques were presented to Otto Heithecker by Bob Hicks and to Gordon Pearson by Eric Podzielinski for outstanding contributions to R/C Soaring. Gordon Pearson gave a talk on How To create a successful scale documentation book and a short history of Dan Pruss, Lee Renaud and Walt Good's contributions to R/C Soaring, Gordon was very close friends with all three men.

Weather: Saturday was very windy with wind gusts to 30 MPH, but there were times when 7 and 8 sailplanes were up at one time. Most notable Sat event was a successful aero tow by Gary Bussell towing Paul Siegel's scale Minimoa. Sunday was perfect weather, high pressure, all blue sky and no wind. The sky was filled with sailplanes all day long.

Most popular competition task was AMA task T-4, 15 minute cu. - max, won by Marc Gellart flying a Grand Espirit, Jim Vanderzyl with his Challenger was 2nd, Don Harris with his 3M Scooter was 3rd, Jack Iafret with his Paragon 4th, Bill Friend with his Sailair 5th.

Don Harris won the LSF Level I duration event, Rich LaGrange with his 2M Lil Bird 2nd, Greg Prater with his 2M Lil Bird 3rd, Jim Vanderzyl with his Challenger 4th, Tony Beeman with a Sig Riser 100 5th.

Jim Vanderzyl won the LSF level III duration task with two flights of 30 minutes each and one 28 minute flight with his Challenger. For most flyers, due to Saturday's bad weather, time did not permit flying in all the LSF Duration tasks. Flyers had both days to get their competition flights in, flying when ever they chose to.

Only four particpants got their electric out to fly and consequently there was no competition in electrics. Flying sailplanes was priority one for all the participants and consequently the Special events to be voted on by the participants was not held.

The Man on Man group launching by Mini Hi Start was a hit. Paul Siegel flying a Sunbird 1st, Harry Roe 2nd, O. C. Stewart 3rd, Mark Miller with a Zephyr 4th, Doug Adams with a Sunbird 5th.

Hi Starts used were the Sky Bench Mini Hi Start, 25 ft rubber with 125 foot of 73 lb test braided nylon tow line with a small parachute. Paul ran the event using his three strikes and you're out format, meaning if you're the first down in your group a total of three times, your out, side lined, spectator. Last guy standing is the winner.

The Longest Flight Special event was the most popular event with everyone trying over and over to stay up the longest. The longest time was announced through out the day and the great noon balloon came through about 2 pm Sunday that determined the winners of this great event, The winners were:
Don Harris with his 3M Scooter flying one hour and twenty minutes, Bill Friend flying his Sailair 59 minutes and Eric Podzielinski flying his 24 year old Osprey 1000 44 minutes. This event was Eric's first flight in twenty years.

Scale competition was won by Gordon Pearson with his 138" Slingsby Tutor. This was Gordon's first outing in twenty years, Gordon was dominant in scale back then. Both Gordon and Eric have been brought back to R/C Soaring by the Wood Crafters event.

Eric also brought his son Brandon for his very first flight and John Walter enjoyed having his son Jeffery fly with him. This is Team Entry at it's best, congratulation Dad's.

Two electric winches were used, one with a retriever and the other was retrieved by a motor bike driven mostly by Mark Miller's son, Brendan, who did an admiral job of it. Steve Moskal set out his electric winch and several participants set out Hi Starts.

The winner of the Free Dave Thornburg original Bird Of Time Kit was Sanford Searl of Illinois.

Likely, the most fun aspect of the event was the laid back open flying due to one entry per frequency and the fellowship based on flying with no competitive pressure.

Ray Hayes
1-260-xxx-xxxx. Please take note of my new area code.

More images available on the 2002 Photo Album.

Mug Plaque 2002
The Longest Flight Trophy captured by Don Harris
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Don will have his name inscribe on the perpetual trophy
And I predict it will be hotly contested for in WC 2003.

Gene Pastorie and Windfree
May 2002, Gene Pastori at his home in the
UP of Michigan with his beautiful, brand new
Windfree. See you at next years Wood Crafters.

Eric and Gordon return

Old R/C Sailplane Friendships Never Die

The Wood Crafters 2002 event was responsible for motivating Eric (TL) and Gordon (TC) to return to the R/C Soaring Scene after a twenty year absence. I flew with these two gentlemen starting in 1974, they each kept their old trusty woody sailplanes and with a few updates to their radio equipment have rediscovered the joy of this great hobby.

The story behind this photo: The boys do well again, this is my trophy from the August 10, 2002 LIFT contest in Traverse City, Michigan. As you can see, all three of us managed to earn a placing in the top three of one of the various events. We did this consistently 20 years ago and it was a real treat to see these guys doing it all over again. Icing on the cake was Eric's son Brandon (LL) showing great interest in his Dad's hobby.

We will be flying together again at Wood Crafters 2003 Soar In Reunion. Nothing but fun and great memories at Wood Crafters.

Ray Hayes



Sky Bench Aerotech 

Ft. Wayne, Indiana 46804