What's he smiling about?

Picture by Rick Allison

This picture was taken after the 5th round at the 1993 AMA Nationals.  I finished 1st in Masters Class.  The plane is a Dick Hanson Runaround, built by Ronnie Weaver.  It was powered by an OS 1.20 Surpass II with a standard muffler and a 15x10 APC prop.  I finished the plane in pre-WWII US colors since I prefer planes that look like real ones.  I added the blue bands at the wingtips to improve visibility.  The 5th round was the best round I think I have ever flown (that explains the smile on my face).  Earlier in the year, the plane struck the top of a tree but survived without much damage.  The next year, it was damaged in a midair collision while being flown by my close friend, Ed Bailey.  Ed built me a new wing (he is still my friend).  I still have this plane, though I don't plan to fly it anymore.

Two years later I returned to the Nats flying in the FAI class.  I was a middle-of-the-pack finisher that year.

In 1991 and 1992, I flew a Cap 21 scale plane in pattern, flying in the Advanced and Masters classes.  I won the NSRCA District 2 Masters class points championship in 1992.  I had a lot of fun flying that Cap 21 in pattern.  Lots of people said that I would not be able to get good scores with it.  That made me practice just that much more.  In 1992 I think I burned over 40 gallons of fuel.  I may have won the Nats with the Runaround, but I think it was all the hard work and determination flying the Cap 21 that prepared me the most for the Nats.

I haven't flown much in recent years, though I hope to start back soon.  My son, Matt, is 6 years old now and has a real interest in flying.  I have a Kadet Senior that is partially built, and I hope to finish it soon so I can start teaching him how to fly.  Perhaps the next time I go to the Nats I will be a mechanic for my son.