TEAM MANAGER’S REPORT 2014 F1D
The team arrived two days prior to the Otto Hints Memorial contest in spite of an airline strike and a passport problem. The idea was to recover from jet lag and get a couple days of extra practice.
The first two rounds of the Otto Hints were held on Sunday March 30’th. Most of the day was spent testing with quarter and half motors. Kagan was having some difficulty finding the right combination to get high enough. He still managed to put up flights of 32:03 and 31:06. Sanborn’s first round flight climbed to the bottom of the catwalk at 204 feet and landed at 35:49. His second round flight climbed above the catwalk and eventually hung up on the railing at 14:46. An attempt to retrieve the model actually pushed it in farther to the point it wasn’t visible. Kang put up a safe 34:57 in round one. Kang broke a motor winding for his second round flight and the round ended before he could get another motor wound. On day two Sanborn was able to get a miner (for a minimal fee) to go up on the catwalk and retrieve his model with no damage. Brett went on to put up a backup flight of 34:30 that was good enough for second place. Cornell Mangalea won the contest with flights of 35:49 and 35:46. The rest of our team was still having issues with their models and used day two testing with quarter and half motors.
Tuesday was an official practice day that ended with the opening ceremony for The World Championships. The ceremony was attended by the president of the FAI, the general manager of the salt mine, and the mayor of Slanic.
Sanborn was the first US flyer in round one. After a perfect launch and an aggressive climb the model hit the catwalk at 10:30 and dropped about three feet. The flight was never in danger again and landed with a time of 36:23. That was the top time of round one. Kang had a very conservative flight of 34:55. Kagan’s first flight only managed to climb to about 160 feet and did 31:02. His VP prop was damaged when the prop tip touched the ground when landing. After two rounds Sanborn was leading with 71:26. Mangalea was second with 70:59. Kang and Tregor were tied for third with 69:11.
In rounds three and four Tregor posted flights of 35:24 and 37:03. He was the new leader. Kang flew for 36:05 and Schramm moved up in the standings with a 35:07. After four rounds Sanborn was fourth, Kang fifth, and Kagan sixth.
Kang broke three motors in trying to get off his fifth round flight. After a successful launch and nice climb he had a collision at the ceiling with Mangalea. Kang’s reflight reached the ceiling in about 7:30 and scrubbed for almost four minutes. It dropped below the catwalk and landed safely with a time of 37:33. This was the high time of the contest and moved Kang into first place. Kang was hoping for another 37:00 minute flight in the final round. He increased his turns but apparently backed off too many and didn’t get as high as he wanted and landed at 35:48. Sanborn’s sixth round flight had a collision up at the top and still managed to do 36:06. This was enough to put him on the podium in third place. In a competitive fashion Brett chose to refly to possibly move up in the standings. His flight was the last of the contest and had everybody watching. He climbed above the catwalk, scrubbed the ceiling and landed with an applause at 36:25. That was enough to move him ahead of Tregor into second place.
Kang put on a show with every one of his flights over 34:00. He had a very consistent model that was trimmed perfectly. His patience and time spent testing earlier in the week paid off. Sanborn was the only flyer to use a VP throughout the competition and proved that a VP was an option in the mine.
Our senior team won the team competition with a record team time of 216:20. Romania was second almost eight minutes behind. France finished third.
Our two man junior team of Royce Chung and Evan Guyette also had a successful week. After a slow start in the first two rounds Evan Guyette flew consistently over 30:00 in rounds four, five, and six. Royce had some problems with motor stick twisting and not climbing but worked them out by round three. Evan was in first place after round five. In round six Calin of Romania flew for 32:24 and moved ahead of Evan. Evan needed a sixth round flight of at least 31:28 to move back in first. Under pressure Evan managed a 31:30 and became the Jr.World Champion! I was really proud of our juniors. We didn’t have a Jr. manager and I couldn’t spend as much time with them as I would have liked. They figured out a lot by themselves. Both of them are going to be strong competitors in the F1D program.
We had a great week in Romania. Conditions in the mine this time of year were much better than in the fall. The air was drier making it more comfortable. Drift was minimal. Accommodations at hotel Baia Rosie were very nice. Rooms were comfortable, food was good, and staff was very helpful. Thanks to Aurel Popa for his help and hospitality. The entire US team has expressed interest in flying in the mine in the near future.
Tom Sova Team Manager