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Chapter 52 at Orange
Chapter 52 at Orange

New England Aerobatics Competition, 2005

Our excellent crew
Our excellent crew

The fifty-two bombers made a good showing at Orange this year. We made inroads against the host Chapter 35 in two categories, with Ron Chadwick taking first place Intermediate and Doug Lovell taking third in Sportsman. Dennis Thompson, our only Advanced competitor, was hot on the heels of Andy Cooper, who squeaked a third just ahead of Dennie.

Shown in the photo are our new President, Tom Parsons, Doug Lovell, Stephen Seidel, Dennis Thompson, Ron Chadwick, Scott Kirk, and Chris Getz. Kendal Simpson and Ron Sheradin had to run before we got the picture.

Kendal and Tom drove to the contest. All people who drive to contests deserve special recognition and appreciation. All of those hours in the car have to be extra long given knowledge and experience of the happy, high-speed, bee-line express air route. Ron with Stephen riding, Scott, Dennie, and Doug made a beautiful four-plane formation headed back home, and that has to be just about the finest way to go anywhere.

Tom was especially helpful as Chapter cheerleader, chauffer, and all-around good guy. He kept an eye on all of us in the box as well as on the ground, and diplomatically managed our friendly adversarial relationship with the Chapter 35 hosts. As great as you are at being chapter Mom though Tom, we're hoping you bring your trusty, competition-blue Pitts S1S with you to Maytown so we can see you fly as well as become a regional judge. No pressure, though.

First place on National TV
First place on National TV

The big story, the one that made the evening news, is Ron Chadwick. The Chad has been gassin' it up in Florida over the winter and all that practice is paying-off. He's also been spending some time with master instructor Nikolai Timofeev working on those snap rolls. His Intermediate performance was top notch and deservedly won first place.

Ron wasn't running against deadbeat Saturday flyers, either. Kendal, for one, would have given him some competition if he hadn't fallen for the dreaded Orange intersecting runway while flying the known. Kendal made first place with his performance in the free, but couldn't fully recover the points lost. Bill Gordon in his yellow Pitts is a veteran of the category who gave an excellent performance and was Ron's best competition for first place. Bill took second in the free; but, Ron's outstanding known flight performance was out of reach for everyone.

What will Ron be doing to prepare for Maytown? You could guess that he'll be shoring-up that freestyle!

About six competitors in Intermediate and Advanced pulled to horizontal way off-heading after looking down at runway 1-19. Some flew more figures than others off the wrong runway. For those unfamiliar, runway 1-19 is identical in length and width to the runway aligned with the box edge, 32-14. Pulling over on the upwind side of the box it crosses the windshield quite prominently. Everone's first reaction is to roll into alignment with it. It's a definite liability at Orange to find oneself fifty-degrees off-heading. The only cure is to resist that sexy beauty of a runway with an iron will and fly to the flimsy little thin white dashes that pass for box markers.

We don't really know how Scott Kirk did because he got zeroed on lows. Scott, you're not flying Unlimited yet. Did you zero your alitimeter before departing or does 900 just look the same to you as 1500? The big hand should be pointing down. You should see a ONE between the little hand and that big zero at the top. Hey, we ribya 'cause we loveya. Glad to see you out flying with us in the beautiful red Yak.

Film star Ron Sheradin
Film star Ron Sheradin

Now will you believe Captain Chaos? He's pulled the coup of the century by getting an ESPN film crew to an aerobatics contest. Lisa Popp has been trying for years to get ESPN to notice aerobatics and here Ron meets an ESPN producer on one of his commercial flights to Cancun, chats him up in the bar, and gets him to do some kind of special interest gig about pilots.

Here's Ron, photographed above, explaining the intricacies of "normally aspirated" engines and fuel starvation in inverted flight. "It isn't quite the same as the turbines in the seven-two-seven; but, we don't go turning that over on its back, either."

It just has to be a lot of fun to fly flight crew with Ron, aka "Captain Daddy." It's a lot of fun having him at a contest. He's got it all going, and kidding aside, it was very cool having the attention of a film crew at Orange. We all can't wait to see what they do with some of the footage:

  • Stephen and Ron C. cutting-up between flights.
  • Doug's hand ballet following a flight, measuring lines and loops.
  • Interviews with Bill Gordon and Sheldon Apsell.
  • Rob Holland and Dennie doing gyros in the box between categories.
The crew definitely got their money's worth in terms of video footage. This writer saw some of their pictures of a biplane being put-away in a hangar. The cameraman was a real pro and got some great pictures.

Thanks a million, Ron, for getting this kind of attention for the Orange contest and for the sport of aerobatics. They have something invested now in producing more coverage of the sport.

Prez Parsons enjoys a dog
Prez Parsons enjoys a dog

Speaking of great shots, here's President Parsons enjoying a couple of hot dogs with Chris Getz -- one hot dog from the hot dog stand and one Rob Holland hot-dogging his Ultimate in the box. This photo was made Sunday, when low clouds drew twelve little Sportsman flights out over five hours.

Here's one of the guys the hot-dogging Rob Holland has to watch in Advanced. While Rob's distracted with his airshow play, Dennie's learning how to handle this beautiful new Edge 540 monoplane. This photo was made Thursday, when we had beautiful weather for practice.

Let it not be said that there is no time for play at these serious aerobatics competition events. Here Ron, Stephen, and Tom play with some Fokker Tri-D's at the diner near the airport before the 7am Saturday briefing. Chief judge Günther Eichhorn had to suffer our slightly late arrival; but, what's he going to do? Discharge one of three judges? Chapter 52 has the power. The tardy boys got a reprimand from teacher.

Saturday was almost a total washout. Weather cancelled the day after the primary flights and two of the Sportsman flights. Scott Kirk got to take his Yak to the air only to be called down for weather. Doug Lovell was all strapped-in, ready to go.

Scott and Doug got to try that routine again on Sunday morning. It wasn't until Sunday noon that things opened-up enough to fly again, then just barely. We were lucky to get the Sportsman category completed; but, things cleared-up nicely around 3pm for the last pilots and the flight home.

Rob Holland and Bill Gordon
Rob Holland and Bill Gordon

Rob Holland, shown here with Bill Gordon(left), remains the Advanced category force to recon-with in the Northeast. Rob made the US world team last year and flew in Sweden. Apparently he's going to hang-around in Advanced a little while longer. Maybe he'll try for the Advanced team again next year. We love Rob, but that gives Dennie and Alex lots of time to beat his butt.

Rob Petit ran the show this year as Contest Director for Chapter 35. Rob is here with Janusz Becla, Registrar(left), and Stephen Till, Chapter 35 President(center). The three of them pretty much kept the contest going, with Dick Gould managing the volunteers and Mary Gannon keeping score.

Here are the posted results of the contest:

      Pilot             Known       Total %pp
1     Jay Hewett        329.5       329.5 73.22%
2     David Turner      201.5       201.5 44.77%
3     Guy C. Roberge    135.0       135.0 30.00%
4     Michael Zeltrevic 101.0       101.0 22.44%
5     Farrell Woods     19.5        19.5  4.33%
      Pilot             Known       Total       %pp
1     Gregory Ryan      1225.5      1225.5      84.51724%
2     Sam Montgomery    1189.0      1189.0      82.0%
3     Douglas Lovell    1185.5      1185.5      81.75862%
4     Stephen Till      1161.5      1161.5      80.10345%
5     Matt Crane        1147.0      1147.0      79.10345%
6     John Everson      1119.0      1119.0      77.17241%
7     Douglas R Durand  1077.0      1077.0      74.27586%
8     Byron Brumbaugh   1071.5      1071.5      73.89655%
9     Weston Liu        1069.5      1069.5      73.75862%
10    Mark Lander       975.5       975.5       67.27586%
11    Peter Ring Jr.    865.5       865.5       59.689655%
12    David Shaver      817.0       817.0       56.34483%
13    Ron Sheradin      620.0       620.0       42.75862%
14    Scott Kirk        0.0         0.0         0.0%

      Pilot             Known       Freestyle   Total       %pp
1     Ron Chadwick      1722.5      1623.0      3345.5      82.19902%
2     Bill Gordon       1587.0      1636.0      3223.0      79.18919%
3     Sheldon Apsell    1624.5      1511.0      3135.5      77.039314%
4     Janusz P. Becla   1608.0      1492.0      3100.0      76.167076%
5     Neville Hogan     1535.5      1543.5      3079.0      75.65111%
6     David Watson      1496.5      1331.5      2828.0      69.48403%
7     Kendal Simpson    1064.0      1645.5      2709.5      66.57248%
8     Stephen Seidel    977.5       1491.5      2469.0      60.66339%
9     Chris Getz        857.0       1047.0      1904.0      46.781326%
      Pilot             Known       Freestyle   Total       %pp
1     Robert Holland    1996.5      2640.0      4636.5      82.79465%
2     Guenther Eichorn  1837.5      2504.5      4342.0      77.53571%
3     Andy Cooper       1658.0      2490.0      4148.0      74.07143%
4     Dennis Thompson   1578.5      2530.5      4109.0      73.375%
5     Hans Bok          1417.0      2181.0      3598.0      64.25%
6     Bill Matukaitis   1590.5      1613.0      3203.5      57.205357%

Your correspondent, signing off. Blue skies, dirty-side up, and tens.

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