Windy conditions on Sunday resulted in quite a bit of "hangar flying" at the contest site in the Pasco baseball stadium parking lot. Joe Just photo.

Columbia Basin Fall Classic

Sept. 15-16, 2007, Pasco,Wash.
Sponsored by Columbia Basin Control-Liners

By Joe Just

The very first sanctioned control line contest for the Columbia Basin Control Liners club was a success! The fledgling group, under the artful help of contest director Leo Mehl, met the challenge of weather, rookie involvement, weather, stretched manpower and did I mention weather problems?

Saturday began with threatening sandstorms, high winds, and doubts. As the gathered group decided whether or not to fly, the storms split and passed us by on both sides enabling the event to begin.

First up was a small field of Clown racers, Todd Ryan and his dad, Mac, along with David Miller. Todds' professional approach to the event had him the winner, but kudos must be given to David for his pluck and determination.

After the racing, the contest got started in earnest. Profile stunt had Pat Johnston on the top of the pile. Pat originally was scheduled to fly alone in expert profile, but agreed with everyone of the rest of the flyers to fly against them with a 100 point handicap.Consistently improving Mark Scarbough took a very strong position in second place. Not to be undone, hard charging David Miller filled out the trophy listing at third.

Classic Stunt was well attended . CBCL member Mike Foley had Scott Reise make up some impressive stands for the New Fox .35 engines that Mike had bought especially for this event's prizes. When all the dust had cleared it was Pat Johnston in first, John Miller in second place and Mike Foley finished out the group with an impressive flight with his Fox-powered Oriental ARF.

Saturday night CBCL president Norma Miller opened her home for a free BBQ. The food was top notch and the discussions were not only informative but in many cases highly amusing.

Sunday, it was blowing so hard it would have been difficult to stack rocks on the circles. A planned 9 a.m. start was simply out of the question. Lots of "hangar flying" discussions and other camaraderie was the norm for some time until David Miler announced that he was ready to open the event in the beginner stunt event. David fought some really bad wind, but managed to complete his flight.

For a while it looked like that was going to be the only flight of the day, but the wind began to die and the contestants said it was time to get going. At that point the wind dropped to near calm as the three beginners did their thing. Richard Entwhistle had a very good flight and took top honors. Flying a consistent pattern, David Miller was solidly placed in second and winning his very first trophy was Logan Just of Roy, Wash.

As the beginners were putting their planes away the wind picked up to gale force and the remaining contestants grouped themselves in one basic division and all flew successfully.

I must inject here my personal kudos to Mike Foley ,who performed two of the "bravest" patterns I have ever seen! There were times when the Fox .35-powered Oriental was blown many feet aside from a normal pathway. Mike simply took it in stride, never looking frazzled ,and managed to get in two patterns in a wind that should have destroyed his plane.

One last "atta boy" comment: Club member Carl Duesner worked as pit boss both days, helped set up, provided needed equipment, and even filled in as scorekeeper when I became incapacitated with low blood sugar problems. Without behind the scenes work like Carl performed the contest would have been much harder to manage.

Contest Director Leo Mehl reports that there were 13 registered entrants; 12 flew.

Here are the results. (Northwest standings points in parentheses.)

Todd Ryan, Moses Lake, Wash., 301 laps (2)
2. David Miller, Pasco, Wash., 88 laps (1)


Pat Johnston, Boise, Idaho, 444 (1)
Judges: Mike Foley, Leo Mehl

Mark Scarborough, Pullman, Wash., 433 (2)
2. David Miller, 205 (1)
Judges: Mike Foley, Leo Mehl

CLASSIC STUNT (6 entries)
Pat Johnston, 522 (6)
2. John Miller, Salt Lake City, Utah, 513
3. Mike Foley, College Place, Wash., 455 (4)
4. Mark Scarborough, 369 (3)
5. Todd Ryan, 309
6. David Miller, 179
Judges: Leo Mehl

Richard Entwistle, Scappoose, Ore., 239 (3)
2. David Miller, 217 (2)
3. Logan Just, Roy, Wash., 30 (1)
Judges: Steve Helmick, Leo Mehl

Mark Scarborough, 434 (1)
Judges: Steve Helmick, Leo Mehl

Mike Haverly, Auburn, Wash., 476 (2)
2. Mike Foley, 424 (1)
Judges: Steve Helmick, Leo Mehl

Howard Rush, Bellevue, Wash., 576 (3)
2. Pat Johnston, 552 (1.5)
Judges: Steve Helmick, Leo Mehl

Results of this contest are included in Northwest Control-Line Competition Standings.

More Columbia Basin Fall Classic photos

Left photo: Expert Precision Aerobatics flier Howard Rush prepares his Impact for a flight. Right photo: Mark Scarborough administers a pull-test on the P-40. Joe Just photos.

Left photo: Judges hard at work: Mike Foley (left) and CD Leo Mehl. Right photo: Jason and Logan Just. Joe Just photos.

Left photo: Contest worker Carl Deusner of Richland, Wash. Right photo: John Miller with his prize. Joe Just photos.

Left photo: Discussion in the racing pits (from left) Mac Ryan, Mark Scarborough, Todd Ryan, Richard Entwistle (seated) and Mark Conner. Right photo: Mark Scarborough with a new Vector 40. Joe Just photos.

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This page was upated Sept. 20, 2007