John Witt's electric-powered Panther puts in an official flight in Beginner Precison Aerobatics at the Oregon Blue Sky Stunt Classic. Flying Lines photo.

Oregon Blue Sky Stunt Classic

Aug. 22-23, 2009, Eugene, Ore.
Sponsored by the Eugene Prop Spinners

"Blew Sky" might be a better name for first annual Willamette Valley aerobatics extravaganza

When The Evergreen Aero Modelers lost the use of the McMinnville, Ore., flying site at the Evergreen Aviation Museum, it was a sad day for Northwest control-line fliers. But there immediately was talk of filling the August date on the Northwest aerobatics calendar with a contest somewhere in Oregon. Eugene Prop Spinners, under the inspiration of President Mike Denlis, stepped forward to host the Oregon Blue Sky Stunt Classic at the Eugene Airport site familiar to those who attend the annual Northwest Regionals in May.

Photo: The beautiful McMinnville flying site next to the Evergreen Aviation Museum is now dug up for the water park and hotel project. Jerry Eichten photo.

In spite of a conflict that took several of the Puget Sound area fliers out of the mix, the "Blue Sky" came off as a rousing success. Even a steady wind in the 7-10 mph range for two solid days couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for of the 19 individuals who entered the contest, though it did result in a few flights being scratched. Most flights went up as scheduled, and there was only one notable crash -- that in the Beginner Precision Aerobatics class (though there were a few bouncy landings!).

The Prop Spinners, a small club, provided just the right number of volunteer workers to make the contest run smoothly, and a number of others pitched in to fill out the staff. A few deserve special mention:

Winners were awarded photo trophies, each showing the contestant with his airplane. A nice array of prizes donated by Eugene Toy & Hobby was handed out as door prizes to contestants and contest workers. The Old-Time Stunt winner received a kit donated by Don McClave.

The first running of a new contest is always a bit scary, but this one turned out as well as can ever be expected for a first year. Chances are good that the Prop Spinners will offer the meet again in 2010.

Here are the results. Northwest standings points in parentheses.

OLD-TIME STUNT ( 3 entries)
Scott Riese, Portland, Ore., 235.75 (3)
2. Dane Covey, Tacoma, Wash., 224.13 (2)
3. Floyd Carter, Eugene, Ore., 190.75 (1)
Judges: Dan Rutherford, Mike Haverly

CLASSIC STUNT (7 entries)
Scott Riese, 495 (7)
2. Bruce Hunt, Salem, Ore., 494 (6)
3. John Thompson, Eugene, Ore., 450 (5)
4. Dane Covey, 424 (4)
5. Mike Haverly, Auburn, Wash., 408.5
6. Leo Mehl, Portland, Ore., 397
7. Russell Shaffer, Klamath Falls, Ore., 228.5
Judges: Greg Hart, Steve Helmick

SPORTSMAN PROFILE STUNT (5 entries, 2 did not fly)
Greg Hart, Mollala, Ore., 439.5 (3)
2. Dane Covey, 392 (2)
3. Russell Shaffer, 172 (1)
Judges: Scott Riese, Bruce Hunt

Photo: Dane Covey carries his Smoothie away from the Old-Time Stunt circle as Floyd Carter flies in the background. Flying Lines photo.

Dan Rutherford, Bothell, Wash. 458.5 (2)
2. John Thompson, 391.5 (1)
Judges: Scott Riese, Bruce Hunt

Robert Ladd, Milwaukie, Ore., 195.5/188 (3)
2. John Witt, Edmonds, Wash., 195.5/187.5 (2)
3. Bill Heher, Orlando, Fla., 68
Judges: Scott Riese, Bruce Hunt

Steve Helmick, Renton, Wash., 424.5 (4)
2. Mike Hazel, Mehama, Ore., 405 (3)
3. Dane Covey, 395 (2)
4. Mike Denlis, Eugene, Ore., 364 (1)
Judges: Scott Riese, Bruce Hunt

Greg Hart, 451 (2)
2. Rick Cochrun, Marysville, Wash., 445.5 (1)
Judges: Scott Riese, Bruce Hunt

EXPERT PRECISION AEROBATICS (7 entries, 2 did not fly)
Jack Pitcher, Gresham, Ore., 545.5 (7.5)
2. Bruce Hunt, 521.5 (6)
3. Dan Rutherford, 510.5 (4.5)
4. John Thompson, 469.5 (3)
5. Leo Mehl, 441.75
Judges: Steve Helmick, Greg Hart

Sponsored by the Eugene Prop Spinners.

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

More Oregon Blue Sky Stunt Classic photos

Left: Bruce Hunt (left) and John Witt discuss the finer points of John's electric-powered Panther. Right: Greg Hart tunes the engine on his Road Runner. Flying Lines photos.

John Witt's Panther, a great flier. Flying Lines photo.

The Panther with the lid off, showing details of the electic power system. Flying Lines photo.

Busy pit area on Saturday. Note the wind sock, straight out! Flying Lines photo.

Rick Cochrun's Impact, with four-stroke power, flies very well. Flying Lines photo.

Rick Cochrun's Impact in inverted flight. Flying Lines photo.

Scott Riese (left) and Bruce Hunt hard at work judging Profile Stunt. Flying Lines photo.

DeBolt Stuntwagon, built by Don McClave and flown by Scott Riese in Old-Time Stunt. Powered by Tom Lay-reworked McCoy .40. Flying Lines photo.

Leo Mehl launches Scott Riese's DeBolt Stuntwagon. Flying Lines photo.

Two planes by Leo Mehl: At left, his Arctic Fox for Precision Aerobatics, and at right, his Rebel for Classic. Both Leo's original designs. Flying Lines photo.

Lineup of Precision Aerobatics planes in the pits on Sunday. Flying Lines photo.

Precision Aerobatics planes await action. From front of the line to back, Mike Hazel's Banshee, Dane Covey's Chipmunk, John Thompson's Vector 40, Rick Cochrun's Impact, Jack Pitcher's Centennial. Flying Lines photo.

Left photo: Robert Ladd holds as Bill Heher prepares to start engine in his ARF Oriental. Plane was destroyed in a crash during Beginner Precision Aerobatics. Flying Lines photo. Right photo: John Thompson preparing the Ares for a Classic flight. Dean Rea photo.

Rick Cochrun starts engine on his Impact as Dan Rutherford holds. Flying Lines photo.

The new memorial bench and picnic table installed by the Prop Spinners earlier this year were in constant use throughout the contest. The bench is just visible on the left. The woman in the white hat, sitting on the memorial bench, is Shirley St. Clair, daughter of CL inventor Oba St. Clair, a longtime Prop Spinner memorialized on the bench, along with other noted EPS members. Flying Lines photo.

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This page was upated Sept. 3, 2009