Weather conditions were challenging at times at the 2019 Jim Walker Memorial Spring Tune-Up, but passing rain showers did not stop the competition. Above, Fred Underwood makes the turn into the reverse wingover during Expert Profile Stunt, as judges Scott Riese (left) and Dave Royer observe. Flying Lines photo.

Jim Walker Memorial opens season with a splash

April 12-14, 2019, Jim Walker Memorial Control-Line Field, East Delta Park, Portland, Ore.

By Barbara White

The Northwest Fireballs welcomed 23 intrepid flyers to this year's Jim Walker Memorial Spring Tune-Up.  Unlike the years when the weather wasn't nearly so bad as the forecast ... this year was wet and cool, and also wet.  We appreciated all who came to fly.

Contest Directors were Richard Entwhistle and Dave Royer (who enjoyed his birthday on Saturday).  Event Directors were Jim Cameron, Racing; Doug Powers, Speed; Gary Harris, Combat; Scott Riese, Stunt; and Mike Potter, Carrier.

Robert Ladd provided food on Saturday and Sunday.  Doug brought an extra canopy just for the food; thanks!  Coffee and morning sweets were also available.

Thanks to all of those mentioned and to all of the other volunteers who made this a successful (albeit somewhat smaller than usual) contest.

From Doug Powers:

In the Speed event, we had five Northwest B Proto planes and two AMA 1/2A Proto planes registered.  Unfortunately there was an incident in the pits while one of the 1/2A Proto engines was being warmed up; the engine departed the plane and chopped the wing off of the other 1/2A Proto plane. No 1/2A flights were made.

All five of the Northwest B Protos made attempts. Ken Burdick's was the fastest at 106.71 mph.  The other flyers were Bruce Tunberg, John Thompson, Steve Lindstedt and Doug Powers.

The first session of Speed was flown Friday, following Racing; the weather was dry for most of the afternoon, with only a brief shower.  The second session, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, saw the most rain of the weekend.  None of the registered flyers made any additional flights. 

From Mike Potter:

Three contestants in this year's Carrier event ... three hungry-to-fly guys from Seattle.  I guess Oregon guys melt when they get a little wet. With only the three flyers, we were done a little after noon on Sunday.  It is always delightful to unload and load the Carrier equipment in the rain; thanks to the Northwest Fireballs members who came over to the circle to help!  

From Gary Harris:

Combat went well.  There may have been more fliers had the weather forecast been favorable to flying.  As it turned out, we had two days of exciting competition.  With seven flyers on Saturday for 80mph combat, then six on Sunday morning for the .15 Fast event, we witnessed two days of exciting streamer-chasing fun!

We had some interference from rainy weather but were able to get most of the flying in without getting rained on too badly.  If any Combat pilots stayed home because of the weather forecast, you missed out.

Lunch break was a treat to all with Robert Ladd doing the bar-b-que honors, grilling up dogs on Saturday and both hot dogs and burgers on Sunday (including side salads, chips and drinks).  My mouth is watering just thinking about how good the food tasted.

Much thanks to Jim Cameron, Bill Lee and Darrin Bishop who helped with officiating on Saturday; on Sunday, Jim was back (pull testing) to help out along with Darrin and Don Curry, scoring and counting cuts.  Ken Burdick jumped in to help with officiating, too.  Thanks a bunch, guys!

We got to see some very exciting matches with a little carnage on occasion.  Hey, it wouldn't be so fun to watch if the planes didn't bash into each other once in a while!  Ha, ha.  Uh-oh, maybe I shouldn't say that, but sometimes watching C/L Combat makes me laugh.

Much thanks to all who showed up, helped out and/or competed making this thing happen.

For Stunt:

Dave Royer and Scott Riese judged all weekend, including for a few flights in seriously pouring rain (here's to you, Profile Experts).  Paul Walker debuted a beautiful new plane.  Paul and Tom Brightbill spent some time Sunday afternoon adjusting and trimming Tom's plane, which is now much happier.  A shout out here for Mike Denlis for working all weekend as pit boss.  

For Racing:

Four classes in Racing.  It was a busy day, with Event Director Jim Cameron also flying in most of the races.  There was one SNAFU in Flying Clown Race, leading to the demise of all three planes.  Otherwise, a fun time for all.  We remind everyone who is switching from 52' to 60' lines to practice before their first competition ... handling characteristics are a little different.  

2019 Jim Walker Memorial Results

Compiled by Barbara White
(Pts. column indicates Northwest Standings points)

Jim Walker Memorial photo gallery

Paul Walker's 2019 Impact makes a first-round flight in Expert Precision Aerobatics. Flying Lines photo.

Friday's Flying Clown Race was brief, ending with wreckage spread over a wide area. A tangle at the start eventually brought down all three planes. Barbara White photo.

Combat was the best-attended event, with seven entrants in Saturday's 80mph Combat and six in Sunday's .15 Fast. Here, Robert Smith (left) and Jeff Cohen battle in 80mph. Flying Lines photo.

Kris Millard guides his Northwest Sport 40 Carrier plane through slow flight on Sunday. Flying Lines photo.

Ken Burdick's B Proto Speed plane (foreground) and 1/2-A Profile Proto in background. Ken Burdick photo.

Ken's 1/2-A Proto in its "after" state. Another contestant's engine came off a test stand and smashed through Ken's proto while it was sitting in the pits. Ken Burdick photo.

Chef Robert Ladd (center) was a popular guy as he served up hot dogs on Saturday and burgers and hot dogs on Sunday. Lunch breaks took place during rain showers. Flying Lines photo.

Contestants huddled under canopies and ate their chow as the squalls passed through. Barbara White photo.

There was plenty of room in the Stunt pits for Precision Aerobatics as only four were entered. These are the Expert PA planes, with Pit Boss Mike Denlis in the background. Flying Lines photo.

Contestants get ready for 80mph Combat on Saturday morning. Flying Lines photo.

Star of the show among the airplanes was Paul Walker's 2019 Impact, designed for electric power from the ground up. Flying Lines photo.

Combat planes don't mind a little rain; these are John Thompson's spares, getting drenched while awaiting action. Steve Linstedt photo.

More 80mph Combat planes ready for action. Steve Linstedt photo.

Don Curry has built several nice B Proto Speed Planes. Steve Linstedt photo.

Another of Don Curry's B Proto planes. Steve Linstedt photo.

Greg Machen (left) and Buzz Wilson after an 80mph Combat match ended with a bash. Flying Lines photo.

No doubt about this kill -- Buzz Wilson has his opponent's string wrapped around his engine. The string shredded the prop, too. Flying Lines photo.

Steve Holt launches Kris Millard's Northwest Sport 40 Carrier plane... Flying Lines photo.

... and Kris hits the landing. Flying Lines photo.

Planes ready in the Carrier pits. Flying Lines photo.

Fred Underwood makes the winning flight in Expert Profile Stunt. Flying Lines photo.

Steve Linstedt's F2D Proto plane (foreground) and B Proto. Steve Linstedt photo.

Rich Shaper came out of retirement to race this Northwest Super Sport plane. Steve Linstedt photo.

Gary Harris' Northwest Sport Race plane. Steve Linstedt photo.

Chef Robert Ladd shows that you can't leave hot dogs to "warm" on with the heat on high! Barbara White photo.

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This page was upated April 23, 2019