Northwest fliers participate in 2023 Ringmaster fly-a-thon

See fly-a-thon website for up-to-date worldwide flight total

Control-line model aviators in several Northwest locations put up flights on various kinds of Ringmasters over the Oct. 7-8 weekend (and surrounding dates) as part of the worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon sponsored by the Brotherhood of the Ring.

The Brotherhood's John Cralley gathers flight data from around the world and compiles a spreadsheet showing what variants of Ringmasters were flown at the many locations where the flying took place. Latest flight data is available on the fly-a-thon website.

Worldwide report:

As of Nov. 2, 2023, the reported worldwide flight total was 7,603 flights by 618 pilots.

See final worldwide tally

By John Cralley

Northwest Ringmaster flights

In the Northwest, flights are known to have taken place in Auburn, Wash.; Eagle Point, Ore.; Junction City, Ore.; Adair Village, Ore.; Portland, Ore.; Roseburg, Ore.; and Richmond, B.C.; and Parksville, B.C. At least 413 flights were made by at least 58 pilots at Northwest venues.

The reports below are from the various organizations and individuals who participated; some of the data is taken from the worldwide report.

Washington state

Jim McCartney (left) and Rod Claus fly two Ringmasters at a time at Auburn Municipal Airport, which is becoming a Skyraiders tradition. Dave Gardner photo.

Auburn, Wash., Ringmaster flights

Oct. 7-8, Auburn Municipal Airport, Auburn, Wash.

By Dave Gardner

We combined the results of both days, for our totals this year.  Overall it was not a bad turnout with 11 guys flying 13 planes for a total of 84 flights, on two circles!  Well, some guys ran some practice flights with Carrier planes on another circle, but they weren’t Ringmasters!
Here is the schedule of names and number of flights.

Some of the Airplane/Engine data was not necessarily recorded….this IS a low-key event, but they were all Ringmasters of some sort!


No. of Flights

Airplane /Engine

Airplane / Engine

Rodney Claus


S-1 / Fox 35

Fred Gordon


S-1 / OS 25

Jim McCartney


S-1 / Johnson 29

Steve Ashmore


PJ RM 576/ Electric

Baby RM

Steve Holt


S-1 / OS 25FP

RM Flash / Fox 15

John Knoppi


S-1 / Fox 35

Mike Haverly


RingRat 250 /electric

Kris Millard


S-1 / Throttled OS25

KC Johansen


S-1 / Fox 35

Austin Johansen


S-1 / Fox 35

Mike Potter



TOTALS:      11 Pilots


11 planes

2 planes

All in all, a great time was had by everyone who attended.  Saturday was clear and VERY sunny! (too damn bright!), but made up for it with some late morning wind — not bad, just ‘bouncy.’  Sunday started much the same way, with a batch of successful flights, then some wind, then some closure.

Saturday also featured short episode with our "Dancing with the Stars," with Rod Claus and Jim McCartney flying some interesting "two-up" flights.  There was some good communication between the pilots —as cleanly choreographed as last year —(no crashes!) — all in all, a good show, with good flying and pitting!

Thanks to those who helped make it all work, including Jim McCartney, Rodney Claus, Randy Ling and Steve Holt (for helping fix the rolling gate!) — and all the others (whose names I didn’t write down — or remember!) gathered to enjoy the camaraderie that this event brings together.

It was my pleasure to be the ‘fast and loose’ event organizer, with, perhaps, a reasonable event tally and herding the loose cats!

At right, a RingMonster, 15% of scale, built by the late Bill Sodon, and at left a standard S-1 Ringmaster. Dave Gardner photo.

Mike Haverly's Stevens Aero RingRat 250, electric. Dave Gardner photo.

Chehalis, Wash., Ringmaster flights

By Jeff Christenson

Oct. 7-8, Faro Field, Chehalis, Wash.

At Faro we have an event within the event with our members vying to get into the 1,000-lap club each year. Members who accomplish the goal get a T-shirt and bragging right for making it in.

Our club flew both Saturday and Sunday with a total of seven pilots in two flying circles flying 157 flights. This is without a doubt our favorite event each year as everyone just relaxes and has fun. Sadly everyone just plain forgot to take a group photo this year.

Pilots were:
Jeff Christenson, Skyward Hobbies S-1 Ringmaster tribute with McCoy .29, 27 flights, 1,105 laps
Tina Christenson, Skyward Hobbies S-1 Ringmaster tribute with OS FP .25, 25 flights, 1,023 laps
John Milton, Skyward Hobbies S-1 Ringmaster tribute with ASP .25, 39  flights, 1,580 laps
Doug Oertli, Ringmaster Super Flash with OS FP .25, 26 flights, 1,070 laps
Chuck Rudorpher Skyward Hobbies S-1 Ringmaster tribute with OS FP .25, 20 flights, 839 laps
Mic Hart, RingMaster S-1 with McCoy .35, 18 flights, 757 laps
Gene Lafond, Skyward Hobbies S-1 Ringmaster tribute with OS FP .25, 2 flights, 33 laps


Eugene, Ore., area Ringmaster flights

Gene Pape starts the McCoy .35 on his Pat Johnston-built Ringmaster, as Dave La Fever holds. Flying Lines photo.

By John Thompson

Oct. 5, Can Do Ranch, Junction City, Ore.

The Eugene Prop Spinners worked Ringmaster flights into their weekly flying session. Dave La Fever, Gene Pape, Gary Weems and John Thompson flew, with support from Jim Corbett  Flights were:

  • Dave La Fever: Junior (2 flights), Super (2), S-1 (1)
  • Gene Pape: S-1 (2), Baby (1).
  • John Thompson, Super (2), Baby (1).
  • Gary Weems, S-1 (2)

John Thompson's Super Ringmaster (left) powered by a Brodak .25, and Baby Ringmaster powered by an AME .08cc. Flying Lines photo.