Sep 13, 2013

What a Season!


It sure has been a while since my last blog entry and a lot has happened.  It’s been a summer full of amazing funfly events, growth of the podcast, and some events that have shaken the community (which I will probably comment on in a separate blog post very soon).  I got to see a lot of the Northwest Heli family and meet new pilots over the season.  As far as heli stuff has been concerned, I’ve been trying to focus more on flying throughout the season because, well, it’s over WAY too fast.  Though, I do have some very high hopes for a mild winter this year because I want to do some flying.  If not, I’m sure I’ll come up with a winter project and bug the rest of you all with more blog posts. 😉


Funfly events have been a blast this season.  Started the season off at Othello, WA back in May and had a really good time.  Had some crashes and some failures, but that seems to be typical for me when I attend these things.  The podcast recording was fun and so were the late nights, drinking and running around with Patrick, Kenny, Phil and Dan until 3 in the morning, harassing Nick, Jesse and Justin when they arrived late at night, passing around the Apple Pie drink.  I have noticed that more and more people are getting wise to that Apple Pie beverage and not consuming nearly as much.  Everything at that Othello event worked out well.  The weather was great all weekend, I managed to get some good video, and Patrick let me fly his 800 sized Trex, which is a very large machine.  I’m not sure the 800 size is for me.  It appears to be tough on the current electronics that exist for power delivery, but his setup seemed to work great and deliver a lot of power.


The next funfly was the most exciting of all, the RC Heli Nation Funfly.  Dan and I talked about putting this event together when he came to visit me early in 2012.  I later found some guys at Othello that year who were members of Baron RC Club in Deer Park, who were interested in hosting a Helicopter event.  Once the flying season ended and the temps dropped, I contacted Lonnie from Barons and drove up to check out the field.  I was amazed at what I saw and got a few short videos so I could have Dan and the rest of the guys take a look.  There was plenty of space and the facilities were top notch, consisting of benches, tables and covered areas along the flight line.  Since the field looked great we decided to plan the event.  Boy, I sure didn’t expect the planning to be so extensive, but as the time went on we all started realizing how many things needed to be taken care of.  Since the field is right next to a real airport, there were some hoops that we had to jump through and some other things that needed to be approved.  There were also various other logistics that needed to be handled, but thanks to the organization skills of Justin, we were able to list, prioritize and assign tasks so each of us could chip in to help get things done.  The way it all worked out, I don’t think it could have gone much better.  There was some stress leading up to the event, which would be expected either way, but things fell into place really well.  We had a great turnout of over 40 pilots for our first event, and amazingly had a lot more spectators.  I stood back and looked over the flight line and all of the people on Saturday and saw over a hundred people all enjoying the hobby in one way or another.  The event was a blast, the people and competitions made it so much fun, and I truly cannot wait to start the planning for next year.  Unfortunately I didn’t do a whole lot of flying since I was having all sorts of ESC issues, a nasty crash on my 500, and also helped with getting things handled for the event, but it was still the most fun and the most rewarding event I have attended.


Last month was the Snohomish event, and all I can say is WOW.  It was a bummer to miss IRCHA and meeting Jeff Dunham this year, but it was worth it because I got to go to Snohomish instead.  Watching the pilots like Nick Maxwell, Leon Luke, Kenny McDonald and Devon LeBlanc doing their thing was impressive.  I did a fair amount of flying, a fair amount of crashing, a fair amount of wrenching, and a fair amount of spectating at this one.  The pilot turnout was the most I’ve seen for a Northwest Event, so it was great to see all of the familiar faces and meet some new ones.  The Amainhobbies crew put on a great show and they are all a bunch of very down to earth and helpful pilots.  Some nights we stayed up until 5 in the morning, just flying all night under the large flood lights.  I actually also found out that I really like flying under the flood lights.  We had some lights at the RCHN funfly, but I was a bit timid with it being my first time.  Once I did a few night flights at Snohomish, I started getting in some flights I was really proud of.  The highlight for me was about 2am on Sunday morning when I flew my little 500, really getting low and flying comfortably.  The flight had some close moments really low to the grass and it ended with my tail making contact, but the recovery was great and felt good.  When the flight was over I turned around and saw one of our Northwest heli pilots named Ray, and he said “Whew Deater, that was a great flight!  That shit got me PUMPED UP!”  It really was one of the best comments I could have gotten, and got me feeling pumped up too with his enthusiasm.  It’s really great how, in this hobby, the support of others can really inspire us.  My experiences at the Snohomish CMHC funfly really reinforced that for me.  Once the event was over I was beat, and it took me a whole week to recover.


One thing that is amazing is looking and seeing how far the podcast has come since it began and even over this flying season.  The flying skills and knowledge has definitely expanded in the group.  Like many of you, I have been listening to RCHN since the beginning, episode 1 version 1 a few years ago.  Dan has taken this show through so much and it’s amazing when I listen to the shows and hear the quality of sound and conversation that we get for free once a week.  Nothing makes me look forward to Monday except for the show.  Other than that it’s just another week of work starting up with no weekend in sight.  So I just wanted to say “good job!” to these guys for keeping us entertained every week.


It being mid September it’s getting close to the cold season up here in the Northwest.  Usually October starts to get cold and November becomes too cold to fly.  I have a transmitter glove and I do love how the blades cut through the cold air, but when it’s below 30 degree Fahrenheit, that’s usually when I put discharge the packs and put them in the fridge for the winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I can fly in sub-30 degree temps, I just don’t want to.  I like to feel my fingers and ears while I fly.  So, as I mentioned earlier in this blog, I may have a winter project.  What winter project you ask?  Well, this last weekend a local pilot and friend Tall Paul let me try his FPV quad while I wore the goggles and flew around the field.  That is a kick in the pants!  So, I’m thinking that my winter project will be a FPV quad or something similar.  J