Jun 15th , 2012 by: Bobby Gens Ace
Precision Flying at Prado IMAC 2012
The Prado IMAC of 2012 is one of the biggest contests for RC flying on the west coast. It takes place at the PVMAC (www.pvmac.com) and extends for two days. With over 60 professionally registered pilots, it has a bigger turn out than the Nationals! This tends to attract the best pilots, so competition is fierce!
The action starts the Friday of the event with pilot’s setting up base, watching the threatening winds on the 40 pound planes, and vigorously studying flight routines for the following day. Our sponsor Dan Napier had one of the smaller size birds at the event and was contesting his thoughts for preparation, “I fly an 87” Extra, it’s 16 pounds ready to fly and is the smallest plane in my class. Trying to get ahead, I thought about practicing in the wind, but decided not to, after seeing the difficulty others were having. I’ll just be ready early tomorrow.”
Saturday, the clock goes off at 5 am and the pilots are in need for some coffee. Upon arrival it was a nice and calm day. They get the planes set up, and get in line for one practice flight before the event starts. Flying goes well as planned, but was not an easy task for even our professional pilot Dan Napier, “I go quickly through the routine, 10 pre-determined maneuvers that everyone in the Sportsman class has to complete, several times over the weekend. The one I’m concerned about is the Lay down humpty, with a positive snap on a 45 downline.” With a strong notion of his task ahead for the day he states “It has been a hit and miss with my routine in practice, and I do not want to screw up in my run. I also made a set up change since I last flew, and I’m hoping it gives me a more consistent snap.” As he is flying the crowd observes him coming out of the Immelman, set up for the 45, “1, 2 Snap!” and he nailed it! He is set and ready for competition ahead.
The Pilots meeting was set for 7:30 and wheels up at 8:00. Pilots need to be ready to fly 3 planes back. Dan was 4th in line, and when he started to get his plane ready, it stalled on the runway!! “NOT AGAIN!” he thought. Luckily, he got it running and up in the air right before the other guy landed. Nerves shattered, and with a quick trim pass to try and settle down, Dan gets through his first round placing 10th, “I have some ground to make up.” He said, competing against some of the best pilots on the west coast and hoping for a top 5 position at this point.
Sunday comes quick with “The Unknowns” being the first round of the day. This type of round consists of one run, with maneuvers never seen or planned before. Receiving the routine at the end of day one, you’re not allowed to fly it beforehand, just the one run with one chance. You sit and practice them with your stick plane, talk through the maneuvers with your caller, and put your original routine out of your head. Pilot’s are able to drop 2 scores from the overall event, but can not drop the Unknown. With the high stakes at hand, Dan was dealt with a dead-stick in the Unkown round, while leading the event halfway. Upset and frustrated, Dan stated “I went from first to last, only to win the last round and still only take 4th. Unknowns are killer. My goal today, was no zero’s. I made it though, no zeros, but, my scores were, ok.”
Overall it was a great contest with some of the best pilot’s in the west coming out to compete and portray their skills. The competition finished with the 3D freestyle competition. Some of the most daring and predominantly young pilots come out to show off their talent, applying smoke features and finesse movements that are mesmerizing and engaging for the viewing crowd. IMAC was a great success, and HobbyPartz was proud to sponsor Rob Anderson and Dan Napier as they faced some of the fiercest competition in the industry.