Normally these event reports are written right after the event while things are still fresh in my mind. That's not the case this time so I'll just have to "wing it" so to speak! 

Generally speaking, the weather plays a big part in what we do. Going by the photographs, the weather was pretty good.

We had a total of sixteen entries for this two day event. The local boys had set the flight line box up a couple of days prior to the event. We were fortunate enough to get through six flights for each competitor.

Three pilots entered Sportsman class and Kahl Eckersley took out every round with a perfect 5000 points and his second promotion point to boot. Rob Greenwood was another 300 points behind and Roger Chapman was 100 points behind Rob. The scoring system indicated that Rob had achieved a promotion point but later we discovered a bug in the software. Sorry Rob, no cigar mate! The scoring software has since been rectified so promotions should now be correct going forward.

Another three pilots contested the honours in Advanced. Winning all but one round was Phillip Tallack on 5000 points. One hundred and fifty points further back was Felix Nieuwenhuizen with Gavin Fitz-Henry in third place having a weekend he'd rather forget. Unfortunately, Gavin had a rather heavy landing which made short work of his undercarriage.

Expert saw our senior citizens show us how it was done with Brian McFarlane showing nothing but dust in his 5000 point victory. Keeping Brian honest was Brian McGowan a mere twenty five points behind. Third place was owned by the local hero Richard Knox and rounding up the class was Joe Costa flying his new Nuance. No promotion points were achieved in Expert.

F3A saw five pilots scrap it out for the prize. We even had John Payne come down from Yepoon! The ultimate winner was David McFarlane on 5000 points. In second place 450 points adrift was Brian Dooley and third place was taken by John Payne another 170 points behind Brian. In forth place was Bill Garrod and holding up the rear was Richard Hirst. David achieved a masters promotion point and all others except Richard achieved an F3A retainer point.

We also had one pilot fly Masters class which includes the F17 schedule. This proved to be quite a challenge for the judges at short notice but is no doubt valuable experience for them.

A very big thank you to the local club for hosting our event and also a big thank you to Gary for feeding us singlehandedly on both days.

Competition Results:

F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Brian McFarlane
Advanced: Phillip Tallack
Sportsman: Kahl Eckersley 

Competition Promotions:

F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Nil
Advanced: Nil
Sportsman: Kahl Eckersley


Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: HERE.

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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The first event for 2016 has been run and won at Camden Valley. This was also the first event flown with the new schedules. This meant that all pilots and judges were on their toes to ensure no mystery manoeuvres were inadvertently flown.

In all, we had fifteen pilots participate in the event. The number was to be eighteen but one entrant lost a model and two others didn't wish to be disappointed by bad weather. Well, the weather wasn't great but it was certainly flyable and we only had two short interruptions due to rain showers. There's nothing quite like a bit of rain to get people scrambling in the pits! ;-)

Prior to the commencement of flying Shayne Lysaght suggested we review the ne P17 schedule so that pilots and judges were able to agree on the interpretation of the schedule. Remember, people have been practicing in relative isolation. Anyway, Shayne came prepared with his trusty stick plane to run through the new schedule. The new schedule must be pretty demanding as it didn't take long for the stick plane to be re-kitted! Fortunately, the host club had a sturdy stick plane hanging in the clubhouse. Shayne put it to good use!

With the schedule review all done and dusted, it was time to get the competition underway. First cab of the rank was Avanced and Expert.

In Advanced, it was clear from the outset who had been putting in the hard yards with their practice. Winning all but one round was Felix Nieuwenhuizen. The other pilot who actually won round one was Philip Tallack. In third place we had the bloke in the "ten gallon hat" Gavin Fitz-Henry.

In Expert we actually had four entries but only three showed on the day. Never the less, all three pilots seemed to enjoy the new Expert schedule which is actually the FAI A16 schedule. Showing a clean set of heels was Brian McGowan winning all three rounds. Brian was very closely followed by Tom Collinge in second place with Brian McFarlane securing third place. Interestingly, none of the pilots achieved a promotiona bit point even based on last years percentage of 35.5% For 2016 them APA has raised the Expert promotion percentage to 37%.

After a full round of Advanced and Expert, we switched over to Sportsman and F3A. At this time the wind had come up quite a bit so an "executive" decision was made to have the F3A pilots fly first.

On paper, F3A was to be the biggest class with six entries. With one "drop out" we were left with five pilots to show us how P17 is done. We had David McFarlane take out all three rounds with Shayne Lysaght in second and Bill Garrod in third place. David achieved a promotion point and Shayne received an F3A retainer. I didn't mention it before but we are now using version 5 of the scoring software. This new software now advises when pilots achieve an F3A retainer. Takes the guess work out of it...

That just leaves the "up and comers" in Sportsman. By the time F3A had finished their thing, the wind had actually calmed down a little. Great! That was the plan... Yeah right. There were five entries in Sportsman with one late withdrawal. For information, it's better to put an entry in as it makes setting up the comp easier with respect to score sheets. Ok back to Sportsman, unfortunately Ray Smith had an undercarriage failure which prematurely ended his day after two rounds. The repair work done earlier in the week was simply not up to the task but I'm sure it will be all fixed in preparation for the next event. That said, Ray finished in fourth place. Securing third place was Chris Tinadall with his Rainbow. In second place and winning one round and receiving a promo point was Kahl Eckersley. Wining the other two rounds and the event overall was Benjamin Burrell. Benjamin also achieved his second prom point. It's fair to say that his next event will probably be his last in Sportsman and I don't think Kahl will be far behind him! Keep up the great flying guys.

Bruce Thrift and Ernie Swanson from the Camden Valley club did a superb job keeping us all well fed and watered. Thanks so much guys! Also a big thank you to the Camden Valley club and its members for having us. Also thanks to the local boys who set the box up and also created the certificates.

Competition Results:

F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Brian McGowan
Advanced: Felix Nieuwenhuizen 
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell

Competition Promotions:

F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Nil
Advanced: Nil
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell and Kahl Eckersley 


Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: Sportsman and F3A HERE. Advanced and Expert HERE.

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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For the second time in 2015 New South Wales Pattern Flyers had the privilege of holding one of our events at Camden Valley. The field was beautifully prepared for us and the weather gods were cooperating. We had 16 entries for this event but one participant was a no show. We suspect that may have been due to a date change for this event so it didn't clash with a seaplane event which was subsequently cancelled anyway. :-( Needless to say, please keep an eye on this website for updates on our events. Also refresh your browser because I know a few people still had the old information showing on their computer screens. 

We all managed to comfortably get in three flights each and finished a little after 3pm. We could have pushed to do a fourth round but that would have meant finishing at 5pm. Most were content with finishing at 3pm and even had some practice / trimming flights after the event.

In Sportsman four pilots contested the event. We also had the pleasure of Ray Smith joining us for the first time. Ray's home club is the Rebels up near Newcastle. The NSWPF committee is making enquiries about holding a one day event up there next year. Anyway, back to the report... Ultimately, Ray finished in fourth place and judging by the smile on his face, enjoyed the experience. In third place was Tony Russell from the Camden Vally club. It was great to see Tony having another go and sporting a new Sebart 50 model. In second place was Roger (I love penciling) Chapman and in first place we had Chris Tindall. No promo points but all four Sportsman had a great event.

Advanced saw three pilots from the local club battle it out for line honours. If you look at the scores you'll see that it was quite a close contest with 70 normalised points covering first to third place. The eventual victor was Gavin Fitz-Henry with Felix Niewenhuizen 37 normalised points behind and in third was Philip Tallack 33 normalised points behind Felix. To make matters more interesting, Gavin Fitz-Henry managed to get himself a promotion point.

In Expet we had three victims present themselves to the wraith of the judging panel. At the end of the day only 12 normalised points separated first and second place with Tom Collinge talking the win from a resurgent Joe Costa. In third place keeping the former honest was Brian McGowan flying his trusty Wind S 110.

F3A was supposed to have six entries but in the end we had to accept just five. The big news in this class was the long awaited return to competition by David McFarlane. It was very pleasing to David and he does look well to boot. David managed to take out the win by 12 normalised points from Brian Dooley with Jason Arnold a further 70 points adrift of Brian.  Fighting it out for fourth and fifth was Gavin Dark and Bill Garrod with Gavin maintaining a 16 point advantage over Bill to take fourth. Both David and Brian achieved promotion points.

The local club did a fantastic job hosting our event and keeping us fed and content. Thanks so much guys! Also a bit thank you to Felix, Brian and the other local boys for helping set things up for the event. Every effort to help is very much appreciated and make the job of CD so much easier.

The next event is a big one! The NSW State Championships at Richmond RAAFMAC. This is promising to be a great event so please make sure you get your entries in early.

Adios Amigos!

Competition Results:

  • F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
  • Expert: Tom Collinge
  • Advanced: Gavin Fitz-Henry
  • Sportsman: Chris Tindall

Competition Promotions:

  • F3A-FAI:  David McFarlane and Brian Dooley
  • Expert: Nil
  • Advanced: Gavin Fitz-Henry
  • Sportsman: Nil

Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: Sportsman and F3A HERE. Advanced and Expert HERE.

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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The final NSW Pattern Flyers event for 2015 was to be our State Championships at Richmond RAAFMAC. This is the second time that RAAFMAC have hosted one of our events and it must be said that the venue is great for aerobatics! The club had done a beautiful job preparing the field for us once again. We had entries from as far away as Tasmania and Cairns. With a very healthy entry list of 26 pilots the event was sure to be a success. The number of entries necessitated the use of two flight lines. Both Sportsman and Advanced were grouped together to form a group of twelve pilots. That left F3A and Expert with fourteen pilots. Both groups were split evenly between the two lines which worked very well.

The weather reports earlier in the week weren't looking too favourable. Pretty crappy actually... The prediction was scattered showers and moderate winds. We were fortunate in that we only had a couple of very light showers which failed to interrupt proceedings but we did get the wind. The wind picked up to a moderate pace from the south at about 11am on Saturday morning. This coincided with F3A and Expert starting their first flights. This proved to be quite a challenge for many pilots but in the end we had no incidents or damaged models at all. Great stuff!

It should noted that the flys were unbelievably persistent in bugging pretty much everyone. The use of Aeroguard only seemed to attract more flys. The boys from Nowra had a secret weapon against these marauding pests. The name of the product evades me but it's actually a white cream used to keep flys off horses backsides. It works amazingly well is all that can be said!

Once again we had a few newcomers participating in their first pattern event. This is very encouraging to see for the future of pattern in NSW. By grouping F3A and Expert together the Sportsman pilots had the opportunity to have an Expert or F3A pilot call for them. This presented a great opportunity for them to learn a great deal from the experienced callers. It's very much like playing golf with a better player than yourself. Your scores will naturally improve.

Seeing Sportsman and Advanced flew first (when there was no wind) we'll start with them. :-)

Sportsman was the second largest class with seven entries four of which were participating in their first ever pattern event. The standard of flying was very good and improved as the event progressed and as the pilots received more coaching and feedback from their callers and the judges. Proof of this was evident by two promotion points being achieved and a third only just missed. Fantastic! Kahl Eckersley managed to snare third place in his first event and even won a round. Second place was wrapped up by Rob Greenwood winning two of the six rounds and also achieving a promotion point. The eventual winner Benjamin Burrell actually won three rounds and also achieved a promotion point. This was Benjamin's first pattern event. He normally competes in Scale which was quite evident in his ability twiddling the gimbals. There is no doubt that if he persists with pattern his scale flying will benefit immensely.

It should be said that competing in pattern or precision aerobatics is a two tiered challenge to ones abilities. Not only are you competing against other pilots in your class, you are also competing against yourself to achieve a promotion point. To many participants, achieving a promo point is worth more than actually winning...

Advanced class saw five pilots vying for the spoils of victory. All but one pilot won a round (Felix, what were you doing!) and at one stage two pilots were tied for first place. At the close of proceedings Ben Bird (the young fella) stole victory from David Tiernan (the old fella) in second. Third place was awarded to Phillip Tallack. Unfortunately, no promotion points were achieved this weekend. Must have been the wind....

Ok, by the time that F3A and Expert had their opportunity to put their first flights on the board, the wind had come up reasonably strongly from the south. This means blowing straight in.

Expert class was the smallest with only four pilots having it out for line honours. There would have been five entries only that Tom Collinge had a "better offer" and subsequently withdrew his entry. It must have been a bloody good offer... :-) Overall all four Experts flew very consistently in the conditions. The points spread from fourth to first was less than 300 normalised points. Every pilot won at least one round but no promotion points were achieved. The eventual winner was Brian McGowan flying his "resurrected" MythoS 2M model with Joseph "the Italian stallion" Costa taking second from third placed Queenslander Shane Austin.

F3A was the largest class with ten pilots strutting their stuff in front of the judges. We also had the pleasure of having David McFarlane back for his second contest in a row. Most pilots started off a little slow but as the event progressed so did the scores. Round wins were shared out amongst the top three finishers as were the promotion points. David McFarlane was the winner from Shayne Lysaght by just 0.58 of a normalised point! Third place was secured by Jason Arnold. The latter managed to snare his very first Masters promotion point. Awesome!

The RAAFMAC members did an outstanding job looking after us in both having us as their guests and keeping our hunger at bay. I think all who attended will agree that the event was a resounding success and very enjoyable. The event flowed very smoothly due to the assistance of all participants helping where required. Proceedings were concluded around 3pm with plaques being handed out to all first, second and third place getters in each class.

The next event for NSWPF is at Camden Valley on Saturday the 23rd of January 2016. It's time to start practicing the new schedules for 2016. Bring it on!

Competition Results:

  • F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
  • Expert: Brian McGowan
  • Advanced: Ben Bird
  • Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell

Competition Promotions:

  • F3A-FAI:  David McFarlane, Shayne Lysaght & Jason Arnold :-)
  • Expert: Nil
  • Advanced: Nil
  • Sportsman: Rob Greenwood & Benjamin Burrell

Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: HERE

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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Gunnedah 2015 was destined to be a great event and in reality, it didn't disappoint! Earlier in the year this event was nominated to be the NSW vs QLD State of Origin. The format was quite simple whereby all participant final scores were to be averaged to determine the winner. Now one might naturally assume that NSW would walk it in with higher numbers... This was proven not to be the case! More on that later.

It wasn't arranged but John Payne brought the Alfred Pye Memorial trophy down to Gunnedah with him. This being the case and the fact we were in close proximity to where Alf grew up (Coonabarrabran) an executive decision was made to also make this event the Alfred Pye Memorial. As in the past, the winner of F3A would be awarded the memorial trophy.

Now trips to and from our events are normally uneventful and we all make a point of saying to each other "have a safe trip and drive safe". Well, for Tom Collinge and myself, the trip to Gunnedah turned out to be anything but uneventful. In fact, it turned out to be quite an adventure! Rather than go into great detail all I will say is that it involved the following:

  • Shredding a rear tyre 45km south of Singleton.
  • No spare tyre, jack or tyre brace. We did have a puncture repair kit.
  • No mobile phone coverage.
  • Very little passing traffic.
  • Hitch hiking to Singleton.
  • Walking all over downtown Singleton trying to find a spare tyre.
  • Numerous calls to NRMA resulting in adding the car to their premium roadside assistance package to get a tow truck to collect the car, trailer and Thomas.
  • Joined Mr. NRMA Singleton with his family on his verandah.
  • Then the first tow truck broke down. Overheating. Emptied all our water bottles into the truth. Then needed more from a resident. Again, no phone coverage so flagged down another driver to see if they had coverage to call for another tow truck.
  • Get to Bulga pub to wait for second tow truck.
  • Transfer car and trailer to new tow truck.
  • Arrived at Jax Tyre Centre Singleton 20 minutes before closing.
  • Finally all good to head off to Gunnedah at 5pm. Phew!

We eventually arrived into Gunnedah at 7.30pm to which we then discover that almost the whole town had lost power due to a transformer fire.

Ok, back to the competition.... We had a total of 21 entries although only 20 actually participated. The spread across the classes made judging a small issue so it was decided to group Sportsman and F3A together in one big group and Advanced and Expert together in a group half as big. This allowed us to have a mix of experienced judges and those learning the straps so to speak.

The weather prior to the event was somewhat dodgy to say the least but the forecast for our event was looking fantastic. As it turned out, conditions couldn't have been much better.

First up was Sportsman with six pilots doing their thing in front of the judging panel. First up we had Francis Bennett from Gloucester. Unfortunately, Francis had a motor vibration issue which prevented his participation continuing. Another pilot to have issues was Roger Chapman. I believe all was going well until the two outside loops from the top when at the bottom of the loop the battery pack decided to part company with the model taking the canopy with it. Surprisingly, the model landed safely and actually looked more stable without a flight battery. It was fortunate that Roger came prepared with a back up model to complete the event.

Rod Bailey flew his 2m ex Brian Dooley Integral for the first time in anger at Gunnedah. Her certainly put in some great flights and has now been rewarded with his final promotion point to move up to Advanced. Congratulations Rod!

Advanced class saw five pilots duke it out for the win with young gun Ben Bird winning all but one round. He was closely followed by fellow Winghamnite Peter Besant with the local guru Dave Pa Tiernan taking up third place after a few coughs here and there. Young Ben also achieved a promotion point!

In Expert we had two competitors vying for the placings. Jeremy Campbell was the resounding winner taking out all five rounds and wasn't that far from promotion point territory. Not far behind Jeremy was Tom Collinge with his OS Belt driven Cyclone. Tom missed winning the first round by a mere half a point!

F3A saw seven pilots take to the air over Gunnedah with Steven Bird making his first foray into F3A after his recent promotion. It was an interesting final result whereby consistency was rewarded with Shayne Lysaght taking the win from Jason Arnold in second and Brian Dooley in third place. If you look at the scores below you'll see that both Shayne and Brian won a round each and I won three. That's where consistency across the rounds comes into play. With Shayne taking the win that also meant that he was awarded the Alfed Pye Memorial. Congratulations Shayne!

Now onto the state of origin.... As it turns out, four Queenslanders made the trip down to Gunnedah. The natural thought would be that four pilots going up against sixteen couldn't possibly expect to win... Think again! If you have four quality pilots and they finish high in the standings your average score is going to be high. Queensland finished on 3800 points and NSW finished on a measly 3200! That's what you call a cane toad thumping! Anyway, next year NSW needs to pull up their socks. Hopefully more Queenslanders can be enticed to come down south too...

Overall the event ran very smoothly with all participants having a great time. The local members kept us all well fed and watered which was very much appreciated. A big thanks to GDAA for hosting our event and we look forward to coming back again next year.

Competition Results:

  • F3A-FAI: Shayne Lysaght

  • Expert: Jeremy Campbell

  • Advanced: Ben Bird

  • Sportsman: Rod Bailey

Competition Promotions:

  • F3A-FAI:  Shayne Lysaght

  • Expert: Nil

  • Advanced: Ben Bird

  • Sportsman: Rod Bailey

Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: HERE.

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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