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SAA Home International Aerobatic Competition | Dunfermline Model Aero Club

SAA Home International Aerobatic Competition

The 33rd Home International for Control Line Aerobatic Models was held 21 – 22 May in Scotland. The event was run on behalf of the Scottish Aero-modellers Association (SAA) at the Dunfermline Model Aero Club (DMAC) site at Inverkeithing. Peter Miller (SAA Contest Director) decided the running order of England (as current holders), Ireland, Wales then Scotland, so the scene was set for a weekend of magnificent F2B flying. On Friday evening the well travelled team members, judges and DMAC club members were welcomed to Inverkeithing by means of a buffet held in a marquee erected at the flying site. Much banter was undoubtedly punctuated by discussion of the weather forecast which was sunshine and showers with a brisk wind on Saturday and similar for Sunday but with much lower wind. In the event this forecast proved to be totally accurate.

A Welsh team member takes a practice flight before the wind increased.
A Welsh team member takes a practice flight before the wind increased.

On the Saturday Round 1 was opened by the team captains flying in sequence. Barry Robinson, Kevin Barry, Ray Lloyd; the English , Irish and Welsh captains respectively all posted respectable scores in what had become very turbulent conditions. The Scottish team captain Peter Miller was not so fortunate whilst pulling out of the reverse wing-over. His model was forced down by the wind into the ground sustaining damage to nose and undercarriage.

England’s 2nd flyer Steve White abandoned his flight after the 3 Outside Loops. Ivan Bolton, DMAC member Iain (Taff) Ward flying for Wales and Scotland’s Ian Galt succeeded in completing their schedules but were greatly hampered by the turbulence coming down from the nearby Castleland Hill. The third team members also struggled with the conditions but Jim Hatch and Chris Gilbert put in creditable performances. Mark Williams then took to the air and was completing the final four leaf clover when he suffered the same fate as Peter Miller, this time the model shattering into many pieces. Eddy Burr for Scotland having seen the carnage of the previous flight passed. The first round was finally over so an extended lunch was taken in the marquee in hope that the wind would moderate during the afternoon. This did not happen with speeds of 15 – 20 mph with gusts over 30 being measured so flying was abandoned for the day with Ireland firmly in the lead. Flyers, Officials, club members and partners then assembled at the City Hotel Dunfermline for an excellent dinner and craick.

The judges hard at work.
The judges hard at work.

The weather forecast for Sunday was sun then rain but with lower winds much better conditions all day were in prospect. Round 2 started with better scores being posted until the Wales captain had his electric powered model inexplicably cut out on him just after take off. Peter Miller was back having done field repairs on his model and posted a good score even though he had not had a test flight after the repairs.

Peter Miller's Spectre with "Invasion Stripes" resulting from the Saturday repairs
Peter Miller’s Spectre with “Invasion Stripes” resulting from the Saturday repairs

Mark Williams lost points by missing the 2 inside triangular loops. The rest of the flights were taken with a very slick change over between flyers. As on Saturday Tea, Coffee, soft drinks and buffet lunches were available in the marquee. This gave the competitors the opportunity to keep abreast of the scores displayed on a large screen attached to the computerised scoring system.

The computerised scoring system during the lunch break.
The computerised scoring system during the lunch break.

Round 3 continued the high standard of flying from all the competitors.  Iain Ward continued to struggle with engine overruns causing him to loose landing points, this was eventually put down to a new batch of fuel. Interestingly model power was roughly split 50/50 between Electric and Internal Combustion. In this round Ian Galt of Scotland put in the best flight of the competition boosting the team score significantly. Unfortunately for Scotland their score was to suffer another blow when Eddy Burr tripped on a tussock of grass and fell backwards causing him to plant and destroy the model. The CD decided that due to the conditions on the Saturday this was to be the last flight and team placings would be calculated from the best 2 from 3 rounds. The computerised scoring system quickly had the placings calculated and these were displayed on the big screen. The final results showed England well ahead with Ireland and Wales separated by only 1 point in over 15000! Scotland were 4th having been severely severely hampered by their 1st and 3rd round scores.

The forecast had again proved extremely accurate with wind speeds of 5-10mph and no gusting. A light shower of rain came and went whilst everyone was assembling in the marquee for the presentation of prizes.Iain Ward took the Welsh daffodil out of his button hole and donned his DMAC Chairman’s hat to present specially commissioned plaques to the team members and officials.

England: Barry Robinson, Steve White, Jim Hatch: Score 15866.6
Ireland: Kevin Barry Ivan Bolton, Chris Gilbert:  Score 15287.9
Wales: Ray LLoyd, Iain Ward, Mark Williams: Score 15286.1
Scotland: Peter Miller, Ian Galt, Eddy Burr: Score 13834.8

Judges: Bill Greive (Scotland), John Molloy (Ireland), Brian Weatherhog (Wales)
Judges: Bill Greive (Scotland), John Molloy (Ireland), Brian Weatherhog (Wales)
Score keepers: Michael and David Hambley enjoy a quip from stage left.
Score keepers Michael and David Hambley enjoy a quip from stage left.
Results runner: Mick Rouse.
Results runner: Mick Rouse.

Catering: June Millar and Fraser Wilson

Photographer: Pete Brown.(who took 850 images over the two days!)

Thanks are given to all the competitors, officials, CD Peter Miller, Bill Greive Judge and driving force behind the organisation of the event. Also Dunfermline & West Fife Sports Council for the trophies, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust for portable toilets, Cairney Hill scouts for supplying and erecting the marquee and catering equipment, Andrew Thompson Ltd for providing “the big screen”. All these people and organisations contributed greatly to what turned out to be yet another extremely successful event.

Report: David Hambley. Photographs: Pete Brown, David Hambley