Michael (R) receiving his first-place trophy from
Darrell Sprayberry, the Scale Helicopter Nats
Then it’s off to get your model static
judged (part one) and to fly (part two).
Scoring is fairly split between the static
and flying disciplines.
CM: Which model did you use for the
MZ: I started my quest for the Sport
Scale Nats with my new Thunder Tiger
MD 530. The helicopter I chose was
modified slightly to include a civilian
paint scheme. I became friends with the
gang from Winco Powerline Services
and wanted to paint my helicopter like
theirs. In stepped Winco’s MD 369
helicopter. I added rivets, a pilot, and a
lineman to the project. All good plans
come with risk.
CM: How did you prepare for the contest?
MZ: After the announcement that
a Sport Scale class was going to be
added to the Nats as a provisional class,
I decided I wanted to do this. I am a
competition junkie and love the way
contesting makes the hair stand up on
the back of my neck.
My good friend, Darrell Sprayberry,
posted a list of suggested maneuvers
online. This was a great help to all. I
wanted to help promote the event
as simply as possible, so I used the
maneuvers list to build my routine.
I stuck out my neck and started to
post my progress online for all those
willing to read. My routine, my intent,
My goal with this was to not only
document my progress, but to show the
progress and prove anybody could do
this. My mistakes, embarrassment, and
accomplishments were on the table for
all to see.
In addition to takeoff, my flight
routine included three mandatory
• Hover set with clearing turns
• 45° climbout
• Descent to landing
The Freestyle portion of the flight
included both mandatory and optional
• Take off and fly to right; set up for
• (Optional) Figure Eight
• Fly downwind to extent
• (Optional) slow flyby
• Fly to center and set up
116 Model Aviation APRIL 2015 www.ModelAviation.com