The 2015 US F3C World team consists of
(L-R): Dennis Purduski (team manager),
Nick Maxwell, Daniel Hiatt, and Dwight
Schilling. NatsNews photo.
Daniel smiles after
a successful flight.
systems, there is really nothing special
At the 2014 US Nationals, we had all
sizes and brands of models competing.
The main thing I recommend is to use
a radio system with pitch and throttle
curves as well as the ability to reduce
throw rates on cyclic and tail rotors.
CM: What are the different levels of
TD: Within the FAI helicopter realm,
there is F3N and F3C. F3N is 3-D-style
competition maneuvers. While many
of the top 3-D pilots in the US are
probably capable of performing the
maneuvers, they tend to not prefer this
style of competition.
In the US, AMA sponsors three classes
in addition to F3C and Scale. The AMA
classes (Sportsman, Advanced, and
Expert) are designed to prepare a pilot
to make a smooth transition in skill level
and maneuver complexity.
CM: Does anyone outside of the US
compete in F3C?
TD: F3C, for most other countries,
is the exclusive Precision Helicopter
competition schedule. Some of the
Europeans offer a “Club” or “Sportsman”
class as well, but it’s predominately the
CM: How is the US team picked?
TD: For several years now, the F3C
team for the US has used the Nats
as the team selection process. The
top three pilots (during non-World
Championship years) determine the
team that represents the country at the
following year’s World Championship.
The RC Helicopter World
Championship is held every
CM: Who is on the team for
TD: Nick Maxwell, Daniel Hiatt,
and Dwight Shilling—all are multitime
US team members.
CM: When and where will the 2015
World Championship be held?
TD: The dates are July 2-12, in Austria.
CM: What can we do to help the team get
TD: In a word: money. Despite some
people’s beliefs, the majority of the
funding for each team member is
covered by either the competitor and/
or whatever the team manager can raise
throughout the year. This year, longtime
competition pilot Dennis Purduski was
named team manager.
As the previous US team manager,
[I know] it will take roughly $30,000
to transport, feed, and house the team
for the duration. The US team has a
website for donations (which is listed in
CM: Any words of advice for someone
looking to get started in F3C?
TD: The first thing I would recommend
is to look at the maneuvers. The AMA
competition maneuvers are on the AMA
The next thing is to enter a contest.
Virtually all of the contests in the US
attract qualified expert pilots from
across the country. I hold a regional
event in Nashville, Tennessee, and there
are several others.
Go with an open mind. You need
to fly in the event—it’s the only way
to understand it. “Just watching” is not
good enough. All of the best pilots offer
to help anyone who is interested and we
spend a good deal of time working with
new competition pilots. After that, it’s
all about stick time.
Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to
teach us about contest flying and the US
F3C team. Best of luck in 2015!
If you want to learn more about
contest flying, check out the link in the
“Sources” section to download the rules
and sequences for the AMA classes.
USA F3C Team
AMA Competition Regulations
Music City Helicopter Championships
122 Model Aviation DECEMBER2014