The new Team USA F3J (L-R): Juniors Stoil Aramov, Dominic Lewis, and Dillon Graves, and Seniors Jeff
Duval, five-time world champion Daryl Perkins, and Jim Schoon. Amy Poole (far R) is the team manager.
F3J to F3K across the US
by Gordon Buckland
As I write this, I have just returned from the F3J US Team Selection contest that
was held in Greenville, Texas, during
Labor Day weekend. Twelve teams of
44 Senior and four Junior competitors
assembled to fight it out for a position
on Team USA F3J for the 2016 World
Championship, to be held in Slovenia
Throughout the three days, 19 rounds
were flown in excellent conditions. The
contest was well organized by Henry
Bostik and the Soaring League of North
Texas club, and was held at an expansive
sod farm in hot conditions and mostly
light wind. Lift was generally easy to
read, but there was always the odd
round where it didn’t seem to matter
in which direction the 12 pilots flew
because the air was all downhill.
A couple of those rounds saw some
of the favored pilots struggle to post
high scores, but the cream always rises
to the top. Daryl Perkins overcame a flap
pushrod breaking on launch and a couple
of other mishaps to qualify for the team
in second place.
Jeff Duval, of the Florida team, had an
early hiccup in round four when he failed
to make his time, but he never put down
a foot wrong during the remainder of the
contest and emerged as the top qualifier.
Jim Schoon, an excellent new talent from
Texas, remained consistent throughout
the contest to fill the third team spot.
Rich Burnoski will be the alternate.
In the Junior competition, Dillon
Graves excelled in the balmy conditions
to lead Dominic Lewis, and Stoil
Avramov, a new face on the competition
scene, placed third. Noah Myers finished
fourth and will be the alternate Junior.
The Junior team is probably the strongest
one we have ever fielded at a world
championship and should perform well.
With AMA funding limited, Team
USA F3J needs your help to get to
Slovenia. There are great deals on team
apparel and more in the team store on the website (listed in “Sources”).
Thanks go to Jeff Carr, who recently attended The Bruce and shared this excellent
report on what is truly a classic US F3K Soaring event. The gathering was held
September 17-20, 2015, in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
Discus Launch Glider (DLG), F3K, and The Bruce are all something you hear
about when you talk with people who share a passion for these 60-inch models. For
the past seven years, Bruce Davidson and his wife, Christine, have opened the gates of
The Thermal Farm for some of the best DLG pilots in the world. I did say world.
This event attracts pilots from all over. This year’s event wasn’t any different—we
had visitors from everywhere, young to old, and expert to beginner.
New DLG pilots are surprised when they are told that they should go to The Bruce.
You can learn more in one weekend attending a major event than flying alone for an
entire summer. I often hear the comment, “There are no secrets.” This is true because
the experienced pilots who are flying will help anyone.
The Bruce is named after Bruce Davidson, but the event is about the people who
help him. He has a friend named Johnny King. Johnny and his family give up their
weekend and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for approximately 100 people.
Scorekeepers come daily and sit under a tent to keep the pilots up to date. These
helpers all come from the Louisville Area Soaring Society and put in a team effort.
Friday’s event starts with the Whipit contest consisting of five teams of five pilots for
a first-up, last-down elimination. Horizon Hobby donated the Whipits and five lucky
pilots each got to take one home. Tom Shupe, from North Carolina, won this event.
Next was the Noodle event, where each pilot donates a dollar and gets a chance
103 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com