The Osiris that got the author hooked on Pattern
in his first contest, is next to one flown by another
pilot. This model remains an excellent choice with
which to get started in Pattern.
This Phoenix 7, built from a modern Hangar 9 ARF,
represents the Classic Pattern era that initially sparked
the author’s interest in RC Aerobatics in 1989. Who is the
by Peter Vogel
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, as I have, you’ll know that Mike Riggs has done an outstanding
job of bringing us the newcomer’s view
of the world of RC Aerobatics (Pattern).
It’s a lens that I consider ideal for Model
Aviation because I think many of our
readers have never experienced this
discipline of our sport and might be
curious as to what it’s all about.
After five years, Mike decided that it
was time for someone else to pick up the
mantle of responsibility. Although my
wife thinks I need my head examined, I
offered to continue the “RC Aerobatics”
column. I think it is essential for Model
Aviation to continue to cover this branch
of our hobby from the perspective of
“the new guy.”
I built my first airplane, a Sig Kadet
Mark II, between 1986 and 1989. I’d
always wanted to learn to fly RC and
with my first summer at home from
college, my girlfriend 600 miles away,
and a summer job at Los Alamos
National Labs providing a reasonable
income, I obtained the kit and
everything I needed to build it from a local hobby shop.
Using aliphatic resin glue, the build took quite a while. Changing summer jobs
in 1988 meant that I didn’t finish the airplane until 1989, after I’d graduated from
I eagerly took it to the local field, Richardson RC’s club field, to find an instructor
and instead I found a Pattern contest!
For those of you who haven’t been around that long, this was the Classic Pattern
era—.60-size tuned-pipe airplanes flying loud, low, and fast. I fell in love with Pattern
that day and I told myself that when I could afford it—and after I learned to fly—I’d
be flying Pattern, too!
I married the girlfriend, had a daughter, and moved to California, so it was quite
some time before the “afford it”—from both a dollar and time perspective—came to
In 2010, Andrew Jesky made his 62-inch Osiris design available through 3D
Hobby Shop. It was affordable and electric—small enough to fit in my Prius. I was
one of the first 10 to preorder the airplane.
I assembled the Osiris and waited through a long, rainy winter to get a chance to
fly it. In May 2011, the Osiris made its maiden flight and I was hooked! When I got
home, I looked at the 17 other airplanes hanging in my garage and had no desire at
all to ever fly them again, so I sold all of them.
My local club has an active set of Pattern fliers,
so in midsummer 2011, I learned the Sportsman
sequence, had someone point out errors in how I was
executing the maneuvers, and in August, took a week
off from work to practice for a one-day contest at a
My goal for this first contest was to get through
one flight that wasn’t all zeroes, because I was aware
that I was still making quite a few mistakes in my
flying. That practice week was gorgeous—perfect
weather with barely 5-mph breezes, and my flying
was definitely improving.
Saturday morning of the contest was a different
story! Winds were at 20-plus mph and it was cold
and overcast. I realized I was in for an “interesting”
experience as I approached the field and the trees
were leaning over in the wind!
When I arrived at the field, I was amazed at
115 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com