Here’s your 2016 US F2B World Team (L-R): David Fitzgerald (third place), Paul Walker (first
place), and Orestes Hernandez (second place). The team will travel to Perth, Australia, to
compete in the 2016 CL World Championships. Photo by John Hill.
by Bob Hunt
The 2015 FAI F2B Control Line (CL) Aerobatics US Team Selection contest is history. This
contest has set the standard for future
selections in terms of administration,
efficiency, site selection, and
To not keep you in suspense,
the 2016 US FAI F2B CL Aerobatics Team consists of Paul Walker, Orestes
Hernandez, and David Fitzgerald. To say that this is a strong team is a
monumental understatement! These men will travel to Perth, Australia, to
represent the US at the 2016 CL World Championships.
The contest was held at Scobee Field in Houston. Frank Williams was the
contest and event director, and he assembled an outstanding crew of helpers.
Events such as this rely on volunteers who give their time so that others can reap
the enjoyment. Let’s give them a shoutout here.
Tabulators: Stella Hill, Edie Oliver, and Sheila Cranfield
Pit boss: Tom Fluker
Pull-test crew: Kathleen Patterson and Linda Gleason
Timers: Bill Rutherford and Ryan Young
Score runners: Merilee McMillan and Don Cranfield
FAI Jury: Bill Lee
Computer services: John Hill
Judges: Bill Gruber, Bob Howard, Jim Lynch, Gary McClellan, Doug Patterson,
and Warren Tiahrt
There is a detailed report about this contest in the November/December 2015
issue of Stunt News, the official publication of the Precision Aerobatics Model
Pilots Association (PAMPA) and AMA Special Interest Group for CL Aerobatics,
but there is something I’d like to mention.
Perhaps the most frustrating placing at a team selection contest for any of the
modeling disciplines is the position of first alternate. That pilot has to be ready
to go in all respects, in case one of the team members can’t make the trip. In this
case, the “bridesmaid” is Chris Rud.
Chris had a trying year in 2015. He was the Junior member of the 2006 FAI
team that went to Spain for the World Championships. After that, he quit flying
for several years while he went to college, married his wife, Kayla, obtained a job,
and had a baby!
After returning to competitive flying in 2014, and winning the Expert class at
the Nats, Chris decided to put in a maximum competitive effort in 2015. He built
a gorgeous semiscale Typhoon design and started to practice like a dynamo, only
to have a structural failure cause the airplane’s total destruction.
Undaunted—well, slightly daunted—
Chris feverishly constructed a new
Typhoon. His wife even helped him cut
out the parts! He again threw himself
into a rigorous practice regimen, and
again, disaster struck. A line in his
handle broke, causing total destruction
of the airplane.
At that point, the Nats were only a
couple of weeks away and any “normal”
person would have given up, but not
Chris! He built another Typhoon and
had it ready to go in time to compete
at the Nats.
How did he do? How does seventh
place in Open sound? Just amazing!
Chris’ performance at the Nats did
not go unnoticed, either. Everyone who
witnessed his flying at the Nats knows
that we have a fast-rising star in Chris,
and one who will be around for a long
time because he is only 27.
With the team selection approaching,
Chris stayed on his practice schedule,
determined to make the team. Disaster
struck for a third time when a control
system component failed, causing the
demise of the third Typhoon. With
only a couple of weeks left before
the team selection, Chris had no
time with which to construct another
To the rescue came three-time
F2B World Champion, Bill Werwage.
Bill offered to loan Chris his original
121 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com
CONTROL LINE AEROBATICS