You can see the top of Pylon
3 as a racer closely passes
without cutting in front of it.
A trophy was awarded to the first person to land and stop on the short
runway. The airplanes carried only enough fuel for the race and all
landings were unpowered.
Team Futaba’s Gary Schmidt
accepts the award for first place.
throttle on the start line gave me the feeling of watching a
full-scale race as I listened to those engines screaming around
The airplanes raced tightly, flying so closely together at
times that they looked as though they would have a midair
at any moment. Midairs are inevitable, which is why the pit
area is located a safe distance from the actual race course.
When a Q- 40 aircraft crashes, there isn’t much left! There
were some spectacular collisions.
Throughout the weekend, the pilots demonstrated a
willingness to help their fellow racers however they could,
and the sense of camaraderie was palpable. Everything ran
smoothly, but the fun didn’t stop when the sun went down.
After the airplanes were cleaned and put away for the
night, everyone was invited to a banquet at Mike Langlois’
shop, the home of Aero Racing Engines where Nelson
engines are manufactured.
Racers and volunteers were treated to some great food
and conversation before settling down for some special
presentations. AMA President Bob Brown offered some nice
words about the event.
Some big names from the world of Pylon Racing
attended, some of whom were inducted into the NMPRA
Hall of Fame that night. Lloyd Burnham from the NMPRA
board of directors was inducted along with Dub Jett, Mike
Helsel, Darrol Cady, Jerry Small, and Henry Nelson. It
was nice to see Henry Nelson, creator of Nelson engines,
standing with Mike Langlois in the shop where the engines
are now made.
The following day saw
some fast and furious
racing. Some pilots were
trying to keep ahead,
while others were trying
to make up for lost
points. CD Jim Katz ran
a tight ship with each
race running smoothly
into the next, and before
we knew it, the racing
While the pilots
cleaned and packed
up their airplanes, the
results were finalized in
record time. The awards
ran 10 deep, with
additional ones for the
overall fast time, fast-time caller, precision
landing, and the fast-time fly-off winner.
So who is the 2013
NMPRA Q- 40 World
Champion? That would
be Gary Schmidt of
Team Futaba. The fast
time award went to
Lee Von Der Hay, with
an incredible time of
0: 58. 44—that’s 10 laps
in slightly more than 58
It was a great
weekend, with some
of the best racing and
people in the hobby. We
will be hearing much
more from the OJA site
in the future.
Old Julian Airport
Aero Racing Engines
Jett Engineering, Inc.
29 Model Aviation MARCH 2014