Memorial Day Flying Report

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2013 by nicholasandrewray

Lakehurst Memorial Day Flying Report

Brett Sanborn

May 28, 2013

Normally this time of year, everyone would be gathered at USIC in Johnson City, Tn. However, since new banners and things will be hung from the girders, the indoor community was unable to return to Johnson City for the NATS. The indoor NATS will be held in Champaign, IL from August 7-10th in the 98 ft tall (Cat III) armory. USIC at Johnson City would have provided a good practice session for the upcoming USA F1D team selection contest being held at the Kibbie Dome in late June, but due to the unavailability of the mini dome, Lakehurst was the only option for John Kagan, Kang Lee, and myself. Had we been in Johnson City last week, we would have enjoyed temperatures in the low to mid 80’s and lunchtime cuisines ranging from Thai food to Pal’s Hotdogs. This was not the case for the final high-ceiling practice session at Lakehurst last weekend, given the variable weather conditions, Wawa sandwiches, and chips and salsa.

Saturday was cold and windy. The temperatures inside the hangar were in the upper 50’s with winds outside in the 20-25 mph range. Luckily I brought two coats and my green ski cap to keep warm throughout the day. Max Zaluska joined us in the afternoon only to hang out, not wanting to risk his recently repaired handlaunch stick in the windy conditions. The hangar was apparently damaged as a result of hurricane Sandy. Fiberglass panels that serve as windows for the hangar were blown off leaving a gaping a hole 40 by 15 feet in size located at the end of the hangar above the club locker (see photo). Though the base reported damage to hangars 5 and 6 after the hurricane, there was no photos of the window damage in any of the 1,589 photos of the damage and recovery effort on the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst official photo stream. The East Coast Indoor Modelers (ECIM) president Horace Hagen said that folks at the base do not currently have the money to repair the damage. ECIM might put forth a portion of their yearly donation to the Joint Base toward repair of the damage though the total expense is still unknown. We will update the indoor community as information becomes available.


Not wanting to get F1Ds out due to the high winds, John Kagan rummaged through some buckets located in the club locker and found two recovered ministicks and a limited pennyplane that had “Underdog #1” written on the motorstick. After some quick repairs, I was able to squeeze an 8:23 out of the ministick. Kagan had an even more exciting flight with the Underdog. After Kagan launched the Underdog at the middle of the hangar, the model climbed to about 150 feet and then drifted the entire length of the building toward the end with the hole. Now circling at about 170 feet, the plane began to rapidly sink. In about 20 seconds, the model descended to about 80-90 feet above the floor. After circling there for another 20 seconds, the model ascended back to the ceiling over the course of about 30 seconds. After the second ascent, the elevator ride was over for the Underdog. The Underdog cruised in for a cool 13:56 flight time—quite exceptional for a beat-up plane that had possibly the wildest ride of any indoor model in the history of Lakehurst.

Sunday proved to be a bit better though the winds were still in the 20 mph range. Kang was able to fly his primary F1D for a two-part flight of about 33 minutes (he restarted the stopwatch after retrieving his F1D from a hang-up). Kagan was doing consistent 9:00 quarter motors with various F1Ds and I did an 18:54 half motor before packing up for the day at around 8:00 pm.

The lower winds and higher temperatures on Monday afforded more flying time. We flew quarter and half motors for most of the day until the air got squirrelly around 7 pm. In one instance, Kang and I both launched at about the same time and both drifted half the length of the building (away from the hole) and spend the entire flight steering back to the carrier deck; Kagan later followed in suit. All in all it was a useful weekend for preparing for the upcoming team selection contest. Kang, Kagan, and I tried to wring out models to get them to climb and fly consistently; trimming propellers out for the Kibbie Dome at Lakehurst would prove to be a fruitless pursuit—any adjustments made at Lakehurst would have to be readjusted at Kibbie.

We do not yet know how the hole near the roof will affect flying in the hangar. We saw higher winds on Sunday, yet the conditions inside the building were a little better than lower wind conditions on Monday. Ultimately it will probably depend on the wind direction and intensity. Hopefully the hole in the building will get fixed by the Joint Base soon.


2 Responses to “Memorial Day Flying Report”

  1. What is a wawa sandwich?

  2. Nick, Wawa is a change of convenience stores on the east coast of US. Fuel, food and whatever else you may need while traveling. Rey

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