UK F3A Team Manager
I can remember making crude wooden propellers at a very early age and being fascinated by how fast I could get them to turn in the wind nailed to a piece of wood. I was about 11 years old when I got my first ED Bee in a Challenger ready built plastic control line model. It took about three weeks before I got the engine started but I had great success with this model. Vivid memories of the cold wintry air of November and December and the smell emanating from the small garden hut filling the whole garden with fumes that usually only return on a regular basis at the BMFA Nationals free flight evenings, how wonderful.
My ambition when I left school at 15 was to be a full time aeromodeller but society thought differently. I joined the John Lewis Partnership where I eventually worked in several managerial positions including training and implementing computer systems until my retirement in 2003. (The same day as Concorde was retired, so I thought I was in good company).
Control Line aerobatics was my passion through the late 1950s and early 60s flying Enya 35 and Merco 35s in Ray Brown’s ‘Coy Lady’, Frank Warburton’s Stampe Monitor and Dave Christopher’s Skua with Rivers Silver Arrow 3.5cc diesel and I competed in the 1963 Nationals Control Line Gold Trophy (with little success I might add). Anything that flew was investigated. My first memories of radio control were home built valve transmitters and receivers running on 67.5 volts and that was just the receiver, the transmitter used Ever Ready 90v Ht and 1.5v Lt batteries. At that time I had to rely on others for transport which meant my flying was very localised although I did attend World Championships at RAF Kenley in 1962 on the Sunday when Harry Brookes was declared joint World Champion with Tom Brett. Memories of visiting Woodford, Woodbury Common and a few other competitions come to mind, but in June 1967 my trusty Austin A35 van got me and a club mate to the 1967 World Championships in Corsica to support the UK Team (managed by Geoff Franklin), Chris Olsen, Pete Waters and Dennis Hammant, and we saw Phil Kraft (USA) take the trophy as World Champion, about half the pilots used proportional.
In the 1960s I flew home built reeds with Bonner servos in models like Ed Kasmirski’s Taurus and Merco 49s and 61s. I eventually bought a MinX 10 Tx and Rx and later Futaba proportional (although converting from 27megs to 35 megs in 1984 I bought JR equipment and never really looked at any other make since). It wasn’t until 1976 when Richard (Dick) Fisher asked if I would test fly his prototype Fisher Redshift 60 I found out what a powerful aircraft could do. I was hooked on F3A but with little time or spare money due to the usual things through life again limited my aeromodelling activities to visiting the odd competition and flying locally. I was involved with the Fisher Redshift for several years supporting Richard, test flying, servicing and distributing engines to all parts of the world.
In my quest to investigate all things that fly led me in 1971 to build my own Rogalo hang glider, the metalwork with primitive tools was made in the garage and the sail sewn up on a borrowed sewing machine. As far I know I was the first person to throw myself off the Derbyshire hills, (may be it this sort of mentality which has allowed me to take on UK F3A Team Manager’s post in 2011). I enjoyed holding a PPL from 1980 until 2001 mainly flying Cessna 150s.
I have been Chairman and Secretary of my local club North Anston Society of Aeromodellers (NASA) since 1979.
Although I entered my first F3A competition around 1987 it wasn’t until my son Matt inherited my bug for F3A around the millennium I started to enter competitions and take F3A seriously. In those days I supported Matt as much as possible getting to grips with building composite models and operating YS engines, although he had already shown lots of building and flying skills several years earlier and announced he was going to show me how to fly properly, can’t argue with that then!
I became PRO for the GBR/CAA in 2005. I want to attract as many club flyers as I can to enjoy our section of our sport and particularly those young people with loads of ability and skill, and there are plenty around. I take every opportunity to give club talks, increase our profile on our flight line at the BMFA Nationals and write the GBR/CAA articles for each copy of the BMFA news. I am also one of the moderators of the GBR/CAA forum. During this time I have acted as Contest Director at over 16 competitions as well as competing at all levels in the GBR/CAA league with IC aircraft handed down by Matt, and after converting to electric power I now flying the FAI preliminary schedule with lots of opportunities for improvement, but I enjoy it enormously.
I will not tolerate dishonesty or anything less than a professional approach to any organisation and strive for total fair play.
My thanks go to all aeromodellers for their friendship and particularly the members of the GBR/CAA, Matt for sharing my passion and “showing me how it should be done” and Kath for her tolerance and patience.
I was appointed Team Manager for the F3A World Championships in Muncie USA where our team attained 9th place, the best result for many years. All the arrangements went to plan including two of the team staying on to compete at the F3A US Nationals and I have continued to be Team Manager for two European in France and Liechtenstein and further World Championship in South Africa.
Copyright © 2015 Great Britain Radio Control Aerobatic Association
Maintained by Matt Hoyland,
Ashley Hoyland, Alan Simmonds & John Mee