Orlando Helicopter Blowout – 2012

Just back from the Orlando 2012 Heli Blowout, that was fun!! This year A Main Hobbies was one of the event sponsors, represented by Tim Jones and Andrew Merlino. This was a huge event with over 300 registered pilots, second only to IRCHA. The event was well organized and well attended, with large crowds during the day and again for the night flying on Saturday. The nice Florida weather contributed to plenty of non-stop action at the flight line, with the center stations reserved for the pro pilots.
Tim and Andrew did lots of flying, getting plenty of attention from the crowd. One of the highlights was Saturday’s noontime demo, when Tim and Andrew performed a fast paced tandem flight. Tim flew the “Beast” and Andrew his 700E. That was crazy fast and exiting, the crowd loved it.

Tim got many requests at center stage and he did not disappoint. Tim with the “Beast” and his 120 powered nitro is always a crowd favorite. The night flying competition was “off the hook”, Andrew entertained the crowd with one of the best flights of the night, though he was edged out from the podium by stiff competition.
Throughout the event, the MC did a great job promoting all the sponsors, including A Main, so we had quite a bit of traffic coming by the A Main tent, wanting to see the machines, setup, and chat with the guys.
We would like to thank A Main for the support. Also, would like to thank Bert Kemmerer, James Cistola and the rest of TORCH’s crew for putting together such great event and for providing the hospitality and resources at the field.
PS: A comment from an enthusiastic fan, found on RunRyder:
“This was my 1st OHB (Sat only, and I was there for the mini funfly early this year), and all I can say is that I am already on countdown mode for next year! In 2013 I want to be there for the 3 days.
The demo flights were awesome. The one that impressed me the most was from amainhobbies and it was fantastic to say the least. The 2 Helis flying together at full speeds like that was insane!!
The night flights were mind bogging. I know now the guys that fly at night have supper power like X-ray vision or something like that.
Thank you TORCHS, thank you sponsors for putting together such a great event!!!
See you next year.
Paulo ”

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XFC 2012

This was my third year competing in the heli category. As usual, a memorable experience to be sure. Quite an honor to have been selected as an invitee and to have the chance to be on this stage with the top pilots.

We arrived at Muncie on Wednesday night. This year we had special guests traveling with us. Our good friends Dave Silva and Bill Lentine from our home field, the 495th RC Squadron in Tewksbury MA, decided to travel with us to witness first hand the spectacle that is the XFC.

We found perfect weather, in fact this is the fist year that the weather was perfect for the entire duration of the event, a nice surprise. No dodging tornado’s and flying porta-pottys like last year. Thursday was a full day of practice, it was nice not to have to get up early in the morning and rush for the Last Chance Qualifier, it’s good to be an invitee! Thank you Frank Knoll.

NOTE: Picture courtesy of http://www.RunRyder.com.

As expected, Friday was serious business, day one of the preliminaries. Nick Maxwell opened the competition and set the bar very high with a fantastic known routine. Everyone else also flew very strong and consistent, especially Kyle Dahl, Kyle Stacy, Jamie, Bobby and Colin. I completed both my known and unknown routines. The execution went pretty well, although two of the known maneuvers were not my absolute best. At the end of day one my placement was around 10th.

Saturday morning, day two of the preliminaries, I was well rested and looking to improve. Again I completed my known routine, and I felt it was a little better than Friday’s, although the scores did not reflect that. In the afternoon it was my last chance and decided to go all out with the unknown routine. It was going really well, it probably would have been my best run but at 3:40 one of my aggressive on-the-deck moves resulted in the tail touching the hardtop, followed by the dreaded horn sound and forced to land about 20 seconds early. Sure enough, upon inspection, my tail blades were an inch shorter… hate when that happens!!

Overall, I ended up in the 11th place in the preliminaries. Not as high as I had hoped but I have to be pretty happy with that, considering the consistency and the excellence of the field, especially Nick, Kyle and Jamie. Kyle Stacy and Colin were also amazing.

We watched the finals on Sunday and the award ceremonies, and then we began our journey back home. All in all a memorable experience.

I would like to thank my sponsors A Main Hobbies, Scorpion Power Systems and Caste Creations for all their support.

Andrew

Event Videos can be seen here.

NOTE: Picture’s courtesy of http://www.RunRyder.com.

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Mid America Fun Fly

My dad and I just got back from the Mid America Heli Fun Fly, a great event indeed! When we arrived on Friday afternoon, we were greeted warmly by Big D, who was very apologetic about the forecasted bad weather. A Main team mates Tim Jones and Wesley Griffith were already at play. This was our first time at this event. The airport on the small island of Grosse Ile offered an excellent location for the event, with lots of flight stations along a huge runway, with plenty of room. Although the rain was threatening, it did manage to stay dry all afternoon. No time to waste, I was able to get quite a few flights before we headed to dinner with a group from the event. Big D had made arrangement for a gathering at a local restaurant.

Saturday was a nice surprise. Instead of the gloomy forecast we had a very nice day, with just a light breeze. The flight line was rocking all day with lots of big names, including Nick, Bobby, Bert, Kyle and may others. At one point I followed Tim and Wesley to center stage and I think we did a good job entertaining the crowd with some “off the hook” flying. Big D made it extra fun, with his colorful announcing and commentary. I did my best to keep up with Tim’s “Beast”. Even though A Main team was small we still managed to make a strong presence. Later in the afternoon Mark Ryder set up his camera near center stage and again many pilots made a bee line to show off in front of the camera. Some pretty crazy flying to say the least, what a blast!! At the end of the day, my two 700Es were still in one piece, my dad was happy about that.

Overall an excellent, fun event. Thanks to Big D for such well organized event and thanks to A Main.

Wesley took some videos. Also we should have videos on RunRyder.com soon.

Andrew

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8th Annual 495th RC Squadron Heli Fun Fly

Had a great time Saturday at the 8th Annual 495th RC Squadron heli fun fly in Tewksbury, MA. The 495th is my home field, where I do a lot of my flying and practicing with friends and local pilots. This year we were blessed with perfect weather and the event had a good turnout from the local New England area. Plenty of smack action all day long. At one point Long put up two flags on the field…well, too tempting to resist, see video. The event ended late night, after some entertaining good old fashion spotlight night flying.

Andrew

Andrew at the 495th RC Squadron Heli Fun Fly with local talent Long Vu and Devon Conners.

Click Here for EVENT VIDEOS.

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Team A Main at the 2012 Huntsville Fun Fly

Team A Main at the 2012 Huntsville Fun Fly

A Main Hobbies team pilots Wesley Griffith, Devin LeBlanc, Greggor McGrath, Tim Jones, Leon Luke, Andrew Merlino and Frank Columbia take to the sky at the 2012 Huntsville Fun Fly.

Andrew Merlino

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Andrew Merlino Among Invitees to Compete at 2012 Extreme Flight Championships

NOTE:  Please see AMainHobbies Blog for full Story.

For the third year in a row, A Main Hobbies team pilot Andrew Merlino will compete in the elite invitation-only Extreme Flight Championships, held at the AMA Headquarters in Muncie, IN.

Andrew Merlino

NOTE:  Please see AMainHobbies Blog for full Story.

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New Heli this year

Compas 7HV

Here are a few photos of my Compas 7HV while at the 495th R/C Squadron flying field in Tewksbury, MA.

Here is a recent video of the Compas 7HV in flight.

Photos courtesy of Long Vu.

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Events for 2012 posted

Events Andrew will be attending have been posted to the Events page.

You can reach it here:  Events 2012

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Flying in the Dense Fog

So I was out yesterday practicing a routine for the 2012 XFC contest entry submission and before we started on the practice I got in a warm up flight which we captured on video. The video came out better than we expected it to and wanted to share it since it doesn’t contain the routine.

Enjoy the flight.

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