Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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IRCHA 2009 Jamboree

The week-long 2009 International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association (IRCHA) Jamboree boasted 954 registered pilots. This is the largest pilot registration ever for IRCHA and it’s said to be the largest RC event to date. Dave Millner, president of IRCHA, confirmed that the IRCHA is now the biggest event in RC history and even beats Joe Nall! Yes, Joe Nall had 820 registered pilots this year said Millner. And how about the total number of people?-not just pilots. I do not have accurate counts, but we estimate we had an extra 1,000 people on site, and double that for the night-fly fireworks, said Millner. AROUND THE CAMP At the IRCHA campgrounds at the AMA headquarters in Muncie, IN, we found more than a handful of amazing undiscovered pilots in addition to the well-known sponsored pilots. The number of hotshot pilots increases yearly. The speed, precision and outright action on the field is outstanding. The AMA field for IRCHA boasted 15 pilot stations at site 1, 4 stations at site 3 and a class one contest at site 5. It was quite difficult to cover every pilot at the field, but we tried to interview as many as we could. Sorry to those we missed; for 2010 we’ll have more people and gear.
Sarah Czerwinski
This was Sarah’s second time at IRCHA; her first hover was at IRCHA 2008, and she has now been flying for about 18 months. Instructed by her boyfriend, Bart, she flies the Synergy N9 with a YS 60 motor. She says that orientation was the most difficult to overcome. She hopes to inspire more women to get into the hobby and also wants to get to the extreme 3D level but is taking it slow. I bet she doesn’t crash as much as I do. Maybe I could take a lesson in taking it slow!
Heli Master “Finless Bob”Master Finless Bob was close by at all times, and how could we miss that rich, deep, Southern voice? Having watched many of his instructional videos on HeliFreak, I’d recognize him anywhere. Many of us have watched countless videos by him. When we are stuck and just can’t figure it out, Finless bails us out. His latest project, which is almost complete, is to get newbie nitro pilots into helis inexpensively. He says that the build includes a Pantera Oden .90 with Hitec 6975s on the cyclic and a Futaba 9254 with a Spartan gyro on the tail. These details may change and there may be additions. It will be nice to see this newest video by Finless. Finless says his goal is “To help the new guy get in the air fast.” I asked him where he think the industry is heading: he believes that flybarless is about to take off. We also heard Jason Krause say that he’s working on a flybarless-ready-kit. I think these guys are right!
Bert Kammerer flew Align’s new T-Rex-450 Sport-a new V3 model based on the T-Rex 450 SE V2. It has a V3 head, and the tail rotor is belt-driven. Just as I’ve seen in the videos with the 450 Pro, Bert slung the 450 Sport around as if it were a dragonfly. It flew very well and the new Thunder power 45C batteries delivered ample power.
Charlie Stephens and Team Outrage are hitting the industry hard with their new line of helicopters. We saw their 550 electric at the 2008 show, and in 2009, they showed off the Velocity 50 (available exclusively from Helidirect). The Velocity 50 has an 8.6: 1 gear ratio, custom Cannomod, Outrage Hyper Rage muffler, torque tube, carbon-fiber tail blades and a YS-56. Henry Caldwell swung 630mm carbon-fiber rotor blades. I can’t say enough good things about the Outrage and Helidirect folks and their willingness to help heli pilots to get their birds set up properly. Charlie has a 90 prototype that I guess could lead to a Velocity
90, maybe for IRCHA 2010, but who knows. Helidirect is releasing a new battery line-NRG batteries-and will carry their own line of fuel called Formula Fuel. They will be releasing 8V Torq brand servos with brushless/coreless motors. During the noontime demo, we saw Austin Stephens, Charlie’s son, fly 3D with the Velocity 50. What a hotshot this kid is! If he keeps it up, he’ll soon be competing with the top pros. It’s always nice to see youngsters join our hobby. We found Alan Szabo, Bert Kammerer, Danny Szabo, and Mark Padilla taking a break from insane 3D and having fun with E-flite’s new fixed-pitch micro-heli. the Blade MSR. As I watched them fly it, I heard Wow! This thing is pretty smooth. Then they crashed into one another.
Crash Hatfieldthe guy who entertains the prosWhere the heck did this guy come from? Who is Bryce Hatfield? We did not find a lot about him on the Internet and found only one video of him on YouTube, and it didn’t show his face. Just as we ran into Jason Krause and Bert Kammerer, Bryce swooped in on his golf cartwater bottles falling out of it and a cigar in his mouth. His beaten-up canopy and smashed landing gear made his helicopter look like a battlefield casualty. Then, out of nowhere, this guy blew us all away with his unique flying style and hyperactive mannerisms. When I was 1 A full negative quick stop I do, which hasn’t got a thing to do with 3D but gives good adrenaline! Also that funnel I do around myself is just as good for adrenaline. 2 Upright backwards controlled figure-8s. However, just relearning this from old-school fast flying around with loops rolls and inverted flightswitched and then switchless! 3 Adapting to the new 3D style was probably the longest learning curve. Who knew a heli wouldn’t plummet to terra firma with zero degrees as our minds told us back then?!
with him I called him Taz, but he said his friends call him Crash. He’s a really upbeat guy who’s friends with Jason Krause and flies with him all the time back home. His flying style appears to be smack-downto a point at which I expected his helicopter to fracture into a million pieces after each move. We watched him go across the field at high speed and then stop dead in a sort of sideways tic-toc manner. Then he popped the stick and blasted in the other direction. We watched him do a high-speed funnel around himself while smiling broadly. The cigar never fell out of his mouth. Words can’t really describe the unique nature of Bryce’s flying style, but expert pilots cheered him on to do certain moves. That says a lot. Those who gathered were highly entertained. If you find yourself at the same event as Jason Krause, ask him where Bryce Hatfield is; you’ll be glad you did. Bryce has another claim to fame: he flew in the movie Firebirds, which starred Nicholas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones and Shaun Young. He flew the helicopters and watched them blow up for the film. Cool! This was all before we had computerized graphics. Seems a lot more fun than clicking a mouse!
We watched Tim Jones fly a T-Rex 700 converted to electric. The heli used a 12S setup and the new HP-160 controller by Castle Creations. We saw the 5035 Vertigo motor slinging those large 700mm blades. The heli seemed to have insane power, and it certainly proved to be a winner.
BUILD CONTESTBrian Lardino of Pierceton, IN, and Jesse James of Wayne, MI, were tasked with a build contest. They had to assemble, level off and test-fly the Titan 50 SE as quickly as they could. Of course, the contest required that their helis actually flew. Jesse James won, but in the spirit of IRCHA 2009, both pilots were allowed to keep their helis and take them home to be crashed! IRCHA 2009 was spectacular, and the number of pilots and the great variety of RC helicopters was a testament to how quickly the hobby is growing. If you can make it, put IRCHA 2010, August 11 through 15 on your calendar!

LinksInternational Radio Controlled Helicopter Association