National Free Flight Society

SEN 2495

  1. USA Team Selection

USA Team Selection Event
This past 3 days was the USA Team Selection aka “The Finals” event for the World Champs to be held at Lost Hills in 2019.  The team consists of 3 team members in each of F1A, F1B and F1C. There is one alternate also selected for each class.

The event has a special format. Two classes are flown each day in  seven round contests, it has 25 minutes rounds and there is one person per pole position. And there are two competitions for each classes. The winners of each event becomes a team members. The third team member is selected based on an aggregate of the two events.

The scores of the contest were available online in real time at
and are still there.

The teams selected are:
Ken Bauer
Michael Thompson
Jim Parker
The alternate is Andrew Barron. Rene Limberger was in fourth place but he declined to take the place of alternate.

Greg Simon
Alex Andriukov
Blake Jensen
The alternate is  Jace Pivonka

Faust Parker
Taron Malkaysan
Jeff Ellington
The alternate is Don Chesson

The Team Manager is yet to be chosen.

The way the third team member is calculated is firstly based on the sum of the places (lowest best) they have obtain in the two contests. Ties are resolved based on performance in the regular events and then the flyoffs. The way the rules are written once a person has been selected for the team, they cannot fly in the contest any more. There were two examples of this circumstance at this year’s event.  For example in the F1C flyoff on the second F1C day. On the first flyoff round two people made the 6 minutes, Taron and Jeff.  However based on Jeff’s placing in the first contest Jeff had the third team spot. This is because no matter if he was first or second in another flyoff he had a team place. This meant that as Jeff had that place  he could not fly any more, making the Taron the winner of the day and gaining the team spot.  We add this explanation to the event report as an explanation as to why there was not an addition flyoff in the second contests for both F1A and F1C. We have not included a detailed description of the finals program as it is out of scope for this report.

This event had both excellent organization and weather. The preparation for the event was done by the Finals subcommittee of the Team Selection Committee.  The CD was John Lorbiecki, the NFFS president who drove out from Wisconsin with his wife Patty  just for this and Mike McKeever, F1A Champ played an essential role.  Mike and John were backed up Glen Schneider and Mike Richardson who gave flight line support. Roger Morrell was the head of Jury assisted by Chuck Etherington and Bob Tymchek.  Lindy Murrell was the scorekeeper who also updated the online score sheet.  Timing duty was done by contestants not flying on that day ably assisted by a number of volunteers whose greatly appreciated participation made the event possible.

All 3 days had great weather.  We had what one might call “typical” Lost Hills October. This is warm but not extremely hot. A gentle breeze in the morning changing to light and varied wind with very challenging thermals. These can be very hard to pick. This is reflected in the results.  Neither the wind nor retrieval was an issue.

While participation in the Finals has fallen off one encouraging element of this event was the increased participation of young people, particularity in F1B with excellent performances from Jace, Sevak, Brian and Ryan. It was also good to see 1995 F1B World Champ, Jerry Fitch taking part again after a break of almost 20 years.

As expected we saw many of the “latest” aircraft from all the “in” sources and some great performances from these airplanes such as Alex Andrikov’s impressive win the second F1B event.  However mention must be made of Michael Thompson’s performance in getting a team with an airplane that was over 10 year’s being a Stamov Fuselage, single servo Magic Timer (some of the “latest” F1As have 5 servos !) and “Little Al” wings.  While Mike was outclassed in the early AM flyoff in the first F1A event his high placing combined with a solid second event got him the third team spot.