National Free Flight Society

SEN 3040

  1. CD’s Report
  2. Results
  3. Jury Report
2022 United States FAI Free Flight Team Selection Contest

  Contest Directors Report

The US Team selection contest was held October 10th through October 14th on schedule with no reserve days required.

First let me take a moment to thank the considerable help I received in managing this event.

David Lindley, NFFS President, arrived the day before processing and was a valuable asset throughout the contest.  He essentially did everything asked of him without question and helped the event run very smoothly.  In addition to his miscellaneous duties from line and scoring help to dismantling headquarters on a nightly basis, Chuck Etherington used him as a juror throughout the event.  NFFS has a very dedicated and active leader in David Lindley and I was lucky to have his assistance.

Glenn Schneider, District X Vice President for NFFS was equally helpful.  Dave and Glenn worked as my NFFS team to do scoring and get the score cards moved throughout the event.  Glenn was instrumental is convincing me that timers were not the folks to move the score cards down the line and he and David could do the job more efficiently.  Glenn was correct.  Glenn freely provided additional input as the contest progressed.

Terry Kerger assumed the role of Head Processor and was a jury member through most of the event.  Terry provided input into the event management that was well thought out and timely.  Terry personally spot processed approximately 80% of the entire field of flyers.  There was always a steady line of flyers and their models arriving at the processing tent each round.  More important Terry, as a former Finals CD, was a great advisor that I often sought advice or bounced ideas off of on the event’s management.

Chuck Etherington was invaluable as Head Jurist.  He assembled a fine jury that heard two protests during the contest.  He and I had several important conversations about events that took place.  His calm demeanor and thoughtful approach to the various issues that came up provided a consistency to our decisions that was appreciated by me as well as other competitors.  Chuck sat beside me during fly offs providing that important element of integrity.  I also appreciated that despite Chuck’s important duty as Head Jurist, he gladly accepted any duty that was required at the contest headquarters.

Aimee Raymond/Marty Schroedter did the initial processing for the largest event F1B.  They worked efficiently as a team and always asked if there was anything they could do as the contest progressed.  It was good to have their combined contest management experience available.

Tiffany O’Dell/Blake Jensen helped me set two remote lines on the Monday before the flying started.  Although these lines were never used their help in making sure we had all the wind directions covered was important to the success of the Finals.


Lost Hills was one hot and dusty place for the week of the Finals.  Many thermometers held reading in excess of 100 degrees and our coolest day was well into the 90s during the event.  While hot, the event was flown in very flyable weather with only a slight 30 minute delay in a single round when the breeze turned toward the “pits” and Holloway Road.  Every day was pretty much a copy of the previous day.  The first rounds were flown in relatively calm variable winds.  The second rounds were breezier and reached speeds of 5 to 7 miles per hour.  The third through six rounds stayed variable and relatively calm and finally the seventh and first fly off rounds were flown in the highest winds of the day occasionally approaching 10 miles an hour.  Following the first fly off round at approximately 4:40 PM the winds (and thermals) subsided and the events were decided in a 5:40 PM eight minute max in very calm weather.  In general, although hot, the weather was as good as can be expected for an event over four days.  Interestingly the following Saturday, after the conclusion of the Finals, winds blew hard enough that the blowing dust would have meant that no contest flying could have taken place in the afternoon.  So luck was on our side for these Finals.

The Contest

Processing went off without a hitch as there were dedicated processors for each event.         David Lindley and Glenn Schneider processed F1A.  Marty Schroeder and Aimee Raymond processed F1B and Terry Kerger processed F1C.  Processing was complete by early afternoon with the exception of a few flyers.

I held a flyers meeting at approximately 5 PM Monday eventing and went over a few issues including my intention not to move the line in variable winds, the difference between a CD consult and a protest, and other general rules including the OK to climb the almond trees which are currently being removed from the orchard surrounding our flying site.  A brief note here regarding the trees.  I am unaware of any flight during the Finals that went into the trees so our decision to fly the contest from the “road” line for all regular rounds and most fly off rounds was a good one.  We did fly the third team member fly offs from a spot near the center of the field.

F1A and F1B flew on Tuesday.  This day was also known as Terrible Tuesday as five F1C flyers were scheduled to time up to 16 F1B flyers.  Despite one flyers concern about not enough timers, the work done to ensure we had timers was successful and no administrative staff were required to step in and time.  F1A was won by Ken Bauer with the only max out of the 10 flyers that flew.  Guy Goldstein was second and  Brian Van Nest was third which placed then in a position to fly off for the third team spot.  Walt Ghio won F1B in the eight minute fly off against Sevak Malkhasyan and Aram Schlosberg, who qualified for the third place fly off.

The hard day out of the way, Wednesday F1B and F1C flew.  Few paid timers were required (in total 10 paid timers were used in the contest and paid $100 each).  F1B was won by Alex Andriukov again in the eight minute fly off round, with Sevak Malkhasyan and Charlie Jones in the second and third positions.  Sevak was already in the third place fly off so only Charlie Jones was added to the fly off for the third team spot.  That fly off was scheduled for Thursday morning as no other regular fly off was required from the day before as F1C was won in the six minute fly off by Don Chesson.  Guy Menanno and Jeff Ellington qualified for the third team member fly off.

Thursday morning the F1B “third spot on the team” fly off was flown between Sevak Malkhasyan, Charlie Jones and Aram Schlosberg.  The fly off was flown from a line in the middle of the flying site at approximately 7:20 AM.  Sevak won his spot on the team with the win and Charlie became first alternate.  There were some who thought this fly off should occur Friday morning but the rules clearly stated it could be done if no other regular round fly offs were required and I wanted to get the fly off in to avoid potential weather and a crowded Friday fly off schedule.

F1C and F1A flew their second day of competition.  In F1C, Walt Ghio won the six minute fly off to make the F1C team.  Jeff Ellington and Guy Menanno finished second and third and would fly off on Friday morning for the third team spot.  Walt was very happy with his win in both F1B and F1C a feat that had not been accomplished in decades. In F1A Andrew Barron won his team spot with a victory in the six minute fly off.  Guy Goldstein was second and Jim Farmer third, adding Jim to the next morning fly off for third team spot.

There are two women who made the team for France.  In F1A Anat Goldstein flew very well in her first Finals.  On the second day, circle towing for the majority of her rounds, Anat maxed out.  She had school obligations and could not fly in the four person fly off but would have been a contender for the win.  Aimee Raymond also flew well to secure her spot on the F1B team.  Aimee maxed out the first day and had a small drop the second.  Both Aimee and Anat will be welcome additions to the US Team.

Friday morning had similar weather as all previous days competition so it was not difficult to get the two fly offs decided in F1A and F1C.  F1A flew first and was won by Brian Van Nest to put him on the team.  There was a protest heard on the F1A results that I will discuss in more detail later in the report.  F1C followed with a 10 minute fly off between Jeff Ellington and Guy Menanno, who seemed to be neck and neck throughout the 4 days of competition.  Jeff won the fly off adding his name to the team and Guy is first alternate.

That is the competition report.  It is notable that there were no 10 minute fly offs required to decide a regular day’s event which were all decided by either no fly off required or in the six or eight minute fly offs.  In addition I was unaware of any event influenced by blowing dust and models were timed to the ground on all fly offs. The Friday’s fly offs for the third team spot were easily done so the Finals was completed on time and no reserve days were required.


There were two formal protests heard by the jury.  There were a few consultations with the CD that were not formally heard.

The first formal protest was lodged by Adam Schlosberg and Bob Sifleet.  On the second day of F1B during the second round (a 240 second max)  the variable wind shifted to a steadier breeze blowing toward the “pits”.  Aram and Bob thought the pits created a safety hazard and wanted to move the line to the West line that had been set up.  I expressed my opinion to Chuck that a move was inappropriate given that the wind had calmed and turned variable in the days before and a delay was more appropriate.  The jury agreed with my reasoning and a 30 minute delay was given.  The wind shifted back to variable in the 30 minute delay and the contest continued.  This was a good call as the trees near the West line would have become a factor had we moved to the new line.

The second formal protest was a little more difficult but very much expected.  In the F1A fly off Friday morning for the third team spot, Guy Goldstein launched his model which over bunted and as it was going to be a bad flight, Guy DT’d the model intentionally.  There were three timers. Only one timed the attempt and got 20.13 seconds (13 hundredth of a second over an attempt).  Inexplicably, two experienced timers did not get a correct time on the attempt.  One was so surprised by the unexpected over bunt that he never started his watch and the other stopped his watch when the model was DT’d rather than when it touched the ground.  Clearly there was an error when a timer stopped his watch on DT which made his time ineligible for averaging due to error and the other timer had no time.  The time was reported to me and I consulted with Guy Goldstein.  I advised that only one of three timers timed his attempt but that timer had him over the 20 second attempt meaning the flight would count.  I told Guy (who could not believe the circumstances) that if he wanted to protest he would need to refly or the time would stand.  He reflew and the time he got was in excess of Brian Van Nest’s flight.  Brian was upset and announced his intention to protest.  I talked to Guy and his helper Sevak Malkhasyan and advised my opinion that there was little they could protest and it was highly unlikely that the jury hearing a formal protest would find in Guy’s favor.  Guy was still unsure what to do and advised he would rather have Brian’s protest heard and might formulate his own protest based on only one time from three timers.  The protest was formally heard by the jury and Brian’s protest was upheld.  Brian was announced as the third team member in F1A.  Looking back I believe this incident should have been heard by the jury as the circumstances were a little bizarre.  Only one timer out of three had Guy .13 over an attempt.  If there was a circumstance where a protest should have been filed this was a good example and the final result was completely correct.

That wraps up my summary of the Team Selection Trials for 2022.  Great weather, just like Sierra and Kotuku Cups before the Finals.  The great weather lead to a very fair result and a team that should compete well in France.  Good luck to all the winners and again thanks again for all the help I received as contest director!

Mike McKeever
CD for the 2022 Team Selection Trials


USA Team 2023

Ken Bauer
Andrew Barron
Brian Van Nest
Anat Goldstein

Walt Ghio
Alex Andruikov
Sevak Malkhasyan
Aimee Raymond

Don Chesson
Walt Ghio
Jeff Ellington

    F1A Day One
1   Ken Bauer          240 240 180 180 180 180 180     1380
2   Goldstein, Guy     233 180 180 180 180 180 180     1373
3   Brian Van Nest     240 180 180 180 180 165 180     1365
4   Enes Penecenkovic  240 240 180 180 180 153 100     1273
5   Peter Barron       240 240 180 180 73  180 180     1273
6   Risto Puhakka      240 213 180 180 180 89  180     1262
7   Jim Farmer         240 168 180 180 180 180 120     1248
8   Jim Parker         152 173 180 180 180 180 180     1225
9   Andrew Barron      240 210 109 180 180 180 88      1187
10  Anat Goldstein     205 181 180 180 180 180 37      1143
F1A Day2
1   Andrew Barron      240 240 180 180 180 180 180 234 1614
2   Guy Goldstein      240 240 180 180 180 180 180 213 1593
3   Jim Farmer         240 240 180 180 180 180 180 162 1542
4   Anat Goldstein     240 240 180 180 180 180 180 0   1380
5   Enes Pencenkovic   240 240 139 180 180 180 180     1339
6   Brian Van Nest     240 240 180 180 180 139 180     1339
7   Risto Puhakka      240 240 180 180 133 180 180     1333
8   Peter Barron       233 154 180 180 180 180 180     1287
9   Jim Parker         32  240 180 180 180 180 117     1109
Third Team member Flyoff
1   Brian Van Nest     353                             353
2   Jim Farmer         281                             281
3   Guy Goldstein      20                              20

    F1B Day One

NAME           1    2    3    4    5    6    7    FO1  FO2  Total
1   Walt Ghio      240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  240  1980
2   Sevak Malkhasya240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  306  2046
3   Aram Schlosberg240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  305  2045
4   Alex Andriukov 240  240  180  180  180  180  180  316       1696
5   Bob Sifleet    240  240  180  180  180  180  180  308       1688
6   Aimee Raymond  240  240  180  180  180  180  180  271       1651
7   Bill Booth     240  240  180  180  180  180  180  259       1639
8   Blake Jensen   240  236  180  180  180  180  180            1376
9   Ron Felix      240  231  180  180  180  180  180            1371
10  Jerry Fitch    240  240  169  180  180  180  180            1369
11  Greg Simon     240  240  180  180  180  180  135            1335
12  Mike Davis     240  240  180  180  180  180  114            1314
13  Charlie Jones  240  240  180  173  180  180  108            1131
14  Paul Crowley   62   240  140  180  180  180  0              937

F1B Day two
1   Alex Andriukov 240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  329  2069
2   Sevak Malkhasya240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  296  2036
3   Charlie Jones  240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  260  2000
4   Ron Felix      240  240  180  180  180  180  180  287       1667
5   Jerry Fitch    213  240  180  180  180  180  180            1353
6   Aimee Raymond  240  240  180  180  150  180  180            1350
7   Mike Davis     240  240  180  180  150  180  180            1350
8   Blake Jensen   240  240  160  180  180  180  164            1344
9   Greg Simon     240  240  180  180  180  124  180            1324
10  Bill Booth     240  240  180  180  87   180  180            1293
11  Paul Crowley   240  240  151  116  180  180  180            1287
12  Bob Sifleet    240  240  180  180  104  119  154            1217
13  Aram Schlosberg240  240  127  180  116  168  11             1082

F1B Third Spot
1   Sevak Malkhasyan    438
2   Charlie Jones       410
3   Aram Schlosberg     404

    F1C day 1
NAME         1    2    3    4    5    6    7    FO1  FO2  Total
1   Don Chesson    240  240  180  180  180  180  180  328       1708
2   Guy Menanno    240  240  180  180  180  180  180  209       1589
3   Jeff Ellington 240  240  180  180  180  126  180            1326
4   Walt Ghio      240  200  180  180  174  180  154            1308
5   Faust Parker   240  240  180  180  20   0    0              860
6   Ron McBurnett  128  221  151  110  0    0    0              610

F1C Day 2
1   Walt Ghio      240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  384  2124
2   Jeff Ellington240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  378  2118
3   Guy Menanno    240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  353  2093
4   Ron McBurnett  240  240  180  180  180  180  180  360  302  2042
5   Faust Parker   240  240  0    0    0    0    0              480

F1C Third Team Spot
1   Jeff Ellington 385                                          385
2   Guy Menanno    363                                          363


Jury Report
2022 Team Selection Finals

Mike Mckeever, Contest Director, will be submitting a separate contest report with results. Per the authority of the jury, the results are certified as official.

The “Finals” was held 10-14 October 2022 at Bissonette Mirage Field, Lost Hills, CA.

Chuck Etherington – Head
Dave Lindley – Oct 11-14
Terry Kerger – Oct 11-13
Pete McQuade – Oct 14

A great big “Thanks” to Dave, Terry and Pete!

The weather was outstanding for each day of competition. Wind was usually light and variable with general drift to the south. Flight lines were set up in the most logical location at the north end of the field and no flight line changes were required. The sky varied from clear to scattered cirrus. Visibility unlimited. The only delay was on Wednesday (10/12) when round 2 was delayed 30 minutes due to drift being toward the “pits.” Toward the end of round 1, and during the delay, the drift swung around nicely to south.

F1A, B and C each flew 2 days and timed one day. 7 rounds were flown each day with rounds 1 and 2 being 4 minute maxes and the rest 3 minute. 6 and 8 minute max flyoffs were flown as late in the day as practical with the intent of resolving the contest the same day. In addition to the competitors timing on the days their event was not scheduled, volunteer timekeepers were used to supplement.

Two protests were filed and resolved to the satisfaction of both.

Per the “Program,” the team was determined as follows:

  • 1st team member – winner of the day 1st competition
  • 2nd team member – winner of the day 2 competition
  • 3rd team member – 2nd and 3rd place from day 1 and day 2 flying off together
  • 4th team member- per Sporting Code

Unlike previous Finals, the 3rd place team member was not chosen using a sum-of-ranks method, but instead a flyoff between the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from each day. Also, the FAI Sporting Code added a provision for a 4thteam member for the purpose of encouraging female fliers. Not only does that increase a country’s chance of having a World Champion, but it also increases the opportunity for team medals by taking the 3 highest scores of their 4-person teams.

On a personal note; the Finals were well organized and well run. I would like to thank Mike McKeever for his outstanding service as CD, and Blake Jensen for his contest preparation. Numerous others to be thanked will be in Mike’s contest report.

Chuck Etherington

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Roger Morrell