Interview with Ian Waters, Club Director of the Actio(n) Scale Rally

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31st August 2015

Interview Editor - Geoff White and Ian Waters CD, BADMAC Actio(n) - August 2015


   GW - Well Ian now that the event has been run how do you think it went?


IW - It went reasonably well, more bouquets than brick bats which is nice but as with most things it can be improved. I will take up a number of the suggestions that were made.


GW - Like what?


IW - Well the first thing is to allocate schedules for the judged flying. This year I left it to the competitors to decide when they flew. Great idea but it didn’t work. I just could not get people up to the line and this affected the time allocated for free flying. Next year each competitor will be given a time slot. The usual caveats will be applied but consistent with our objectives that this is a fun weekend for all.


GW - What will happen if there are not enough competitors to fill the allowed time?


IW - Simple, the competitive time will be reduced accordingly. My objective is to have aircraft in the air at all times. That means any spare time will automatically be allocated to free flying.


GW - What if there are more competitors than time allowed?


IW - Well firstly I will cajole participants to be ready for their time slot, then if that is not enough, apply flight time limits by limiting the number of free passes, and finally if all else fails allocate another scheduled time enough to cover the backlog.


GW - Are you looking for any other changes to the competitive schedules?


IW - No not really. I think the flying part went quite well, but I was a little concerned at the judging. I’ll need to do more work on this before next year. On balance, the judging was fair and as you would hope the best pilots won. My concern was that there was not enough spread, between what I would consider a well executed maneuver and one that wasn’t done well. It’s not the individual judges fault, it’s just that not all of them have had the opportunity to view many competitive flights.

The Static judging went well considering that a number of the participants hadn’t before had a aircraft judged. A little more documentation was required, but again it is meant to be fun and inexperience will not be allowed to reduce scores. One change will be made though, and that is that hangar queens will not be allowed.


GW - What do you mean “hangar queens”?


IW - Simply that to be considered for the concourse award the aircraft must be flown at least once, in either the free or competitive parts of the event.


GW - Are you going to run two flight lines?


IW - Yes for the competitive flying to maximize the use of the allocated time . This will revert to a single line for the free flying.


GW - Three judges per flight line?


IW - No not this year Geoff. To be honest it’s difficult to get people prepared to judge so I’m going to try with 2 per line next year. I know that traditionally there are three, but I understand that many scale events are now run with only two and this by report, seems to run OK.


GW - Will there be any type specific awards?


IW - No, but I would really like to see more mammoth scale aircraft next year. Our field will have matured over the 12 months and grass cover will have improved and while it was adequate this year, next year will be better. I understand that one change is contemplated and that is to make the fence at the strip ends removable to extend the approaches for jets and other fast aircraft.


GW - Are you going to have dedicated times for jets?


IW - Yes if there is sufficient demand. It’s not at all comfortable for groups of fliers if there is a great disparity of speeds. I would still insist that there would be a maximum of 4 aircraft aloft at any time.


GW - Can anybody fly?


IW - Yes of course. The only limit is that all must hold as a minimum bronze wings for foamies, Silver for powered and I would expect that fliers with high performance or mammoth scale planes would have Gold. If they don’t have these gradings they may have demonstrate their ability to fly their planes to a appropriate standard.


GW - There were a few people and groups camping at the field, is going to be allowed again?


IW - Yes, but there is a limit to the number we can cater for, I would think about a dozen vans or tents would fill the available space. Bearing in mind of course that we only have a single shower and a greater number of overnighters will give rise to access delays. Unfortunately next year we will have to levy a overnight charge to cover costs. I don’t know what it’s going to be, the committee will decide that, but if it’s more than $5 per person per night I would be surprised.

What I will be asking the catering committee to assess, is the possibility of having a roast meal on site on the Saturday, I think if this is available from about 5.30 the overnighters and others would appreciate it.


GW - What; eat it and beat it?


IW - At that time of the year and weather permitting we could have night flying after a meal. Now that would be nice.


GW - being a long weekend, (though probably only in Victoria) is there any thought of extending the event to run over the 3 days.


IW - No not really Geoff, the field will be open on the Monday and anybody is free to fly anything under the usual cub rules. There wouldn’t be any formal catering arrangements other than a sausage sizzle if there was a demand. The field is also open on the days prior for practice and familiarisation.


GW - The prizes for the awards this year were quite good, are you going to continue this standard?


IW - I hope to. This year we were most fortunate to have Addies Hobbies as the major sponsor. I hope he will again support us as did a number of our local businesses. I would like to see every entrant leave with something. I will still insist that, with a single exception and that is the pilots choice, no entrant will be awarded more than one of the major awards. Similarly, if there are more entrants than available prizes at the random draw then those who are major winners would be excluded from the draw.


GW - You seem to be catering only to the scale fliers, what about the public and others.?


IW - It is a scale event Geoff. The rules are wide enough to allow any aircraft that resembles a full size aircraft to fly. Unless it’s a out and out specialist aircraft most modelers will have in their hangar an Extra, Mustang, Cub or similar that qualifies. It’s just got to be recognisable as a known type. I expect that with the diversity of models, and the intent to have something in the air at all times, there will be something of interest happening to keep the public attention. Although I haven’t developed it yet, I would like to see something for the visitors to get involved, it could be a chuck glider comp and a lolly drop for the kids. Are you looking for a job to organise this?


GW - No not especially..... Thank you Ian.

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