SEN 1707

SEN 1707 - Table of Contents

  1. Casino Case
  2. Next Finals Location ?
  3. Nevada Explanation
  4. Update from NFFS Pubs - the Sympo is in the shop plus more!

2012- Southwest FAI Challenge and the Casino Case
Weather report was windy for Friday on lake bed so Jon Davis and I took our time on the drive from LA.  When we got to the lake bed, Bill Booth and Bob Beecroft were taking entry and we chatted with the few that were.
I have always stayed in the Boulder City motels but this year I used Expedia’s  “best price- hidden motel name”   and  found after payment we were in the Hacienda Casino. Several of the F1B flyers stay there and we had a table of twelve that evening at the Casino’s banquet room.
Saturday morning was per the weather forecast—perfect.  I made a test flight with newly repaired LDA which launched straight and high but the bunt timing was off. I used standard models for the contest to make the fly off along with 4 others: Rene L, Andrew B, Lee H, and Shlomi R.  Thinking there would surely be lift at 4:30 for the 5 min FO flight I flew a short model.  While towing, the positive air felt marginal for 5 minutes—this was true—I did ~4:40 for second. Rene won with a flight just a few seconds short of 5 minutes.
The conditions continued to be wonderful as the F1B FO was flown. Rene, Victor S and I had a LDA training session.  After several adjustment flights, I got the bunt timing and enjoyed several slow motorcycle rides observing my LDA glide.
Sunset ended this time, Jon and I packed up and off to the Casino, schlepped the model boxes up the elevator were I left my model box out in the hall way. This grievous act was not discovering until just before hitting the bed for the night.  Surely I left the box in the car and I confused Friday night’s model box schlepping—alas no—the model box was not in the car. To borrow from Victor S—“It’s like a bad dream”. Retracing our steps that night, Jon and I left the room for dinner, we turned left to the—the box was to the right seating just inches from us. The hard fact that my model was gone started to hit.
I made the report of the missing box to the front desk and then filled out forms at the Casino’s security office. The Casino dispatched messages to the maintenance people—one of which walked the stairwells. I made Reward signs and posted them. Jon and I went through the Casino asking everyone that would talk to us about the model box.
After calling Cathy to let her know my dire straights, I resolved to sit on our  14th floor  (actually 13th floor—gamblers are superstitious and also explains the ‘good deal’ I got on the 13th floor room) and talk to every person—even if it took to noon the next day. Just after midnight I heard the elevator and a young couple came down the hall. I asked if they had seen a wood box. They said had and they put in their room.  Immediate relief and thanks to these good Samaritans-----. They said the box was there for 3 hours, they knocked on our door but got no answer, they were in a hurry so put the box in their room and left.  I gladly gave them the $100 reward and they opened the box to show them the models--- it was clear they had opened the box—one broken rudder—no big deal. Then I noticed the two palm pilots were missing—“oh we looked at them trying to find a telephone number”. So much for being in a hurry. I then saw my Bauer and M&K RDT transmitters were missing. The gal was in the room, the guy then confessed—“I thought they were transmitters so I through them out the window”.
I’m still in the “Thank God, I have my models after being so stupid to leave them in a Casino Motel hall”.  So I calmly explained that I need these “control boxes” to fly the models. The guy left to find them. Ten minutes later he returns empty handed. I cut my loss, bid them good night. I did go down and report the returned box—the lady at the front desk asked which room the couple were in—she punched in the numbers and said “Uhmmmm”. I took down the reward signs and headed to bed.
It took a while to get to sleep—at 4:00 the phone rung, “This is the front desk, the security guards found your controllers. Please go to the security office to get them.”  Three guards had gone and searched the area below our room. The Bauer unit was fine, all in one piece.  The M&K front plate came off and the red and green buttons broke in several pieces—the guards found then all!   The electronics however worked.  So Bauer and M&K both passed a 13 floor drop-shock test. The senior guard then explained that the “Good Samaritan” was a former Casino security guard that had been released from Casino employment. 
I got to bed, and slept in missing the tie-breaker F1H. Lee H was the only other F1H flier—we both managed to make 4 maxes each while trimming our models.  In the 5th round Lee dropped so only needed to max to win—I was carefully- picked a nice piece of air--- not, but it was enough to beat Lee by 2 seconds.
During the day I did a closer inventory of the model, my Bauer Altimax was missing. Jon and I went back to the Casino where we saw the senior guard and I explained the missing Altimax. He arranged to go the couple’s room to look for the Altimax. The room was torn apart. The guard explained that ½ hour after check out time, three guards knocked on the door and gave the couple 10 minutes to be out. The guards did a search of the couple’s room. The guard said not to disturb the bed—they believe illegal substance were present.  The Casino guards were in contact with the local police; they said they could not prosecute for the “missing” box, after all they did return it. However the illegal substance would be enough to get then banned from all Casinos.
Jon and I went down to look for the Altimax—I was ready to start the remainder of our holiday time at Zion National Park but Jon kept looking and found it!  It is currently on its way to Ken B to determine if it can be repaired. The only missing item—my 20 year old wrist stopwatch.
So my thanks to the Hacienda Casino for all their effort and help. It was a great contest followed with a marvelous time in Zion.

Thermals, JIM

editor's comment - Jim, this out does the Jon Davis "Baggy Rapper Pants" story, a SEN Classic of 10 years or more ago.  More Davis Karma.  And Jim we like your FB Zion photos too.

New Finals Site

Since the AMA has stated that the next Finals will not be held in Lost Hills, would like to suggest that we move the venue to Vegas. It is a very nice site with easy chasing. It will also cut the cost down for the competitors. Airline tickets are cheap from everywhere to Vegas. Cheap rooms, car rentals and food will cut travel costs down and make the trip very reasonable. We also should be able to arrange bike rentals somewhere in the area. All in all it may be the best site in the US and offers all the amenities that we can hope for.

I think it will be a great venue and the best flying site currently available in the US. The site is about 2 miles wide and 4 miles long. Also offers perfect line of site of models to the ground as it is almost dead flat. More people should go to Bill Booths contest and check out the field. Would like to see us move the Sierra Cup there the week in front of Bill's contest next year for a test run of the venue. This, in my opinion should be discussed seriously at the next TSC meeting. 

Michael Achterberg

Nevada Explanation

Just to be clear - there are other cities in Nevada besides Las Vegas and Reno, the capital is Carson City and one of the biggest in area is Boulder City.  The El Dorado Dry lake where we fly is in Boulder City.  Bill Booth, the event CD and the SAM guys who also hold a major event there have an excellent working relationship with hte Boulder City council who are most helpful.

Jim was ripped off or rather mislead even before he checked in because the Hacienda Hotel and casino can't be in Boulder City because it is one of the few places in Nevada with no gambling.  But it sounds like Jim came out bevause the folks at the Hacienda wre very helpful.

While we migh say we are "going to vegas to fly" we do need to acknowledge the friendly people at Boulder City who make it all possible.

New additions to NFFS Publications

     SEN subscribers may be interested in two new items added to the list
of offerings from NFFS Publications:

1. The 2012 NFFS Symposium is finally available for general sale. This
year's edition contains 176 pages of useful and informative free flight
writings, in addition to the usual Models of the Year and the Hall of Fame
inductees. Copies are available at  for $35 plus shipping. Shipping
costs in the US are $5.50.

2. "Building and Flying Tip Launch and Catapult Gliders" is the title of a
new DVD produced by the NFFS Foundation and sold by the NFFS thanks to
generous donations from Bill Vanderbeek and Stan Buddenbohm. This 60 plus minute
video features construction of contemporary gliders by Bob Stalick with
trimming and flying instructions by AMA record holder Tim Batiuk. Anyone
interested in outdoor gliders should own this DVD. Cost is $15 per copy plus

     To order either or both of these new offerings, you may order directly
by sending a check or money order to NFFS Publications Services, PO Box
1775, Albany, OR 97321. You may also order online <> using your
credit card. For more information, email <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Roger Morrell