Oakland Cloud Dusters
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32nd NorCal - 2022

May 29, 2022 9:01 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

(Event pictures here)

The theme of the 32nd Annual Nor Cal is in honor of legendary Oakland Cloud Duster member Hank Cole who will turn 101 this year. As most of you know He is a Hall of Fame member of the National Free Flight Society (NFFS), Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and possibly Society of Antique Modelers (SAM). What you may not know is that he was also instrumental in the success of landing Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon back in 1969 while working for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) most recently at Ames at Moffett Field in Mountain View. His daughter has recently created a Facebook page for him and is listed under "Hank Cole" Please contribute and request him as a friend if you are into social media.

I did not arrive there until about 4:45 pm Friday, getting a late start and hitting all of the commuter eastbound traffic out of the Bay Area. Presumably going home or planning early getaways to the Sierra mountains.

Wind was predicted the whole weekend, which probably discouraged many not to make the trip, along with rising gas prices and travel distance.

Bill V, cancelled the flying events Friday and rescheduled Vintage FAI gas to Saturday, which turned out to be one of the best days ever to fly there. Early plans were to move the headquarters registration table to the top of one of the Southeast hills, which meant my Cadillac DTS would remain near the Porta Potties as it probably would have gotten stuck in a water channel ravine!

The F1B Wakefield contingent (about four of them) decided to set up their stooges on flat land rather than on the hill. A good choice and easier to access with vehicles.

Flying conditions ran smoothly with the wind pattern heading slightly Northwest towards Sunrise Blvd. It later changed to a Northeast direction, which also gave us the best drift and chase pattern. Most flights aided by strong thermals went almost directly overhead before drifting with the gusts to locations not too far to retrieve on foot or by motorcycle.

Monday was predicted to have strong winds again by noon, so most present began flying early starting at 8 am. When we broke for a barbecue lunch at about 12, those who participated had to hold onto their paper plates with either polish sausages or hamburgers, all prepared by Bill's brother Loren. The shade canopies threatened to become unstaked but held their ground. Official flying was finished before 1pm and it was decided to have the awards ceremony quickly so that all present could get an early start home.

Tradition has been to have five $100 bills given out between a series of awards presentations, with each contestant getting a ticket when registering. Bill's purpose was to encourage contestants to remain for the prize ceremonies. Would you believe that the first four names drawn had already left the field?!!! This really increased (improved) the chances of those present to win one of those bills. The outright winners of $300 went to the Oregon guys: Glenn and Bruce Grell plus Bob Stalick. Paul Masterman also won, but was asleep when his name was called! Maybe he should have been disqualified. ;-) !!!

Despite the marginal attendance, I believe everyone had a good time, especially with socializing and taking advantage of picking up a lot of modeling merchandise that I was donating to the Tangent gang and offering to those present for support of the NFFS Junior program. A coffee can netted $175 for the juniors and many items were offered for free, including many Tatone/KSB clockwork timers, engines, ten free flight kits, Tan II rubber, FAI black/grey rubber (good for Catapult Glider launchers), and balsa sheets, plus hardwood and accessories.

The field was pretty well cleared by 2:30 and those that remained were Bill and Loren pulling their trailers, and me and my Cadillac. We were out of the main gate at 3:30 after slowly moving forward through all of the livestock that were being herded into large cargo trailers by six cowboys on horseback and trailed by herding sheep dogs. I will have to add that there was also an absolutely gorgeous young lady on horseback with the same type of Western attire. I gave her a thumbs up out of the Cadillac's window, along with a wide grin. She responded in the same way! Still wondering if she was the daughter of the livestock owner, or possibly the owner herself!

On the FAI side, those who duked it out were in the F1B class (Walt Ghio, Mike Davis tied for a later flyoff and Jerry Fitch). Ken Bauer represented F1A with spectacular launches but in many cases, tough air picking results. No matter, he won first place! No F1C. Some we expected were no shows (Mennanos). F1Q was represented by Ben Tarcher and Jack Murphy, traveling all the way from Utah. He also flew F1S, E-36, Electric A and Electric B. Almost every class of Electric events. Most popular event was F1S with Jack Murphy winning, Paul Masterman, Larry Norvall and Ben Tarcher placing in that order.

Fred Terzian - OCD President

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