AMA District VIII AMA District VIII
Postings by Mark Johnston

U.S. Scale Master Championships

by Mark Johnston   October 21, 2015

This year the event was held at Bomber Field on October 8th-11th. I was able to attend the event on Saturday and watch many of the flights. They event had 31 pilots in attendance and of that total 22 were from District VIII. The event was well done and the weather was outstanding.


Control Line

Control Line Stunt Team Selects

by Mark Johnston   October 9, 2015

Today in Houston the control line stunt team selects were being held this weekend. I was able to watch some of the practice rounds today and hope to see some more on Saturday or Sunday. The event has a 17 pilots from all over the country vying for 3 spots for the worlds being held in Australia. They are 5 in the event from Texas. Chris Rud from Illinois is flying a model that is two year older than he is. The plan was built by Bill "The Man" Werwage 30 years ago. The plane still flies great.

As soon as I get some final standing I will post them as well.
The event was a lot of fun to watch on Sunday, I wish I could have stayed longer.

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 Chris Rud and the borrowed plane from Bill Everyone that helped and participated in the event 

District News

District VIII Celebration of Flight and Memorial

by Mark Johnston   October 4, 2015

Yesterday we had 70 pilots attend the District VIII Celebration of Flight in Kingsbury Texas sponsored by the Tri-City flyers. Frank Simas was the CD, He had lots of help from the club and Jim, Linda and Gary Rice. Folks from all over came out n support of the event. Notable attendees include a large group from Laredo, Texas and a group from the Bayou City Flyers. Others from the Houston area and Austin also were in attendance.

Saturday nights BBQ was done by Ritches Raiders as always. The food was as awesome as usual. Amazing how quiet it got once everyone got a plate in hand. We had 60 or so for the meeting and BBQ, both Myself and Ilona Maine from AMA spoke about AMA issues and answered questions from membership in attendance.

I am already looking forward to next years event!!!



Texas Warbirds

by Mark Johnston   October 3, 2015

On September 26th I also attended the Texas Warbirds event being held at the north Dallas RC Club. Ed Kettler was the CD of the event and had 50 pilots come out to support the event. The public and club were out in force to help and watch the event. Great weather for the event and in talking with pilots everyone had a great time.

I want to go back next year and take planes to fly. It looked like a blast!

Awards that were given are as follows.

World War I:
1. Dale O’Daniel, Fokker DR-1
2. Scott Grissman, Fokker D-VII
3. Jon Parker, Fokker Eindecker

World War II:
1. Steve Forrest, B-24
2. Steve Forrest, P-51B “Old Crow”
3. Lyle Vasser, B-25

Best Bomber: Randy Larsen, B-17

Best Postwar: Bob Mueller, PBM Mariner

Best Jet: Tom Blakeney, Sea Vixen

Best in Show: James Poole, La-7

Smokin’ Hole: Bob Hubbard, SB2C Helldiver

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 All of the pilots took time for me to get a photo. Lad Doctor flew with lots of help from club members who helped design his setup 

Free Flight

Hall of Fame induction for Jesse F Shepherd Sr

by Mark Johnston   October 3, 2015

On the evening of the September 26th, the Texas Cloud Climbers held a dinner meeting for Jesse Shepherd Sr. I was given the honor to present Jesse his Hall of Fame plaque. Jesse first joined AMA in 1932. His first contest in participated in in 1936. Jesse served on the contest board in the 1950's and directed the NATs in the 50's and 60's. Jesse was presented the AMA service award, awarded two distinguished service awards, an AMA fellow award and the AMA pioneer award. Jesse is also a leader member and still active with his club designing aircraft.

It was a wonderful honor to present him as well as have the time to talk with him about his experiences.

Congrats to Jesse!!

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 Jesse receiving his Hall of Fame Plaque All of the pilots and club at the event were all there to celebrate with Jesse 

Free Flight

Texas Cloud Climbers 68th annual Regional FF Championships

by Mark Johnston   October 3, 2015

On September 26th and 27th the TEXAS CLOUD CLIMBERS held the 68TH ANnual Regional FF Championships at the Robson Ranch Site outside of Denton Texas. The CD was Jan Langelius and their were approx 30 pilots registered for the various events the were being held. The club had a great day of weather for flying. This was the first FreeFlight event that I was able to sit and enjoy both the change of pace in flying and the laid back comfortable atmosphere. The people, the club were an awesome group to visit.

If anyone that flys RC does not sit down and really look at this type of flight you will never know the amount of work and design that goes into

A great event and you have to go watch or participate.

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 One of the many launches we watched The CD and others discussing scoring. 


Ray Hall Memorial 2015

by Mark Johnston   September 7, 2015

The El Paso Radio controllers club held their Ray Hall Memorial on Sunday September 6th. Raymond Welch was the CD and the event and approx 25 pilots but well over 30 very nice aircraft. The entire club was out to help with everything from food to cheering other pilots on during flights. The public came out to visit as well to enjoy the many aircraft being flown and displayed.

I had a great time the club and all the support was great.

 Group photo of all the pilots 


ARCA Big Bird event (Austin)

by Mark Johnston   September 4, 2015

Today and tommorrow I am attending the Austin Big Bird event. We arrived at the field today to see several nice flights. Gary Smith the club president flew a nice B-17 with a Willys jeep escort out to the flight line. Was very cool. I gave out several balsa airplanes to some kids and had some one make me a P-38. See picture below.

The event had 43 pilots. Randall Larsen is the official CD in charge and we have lots of public here due to the TV coverage in Austin. The club did an outstanding job with the event. Had a great time flying and visiting with all of the pilots that attended.

The space city club showed up in force 11 club members came to the event. A picture of everyone will be in the electronic version of the November magazine along with all the rest of the pictures I took.

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 Gary Smith Jr and his P-38 All the pilots 


West Texas Warbirds

by Mark Johnston   September 4, 2015

On August 28th and 29th the Wings Miniature Aircraft Society held their annual warbird meet in Abernathy Texas. This years event had 26 pilots they also were showing off new sections of pavement and pilots area that was constructed using money from the field assistance grants that they received. The flying was a blast with lost of great aircraft. WWII, jets and lots of other aircraft in military colors.

The contest director was Brian McLarty he had lots of help from all of the club members. They did a great job with the event.

Jimmy cowman brought out his B-17 and flew with Mike Liabel from the Houston area with his B-24 and.a B-25 all three were beautiful aircraft. Nick and Jon Johnson flew a couple of very nice turbines. They also had a couple of turbo prop aircraft but we're unable to get in the air.

A great event for the warbird crowd to come fly, have a good time and eat some great BBQ.

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 Abernathy pilots that were available at picture time The row of aircraft was impressive 


Farmington Flyin for Fun

by Mark Johnston   August 16, 2015

On Saturday and Sunday August 15-16th the San Juan RC club had a fly in in Support of National Model Aviation Day and raise money in support of the City's efforts for the Animal Shelter. The city had several events around the area to get people out to see different activities and all worked together to raise money. The Club had a good crowd and about 18 pilots flying through the two days. Allen Price ran the event as CD but got lots of support from everyone in the club.

Great Job by the Club working with the community.

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 The Entire Gang almost, Several were missing in action at the time of the photo. Farmington has a nice facility that the city helps maintain. 

Control Line

Control Line NATS

by Mark Johnston   August 9, 2015

District VIII was well represented in CL racing at the 2015 NATS. L to R, Event Director Melvin Schuette (KS) Chuck Barnes, Bill Bischoff, Mike Greb, Bill Lee (all from TX). Not shown Patrick Hempel, who flew racing AND speed events.


Last Flight

Oklahoma Sooner Squadron renames site in honor of Mike Harvey

by Mark Johnston   July 18, 2015

The Oklahoma Sooner Squadron Club lost one of their founding members, Mike Harvey three years ago. Mike served in numerous leadership roles throughout his 40 years as a member of the Sooner Squadron. The OK Sooner Squadron decided to honor Mike and his family by changing the name of the club field to the Mike Harvey Model Airpark. Club President Jim Ellis officially dedicated the new field name during a noon ceremony at their Dawn Patrol event on July 11th. Mike's wife Mary, son Mike, grandchildren, club members, event participants, and many friends were in attendance for this celebration.

I was in attendance for the event and Jim Ellis did a great Job with the dedication. Jim and Mike were very close and it was very hard for him. I hope I have as many friends when my time comes as did Mike Harvey.

Well Done by the Oklahoma Sooner Squadron!!!

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Dawn Patrol Guthrie Oklahoma

by Mark Johnston   July 11, 2015

On Saturday morning at 5:55am 7 aircraft flew at dawn. We had neuiport 17, 28, sopwith pup x2, 3 - D-7 all 1/3 scale. This was the first official Dawn Patrol Event in District VIII. 24 pilots were in attendance from Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.

Plans are already in place for next year and there will be a breakfast after the dawn flight.

Plane storage was in a nice hanger so that no one had to take any thing apart.

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   As with the Dawn Flight 7 pilots took off together for the local news media. 

Control Line

CL fying in Arkansas

by Mark Johnston   July 9, 2015

Control Line flying alive and well in South Arkansas
We have 2 CL Stunt contest a year in El Dorado, AR.
The John Gunn Stunt Contest 1st weekend in May and
the South Arkansas Stunt Championship Contest this Nov.7-8, 2015
Pilots from several states within the dist 8 attend. We are in the building
process of a new paved CL circle and already have a grass circle.

Picture of the pilots that attended this years John Gunn Stunt Contest 2015


District News

Richardson R/C Club receives Award of Excellence

by Mark Johnston   July 8, 2015

As you may have seen in previous columns several clubs in the Dallas and Fort Worth Area were flooded out. The Richardson Club stepped up to offer the use of their field to other clubs in the area who had no place to fly. For that I was able to Award them the Award of Excellence which is the highest award a club can receive. I did surprise them a bit by going to the last event for the summer which was a float fly at Lavon Lake. I enjoyed the event and had a good time with everyone there. The awards were given at a emergency Club meeting I got them to call at a local eating establishment. The Club received a plaque, a small flag to fly at their field as well as a patch for every member. A big thank you to everyone in the club!


Last Flight

Last Flight for John Reed L-80

by Mark Johnston   July 8, 2015

Overtaken by cancer John Reed passed away very quickly on 4/16/2015. Way too quick for most of us. John was a mentor to so many in the hobby, particularly the North Dallas RC Cub (NDRCC), so we are compelled to mention that first. However, our strongest memories of John are led by his dominating personality and his humor; humor, which was noted by his pastor friend (and the rest of us), to sometimes be irreverent. He was loved by all.

John was a telecommunications engineer who traveled the length and breadth of North America installing and correcting problems with our nation’s 1st generation Cross-country Microwave Systems. That knowledge and adventurous spirit carried into our RC Hobby when he experimented with onboard video cameras (duct taped on), wacky multi-engine concoctions, gyrocopters and even ornithopters. He was always looking for something new, different or unusual.

John was a born leader. He was President of NDRCC several times, and at one time or another held every club office including treasure, field maintenance, membership, and John was at the forefront of our Boy Scout and youth programs. While once shuttling between two students flying at the same time he wasn’t quite fast enough; one plane flew over the horizon to the North and the other to the South. We all gave him a hard time but that never deterred him.

When you needed to trim a new airplane John was the one to turn to for its maiden flight. When urbanization forced NDRCC further north, “Eagle Field” that we are now so proud of, would not exist without John’s untold hours dedicated to the project. He made sure everything was done right and is credited with naming the field after an injured Eagle was found at the site during the construction phase.

He will forever be missed but his legacy lives on.



Vice President

Lawrence Harville


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