Northwest fliers participate in 2020 Ringmaster fly-a-thon

See fly-a-thon website for up-to-date worldwide flight total

Control-line model aviators in several Northwest locations put up flights on various kinds of Ringmasters over the Oct. 3-4 weekend (and surrounding dates) as part of the worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon sponsored by the Brotherhood of the Ring.

The Brotherhood's John Cralley gathers flight data from around the world and compiles a spreadsheet showing what variants of Ringmasters were flown at the many locations where the flying took place. Latest flight data is available on the fly-a-thon website.

Final worldwide report lists 5,555 flights by 545 pilots

By John Cralley

A big round of thanks and applause for the participants in the 13th Annual Worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon!!

Given the handicap of holding this event during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we had a wonderful turnout with 5,555 Ringmaster flights by 545 Control Line pilots.

Although we broke no records, I am confident that we will set new records next year along with having a great time flying Ringmasters at the same time as other control liners all around the globe!!

Remember, you can download plans files for four different Ringmasters from the website as well as learn more the Ringmaster family of control line models and the history of the Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon. Also, if you are a Facebook member, you can join the Annual Worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon Facebook Group where you can post photos, ask questions, download many files or just surf the hundreds of posts made by others. You may, if you have not already done so, want to join the Brotherhood of the Ring Forum where you will find many helpful members and numerous posts regarding Ringmasters.

If you want to share stories of your Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon experiences, photos of Ringmasters or videos of Fly-A-Thons this year or past I would be most happy to see them.

Attached is a PDF file for the Final Tally for the 2020 13th Fly-A-Thon. Let me know if you find any errors that need correcting.

Northwest flights

In the Northwest, flights took place in Richmond, B.C., Westwold, B.C., Finley, Wash., Kent, Wash., Chehalis, Wash., Olympia, Wash., Medford, Ore., Portland, Ore., Salem, Ore., and Junction City, Ore. In Salem, the Ringmaster flying was part of a Western Oregon Control-Line Flyers fall fun fly that replaced the canceled Fall Follies contest. At least 265 flights were made at Northwest venues.

The reports below are from the various organizations and individuals who participated. Flying Lines will post information on other venues as we receive it.


The flight line at North Green River Park Soccer Field in Kent, Wash. Dave Gardner photo.

Puget Sound area Ringmaster flights

By Dave Gardner, event director

Thursday, Oct. 1, North Green River Park Soccer Field

We chose to fly on these dates, as opposed to the ‘official’ dates of Oct. 3-4 because of field availability; this is a county soccer field, the little runners/kickers have Saturdays for their own.

Fortunately the weather forecast was very positive and the field was well maintained.  In fact, however, the fog covered the field in the morning, but was clear under 80 feet.  We proceeded and the sun broke through after noon and yielded a great sunny, but coolish day! (Density altitude was about 200 feet and slightly humid — good stuff!)

We had club stalwarts Ben and Bobby Jones, Steve Holt, Fred Gordon, Bob Welch and Al Fernandez.  Many brought Ringmaster S-1’s, Steve had an S-1, an RM Junior and an RM Flash.  Al brought Ringmaster 150%, built quite a few years ago.  He dragged up an old Fox .78, sorta fitted with a muffler and it hauled the 96 oz. ‘Ringmonster’ around quite nicely — once tuned in, though, several fliers felt comfortable enough to run the beast through Old-Time Stunt ‘tricks’!  There’s something about a ‘scale effect’ allowing an overweight beast to fly quite well — and with some good pull!

Thursday's results included seven pilots, seven Ringmasters and 49 flight.

Friday, Oct. 2

This was the day similar to Thursday;  Weather was foggy in the morning, clearing by noon, cool and sunny, with virtually no wind!

We had a clean 9 a.m. start, with setup, layout and several flights completed before noon!  Most of the Saturday group of suspects were there, plus Mike Haverly, Rod Claus, Bob Einhaus, Kris Millard, plus Jim M. and Ken ?  With all being right, enthusiasm was HIGH!  Ben Jones and Fred Gordon got the ‘bit in their teeth’ and flew 12 and 10 flights respectively.  Al got the Ringmonster up on the step and had at least four folks take a shot at it.  Rod Claus and Ben Jones were enthused enough to actually stunt the big Beast!  The Fox .78 was coming on strong with 4.4 second laps and a healthy line pull —.and a fine sound!  Everyone got going and couldn’t stop!

Friday's results included 11 pilots, 12 Ringmasters and 56 flights.

Altogether, we managed 105 flights with 11 pilots over the two-day session.  The best we’ve ever done, so we’ll see how this looks in the overall activity, once it is all tallied by John Cralley of the Brotherhood of the Ring.

Several of our members were notable by their absence, but we’ll get them out next year to up the tally for our group.  (The Event Director was present, but sidelined with a scoliotic back discrepancy and attendant ‘circular stability.’)

Al Fernandez launches for Ben Jones. Dave Gardner photo.

Ooops, this takeoff didn't go as planned. Launcher Steve Holt watches. Dave Gardner photo.

Rod Claus makes a flight in the foggy morning. Dave Gardner photo.

Al Fernandez prepares to launch the Ringmonster, powered by Fox. 78. Dave Gardner photo.

One of the 105 flights in Kent. Dave Gardner photo.

Lineup of Ringmasters on the soccer field. Dave Gardner photo.


Salem fun fly and Ringmaster flights

By Mike Hazel

Oct. 3-4, Bill Riegel Model Airpark, Salem, Ore.

The Western Oregon Control Line Flyers opted to drop the annual Fall Follies contest this year and just hold a fun fly instead. The date coincided with the world-wide annual Ringmaster fly-a-thon, so two activities could be held at once.

Turnout was much lighter than had been expected. Weather was very pleasant all day long. WOLF club members showing up were: Craig Bartlett, Loren Howard, Fred Underwood, Jerry Eichten, Gerald Schamp and Mike Hazel. From Portland we had Don Curry and Roy DeCamara. From the south we had Gary Weems from the Eugene Prop Spinners club, and Dave Shrum from Roseburg.

Jerry was the first pilot up, and helped blow away some of the early morning fog. The rest of the flying was of the stunt and sport variety. Gary Weems flew the most number of planes, at least three, but no Ringmaster in the mix. There were only three pilots putting up Ringmasters, and each only did one flight. Don Curry had the most interesting Ringmaster; it was powered by a throttle-equipped four-stroke engine.

The most unusual plane of the day was Dave’s DeHavallind DH-88 Comet racer. This scale plane has a wingspan of 72 inches and is powered with two .25 size engines. It was the last flight of the day and it looked spectacular in the air. Unfortunately by then only Dave and Mike were on the field to see it in action.

Don Curry at the handle in Salem. Mike Hazel photo.

Fred Underwood makes a Stunt flight. Mike Hazel.

Jerry Eichten flies in the morning fog. Mike Hazel photo.

Not a Ringmaster, but the most interesting plane: Dave Shrum's DeHavilland Comet racer with two O.S. .25 engines. Mike Hazel photo.

Portland Ringmaster flights

By Don Curry

Oct. 3-4, Jim Walker Memorial field, Delta Park, Portland, Ore.

We had five fliers: Dave Royer, Darrin Bishop, Jim Cameron, Layton Mangels and Don Curry. We put up a total of 17 flights, mostly S-1’s and one Junior. It was a nice day for flying and we all had a good time.


Chehalis, Wash., Ringmaster flights

Info submitted by Jeff Christenson

Oct. 3, Faro Field, Chehalis, Wash.

Six fliers from the Faro Field Flyers RC and CL club made 42 flights with seven Ringmasters. Participating were Jeff and Tina Christenson, Rich Schaper, Doug Ortlie and Robert Benjamin.

Some of the Faro Field Flyers with their lineup of Ringmasters. The club, newly added to the Northwest CL scene, has a nice grass CL circle along with its radio control facilities. Sonny Lewis photo.


Olympia, Wash., Ringmaster flights

Info submitted to Brotherhood by James Dickerman

Thurston County Miniature Aircraft Association field

James Dickerman made 22 flights on an S1 Ringmaster and an RSM take-apart Ringmaster.


Eastern Washington Ringmaster flights

By Dave Miller

Oct. 4, Finley School, Finley, Wash.

Dave Miller, Carl Deusner, and Bob and Janet Gore got together at Finley school and put up 40 flights over four hours. We had three Ringmasters — one with Fox .35 anniversary special and S-1 kit builty by Dave Miller, one with Johnson .35 one-off scratchbuilt S-1 by Dave Mille, and a Joe Just S-1 with OS .40FP. There were two kit-built Ringmaster Juniors — one with an LA .15 (Joe Just) and one with Fox .15 built in 1975 by Dave Miller. Flights were a memorsial to the late Joe Just.

Finley is a suburb just outside Pasco. Wash.. We flew at Finley middle school on the grass. Sunny nice day for the four of us. Forty flights is a lot of work. Kudos to Bob Gore for his tireless work keeping the motors going. The three guys all flew but I flew the most. Also wanting to memorialize Joe Just with two of his Rings there.


British Columbia Ringmaster flights

By Ken Burdick

Oct. 3, Westwold Elementary School, Westwold, B.C.

Greg Davis and I decided to fly our Ringmasters today for the fly-a-thon. An S-1, a Super Ringmaster and a Baby Ringmaster. All flew and the weather was perfect in Westwold (see barn in background).

Greg Davis flying in Westwold, B.C. Ken Burdick photo.

The Ringmaster fleet by Ken Burdick and Greg Davis. Ken Burdick photo.

Ken Burdick with the Baby Ringmaster and Super Ringmaster. Greg Davis photo.

Vancouver area flights

Oct. 4, Rice Mill Road flying field, Richmond, B.C.

Reported to Brotherhood by Tom Stevens

Tom Stevens made 10 flights on two different Ringmaster Juniors, one electric and one powered by an O.S. .15. Tom reported that it was an OK day for flying, a bit foggy and smoky from forest fires, but with not much wind.


Eugene, Ore., area Ringmaster flights

Oct. 4, Can Do Ranch, Junction City, Ore.

A rare Sunday Eugene Prop Spinners club flying session was lightly attended but two Ringmasters were on hand. John Thompson flew his Super Ringmaster two flights. Jim Corbett's super-light S-1 (built by Floyd Carter) had some technical difficulties and did not get off the ground.

John Thompson's Super Ringmaster waiting for a flight. Power is a Brodak .25. Flying Lines photo.

Jim Corbett's much-flown S-1 in the pits. Power is an OS .25LA. Flying Lines photo.


Medford, Ore., area Ringmaster flights

Oct. 8, Rogue Eagles RC Club, Medford

Reported to Brotherhood by Jess Walls

Eight pilots in the Medord group made 21 flights on S1, S2 and Junior Ringmasters.

Fliers were: Jess Walls, Raoul Salem, Walter Hicks, Daniel Linstad, Eden Newell, Richard DiMartini, Richard Schweger and Guy Laine. Eden Newell was the youngest at 8 years of age.

Our club field is gravel and decomposed granite but we expect to be upgraded this year and should have more participation next year. Everyone had a smile on their face when their flights were over! The plane that got the most flights was equipped with an R/C throttle and lap times were around 10 seconds to prevent dizziness. Works great!


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This page was upated Oct. 22, 2020

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