The 62nd Annual

Southwest Regionals Model Airplane Championships

    Eloy, Arizona      

14, 15, 16   JAN 2012

3 FEB 12

Three fantastic days defined the SW Regionals this year, our 62nd! The weather was exceptional. Mornings were just a little crisp, but as the days developed, we saw 70+ degrees and mostly gentle winds.

SWR is actually 3 contests - AMA Free Flight, FAI Free Flight, and SAM RC Old Timers. This report contains results and pictures from each of these contests.

FAI Free Flight stayed with mugs as prizes this year. That's in addition to perpetual trophies for their 6 major events. For AMA, etc Free Flight and RC Old Timers, we gave out plaques with 1st thru 3rd stick-on labels. In each of those two contests, winners received a sticker and a plaque for their first win. For additional placings, they received stickers. This is a picture of the logo on the plaques. The FAI mugs also carried that picture. As always, Bob Holman [laser kits/plans] did a very nice job on the awards. 


We lost Dick Griswold, SAM [Society of Antique Modelers] Western VP in 2010. His wife Ann Maley contributed a very nice Comet Zipper with a DeLong .30 engine.  We raffled that off and it was won by Phil Pearce at RC Old Timers. 


Field Conditions

Our field is surrounded by useable farm land. In fact, the farmer who leases most of that land has become more active and has planted crops to the south, southwest, west, and east of us. East is actually across Toltec Road. First, we were faced with the fact that one of the dormant irrigation ditches had been activated, and our dirt-fill bridges had been removed to allow water to flow. The SWRMA committee designed and built 2 wooden bridges that could be placed on top of the ditches to allow crossing. We planned the bridges to support a small motorcycle and a rider.

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Tom Gaylor and Elmer lay out the pressure treated lumber. AL1

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There's a lot of strength, but also a fair amount of weight. AL3

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We hauled the framework and tops to Eloy. AL5

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Raul, in the ditch, discusses what's next. AL6

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Raul piles dirt to make ramps. AL7


After we installed the bridges, we learned that the farmer would not allow motorcycles into the affected field - the one southwest of the usual AMA/FAI flightlines and directly south of the RC Old Timers. As luck would have it, winds were such that few models went into that field.

Things were more serious to the east however as that field was newly planted, and definitely off-limits to motorcycles. Models began heading that way, and so retrievals were carefully done, on foot. You'll see more about the field arrangements chasing situations in the AMA and FAI sections belolow.

General Information

In terms of numbers, there were 49 entrants in AMA etc Free Flight, 40 in FAI Free Flight, and 18 in RC Old Timer.

Pictures are courtesy of Tom Gaylor, Caley Ann Hand, Dave Harding, Bob Harper, Al Lidberg and Mike Myers.  

Click on the small pictures to see them full size, and see the credit notations below each picture: TG, CAH, DH, BH, AL, and MM.


AMA/NFFS/SAM Free Flight

Knowing that we had restricted access to some of the fields, we decided to move the usual flight line farther north and set it up with just one line - for both north and south wind situations. In order to do this, we put the parking area parallel to the west irrigation ditch, with the flight line extending out straight to the east. Our food service operator set up at the edge of the parking area, facing the west end of the flight line. Meanwhile, FAI had set up in the west field, later moving to the northwest field, way out of sight due to a line of trees/tall bushes at the boundary between our fields.

As described above, we knew we had some restrictions on chasing but the winds were gentle and didn't cause many problems. On Monday, the wind came from the west, meaning that models could now head for the new crops on the other side of Toltec Road. Three solutions presented themselves: 2 minute max planes [.020 Replica] stayed at the original flight line. Ken Kear flew his Strato Streak to 9 maxes, never crossing the road; for 3 minute maxes; one group of flyers moved straight west about 1/4 mile to that field's ditch; another group of 3 minute max flyers moved north to the field that had been used by FAI on Saturday and Sunday. That move allowed them to achieve their maxes while the planes avoided the new crops across the road. Greg had a neat way of recording their scores - a 2-way radio. This saved the flyers from having to present their scores after each flight.

AL Lidberg



The Way I See It:

     SWR time again. Time to renew old friendships, make some new ones and lament those who we did not see and wish them well in the future. This year’s contest has to go down as one of the best ever; entries were up, the weather was passable and we had no serious controversy to resolve. Each year presents us with challenges and we present our solutions. This year our biggest challenge came from the venue itself. The neighboring fields have been planted for crops and we were requested to respect the farmer’s wishes and stay out of these fields. Our “strange” flightline / parking arrangements this year were our solution to this dilemma. We felt it would make the most area of our flying field available for flying and minimize airplanes drifting into planted areas.


      Thanks mostly to the great cooperation from the contestants, the venue did as we had hoped. When the wind became a factor, the contestants affected simply picked up and moved to a nearby flying field further upwind. Then Ken Kaiser gave me a two-way radio and he and his son, Don, radioed in times. I stayed at our morning venue with the contestants still flying there. I have always maintained the contestants are the reason this contest happens and works as well as it does. This year proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

      I’m sure all of you know, the economy is struggling. Late last fall, it became apparent to me that there was simply not enough money in the household budget to allow me to fly down for SWR 2012. Regrettably, i let the contest committee know that i would not be attending this year. However, thanks to some incredibly generous people in Arizona, i was presented with plane tickets for the week of the contest. But all was not as well as it appeared. As some of you know, i live in western Washington, about 70 miles north of Seattle; as some of you also may know, it snowed in Seattle the week SWR ended - a LOT of snow. I was scheduled to fly home Wednesday morning, i was ‘snowed in’ in Tempe at Lidberg’s home until Friday. I finally got home late Friday afternoon. One thing i learned from all this - Southwest Airlines people are great. Best customer service you could ask for. 

This has been a memorable year.

Just as in all previous years, i want to thank Al Lidberg and his family, who have taken me in as another member of the Lidberg clan.

After 12 (i think) years, it is great to have such great folks to rely on when i visit Arizona. Special thanks to John and Katy Patton, Dan and Marion Keegan and Gene and Vicki Wicks. Your help and fellowship at the contest makes my job all the more enjoyable.  Of course, i owe a great debt of gratitude to all the people without whom this contest would never happen, but my biggest thank you goes to the contestants.

Hopefully I’ll see all you next year

With my greatest affection and best wishes,



We had another visitor from the northwest, Bob Harper:

The primary purpose of our trip to Tucson was to visit Charlie and Deborah Applebaum at their new winter home in Marana AZ. We flew to Phoenix via Southwest and our hosts picked us up at Sky Harbor airport. A few days before we arrived Charlie suffered a broken collar bone while flying his C/L plane. When trying to fly a few laps inverted he stumbled over his feet because he was wearing lose fitting slip-on shoes. He managed to keep the airplane airborne for a few laps while lying on the ground but, because of the pain in his shoulder, he let the PT 19 settle into the asphalt. The plane suffered little damage but not so with Charlie. Now he has his arm in a sling. But he’s a tough one and he’s on the mend.  

Later Charlie and I went out to his nearby control line field and enjoyed watching some first-rate stunt flying by such famous modelers as Bob Whitely and Keith Trostle who have been many times national champs. Charlie had a nice profile PT19 on electric power that he let me fly. I even tried a few wingovers and loops. I haven’t flown a plane on wires in over 40 years and it shows. Also, It assured me that I don’t have the balance and agility I once had.

The flying field at Eloy is a freeflight modeler’s paradise. There’s unobstructed flat terrain in every direction. In addition, the winds are usually light and the winter temperatures are mild. This time the weather was quite cool in the morning with temps in the mid-forties but warming to the mid-sixties by one o’clock. (The pictures show a lot of people wearing heavy jackets).The winds varied from calm to light breezes to about 8 mph. In other words, flying conditions were excellent. This year the freeflighters outnumbered the R/C guys but both groups are dwindling. The quality of the competition, however, was outstanding.

For flying at Eloy I sent three airplanes to Arizona in a wooden crate via FedEx: a Dallaire Sportster for 1/2A Texaco R/C, another Dallaire for Speed 400 LMR and a Thermal Thumber for OT Freeflight Pylon. They arrived at Applebaum’s in good shape and, after some assembly, transported out to Eloy in Charlie’s big pickup.

Charlie, with his arm in a sling, did a creditable job flying his trusty Lanzo Stick in Electric Texaco. He came in fourth and just out of the money. He also launched flights and timed for me. With more than just a little luck I won a second place in 1/2A Texaco R/C. I probably could have done better in “Speed 400” had I remembered that the motor run time was 180 seconds, not 90. Even so, with the short motor run, the Dallaire climbed quite well and would have been ‘way out of sight in less than three minutes.

It was fun seeing some of our SAM 8 members at Eloy including Bob Parker, Vic Lichtenberg, and the Freeflight CD, Greg Tutmark. We heard that Bruce Augustus was there too but didn’t get to see him. 

The Southwest Regionals is a fun contest and has a huge venue: many R/C events and freeflight of many kinds including; AMA, FAI, Nostalgia and Old Timers. It’s a well-run contest and very enjoyable.


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What the well dressed Twin Pusher flyer should wear: Grant Carson. TG17

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Mark Covington with his glider. CAH1

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John Patton and Greg Tutmark at the AMA official's table. TG3

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Mike Roseberry and Ralph Hotz with an E36 electric model. TG5

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Bob Hanford with a noisy 1/2A. TG1

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Steve Hesla. TG6

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Kent Prescott readies his SAM Large Stick mode, CAH4

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Bruce Grawburg , ready to wind his original P-30. CAH5

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Jim O'Reilly winds. CAH6

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Bud Romak and a Smith Mulvihill. CAH10

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Jean Andrews, unknown Twin Pusher. TG10


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Grant Carson launches his Zaic Twin Pusher. TG11


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Yes, they do look funny in the air! TG12


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Mass launch! Carl Redln and Jean Andrews. TG13


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Jim O'Reilly and a Burnham Twin Pusher. TG14


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Dan Kaiser with his Top Banana. CAH7

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Ken Kaiser readies his big Texan. CAH8

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On Monday morning, Greg scooped the rain off the tables, then discovered that's where he was sitting. Numerous peanut shells helped dry the mud. TG33

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Vicki and Gene Wicks. TG37

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Jim O'Reilly with what must be the latest variation of the Geodetic Tubesteak. TG36

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Tim Batiuk and Lee Hines, glider flyers! TG37

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John Riese's Kloud King. MM1

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Herb winds / Carl and Bud look confused! MM2

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Jim Seamster with his Stahl 'High Climber'. MM3

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Carl Redlin walks by with a Zipper/ED Hunter combination. BH2

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Don DeLoach launches for another max. BH4

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Jerry Murphy lets go of his P-30. BH5

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AMA parking as viewed from the flight line looking west. TG16

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Al ponders tallying the awards, Greg is ready to post the remaining scores and Katy Patton samples the pretzels. BH1


Link to: AMA etc Results

 2012 FAI Southwest Regional Model Airplane Championships


We had a good 62nd SWR on Jan. 14 and 15 even though the weather and wind directions were a bit unusual. Saturday morning it was very cold with clear blue skies. Then it warmed up to 68°F as some clouds moved in. The winds were from 0 to never more than 5mph – but with the winds coming out of the N it required a move for the 3rd round from the W field into the N field. This cut the flying down to 6 rounds. Sunday was also mostly overcast with calmish winds. Thermal picking on both days was difficult.   

We had a total of 40 sportsmen signed up for the 8 FAI classes. The contestants were from AZ, CA, MI, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT plus our perennial snow-birds from Great Britain (Dave Oldfield F1A and Mike Woodhouse F1B). We also had 2 ladies flying FAI events, Jasminka Pecenkovic (F1A) and Tiffaney O’Dell (F1G) – and also 2 FAI Juniors, Jimmy and Joey Farmer (F1A).

On Saturday F1C/P was won by Glenn Schneider in a fly-off with Bob Hanford (both flying F1P modes). F1Q was won Bernie Crowe with John Oldenkamp coming in 2nd and Mike Pykelny in 3rd.The large 17 flyer F1A field had 5 flyers clean after 6 rounds. As last year the F1A fly-off was won by former World Champion Mike McKeever, with local fellow Jim Farmer in 2nd place and Pierre Brun in 3rd. In F1B 6 contestants had maxed all 6 rounds. The 2nd fly-off was won by Walt Ghio with George Batiuk in 2nd place and Blake Jensen in 3rd.

Back on the W field on Sunday we flew F1G, F1H and F1J. Tony Robertson and Bob Hanford battled it out in F1J. In the fly-off Bob prevailed and won the “Bear”. F1H required  a 3-man fly-off which put Mike McKeever into 1st place, Brian Van Nest into 2nd and Lee Hines into 3rd. F1G or Coupe d’Hiver had 5 flyers clean after 5 rounds and required 2 fly-off rounds. In the 2nd fly-off it was totally calm with no thermals.  It was won by Blake Jensen waiting until the last seconds of the 10 minute window to launch into slightly better air. Roger Morrell was 2nd and Walt Ghio 3rd.

A big thank you to all participants and to Elmer Nelson, Tom Gaylor, Hermann Andresen and my wife Brigitte who all made this FAI SWR again a memorable event.

 Peter Brocks, CD




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Mike Woodhouse, our frequent visitor from the UK. CAHf1

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Paul Crowley with F1B and Jack Emery. CAHf2

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Jim Farmer, listening to Hermann. CAHf3

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F1A doing its thing. CAHf4

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Enes and Jasminca Pecenkovic with an F1A. CAHf5

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Hermann Andresen and Brigitte Brocks officiating. TGf1

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F1As. TGf2

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Peter Brocks with F1A, MW5

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Enes and Jasminka Pecenkovic. TGf4

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George Batiuk with F1B. Paul Crowley in the background. TGf7


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Mike Pykelny with F1Q. TGf8

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Elmer explains the field situation. TGf9


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George Batiuk launches his F1B. MW1

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Tiffany O'Dell and Blake Jensen. MW2

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Tony Robertson launches his F1J. MW3

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Roger Morrell launching his F1B. MW4

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Dave Oldfield from the UK. TGf10


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Dick Wood winding. TGf11

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Elmer has been exploring the mud farm in the far west field. TGf6

This space is reserved for your picture next year!


Link to: FAI Results


RC SAM Old Timers

Bob Harper was visiting from the northwest and put a nice write-up in the SAM 8 newsletter. You'll find his words just above the AMA Free Flight pictures. He flew both FF and RC Old Timers.

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Who? CAHr1

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Not a Bomber, with a Forster .29/.35. CAHr2

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Bob Holman sitting/timing. Rick Holman starting a Bomber. In the background, FAI parking tho it's not nearly as close as it looks. CAHr3

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Walt Angus in the dark coat, Bob Angus sitting. CAHr4

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Who and What plane? CAHr5

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McCoy powered 1200 sq in Bomber came to Eloy in that Honda Fit! MMr1

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Mike Myers about to fly Alan Laycock's Airborne. Rick Holman set the NV. DHr1

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Ed Hamler serenades Rick Holman and the rest of the group around the campfire. DHr2

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Charlie Applebaum relaxes while flying. BH3

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Rick Holman launches an Airborne for his son. BH6

This space is reserved for your picture next year!


Link to: RC Old Timer Results

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Toby Blizzard and AL Lidberg, the last of the founders of the Southwest Regional Modelers Association, Inc. Twenty five + years ago, the contest was in danger of disappearing. Toby, AL, Dick Bringgold, Sal Fruciano and Quentin Webster formed SWRMA, obtained some financial contributions and put together the organization that has produced the annual contests ever since.

Thus, the 62nd Annual Southwest Regionals Model Airplane Championships comes to a close.

We, the SW Regionals Modelers Association, may have as much fun putting the contest together as the contestants do flying in it! Our purposes are to continue holding the contest and to improve it as much as possible!


At the field:

AMA/NFFS/SAM  FAI / Randy Archer Invitational RC Old Timers
CD: AL Lidberg

Asst: Greg Tutmark

CD: Peter Brocks

Asst: Hermann Andresen

CD: Bob Angus

Asst: Walt Angus

The organization: Southwest Regional Modelers Association:
AL Lidberg, Peter Brocks, Elmer Nelson, John Nystedt, Steve Riley, Bob Angus, Greg Tutmark, John Patton, and Herman Andresen.

Back to SW Regionals Introduction:


Back to AALmps main page:


Webmaster, editor, caption writer: Al at