SMB Bearings have been friends (& fans) of Ian Emery for over two years now - the RC Heli pilot shares his F3C season update with us here:
"With a short break in the competition season I thought I would take the chance to let you know how I have been getting on. This is my first year in F3C having moved up from Sportsman’s so I knew that this year was going to be a big challenge.
The first Competition of the year was held at Lendelede, Belgium over the weekend of 10/11 May 14. We got there nice and early on the Friday hoping to get some much needed practice in before the Competition started on the Saturday. It turned out that you can plan everything down to the last letter but you can never rely on the weather.
We were greeted by very strong winds with gusts of 38mph, not the ideal way to start my journey in F3C. We all decided that it would probably be better not to fly so that we had a helicopter left to fly for the Competition. Unfortunately the weather was extreme to say the least for the remainder of the weekend. Somehow I managed to be drawn out of a hat to fly the calibration flight (this is to make sure the judges singing off the same hymn sheet). A mixture of the weather and nerves my calibration flight was awful.
Thankfully I managed to recover and put in a half descent round for my first round. The second round, the wind had got worse again and it was touch and go whether we should stop flying. The wind was just inside the limits imposed by the FAI so it was voted on that we should continue. Trying to keep the model still for the hovering manoeuvres was a nightmare, I decided to try the Aerobatic part of the schedule but it was just too much for me so I came in to land and save the model. The final round on the Sunday was a little better. Some of the flying by the other pilots was exceptional, especially the World Junior Champion Pierre Gutierrez and Arnaud Poyet from France and Steve Roberts from the UK. I eventually finished 14th, but learnt some very valuable things over the course of the weekend.
The next completion was the Scottish Heli Nats just south of Aberdeen at the beginning of June. Thankfully the weather was much better. The whole weekend was very enjoyable as always. I was doing quite well with my flying also lying in 3rd place going into the last round. For some reason I had a mental block going into the penultimate manoeuvre putting in all of the wrong collective inputs to compensate for the wind earning myself a big fat Zero for that manoeuvre dropping me down to 5th. It finished very close with only a few points splitting 3rd to 5th. Very disappointing from my perspective but these things happen and hopefully you learn from them and move on.
The following weekend we made the long trip to Toldijk in the Netherlands for the second round of the Euro Heli Series. Everything was looking good for a good weekend - a beautiful setting, fantastic weather and amazing hosts. I felt as though I was really starting to get somewhere with my flying and my model setup, managing to put in 3 good rounds on the Saturday leaving me in 6th. There are always areas for improvement but I was happy knowing that there was just 1 more round to fly on the Sunday. I dropped one place after the round on Sunday but was very happy to finish 7th but from a personal view my scores have steadily been improving throughout the 3 competitions.
By time we had got home we had travelled over 2000 miles in just 10 days and was very much in need of a break."
Thanks for the update Ian, what an amazingly busy season so far! We'll bring you more news on Ian's escapades as the season progresses.