CV Model Aviators’ Pylon Races are Good, Cheap Fun

by Bob Shanks, Newsletter Editor, Chino Valley Model Aviators

While most of you know I just fly radio-controlled model airplanes for fun, this year I did get involved in our pylon races. Full-sized, high-powered, very expensive airplanes also race around pylons, so this is our miniature version.

We had heats of three pilots racing around two pylons with small electric planes we built. We fly eight laps from a flying start. We had 10 pilots flying, and it was really a lot of fun. Many of our RC club members are retired military and civilian pilots as well as a variety of aviation enthusiasts.

The top three winners got some hilarious awards. First place got a full roll of toilet paper and three Corona beers, second place got a half a roll of toilet paper and two Coronas, third place got about a third of a roll of toilet paper. The best crash got a bottle of water, an empty roll of toilet paper and a crying towel. I had a rough landing after one heat and damaged my plane, so I was selected best crash. My plane can be repaired though, remember these are small, inexpensive foam planes.

One of our photos shows a plane coming around the pylon, this is a hard activity to photograph as the planes are usually spread out all over the sky and do fly fast. Each flyer has a spotter and there are folks electronically keeping track of the laps. Everyone has to wear helmets, too, for safety. We had quite a crowd this year, as you can see from the bottom photo.