July 23rd, 2016

Dakota Thunder IMAC

I think we started our IMAC adventure back about 2008 so that means we have been pursuing this AMA special interest for about 8 years. We have learned a lot along the way. We have learned how to do it and practiced the skills to gain proficiency.

The adventure continued this year at Propubuster Field on Saturday, July 23rd. This year’s turnout was small. We had 2 flyers registered in basic: Warren Malone and Jim Tiller. Gene Jobgen was the only competitor in Sportsman. Mark and Kristi Siemen drove up from Pueblo, CO to spend the weekend. Mark was registered in Advanced. Bruce Bump came up from Chadron to CD our event and help out with the judging.

Saturday morning was a bit brisk, windwise. At the commencement of the event, a northerly breeze of about 15 mph was blowing down the runway. Literally, throwing caution to the wind we proceeded with the first round of competition. As the round progressed, the breeze escalated to about 30 mph. Needless to say the wind did affect the scores, but made helicopter style landings easy. At that point, the decision was made to postpone further flying until Sunday morning. The CD passed out the unknowns to Mark and Gene and we packed up for home.

In true South Dakota fashion, Sunday morning was the yang to Saturday’s ying. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the blustery wind had disappeared.

We flew the unknowns and the first round in these ideal flying conditions. With the weather so nice, we went through round three as well. With the change in the weather we had two more pilots join the fun with both Bob Olson and Denny Bernal flying a couple of sequences on Sunday morning. As Mike Rossman entered the scores into the computer, we all took turns flying everything we brought with wings. Included in that category were Lonnie Giedd, Mike Rossman and Mark Richter.

After all the scores were tallied, we awarded the gladiators their laurel wreaths (great embroidered caps supplied by Mike Rossman). In Basic, first time competitor Warren Malone scored highest. In Sportsman, to no one’s surprise, Gene Jobgen took home top honors. In Advanced, we made Mark Siemen share his prize with his wife Kristy because we figured he would not have won without her calling for him.

I think the most intimidating part of IMAC competition is the Aresti diagram. To note, I called the Basic maneuvers for Denny Bernal. I did not name the maneuvers; just explained what he should do. “Pull up to a 45 degree line, establish the line, pull positive over the top to a 45 degree down line, half roll to upright, establish the 45 down line, then pull to level”. Who would have thought that is a Lay Down Humpty Bump. However, if you start at the circle, and end at the bar, you can see how it goes. Dotted line means inverted and the arrow indicates a roll. Not that bad, is it?

All the basic maneuvers are pretty simple. It is all positive pulls, no snap rolls, no fancy stuff. Just pretty basic loops and rolls. The most difficult thing this year for me was a horizontal 360. Yet a plane old circle, but for me, I had trouble entering and exiting at the same altitude. I tend to gain or lose about 100 feet on the way around.

Thanks for Bruce Bump for doing the CD duties this year. Just traveling here from Chadron was enough. We really appreciate your help. Thanks also to Mike Rossman for taking on the scoring duties and for supplying the dynamite hats we gave as 1st place awards. Your work is outstanding. And a great big thanks to Mark and Kristy Siemen for attending our event. They have been here a few times now and we are privileged to call them friends. We plan to visit them this fall in Pueblo for their IMAC event.



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