That's right. It's time I came out for all to know the truth. (at least in part)
I have been flying DS for about as long as John Buxton now- give or take a few weeks. We started with the same Pat Bowman JW to learn on, and both of us built one each on John's kitchen table. Since we live just a few miles apart, go to the same church, and share interest in several things- one of them being RC flying, it's natural that we'd somehow find ourselves on the same hill at the same time from time to time; often carpooling to the site.
Certainly, he has been much of my inspiration, mentor, idea well, and cattle prod over the past few years and I very much appreciate that and him for it. See, we both have an addiction and understand each other better because of that commonality. It's just that our addictions have diverged a bit drastically apart of late. He has stayed with DS flying as his passion and I have shifted my addiction over to modifying electrons in a different genre altogether. The World of Warcraft is a crafty and clutching task-mistress that must be satisfied daily. This little known fact leads to misunderstanding, missed or late appointments, and apathy for all things real (like RC DS) for the person engaged to her.
This past Friday, May 21, 2010, I was awarded yet another personal best speed on the hill that I don't feel I earned the right to. I actually feel somewhat unworthy to have recieved the chance and achievement. Oh sure, I did fly my own D-80 to 341 mph, and would have gone faster if I'd tossed it out at that same time. But the Kinetic was already in the air and the rest is history. What I'm saying is: there were at least 2 other pilots on the hill at the time I was handed the sticks that would probably have posted higher speeds had they had the same or comparable model in the air during that ballistic gust that launched John to 445 and gifted me with being the 3rd man in history to pilot an RC model to over 400 mph. Yes, they did up their PB's posted earlier in the day significantly on the 80 inch class. We all understand that it's all about opportunity: Pilot skill, plane capability, hill, and cooperative wind.
Am I saying that I cheated the others out of their opportunity? No. But they are daily earning their right to speeds by putting in much more energy and investment than I into the small but totally awesome sport of flying DS for speed(and acro).
I am very much grateful to John for not giving up on me and for continuing to encrorage me onto the hill. Who could ask for a better friend than that? I am also grateful for, and humbled by the honest efforts and cooperative spirit that is so prevalent on the hill at most times in most places by the guys that share this passion.