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Old Apr 19, 2011, 08:57 AM
Did you get it on video?
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A day (or two) with the crew of Flite Test, SEFF 2011

So, a little bit of backstory here. I am a fan of the online RC aviation show Flite Test.

Facebook... http://www.facebook.com/flitetest
YouTube... http://www.youtube.com/user/flitetest
RCGroups... http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1319156

Truth be told, I am the self declared fan club dictator. Unfortunately for the crew, and everyone else, they made the mistake of recognizing this claim publicly, and just added to my delusions. But back on point, so I convinced the crew that they needed to make a trip down from cold and dreary Ohio, to the warm green field belonging to Mac Hodges, owner of Hodges Hobbies, for a little event called SEFF. I offered to guide them around, introduce them to the great people I've met there over the years, and hopefully help set up some interviews.

The guys showed up bright and early and I was right there to greet them...

They had someone with them, David, aka Dadde owner of the site, http://www.rcexplorer.se/
More about him later.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 09:51 AM
Did you get it on video?
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It wouldn't do to just jump in and try to work right off the bat, so a little exploration was in order. The guys and I made a walk of the flight line. Well, most of the guys, and I.

Someone was missing. Michael Cameneti for one, but there was another Flite Test member that wasn't there, a host maybe? Oh well, I am sure it will come to me eventually.

There was lots of planes that Chad and Josh found interesting.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:03 AM
Did you get it on video?
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As they walked they met up with various people already set up for the weeks events. Online acquaintences were met, new friends were made, and of course, interviews were arranged.

I was surprised at how nice these guys were. I mean, just super nice. Josh Bixler is even nicer in person than he is in character. I just can't imagine him ever having anything bad to say about someone. Even his jokes and jabs came out sounding like compliments.

Dadde, was great. I got a kick out of the surprise he expressed when someone either recognized him, or knew who he was once they were told his screen name. It seems he wasn't ready for celebrity status.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:21 AM
Did you get it on video?
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The crew made their way around to the larger sponsor/vendors. Stopping by the Horizon tent, they spoke to one of the reps there.

I saw them fondling some of the debut products as well. Did someone say UMX Sbach, brushless?

Or how about the new warbird, the Hawker Hurricane?


So, when will Horizon become a Flite Test sponsor? Would you like to see either of these planes reviewed on the show? Go ahead and ask Horizon. If there was a definite answer given, I didn't hear it.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Horizon/ContactHorizon.aspx
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:32 AM
Did you get it on video?
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Leaving the main flying area, and entering into more dangerous territory, the guys met up with their audio counterparts, the crew of All Things That Fly.

Flite Test had previously been guests of the show, but this was their first face to face meeting.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
Did you get it on video?
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The danger zone was the vendor area. Stores from around the country came and set up shop. Lots of money changed hands here.

Few were able to resist the great deals found in the vendor mall...

Maybe there will be an upcoming review soon?
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:42 AM
Did you get it on video?
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Of course, there was food to be had. Lunch was on Chad, so I ate big!
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:45 AM
Did you get it on video?
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One of the best parts of this, was getting to meet the guys behind the show. Of course we "know" the Joshes, (oh, wait, there's supposed to be two? That other one must be around somewhere...) you really don't get a chance to learn about the rest of the crew.

Let's see what I can do about that.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:06 PM
Did you get it on video?
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We'll start with the boss, Chad.

I'd spoken with him both on the computer, and by phone a few times. Then I got to meet him in person not too long ago. He had business in my part of the world and we grabbed a quick cup of coffee before I had to rush back for work. I spent a little more time with him at SEFF. What a great guy. He's the last person you'd think of as being a director. He was extremely patient with my ADD type personality, and not too terribly bossy at all. His generosity was humbling. Heck, as you saw previously, he bought me, AND the chipmunk lunch. And that boy can put away some food. Foolish as some might think it was, he even trusted me to play guide to him and the crew for their first SEFF experience. (more foolishly, he let me bring a camera, and I don't always take flattering images of people...) Thanks for everything Chad, hope to catch up with you again soon.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:33 PM
Did you get it on video?
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From the boss, I'll go to the other end of the hierarchy for FT.

Joab is likely the last guy you'll notice on the show. The youngest, the newest, and often the closest to the ground, he's easily overlooked. Don't take this to mean he's unimportant. Sure, he often gets stepped on, but that's just because he's dedicated, and willing to self sacrifice. Joab, is the sound guy. He's the holder of the little fuzzy thing. He's been closer to Bildo, than maybe even his wife, at that point in the day, at least...

Joab was a friendly, fun, and creative guy. Give him a cell phone, some darkness, and a camera set to 30 second exposures, and he's an artist. I had a great time hanging out with him, and hope that next time they go to an event I'm at, he gets to stick around a little longer into the evening. There's just too many ways to spell flite test with a flash light.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:03 PM
Did you get it on video?
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From audio, to video, the next guy I have to mention is Eric. First impression, this guy is big. He must have been about five feet taller than me, and to quote Dumb and Dumber, "he must work out". Eric would be one intimidating guy, if he ever stopped smiling. It seemed everything made this guy happy. He seems to just enjoy life in general, and was visibly thrilled to be around so many airplanes at once. He has an impressive knowledge of old school rc aircraft as well as anything modern. Oh, did I forget to mention he's the guy behind the lens? Aside from the airplane stuff, he's one heck of a camera man. And dedicated too. He was out filming while the rest of us were eating lunch. I think he swallowed his paper tray of food whole so that he could get back to the flight line and get more footage. Then he heard about the kite. I don't know what kind it was, but his eyes lit up. He was like a kid, begging to go out and play. Chad gave the ok, there was this wooshing sound, and he was gone. Later I saw images of him tugging on the lines to a mini parachute, a smile about to crack his head in half.

Eric, it was great meeting you. Hope to see you again sometime soon.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:07 PM
Did you get it on video?
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Then there was Wayne. Wayne was quiet. He was obviously elusive, because I don't seem to have any pictures of just him... He did share an interest with me, for the powered parachutes/gliders. He was really liking the looks of the PPC, while I was more into the PPG side of things. I'll forgive him this though.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 10:23 PM
Did you get it on video?
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Last but not least, the Joshes.

There was Josh Bixler. No, really, he was there, unlike some other Joshes that will not be mentioned at this time.

This guy is even nicer in person that he seems on video. He calls everyone either "friend" or "brother" and he means it. I can't imagine him meeting someone he didn't instantly like. He loves everything aviation too. He takes a special interest in the scratch built planes, the larger, the better. I think he wanted to fly the B29, it obviously appealed to him.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 11:02 AM
Did you get it on video?
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And then there was the other Josh. I wasn't sure how he was going to be. I know there's a few folks that his character (and yeah folks, it's a character, he's really not quite that clueless. Although, he genuinely can't fly, ask me how I know. ) rubs the wrong way. I had a feeling he might be that guy that comes across as friendly on camera, but is a bit of a jerk in person. The "too cool for you" kind of guy, heck, just look at those glasses!

Yet, I was surprised to find him to be just the opposite. Josh Scott was one of the most humble people I've met in quite some time. He was friendly, and conversational. He was even very tolerant of my over caffeinated, maxed out on sugar, type personality. I could tell he was a bit out of his element, the SEFF experience seemed to be bigger than he expected. Even with that, he settled in and in short order was just one of the guys.

I promise Josh, next time I see you, I'll have a plane for you to fly that isn't sabotaged.
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Old Apr 20, 2011, 11:28 AM
Did you get it on video?
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Plus one more... Then there was David.

David isn't technically on the Flite Test crew, that I know of... yet. I thought there was a hint about something or other on facebook, or in their thread, don't ask me to try to find it though.

Anyhow, David was a bit odd. He had an accent. He dressed different, he didn't think cheese on EVERYTHING was normal. I have a feeling he's not native to Georgia.

All that aside, he was fun! I didn't get to see him at his best, flying FPV, although there was some mention about a flight in a parking lot, at night, on the way down, circling some sort of road side attraction or other.

He was amusing to watch as his celebrity status was established when some fans recognized him, and wanted to talk to the great Dadde! It was a little bewildering when he met up with the host of the Crash Cast podcast, and they started rattling off facts and figures about circuit boards, and programming, product availability, and flying techniques. I could just stand there and nod, pretending weakly, that I had even a remote clue as to what was going on.

Aside from the 3rd degree sunburn he got, I think he had a good time. I know I did.
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