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Nov 20, 2016, 11:55 AM
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Thread OP

F3J in the Desert 2017 is Moving!

I pleased to announce that F3J in the Desert will be moving to Sandy Valley California for 2017. We have received permission from a sod farm owner there to hold the event. John Lovins and I toured the location and gave a demonstration to the Owner, GM and Operations manager. This is a large sod farm just across the Nevada border. It has multiple fields that will work and the selected one will depend on the harvest schedule.

The dates are not yet set, but will likely be early April because the weather is cooler than Phoenix at that time of year.

There are hotels on I15 in Primm and Jean with Casinos and entertainment and very reasonable rates. I am currently working on group rates.

The field is 20 minutes from Jean, 30 minutes from Primm and 45 minutes from the strip.

More info to follow...
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Nov 21, 2016, 02:32 PM
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Thread OP
I am putting together more details but here is a quick summary.
The event is at a large sod farm with multiple grass circles. There will be no entry limitations, there is room for 14 lanes, there are no obstructions. I'm hoping for 4 or 5 man teams to maximize the number of flights.

The road to Sandy Valley from Jean NV is all paved. It is a route over the small mountain so it is curvy. It would be fun in a BEEMER but fine for everything else as well. About a 20 minute drive. Once you are in Town the sod farm is just west of town. Leaving town and entering the actual sod farm it is all dirt. Depending on which circle we have to go on it could be up to 1 mile of dirt travel.

There is a run-down casino/hotel in Jean but it is the closest hotel and has limited dining options. There are no other amenities in Jean. We think the preferred location is Primm. There are 3 Casino/Hotels that are well kept and modern. There are lots of dining choices from the Casino restaurants to nearby fast food and a 100 store outlet mall attached to one of the casinos with a nice food court. Working on group rates and it seems the rates will be significantly cheaper than Phoenix. This is 12 miles further than Jean. If you want upscale - the strip is only 40 minutes from the field.

Camping and RVs will be allowed. Note that there is no grass except the actual sod. The exact parking/camping arrangements will depend again on which circle we get. The one he hopes will be ready for us has small trees/shrubs with open space between them. Cars will park between them and campers will do the same. The other potential circle is wide open with lots of bare space around it. The down side is that there are no amenities on the field other than porto-potties.

Sandy Valley has one small restaurant and one bar (open 24 hours - so you know what they do there... )

I am working on more details. Ask your questions and I will be happy to answer.

Nov 21, 2016, 02:35 PM
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tewatson's Avatar
Sounds encouraging, Jim. Thanks for all your work on this.

Nov 21, 2016, 04:15 PM
Registered User
To back up what Jim has said this is in the middle of aprox 20 mile wide valley, and is just across the California line. These guys supply most of the sod for Vegas so there are several types being grown. For our demo we flew on what looked like a putting surface...........

We are also considering F5J/F3J contests back to back (check out Jims poll and please respond your preference). With F5 coming on it seems like a natural. There is more than enough room to accommodate both.

2 years in the making and its finally about to happen. Wide open flying and Vegas close by. What more could you ask for.............
Nov 21, 2016, 05:02 PM
ak79's Avatar
Awesome! Closer to So Cal!
Nov 22, 2016, 03:42 AM
Original Bloody Spadder
proppy jon's Avatar
Cool excited will be camping I'm sure
Nov 22, 2016, 11:35 AM
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I'm hearing strong rumors of some international participation... I think this will be a very popular event.

Here are some of my considerations... Note this is just my current thinking, I'm trying to balance all the competing priorities and this is subject to change. An all new venue makes logistical planning more challenging.

I am now strongly leaning towards a late April date. This puts the temps into the predictably comfortable range. I worry about the night lows for the campers if we go earlier.

I am trying to see if we can arrange for use of the showers at the local rec center for campers..

I am strongly leaning towards Thur/Fri F5J and Sat/ Sun F3J. I think I will run F5J until 2:30PM on Friday to allow for setup and practice for F3J. F3J will run until 2:00pm for prelims and then the finals.

I am considering Overall Champion awards for combined performance.

I am open to suggestions and want this to be the best organized event I can provide. Let me know your suggestions - that does not mean I will implement them all - but I WILL consider them all..

One suggestion I am considering, but not keen on, is having a free/setup day between events. So Wed/Thur F5J (and flying later to finish up) Friday is a full practice/setup day, then F3J on Sat/Sun. My hangup is extending the event timeline requiring more days for participants in both events. Thoughts?

Nov 22, 2016, 01:17 PM
Registered User
THANK YOU to everyone who worked to secure this new west coast flying site. It sounds wonderful.

Jim, have you considered having F5J follow F3J on Monday Tuesday? That would allow a full day for F3J setup and practice on Friday. I donít think setup for the F5J event will be near as extensive so back to back events in this order may work better. Just a thought.

Nov 22, 2016, 01:22 PM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
FWIW, going into Monday/Tuesday makes a lot of sense. I was the CD for a bunch of aerobatic contests held in Vegas and I ALWAYS stayed until Monday morning. The drive back to SOCAL or Arizona on Sunday is a terrible way to cap a fun weekend. Car loads of sleep deprived and many still tipsy drivers make for a less than fun trip!!
Nov 22, 2016, 01:28 PM
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Thread OP
I had not considered that - but it is a good suggestion. I had not thought about the order or the traffic.

I will noodle that.
Nov 22, 2016, 01:59 PM
Original Bloody Spadder
proppy jon's Avatar
My input would be all in one week if the field is big enough you could set up f5j in another spot that would allow set up of f3j
Just my thought
Nov 22, 2016, 02:06 PM
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tewatson's Avatar
What Bob and Bill said.

Nov 22, 2016, 09:01 PM
NorCal Electric Soaring (NES)
SoaringDude's Avatar

F5J calendar updated

I just added an event placeholder in the master F5J-USA calendar for this event. As more details are available I'll update the calendar.

It's great to see F5J USA events filling up so fast for 2017!

Nov 22, 2016, 09:12 PM
Registered User
Any chance to show a Google Earth link to the site? Flying off beautiful green grass sounds intriguing.
Latest blog entry: Testing the blog page
Nov 22, 2016, 09:23 PM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Here you go Dennis

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