2019 Tucson Aerobatic Shootout Report

Casie Dussia has put together a great TAS report complete with photos!


From Casie Dussia

October 9th-13th marked the 14th Tucson Aerobatic Shootout. Held at Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA), this year’s contest was well organized and attracted some of the best RC pilots from all over the world. Fifty-four pilots flew in Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, Unlimited, and Invitational IMAC classes, as well as the Freestyle class.

Class winners are as follows:

  • Sportsman – Ian Sullins
  • Intermediate – JJ Hendrick
  • Advanced –Cayden Bruce
  • Unlimited – Werner Kohlberger
  • Invitational – Bryant Mack
  • Freestyle – Jase Dussia

Cayden Bruce was the recipient of The Schroder Prize that honors John Schroder, who was extremely active in the mentoring of young scale aerobatics pilots. This Cup goes to the competitor 16 years of age or younger that achieves the highest percentage of perfection. Cayden said, “I have been fortunate enough to participate as a pilot in the TAS for 3 years now. Each year has been an amazing experience. This year and last year, I was surprised and honored to earn the John Schroder Cup for best percentage perfection in a pilot under 16 years old. I met Big John at my first Nats and really wish I could have been able to spend more time learning from him. His support of youth in IMAC has earned recognition and I am thankful to share in his story.”

In addition to winning the Invitational class, Bryant Mack also took home The Desert Aircraft Cup, which is awarded to the pilot with the best final ranking in Invitational and Freestyle combined. Bryant stated, “This year’s Shootout had some very tough competition. Everyone flew incredibly well and we were constantly swapping rounds back and forth. It’s an honor to fly against so many top-level pilots, many of which I have idolized growing up. To win the Tucson Shootout has always been a goal of mine since I started flying IMAC, but never really thought that day would come. I can’t’ thank all of my sponsors enough for the support they have given me. All in all, it was an extremely well run, organized event that I wouldn’t hesitate to attend again. I am looking forward to next year!”

The Freestyle category at TAS is always entertaining and the impressive list of competitors did not disappoint this year! Finishing with a perfect score of 3000, Freestyle winner Jase Dussia said, “Ever since I’ve known of RC competition, I have watched videos and followed along with past TAS events. Now, I have flown in 3 Shootout Freestyles and have competed alongside some pretty prestigious names. Huge thanks to Dave Johnson, Kevin Garland, and all the event organizers for keeping the Shootout alive!”

TAS was made possible in big part to Dave Johnson and crew from Desert Aircraft, as well as the generosity of the additional following event sponsors:

  • AJ Aircraft
  • Athens Trophy Shop
  • B&E Graphix
  • Brent Bullen
  • Dalton Aviation
  • Desert Aircraft Australia
  • Extreme Flight RC
  • Falcon Props
  • Holy Smokes RC
  • Jacob Campbell
  • JTEC Radiowave
  • KS Exhaust Systems
  • MAXX Products
  • Mejzlik Modellbau
  • MKS Servos
  • MTW Silencer Systems
  • NorthWest RC
  • PAU
  • PowerBox Systems
  • RC Depot
  • Sew Busy
  • Slimline Products
  • Smart-Fly
  • Team Cultrap-Stevens
  • Thunder Power RC
  • Tru-Turn

Contest director Kevin Garland ran an efficient event that allowed competitors and spectators to enjoy flying during the day and friendships at night! Brenna Garland maintained thorough score entries, while Alex Dreiling operated the sound system and Tom Reifsnyder took care of the announcing. A unique feature of TAS is live streaming of the Freestyle rounds, which was facilitated by Charles Taylor and David Burhman. Other notable TAS crew members include chief judge Brian Howard, assistant Jon Ridpath, Line Boss Gene Mason, and invitee judges Pete Castine, Steve Sides, Frank Kelley, and Rich Whitlow.

Kevin shared some thoughts on TAS: “I am happy to see the Tucson Aerobatic Shootout continue to grow even during these hard times in the model aviation community. Events like the Shootout keep the hobby going and give everyone something to work for during the flying season.”

Photos courtesy of Rich Whitlow and Casie Dussia.

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