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Old 07-17-2007, 11:33 PM
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Frankfort, Ky.
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Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

FlyingGiants member, friend, and proud father delux, Danny Jones AKA Dan_No brings us this cool story about what this hobby is truly all about. Pull up a seat and have a read.

Flying from the heart, a passion for IMAC

In the spring of 2006, two father and son teams met at the first local IMAC contest of the year in the North Central Region at Clinton Indiana talking to one another about their sons during the freestyle contest Sunday afternoon. Little did they know that they would become like family to each other over time through a simple invitation to get their sons together.

Tom Arnold,Seth Arnolds dad, and Danny Jones, Brendan Jones dad, got to talking about their sons to one another and the dream that both their sons had about someday making it to the Tucson Shootout. It was a goal that both their sons wanted to reach,something that they both only dreamed about, being the first contest of the year and not knowing what the rest of the year had in store for either of them, little did they know that as the year went on, that the 4 of them side by side, going from contest to contest together would reach their goal that seemed so far in the distance.

Before leaving Clinton, they both discussed the next contest, Columbus Ohio, both of them were going. After a short discussion about their sons and how there was no other pilots their age for either of them to hang around with, Seth 16 and Brendan 15. Tom and Danny talked about how good it would be for their sons to be able to fly together and spend some time together, the two of them were already becoming friends, you didn't have to look to far from one to find the other.

Tom invited Danny and Brendan to come to their house for a couple of days and stay and practice before the Columbus IMAC contest, the friendship began.
These two young men have taken the IMAC trail by storm, the first contest Seth finished in 1st place and won the freestyle contest, Brendan finished in 5th. First contest of the year and both were off to a good start.

Onto Columbus Ohio for the Columbus IMAC Challenge, they both flew well all weekend and both Seth and Brendan finished in 1st place,in addition to this, Seth also won the Freestyle contest... two happy boys and two very proud dads !

Onto Roxana Illinois for the Gateway IMAC Challenge, once again these two young men flew very well and both Brendan and Seth finished in first place once again, besides the IMAC contest, they had the normal freestyle along with a foamy freestyle for the contest. Seth won the freestyle and Brendan won the foamy freestyle.

Whats next Tom Danny asked, I don't know replied Tom, where are you all going next ? Probably Hamilton. Lets all go to Hamilton Ohio then !

Off to Hamilton Ohio they went, but not before Danny and Brendan made a stop along the way. Danny and Brendan are really close friends with Mike McConville. Danny had called to register Brendan for the IMAC NATS, there was a frequency issue, each field was assigned certain frequencies, Brendan was going to have to do some changing around to accommodate this.

Danny calls Mike to discuss the NATS and during their discussion Mike says you just need to go ahead and switch stuff over to the Spektrum, further into their discussion about this Mike says, you know what, I am not going to be flying the new 260 for a bit because I am leaving to go to Ireland for a week, what would Brendan think about taking it to fly it at the NATS since he will be getting one once they are released...when are you leaving for Hamilton ? Friday morning....Mike said, you and Brendan come to my house and get the 260 and stay the night and then go onto Hamilton Friday morning. Off they went to Champaign Illinois Thursday to pick up the new H9 35% Extra 260 that will be released soon by Horizon Hobby.

Brendan made one test flight with it and really liked how the plane flew and how it presented, and after doing so Mike said, ya know what, go ahead and fly it at Hamilton this weekend. Friday morning they were off to meet Tom and Seth at Hamilton. Brendan made 2 more practice flights with it Friday afternoon and Wayne Geffon also put a flight on it.

The weekend went great, both Seth and Brendan once again won the IMAC contest, this is now 3 weekends in a row for both of them.

There was a freestyle and Seth and Tim Fulk tied for first place, something was done that was pretty neat, they took the first and second place awards, cut them in half and put them together so each pilot would have one half of the first and second place award !

Whats next ? The 2007 IMAC Scale Aerobatic Nationals in Muncie Indiana !
Lots of plans to be made, lots to get done. Tom and Danny talked about what to do, where to try to stay, practicing, anything involving the NATS to try to get ready to go and be prepared. Tom said why don't you and Brendan come up for a couple of days before the NATS and the boys can hang out, do some practicing and we can leave from here Wednesday and head on over to Muncie, sounds like a plan !

Danny and Brendan headed for Toms early Monday morning and arrived there just around noon and they started practicing and flew till almost dark.

Tuesday morning EARLY, Danny was awoken to the sound of Aresti being called by Tom as a wake up call. Tom was up before the birds, had coffee on and was cooking pancakes !

Everyone was up and at it, ate breakfast and right to practicing. Tom's wife brought lunch to the field and they had a little family picnic for lunch. Flew again till almost 7pm, packed everything up and went to watch the 4th of July fireworks before heading to Munci the next morning.

Wednesday was the day, off to Muncie. Arrived there and went to the site, dropped the trailers and went to setting things up to be ready for the next day, went to the judges and pilots meeting before heading to the motel to study and prepare for the unknown they had to fly the next morning.

Thursday morning came early, even earlier for a couple of guys, Mike McConville and Mike Hildebrandt started their morning off at about 3am so they could make the drive to Muncie from Champaign to spend the day with Brendan and just hang out with everyone, it was a very low ceiling and flying didn't get started on time, made for a long day. First day jitters and trying to get settled, the first day isn't always perfect and things don't always go as planned. Brendan's engine flooded and the two minute time ran out before they could get it started so it left him with a zero on his unknown for the first day.

Friday was a beautiful day, flying went great and everyone had a good time, both Seth and Brendan did good. A few friends gathered and sat around and talked and laughed about the days events while Joe played the guitar and sang to everyone.

Saturday morning, this is the day that the cut is made for the finals on Sunday. No scores were posted at all, everyone waited with anticipation until Saturday night at the banquet when they would announce who was going to advance onto the finals on Sunday.

Brendan and Seth both advanced to the finals, it was off to the motel to study study study, the unknown Sunday morning was going to be a major factor.
4am Sunday morning came way to early as the alarm clocks went off, Sunday morning at a little after 6am upon arriving at the field, it was a sight to behold, the sunrise and the fog floating just above the ground, the pilots walking around with eyes barely open and preparing for what was ahead, one unknown flight and one known round, this was it, Seth and Brendan both had made it to the Nationals and this was what it was all about.

Wheels up at 7am, one unknown and one known round, everyone made their flights and now for the wait once again until the awards ceremony.

They started off with the Sportsman class. Brendan was setting really good, but nothing is for certain until its all said and done. Once they got up to 3rd place the only two pilots that were left was Curtis Cozier and Brendan Jones, those few seconds seemed like a lifetime waiting to see who was going to be called next, it was Curtis, so there was only one thing left.....and now for the 2007 Scale Aerobatic National Sportsman Champion, Brendan Jones.

Brendan also won the award for the highest scoring senior pilot. Brendan came really close to also winning the Bennett Cup, the zero he received from the unknown flight Thursday due to not getting his engine started kept him from winning that also.
The Intermediate class was highly contested, it was really tight and a hard fought battle also, Seth finished in 2nd place, he flew really well all week.

This was Seth and Brendan's first NATS, and this fall in October will be their first time ever going to Tucson, and they both are looking forward to many more in the future.
The meeting of someone new and the friendships that have grown not only between Seth and Brendan, but Tom and also Danny will last for a lifetime. In years to come there will come a day when the dads will be setting together somewhere in their older years and possibly reading articles about their sons somewhere at a contest and will be able to laugh together about the journeys and adventures that they all had together over the years. This is what friendships are made of.

A Special thanks goes out on behalf of Tom and Seth to Joe Cotton of Cottons Lawn and Maintenance, without his help this wouldn't have been possible. Also QQ Aircraft for designing such a competitive airplane.

On behalf of Danny and Brendan...Bill, thank you for teaching me to fly all those years ago, without you I wouldn't have been involved in this hobby to have gotten Brendan started to begin with, thank you my friend ! Special thanks goes to Mike McConville and Wayne Geffon, your visit that one September day in 2005 inspired Brendan to do what he is doing now. Thank you to Brian Huffmier and also Dave of Desert Aircraft for all you have done. Mike and Kurt from Fromeco batteries, thank you for the sponsorship ! To Mark Leseberg, thank you for being an inspiration to Brendan and for all that you have done to help him along the way.

A Special thanks goes to Wayne Geffon for the help and advice he has given to both Seth and Brendan.

To everyone in the NC Region, its been a pleasure getting to know all of you and the family we all have here, its been a summer that will never be forgotten.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:52 AM
If only you knew...
Mike Bargman's Avatar
Geneva, IL
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

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Old 07-18-2007, 01:07 AM
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Frankfort, Ky.
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Max, thanks for showing interest, Tom and I are really both proud of our boys and what they have accomplished this year.

Brendan, daddy is really proud of ya buddy and I love ya !
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:27 AM
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Washington, Indiana
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Danny, great story, and great story writing. Congrats guys.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:40 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Man.... that right there brings a tear to a glass eye....

Great story !
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:47 AM
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United States, CA, Aliso Viejo
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Don't thank me homey, all I do is bang on a keyboard.. Its fathers, friends, and modelers like yourself that create the positive vibe, share the passion, and make it all worth while. Thanks for bringing this to us bro.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:11 AM
Shaun Price
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Nice article.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:31 AM
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St helens OR
Joined May 2006
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

That was a really good read and great story. Those two boy's will probably be doing this together for a long time i bet. I haven't been flying all that long , but raced motorcross and taught kids (and adult's) the in's and out of racing , what it takes to be competitive , and to keep your goals always in the back of your mind and always perform the best you can every single time out. What brenden and seth have is some really good comoradery <<<( hope i spelled that right).....it a great thing to have freinds as competitor's .....ecspeacially when your both out front winning a moto.....or tearing holes in the sky with each other , and taking home the 1st place trophy's. Good job boys , do it while your young.

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Old 07-18-2007, 04:18 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Great article!!!
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:38 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Too cool is right..............This is a great write-up to see the least!!!!! awesome job DAD!!!!!
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:53 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Verry Nice!
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:19 AM
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bloomingdale, IL USA
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Nice story Dan-nO. We need more good stories like that.
See you soon.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:22 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Very nice! Good luck the rest of the season and at Tucson.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:24 AM
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

Very awesome!!!!!!
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:33 AM
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Burlington Ky
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Re: Behind the scenes at The AMA NATS. A cool story.

After getting to see Seth and Brendan at a few contests it is obvious that the apple didnt fall far from the tree. Both Dads are really good people. I believe that either Dan or Tom would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. They both are good role models for their sons to live by. I am glad I have had the pleasure of meeting and get to know both families.
Now.....if we could only design/find some bibs for Dans eyes after Brendan wins a contest, we would be in good shape
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