Taking Joe Nall Seriously - A Story of Survival - FlyingGiants
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Taking Joe Nall Seriously - A Story of Survival

Tavis Newman is no stranger to FlyingGiants.com and Joe Nall. Join us as FG talks to him about camping out forty days and nights for Joe Nall 2017.

Splash

RC Planes, Thunderstorms, and The Flu

From Jim T

One evening in Toledo we sat down to dinner with Tavis Newman. Over dinner he started telling me about how he was living in a tent at an RC field in preparation for Joe Nall. He flew on the pretty days and lifted weights on the rainy days. I realized immediately this was an RC pilot that went above and beyond in the pursuit of RC happiness. I knew this was a story everyone on FlyingGiants should read. A big thanks to Matt Gunn for putting this epic saga together for all to behold! See you at Nall Tavis!!

The Tavis Newman Story

Most of you know Tavis Newman. For those that don't, he's this guy that likes to fly giant-scale airplanes... a lot. That pretty much sums him up. Oh, and the fact that's he put his business on hold and decided to live at the Buckeye Big Birds field for over a month in anticipation of Joe Nall 2017. I remember telling Jim Graham: "dude, Tavis is hunkered down at a field, practicing for Joe Nall!" His response: "we gotta interview him!"

I spoke with Tavis on and off for a few weeks before asking him to answer some interview questions; his story is pretty intense to say the least. I could only imagine packing up shop for 40+ days to live in a tent and slowly making my way to Joe Nall.

Give everyone a rundown of where you are, and where you've been as you prepare for the Nall.

I started my journey in OH at the Buckeye Birds field home of Hoverpolooza . Arrived March 28th and set up camp. A pop up tent ,hot plate, pocket knife, and a trailer full of planes is all I needed for survival. The conditions were bad. After 40 days I packed up and moved down to were I am now (in Virginia) 2 days out from heading to Joe Nall.

What's your biggest challenge at the moment?

The rain, wind, and those (expletive) thunderstorms ! It has been relentless this year I tell ya! Hard to get stick time, ya know what I mean?

Joe Nall 2015 - 3D Night Flying - Tavis Newman (12 min 32 sec)

Aside from flying, what are you doing in your spare time?

Well every day the weather was bad Joe Lewis and I would hit the gym and pump iron. We hit the gym almost every day. So if you ask me if Ohio is a great place to fly? I would say "Nah, but its a great place to work out."

I heard about some interesting weather related moments, what happened?

Matt, I'm lucky to be alive right now. I've lived through some harsh conditions. One night a severe line of thunderstorms ripped through my camp with a vengeance! I mean gale force winds and torrential down pours. It was like a war zone! The biggest bolts of lightning were striking the field all around me with instantaneous explosions of thunder that that thumped in my chest and rocked my feet. I was so tired I just laid down in my tent on my cold wet blankets and went sound to sleep. I just said to myself "may God be with me." I woke up in the morning and it was still storming. The flag was shredded and tied in a knot. The wind was catching it like a sail and banging the flag pole into the tin shed roof. I mean just (expletive) hammerin' away, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, like a jackhammer!! And I had the worst headache of my life. Lightning probably struck that pole and shot out under the ground around me for all I know. I was missing one sock and draggin' the other one halfway off. Tables were flipped upside down and the grill was thrown 8 feet. I suffered with the flu shortly after that and continued to sleep in my tent...on wet blankets... in windy 30 degree weather. Later that day I sat hunched over in a slump at the picnic table, coughing up flem with a plugged up squeaky red nose and thoughts started to set in like, I might never make it to Nall, is this my fate to die at Buckeye birds? Yep, I was down, tired, and depressed with the flu. All I knew was I had to pull myself together. I remember hiding in the bathroom at McDonald's down the road thinking if I can just remain undetected when they close I can spend the night here. I put my hands on the sink and hung my head down in a raspy voice I said "God please help me". The next day something miraculous happened. I woke up with absolutely no signs of being sick. I just knew then I was healed, and by God I was going to make it to Nall after all!

(I will say Joe Lewis and Travis Saffell did offer to let me stay at their houses. But I just wanted to be brave and sleep in my tent.)

What planes are you bringing to Nall?

Man I got one o' them 110" Extreme Flight Yaks , a Demonstrator and a Red 106" 3DHS Edge 540! Running some bad to the bone GP123s too that I got from Joe Lewis (Aviator Plus Rc ).

What's your favorite aspect of Joe Nall?

All my friends are there! That's why I look forward to going to Nall every year! We have some great times man! And I'm looking forward to seeing y'all there in just a few days ;)

Last edited by Jason Cole; 05-10-2017 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:13 AM
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Man I saw this headline and cracked up! I called Tavis early last week while he was still there and I was feeling for him. It's hard times getting ready for Nall man. See you this weekend bud! I'll be sure to bring you some of that southern cough syrup that comes in a Jar.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:15 AM
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Where is that field at in Virginia, 2 days before the official start of Joe Nall 2017?
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:44 AM
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Have fun out there brother. Smoke oil and plenty of Tuna. That's the key to survival

Dave
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:57 AM
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DAMN DUDE!
You are hard effin core.....
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:16 PM
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Smooth flyer, poop piler, great story teller.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:46 PM
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Oh yeah, well this is roughing it for me LOL.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:38 PM
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Oh yeah, well this is roughing it for me LOL.
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Hey Jeff, you RV'ers face your own challenges!
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:21 PM
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This is a modern day pioneer story if I ever heard one. Best part of the story:

Is Ohio a great place to fly? "Nah, but its a great place to work out." - T.N. 2017
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:07 PM
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Man I saw this headline and cracked up! I called Tavis early last week while he was still there and I was feeling for him. It's hard times getting ready for Nall man. See you this weekend bud! I'll be sure to bring you some of that southern cough syrup that comes in a Jar.
See man I told You it was bad! Lol
Yeah I need a drink .. see ya in a few days !
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:10 PM
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Smooth flyer, poop piler, great story teller.
some of the stories just could not be told here . But I told you about them didn't I haha
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:14 PM
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Tavis!!!
i used to work with Steve McClure.. i talked to you on the other site that shall remain unnamed! but i didn't know you were flying down at thornburg, va until my buddies told me! Joe Reyes... he is trying to get me down there to fly with you and the group... i just don't have the skills you guys do but man i want to get down there sometime even to just watch you!
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:14 PM
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Where is that field at in Virginia, 2 days before the official start of Joe Nall 2017?
FARC club in Fredericksburg VA
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:16 PM
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some of the stories just could not be told here .
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:17 PM
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Tavis!!!
i used to work with Steve McClure.. i talked to you on the other site that shall remain unnamed! but i didn't know you were flying down at thornburg, va until my buddies told me! Joe Reyes... he is trying to get me down there to fly with you and the group... i just don't have the skills you guys do but man i want to get down there sometime even to just watch you!
Hey man I remember! You should come on down and hang with us ! I'm heading out Friday morning.
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