20 Jul 2017 8:39 PM | Daren (Administrator)

Host Club: Skystreakers AMA 1165, New Gloucester, ME
Sponsor: Ray Labonte, Ray and Robbins Hobby Center, AMA AVP, ME
CD: Tom Chabot
Scoring and a lot more!: Carissa Parent

What can I say? A wonderful event with a great sponsor, fantastic organizers/ CD, beautiful facility and exemplary AMA host club.

The EVENT: This was the 22nd Annual Maine IMAC Challenge. 22 years run by the same CD and scorer, sponsored by the same sponsor and held at the same field. The longest running IMAC event in New England lived up to it's reputation as a well organized, welcoming, enjoyable event. What a pleasure to be a participant for my first but certainly not my last time. Participants (including several Skystreaker members), callers, family members came from throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania and friends from the north from Montreal and Quebec, Canada. All here sharing the love of model aviation and scale aerobatics.  A non IMAC highlight of the weekend acts as a reminder to all of us to be prepared for an introduction flight at any time. After competition on Saturday as we received our unknowns and pilots began rehearsing a group of 4 adults (2 women, 2 men) began asking questions. I engaged them as I try to engage all curious spectators. I had my E Flight Timber with me and I always have a spare "buddy box" transmitter. When one of the women was genuinely excited with the conversation I asked "do you want to fly?" Well, the 4 of them lit up like kids. About 5 minutes later, after a quick briefing she was flying the Timber in the late afternoon blue skies. If we didn't make a new pilot we definitely added 4 supporters of model aviation. Either way it was a fun, productive and worthwhile 30 minutes for sure as when I do intro flights for adults I always discuss how "this" is model aviation and not the hysteria the media would have the general public think. I haven't met any adult who realizes that AMA and responsible Aero modeling is not the threat. If you can fit one, have a trainer or an "easy flier" and a buddy box on hand. You never know when you can gain a new fan for the cause.

The CLUB: Skystreakers RC Club. A sign greets you at the main road and for this weekend a sandwich board highlighting the IMAC event. You drive in about a mile on a dirt road and come out to a 160 Acre oasis in the Maine woods. A prominent sign reads "Welcome Skystreakers Model Aerodrome AMA 1165". A large area for RVs and camping, a huge wide grass runway and a paved runway atop a gentle hilltop with clear flying airspace. Welcome is an understatement as the participants never feel anything but welcome from officers and members alike who have "given up" their terrific facility for 3 days to the IMAC competitors. I was surprised at the number of spectators who also make the trek through the woods on a dirt road to see the action at the field. Each one was glad they came in to see what was up. Throughout the weekend as I spoke with VP Ed Alonso, Secretary, Dave Field and Field Marshall, Dave Snowman ( I understand club Pres. Joe Pobe was present but we never had a chance to speak Joe, sorry) and members of the Skytreakers it was clear that these folks are (rightfully) very proud of their club which has been on this site since the 60s. I had the pleasure to meet the land owners who are very engaged in and support the club. It was great to see them enjoying a burger and drink under the professionally constructed shade structure as we competed. In addition the members and officers wanted to highlight their latest investment, an expansive solar powered charging station (see photos) attached to one of two large storage containers. This club has been operating successfully with a working relationship of land owners as well as the added challenge of being located under the approach to Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. Through effective communications within the club, during pilot meetings each day at events, in the pits and on the flight line several full scale traffic situations were handled as professionally and as safely as I've experienced. As a commercial pilot and an officer at Plum Island Airport RC Flyers, an active club at a full scale airport I was very proud and impressed at the Skystreaker's operational performance. Well done!

In closing, special thanks to Tom Chabot, Carissa Parent, Ray Labonte, the Skystreakers RC Club and all my fellow participants for a truly wonderful modeling experience. As one of your Associate Vice Presidents for District 1 I’m proud to say you all exemplify the mission of AMA and our Community Based Organization: Operating safely, supporting and promoting the hobby, cooperating with land owners, safely handling full scale aircraft interaction, supporting SIGs (Special Interest Groups) within AMA, welcoming modelers and spectators alike. You've got it all! Keep up the great work.


Daren Hudson, District 1 AVP, NH, MA

ps. I've added video clips to the comments section. Please share and add any of your photos and comments.

Be looking for an article in MA magazine.

See photos in the ME Photo Slideshow Gallery on this site.

Interested in IMAC, check it out at: http://www.mini-iac.com/

© Academy Model Aeronautics
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software