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Fun Fly Ideas

Edited and compiled by
Bill Fulmer
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Many users have written us, asking for ideas for fun fly events, so here is a compilation of events from various sources. Many thanks to Vince Gutschalk, my buddy from Aurora, Colorado, for sending me about a jillion and a half ideas.... If you have other events, please let me know about them. Email them to me at Bill Fulmer (put fun fly in subject header), and we'll update the list periodically.

This is simply a collection of ideas, some quite good, some better than others, some not-so-good. There may be some duplication or similarities. These ideas are presented to assist you in your search for new events for YOUR fun flys. A few of these events are certainly beyond the capabilities of of the average flyer (me), but any or all of them may be modified in any way to suit your needs. Be creative.... Above all, ENJOY YOURSELF.

The fun begins here...............

A variation of the "Egg Drop", used by the Dallas Skyblazers, where they use the styro cups to hold the golf balls, but put a tin can in a hole near the edge of the runway and use golf clubs (mostly a putter) to see how many strokes it takes to get your golf ball (previously dropped from your plane) into the hole. This takes both flying and putting skill! Time runs from takeoff to final putt. Low stroke count wins. In the event of a tie use the lowest time of tied contestants to determine winner. (PS: Don't use this at the golf course!)
Jack Plonien (Dallas Skyblazers)

Use three helium-filled balloons. One tied to 50 foot Crepe Paper (important to use crepe paper (aka party streamer) so that it just snips and dosen't wrap in prop like string), the second balloon at 25 feet and the third at 5/10 feet. Everyone gets 3 highspeed passes at each balloon (i.e. they have to be full throttle parallel to flight line passes). You make up some points for breaking them.. but usually the bust is so rare, the round of applause when someone does break them is reward enough. Lotsa fun.. really a "chance event" (it's hard!)
Edward Walker

Tie a thirty foot length of toilet paper to a helium party balloon and release it. Give a contestant two minutes to cut as many pieces as possible. Harder than it looks...
Graham Hicks

Most rolls in one straight pass.
Vince Gutschalk

Lay out (12) 20' squares on the runway in a 2 X 6 matrix lenghtwise. Number the squares on the right side 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10; the ones on the left 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, & 0. In a series of landings, the pilot attempts to come as close to 21 as possible, based on the wheelstrike point of each landing. Pilot may elect to stop with a score of LESS than 21, but going over 21 disqualifies him.
Vince Gutschalk

Time starts at takeoff; ends at engine stop. Pilot ESTIMATES elapse of one minute. Closest time to actual wins. Requires two timers.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot is given 30 seconds after takeoff to climb high as possible. At 30 seconds, the engine is stopped. Throttle is advanced to prove dead engine. Landing must be on runway. High time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Mark a spot on the runway. Pilot takes off, gains altitude and kills engine... Land and roll to the spot. Closest to target wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Climb 35 sec. from take off, kill engine, advance throttle after 5 sec. to prove engine off and make max. number of loops before landing. Fall-offs count for 1/2 a loop. Score one additional loop for stopping within a 20' x 20' area on the runway. Squeezing in that last loop before landing separates out the heroes. (Or eradicates a good ship....BF)
Pete Gayner - Romeo Area R/C Club Michigan

Place balloon marker on field and person who dead sticks closes to marker without touching it wins. Touching balloon disqualifies.
Tom Rhodes

Six maneuvers are chosen & numbered 1 - 6. The pilot rolls one die to choose a maneuver, the rolls it again to choose the number of times the maneuver must be flown. Time begins at first roll & stops upon touchdown.
Vince Gutschalk

Shortest time to take off, do 3 each rolls, loops, and spins (in any order), then do a touch and go then do 3 each rolls, loops, and spins (in any order), then land. Stop watch starts when plane leaves ground and stops at touchdown.
Tom Rhodes

Here in Memphis, we've invented a sort of "Drag" Race that's proven to be real fun, and provides plenty of laughs for all...
First, purchase a cheap wig, a chenille cotton pull-over woman's robe, and a really large pair of women's panties and bra - the larger the better! (see...this is the 'drag' part of the drag race...get it?).
Then, paint a circle or square about 6 feet across on the runway.
Each contestant must place his aircraft inside the circle. At the start signal, the pilot (or helper, if desired) must start his plane, then take off, perform a loop, and land; then the aircraft must return to the circle, and the pilot must don one article of the women's clothes.
Then repeat until all the clothes, wig included, are being worn by the pilot. Finally, the pilot must take off, loop, and return to the cirlce again to stop the clock. Lowest time wins...
Note that you do not have to taxi to the circle, but can manually place the aircraft in the circle if desired. But, no clothes can be put on until the aircraft is within the bounds of the circle. This usually winds up in making the pilot run at top speed to his aircraft and put it into the circle - all while wearing a pair pf panties and a bra that are 'WAY to big for him! It's a riot that is guaranteed to make everyone die laughing!
We've used it for a few years here and it's a real favorite with our clubs. Try it out!
<Note: RCO has NO comment regarding this event..........:)B.F.>
Freddie Rice AMA 39732
Whitehaven Tale-Draggers
Memphis, TN
AMA Charter #978

Everyone gets a dixie cup, a popsicle stick and some rubber bands to mount on their plane (most shove the stick through the cup and then rubber band it around the fuselage behind the engine). Remember your CG!!! We then draw with lime, or powder of some sort, 3 big circles on the field. 5 points for outer circle, 10 points for next in, 15 points for smallest circle, and 25 points if you can hit the pie plate in the center. Everyone gets 3 good drops (i.e. if you lose it on take off or not over the mowed field it dosen't count). Note: we usually use fluorescent golf balls... they make less mess, and we usually lose about half of them! ;-)
Edward Walker

At our last fun fly we did a variation of the egg drop. Instead of trying to hit a target, your partner has an old frying pan that he tries to catch the egg with. Splatters the egg when it hits and makes a neat metallic sound when the egg hits. Don't wear your best flying shirt for this one if you're the one with the pan. Enjoy! (this should be called "EGG DROP FOR DUMMIES!!
Debi Nemec

Draw times from a hat. Flyer removes watch and takes off. Estimate time and land... Closest to actual time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot taxis around obstacle course while blindfolded, obeying commands from caller. Low time wins....
Vince Gutschalk

Plane flies a straight course twice. First pass is for all out speed. (Diving plane is allowed.) Second pass is flown slowly as possible, maintaining reasonable altitude and course. Largest difference in the two times wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Time begins. Pilot starts engine, eats a soda cracker, whistles audibly, then takes off and begins looping aircraft. He must loop till he has eaten another cracker and whistled audibly again, then lands. Low time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot has one minute from takeoff to trim for "hands-free" flight. At the end to the first minute, the TX is laid on a table. Longest E.T. before having to grab TX wins.
Vince Gutschalk

A styro cup is attached to the top of the plane at the CG (Important!!!). A measured amount of water is placed in the cup. Pilot takes off, flies a loop, lands... Most amount of water remaining wins... Can also be done with 25 beans instead of liquid...
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot takes off and calls for helium balloon to be released from runway center, and also starting stopwatch. Break the balloon before it reaches the stratosphere.... Low time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilots line up across runway from planes. At signal pilots race to planes, start up, take off and fly a specified number of laps. (The foot race may be made more interesting by having the pilots carry an egg in a spoon, or some other idiocy...)
Vince Gutschalk

Use a thirty foot crepe paper ribbon strung between two bamboo fishing know the rest. Double points for doing it inverted. (no points for hitting the
Graham Hicks

Planes fly under crepe paper streamer, cuts disqualify. Streamer is lowered 1' after each round until only one plane qualifies.
Vince Gutschalk

Most loops in one minute. Timed from takeoff.
Vince Gutschalk

Set limbo streamer at 6', Most passes under limbo in one minute, cut streamer or hit pole and time stops.
Tom Rhodes

Pilot must taxi to spot on field where helper directs him to spot #1. Once on spot business card is attached to plane (rubber band). Take off, pass upwind and down wind markers and land. Taxi to spot #2 where helper removes card 1 and attaches card 2. Take off, fly around markers an deliver mail back to spot #1 where you will receive card 3 to deliver back to spot #2. Time to pick up an deliver X pieces of mail wins. Time starts when plane starts to roll and stops when last piece of mail is delivered.
Red Scholefield - Flying Gators

Fill the sky with old airplanes. A horn is blown, and all aircraft must land, Last plane down is eliminated. Continue till all but one plane is eliminated. (these Coloradans know how to "trim the fleet"
Vince Gutschalk

Totally chance, but some skill involved... I draw a big rectangle on the field.. like a "carrier deck". Somewhere in that square is a mystery spot that only I know. Everyone gets three marked landings or touch'n'goes in that box.. when everyone's landings are marked, the spot is reveiled and the closest to the spot wins! I usually pick my spot as even a mystery to me... something like.. "starting in the northwest corner, 4 paces west, 5 paces south. That's the spot". I don't even know it until the contest is over .. but I do write the above down before we start so it can't be changed. The objective of course, is that it helps beginner/intermediate pilots improve their landing approaches to more accuracy.

This one has been done in many different ways but here's a little variation. We call it "Oh, Crap!" With the command "Go!" and on the clock, the contestant rolls a pair of dice once to get his "number." He/she then must fire up the model, taxi fifty feet, take off, do one loop and one roll, land, taxi back, shut down and then roll the dice again until his number comes up. The crap shooting "levels the field" a bit, so that the less proficient flyers have a chanceagainst the hot doggers.
Graham Hicks

Safety is a must.  A great way to raise money for your club/charity.  Everyone involved wears goggles.  An "expendable" airplane flys around while people pay $1.00 to shoot at it with a paint ball gun.   The pilot should do fly-bys around 100 feet away while the person aims and takes their shot.  Load one ball at a time to reduce the chance of someone "laying a wall of paint down".  It should be made so that it is not impossible, but is difficult to hit, as a paint ball could cause the plane to crash.  A Paintball with go through monocote.  Works with helicopters too.

First you roll a die as many times as you wish. Take off and perform a number of loops equal to the last number rolled. Land. Now, roll the last number rolled THE SAME NUMBER OF TIMES YOU FIRST ROLLED THE DIE!! Sneaky, huh?? Low time wins....
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot fuels EMPTY tank from 15cc syringe. Longest time in air wins. (Add 10 seconds to time for each loop performed.)
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot tries to takeoff in the shortest possible distance.
Vince Gutschalk

Place 5 balloons on the runway. Taxi thru them, weaving in & out. Taxi back the same way. Break a balloon and get a five second penalty. Low time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot has one minute from takeoff to climb to altitude and begin to spin. Must land on runway. Greatest number of spins wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Pilot takes off and circles in pattern until an unknown time perod passes. Time starts at an audible signal, and pilot must land as soon as possible. Landing must be on runway. Low time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

Aircraft race a specified number of laps on ground. Low time wins...
Vince gutschalk

We set up 3 posts on the field. Watch is started. You have to start your engine, taxi round the 3 posts (tri-oval), stop your engine and then roll doubles on a pair of dice. Watch is stopped. Low time wins. Lotsa fun to see the cubs, etc. ground looping trying to taxi fast in the wind. I kick butt in this one using my Patriot (low tricycle gear).
Edward Walker

Time starts at takeoff. Pilot performs as many touch and go maneuvers as possible in two minutes.
Vince Gutschalk

Time begins at liftoff. Pilot flies a loop, then a roll... three each,
then lands. Time stops at touchdown. Low time wins.
Vince Gutschalk

An arrow is affixed to the wing of the plane. A large balloon is placed on the runway. At the "GO" command, the pilot begins to taxi and attempts to break the balloon with the arrow. Low time wins. Disqualified if prop breaks balloon...
Vince Gutschalk

Spike a series of paper or plastic plates to the field upside down with 16 or 20 penny nails. Have a number written on the bottom of each plate. Give each flyer three attempts at landing on a plate, touch and goes count. To make the event easier, a short distance could be added from center of the plate so that a touchdown within that distance would count as a hit. Each flyer tries for one hit. The numbers on the plates are duplicated and put into a hat. At the end of the flying, a number is drawn from the hat and the one who hit that plate wins. Of course, in the case of two flyers choosing the same plate and winning to boot, you can have a fly-off.
David Sult (CIA - Central Iowa Aeromodelers)

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Updated September 15, 2002