Lansing Area Flying Aces

1st Annual Fun Fly Competition


Report   •   Contest Results   •   Acknowledgements   •   Pictures


When all is said and done, the Lansing Area Flying Aces First Annual Fun Fly will go down as a well run, safe, and fun time that will set the standard for events to come.   All the hard work and preparations paid off as everyone attested to having a wonderful time.   The event was attended by LAFA members as well as guests from the Lansing area and visitors from Kalamazoo.

Set up started early (0800) and in a short time, the Elm Street Park site was transformed into the LAFA Aerodrome, complete with a freshly manicured flying circle, shelters to keep the Sun off, a picnic and viewing area, and an impressive display of both flying and static display models.   Many comments were made about the number and quality of the model aircraft present.

After all safety checks were completed and a Pilot's briefing done by safety Office Stan Rodgers, the events were under way!

The first event, the Balloon Bust, proved particularly challenging and also very hard on equipment.   Of all the participants, none escaped totally unscathed.   When the smoke had cleared, Carl "Crash and Burn" Zerfas had bested the competition and took home the winner's spoils.

Next came the Stunt competition and a wonderful exhibition of aerobatic skill was on display for all to appreciate.   Jeff "The Pro" Hitchcock showed how it is done as he piloted his plane through the clear Michigan skies on route to the first place trophy.

The 1/2 A Rat Race was won by Josh "Speedy" Morrison flying his Black Widow powered Brodak Trainer.   Rich "I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good" Kacmarsky picked up the runner up trophy with his fine display of agricultural flying!

During a break in the competition, Stan Rodgers put on a spectacular display of R/C helecopter flying that had the crowd mesmerized (including a Lansing PD police cruiser that stopped and watched for several minutes).

The .35 Rat Race event was dominated by Ken "What Do You Mean It Won't Fly" Strobel piloting a plane that had to have set several records for endurance.   Ken and his Twister participated in no fewer that four events, sustaining damage three times.   In testament to guts, determination, and several applications of CA and JB Quick Weld, he won the Rat Race and placed in the other three events.

The final event of the day, Combat, was taken by Terry "Top Gun" Bentley followed closely by Stan "The Red Baron" Rogers who thrilled the crowd with several agressive passes. Terry's victory is especially impressive because this was the first time he ever flew combat!   Rumors circulated that Stan would have the R/C Helecopter Combat event perfected for next year.

By the time the Sun was going down on an absolutely perfect day, the tired but happy group's thoughts turned to next year and the Second Annual Fun Fly!

Contest Results

Balloon Bust

  • First Place - Carl Zerfas
  • Second Place - Jeff Hitchcock
  • Third Place - Ken Strobel

1/2A Rat Race

  • First Place - Josh Morrison
  • Second Place - Rich Kacmarsky

.35 Rat Race

  • First Place - Ken Strobel
  • Second Place - Terry Bentley


  • First Place - Jeff Hitchcock
  • Second Place - Carl Zerfas
  • Third Place - Ken Strobel


  • First Place - Terry Bentley
  • Second Place - Stan Rodgers
  • Third Place - Ken Strobel


First, a huge thank you to LAFA President, Event Co-ordinator, and Contest Director - Tim Nickless. His tireless efforts are too numerous to list. Suffice to say that a large number of folks had a great day of flying and fellowship due to his hard work.

A special BZ (Bravo Zulu) is in order for our Safety Officer Stan Rodgers.   In addition to a fun day, it was also a safe day.   A number of comments were heard from our out-of-town participants about the level of safety and the fact that this was a very refreshing thing to see.   Well done Stan!


The LAFA Aerodrome at Elm Street Park

The Aerodrome was looking good !

Aircraft on display

Tim's P-51

Bipes are cool

A Chipmunk at the park

A beautiful P-38

Ken's 38 Special

A Spad in flight

Stan doing his thing

Sure looks real !

The spoils

A well worn combat veteran

Ken's flying tribute to JB Quick Weld

Combat launch

Showing off the hardware

The LAFA Combat Aces

Don't mess with the cook !