MAAA Wingspan

13 AUGUST WING SPAN MAAALogo. that I was bringing in to sell, but after putting it through their scanners, they thought it was really cool and proceeded to tell me about their experiences flying control line.” Philip says he had a fantastic time at Top Gun, where he came away with the prestigious Best Military Pilot’s Choice Award. “I flew the best I could and met some wonderful people and coming away with that was more than enough reward for the effort to get there,” he considers. “I was there one of 24 others in my category and I ended up coming 11th. Initially, I was disappointed, because I flew better than I’d flown in any other event in Australia, however the interesting part was that the distance between myself and first place was 5.25 points out of 200 - that gives you an idea of the competitive nature of this particular event. “You literally could not falter in any part. My static score was 95.25 out of 100 and that just isn’t good enough. You’ve got to get 96+ to be able to be competitive and finish at the top ten. So, that’s the standard that you’re flying against.” Despite this, Philip was very impressed by how well judged the event was, with five different sets of judges operating at all times. He was also won over by the ‘can do’ American mentality. “My experience over there is that in competitions you can fly multiple flight lines. We had five aeroplanes in the air at any one time and while they could’ve been the fastest jets, there were no accidents nor any close calls,” he continues. “In Australia we have this attitude of ‘well, you can’t do that because something may happen.’ However, the Americans have a completely different view of ‘don’t tell me why it won’t work – tell me how we can make it happen.” Philip also acknowledges that Top Gun isn’t solely about competing for the coveted ‘Mr. Top Gun’ accolade but also about experiencing that great aeromodelling staple of camaraderie as well. “It’s not only about competition, it’s about five days of social events. People were so welcoming, generous and hospitable. I was rubbing shoulders with people who had a complete passion for scale models, and in the vast majority of cases, had the means to fund their passion,” he considers. “It certainly turned out very worthwhile and an event I’ll never forget.”