|By Carmelo Turdo|
The Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge Aerobatic Contest was held June 9-10 at Salem-Leckrone Airport in Central Illinois. This 2018 event, previously known as the IAC Chapter 61 Salem Regional Aerobatic Contest, was the 43rd edition of the longest continuously running competition in IAC history. The fifteen aircraft were again rolled out from two airport hangars before the early Sunday morning briefing. Additional crews from the University of South Dakota (UND) Aerobatic Team were scheduled to fly multiple Primary and Sportsman Power sorties in their Super Decathlon.
Unlike Saturday, Day Two stayed sunny and nearly windless. The remaining scheduled flights were accomplished by mid afternoon. Below are some views of the ground activity before the first flights took off:
Flying activity began only after the judges briefed and lined up to score the contestants. The judges have experience flying and judging previous contests, and each station included a judge, caller and recorder. The caller narrates the known routines as they are flown to give the judge additional aural reference to each maneuver. The recorder marks the judge's score and comments as each maneuver is completed. Each score sheet is collected after each flight before the next pilot is cleared into the aerobatic box.
Aerobatic Contest Pilots and Their Aircraft:
University of North Dakota Aerobatic Team, Super Decathlon - Primary and Sportsman
John Strong, Super Decathlon – Primary
Robert Hamilton, Pitts S-1C – Sportsman
David Schmitz, Vans RV-8 – Sportsman
Karl Icenogle, Pitts S-2B – Sportsman
Cameron Grossl, Christen Eagle II – Intermediate
Justin Hickson, Pitts S-2B – Intermediate
Bruce Ballew, Extra 300L – Intermediate (departure)
Corey Johnson, Pitts S-1C – Intermediate
David Underwood, Extra 200 – Intermediate
Wayne Buescher, Staudacher S-600F – Intermediate
Doug Bartlett, Sukhoi SU-29 (departure)
Steven Johnson, MX2 – Advanced
John Housley, Pitts S-2C - Advanced
Steven Grohsmeyer, MXS - Unlimited
The Aero Experience thanks IAC Chapter 61, Salem-Leckrone Airport management, the competition pilots, judges and Team USA for making the first Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge a great success!