APA Champs report 5th/6th October by Bill Wheeler.

The Australian Precision Aerobatics Inc. is the National body for F3A Aerobatics. Like most things it was bourne from like-minded modellers many moons ago here in Victoria.

We, I say that as I’m their Secretary, run two competitions per year; the Masters and World Cup at the end of March and the APA Championships at the start of October. Once again this year Albury was the location with Twin Cities Model Aero Club as our hosts on 5th and 6th October. Twenty-three competitors came from QLD, SA, NSW, Vic, ACT and Tasmania. Many of them, along with a few from WA had gathered in QLD for the Masters earlier this year. It was great to catch up with ‘old’ friends and make new ones. It was also easy to spot the Victorians and Tasmaniacs, being pale and pasty, amoungst those from the warmer states of NSW, SA and QLD. Scott Kay from Tasmania was our CD with me as his Flightline director. F3A has 5 classes with YVA having a member in each but the top class “Master”

Bill Wheeler – Sportsman

Mario Schembri – Advanced

Daniel Wheeler – Expert

Fernando Monge – F3A

Friday was set aside for practise with people arriving through the day, we arrived at 8:50am, and joining the queue. By lunchtime that queue was quite empty as some had been practising since 8am and run out of batteries. Further back down from the clubhouse Control-line combat and speed was underway; that caught a few by surprise especially when the speed models tuned pipe suddenly kicked in. Anyway, just when you think everything is under control, Murphy steps in. My Vanquish suddenly let go of something during my second practise flight. As I came around it appeared to be missing a prop! What fell off though wasn’t the prop but the chin cowl. Daniel took my transmitter and landed the model. The engine had shaken itself loose taking out the chin cowl and the front of the canopy fairing. The carbon prop had broken about about 2” off either end and twisted the 3 engine wires into a tight ball. That curtailed my competition as a competitor. This left us the following for the competition:-

Sportsman – 3 entrants

Advanced – 5 entrants

Expert – 6 entrants

F3A – 6 entrants

Masters – 3 entrants

Flying got underway at about 9:06am Saturday morning. A slight crosswind pushed a few models around but it was nothing everyone couldn’t handle. Running two flightlines we completed 44 flights by lunchtime. At the end of the day, around 5:30pm we had completed a further 58 flights. This meant every class had completed 4 rounds of competition. The Aerobatics fraternaty use an electronic scoring system with each judge logging in at the start of their session, entering the pilot number and making sure they’re in the right class and round. The system then whispers each maneuver in their ear and they enter a score for it. The system, known as Notaumatics, is now widely used throughout the planet and owes a lot of its development to some cluey Australians. Some shuffing of judges was required through the day as we ran two rounds per flightline most of the day and there was a few clashes to sort out. After that it was back to the motels restaurant for beer and viddles.

Sunday left us two rounds for all classes. We wanted to finish on the Masters class flying the last two rounds of F19 schedule on their own on one flightline so everyone else could sit and see how it’s done. This schedule is only flown every now and again and unlike all other F3A schedules features crossbox maneuvers. We completed flying about 2pm and packed everything away. Presentations to all placegetters followed including the APA Champion for 2019.


1st – Adeh Becker, 2nd – Peter Webb, 3rd – Jamey Bellicanta



1st – David Nugent, 2nd – Peter Readett, 3rd – Rob Hulett



1st – Sean Readett, 2nd – Michael Rutledge, 3rd – David Carkeek



1st – Ben Goode, 2nd – John Brann, 3rd – Phil Spence



1st – Russell Edwards, 2nd – Scott Kay, 3rd – Jason Arnold

Here are some pictures of the placegetters from the 2019 APA Championships at TMAC Albury.


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