ETOC 2009 Report

The 2009 Electric Tournament of Champions (ETOC) was held in Toledo, Ohio on April 3rd and 4th. This indoor flying competition brings out the best pilots from around the world, and is held in the evenings on the same weekend as the Weak Signals Toledo Show.

The large main gym at Central Catholic High School.

The competition began with 16 pilots on Friday night, each performing a sequence of known maneuvers, as well as a freestyle routine to their choice of music. The known sequence and rules are available online.

Jason Schulman calls for Andrew Jesky.
The pilots watched each other’s flights attentively.
Seth Arnold carries out a plane for RJ Gritter.

At the end of the night, 8 pilots had made it to the next round: Andrew Jesky, Seth Arnold, Ryan Clark, Gernot Bruckman, RJ Gritter, Jason Noll, Fabien Turpaud, and Ryan Archer.

To break up the competition, Jim T. Graham from came out with a sling shot and fired t-shirt out into the crowd.

Pulling back the slingshot…
Having a tough time of it…
Sometimes throwing t-shirts is just easier.

There were several demo flights flown during both evenings too. Nick Maxwell and Kyle Stacy each put on separate helicopter demos.

Nick Maxwell flying hard.
And low.
Nick taking everything home in one piece.
Kyle Stacy getting ready.
And crazy.
And kicking up glitter from a previous routine.

Precision Aerobatics brought out their balsa/plywood Addiction outdoor model for a demo as well.

One of the most enjoyable things at ETOC is the synchronized demo flights. Gernot Bruckman and Fabien Turpaud represented the European pilots first.

Later, American pilots Andrew Jesky and Jason flew an equally impressive demo together.

On Saturday the eight remaining pilots duked it out for four spots, with Andrew Jesky, Seth Arnold, Gernot Bruckman, and Jason Noll making the cut. These four pilots then flew the known sequence and their freestyle one more time to determine the winners.

Jim T. Graham and Jim Bourke from RCGroups.

In the end, Seth Arnold took first place for his first ETOC win, followed by Jason and Gernot.

The prize table.
The final four wait for the results.
Gernot takes third place.
The pilots were very supportive of each other.
Jason Noll takes second.
Seth Arnold wins first place.

Awards are also given for the highest scores in the known and freestyle rounds. Gernot Bruckman took the trophy for the known sequence, and Jason Noll won for freestyle.

Gernot looks genuinely surprised to win.
Best known sequence.
Jason Noll wins best freestyle.
RJ Gritter shows off his variable pitch prop system…
… then tries to give Jason Schulman a haircut!
Don’t try this at home!

The caliber of flying this year was incredible. Several pilots flew freestyle routines with variable pitch props as well, which allowed them to hover upside down and fly backwards. If you can make it to Toledo next year, you won’t be disappointed.

The crowd examines RJ Gritter’s VPP setup.
All of the planes flown were 3 mm Depron.

If you’d like to see these pilots in action, check out the video coverage of ETOC 2009 from our friends at Higher Plane Productions. You can also find many more photos and discussions at the RCGroups ETOC forum.  read more »

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