Colonel Day 2016

A Tribute to Colonel Bob Thacker

Hosted by Greg Arnette at his "Area 51" R/C jet flying field.

  Perfect weather, gracious camaraderie, lot's of jet model flying and a chance to spend some quality time with a most famous WWII hero. Colonel Bob's humor kept us all entertained. If we weren't flying, we were listening to the Colonel tell a few war stories and the importance of model airplanes to his life's achievements and enjoyment.

 Spending time with Bob Thacker is a privilege and inspirational. Thank you Greg for making this celebration possible.

Bob Violett

Photo Gallery
click to enlarge photo's

 The Colonel has owned and flown this early BVM F-16 for many years. Recently restored, it is now "museumed" at the ranch. Gathered around L-R, Bob Violett, Dr. Ken Wagner, the "Colonel", and our host Greg Arnette.
  World War II heroes Dean Bartmess and Bob Thacker enjoyed their visit. Dean worked at BVM for the past 20 years. This Bronze Star decorated Infantryman was tested in the "Battle of the Buldge". Bob's exploits in the B-17 during the attack on Pearl Harbor, his record setting cross country flight in the P-82 "Betty Joe" and his F-80 Shooting Star test pilot achievements are an important part of millitary aviation history.
  USAF Retired General Ray Johns hand scribed a letter to the Colonel. Bob was honored by the "4 Star" congratulations and warm regards.

  The Colonel picked the "Winners". Here Ritchie Holt is awarded the "Best Sport Jet" trophy for his Bandit MKII.
  Sal DiFloria assisted Ritchie with the big BVM F-16 PNP - many sorties flown at Area 51.
  Sal has several BVM jets. This BVM/Skymaster twin EVF powered model is one of his favorites.
  Jimmy Safie and son Jimmy Jr. from El Salvador came to enjoy the celebration. Rob Lynch assisted young Jimmy on his first turbine jet flight with dad's BVM F-16.
  The F-16 is a favorite jet for many enthusiast. Here, the Colonel displays the small, medium, and large version produced by BVM during the last 25 years.
  Rob Lynch was on hand to help a lot of BVM guys with fine tuning their jets and as usual, Rob flew countless times with his BVM F-16. Best demo pilot on the circuit for sure!
Mike Coletta just finished gearing up a MKII Bandit and enlisted Dustin's vast experience with the final check out and first flights. Successful of Course!
A new "Navy Aggressor" BVM 1/6th scale F-16 with Jetsmunt power was prepared by Dan Asher.

Dustin was on hand to assure that the first flights went perfectly. Lot's of "High Alpha" maneuvers were part of Dustin's routine.

This "Fly Navy" KingCat with Wing Tanks (see Wing Tanks) was shown well on many flights by Harley Condra.
Louis Wellen, an "Oakley" promotional guy, supplied some top of the line sunglasses as door prizes for pilots and friends. Louis is also a very good at flying his BVM F-16 in the HiViz Edwards scheme. Louis' F-16 has over 250 flights on it.
Patty and Michael Generali were on hand to support the BVM participation of Colonel Day. Patty flies the eBandit to maintain her jet pilot proficiency.
F-3A pilot Louis Peng, coached BV who flew this Fly Navy Ultra Bandit. Accomplished pattern flyers make good jet pilots because of countless hours of disciplined practice and a flowing maneuver presentation.
The A-4 Skymaster Skyhawk is presented and flown well by Tim Len. Jason Bauer always does a great job of showing off the BVM F-16 in the Texas A.N.G. scheme. Both models have a great presence and visibility in the sky.
The Colonel chose Greg Arnette's flights with the 1/5th scale F-16 and the Mirage F-1 prototype to be worthy of the "Best of Show" presentation.

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