by Bob Violett

Friends and flying

The 12th annual Florida International Jet Rally was about the camaraderie that fellow jet pilots share, and of course, a lot of fabulous jet flying. The event drew a total of 103 registered pilots.
The facility at Lake Wales, Florida and the early November weather were perfect. Our sincere thanks to the city of Lake Wales and the Florida Skydiving Center for there continued support of this great event.
The location and time of the year is especially appealing to our friends from England. A contingent of 18 pilots with family and friends truly enjoyed the sun and fun. Their participation is the highlight of this event.

click to enlarge
Here they are with their jets - all a bit sunburned, but loving it. Tom Wilkinson of RCJI and BVM's Larry Meddock setup this photo op.

It is fair to say that the BVM Jets dominated the air space and number of successful flights. The photo gallery below shows many of the success stories. Thanks to Larry, Tom and David for the photos.

Luke Barnett was 1 of 4 "Motors & Rotors" team that came from England - all with Composite BobCats. Luke is using a P-120 detuned to 20lbs of thrust for power.

Dave Wilshere (left) - owner of Motors & Rotors and Rob Westwater (right) took full advantage of the great flying site with there BobCat Composites.
John and David Gaspari exercised his Air Force KingCat as well as a BobCat XL.


Luis Ontiveros (left) is the proud owner of his newly finished F-86 (80"), built by Rene Alvarez (center) and covered in Flite-Metal with Pro-Mark graphics. David Shulman assisted Luis during the event and everything worked perfectly - 100% success. The Sabre was awarded for "Outstanding Graphics" and also won "Best Craftsmanship".
Many Brits utilized the BVM Jet Cases to transport their models. Geoff White logged countless flights on his Super Bandit and won the "Best Sport Performance" award.


Mark Woodland thoroughly exercised his JetCat powered NAVY KingCat.


Frank Tiano flew his PST powered MiG-15. Pick up the February issue of Fly R/C magazine to see a complete review by Frank on the BVM MiG-15 A.F.S.



Keith Sievers of Jacksonville, Florida camo'd his KingCat for a full military treatment - nice effect!
Jack Diaz made the trip to F.I.J.R. from Caracas, Venezuela to fly his F-100D and twin turbine Rafale. The local news crew were impressed with Jack's flying and interviewed him for a broadcast. Jack and his candy striped Hun won "Critics Choice".

Jorge Del Rey of Coral Gables, Florida enjoyed the event with his JetCat powered KingCat.
Daniel Hemming of Palm Harbor, Florida flew his P-70 powered BobCat often and earned the "Top Gun" award.
Jorge Escalona enjoyed his custom "Kramer" painted KingCat throughout the 4-day event.
Joe Rafalowski with his sport scheme KingCat. Joe and Gordon flew formation with on-board video cameras. See for the video.

Gordon Dickens with his Boeing Chase Plane F-86 (80") and JetCat power.
Gordon and the Sabre managed the daily crosswind conditions well.

BVM Rep Nick Smith, came from England with his beautiful "Kramer" finished KingCat using a P-200 for power. The lighting system (leading edge and gear doors) looked great against the Florida sky as the event came to a close each day.
Rusty Barden of the Georgia Jets group took advantage of the clear skies for many flights on his KingCat.
Tom Antlfinger escaped the cool weather in Wisconsin to bask in the sun and fly his AMT Netherlands powered KingCat.
Jose Guzman of Miami, Florida stayed busy flying his P-70 powered BobCat as well as his new MiG-15.
Chris & Lauren Bennett came from Jacksonville, Florida with this NAVY KingCat.
A big thank you to Arnold Schmidt, John Banner, John Burdin and Kurt Kruth (not pictured) for organizing and running the event.
Jay Moorhaj and Ray Blair drove out from Houston, Texas and enjoyed their JetCat powered KingCats in the Florida sun.
John Burdin (Contest Director) keeps everyone informed through the PA system.
A view of the vendor and pit areas at F.I.J.R. 2005.