Top Gun 2002
BVM Jets score well
by Bob Violett

We would like to congratulate all of the contestants who participated in the 14th annual scale competition. One has to actually experience this event to appreciate the extreme level of modeling excellence and piloting skills required to be competitive.
The new venue at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport is perfect for spectators and pilots, Top Gun has found a new home.
Frank Tiano, his very experienced staff and behind-the-scenes support personnel have put together a phenomenal model airplane show - the best you can see.
Another great, all jet, all scale world class event will be hosted at the same site with the same staff November 7 to 10, 2002. As jet enthusiasts, you don't want to miss the first "Scale Jets International".
Here is how the jets finished at Top Gun:

1st place - Joe Rafalowski - JMP T-33
2nd place - Gustavo Campana - Jet-Tech L-39
4th place - Tom Wood - Yellow F-18
5th place - Mitch Weiss - BVM F-100D
8th place - Paul McCaulley - JMP T-33
9th place - Frankie Mirandes - BVM P-80

Team Scale
2nd place - Steve Elias/Ian Richardson - BVM F-100D
4th place - Tom Dodgen/Sam Snyder - BVM MiG-15
5th place - Dave Malchione Sr./Peter Malchione - BVM F-4 Phantom

1st place - Bob Violett - BVM F-100F

Top Gun Award
Bob Violett - BVM F-100F

NOTE: The Top Gun award is presented to the highest scoring
competitor from the Expert and Designer class.

Special Recognition Awards
Critics Choice - Joe Grice - BVM F-100D
Best Jet - Joe Grice - BVM F-100D
High Static - Joe Grice - BVM F-100D

The photo's will tell some more of the story. Look for extensive coverage in Model Airplane News and many other magazines and video productions.

The Malchiones

This seven year old F-4 built by the Malchione brothers (Dave & Pete) was converted to RAM 1000 power and placed 5th in Team Scale.
Theresa Malchione (Dave's daughter) offered lots of support to this family effort.

Terry and his new BobCat

Terry Nitsch entertained the crowd with the Captain Salami (Frank Tiano on the P.A.) / sound barrier routine using his superb BobCat XL with AMT AT-180 power.
Terry had a very unfortunate accident during practice flying with his Rafale B-O1. These things happen with model airplanes but do not discourage our enthusiasm and progress.

Ian Richardson & Steve Elias

Ian Richardson and Steve Elias, Jet Cased their gorgeous F-100D from England. Trophies are for 2nd in Team Scale.
Superb model (Metal-Kote finish) and superb flying.

Mitch and his camo F-100D

Mitch Weiss with his Vietnam era Camo F-100D that is powered by an AMT AT-280 S.P. Placing 5th in Expert at his 2nd Top Gun is a very notable accomplishment.

BVM Jets at Top Gun w/hardware
BVM airframes and the trophies they gathered.

Tom Dodgen & Sam Snyder

Tom Dodgen flew Sam Snyder's extremely detailed MiG-15 to 4th place.
The model received a JetCat P-120 power unit for this year's event.

"Mr. Top Gun" BV & Patty

"Top Gun" for '02 and lovely daughter Patty - a very memorable time for B.V.

Two mean looking Hun's and some happy operators, Joe, BV and Kent - we had a great time.
Many thanks to the people of Top Gun!