TOP GUN 2005 - An Overview - long post

Greetings all --

Living in Gainesville Florida only puts us a couple of hours away from Lakeland, the home of Top Gun. This year, my wife Marilyn & I drove down early Saturday morning of the almost week long event. Long time friend and Top Gun Air Boss Frank Tiano had given us not only VIP parking passes, but Crew Tags that granted us unlimited access. Old friends from Miami Rene Alvarez and Mike Ball had invited us to bring our chairs and camp out in their tent, located on the East side of the flight line.

As we approached the flight line, I noted the flags standing straight out, and blowing from the South; the runway is East-West. In other words, a strong direct cross wind. Funny thing; when Top Gun was at the Polo Club in West Palm Beach, the winds were always out of the East with the runway North-South! Let me say one thing right now: My compliments to each and every pilot who flew in these conditions; they all did a remarkable job with surprisingly few incidents due to the adverse winds.

A few comments on the jets ? they are so reliable these days, I didn?t witness one engine failure all day! I admit I?m prejudiced, so I have to pick the L-39 Albatross of Rene Alvarez as my favorite, but I also enjoyed seeing the F9F-5 Panther of Malcolm Kay and the F9F-8 Cougar by Kalvin Lim.

Warbirds of all vintages were everywhere, one flying better than the other. However, I have to pick Richard Crapp?s Sordfish as my personal Best of Show. It is a masterfully constructed and detailed model ? Good Show!

Not to be outdone, the seemingly simple Aeronca 7AC of David Konkle walked away with not only the High Static award, but also was judged Best Interior. I have not seen the official results, but I believe this to be true. I also heard rumors that Greg Hahn with his B-25-D was running head-to-head against Terry Nitsch and his winning F-100 for 1st.

I had anticipated seeing quite a few E-powered entries this year, especially since the explosion of efficient and powerful motors and the leaps in battery technology, but I was sadly disappointed in that the only E-entry was the AEW (TU-4) of George Maiorana. I was told it performed flawlessly.

Speaking of results, they will soon be published in their entirety at Frank Tiano?s Web Site

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in a day or so for those interested. Already published there is a complete pilot/aircraft roster.

I have some photos posted at a Kodak site if you would care to see them; place the lengthy URL below in your browser. Once the album opens, I suggest you click on the Slide Show option. I have a password for this album you might have to enter for access. If for some reason you can?t get the site to open, drop me a note and I?ll send you a E-mail with access information. It?s free and Kodak does not send you Spam.

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Marilyn and I attended the Awards Banquet Saturday night where preliminary awards were handed out such as the Top Static awards in each category, Top Buns, and the other ?best? awards. Frank had a nice set up for us all at the Eagle Brook Country Club. Top Gun announcer Sam Wright assisted in the awards.

Cheers -- \_________Lyman Slack________/ \_______Flying Gators R/C___/ \_____AMA 6430 LM____ / \___Gainesville FL_____/ Visit my Web Site at

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Reply to
Lyman Slack
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Thanks for the firsthand report, Lyman!

Sounds like it was a good show.


Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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