By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
PICAYUNE — When Corey Ford’s father Frank bought him his first 40 percent scale radio controlled plane for his 14th birthday, the two had no way of knowing what a catalyst for lifechanging events it would be. The gift, which sparked his interest in the precision sport of miniature plane aerobatic flying, has brought him to many milestone achievements.
Just a few months ago, Ford, the son of Frank Ford and Shasta Farrar, took first place as the youngest winner in the Advancement class for International Miniature Aircraft Club Nationals. This was a competition in which his craft experienced a mechanical failure and he came back from his fallen position of third place to win. Now, the freshman Pearl River Community College student has been notified that he is the only pilot from his South Central Division who will fly in the World Competition next September, in Muncie, Ind.
“We are happy to see that Corey has made the step forward to qualify as a member of the USA team which will be flying in the IMAC World Championship in 2014,” said IMAC President Wayne Matthews. “Corey has already proven his abilities in Scale Aerobatics by winning the National Championship in the Advanced class earlier this year in Muncie, at the AMA Nationals.
“The IMAC World Championship will bring together pilots from over 15 countries worldwide to battle it out for the title of World Champion in each class of Scale Aerobatics. This is a giant leap forward for the IMAC organization since this event will be the first World Championship in it's entire 40 year history. There will be at least 20 judges drawn from various countries who will meticulously apply the judging criteria of Scale Aerobatics to see who comes out on top. A pilot's skill in precision will be put to the test by flying both the Known and Unknown sequences in front of a panel of National and International judges.”
“Competition levels are: Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited. Sportsman are beginners and Unlimited is usually full of adult, professional pilots,” said Frank Ford.
Advancement and placement in competitions are based on flying known pattern sequences of Aresti but also include one unknown pattern sequence. Aresti are symbolic representations of flight maneuvers that were designed and catalogued by Spanish aviator Col. José Luis Aresti Aguirre (1919–2003). Each figure in the catalog is represented by lines, arrows, geometric shapes and numbers representing the precise form of a maneuver to be flown.
“Unknown flight sequences can count for as much as 20 percent of your score,” said Corey Ford. “There is really no way to prepare for it; you just have to do your best.”
“There are 6 IMAC Regions, which were divided into three zones for the Nationals,” said Frank Ford. “They were zoned as: West, East and Central which was comprised of North and South Central. The four best pilots in each zone got invitations to compete in the World based on regular points and number of contests they had flown in. Corey was the only one in his South Central division who got the invitation to compete in the World competition. Not only did he earn his place in the World, but he earned the top spot in his class. Corey’s placement to compete at the World was no small feat.”
“We are sure that Corey, along with his team members from the USA, will be representing our country to the highest degree. Spectators and supporters are most welcome to attend the event in Muncie, Ind., which will be held on Sept. 2 through 6, 2014 at the AMA Headquarters,” said Matthews. “Do us proud, Corey.”
“We are very proud grandparents of our grandson Corey Ford,” said Cubby and Loretta Ford.