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Cub Nuts is one big party in Oregon!
Article and photos by Dale Williamson.
Online exclusive event coverage and event photos.

Fun in the Sky! That’s what Bill Piper’s cheery yellow Cub, first flown in 1938, has come to symbolize to pilots everywhere. Almost every RC pilot—or at least in the Molalla, Oregon, RC Association—has had a Cub in his or her hangar. When Coyote Hobby’s head honcho, Russ Holst, was looking for a way to make sure his local hobbyists also had as much fun in the sky as possible, he conceived Cub Nuts (

Cub Nuts is one big party! There are only two rules:

Rule number one: Fly anything you can get into the air, as long as it’s a Piper Cub or something similar.

Rule number two: Never fly behind the flightline, where dogs and their people hang out.

“Cub-like” includes this Curtiss Robin, which hails from Medford, Oregon, 275 miles to the south. It features a gorgeous seven-cylinder radial engine. You should hear that thing.

Then there’s this “jet powered” (ducted fan) hybrid. You should hear this thing!

But, by far, the most popular Cub Nuts entry is German kit manufacturer Multiplex’s “Fun Cub.” It’s inexpensive. It’s tough. It’s easy to fix when it crashes. Its big wheels help it take off from our grass field. And it’s a lot of fun to fly.

In preparation for his first event, Russ called a pilots meeting to explain the two rules, with special emphasis on number two: no flying behind the flightline!

For the first event, “All Up,” 2/3 of the 35 registrants risked an airplane; it’s like flying in a beehive. To help pilots keep track of their Cubs, each of us had a spotter. It was all too easy to wind up trying to fly someone else’s airplane. And that’s not good. This year, there were no mid-air collisions and only one crash (behind the flightline. Don’t tell Russ!)

Relaxation between flights.

Inevitably, time rolled around to the next event. This time, it was a competition. One at a time, each enrollee was instructed to climb to 200 feet then chop the power. The object was to glide down, spin down, whatever, and attempt to land—dead stick—so the airplane wound up within a 30-foot circle. It was no fair dive-bombing! Russ christened this dead-stick landing competition as “Dead Nuts.”
This pilot was coming in too high:

There was more than one way to make sure a dead-stick Cub stopped inside the circle: full down elevator, otherwise known as “nose brakes.

After two tries, anyone who made it into the big 30-foot circle got to try for the spot in the middle. The final winner was determined by measuring from the wheel closest to the center.

For the competitive events, each winner received a prize.

In the next competition, the goal was to take off and fly out around the windsock, then return and do a touch-and-go inside the larger circle. The guy who made the most touch-and-gos within two minutes, won.

Russ announced this event as “Touch Nuts.” For seven touch-and-gos in two minutes flat, here is the Touch Nuts winner.

The final event of the day was called “Follow the Russ.” Russ cautioned us all, “If you value your airplane, don’t fly in this event.” Everyone who participates is airborne at once, while Russ calls out maneuvers over the PA system.

“Okay, now! Everybody take off!”

“Everybody loop!”

“Everybody inverted!”

“Quick, everybody land!”

As September 2013’s annual Cub Nuts drew to a close, we held a final meeting and accepted final prizes, including “Best Cub” and the coveted “Rusty Nuts” award.

“Rusty Nuts” is a perpetual trophy, kept by the winner for a year, then passed on to the next year’s winner. “Rusty Nuts” is awarded for whatever Russ wants to award it for.

Sooner or later, all Cub Nuts must pack up and go home; some of us with our Cubs still intact!

—Submitted by Dale Williamson
Oregon City, Oregon


My kind of party! Great time!

These are great stories to tell. Excited about gearing up for next year!

A cub only club? you're having fun, that's what matters. Keep the hobby alive.


What a great event. I live in Redmond Or. Spending the winter down in Quartzsite Az. Would love to attend your event next year. Tell me where and when And I'll be there.

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