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Written by Jennifer Orebaugh
Find the entire feature on page 34 in the October 2011 issue.
Read an abridged summary as well as photos from the event.


AS PART OF the AMA staff for more than 12 years, I’ve attended my share of events, volunteering for many. This time however, my involvement was different.

As MA’s new assistant editor, I was asked to take photos and write about the National Electric Fly-In (NEFI) on June 10-12 at the AMA’s International Aeromodeling Center. How could I say no to my first writing/photography assignment—especially when it was right in my backyard?

I really couldn’t since the contest director (Jay Smith) is also my boss! It was a chance to see some really cool electric-powered aircraft fly, meet AMA members and make some new friends, and benefit a couple of worthy causes.

This was Jay’s second year as CD, and by now he knew the routine; setting up tents, requesting volunteers for positions, and gathering vendors, sponsors and raffle prizes was a breeze. He brought the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) back as the main charity organization for which part of NEFI proceeds would benefit, along with the National Model Aviation Museum.

ARF provides shelter, medical care, and love to neglected and abandoned animals until they can be adopted. This year, ARF needed help more than ever after floodwaters from a severe thunderstorm washed away much of its food and supplies. Thankfully, no animals were lost in the floods and all were temporarily housed elsewhere or went to foster homes.

Castle Creations again stepped up as the event’s main sponsor, and many other companies, manufacturers, and distributors donated prizes for the daily raffle drawings, many of which were RTF, Bind-N-Fly (BNF), and ARF (not to be confused with the other ARF!) kits.

It’s amazing how many different types of electric-powered models there are, and those at NEFI were no exception! Small foamie combat wings, RTFs, ARFs, BNF models, scratch-built aircraft, gliders, helicopters, and electric ducted-fan jets … they were all here! First Person View (FPV) was even available.

Read more about the NEFI demos, combat flying, pylon races, and Wings Across America on page 34 in the October 2011 issue.



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