2007 Pennsylvania Aerobatic Championships
By Ace Judson
In spite of low morning clouds each day, a stiff wind on Saturday, and freshly sprayed Farmer's Miracle-Grow (Chicken Manure) scenting the air, 21 pilots in four categories competed in the 2007 Pennsylvania Aerobatic Championships. Many there felt it should have been called the Pennsylvania Aquatic Championships, but certainly not Jeff “Cubby “Petrocelli, competing in his first contest.

Everyone was happy to see members of the now defunct IAC Chapter 91, AKA “The Wolf Pack “at the contest. Scott “Gordo” Gerber, John “Taco “Caccavale and Katie Koehler flew down to mentor Cubby at the Maytown contest. After Gordo turned on his charm and showered the judges with compliments about there good looks and extraordinary intelligence, he thought he had the contest wrapped up for Cubby. Taco went undercover and took the chief judge out to dinner then fed the Judge's Seeing Eye dogs with filet mignon leftovers. Katie provided all the “eye candy “for the judging line. But their efforts were not needed, as Jeff flew great! Not only did he take home the highest scoring first time competitor trophy, he finish second in the Sportsman category.

Cubby would have won Sportsman, but the weather and a dizzy pilot had a negative effect on his score. On Saturday, Jeff was in the hold with Scotty acting as safety pilot, ready to fly his sequence, but the pilot in the box stopped her flight 5 times, saying she was worried about the approaching weather. It was perfectly VFR at the time, with a front approaching from the west. The contest jury and I could hear Gordo’s screaming in protest from the ground, giving them an in flight weather brief to boot, but they halted the category anyway. We all waited over an hour for the rain to arrive. We couldn't tell if Gordo was red from the decision or the HUGE amounts of sun he took it. He was redder than a fully cooked 3 lb. lobster!

Still steaming from the weather call, Taco and Cubby decided to take it out on the rental car by “Stress Testing “ it. You would be amazed at what you can do with an under-powered car and an emergency brake. After we picked up the contest chief judge for the banquet, they tested their new skill by putting the car into a 60 mph 4 wheel slid leaving the airport. The look on the judge’s face was priceless, as his jaw dropped faster then Paris Hiltons panties. This leaves the Wolf Pack with one less person to drive around at contests.

Jeff flew the next morning without a good horizon due to the hazy conditions.

After Jeff’s flight, the other pilots waiting to fly left and went home, knowing they had no chance against the mighty Cubby. He picked up his trophies and headed back to Brookhaven.

Upon arriving home at Northeast Airpark, Jeff was met by his parents Jim and Dawn with a Champaign toast to the newest aerobatic competitor from Long Island. Jeff then set his sights on the next contest, The Kathy Jaffe Challenge, August 24th -26th 2007 at the Flying W Airport (N14) in Lumberton NJ. Be there....