Florida's Top Gun Show Moved To A New Site!

Festival of Giants 2003 - Deland, Florida

By Lyman Slack
Saturday, February 1st 2003: An event saddened by a tragedy.

Several of us drove down to Deland Florida to attend the 14th Annual festival of Giants, this year held in conjunction with the IMAA Winter Rally of Giants.

Shortly after registering and hellos to old friends, we heard the news that the Space Shuttle Columbia had been lost. A moment of silence was announced before the event continued. Locals informed us that whenever the shuttles approach the Cape for landing, their sonic booms can be heard. None would be heard this day.

Flying was steady all day, with the ready lines not all that lengthy; everyone flew as much as they pleased. The noon show was brief, featuring Mac Hodges' huge B-29 carrying aloft the Bell X-1. Former AMA President Don Lowe gave a great demonstration with his large Ultimate Bipe. An eleven pound electric Extra performed a 3D routine that would rival any IMAC guy! The 90 pound Vulcan Bomber with four ducted fans rounded out the demonstrations.

We concurred that this year's trends were slightly away from the huge 3D machines and more towards electrics (Remember, this is a Big Bird event!). Large ARFs of all types were seen all along the Flight Line.

During our drive home, we listened to President Bush as he addressed the nation on Columbia's loss. The short address was indeed very profound and somber, and if I might, here are a couple brief excerpts:

"The "Columbia" is lost. There are no survivors.
"Because of His great power, and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home."

\_________Lyman Slack________/
\____AMA6430 IMAA1564___/
\____Flying Gators R/C____/
\__Gainesville Florida___/


Article & Photographs Contributed by
Lyman Slack
Additional Photography by
'Red' Scholefield

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