Thanks to All at FF and the FFE Volunteers (and our FFE 2017 experience)


I'm not a big poster on the forums or on YouTube, but I have been watching/reading FT info for a few years. I tried to get to FT 2016, but did not begin planning soon enough and could not get away from work in time. So, I started planning for FF 2017 (there was no East/West thing then) by July 2016. I told my boss I would not be scheduling anything major in July of 2017 because I did not know what week FF 2017 would be.

When FF 2017 became FFW and FFE, I stayed with the plan and planned my trip for July 2017. My son (just turned 11) and I drove from Central Texas (about 1320 miles) and arrived at the mudfest that was FFE 2017. We are both novice fliers and he is a novice camper. (I'm just barely above that level.)

After getting setup on Wednesday, we went to the FT store tent first thing Thursday morning. The lights were still off and little was working the way an event host would want. However, the first person we ran into was Josh Bixler. Far from sounding discourage, frustrated, down or in anyway negative, Josh was great. "How are y'all doing? Are you having fun?" While Josh was focused on getting things done, in no way were his questions insincere or phony-sounding. We were in the store when more people came in and all the FF staff and volunteers were positive and helpful. Then the lights came on, went off, came on, went off and finally stabilized at on. Somewhere in that process, we were helped with quadcopter parts, batteries, etc. by Chad Lewis and at least one other FT personality whose name I don't know. Somehow the FT'ers (Jen Bixler at the helm?) were running the registers throughout the on/off cycles.

We ran into Josh later, after our Simple Cub build looked very nice, but would not fly except in a u-turn that rose and fell at the same angle very rapidly. I decided to keep my son's experience as positive as possible so I went looking for something simple to fly that was already assembled. A return trip to the store resulted in purchased of (among other things) the new Horizon Hobby XVert, which I had seen on FT YouTube. My lack of skill quickly re-asserted itself in trying to setup the two DX6e's I had purchased in advance. In looking for some help, my son and I ran into Josh and Alex and asked for help with the transmitters. They were able to point us to the Horizon Hobby booth (I didn't even know there was one at that point), where they got our transmitter configured in just a few clicks.

Another trip to the store found us buying ice. The trailer with ice was "behind the food vendors." That covered a large territory. We were told "Just be sure to give your receipt to the person there." First we couldn't find the trailer. Then we found Josh Scott and (I presume) his very gracious wife and their children. We asked them for help and they found the trailer for us. Then, because there was no one to take our receipt, we went searching for that person and ran into (or chased down) Andre Rousseau, who told us not to worry, just use the receipt if anyone asked.

Then, throughout our time there, we were helped by multiple unknown volunteers with building, directions, advise, etc. I don't know their names, but all were doing their best to help make our experience enjoyable and successful.

Lastly we again ran into Josh Bixler again leaving the flightline--obviously in a hurry and just having left another pilot friend/fan. My son just HAS to tell him that we had gotten the XVert working (flying might be too generous a term at that point, though we did fly it). Josh was, again, patient, kind and encouraging.

I know that is a long way around to say a HUGE thanks for everyone who helped with FFE, and special Kudos to the FT'ers who personally assisted us, those I've mentioned by name and those (and there WERE more) whose names I don't even know.

It is unlikely I can go again next year, but I definitely will given the chance, and if not, well maybe in odd-numbered years.

(Scott Stevens)