Fun Fly Activities

A variation of the “Egg Drop”, where they use the styro cups to hold the golf balls, but put a tin can in a hole near the edge of the runway and use golf clubs (mostly a putter) to see how many strokes it takes to get your golf ball (previously dropped from your plane) into the hole. This takes both flying and putting skill! Time runs from takeoff to final putt. Low stroke count wins. In the event of a tie use the lowest time of tied contestants to determine winner. (PS: Don’t use this at the golf course!)

This event consist of flying a pylon pattern and when the alarm clock rings, the first one past the finish line is the winner. This event is purely random and is for all levels (Of course you must finish).

Use three helium-filled balloons. One tied to 50 foot Crepe Paper (important to use crepe paper (these are also called party streamers) so that it just snips and doesn’t wrap in prop like string), the second balloon at 25 feet and the third at 5/10 feet. Everyone gets 3 high-speed passes at each balloon (i.e. they have to be full throttle parallel to flight line passes). You make up some points for breaking them.. but usually the bust is so rare, the round of applause when someone does break them is reward enough. Lots a fun.. really a chance event” (it’s hard!)

Tie a thirty foot length of toilet paper to a helium party balloon and release it. Give a contestant two minutes to cut as many pieces as possible. Harder than it looks…

Place helium filled balloons 10 foot apart in a line out from the pilot box. Each balloon is held to a weight with crepe paper streamers. Each balloon is worth points, the balloon closest is the lowest points with each balloon farther away worth more points. Scoring is like this, if the streamer is cut by the aircraft, award the points, if balloon is broken award double points. extra points if a balloon is broken after it cut loose. Allow
3 minutes for each pilot. Time starts when aircraft wheels clear the ground, clock stops if any part of the aircraft touches the ground.

Most rolls in one straight pass.

Lay out (12) 20′ squares on the runway in a 2 X 6 matrix lengthwise. Number the squares on the right side 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10; the ones on the left 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, & 0. In a series of landings, the pilot attempts to come as close to 21 as possible, based on the wheel strike point of each landing. Pilot may elect to stop with a score of LESS than 21, but going over 21 disqualifies him.

Time starts at takeoff; ends at engine stop. Pilot ESTIMATES elapse of one minute. Closest time to actual wins. Requires two timers.

The plane is set at the edge of the runway with the engine running and the contestant on a buddy box. The buddy box pilot faces away from the plane and takes instruction from the ‘master pilot’. The plane must taxi down the runway to a balloon about 100 feet, and return. This is a timed event that needs the protection of a master transmitter; bonus points for breaking the balloon!

Pilot is given 30 seconds after takeoff to climb high as possible. At 30 seconds, the engine is stopped. Throttle is advanced to prove dead engine. Landing must be on runway. High time wins.

Pilot and observer ride in the back of a pick-up. A preset time established by the driver and a trial flight team, is set over a 3+ mile course. During the contest, the driver stays under a max. speed and each contestant must land at each end of the course. The winner is the closest to the established time.

Mark a spot on the runway. Pilot takes off, gains altitude and kills engine… Land and roll to the spot. Closest to target wins.

The engine must be capable of total shutdown using the throttle and throttle trim. Climb the plane for 45 seconds and then cause the engine to go ‘dead stick’. Duration timing will start at observed throttle and trim shut down at the transmitter. The ideal situation would be to have all pilots fly the same plane, such as the club trainer; this would indicate the level of piloting skill. If a pilot feels he has a plane that will beat
the trainer, go for it! This fun fly requires no field set up and ‘dead stick flying’ is great practice for all pilots.

Each aircraft takes off and has a set time (maybe 45 seconds) to climb to an altitude. The engine is then shut off (must be from the transmitter), and the glide time starts. Whoever has the longest glide time wins, but you could also have a box marked on the ground, and say award more time depending on what the plane does. Example: On landing wheels touch inside box, but plane rolls out – award 10 seconds. If plane rolls
into box and stops, award 20 seconds. If plane’s wheels touchdown inside box AND plane stops rolling inside box, add 30 seconds. So it’s not just energy management during gliding, but also spot landing with no power.

Climb 35 sec. from take off, kill engine, advance throttle after 5 sec. to prove engine off and make max. number of loops before landing. Fall-offs count for 1/2 a loop. Score one additional loop for stopping within a 20′ x 20′ area on the runway. Squeezing in that last loop before landing separates out the heroes.

Place balloon marker on field and person who dead sticks closes to marker without touching it wins. Touching balloon disqualifies.

Pick a line on the runway, or a spot/circle. The line is the easiest here, and could even be a crack, or tape. Flyers get normal take off, and one half-lap. On the back stretch, or somewhere there about, kill engine totally, and glide in to the spot. Obviously the closest wins. This is a real challenge, as when do you have enough distance, or when have you gone to far. There’s no circling though, once you chop throttle, your on your final. Try it. It’s fun and challenging.

Six maneuvers are chosen & numbered 1 – 6. The pilot rolls one die to choose a maneuver, the rolls it again to choose the number of times the maneuver must be flown. Time begins at first roll & stops upon touchdown.

Shortest time to take off, do 3 each rolls, loops, and spins (in any order), then do a touch and go then do 3 each rolls, loops, and spins (in any order), then land. Stop watch starts when plane leaves ground and stops at touchdown.

Make a small plywood base with a dowel sticking out that can rubber-band to just about any airplane. Make a donut out of something (wood?) that sets over the dowel. Pilots must take off and pass over the bombing target at any altitude, roll their planes so the donut falls off. Have a target marked on the runway with point divisions. Paint the donut a bright color and have fun!

The wings are removed from the planes (no dolly’s to replace low wings). Balloons are anchored 200 feet apart. Planes start in the middle – taxi to one balloon, go around it – 180 degree turn – taxi to the other balloon, go around it – 180 degree turn – time stops as the finish line is crossed. If the engine dies, the contestant has an automatic 350 second total time.

Try Drag Racing your planes WITH THE WING(S) OFF we did that last and was so much fun that we have planned this event into our June 8 club fun-fly. What is nice about is all SKILL LEVELS can participate. If need, have heats in engine displacements.

Everyone gets a Dixie cup, a popsicle stick and some rubber bands to mount on their plane (most shove the stick through the cup and then rubber band it around the fuselage behind the engine). Remember your CG!!! We then draw with lime, or powder of some sort, 3 big circles on the field. 5 points for outer circle, 10 points for next in, 15 points for smallest circle, and 25 points if you can hit the pie plate in the center. Everyone gets 3 good drops (i.e. if you lose it on take off or not over the mowed field it doesn’t count). Note: we usually use fluorescent golf balls… they make less mess, and we usually lose about half of them!

At our last fun fly we did a variation of the egg drop. Instead of trying to hit a target, your partner has an old frying pan that he tries to catch the egg with. Splatters the egg when it hits and makes a neat metallic sound when the egg hits. Don’t wear your best flying shirt for this one if you’re the one with the pan.

This event was done way back when some time ago and I can’t seem to arouse much interest in it. I would like to at least see it done one more time. It is a team event. Requires two per team. It is called THE EGG DROP. Instead of dropping a nice soft birdy an egg is dropped. The second member of the team catches the little egg in a pail. They who catch the projectile closest to a designated point win. Close doesn’t work very well. Safety goggles should be worn of course. No other protective gear allowed.

Draw times from a hat. Flyer removes watch and takes off. Estimate time and land… Closest to actual time wins.

Pilot taxis around obstacle course while blindfolded, obeying commands from caller. Low time wins.

Plane flies a straight course twice. First pass is for all out speed. (Diving plane is allowed.) Second pass is flown slowly as possible, maintaining reasonable altitude and course. Largest difference in the two times wins.

This event requires a pilot to perform a set of maneuvers in the shortest time from takeoff to touch down. such as ten inside loops. Takeoff, do 10 inside loops and touch down. The clock starts when the aircraft moves and ends when the wheels touchdown. A variation of this would be to perform a maneuver as many time as possible in a set time, such as total number of inside loops in 15 seconds.

In this event, the planes are lined up on the flight line. However, the props have been removed and lie beside the plane. All the pilots line up 10-20 feet in front of their planes. On the signal, the pilots run to their planes, install the props and start their engines. First one to do so wins. Radios are not needed for this event.

Something to do on a slow afternoon, and there is always empty jugs in the trash can.. Set em up…knock em over with your gear on low passes.

Time begins. Pilot starts engine, eats a soda cracker, whistles audibly, then takes off and begins looping aircraft. He must loop till he has eaten another cracker and whistled audibly again, then lands. Low time wins.

Two balloons, one is ground mounted at 100 feet upwind, and the other 100 feet downwind. The pilot must circle the first balloon and taxi to the other balloon to circle it. This is repeated three times without the plane becoming airborne. Shortest time wins.

Pilot has one minute from takeoff to trim for “hands-free” flight. At the end to the first minute, the TX is laid on a table. Longest E.T. before having to grab TX wins.

Pilots are given an established time to takeoff and climb to altitude, but then turn to face away from the aircraft while an assistant describes the flight to the pilot The pilot has a slave transmitter (buddy Box). The pilot who flies the longest without having the co-pilot take over to recover wins.

A styro cup is attached to the top of the plane at the CG (Important!!!). A measured amount of water is placed in the cup. Pilot takes off, flies a loop, lands… Most amount of water remaining wins. Can also be done with 25 beans instead of liquid.

Pilot takes off and calls for helium balloon to be released from runway center, and also starting stopwatch. Break the balloon before it reaches the stratosphere. Low time wins.

Pilots line up across runway from planes. At signal pilots race to planes, start up, take off and fly a specified number of laps. (The foot race may be made more interesting by having the pilots carry an egg in a spoon, or some other idiocy.

Use a thirty foot crepe paper ribbon strung between two bamboo fishing poles. You know the rest. Double points for doing it inverted. (no points for hitting the poles)


Planes fly under crepe paper streamer, cuts disqualify. Streamer is lowered 1′ after each round until only one plane qualifies.

Set limbo streamer at 6′, Most passes under limbo in one minute, cut streamer or hit pole and time stops.

Take two 6 foot thin wooden laths and put them in the ground. The distance between the laths must be something like 15 to 20 feet. Then you fix a string or ribbon between the laths. The pilot has to stand on the same line as the laths, that makes it all even more complicated. All pilot have 5 chances to try to fly under the string. The person who can do 3 fly-unders’ in the shortest time is the winner. When you need five
chances, that time is the one that counts.

Most loops in one minute. Timed from takeoff.

Pilot must taxi to spot on field where helper directs him to spot #1. Once on spot business card is attached to plane (rubber band). Take off, pass upwind and down wind markers and land. Taxi to spot #2 where helper removes card 1 and attaches card 2. Take off, fly around markers an deliver mail back to spot #1 where you will receive card 3 to deliver back to spot #2. Time to pick up an deliver X pieces of mail wins. Time starts when plane starts to roll and stops when last piece of mail is delivered.

Fill the sky with old airplanes. A horn is blown, and all aircraft must land, Last plane down is eliminated. Continue till all but one plane is eliminated.

Totally chance, but some skill involved… I draw a big rectangle on the field.. like a “carrier deck”. Somewhere in that square is a mystery spot that only I know. Everyone gets three marked landings or touch’n’goes in that box.. when everyone’s landings are marked, the spot is revealed and the closest to the spot wins! I usually pick my spot as even a mystery to me… something like.. “starting in the northwest corner, 4 paces west, 5 paces south. That’s the spot”. I don’t even know it until the contest is over .. but
I do write the above down before we start so it can’t be changed. The objective of course, is that it helps beginner/intermediate pilots improve their landing approaches to more accuracy.

For most of us, just flying at night with chemical lights is enough of a challenge without doing special maneuvers moon light night helps also, a spotlight following the plane helps. Small pencil lights (connected as landing lights) help in landings. Some have flown without lights and successfully performed a loop and landing. This really brings out ‘those on the edge’.

This one has been done in many different ways but here’s a little variation. We call it “Oh, Crap!” With the command “Go!” and on the clock, the contestant rolls a pair of dice once to get his “number.” He/she then must fire up the model, taxi fifty feet, take off, do one loop and one roll, land, taxi back, shut down and then roll the dice again until his number comes up. The crap shooting “levels the field” a bit, so that the less
proficient flyers have a chance against the hot doggers.

Safety is a must. A great way to raise money for your club/charity. Everyone involved wears goggles. An “expendable” airplane fly’s around while people pay $1.00 to shoot at it with a paint ball gun. The pilot should do fly-bys around 100 feet away while the person aims and takes their shot. Load one ball at a time to reduce the chance of someone “laying a wall of paint down”. It should be made so that it is not impossible,
but is difficult to hit, as a paint ball could cause the plane to crash. A Paintball with go through monocote. Works with helicopters too.

Have a paint ball tape to the bottom of the airplane that is strong enough to hold the paint ball during takeoff and flight but if you land to hard the paint ball will fall off also the landing is a spot landing. if you land in the spot and the paint ball is still on you get 50 points if you land in the spot but the ball falls off you get 30 points and if you miss the spot but the ball is on you get 15 points and if you miss the spot and the ball falls
of you get 5 points this can be changed if you want to make the point value closer or harder.

Place crossed paper strips or chalk lines on the center runway. The object is to stop your aircraft exactly on the crossed lines. Points are awarded based on distance from the center. Once the plane stops the score is counted. Another variation of this event is to mark a line across the runway, the object is to have your wheels touch down exactly on the line with perhaps 50 points for doing so. for each 6 inches past that point lower the score by 5 points, deduct 10 points for each 6 inches short of the mark. Give each pilot 3 tries with a score based on the 3 pass total.

First you roll a die as many times as you wish. Take off and perform a number of loops equal to the last number rolled. Land. Now, roll the last number rolled THE SAME NUMBER OF TIMES YOU FIRST ROLLED THE DIE!! Sneaky, huh?? Low time wins.

Pilots are timed as they save an out of control aircraft. The pilot has a slave transmitter that has been configured to unknown trim extremes and covered with a cloth. The pilot of the Master transmitter takes the plane to a save altitude, When the pilot is ready, the plane is put in a spin or tumbled. At the command “SAVE-IT!!” the control is switched from the master to the slave. The pilot reaches under the cloth and recovers and trims the plane into a hands off level flight in the least time.

A four channel plane with capability to fly rudder and elevator only! Secrecy is a must!!! The ‘Master Pilot’ takes the plane to a safe altitude, tumbles or spins the plane and yells “Save it” to the ‘slave pilot’. (now the secret! The ailerons are disconnected in neutral position).If the ‘Master Pilot must take control, the slave pilot has crashed!

Pilot tries to takeoff in the shortest possible distance.

Place 5 balloons on the runway. Taxi thru them, weaving in & out. Taxi back the same way. Break a balloon and get a five second penalty. Low time wins.

Set up a pylon at each end of the runway (a good several hundred feet apart). Pilots make a speed run in-between the pylons, flag men at each pylon signal to the timekeeper when the plane passes a pylon. Then the pilot flies as slow as he can in between the pylons. Subtract the slow time from the high time to get the difference in seconds. The pilot with the most seconds (points) wins, in other words the pilot who
had the greatest difference between fast and slow flight.

Pilot has one minute from takeoff to climb to altitude and begin to spin. Must land on runway. Greatest number of spins wins.

An Aircraft fitted with a coiled streamer climbs to height & releases the streamer by servo, which is now still attached to the rear under of the aircraft. The other club members then proceed to chase the tow plane to chop the streamer with the propellers of their models. One club uses this event each year at their annual Battle Of Britain Display. It really gets the crowds going & is great fun to take part in.

Pilot takes off and circles in pattern until an unknown time period passes. Time starts at an audible signal, and pilot must land as soon as possible. Landing must be on runway. Low time wins.

Aircraft race a specified number of laps on ground. Low time wins.

We set up 3 posts on the field. Watch is started. You have to start your engine, taxi round the 3 posts (tri-oval), stop your engine and then roll doubles on a pair of dice. Watch is stopped. Low time wins. Lot of fun to see the cubs, etc. ground looping trying to taxi fast in the wind. I kick butt in this one using my Patriot (low tricycle gear).

A variation of the target egg drop. Instead of trying to hit a target, your partner has an old frying pan with which he tries to catch the egg. Splatters the egg when it hits and makes a neat metallic sound when the egg hits. Don’t wear your best flying shirt for this one if you’re the one with the pan. Enjoy! (this should be called “EGG DROP FOR DUMMIES!!)

Time starts at takeoff. Pilot performs as many touch and go maneuvers as possible in two minutes.

Time begins at liftoff. Pilot flies a loop, then a roll… three each, then lands. Time stops at touchdown. Low time wins.

An arrow is affixed to the wing of the plane. A large balloon is placed on the runway. At the “GO” command, the pilot begins to taxi and attempts to break the balloon with the arrow. Low time wins. Disqualified if prop breaks balloon.