Pilots to compete in touchdown auto contest

McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Officials at Jerry Trimble Helicopters say they are anticipating an international group of helicopter pilots to compete in the 3rd Annual Touchdown Auto Rotation competition to be held at the McMinnville, Oregon airport June 23.

“So far, we have pilots signed up from Israel, Europe and Australia,” Jerry Trimble said. “We are hoping for a good turnout from the local helicopter pilots as well. It’s sure to be another fun event.”

The competition will be judged on straight-in autos. Scoring is based on distance from the pre-established “spot,” technique and the slide distance, if any.

New this year, is a handicap system. Pilots can have points subtracted from their total score depending on how much assistance is given by Trimble.

Each pilot is allowed 2 full-down auto rotations. All flights will be flown with Jerry Trimble unless the pilot supplies their own helicopter.

The cost to enter is $75, which includes the helicopter rental and a $5 donation to a local charity of the pilot’s choice. The first place trophy is an engraved piece of R-22 rotor blade. Space is limited, note officials, who suggest pilots register early.

The competition corresponds with the annual Lions Club Fly-in/Drive-in. There will be an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast served 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. All proceeds from the breakfast go to the McMinnville Lions Charity Programs. The public is invited to bring their antique, hot rod, street machine, muscle car, motorcycle or other interesting car or airplane and participate in the show. With every breakfast purchase, spectators receive a ballot to vote on their favorite car and airplane. New this year is a category for the “Peoples Choice RV Airplane.”

Jerry Trimble Helicopters will offer $20 helicopter rides all day. Shuttles are available to the Evergreen Aviation Museum directly across the street from the McMinnville Airport.

For more information: JerryTrimbleHelicopters.com.

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