Paper airplanes take flight to raise funds for charity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- After a hiatus in 2015, the Miami Valley Combined Federal Campaign Paper Airplane Contest, held by the Agile Combat Support Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Bldg. 12, Area B, saw aircraft of various designs winging their way to victory and non-victory Nov. 10.


The event dates back, with some interruptions, to 1977 and is always held in Bldg. 12’s rotunda. Last year, the event was canceled because needed building repairs closed the “flight line.”


Competitors could bring their own paper plane or build a plane at the contest from provided materials. While a smaller crowd participated this year, it was still a success. More than $200 in proceeds from entry fees and a food sale will be contributed to the MVCFC.


The competition was broken into five categories. The winners were:


Judges Choice: 1st Bracy Elton; 2nd Kristy Kaiser; 3rd Steve Larson


Peoples Choice: 1st Jonah Thoreson; 2nd Steve Larson; 3rd Kristy Kaiser


Duration: 1st Bracy Elton (6.51 seconds); 2nd Steve Larson (5.46 seconds); 3rd – Omi Makhijani (4.19 seconds)


Precision: 1st Charles Barlow (within 20 inches of center); 2nd Jonah Thoreson; 3rd Erik Thoreson


Distance: 1st Bracy Elton (about 50 feet); 2nd Eric Thoreson; 3rd Kristy Kaiser


Judging the competition were Col. Ron Schwing, director of safety, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center; and Col. Rick Johns, 88th Communications Group commander.


Col. Brady Hauboldt represented Agile Combat Support program executive office, which hosted the event and presented the awards to the winners.


Hauboldt was new to the competition but was enthusiastic about supporting it and MVCFC.


Worth mentioning is the remarkable distance – 33 feet – covered by Bracy Elton’s plane as it required getting through a doorway that thwarted all but one of the other competitors. It then flew another 17 feet.


Erik Thoreson of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center brought his sons Micah and Jonah to compete.


“They’re home-schooled, so we thought we would take a little engineering exercise, build airplanes and get some exposure to engineering competitions,” he said. “We thought this was a great opportunity.”


The event’s emcee was Jim Stocker, financial manager in the Acquisition, Environmental and Industrial Facilities Division, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. He remarked that “newbies” to the competition had just as much chance of winning as the more experienced participants, and that supporting MVCFC was important.


“Charity is a part of my life, and this is one event where everyone in uniform and civil service can organize together for a charitable purpose and get the giving going,” he said.