Tucson Aerobatic Shootout brings model pilots from around the world

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- At the Aerobatic Shootout, it's all about making small planes do big things.  Pilots from around the world were in Tucson this weekend to test their abilities with remote controlled aircraft.

"This is sort of the culmination of the best of the best," said TIMPA President R. Michael Cummins.

Dips and dives and some serious altitude.  This weekend the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association hosted the 2011 Aerobatic Shootout.

"There's a $125,000 in cash and prizes for all the pilots and they all have to work for points to get here," said Cummins.

"It's not always just about the competition it's also about having fun," said pilot Aaron Garle.

Aaron Garle, 18, flew in from australia to push his plane to the limit.

"And I placed sixth, it was, out of 17 pilots.  So, I'm very happy about my achievement," said Garle.

"They're allowed four minutes to choreograph and the difficulty of their flights, how they excite the crowd, any new techniques they use," said  Cummins.

Pilots were also encouraged to get close to the ground, without actually touching the runway.

The planes weigh about 40 pounds, but they can go up to a 100 miles per hour.  That combination allows for the pilots to different manuevers in the air.

"Everyday when you hear songs on the radio or whatever it will just start popping into your head certain things you can do with the airplane," said pilot Jeff Szuber.

Californian Jeff Szuber says his biggest challenge, twisting and turning to a tune by Taylor Swift.

"It was probably the hardest to fly to.  Figuring out what to do with it," said Szuber.

Pilots say, to get good takes impeccable coordination and a little imagination.