It was 5 p.m. when Gialdini made his last flight, but it was one of his best ever. The other competitors gathered around to congratulate him on his probable victory. But the day had been long, and the cards of the judges, who were then already speeding into town on passes, placed Bob third. "They had left before my plane had even stopped rolling," Bob ruefully remembers. "I don't think they even saw my landing. In 1962 Bob banged up his old reliable plane two weeks before the championships. A newly built version of the same model flew with the maneuverability of a mattress, so he had to abandon it. After a series of broken propellers and further difficulties with the old patched-up model, Gialdini placed fifth. He returned home disgusted. Abandoning the twin-tailed "Olympic" model which he had flown successfully in competition for four years, he designed a completely new plane with a forward cockpit and a tail like a jet. He anticipated a year's wait adjusting to the new plane. But in 1963 he won with it in open competition at the championships, then returned on the final day of the week-long meet to compete with the winners of the junior (under 16) and senior (under 21) divisions. He beat them and won the Jim Walker Trophy, symbolic of the all-round championship.
After years of patiently building planes and perfecting the techniques of flying them, Gialdini concludes that winning entails a good deal more than merely putting a plane through a series of intricate maneuvers. "It's not always the best stunt flier who wins," he says. "It's a combination of things, the general impression you leave. Besides your ability to fly, there are other considerations. How well does the plane fly? How does the plane look in the air to the judges? Does it look smooth? Does it have appealing lines? How do you look to the judges? How do you handle yourself around the circle? Are you a pain in the neck? Do you give civil answers to questions? All of these things add up to an impression. You don't get points for it, but it still affects your score."
Gialdini is so sensitive about the effect his actions as a whole may have on judges that, unlike most contestants, he refuses to turn his plane upside down to fuel it. He fuels and starts it while it sits on the runway. "If you're at an actual airport," he points out, "they don't flip the plane over to start it. I like to think of models as miniature planes, not toys. It might make a good impression on the judges." The theory seems to have worked for Gialdini.