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Meet Team Futaba

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z  

 

A

Bill Adams

Bill Adams
Mesa, Arizona
Primary Interests: IMAC Scale Aerobatics, Scale Masters, and Racing.
I started modeling at 9 years old with a Cox PT-19 control line plane. At 16 I taught myself to fly RC with an .049  powered glider, and progressed into bigger and faster planes from there.

I love flying any kind of aircraft, including just sport flying, but my main focus has always included IMAC. I have competed in IMAC Scale aerobatics since the early 1990’s and have helped many people get started in IMAC over the years. I have had the privilege to fly in almost every Tucson Aerobatic Shootout, and won the advanced class in 2011.  I am also on Team USA, Unlimited class, for the first IMAC World Championships in Muncie Indiana.

I love competing in many disciplines of flying, but get equal satisfaction out of just helping my fellow modelers at the local field on the weekends. I have made many great friends by being in this great hobby.

Michi Akimoto

Michi Akimoto
I’ve been modeling since 1980
Primary Interest: F3A Precision Aerobatics
Accomplishment: F3A World Championship Team Canada Pilot
I grew up in Japan and started flying RC planes/helicopters when I was in elementary school.  I moved to Canada in 90's. In recent years, I enjoy F3A Precision Aerobatics and some Indoor fly, 3D and helicopters.  My wife and our one year old daughter are my supporters as well as Team Futaba!

Jim Allen

Jim Allen
Mesa, Arizona
As a proud Futaba Team member since 1996 and RC modeler since 1979, my competition interests center primarily with Pylon racing, but I've flown in just about every area of R/C competition since starting in this great hobby in 1977. Some of the highlights include a win in the Cactus Classic IMAC Advanced class in '96, 1996 and 2014 Q500 NATS Champion and 2015 NATS QM Champion, and 2000, 2010, 2011, and 2012 NMPRA Championship Race winner. In March of 2015, I broke the 8 year old AMA Quarter Midget record by over a 1/2 second with a 0:57.22 second time. In '97 I was a USA F3D Pylon Team member at the World Champs in Sumpurk, Czech Republic and in 2006 was the AMA NATS overall Pylon Champion. I was also privelaged to serve as the US F3D Pylon Team Manager in 1999, 2005, and 2009, while being the alternate pilot in '99 and '09. In addition I serve as the Chairman of the R/C Pylon Rules Committee for AMA and am the USA representative on the FAI F3D Pylon Sub-Committee.

Jeremy Arvin

Jeremy Arvin
Southern Indiana
I'm a member of the Southern Indiana RC modelers and Ohio River View RC Flyers. My dad, Dale Arvin, started me flying a Gentle Lady at the age of 5 years and I was hooked. I started building scale aircraft at the age of 13 and competed in my first scale competition at the 1991 Nats. Scale models have always been a passion of mine for all the hard work and detail that goes into each model.

Don Atwood

Don Atwood
Placerville, California
I’ve been fascinated with anything that flies for as long as I can remember.  My first Futaba radio was a Contest 7 and I have flown Futaba ever since. I am now retired after a career in Information Technology in financial and telecommunications fields.  Living in Placerville, CA where we are blessed with good flying weather most of each year.

I have served as an officer of several RC clubs thru the years, as a District VP for the NSRCA multiple times and most recently as the National VP for the NSRCA until mid-year 2014.  I also serve as a member of the F3A and F3P Team Selection Committee for the AMA.

In 2009 I was fortunate enough to win the District 7 Championship for F3A and in 2014 won the District 7 F3A 'Silver' Championship.  I compete in several pattern contests yearly and look forward to representing Futaba as a Team Member.

Mark Atwood

Mark Atwood

B

Mike Barbee

Mike Barbee
Delaware, Ohio
A modeler since: 1981
Primary interests in R/C: Scale, and IMAC, flight instruction newbies
Accomplishments: Top Gun 7 consecutive years in the top 10 Scale Masters 6 years in top 10   Nats’ 10 years in top 10  a few first place finishes at the Toledo show  in both Scale , MonoKote, and paint finish.
Other notes of interest: District III AVP, Scale Masters East Coast Chairman, NASA President. Full scale pilot, current plane 1946 Aeronca Super Chief. Current scale project is a 36% T-34 B.

Richard Barch

Richard Barch
A modeler since: 1978
I started in the hobby 37 years ago. Mostly self-taught through the school of hard knocks.
I have been flying giant scale for the last 15 years and have just recently started flying jets for the last two years. I enjoy building from scratch and kits, and do a lot of build for local pilots.
I have been the President of our local club for the last 3 years, and have been working the Futaba Extreme Flight Championships since 2003.
I really enjoy going to different events and meeting new friends.
For enjoyment through the week I work for Navistar Truck and Engine building Class 5, 6, 7, and 8 trucks.

Darwin N. Barrie

Darwin N. Barrie
Chandler, Arizona
A modeler since: 1963
Primary interests in R/C: Soaring, Giant Scale Aerobatics, small electrics
Accomplishments: 16 year member of Team Futaba. Many Places in Soaring contests and IMAC style events. 26 year AVP for District 10 of the AMA, CD, Leader Member, Distinguished Service Award Recipient. Multi-Facited modeling interests
Other notes of interest: Built Van's RV 7 180 hp, full IFR plane. Second one under construction now.

Colin Bell

Colin Bell
Nova Scotia, Canada
A modeler since: 1995
Primary Interest: Helicopters
Colin has been flying since age 6 and has spent the last 15 years focused primarily on helicopters, but participates at local IMAC airplane contests as well. Like most Team Futaba members, he's a competitor as well as a weekend fun flyer. "I've competed at the XFC (2005-2015), 3D Masters, Las Vegas Align Cup, and the Align World Invitational Cup" Colin reports. "My best finish so far is 2nd place. Futaba's reliable, industry leading products allow me enjoy the absolute best performance with confidence."

Todd Bennett

Todd Bennett
Todd Bennett has over 30 years of R/C experience, but refers to himself as a “professional R/C helicopter pilot.” That’s literally true, because Todd’s profession — and passion (helis) — are one and the same. And that requires him to wear several hats. First hat: he’s the president, CEO and owner of Synergy Helicopters, Inc., manufacturers of the N9. When he’s not making business decisions at Synergy, he’s wearing his second hat: that of owner and chief instructor of the Freestyle 3D R/C Helicopter Flying School in Moorpark, CA. And in his spare (?) time, Todd wears his third hat: industry consultant to Futaba, YS engines and Morgan fuels.  

Will Berninger

Will Berninger
Harrison, Ohio
Currently flying IMAC Giant Scale Aerobatics and Fun Scale in NASA. IMAC Judging instructor, IMAC Vice President 2010-2012, IMAC rules committee member 2007-2014, XFC Chief Judge, 2008-2014 Co-Chief Judge ETOC, Tucson AZ Shoot out Unlimited/Invitational competitor 2005-2012. 2008 Clover Creek Unlimited IMAC champion 2008, competitor C.C. Invitational 2010, 2012. Team Futaba member and proud of it.

Paul Blais

Paul Blais
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Primary Interests in R/C: Helicopters & Airplanes
Accomplishments: 2014 XFC Competitor (Helicopters) 
I have been flying R/C helicopters and airplanes for 3 years.  My true passion is R/C helicopters and I spend a lot of my time practicing new maneuvers and working on them in the shop.  I competed in the 2014 Extreme Flight Championships helicopter class and hope to continue competing in various events in the years to come.  I also attend several fun-flys throughout the year and always am at the IRCHA jamboree.  I am currently a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in aerospace engineering. I’m really thankful to be part of Team Futaba where I can fly with the most reliable electronics on the market.

.

Bryan Blanchard

Bryan Blanchard
Summerville, South Carolina
A modeler since: 2002
Primary interests in R/C:  Pylon Racing: 424, 426 Q-500 and 422 QM
Accomplishments:  2004 and 2005 top junior at the NATS for both Q-500 and QM40, 2008 and 2009 top senior at the NATS for both Q500 and QM40, caller for the 2015 Q-500 National Champion
Other notes of interest:  My Dad is a pylon racer and, as a kid, I followed him around with his airplane pieces and parts in hand.  It was a natural progression for me to learn how to fly and to eventually end up racing with my dad.  I am now lucky enough to have reached the level of racing that allows Dad and me to be a great Futaba father and son racing team. Our greatest accomplishment came this year, at the 2015 NATS where as a team and as my Dad’s caller we won the 2015 AMA Q-500 NATS together.

Marcus Blanchard

Marcus Blanchard
Summerville, South Carolina
A modeler since: 1977
Primary interests in R/C: Pylon Racing: 424, 426 Q-500 and 422 QM
Accomplishments: 1998 CAPS (Can-Am Pylon Society) Champion in both Q-500 and QM40 classes; winner of several fast time trophies including the 1998 NATS QM Fast Time; 2002 Q-500 National Champion; and 2015 Q-500 National Champion.

Other notes of interest:  My Dad taught me how to build and fly model airplanes back in the mid '70s when I was just a kid. He flew pattern and, in 1983, he took me to Westover AFB to see my first NATS. I saw my first Formula One race there and I've been hooked on pylon racing ever since. I've had the privilege to pass along what I've learned over the years to my son, Bryan. Bryan and I enjoy traveling around the country competing at all levels as a Futaba father and son racing team.  Our greatest accomplishment together came this year, at the 2015 NATS where as a father/son team with my son as my caller we won the 2015 AMA Q-500 NATS together.

Chris Bloom

Chris Bloom
Lake Forest Park, Washington
I started in RC with Cars in 1986 with an RC10 car and a Futaba radio. I bought my First Helicopter In 1991. That was the beginning of my love for flying RC aircraft of all types. I currently fly indoor foamies, nitro helis, and discus launch gliders for fun and area competitions.

I have received a lot of help and met a lot of good friends in the sport and like helping others enjoy and learn to fly and have fun. It is a privilege to fly for Team Futaba.

Todd Blose

Todd Blose
Waco, Texas
A modeler since: 1976
Primary interests in R/C: F3A Pattern, Imac, IndoorAccomplishments: 97 TOC Las Vegas. Top 10 in the AMA F3A Nats for 15 years, placing as high as 5th in 2005.  Placed 7th in 2009.  Other notes of interest: Team Futaba member since 1992. I have been able to raise a Family have a full time job and compete at the Nats or team selection for the last 20 years with the support of my wife Wynde, and my 2 daughters Whitley and Trinity.

Terry Boston

Terry Boston
A modeler since: mid '70s.
Primary Interests: Pattern and IMAC competition; IMAA fly-ins; building and flying giant-scale warbirds.

Matt Botos

Matt Botos
Currently Reside - Wadley, Alabama A modeler since 1986 with airplanes, cars, boats, and helicopter. Virtually anything RC has been of interest to me since a very young age. I have a passion for helping others learn and progress in the hobby.
Primary Interest: Helicopters
Accomplishments -
    XFC Competitor from 2004 - 2010
    2006 - 4th Place
    2009 - 7th Place
    2010 - 6th Place
RC Helicopter designer since 2006
Owner of Synergy RC Helicopters since 2010
Freestyle 3D Instructor with Todd Bennett from 2006-2014

Ray Brown

Ray Brown
North Miami Beach, Florida
Years in the hobby: my whole life
Primary interests in R/C: pylon, giant scale, electric fun fly’s, soaring.
Accomplishments: team member sence’97. member of the 2005 W/C F3D Team, contest director for the NMPRA Champ Series in Ft Lauderdale Fl. Many top finishes and fast time trophy’s in pylon competition. Manufacturer of racing propellers for QM-40 that held records in 3 different countries. Only honorary lifetime member of the MPPA. AMA lifetime member IFLYQ500.
Other notes of interest: my wife, kids, cat and fish tank. Off shore fishing, Sword fishing, wrapping custom fishing rods.

Jack Buckley

Jack Buckley
A modeler since: 1959
Primary interests in R/C: scale, control line, free flight and indoor flying. I have 40 years service with the Dept. of the Army  as an Equipment Specialist  working in the field of Airdrop testing, shelters and U.A.V.’s with over 5,000 hours flight time as a U.A.V. pilot. Designer and Designated Test Pilot for the U.S. Government all over the world.
Accomplishments:
3 time U.S. FAI Scale National Champion
2nd place Expert 2009Top Gun
Multi place winner at US Scale Masters
2008 -2010 U.S. Scale Team Member
Chairman of the U.S. Scale Team Selection Com.
WRAMS Best of Show in 2009  and many  1st place finishes in the past years
Assoc C/D for  New England Scale Championship for past 25 plus years and a Designated Contest Director for Turbine Wavers
Scale Event director for one of the Westover US A.M.A.  Nationals
U.S National Scale  and US Scale masters Qualifier Judge

Brent Bullen

Brent Bullen
DeWinton, AB, Canada
Modeler since 1973.  I have flown Futaba equipment for over 25 years
Primary Interests: IMAC, Fun Fly Demonstration Pilot, or flying anytime I can get a chance to fly.
Competitor Tucson Aerobatic Shootout 2012, 2015; Competitor IMAC World Championship 2014; Assistant Canadian Team Manager IMAC worlds 2014;  IMAC NW Assistant Regional Director; MAAC Scale Aerobatic Committee Member; MAAC Leadership Award recognizing years of contribution to the hobby.  I fly everything from giants scale aerobatic aircraft, gliders, turbines, hotliners, scale, helicopters to indoor aircraft. I have flown 40% plus size aircraft since 1999 and fly both Mode 1 and Mode 2. I act as CD for several IMAC contests each year and actively promote and compete in IMAC contests in both Canada and USA.  It's a real reward being part of this hobby and an honor to be a Team Futaba member.

John Burdin

John Burdin
A modeler since: 1966
When you grow up with a free flight champ and Navy pilot for your dad, it's only natural to grow up loving flight. But despite being introduced to model airplanes at 6 and R/C at 12, it wasn't until the late '80s that John got back to R/C. In addition to renewing his passion for pattern (and competition), he also branched out into IMAC planes before settling on ducted fan jets as his main interest. John attends every jet event he can, including (and serving as co-contest director of) the International Jet Rally in Lake Wales, Florida, each November.

Rick Byrd

Rick Byrd
Team Futaba Member since: 1989
Primary interests: F3A Pattern, SPA Pattern, & IMAC
Accomplishments: 2014 IMAC Unlimited World Team Member, Finished 8th in Unlimited class at the IMAC World Championships, 2011 US Nationals Pattern Masters Champion, 2007 IMAC South Central Region Unlimited Champion; 1996 US Nationals Pattern Advanced Champion; 10 time NSRCA District 6 F3A Champion; 2-time Don Lowe Masters finalist; many-time F3A Pattern Nationals, U.S. Team Selection and IMAC Nationals finalist; past participant at the '98 TOC, Tucson Aerobatic Shootout Invitational Class and Clover Creek Invitational Class.
 "I'm a lucky man. My wife Kim, son Hayden and twin girls Ali and Gracie all support me in my life."


C

Michael Caglia

Michael Caglia
New York, New York
Modeler since: 1985
Primary interests: F3A and IMAC
Occupation: Dermatology Resident
Accomplishments:
- 1993 2nd place U.S. Nationals (Sportsman)
- 1994 3rd place U.S. Nationals (Advanced)
- 1999 3rd place U.S. Nationals (FAI)
- 2000 5th place U.S. Nationals (FAI)
- 2001 3rd place U.S. Nationals (FAI)
- 2000 9th place Tournament of Champions
- 2002 11th place Tournament of Champions
- 2012 3rd place Tucson Aerobatics Shootout (Unlimited)
- First place in over 50 local pattern/IMAC competitions throughout the U.S.
At a young age I started flying model airplanes with my brother and developed a passion for flying pattern planes. After having the opportunity to compete in my second Tournament of Champions in 2002, I decided to focus on my professional career and go to medical school. In 2012, after a ten year break from RC, I was able to commit more time to doing what I truly love - flying and competing in IMAC and pattern competitions. In addition to competing, I enjoy coaching and helping other modelers set up and trim their planes.

Robert Caglia

Robert Caglia
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Modeler since: 1985
Interest: F3A Pattern, F3P, IMAC
Occupation:  3rd year DMD dental student
Accomplishments:
- 1993 1st place U.S. Nationals (Advanced)
- 2014 1st place U.S. Nationals (Advanced)
- 2014 1st place NSRCA District Champion (Advanced)
- 2014 1st place at over 14 regional pattern contests
Aviation has been a part of my life from a very young age, and has evolved throughout the years.  At the age of 17, I obtained my private pilot’s license, and my passion for aviation grew from there. Because I focused on my education and family, I took a long break from RC flying. My love for aviation never ceased; however, as I continued to fly full scale for many years. Now I have the opportunity to come back to what I started in RC.  I truly enjoy helping others that also have interest in this great hobby.

Kirt Campbell

Kirt Campbell
Bakersfield, California
Modeler Since: 2005
I love all types of flying, but have been primarily focusing on Pattern and IMAC. Currently I compete in the Unlimited class in the SW Region IMAC, and Masters Class in District 7 Pattern. I really enjoy the challenge of precision flying and the friendships I have made across the country.

Danny Carozza

Danny Carozza
Yonkers, New York
A modeler since: 1972
Primary interests in R/C: Giant Scale Aerobatics Top Gun & Scale Masters Compitition

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman
Avondale, Pennsylvania
Started RC flying at age 15 in London England. I worked in a hobby shop in Camden town and bought my first Futaba 6 channel radio there. 

I have been building and flying all kinds of RC planes since, but my main interest and passion is scale RC planes. While scale is my main endeavor, I do fly a ThunderTiger G-4 and Raptor 50, I also have a couple sailplanes I enjoy flying. I have been also been bitten by the RC jets... I currently fly a Skymaster Hawk. 

I am a pilot for American Airlines for the last 27 years..I started as a flight instructor and worked my way up flying charter, air ambulance and corporate before getting on with AA in 1987. I also flew competitive full scale aerobatics for seventeen years. I started in my home built Pitts S-1s, then in 87 transitioned to my Lazer Z-200 that I built. In 85 I purchased my current airplane, the CAP 231ex. I gained a spot on both the 1996 and 98 U.S. aerobatic Teams. I have been flying airshows for 31 years and have retried from competitive aerobatics in 1998. I am sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I am currently restoring a 1941 Piper J-3 Cub.   My true passion in Aviation is still flying and building RC planes. My favorite event is the Joe Nall.

Darrick Chekas

Darrick Chekas
Farmington, Connecticut
A modeler since: 2006
Primary Interests in R/C: Helicopters
I've been flying R/C Helicopters since 2006. I thoroughly enjoy traveling to many events along the east coast, and particularly in the New England region. If you're in the Northeast, you will probably see me at your local Heli event! During my time so far in this hobby, I've been fortunate enough to be supported by some of the top companies in the industry, such as Futaba.

Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark
Canton, Michigan
Born: 1993
Occupation: Student
A modeler since: 2006
Primary interests in R/C: IMAC, Freestyle, Giant Scale
Accomplishments:
2010 National IMAC Champion (Advanced)
2010 Clovercreek runner-up (Advanced)
2010 National Freestyle Runner-up
2010 NCFR Regional points Champion (Advanced)
2010 ETOC Finalist
2010 XFC competitor
2009 National IMAC Champion (Intermediate)
2009 National Freestyle 5th Place
2009 NCFR Regional Points Champion (Intermediate)
2009 ETOC Finalist
2010 / 2009 Demo Pilot

Other notes of interest:  High School Senior. Entering University of Michigan Engineering School in the Fall of 2011. Avid bowler with six 300 games and an 800 series. Captain of the High School Bowling Team 3 consecutive years. Also enjoy playing hockey.

Dean Copeland

Dean Copeland
Omaha, Nebraska
I have been flying R/C since 1958.
My Primary interest: Scale of all types.
I have flown in Top Gun for several years and try to attend as many War bird events as possible. Currently, I am an RPV pilot for the University of Nebraska, Agricultural research program. My goal for 2015 was to acquired my jet waiver and did manage to get it done by season end.

Kevin Cordell

Kevin Cordell
"My introduction to R/C probably sounds familiar to a lot of pilots. After a few visits to the local field, I bought a plane. Then, a year or so later, my wife mentioned that helis looked pretty cool. However, when she found out what helis cost, she decided planes were just fine…but by then, it was too late. I was already hooked. Over the years, I've made steady progress up through the ranks of AMA contest flying, and now compete - and judge - at local F3C events. Funny thing; the guys that I used to fly with don't give me near as much trouble as they did when I flew. In 2001, I served as the CD for the F3C Worlds. These days, I make it a point to make the Toledo Show and IRCHA World Helicopter Jamboree each year."

Curtis Cozier

Curtis Cozier
Johns Creek, Georgia
Born: 1967
Occupation:  Director of Client Relations at Extreme Flight R/C
A modeler since: 2004
Primary interests in R/C:   IMAC Scale Aerobatics, but love flying anything!
Accomplishments:  Tucson Shootout Competitor, Several time AMA Nats competitor.  Clover Creek Invitational Judge, AMA Nats Judge, Multi- time XFC Judge, Multi- Time ETOC Judge.
Multi-time Invitational judge for the Tucson Aerobatic Shootout.
Event Director for the Inaugural 2014 IMAC World Championships
Multi Time Contest Director for many Regional IMAC events
Multiple wins in various classes in IMAC
Other notes of interest:  Past Southeast Regional Director, Past Vice President, and Board of Director member for IMAC.  Multi-year Member of the IMAC Sequence Committee.  IMAC National Judging Instructor.
I love that have been able to turn my passion in to my profession.

Joe Cutright

Joe Cutright
Acworth, Georgia
Primary Interest in R/C is definitely IMAC but I'm also interested in Pattern and Warbirds.
Flying remote controlled airplanes since 1984
Competing in IMAC sanctioned events since 1999; currently competing in the Unlimited Class
2006 Southeast Regional Champion (Advanced Class)
2007 SE Regional Championships 2nd place (Unlimited Class)
2012 SE Regional Championships 2nd place (Unlimited Class)
2013 SE Regional Championships 2nd place (Unlimited Class)
2014 USA Team Member for the IMAC World Championships2015 I have competed in 7 IMAC contests in six states and had finished in First Place in five of them. Will be awarded the 2015 SE Regional Point Champion and will soon be competing in the 2015 SE Regional Championships.Participant in the US Scale Aerobatic Championships in Muncie, Indiana

D

Jason Danhakl

Jason Danhakl
Champaign, Illinois
A modeler since: 1988
Primary interests in R/C: Giant Scale 3D/ IMAC, Giant Scale Warbirds, Pattern, and Pylon
Accomplishments: Multi Time E-TOC competitor, placed top ten in every Extreme Flight Championship Airplane division with a best 4th place finish in 2005.
Other notes of interest: I love the 8FG!!

Gino Delponte

Gino Delponte
Tooele, Utah
I have been in the RC world my whole life, my dad got me into flying when I was 6 years old and I’ve been doing it ever since. My main focus is in Pylon Racing having held multiple AMA records and having a strong showing in most competitions around the US. Modeling help me get a job flying UAVs for Northrop Grumman.

Accomplishments: 2003 Q40 Gold Cup Champion, 2004 Q40 AMA Champion, 2007 Q40 NMPRA Champion, 2007 428 AMA Champion, 2008 Winterfest 428 Champion, 2008 428 AMA Champion, 2011 Ef-1 AMA Champion, 2015 F3D US Team Member Runner up at; 2006 NMPRA Championship, 2009 426 Winterfest, 2011 426 AMA Champion

Tim Diperi

Tim Diperi
Flying model aircraft since the 1970's; first R/C model in 1973; first R/C helicopter 1979
Primary interest in R/C: helicopters
Competed in most US Nationals since 1985
Other notes of interest: US helicopter team member (manager 2011 -Italy); CD the longest running helicopter competition in the country held in Nashville Tennessee. Earned 3rd place F3C at 2015 US Nationals. Tim is an electrical engineer and business owner as well as a full size commercial airplane pilot. Tim is married with three children living and working in middle Tennessee (transplant from New York). Active in fun fly's, competitions, demonstrations and trainings in the region.

B.E. “Rusty” Dose III

B.E. “Rusty” Dose III
If you see an RV with plates that read, “PLNCRZY”, it’s a sure sign that you’ve found Rusty Dose and family. Home base is Port Washington, WI, where Rusty lives with his wife Alice, and their two “plane crazy” sons Chip (4) and Tom (2). Rusty’s day job is investment counseling, but it’s clear that he lives for R/C in general and F3A competition specifically. In addition to being a past treasurer of the National Society for Radio-Controlled Aerobatics, Rusty has most recently served as the fund-raising coordinator for the USA’s ’07 F3A Team. However he’s also a contributor to Fly RC magazine and the R/C Universe web site, and has developed a series of high-level clinics/training sessions for precision aerobatic pilots.

E

Tom Easterday

Tom Easterday
Tom’s current focus is primarily on Giant Scale Racing after spending several years honing his skills flying IMAC competitions. He is a 3-time champion with two in the Unlimited Class (2005 & 2011) and one in F1 (2000). Tom says “I love carrying the Futaba banner out there as it has always been up to the extreme rigors of 240 MPH/16G pylon turns right out of the box, and it does it all with just one set of antennas.”

Steve Eldred

Steve Eldred
Atlanta, Georgia
I have been in the hobby since I was 9 years old. I started flying fixed wing, and am still building and flying planes.  I started flying helicopters around 2010, and have had the opportunity to represent a few great helicopter manufactures over the past few years.  I currently work as an A&P in Peachtree City.

Jorge Escalona

Jorge Escalona
Morristown, New Jersey
A modeler since: early 1970s.
Primary interests in R/C: Scale and sport jets 
Jorge is a writer/photographer with his wife, Karen, and is a member of ISAP, the International Society of Aviation Photographers. They’ve collaborated for various articles on full-scale military aviation for Smithsonian Air&Space magazine, and cover R/C jet events in the US and Canada as contributing editors for RCJet International.
Jorge enjoys finishing scale and sport jets in colorful  paint schemes,  has a special passion for incorporating the latest R/C technology into his models and sharing information with  upcoming jet pilots.  His main interest is designing scale jets. His scratch built designs include a 1:9 scale XF-90 that is part of the Cold War collection at the US National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. He’s a regular participant in annual US and Canadian RC jet events where he’s won numerous scale flying and static awards. He’s competed in Top Gun for the past 6 years; finishing twice in the top five of Pro Am Sport, and placing a high of 3rd place.

F

Elton Fairless

Elton Fairless
With over 28 years of R/C flight experience, Elton has had the pleasure to compete in many of R/C's premier events, including the Futaba XFC and the Don Lowe Masters. Elton continues to fly IMAC and enjoys giving Air Show style aerobatic demos at many events throughout the year.
While his primary focus is IMAC and 3D-style flying, Elton never misses an opportunity to fly anything with wings or rotors. His love of aviation led to his career as an aerospace engineer, which has given him the opportunities to work on aircraft such as the KC-130 Hercules and MQ-8B Fire Scout.

Jeff Fassbinder

Jeff Fassbinder
Chino Hills, California
I became an R/C modeler when I was 12 years old. My first radio was a beautiful Futaba FG gold series radio. Since then I have had many years of flights with airplanes and helicopters. Being part of the hobby has enabled me to not only train new pilots but also make many new friends. Along the way I’ve been able to be a part of some great events such as the AMA Nationals, and the Extreme Flight Championships.   Futaba’s product line offers confidence that I depend on each and every flight.

Jim Flannigan

Jim Flannigan
One of the best ways to ensure that students will be active, involved and enthusiastic is to find a teacher who’s the same way. And that pretty well describes Jim Flannigan. “I like teaching new people about the hobby, helping them become successful pilots and showing them what the aircraft and equipment are capable of doing.” Jim also enjoys flying giant-scale aerobats and performing 3D demo flights throughout the central region of the United States. An active R/Cer for over 25 years, Jim is a Division Manager for a national auto parts chain.

Kim Foster

Kim Foster
A modeler since: 1968
Primary interests in R/C: scale and jets
With over 40 years of R/C experience, Kim’s not only been everywhere (man), but done most everything, as well. At Top Gun, for instance, he’s won every place in the top 10 except 7th and 1st (in overall) and placed first in biplanes, aerobatics and team once each, and four times in high static scale. In addition, he’s also been to the Scale Masters (four times, with a 2nd and Best Biplane to his credit), the NATS (“too many times to keep track of…”), four World Championships and 4-5 jet events per year. If you’ve seen Kim in ’07, you’ve probably also seen his most recent scale masterpiece: a Frankel T-34. While he’s focuses on scale and jets (he currently flies a King Cat), Kim also likes to branch out occasionally. He “dabbles” in helicopters, foamies, sport and pattern and competes in Advanced C\L stunt, too.
Accomplishments: Member 2011 Jet World Masters team USA. 4-time member USA FAI scale team

Scott Foster

Scott Foster
Temperance, Michigan
A modeler since: 1985
Primary interests in R/C:  Everything!  Jets, F3A pattern, 3D aerobatics (airplanes and heli’s), DLG’s, nitro, kero, electric, indoors or outside.
Accomplishments: 2005 ETOC, 1st place, 2005 EX Games, 4th.  2000, 2001 team leader and pilot for Miami University’s AIAA/Cessna/ONR design, build, and fly team.  Currently on ‘leave’ for medical training.
Other notes of interest:  Listed above me in the team directory is my old man.  Model aviation has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I owe my passion, curiosity, and ability to him and the countless hours of building, repairing, teaching and of course many gallons of fuel throughout my youth.  There are a few family team’s here in the directory and I am proud to join pop’s in the ranking. 

Rusty Fried

Rusty Fried
I have been flying model aircraft since the early 50’s. I flew in my first Nats at or about 1960. In my youth I flew U-Control and Free flight. As a Junior and Senior I won or placed in Stunt and Navy Carrier In many Nats. I started flying Radio Control about 1964 with single channel. As equipment advanced I stayed with it all the way to today. I starting flying Pattern about 1970, I still fly pattern at local and some regional events.  I started flying IMAC about 1994, we had so many engine problems with the early engines I stopped flying IMAC until 2004. I now fly more IMAC than Pattern.   I have been involved in club affairs since 1979. I have been Pasted NSRCA District Vice President and am now serving as IMAC South West Regional Director. I have been a Futaba sponsored pilot since 1989.

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Kevin Garland

Kevin Garland
Yuma, Arizona
Modeler Since: 1996
Primary Interest: Giant Scale Aircraft
My name is Kevin Garland and I am from Griffin, GA. I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL where I attained a bachelors degree in Aeronautics with a minor in Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aerial Systems. I also hold a Commercial Pilots License. For work I am a Research and Development Unmanned Aircraft Pilot for Latitude Engineering. As for R/C flying I enjoy competing in IMAC in the Unlimited Class and also enjoy the next big part of the hobby which is FPV flying. I would not be where I am today without my Granddad, which is who got me started in this hobby in 1996.

Kelly Gerber

Kelly Gerber
Ocala, Florida
Occupation: Corporate Pilot
My primary interests in RC are precision and freestyle giant scale aerobatics with more of a focus on precision. I've been flying model airplanes since I was 8 years old. I've been competing on the IMAC circuit since 2003 as well as XFC's in 2005, 2006, and 2008. This hobby is a huge part of my life and played a large part in what ended up being my career. Some things I've been lucky enough to accomplish are 2004 Advanced IMAC Southeast Regional Champion, 2nd place 2004 Advanced IMAC National's, 3rd place 2005 XFC, 4th place 2006 XFC, 3rd place 2008 XFC. I'm currently competing in the Unlimited Class in the great Southeast IMAC region.

Steve Gershick

Steve Gershick
Encino, California
I’ve been flying RC for 20+ years, fixed wing, and IMAC through mid 2010. Since then I’ve been flying only Heli’s, both nitro and electric. Love my nitro!

Chris Gini

Chris Gini
Tooele, Utah
Flying Radio Control Airplanes since 1996
Flying competition Precision Aerobatics since 2001
Flying RC aerobatic Helicopters 700 size class since 2008
Competed in 5 Futaba Extreme flight championships 2008 13th, 2009 14th, 2011 3rd in racing, 2012 15th, 2013 12th
Greatplanes E-fest Indoor pattern contest competitor 2007 7th, 2008 7th, 2009 8th, 2010 6th, 2011 4th, 2012 3rd, 2013 7th
2011, 2012 Imac Regionals, 2nd Place unlimited
Waukesha Pattern Contest 2014 3rd Place Masters, 2015 1st FAI
Mesa Arizona Pattern contest 2015 2nd Place Masters
AMA Pattern Nationals 2015 2nd Place Masters


Ryan Gonsoulin

Ryan Gonsoulin
New Iberia, Louisiana
A modeler since: 1991
Primary interests in R/C: scale aerobatics (IMAC)
Accomplishments:
-  5-time US Scale Aerobatics National podium finisher
-  5-time Tucson Shootout podium finisher
-  5-time South Central Regional Champion
-  2007 Advanced US Scale Aerobatics National Champion
-  2007 Advanced Tucson Shootout Champion
-  2-Time Clover Creek podium finisher in Unlimited.
Other notes of interest: He first flew at the age of 12.  He has flown everything including 2M gliders, 1/2A pylon, sport, glow, gas, etc. As of late he has started flying F3K (hand launch gliders).   He also has designed Ryan’s Rebel (RCM, December 2002) and Dalton Aviation’s Yak 54, 38.5%.

Tony Gorgone

Tony Gorgone
Engineering Manager
A modeler since: 2001
Primary interests: Giants Scale Aerobatics and IMAC
Accomplishments: 2014 IMAC Intermediate Class World Champion
I have been flying RC aircraft for over 15 years. I have been interested in aircraft since I was a small child, growing up around Naval Aviation. I began flying in 2001, shortly after graduating from Virginia Tech with degrees in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering. I started out with a Hobbistar 60 and a Futaba 6XAS transmitter and quickly moved onto aerobatic aircraft. I have been working as an instructor at my local club since 2002 and have been competing in IMAC for the past 10 or so years. I enjoy competing and seeing all my friends at contests up and down the east coast. I plan to try my hand at some pattern contests and even attend some warbird events in the future.

Mike Goza

Mike Goza
Houston, Texas
Primary interest: Helicopters
I've been flying RC aircraft for over 43 years and 37 of those years have been with Futaba equipment. I started flying RC planes at age 12 and quickly got into pattern competition. Right after college I got into helicopters with a Schluter Miniboy with no gyro and mechanical mixing. I was hooked and never looked back. I've been flying F3C competitions for the better part of 20 years and was the team manager for the World Championships in 2005 (Spain) and 2009 (USA) where the team took second and first places. I was also a columnist for Model Helicopter Technique for several years. During my modelling career, I have always tried to buy the best equipment I could afford. Futaba has been my radio of choice. So if you are in the market for a new radio, be it the "lowly" 6 channel up to the powerhouse 18MZ, you won't go wrong with Futaba and it will serve you for many years to come.

Paul Griffin

Paul Griffin
Riverton, Wyoming
A modeler since: 1973
Primary Interests in R/C: Helicopters & Airplanes
It’s only natural that Paul grew up loving aviation.  He spent his childhood watching his grandfather, father, uncle and Bill Carpenter (C&H Ignitions) fly R/C airplanes.  Despite being introduced to model airplanes at a young age, it wasn’t until Paul became a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in 1982 that he acquired his own R/C helicopter.  Paul continues to honor his love for the sport by helping and teaching others to fly.  For over 32 years Paul has remained passionate about flying and looks forward to assisting the R/C community as a Team Futaba member.

R. J. Gritter

R. J. Gritter
RJ is a 12-year R/C veteran who flies everything from electric foamies to giant-scale aerobats to jets. A recent graduate in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University, RJ works at Aurora Flight Sciences in Manassas, Virginia. He in March 2015, he competed in the second FAI F3P World Championships with teammates Devin McGrath and Ryan Clark. He is the reigning champion of the Electric Tournament of Champions, having competed in it for 7 years and has flown in the Futaba XFC 6 times. When not flying R/C, RJ enjoys designing and building new R/C models and flying full-scale airplanes.

Will Gross

Will Gross
Alberta, Canada
Primary Interests: F3A Precision Aerobatics
I work in the telecommunications industry as an RF Designer Engineer. My passion is flying F3A precision aerobatics. My flying interests are primarily Pattern but I really enjoy Giant scale freestyle 3D, indoors flying etc. I really enjoy helping others in this great hobby, my wife is my number supporter and my two kids are the best pit crew on the planet!

Accomplishments: 4th place at the Canadian Nationals and Team Trials in FAI, 1st alternate pilot for the Canadian F3A Team that will represent Canada at the F3A World Championships in Switzerland 2015, 1st Place  Precision Aerobatics at the Canadian Nationals in Advanced 2012, 1st Place Masters in the F3A Western Canadian Pattern Championship,1st & 3rd  Place in FAI in the Western Canadian Pattern Championships in Alberta Canada 2013 & 2014.

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Ryan Haldenwanger

Ryan Haldenwanger
Littleton, Colorado
A modeler since: 1986
Primary interest: Warbirds and Scale Jets
I purchased my first RC plane in 1985 when I was 15 yrs old with money earned from my first job. It came with a 4CH Futaba radio and I've never had a reason to switch. My primary interest is in Scale WWII fighters and Vintage Era 1950's and 60's Classic jets, but fly everything from Cubs to Extra 300's, to F‑16's. I am a regular competitor at Top Gun and a commercial airline pilot "on the side".

Greg Hahn

Greg Hahn
New Castle, Indiana
I have been in RC since 1975, and a Scale competitor since 1994.
“Mr. Top Gun” - 2005
4 time - Top Gun Expert Class Champion
2 time - US Scale Masters Grand Champion
3 time - US Nationals Scale Champion
9 time - NASA Flight Achievement Award Winner
7 time - Toledo Show Military Champion
1999 - Toledo Show "Best of Show"

Jerry Hailey

Jerry Hailey
Lexington, North Carolina
Flying RC Airplanes since 1983
Currently flying Giant Scale Aerobatics
IMAC Education Committee Chairman
IMAC Sequence Committee Member
IMAC World Championship Judge
IMAC National Championship Judge
IMAC Advanced Class Competitor
SE Assistant Regional Director
AMA Contest Director

Devin Hammond

Devin Hammond
I am 19 years old. I attend North West Shoals Community College and am pursuing a machine tool degree. I flew FAI Class 1 last year, and won the Music City helicopter championship and placed second at the FAI Nats.

Anson Hargrove

Anson Hargrove
Lubbock, Texas
Primary Interest:: RC Helicopters - 3D, Jets, Giant Scale Aerobatics I have been flying RC for over 27 years. I live in Lubbock, Texas and I own my own business - Commercial Painting. I have competed in competitions from the Nationals to IMAC from Coast to Coast, and enjoy all the aspects of this hobby! I'm currently flying for Futaba and HeliDirect.

Mike Harrison

Mike Harrison
My father is still an avid modeler (88 years young) and I have followed in his footsteps from an early age. I have been flying pattern since 1978. I have been a finalist in F3A numerous times. I have designed numerous pattern planes--Obsession, Oddessy, Rhapsody, Symphony I and Symphony II, Harmony I and Harmony II. I have worked with some of the companies to improve some of the products and I have been a Team Futaba member for many years.

Chris Hass

Chris Hass
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Age 22
Started Flying: 1996
Occupation: Lead UAS developer at Michigan Aerospace
R/C Interests: Freestyle, IMAC, Pattern, Soaring
This will be my 19th year flying R/C, I have flown every type and style of aircraft other than turbine powered aircraft. I have competed in many different local and national championships as well as XFC and ETOC. I have to thank my Dad for helping me get here and look forward to representing Futaba!

Larry Hazbun

Larry Hazbun
Davie, Florida
Since the age of 14, I have been flying model airplanes and helicopters giving me over 25 years of experience in the hobby. Having worked at many hobby shops since my days in high school, that exposed me to the ability to build hundreds of model airplanes and helicopters as well as instruct countless individuals. Beginning during my college days, I got heavily involved in flying competition with a focus on F3C. That led me to be able to meet many lifelong friends in the hobby as well as achieve numerous wins in both helicopter and airplane events. The exposure of competition allowed me to also get involved in the design of mechanical components for helicopter and airplane companies from rotor heads for helicopters to model turbine engines. Additionally, I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world and compete internationally in Germany, Austria, and the UK. I have also authored many articles and product reviews for heli magazines.

When not flying, I work for one of the largest medical companies in the world leading and managing a team of mechanical engineers designing robotic equipment for surgical applications. Additionally, if not at the model flying field or at work, you can find me at a local general aviation airport flying all sorts of single engine planes holding an instrument rating allowing me to visit new places. Being a proud father of 2, I also now enjoy passing on my modeling experience to my son.

Needless to say, I love all things that fly and couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend with beautiful weather than to go out and fly a model helicopter or plane.

Bryan Hebert

Bryan Hebert
I started flying models at a very early age I have been devoted to the hobby ever since.  I have been involved in Pattern flying and designing pattern airplanes for over 20 years. I have 18 designs and have kitted 15 of these in wood and Glass by top companies like CARF and Oxai. I currently have three designs in production. I am involved with the US F3A team and have been to 3 world championships as a caller, coach and team manager. I do enjoy other aspects of the hobby but precision aerobatics is where most of my efforts are concentrated.

Bill Hempel

Bill Hempel
Tucson, Arizona
A modeler since: 1979
Primary interests in R/C: Giant Scale/IMAC
Accomplishments: 4 time US National IMAC Unlimited Champion, 4 time TOC Competitor, 1 time - USARA Unlimited National Champion.
Other notes of interest: I love all aspects of RC flight, I enjoy flying R/C helicopters and electric planes during off competition times of the year. Also enjoy having/flying BIG RC 50%+ planes that are a ton to fly!! GO FUTABA!

Cliff Hiatt

Cliff Hiatt
Modeler since 1964
R/C modeler since 1970
R/C competition since 1974, R/C helicopters since 1982
Futaba team pilot since 1985
I am currently employed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando. My experience with R/C helicopters led to securing a job in the aerospace industry in 1983.  I have been married since 1981 and have a son 30 yrs. old and daughter 25 yrs. old.
My modeling career began with control line models in 1964 and transitioned to fixed wing R/C in 1970.  My first radio system was a single stick ‘RCM Classic’ that I built from scratch with my father’s help.  My interest immediately was captured by ‘pattern’ competition and I entered my first contest in 1974. My pattern competition record includes 1st place Advanced Class at the 1978 NATS, 1st place Expert Class at 1979 NATS and placed 6th at 1981 F3A ‘Masters’ Team Selection contest.  I also enjoyed success in many regional contests between 1974 and 1981.
I became interested in flying R/C helicopters in 1982 and began competition flying soon after.  I placed 3rd in F3C class at 1983 NATS, 1st place in AMA Expert and F3C classes at 1984 NATS and 1st place F3C class in 1988 and 1990 NATS. I was also a member of the first US F3C team and placed 7th at the 1st F3C World Championships in 1985 in London, Ontario, Canada. In 1995, I won the F3C World Championships in Kasaoka, JAPAN.  Afterwards, I placed 5th at 1997 F3C World Championships in Ankara, TURKEY and 5th at the 2001 F3C World championships in Muncie, IN. I also served two stints as the US F3C Team Manager; in 1989 World Championships in Tidewater, VA., and the 2013 World Championships in Wloklawek, Poland. I’m proud to have my son Daniel following in my footsteps… and out-flying me regularly!
I have been a sponsored pilot or consultant for Futaba Corporation USA since 1985 and have been involved with new product development and testing since then. I also have served in the same capacity for several other R/C Helicopter and related equipment manufacturers.  I currently serve the AMA as the Contest Board Coordinator.

Daniel Hiatt

Daniel Hiatt
Huntsville, Alabama
Began flying R/C airplanes in 1997 and R/C helicopters in 2000; participated in his first R/C helicopter competition in 2005; was the 2006 AMA Class 3 National Champion. Began flying F3C competitions in 2008 and performed judges calibration flights at the 2009 F3C World Championships in Munice, IN. 5th place 2010 US NATS/US Team Trials; selected as alternate pilot for 2011 US F3C World Championship Team. 4th place 2012 US NATS/US Team Trials; selected as team pilot for 2013 US F3C World Championship Team. Team Futaba member since 2011.

Jeremy Hodak

Jeremy Hodak
Bourbonnais, Illinois
Modeler since 2008
Primary Interests: Helicopters
My love for aviation began as a teenager working at the local airport. I fueled many different airplanes and jets, but fueling a Blackhawk helicopter under power was by far the best experience. I started out by teaching myself how to fly R/C helicopter then switching to planes for a couple years. Helicopters always offered the greatest challenge but also the most satisfaction. Attending events is enjoyable, but more than anything, watching and helping people is the primary attraction for me. I'm honored to be on Team Futaba and can't wait for what the future holds.

Shawn Hovel

Shawn Hovel
Marshalltown, Iowa
I started flying R/C airplanes in 1997 and helicopters in 2000. Through the years I've had the opportunity to help teach many people how to fly these great models, and have made some great friends in the process. I am a current member of Team Thunder Tiger, and it's an honor to be able to fly and promote such a great product: FUTABA.

Chip Hyde

Chip Hyde
Tucson, Arizona
A modeler since: 1977
Primary interests in R/C: F3A
Accomplishments: 2 Time World Champion (F3A 1991, F3D 1999) 3 Time TOC Champion 90, 92, 2002) 3 Time Vice TOC Champion (88, 99, 2000) 1992 TOC Freestyle Champion, 13 time US National Champion (9 Pattern, 1 Racing, 1 Helicopter, 1 Imac) 6 Time US F3A Vice National Champion,  XFC Champion 2002, World Air Games Champion (Dubai 2005) 9 time US F3A World Team Member, 4 Time US F3D World Team Member, 7 Time NMPRA National Record Holder (Q-500, Q-40)  2 Time Championship Race winner Q-40

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AJ Jaffe

AJ Jaffe
Westland, Michigan
Modeler Since: 1998
Primary Interest: Helicopters
I have been flying helicopters since I was 10 but I have been around them most of my life, attending numerous IRCHA Jamboree's with my father and accompanying him to the field.  I have flown several IRCHA demo flights, including noon time demos.  I have flown Futaba transmitters since the beginning, and I am honored to be a part of the team!



Andrew Jesky

Andrew Jesky
Tooele, Utah
4-time US F3A Nationals Champion
5-time US F3A World Team Member (2007-2015)
3-time US F3A World Team Captain

Zak Johns

Zak Johns
Zak hails from Virginia Beach, VA, and at fourteen already has nine years of R/C flying experience under his belt. For the past three years, he’s devoted his time and efforts to mastering 3D helis.

Mark Jorgenson

Mark Jorgenson
Hebron, Kentucky
A modeler since: 1993
Occupation: IT Manger at The Christ Hospital.
Primary Interests in R/C: Scale Aerobatics, Giant Scale
Accomplishments:
Former IMAC Regional Director and President
Multi‑year Scale Aeroabatics Nationals Event Director
2002 Tournament of Champions Judge
Multi‑year Tucson Shootout Judge
Multi‑year Don Lowe Masters Judge and Sequence Designer
Multi‑year XFC Judge and Score Keeper
Multi‑year Scale Aerobatics Nat's Judge
Multi‑year Clover Creek Invitational Judge
Multi‑year ETOC Judge and Scorekeeper
Caller for 1999 Don Lowe Masters Champion ‑ Frank Noll Jr.


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Matthew Kimbrow

Matthew Kimbrow
Visalia, CA
Primary Interest:  F3A Pattern
Accomplishments: 
2007 D7 Pattern Intermediate Champion, 
2010, 2011, 2012 D7 Patten FAI-F3A District Champion
NATS Finalists in FAI 2010, 2012, 2013. Best finish 5th in 2013

Michael Klein

Michael Klein
Cleveland, Ohio
I live with my 7-year old daughter, Rio Grace, and I am a partner with a local CPA firm with a staff of 60.  I started competing in R/C Pattern in 1982 (at the age of 17) and have had a love for the sport ever since.  My first trip to the U.S. Nationals in 1983 resulted in a second place finish in the Sportsman category.  I was hooked.  I won the 1984 Canadian Nationals in the Advanced class, then moved to FAI.  This was at the same time as the new “turnaround” patterns were being implemented.  Over my years competing in F3A, I made numerous appearances at the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Team trials.  I was invited to compete at the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas on three occasions (1992, 1994, and 1996).  After an 11 year break from flying, I returned in 2009 and made the first of three consecutive trips to the F3A finals at the U.S. Nationals.  My latest involvement in the hobby has been primarily racing giant scale at USRA events and flying heli.  I am very proud and honored to have had a very long standing relationship with Team Futaba.  I’ve been in the hobby many years, and there is truly no better equipment on the market!

Matthew Kloss

Matthew Kloss
Bradford, Pennsylvania
Born: 1989
Occupation: Rig Hand
Modeler since: 1999
Private Pilot Since 2011
Primary Interests: 3D helicopters, 3D airplanes, and all forms of unpowered flight, including aero-towing.
As an aviation enthusiast I enjoy all forms of aero modeling and full scale aviation. I attend a wide variety of events every year from aero-tow gliding to helicopter and airplane events. When not attending R/C events, I enjoy full scale aviation, and fishing.

Kurt Koelling

Kurt Koelling
Powell, Ohio
Kurt started flying R/C airplanes in 1999 and has always flown with Futaba radios!   He competes in IMAC Scale Aerobatics, Precision Aerobatics, Indoor Electrics, Freestyle/3D, and Pylon Racing.
Accomplishments: 
IMAC Unlimited World Champion and U.S. Team Captain (2014)
Seven time U.S. Scale Aerobatics Unlimited National Champion (2007, 2010-15)
Seven time U.S. Nats IMAC Bennett Cup Champion (2007, 2010-15)
Canadian Scale Aerobatics Unlimited National Champion (2007)
U.S. Scale Aerobatics Sportsman National Champion (2001)
15 time IMAC Scale Aerobatics National Championship finalist (2001-15)
7 time Tucson Shootout Invitational class finalist (2005, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 15)
3 time Clover Creek Invitational finalist (2008, 10, 12)
3 time Don Lowe Masters World Aerobatics Championship competitor
XFC Extreme Flight Championships competitor
First place in over 150 IMAC competitions.
Other notes of interest:  Kurt serves as a member of the AMA Scale Aerobatics Contest Board, IMAC International Sequence Committee, and IMAC judging instructor.  At the field he loves to help others setup planes and teach them how to fly aerobatics.  He is employed as a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Ohio State University.

Derek Koopowitz

Derek Koopowitz
Californian Derek Koopowitz notes that he's been an airplane guy since he was 7, but admits to a brief "fling" with gas-powered R/C cars back in 1974.
He returned to flying a decade later and began competing in pattern events in 1996. A long-time member of IMAC and NSRCA (Pattern), he currently competes in the F3A Class and supports flying and flying events in several capacities. He was the 2007-2010 President (and a former Treasurer) of the NRSCA, helped organize the 2011 F3A World Championship in Muncie and serves as a representative of the AMA District X R/C Aerobatics Contest Board and as the USA F3A representative to the FAI-CIAM.  He judged at the F3P and F3A World Championships in 2015.
When he's not busy flying, leading or keeping score, Derek goes to his day job: Audit Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Al Kretz

Al Kretz
I started flying in scale competition back in the late seventies and I was hooked! I decided I wanted to build my own planes because it gives me such great satisfaction. I have designed several models and have flown them in designer class. I have been on the US Scale team that went to the World Championships in 1998, 2004, and 2008. What a thrill that was, knowing you were representing the United States! I came in 3rd at Top Gun with my Spitfire once and came in 2nd at the NATS several times. I have either won or placed in the upper 3 at numerous scale events and have received four pilot's choice awards. I had the honor to receive Futaba Team status in 2005.

Ivan Kristensen

Ivan Kristensen
Occupation: Corporate Pilot, retired.
A modeler since 1963, Lives in Guelph Onatrio Canada with his wife Dianne of 45 years.
In the past Ivan's main focus has been F3A pattern competition, his first World Championship was in Doylestown PA in 1971 as a member of the Canadian team. He remained a Canadian F3A team member for almost 30 years with that last one being in Pensacola Fl. in 1999

Ivan also competed in all TOC's in Las Vegas (with one exception) from 1974 to 2000. He hold national championship titles in Canada (15), USA (4), Australia (1), South Africa (1) and the winner of numerous local and International competitions in both F3A and IMAC.

Today Ivan is concentrating on building and flying IMAC type airplanes and active competes in 4-6 contests per year in both Canada and the USA. Since his retirement several years ago he is spending his winters in central Florida. Having recently obtained his AMA CD license he is now organizing and CD'ing the Ocala IMAC contest.

Justin Kraft

Justin Kraft
Raleigh, North Carolina
A modeler since: 1985
Primary Interest: Helicopters
I started with my first RC car when I was ten years old and have loved the building and hobby aspect ever since. For the last ten years I have focused on RC helicopters and enjoy the constant challenge of the discipline. I enjoy traveling to events around the country with my family and meeting new people in the hobby. Outside of the hobby I am an engineer and like motorcycles, bicycles, and motorsports events. Over the years Futaba has been my trusted radio for all my hobby needs!

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Adam Landefeld

Adam Landefeld
Lehi, Utah
Adam has been an avid RC pilot and RC car racer for over 25 years and has been using Futaba for all of them. For the last 15 + years his RC activities have focused mainly on helicopters. Traveling all over the US, to many events per year, he loves being a representative who helps bring people to the hobby. Adam is a thrilling 3D pilot and credits his success largely to having great control equipment. It is not unusual to see him in the pits helping a new pilot get his first helicopter setup for flying or helping a very seasoned pilot take the next steps in a progression. He insists that it is possible for everyone to have a great experience with RC and is always willing to make sure that happens. If you happen to be at a fun fly in the western US this year there is a good chance you’ll see Adam there, please say hi!

Dan Landis

Dan Landis
Dan Landis is both an R/C and full-scale pilot.  He has been flying both for more than 20 years and he is a third generation R/C pilot and 2nd generation full-scale pilot.  He has taken his devotion of both to higher levels than both his dad and grandfather ever did.  He is devoted to all types of R/C flying but his true love is pattern.  As far as full-scale aviation goes, he is a certified flight instructor with many hours in all types of aircraft including seaplanes.  Dan has taken his aviation background and turned it into another interesting career as a UAV pilot.  When Dan is stateside he spends a great deal of his time performing flight demonstrations and giving lectures to many organizations including cub scouts and high school technology classes.  Dan has not forgotten his beginning in the R/C hobby as he also makes time to spend time with his father, grandfather and other pilots at their local flying field.

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Bill Malvey

Bill Malvey
Ladera Ranch, California
Born: 1955
Occupation: Geologist - Hazardous Waste/Contamination  Consultant
A modeler since: 1967
Primary interests in R/C: Thermal duration soaring/F3J, pattern, and IMAC. Also fly some helicopters and dabble in gasoline & fast electric boat racing.
Accomplishments:
AMA Leader Member. AMA member since 1967.
Former AMA Associate Vice President (AVP) for AMA District X.
Awarded AMA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007. This is the second highest award given by the AMA in recognition of service to the AMA.
AMA District Service Award 2010.
Organized and ran the SCAT Series of aerobatic contests in the southwest US  from 2000 to 2005. Ran 48 contests with an average attendance of 45 pilots  in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Chairman of the IMAC Rules and Standards Committee from 2004 to 2006. Also participated on the IMAC sequence committee.
Worked for Pro Line radios in the late 70’s.

Wayne Mann

Wayne Mann
I have been flying R/C for over 35 years. I flew pattern airplanes in the mid 80s and starting competing with helicopters in 1986. I have been a Futaba sponsored pilot for over twenty years and in that time I have managed to win over 50 F3C helicopter contests throughout the US. I have been a US F3C Team Member for the last twenty years and I have helped the US to win 5 World Championship Team Titles. I am also a Team Thunder Tiger pilot flying the new Raptor G4 e720 along with Flight Power Batteries.

George Manning Jr.

George Manning Jr.
A modeler since: 1969
Occupation: Elevator Service Technician
Primary interests in R/C: Jets both scale and sport, Helicopters, Slope Gliders, Aerobatics, FPV both multi rotor and planes.
Accomplishments: NSRCA district 7 champion several times beginning with Advanced pattern and going through Expert, Masters and F3A. Former NSRCA national Masters class Champion. Several time National and US team selection finalist in F3A. Former TOC Competitor. Numerous awards at the AMA convention in the static model display competition.
Other notes of interest: I miss the old style of pattern we once flew and find that flying jets at several events a year allows me to fill the void for that fast, long and smooth style of flying I once competed in. Quite often you will find me at a jet even working with the Global Jet Club helping to promote that end of the hobby as best I can. I am originally from Cleveland Ohio area and have been living in Southern California for the past 33 yrs. Although I have flown most types of radio equipment that has been available to the modeling community over the past 46 years I have chosen to own and fly Futaba equipment since the early 70's.
By the way I will drive or fly anything that has a radio in it.

John Markham

John Markham
Pataskala, Ohio
I'm a second generation modeler getting my love of the sport from my father George Markham. My interest in flying began as my Dads' buddy at the flying field, carrying his planes or climbing into trees to retrieve a lost plane. I also had the job of cleaning fuel off of the planes after flight. In 1972 we joined the FORKS Club where I was no longer just Dads helper; I found myself participating more in the sport and was involved in pattern flying, then came the years of giant airplanes to scale. In 1976 I noticed helicopters and that's when I became a true enthusiast of the RC Sport. I competed in FAI F3C in the late 80's through the 90's in Helis, sport and scale contest flying. After a hiatus from the sport to raise my three children I'm now actively flying Helis since 2010, flying sport and helping the newer club members of Tailspinners as their lead Heli pilot. I also enjoy flying quads and FPV.

Mitch Marozas

Mitch Marozas
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation:  7th Grade Student
A modeler since: 2004
Primary interests in R/C:  3D Helicopters and Airplanes
Accomplishments:
2010 World Micro and Mini Heli Cup - 1st place
2010 I-Hobby Airplane Cup - 3rd place
2010 XFC - 13th place
2010 Electric Flight Expo - 1st place
2009 World Micro and Mini Heli Cup - 3rd place
2009 Electric Flight Expo - 3rd place
Other notes of interest: Mitch enjoys playing basketball and football for his grammar school team and likes working with computers. 

Jim Martin

Jim Martin
“I enjoy all types of flying,” says Jim, “whether it’s free flight, control-line, R/C or full-scale. In fact, my interest in model aviation helped start my career in full- scale aviation.” Jim, a pilot, mechanic and a Maintenance Safety Inspector for the FAA, took up R/C in the late ‘60s. He competed in scale and pattern events during the late ‘70s, but his interests have broadened considerably since then. Current activities include serving as an Associate VP for AMA District III and as a judge at NATS, Scale Masters & Top Gun events in R/C Scale. He’s also training to be an FAI rep for the USA in R/C scale and performs with the Buckeye Aero Squadron, an AMA show team in Dayton, OH. And in his spare time? Jim gives a typical Team response: “I enjoy helping others build and fly.”

Don McClellan

Don McClellan
Number of years flying: 41
Number of years in IMAC competition: 15
Other hobbies & interests: electronics, camping, vintage cars, musician
R/C role model: my father Norm
49 yrs of age, married 24 yrs. partner of RM Auto Restoration for past 26 yrs. Other interests/hobbies: RVing, auto mechanics, musician, electronics tech, travel.
Member of Team Futaba since 2004
Flying many types- large scale aerobatic, large scale warbird, electric and nitro aerobatic helicopter, indoor electric a/c
Member of Chatham Aeronauts club executive and organization team for our events
CD of local events from pattern to scale to IMAC for many years
Started competitive flying in the late '70's with Pattern, then late in the '90's got into Scale Aerobatics. Currently compete in IMAC Unlimited class
3 time US TopGun scale competitor
Unlimited Team Canada IMAC member, placing 7th in the 2014 IMAC World Championships
Certified IMAC Judging Instructor
Have performed 3D/precision model airshow acts in Canadian full scale airshows
Have provided 3D flying demos for other flying clubs, shows and events

Russ McCutcheon

Russ McCutcheon
I started flying 1/2-A control line models when I was about 9 years old and moved to RC aircraft in about 1983. I have flown in IMAC contests thru ought the North West. In the mid 90s I bought a flight sim and a Kyosho Nexus 30 with the simple idea of expanding my flying abilities, little did I know that I would get hooked and soon I was mostly flying helis. From the beginning I have used Futaba radio gear and OS engines. I’m currently flying a Trex 700N and 600N both powered buy Futaba and OS.

Devin McGrath

Devin McGrath
Rochester, New York
I have been flying since 2003. I am currently attending school for Business and working as a manager at a local Ace Hardware my primary interests in the hobby include flying indoor and giant scale aerobatics, helicopters as well as scale and large Electrics. I have been flying in freestyle contests since 2005 I have flown in the ETOC and XFC many times as well as other contests both in the US and Canada. I really enjoy helping other people build setup and fly their models as well as designing my own.

Scott McHarg

Scott McHarg
College Station, Texas
Modeler since 1989
Primary Interests: F3A Precision Aerobatics
U.A.S. pilot for Texas A&M University with over 1400 flight hours.  Flew RQ-2 Pioneer U.A.V. as a civilian contractor / instructor to several branches of our military.  First documented pilot to fly an U.A.S. in public airspace with an ADS-B unit (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) onboard the aircraft in December 2014.  Private Pilot Certificate ASEL working on Instrument rating.
Accomplishments: 2nd Place 2011 Nationals Advanced | 2011 NSRCA District 6 Champion Advanced | 4th Place 2012 Nationals Advanced | Numerous wins in all classes through Masters in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, and California | Past NSRCA Secretary 2011-2014 | Current NSRCA Vice President
I’m very honored to be a part of this incredible team with these amazing people.  I love to help folks so if we’re ever somewhere together, look me up and I’ll do what it takes to help you out and show you why I chose Futaba back in 1989 and have stayed with them my entire career.

Laddy McMurry

Laddy McMurry
Midland, Texas
A modeler since: 1992
Primary interests in R/C: Helicopters, Cars and Planes
Other notes of interest: If health problems hadn't forced Laddy McMurry into retirement, he might still be building Indy car engines. Instead, he discovered helis 19 years ago and reports that "I'm still learning something new with every flight." A meeting with fellow heli (and race) fan Ted Schoonard led to a field rep's position for Miniature Aircraft. Similarly, a meeting with Steve Helms at IRCHA (and good words from Ted and Cliff Hiatt) resulted in a rep's position at Futaba and YS. "I'm very grateful for all who have helped me along the way," says Laddy, and he shows it by building helis for friends and helping newbies wherever he finds them.

Gordie Meade

Gordie Meade
I am a retired mathematics instructor at Florida State University. I have been flying model airplanes for over 55 years and RC for over 40 years. I have competed in RC pattern, pylon, scale, and soaring. I currently compete in FAI F3C helicopters and have been an alternate on the US World Team. Over the years I have made many friends in all parts of the country and attend about 15 events a year. If you see me at an event, feel free to stop me and say hello.

James Mineo

James Mineo
Duvall, Washington
Modeler since: 1980
Primary interests are 3D Helicopters & Giant Scale 3D Airplanes.
I got introduced to the world of RC when my dad brought home a Futaba radio and a Subaru Brat RC car. Needless to say, I was absolutely hooked and it led to the purchase and building of many more ground vehicles. To take the RC interests up a notch, in 1990 my dad took me out to the field with the goal of getting me on the buddy cord with one of his many RC airplanes. Thanks to the buddy cord sessions and RealFlight, it wasn't long before I was flying on my own. In 2008 I was introduced to the RC Helicopter world and have since established a fleet of Synergy helis. Between the cars, helicopters and the airplanes I am proud to say I have been a life-long Futaba user  and look forward to the many years to come! Go Futaba!!

Ben Minor

Ben Minor
A modeler since: 1987
I started flying radio controlled models in 1981 and began flying helicopters exclusively in 1986. For the better part of two decades I competed in AMA class helicopter aerobatics, winning several national championships. As overall interest in helicopter competition has waned over recent years, I have redirected my interest to freestyle helicopter aerobatics. Besides my activities on the flying field both locally and in attending regional and national fun fly events, I am also actively involved in Futaba technical support online, via product manual revision, and in working closely with the Hobby Services team to provide answers to more complex helicopter radio equipment questions. I take great pleasure in helping my fellow modelers in this regard.

Josh Moen

Josh Moen
Denver, Colorado
I started flying airplanes in 1986, and competed in a few local MN pattern contests. I switched to flying helicopters in 1999. I entered my first helicopter competition in 2001. I’ve flown for Robbe, YS, Hirobo and V Blades in the past. Currently, I fly for Synergy Helicopters, Rail Blades and Scorpion Power Systems. When I am not flying I am working as an entertainment lighting designer and video engineer. I also freelance as a video producer and DJ. I have been married for 9 years and have two daughters, 6 and 2.

Robert Montee

Robert Montee
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Modeling since 2008
Primary R/C Modeling Interests: Helicopters
Accomplishments:
2014 - AMA NATS - Helicopter - Sportsman 2nd place
2015 - AMA NATS - Helicopter - Sportsman National Champion
2016 - AMA NATS - Helicopter - Advanced National Champion
2016 - AMA NATS - Helicopter - F3N 4th place
I am an avid R/C helicopter pilot who enjoys learning and testing my skills in competition. If not practicing, you can usually find me helping others or just hanging out at the field. I attend events on the US East Coast and organize heli events at my home field in Fredericksburg Virginia. If you see me at your field, feel free to stop and say hello and fire a question my way.

Garrett Morrison

Garrett Morrison
Lodi, California
Garrett  is a career Firefighter and loves every aspect of his work. Garrett is very much an outdoorsman and loves to hunt, fish, camp, snowboard, be out on the water and pretty much anything else outdoors. He has been on Team Futaba since 2000 but has been flying Futaba for the past 18 years. His main focus in the hobby is Aerobatics. He has been to many places around the world competing in IMAC and Freestyle competitions as well as doing demonstrations at various events. When you run into him out at the field make sure to approach him with any of your Futaba needs.


Chris Mulcahy

Chris Mulcahy
I’ve been fascinated with aviation as far back as I can remember, and started flying R/C about fifteen years ago. I started out by teaching myself how to fly helicopters, and over the years I also jumped right into giant scale 3D airplanes. I fly all types of R/C aircraft, but helis will always remain my first love! I enjoy attending fly-ins and events, and more than anything I really enjoy watching and helping people progress in their own flying. I’m honored to be on Team Futaba, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for R/C!

Nob Muraki

Nob Muraki
Tampa, Florida
A modeler since: 1989
Primary interests in R/C: Helicopter and IMAC
Accomplishments: 1989 AMA Intermediate NATS Champion.
1995 F3C World Championships USA Team Manager and assisted Team and individual titles.
Other notes of interest: Been competing F3C since 1991.  Started IMAC competition from 2009 and staying busy.

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Jerry Neel

Gerald Neel
Troutman, North Carolina – USA 
I started flying control line in 1967
I flew my first RC flight in 1970
My interest include all types of model aircraft with RC Turbine Jets being my primary focus.
My passion is helping others and giving back to the hobby that I have enjoyed for over 45 years. 
Accomplishments include: 
2 time Tournament of Champions (TOC) Contestant (1998, 2000) 
6 time Don Lowe Masters Contestant 
Numerous Local IMAC Unlimited Class Wins                
I enjoy judging RC aerobatics.
 My judging experiences include: 
2011, 2012 Tucson Aerobatic Shootout 
2012 Clover Creek Invitational 
Numerous Local Pattern and IMAC contests 

Chris Nelle

Chris Nelle
Austin, Texas
Student
A Modeler since 2007
Primary interest:  Giant Scale 3D Airplanes
I enjoy attending fly-ins and events, being surrounded by my friends and meeting new ones.  Helping pilots, engaging with the spectators, and supporting the event gives me a lot of satisfaction.
During the school year I try to attend various science fairs; setting up flight simulators and sharing the joy of flight to the kids in attendance.
I am honored to be a member of “Team Futaba”.

Jason Neves

Jason Neves
Scottsdale, Arizona
Primary Interest: IMAC Scale Aerobatics, Scale Masters, and Pattern.
Was introduced to R/C modeling by my father Rob, in the summer of 1982 he taught me how to fly on a Goldberg Eagle 63" and I have been hooked ever since. I love R/C flying and will fly almost anything. I am currently competing in the Intermediate class in the SW Region of IMAC, and Intermediate Class in District 7 Pattern. I enjoy helping out at my local field and I am considered a very good caller in both IMAC and Pattern and often help the first time contestants. It's a real reward being part of this hobby and an honor to be a Team Futaba member.

Doug Nelle

Doug Nelle

Chad Northeast

Chad Northeast
Calgary, AB Canada
A modeler since: 1991
Primary interests in R/C: Precision Aerobatics, Electrics, 3D, EDF
Accomplishments:
6 time Canadian F3A World Championships Team Member
4 time F3A World Championships Semi-Finalist (best finish 16th)
6 time F3A Canadian National Champion
3 time F3A US Nationals Finalist
Other notes of interest: I have really enjoyed being involved with a lot of the baby steps of electric power that is being used in F3A, it has been very rewarding to be involved in the development of that aspect of the event. I have two boys that keep me really busy Thomas who is 1 year old, and Matthew who is 4 years, and somehow my wife Agnes manages to handle them while I am practicing!

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Brian O'Meara

Brian O'Meara
I entered my first model airplane contest when I was five years old, in 1953. Like many young boys in the 50's, I built and flew many U-Control planes. I built my first RC plane in 1967, forty years ago. My first radio was an Orbit. My next radio was a Kraft and had them build me a Kraft Signature Series in 1978. At that time I was flying pattern. I built my first scale war bird in 1976, a .60 size, Royal kit of a KI-61 Tony. I flew this plane in both scale meets and pattern meets. In 1980, I had qualified and flew in the first US Scale Masters in Los Angeles, CA. Along with my long standing attendance record, I have won the championship twice as a pilot. The first time was four years ago in Kansas City with a KI-61 Tony at the 2004 Championship, I also earned both the top single flight score and the top overall flight score. With the same plane at Top Gun 2004, I earned the top flight round. For the last 2 years, I have been flying a 101 inch Seafury. We earned fourth place last year at Top Gun along with "Runner Up Critics Choice" and "Most realistic Flight" award. I flew the plane all over the country over the last year and everywhere I have flown it, the plane has won many awards. In Phoenix 1/8th Air Force fly in, it won "People's Choice", Pilots Choice" and "Most realistic flight." In October 2006, I won the US Scale Masters for a third time. No one in the country has attended more US Scale Masters than my self. I am the event manager for Warbirds over the Rockies, and my planes have been featured on the cover of national R/C magazines 6 times over the years.

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Tanner Pacini

Tanner Pacini
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Team Futaba member since 2004
I began flying R/C in 1996 (age 5), and started racing competitively in 1997.   Since then, I have set national records in Q40 and Q500 which presently stand, as well as placed in various events throughout the years.   Although my primary focus is pylon racing, I enjoy flying 3D airplanes and helicopters to stay fresh on the sticks.  I am currently studying Aeronautical Science (fixed wing) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with a minor in Unmanned Systems.   I also have a private pilot license (ASEL), and aspirations to gain a career in the UAV industry. 


Mark Parker

Mark Parker
Grapevine, Texas
A modeler since: 1971
Primary interests in R/C: Pylon Racing, sport electric helicopter and 3D
Accomplishments: Has attended every AMA Nats (save one) since he began pylon racing in 1990 and achieved a 2nd Place in Q500 in 2005 and a National Championship in Quarter 40 in 2006.  Married to Sandy for 30 years.  Two daughters (Jennifer age 22 and Amy age 16).  Jennifer graduates college this year!  Pay raise!
Other notes of interest: enjoys the outdoors (deer hunting, pheasant hunting, turkey hunting, bass fishing, golfing and slow-pitch softball)

Roman Paryz

Roman Paryz

Darin Peirce

Darin Peirce
I live in Lehi, Utah with my wife and 3 kids.  I have been flying RC for 28 years.  My primary interest and passion is flying F3A pattern.  I love pattern models and the precision aspect of pattern flying and have traveled all over the country competing in local and national events as well as traveling to places outside the country with the U.S. F3A Team.
I have recently begun flying turbine powered jets and really enjoy the complexity and technical nature of these models and appreciate meeting many new modelers at the various jet events I have attended.
I have a deep passion for the hobby and love every aspect of it.  I appreciate the opportunities I have to help people progress and get more out of the hobby by sharing my knowledge and experience with them.  I consider it a great honor and privilege to be a member of Team Futaba.

Adam Picard

Adam Picard
Kitchner, Ontario Canada
I grew up in Southwestern Ontario and was introduced to aviation at a very young age. When I was 3 years old my father took my car seat and strapped it into the rear seat of a Bellanca Scout and took me for a flight, from that point I was hooked on aviation.

I have been flying since 2003 as a member of the KW Flying Dutchmen, and I started competing in 2013. My primary interests is flying IMAC, as well as training new pilots so that they can enjoy the hobby too. When a student or pilot arrives at the flying field and is in need of help with a new plane, radio set-up, or needs a spotter I offer to help. When a guest comes out to see what we do at the field I offer to give them a tour and let them know how they can get started in the hobby and where it can take you.

Currently I fly 35% IMAC planes and I'm planning to start building some 40% kits in the near future, I currently work in the manufacturing industry as a shipper/receiver.

David Pinegar

David Pinegar
Ridgeland, South Carolina
A modeler since: 1975
Primary interests in R/C: Scale
Accomplishments: Winning Team Scale Pilot flying George Maiorana’s 4 engine electric scale models, Top Gun, AMA NATS. Past IMAC Competitor.
Other notes of interest: Enjoys helping others with technical issues.

Greg Poppel

Greg Poppel
A modeler since: 1971
Like many Team Futaba members, Greg is a multi-talented fan of, and contributor to, the world of R/C. In addition to being a co-announcer for the XFC, Scale Masters and IRCHA, Greg is also a builder and writer for numerous articles in R/C Universe and Fly R/C magazines. He goes for the extremes, dividing his time among IMAC events, giant-scale fly-ins and indoor electric flying.

Raiko R/C Kid Potter

Raiko "R/C Kid" Potter
Wilmer, Alabama
A modeler since: 1989
Primary interests in R/C: IMAC, Pattern, Helicopters, Jets
At 19, Raiko Potter was just getting introduced to the fun of R/C and flying. Today, at 47, he and his wife are the owners of "Raiko Dzigns" - A freelance building service for the RC industry specializing in building and customizing anything that flies. "I am an extremist builder," states Raiko, "along the lines of popular TV shows like Pimp My Ride and West Coast Choppers. I get to express the radical side of kit bashing and modification in building for myself and other nationally known pilots. Raiko Dzigns is my way of bringing together other extreme builders, so we can express our artistry through the models that we fly." In addition to flying pattern, IMAC , Helis and Jets throughout the years, Raiko also served as the assistant manager for Team USA during the '2007 and '2009 World Aerobatic Championships. He also has over 20+ years as a Composite Technician with some of the major commercial airline repair facilities along the gulf coast.

Josh Price

Josh Price
Rudy, Arkansas
Started with model aviation in 1992.
Professionally I am a Fire Fighter in Fort Smith Ar.
I am nterested in every aspect of model avaition and continue to enjoy Giant Scale, IMAC, 3D, F3K, Contol Line, Scale flight, and helicopters.
The thing I like the most about the hobby is helping others in the hobby and attending events as all over the country. If you see me at a event don't hesitate to stop me and say hello and if there is anything I can do to help just ask.
See you on the flight line!!

Justin Proud

Justin Proud
Streator, Illinois
I’m a Licensed Electrician and a modeler for about 20 years. My primary interests are 3D RC helicopters and airplanes. I have been around aviation all my life. My family owned an airport here in Streator, Illinois. My grandfather was a pilot and an airplane mechanic his entire life. I currently fly helicopters for Team Synergy. I am really thankful to be part of Team Futaba and be able to use their cutting edge products.

Dennis Purduski

Dennis Purduski
I started in R/C helis in 1994. Since that time I have competed in EVERY AMA Nationals except two.  I have won 3 national Championships in 2 different helicopter classes. I have ALWAYS used FUTABA R/C Systems and would not consider anything else! Prior to helicopters I have raced not only R/C cars but also 4-cylinder full size Midgets and was an avid go kart racer, while winning national points series in 1982.  Currently I am a Certified Flight Instructor and fly my own homebuilt airplane.  I hope to be the F3C Team manager for the upcoming heli world championships.


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Evan Quiros

Evan Quiros
Seguin, Texas
Occupation: A&P mechanic
A modeler since childhood and RC modeler since 1995
I started building plastic models as a kid and always dreamed of flying radio control but I wasn't financially able to accomplish this goal. I am a bona fide aviation nut having been stationed at over 12 different Air Force bases growing up. I've also always had a passion for war birds, mainly the WWII piston fighters. After I received my engineering degree, I went to aviation mechanic school and got my A&P license. I have been working on and building Experimental type aircraft for the last 14 years. I finally started my first scale model (Top Flight .60 corsair) as a static display to hang over my newborn son's crib. While building it, I awakened that old RC passion and decided to build it to fly. 50 some models later, I'm still building and flying all those classic war birds I loved as a kid and I still have that old corsair. I have built many giant scale war birds as well as Jets and have also received my LMA inspector's license. I especially enjoy flying my war birds with others in the scale building community at shows such as Bomber Field, Warbirds over Texas, Warbirds over Louisiana and Warbirds over the Rockies.

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Mark Radcliff

Mark Radcliff
St. Marys, West Virginia
A modeler since: 1962
Primary interests in R/C: Precision aerobatics, giant scale, vintage pattern, electric, fun scale.
Accomplishments: A 4 time member of the winning US F3A Team (75, 77, 79, 81), placed 3rd in Worlds (1979). Flew in 7 TOC’s (74,75,76,77,78,80,82). Judged 2 Don Lowe Masters and 4 XFC’s
Other notes of interest: Retired from competition in 1982 to pursue family and career opportunities. Started active flying again in 2001. Flying giant scale ,modern pattern, vintage pattern, and fun scale. In 2008  was asked to be an AMA Associate VP for AMA District III and in 2012  become the VP of AMA District III. I also am an active AMA CD. In 2014 I fulfilled a lifelong dream and obtained my private pilot’s license.  Model aviation has been very good to me my entire life and I hope I am good for model aviation by giving my time and talents to further advance the hobby.

Dan Rathbun

Dan Rathbun
Odessa, Texas
Modeler since 1984
Futaba Team member since 2002
Active in IMAC beginning in 2001
IMAC Past President and Board Member
IMAC Nats Unlimited Finalist 2005-2009
Multiple Tucson Shootout Unlimited Final finishes
Clover Creek Unlimited Champion 2010
Active in all facets of model aviation.
AMA Life member, CD, and Fixed/Rotary Turbine Waiver
AMA Scale Aerobatics Contest Board

Drew Robinson

Drew Robinson
Watertown, Connecticut
Primary Interest: Radio Controlled Helicopters
Occupation: Masonry/Construction Material Sales
I have been flying rc for roughly 5 years, for the past 3 years I have been traveling to events all over New England as well as IRCHA and OHB.  I really look forward to the events; I have acquired many friends all over the world.  Helping people while watching them progress is a very rewarding part of the hobby for me.  Although I prefer helicopters I enjoy flying planes, 3d quads and indoor 1/10 scale racing.  I am honored to be a part of team Futaba and look forward to meeting/seeing you at events!

Lyndel Roe

Lyndel Roe
Lyndel has been flying model airplanes for more than 20 years. His primary interests are IMAC and giant-scale 3-D.  He is a three-time IMAC Nationals finalist, four-time Tucson Aerobatic Shootout competitor, Clover Creek Invitational competitor, XFC competitor.  Lyndel also has numerous first-place finishes in regional IMAC and freestyle competitions.


Pete Rosas

Pete Rosas
"As a kid in the '70s, I flew control line with friends at our local park. We didn't have much of a budget back then, but we did have fun. And that's always been what R/C is all about for me: having fun! I feel we all fly for the same reasons: our love of R/C aviation and all that goes with it. Meeting people is a part of it. My home is in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but you can find me at flying events from South Dakota to Tennessee, Colorado to Ohio and everywhere in-between. And in the course of traveling those miles, I have made some life-long friends."

Another part is R/C's ability to let the modeler get away from everyday problems…a gift he regards as priceless. "As I've told friends, 'When that plane leaves the ground, they could be foreclosing on my house for all I care. I am there, in the moment, and totally focused on flying. And how often do you get the chance to do that legally? If you see me at an event, introduce yourself. I love to talk to people who love R/C aviation as much as I do. See you at the flying field!"

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Sangeeth Samuel

Sangeeth Samuel
Little Rock, Arkansas
Not long after taking up this wonderful RC hobby, I was introduced to a Futaba Radio by a local friend.  At once, I was immediately attracted to the high quality and functionality of this radio system.  I have been flying with a Futaba Radio ever since and have never looked back.  To this day it has never failed me. It wasn’t long after this that I realized this same quality in all the other Futaba products, and from the gyros to servos, these have been excellent products to use and support.

I fly Helicopters primarily in the 700-800 sizes, and enjoy attending various events across the USA every year.  I am proud to represent such a great line of products, and also support this product to the best of my ability. I enjoy programing radios and setting up and tuning the flybarless controllers. It has been a real treat to work with such great group of people in this hobby. I look forward to meeting folks at events and helping in any way I can, especially those that are getting started in this great hobby.

Manuel Santos

Manuel Santos
Primary R/C Interest: 3D
Accomplishments: 5 consecutive first-place finishes in Mexico's National Fun Fly Tournaments; 2003 IMAC National Free Style Champion (Mexico); 6-time Extreme Flight Championships competitor (2004, 2005 and 2007-2010, including an 8th place finish in 2010); 2-time ETOC Competitor, and; 2010 "Aeroworks Challenge" 50 cc class Champion at Futaba XFC.

Manuel has been an R/C pilot since age seven and an avid 3D competitor since 2002.

Rob Sarlan

Rob Sarlan
Cameron Park, California
I grew up in Florida and was introduced to model aviation by my father. We built and flew models together for many years. I started competing in IMAC in 1997 and really enjoy aerobatic competition. I have my private pilot’s license and live in a residential airpark in Northern California. It’s a great lifestyle to share with my family and raise my 2 sons in a community that is all about aviation. Most recently I’ve been exploring Multi Rotors and Aerial Video Projects.

IMAC Competitor Since 1998
IMAC Northeast Regional Director 2003-­‐2004
Unlimited Champion Northeast Region 2003
Unlimited Competitor Since 2000
2001 Don Lowe Masters World Aerobatic Championships
2002 Don Lowe Masters World Aerobatic Championships
2003 World Aerobatic Freestyle Championships – Lakeland, FL

Scale & Turbine Events
2007 Top Gun Invitational Scale Event
2008 Top Gun Invitational Scale Event
2008 Florida Jets Event

Guillaume Saucier

Guillaume Saucier
Woodstock, Ontario Canada

I grew up in Montreal Canada and since I can remember always wanted a remote control airplane! My first encounter was a fun fly outside Montreal that my dad and family stumbled upon during the winter of 85’ (still fresh in my mind) I was amazed!

We later moved to Toronto area and finally received my first airplane circa 91’ (Skyward 40 w/Futaba NBL4CH). Joined the Mississauga Model Flying Club in 1993/94. Flew actively as a “sport flyer” until the summer of 97’. That summer, a local club member &  mentor Bob Hudson first introduced me to IMAC – one day mid week, Bob comes to me and says “Guillaume, you’re coming with me this weekend to fly in a IMAC competition at the Oakville Model Flying Club”! What’s IMAC was my response?! I learned the Basic Sequence that week finished 1st place with my Great Planes Ultra Sport 40!

Bob and I really hit the IMAC competition circuit hard in the late 90’s, spending a lot of time travelling to events in the US (North Central Region) making great friends along the way!

Accomplishments include: Winning the US IMAC Nationals (Sportsman) in 98’, Canadian IMAC Nationals (Unlimited) in 1999/2008

Today I’m still an avid builder and fly mostly 40% IMAC airplanes and also enjoy fun fly’s, professionally I work as a mold process engineer in the automotive sector.

Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt
San Diego, CA
A modeler since: 1980
Gary’s been hooked on airplanes his whole life, and his late father, Jerry, taught him how to fly when he was eight. He was sixteen when a few guys in their club talked him into trying Q500 pylon racing, one of which was fellow Team Futaba member Jim Allen. Twenty six years later he and Jim are still teamed up and racing very competitively. Gary’s been a member of Team Futaba since 1995 and has won numerous major events in Q500 and Q40 pylon, as well as held national records in both classes. He was able to turn his hobby into a career and is currently the Director of Flight Operations of a UAV company in San Diego.

Helmut Schmitter

Helmut Schmitter
I grew up in Germany and became involved in RC when I was 10 years old.  I started with RC boats and cars.  We moved to Canada in the mid 70’s and in the late 70‘s, I started becoming involved with RC flight.   I now live in Oakville Ontario and I belong to several R/C clubs in the area.
I am primarily interested in competing in IMAC competitions, attending Giant Scale fly-ins and in winter concentrate on Indoor flying.
I competed and placed in R/C Pattern from 1987 to 1995, and was the Canadian team alternate in FAI F3A in 1995.  I started flying IMAC in 1993 and by the end of the 90’s was concentrating all my available flying time doing so.   In 2001 and 2003 I was fortunate to compete in the Tucson Shoot Out.
I have competed in many IMAC competitions over the years with many top 3 placements, and in 2008 placed first in the intermediate class at the Canadian IMAC NATIONALS.

Since then I have upgraded to the advanced class and am enjoying all the challenges that it brings. In 2014 I competed in the IMAC Worlds in Muncie.  In 2013 I competed in my first  ALES [Glider} event. Attending Giant Scale events and Fly-ins, like the Joe Nall, D.O.G.S and local events in Canada are a large part of what I also enjoy.  Over all it is an amazing hobby where you get to meet interesting people from all over the world while having a good time.

A.J. Seaholm

A.J. Seaholm
Rapid City, South Dakota
Primary R/C Interest: Pylon Racing
Accomplishments: 2009, 2010, 2013 Q-40 National Champion; 2009 and 2013 Overall Pylon National Champion; 2009 Florida Gold Cup Champion; 2002 RC Combat National Champion, and; 2003 R/C Combat National Champion
Offices Held: Model Aviation RC Pylon column author, AMA RC Pylon Contest Board District IX, Vice President, Kansas City Radio Control (KCRC) (2008) and President, KCRC - 2009.
I was raised in Billings, MT and taught to fly by my father, Earl Seaholm. I have many wonderful memories from pylon racing as kid in Montana. I'm fortunate now to be making new memories by going to races with my lovely wife, daughter and son.


Mike See

Mike See
Columbus, Ohio
Modeler since 1986
Primary interest is giant scale aircraft
I have been flying off and on since 1986. I have been flying giant scale models for 17 years. This interest also lead me to obtaining my Private Pilots License in 2002. I am a member and the president of the CORKS R/C club in central Ohio. I enjoy all aspects of the hobby and really enjoy getting out to all the events. I have introduced and helped many people learn to fly over the years. Meeting and helping people is what it is all about. If it flies I am interested. Everything from small electrics to turbine powered aircraft, I enjoy them all.
Current projects: Managing the building and flying of 8 aircraft for an upcoming movie.
I feel honored and privileged to be a part of Team Futaba. There is nothing better!

Tristan Seeley 

Tristan Seeley 
Tallahassee, Florida
Primary interests in R/C: Helicopters, Airplanes, F3C, 3D 
I have flown since my early teens and have a passion for both helicopters and airplanes.  In addition to flying and building, I enjoy teaching others and passing down my love for flying to future generations.  In addition to flying as a hobby, I also founded an aerial cinematography company in 2012, Aerial Promotions.

Dave Sellars

Dave Sellars
Tallahassee, Florida
A Modeler Since:  1985
Primary Interest: RC Helicopters
Accomplishments:  Successfully competed in local and regional helicopter contests and the US Nationals over the past 20 years; served as an FAI judge at the US Helicopter Nationals for the past 10 years; served as the Team Manager for the 2001 US F3C Team; selected to serve as a judge at the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 F3C World Championships.  I also serve on the F3C Team Selection Committee.
Other interests: I hold an Advanced Class “Ham” license with the call sign KB4JB.

Dwight Shilling

Dwight Shilling
West Chicago, Illinois
A modeler since: 1984
Primary interests in R/C: Helicopters
My introduction to r/c models was in 1983 and my first model was a helicopter. I have flown only helicopters since. In 1990 I entered my first competition and have flown in every Nationals since. In 1995 I earned my first US Team spot and have been either on the team as a pilot or alternate every time since except in 2013. My best finish was 5th place in the 1995 Worlds and since have had multiple top 10 finishes.

Jason Shulman

Jason Shulman
I love Pattern flying and have been National F3A champion in 2004, 07 and 08. I have made the US F3A World Team from 1999-2013, and have been in the top 7 in 6 of the 7 Worlds I’ve been to. I’ve also been an IMAC National champion, Tucson Shootout champion and Top Gun winner as well as winning numerous pattern contests and a few pylon contests over my career. I have been a Futaba team member since 1988 and have enjoyed the many advances in the hobby. When I’m not practicing for an event, I enjoy going to the field without a plane and helping others with their set-ups and helping them learn and improve their flying. I also fly UAV’s, gliders, jets, scale and pylon. I work at Shulman Aviation.

Carey Shurley

Carey Shurley
Lake Mary, Florida
A modeler since: 1976
Primary interests in R/C: Helicopter
Accomplishments: Judges panel at several US F3C Team Trials, Judges Panel at several XFC events. Member of Team Futaba for over 17 years.
I've been involved with R/C model helicopters since 1976. I've competed in local and national events and have had the opportunity to serve as a flight judge in several AMA Nationals, F3C Team Trials and several XFC Competitions. My passion is gas powered helicopters and I operate a number of media outlets for “Gas Powered Thoughts” as well as manufacture the Leviathan Design line of gas helicopter conversions. I’m also one of the founders of The Orlando Radio Control Helicopter Society and one of the founders of The Orlando Helicopter Blowout which is the largest private helicopter Fun Fly in the USA.

Jerry L. Smith

Jerry L. Smith
A modeler since: 1982
Primary Interests: competition; aircraft design
Accomplishments: 1997 Alaska State Champion; 9 NCFFA championships in 15 contests entered, and; set 9 records over the course of 21 events. Designer of the Smith Super Special Fun Fly, Outlaw Delta and Jerry's Big Boy (a high-wing sport plane).
Offices/Organizations: Member, NCFFA (National Competition Fun Fly Association)

Dino Spadacini

Dino Spadacini
I’ve been modeling for 25 years in various segments of our hobby.
I’ve been Team Captain for Align Helicopters since 2010
I finished 20th overall in 424 Pylon in 2013
I finished in the TOP 20 in National points in 426 PYLON in 2013/2012
I also provide online support in forums for Futaba product and assist local pilots


Archie Stafford

Archie Stafford
Lexington Park, Maryland
A modeler since: 1982
Primary interests in R/C: Pattern, IMAC, Pylon, Helicopters
Accomplishments: 4 time top 5 finisher at the US Nats.  2 – 2nd place finishes.  Over 70 local contest wings.  2009 NSRCA District 6 Masters Champion
Other notes of interest: I started going to the field as soon as I could walk with my father Wes.  I soloed the first time with an Ace Alpha at 5 and have been hooked every since.  I began flying pattern in the mid 90's and really became serious with competing around 2000.  Since them I try to hit 6-8 pattern contests per year and have competed in the NATS each summer, with multiple top 5 finishes.  I also compete flying IMAC, and Pylon, and enjoy flying about anything I can get my hands on. I have worked in the UAV industry for the past 6 years, both stateside, and deployed, and am qualified as an instructor on several platforms.  I currently work as a test engineer helping to develop the next generation of Unmanned Systems for the US Navy. 

Jim Stark

Jim Stark
La Grange, Illinois
A modeler since: 1991
Since age 10, Jim has been involved in all forms of RC, but has spent the past 15 yrs primarily flying helicopter, honing his freestyle flying skills. In addition to pushing his own limits of flying, he also enjoys working with young and new pilots. In 2003 Jim was given the opportunity to compete in the XFC, placing 5th in 2003 and 2004. Jim is also contantly working with manufacturers in new product testing and development. Since 2006, Jim has also designed and produced his own line of performance parts through Hyperformance RC, located in the Chicago, IL. Experiencing modeling from the sport, competition and business sides has given Jim a very unique perspective. Jim has a true passion for all types of modeling and considers himself very fortunate to have started at a young age.

Joe Steklachick

Joe Steklachick
A modeler since: 1976
Primary interests in R/C: Giant Scale/ 3D
Primary interests in R/C: I am an avaition nut. I was always building plastic models while growing up. I got introduced to RC flying at the age of 11 when visiting my brother at the Air Force base he was stationed at in 1969. I was hooked the minute I saw the Cessna 150 model take off. I was finally able to build and fly my first trainer in 1976, and I have not strayed from flying RC since. I enjoy building my new planes through the cold winters here in Pa. Throughout these many years in RC, these planes have varied, but most have steadily gotten bigger. I competed in Pattern Flying Competitions from 1980-1984 with success at many events. I also competed in many fun-fly type events in my early years. Presently, I fly 40% and 55% planes. Throughout all my years of flying, I have enjoyed instructing and passing on info with new modelers and helping them enjoy this great hobby safely. I always look forward to meeting new modelers by traveling to many events every year. I plan on enjoying this hobby for many years to come.

Chris Stephenson

Chris Stephenson
Las Vegas, Nevada
A modeler since: 1977
Primary interests in R/C: Fixed and rotory wing aircraft of all types. Current preference is towards pattern aircraft and flying style.
Accomplishments: Have worked for a couple different companies within the industry and helped to bring out new products and models, including several helicopter models, foamy airplane models, lithium polymer batteries and charging systems.
Started in RC in the 70’s with boats, racing in local events. Moved on to helicopters in 1990, planes came later. Even built a couple of operational submarines along the way.
Other notes of interest: Enjoy AP and UAV work.

AaRahn Stewart

AaRahn Stewart
Beaumont, Texas
My dad got me started at the age of 4 and I was hooked ever since. I began competing in local scale competitions in 2005 with a Cessna Agwagon. I placed 1st in pro am sport at Top Gun 2015 and 4th in pro am pro at the 2015 Scale Master. Scale aircraft is my primary interest but I am slowly getting into the 3d side. I'm currently a member of the Don Still Flying Club out here in Beaumont and have been since I've started.

Dean Stone

Dean Stone
Midland, North Carolina
I learned to fly rc when I was 18 yrs old.In the past
I have served as safety officer and flight instructor in my local clubs. My focus has been on pylon racing since 1995. I've won my share of race's and fast time awards since then. 2016 will be my tenth trip to the AMA NAT'S.I enjoy helping new racers and teaching people how to fly.l also enjoy building, freeflight models,soaring, and the friends I have made in this great hobby.Aside from modeling I am also a Bluegrass musician and acoustic instrument maker.

Bryon Striker

Bryon Striker
Sheffield Village, Ohio
I have been in the hobby for 40 years. My dad introduced me to the hobby as he was an airplane guy. We started early with free flight models, control line and then moved into R/C planes. I have spent some time with R/C cars and helicopters, but have always come back to planes. I am currently flying IMAC Aerobatics. I enjoy going to are club fields and helping all the members with their set ups and helping them to learn how to fly and enjoy our hobby.

Matthew Stringer

Matthew Stringer
Born in 1995 and a modeler since 2007
I’m currently a full time college student, also designing in 3 different CAD programs (Auto CAD variants, Solid Works, and Rhinoceros).  I enjoy anything that can fly (slope planes, giant scale or helis).  I’m also heavily into aviation history and working on private pilot license.  In my spare time I play Classical and Electric guitar for the past 11 years. 

Mike Stroup

Mike Stroup
I am married with two sons and two daughters. I have been employed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. for 23 years and currently serve as the R&D Engineering Manager responsible for the design and engineering of UAV airframes. I have been involved in RC Modeling since 1973. Previously active with sailplanes and helicopters, though my current passion is giant scale aerobatics with an occasional dabble in larger electric models and smaller quads. I have had the privilege of membership with Team Futaba since 2004. My goals as a member have been to promote the Futaba and Hobbico product lines as well as provide FUTABA product information and transmitter programming support to anyone who ever asks. I have also encouraged new fliers to join local clubs and the AMA and of course guided them to FUTABA and HOBBICO products. I also enjoy visiting other clubs and flying sites within a a hundred miles or so of my home base of Victorville, CA.

Mike Stroup

Sam Sutter

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Tom Telesca

Tom Telesca
Tarpon Springs, Florida
A modeler since: 1971
Primary interests R/C scale Jets and all helicopters
I am now a demo pilot/rep for SkyMaster Jets.  I currently own and fly the following scale jets:  F-86, BAE hawk, F9F Panther and Airworld Cougar.  All are being controlled with my 18MZ radio.I currently and also flying my 5 helicopters with my 14MZ and CGY750 3 Axis Gyro the setup and control of this system is 2nd to none

Andy Thonet

Andy Thonet
Orange, California
Occupation: Computer Engineer
A Modeler since: 1985
Primary R/C Interest: Thermal Duration Soaring/F3J, Slope Gliders and Scale Gliders
Recent placings: Texas National Tournament, Fresno Classic and Southern California Soaring Clubs.
My R/C passion began flying control line and gas with my father and grew from there moving to slope gliders and my main discipline flying thermal duration (TD). I enjoy traveling to contests competing with friends and making new ones.

Frank Tiano

Frank Tiano
Lakeland, Florida
A modeler since: 1949
Primary interests in R/C: Scale
Accomplishments: Introduced ZAP glue to hobby market in 1980, founded the Top Gun Invitational, Promoter of Florida Jets,( world’s largest jet together), author for Model Airplane News, Fly RC, Flying Models, introduced Monster Planes USA for large scale models, past AMA associate VP, AMA Leader Member, AMA Contest Director, AMA Experimental Class Inspector, Trouble Maker Extraordinaire.
Other notes of interest: I still build and fly on a regular basis. My dexterity is not yet compromised, but I do fine that lugging a 55 pound model around is getting a bit old! Perhaps losing a couple dozen pounds would go a long way to solve that problem. I love aviation, all parts and modeling is something I hope to be able to do until the day I die. One of the best rewards of this sport is that I have made some wonderful friendships, with those I call “real” friends, people who know me for who I am and accept me for what I am as well.

Doug Trent

Doug Trent
At 40, Doug Trent is a former Marine pilot of the AV-8B Harrier and A-4 Skyhawk, current 767/757 pilot for UPS and a strong believer in giving "the new guy" a hand. A heli pilot since 1975, Doug is frequent instructor at the field and host each winter to a friendly, chili-fueled get-together for new pilots. "Less experienced and budget-conscious modelers desperately rely on our advice," says Doug. "I believe in Futaba products and the difference the Team can make in our hobby."

Mark Trent

Mark Trent
Mark writes: "I've been flying R/C since 1978. When I moved to Missouri in 2000, I discovered giant-scale planes and 3D flying at the same time. Wow! I've been addicted ever since. I also hold a turbine waiver and enjoy flying helicopters, training newcomers and helping others in the hobby, too."

Benjamin Tripoli

Benjamin Tripoli
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
I have been flying remote control models since I was 10, I started with airplanes, but have since migrated to helicopters. For the past 8 years I have been going to helicopter events all throughout the east coast of the U.S. and have become familiar with a lot of the faces in this hobby. I enjoy getting to meet new people, and learning from my peers in this fantastic hobby I currently fly for team Thunder Tiger USA, and team OptiPower USA. I have been using Futaba equipment for as long as I can remember. I hope to meet some new people at every event and to have a lot of fun this year.

Timothy Tripoli

Timothy Tripoli
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
A modeler since: 1993
Primary Interested is R/C Helicopters. I've been in the R/C World for close to thirty years. I started out running RC cars and boats in my teens. I became primarily interested in RC helicopters in 1993 after graduating college. I attend my first IRCHA in 1994 in Columbus OH and have been hooked ever since. I try to attend as many events in the Northeast as possible and have only missed 3 IRCHA's since 1994. I enjoy helping other modelers with setup and teaching new people to fly Heli's or airplanes.

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Aaron Valdes

Aaron Valdes
Paso Robles, California
Chief Technologist at Lockheed Martin Unmanned Integrated Systems. Aaron enjoys applying his knowledge of UAV’s to model airplanes and vice versa. His first love is flying radio controlled gliders and has been flying them since he was 8 years old. He has won multiple local, regional and national soaring championships. He has been a member of the US F3B soaring team three times, taking 3rd place in the team category at the 2007 World Championships in Switzerland.

Today Aaron mostly flies in FAI events. He loves to fly his Freestylers in F3B, his Maxa in F3J and his Snipe in F3K. His models have been powered exclusively by Futaba since 1995.

“The high speed and low latency of FASST technology makes a huge difference in how my models feel. Thank you Hobbico and Futaba for manufacturing superior radio products!”

Rusty Van Baren

Rusty Van Baren
My radio control competition career started in the 70's flying pattern airplanes. In 1974 when I graduated from college I went to the AMA Nationals on Lake Charles, LA.  I entered both pattern and F1 racing.  That was the beginning of my race career.  I continued to fly pattern but concentrated on racing.  I have continued to race since that time.  I have placed in many national meets and peen overall pylon Champion at the 1995 AMA Nationals. That year I was also on the FAI F3d pylon racing team. My most recent major title was the 2007 NMPRA Championship Race in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I won that race flying my own Q40 design, "Miss Ashley II", and flying our great Futaba radios.

Edgar Vera 

Edgar Vera   
Mission Viejo, California
Occupation: ERP I.T. Consultant
A Modeler since: 1995
Primary R/C Interest:  Thermal Duration Soaring/F3J, Slope Gliders, and Helicopters.
Accomplishments in Soaring: Visalia Soaring Festival Champion in Open & 2M class, Fresno Classic Champion, TNT RES Class Champion, and Southern California Soaring Clubs EOY Champion.
Soaring has always fascinated me and I often find myself pulling over when driving to admire birds in flight while soaring in circular patterns while never flapping their wings… Thermal duration (TD) glider soaring follows this same practice.  When you hook up your first thermal and speck out your glider, you get hooked for life. 

Attending TD events around the nation has allowed me to meet new pilots and make many new friends which share the same passion is this R/C discipline.  Helping fellow modelers with proper glider setups is always rewarding for me and seeing others enjoy the challenges of TD competition flying.

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Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker
Leesburg, VA
A modeler since 1995
Primary interest: 3D helicopters
I've been flying primarily 3D helicopters for the past five years. I am a member of three R/C clubs in the Northern Virginia area. I try to participate in at least twenty major events each year to include full scale airshows. Last year I had the opportunity to be the first person ever allowed to fly an R/C helicopter at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina celebrating National Aviation Day. I really enjoy helping other modelers as much as possible, especially the young kids just starting in the hobby. I have proudly used Futaba products for almost twenty years. I feel honored and privileged to be part of Team Futaba.

Tony Watkins

Tony Watkins
A modeler since: 2001
I have competed in numerous contests and Pattern is what I like best.  I now fly EDF jets and still love competing in Pattern contest. It is a very good time to be in this hobby. 

Glen Watson

Glen Watson
Cypress, Texas
Primary R/C Interests: pattern competition; precision aerobatics; helicopters, and; designing and building model aircraft.
Accomplishments: 2-time AMA Pattern National Champion; 6-time AMA Masters Class National Finalist, and; 7-time NSRCA District Champion (with 45+ first-place finishes in regional pattern competition).
Glen has been a Team Futaba member since 1999, a pattern competitor since 1994 and an R/C pilot since soloing with his Goldberg Skylane 62 back in 1966.
Glen is also an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen (West Pennsylvania chapter), as well as a model aviation consultant to their youth organization.

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts
Orlando, Florida
I’ve been in the Radio Controlled hobby for over 12 years now and love every aspect of it. Primarily flying RC Helicopters, I have competed in 3D competitions around the world for many years. I currently reside in Orlando, Florida where I started Encore RC- a company where we create, manufacture, distribute, and sell all sorts of RC heli and multirotor aircraft/products. While still active in the 3D helicopter scene, I also work with multirotors of all sizes, both in the hobby class and “professional” class. I currently work with XCam Aerials to provide cinema quality aerial services using radio controlled multirotors and Helicopters. We have filmed for high end clients such as Dodge, Ford, Red Bull, Oakley, along with a few feature films. I have been using Futaba products since day one and have been with the team since 2005.
3D Helicopter Accomplishments:
IRCHA “The One” 2010- 1st Place
XFC 2010, 2011, 2012 - Night Fly, - 3D Masters 2011, 2012 Night Fly, - IRCHA 2011 ,2013 Night Fly- First Place
XFC 2007, 2008, 2010 - 2nd Place
3D Masters 2007, XFC 2009- 3rd Place

Neil Westdorp

Neil Westdorp
Baltimore, Maryland
I am currently 21 years old and in my Junior year of college studying Business Management and Finance. I started flying RC at age 7 but I have been around both RC and full scale airplanes all my life since my Dad is an airplane enthusiast. I began flying IMAC at age 13 and have since competed in numerous IMAC and Freestyle events along the East Coast. 

Brett Wickizer

Brett Wickizer
It all started with a trainer about 9 years ago, built from a kit by my dad.  He was looking for something to do with the kids, but I don’t think he could have ever imagined what he was getting himself into… 

In April of 2005, at fifteen years old, I attended my first pattern competition.  Since then I’ve had an enormous amount of support from my friends and family to get me to where I am now.  They have been behind me through two undefeated national championships, a finals finish my first year in F3A, and three F3A World Championships (as of 2013).  Nothing has ever challenged me so much, and nothing has ever been as rewarding.  My pursuit for that perfect flight is never ending, and my desire for the win is insatiable.  Pattern has become an awesome aspect of my life that has taught me lessons of focus, dedication, and preparation that I can carry with me for the rest of my life.  On top of it all I’ve become acquainted with some of the best friends I have ever had and am having a fantastic time every time I go to the field.

In my real life I’m an aspiring airline pilot, Formula One enthusiast, and overall aviation nut.  I love all aspects of aviation from full scale to RC, floatplanes to helicopters.  My RC pursuits are focused on F3A but I enjoy it all.  Futaba has been there for me from the start and hopefully for many more years to come!

Dean Wilson

Dean Wilson
Dean began flying model aircraft in 1986. Like most people, he started with trainers and sport planes. But now he's an accomplished pilot of high-performance aircraft, including helicopters — and for the past six years he's unleashed his skills in FAI-F3A R/C Aerobatics Pattern competition. During his first three years as a contest pilot, Dean won three consecutive R/C Aerobatics National titles in Classes 401, 402, and 403. When not outshining other pilots, he lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, and pursues a career as a Mechanical Engineer, MS. "I love all aspects of modeling, not just airplanes," Dean says. "The problem is, there's just not enough time to get to all of them."

Joe Wydronek

Joe Wydronek
Phoenix, Arizona
My primary discipline is R/C soaring is an active member of the Central Arizona Soaring league . I’m very excited to be in my second year with Team Futaba.  I’m a huge aviation enthusiast. And enjoy all aspects of R/C. Am also a full scale pilot currently refurbishing a 1966 Citabria.


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Al Young

Al Young
A modeler since: 1966
Own and operate JTEC/Radiowave Mfg. with my son Kevin. We manufacture R/C accessories, mufflers and airplanes. Over the last 20 yrs. we have been directly involved in all phases of the industry.

Kevin Young

Kevin Young
Mooresville, North Carolina
Occupation: President of JTEC Radiowave
A modeler since: 1991
Primary interests in R/C: Giants Scale Aerobatics, IMAC, & Pattern
Accomplishments: I have been flying r/c for 20+ years and have competed in IMAC for over 10 years.   I have competed in the Tucson Aerobatic shootout and IMAC Nationals.   I have also had the pleasure of calling for Invitational IMAC / F3A pilots Andrew Jesky, Jason Shulman, Chip Hyde, and Bill Hempel, among others at the AMA F3A Nationals, Tucson Aerobatic Shootout and Clover Creek Invitational.
Other notes of interest: I am a third generation r/c pilot that is supported greatly by my family, especially my father Al Young.   Together we have owned and operated JTEC Radiowave for the past 12+ years.  Most of my professional career has been spent in the r/c industry where I have worked for Hobby People, Desert Aircraft and JTEC Radiowave. The hobby has given me some of my closest friends and I have been lucky enough to travel the world with them enjoying the hobby.


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