My previous career as a full-scale aerobatic instructor and current profession as a commercial airline pilot was, in part, motivated by model aviation. Beginning with control line and early radio control as a teenager and returning to the hobby in 2011, I currently enjoy and participate in a dozen electric and gas AMA Special Interest Groups, from micros, foamies, and gliders, to ducted fan and turbine jets. For the past six years I have been a member of the Plum Island Airport RC Flyers and the Freemont Flyers, serving as president of both, and currently serve as an AMA Associate Vice President for District I.
I encourage all clubs in our area to get involved with their communities through school enrichment programs, STEM programming, town recreational departments, festivals, even parades! We “get the word out” to the general public and educators, providing proof of the positive educational aspects of our hobby by sharing flying fields, the extraordinary talent of club members, and promoting AMA’s outstanding safety record. The experience AMA mentors bring to instruction introduces a new generation to life “outside the box.”
Demonstrating RC flying to children and adults at community events and teaching at schools has been a special treat. Some of the activities I’ve been involved in the past few years:
- Grades 3 and 5 STEM programing using AMA resources: “Total Control”, “Discover Flight” Videos; FPG-9 Gliders, Flight Test F22 on buddy box for schoolyard demos (teacher on buddy box, big hit!) - practical application for classroom work.
- After-school enrichment program: With help from a club volunteer, I provided a static display of several aircraft, simulator experiences, and a Night Vapor ultra-light 3-channel plane for indoor flight demonstrations.
- University of New Hampshire: This past winter, I had the pleasure of coaching Mechanical Engineering students from UNH for their intercollegiate design competition and I am proud to note that they placed 1st in the competition.
- Plum Island Airport Aviation Appreciation Day- Members of the Plum Island Airport RC Flyers and several others came together for an appreciation day for a local Boy Scout troop that previously helped with a huge brush-clearing project. The day was filled with a ground school on full-scale instrumentation followed by an RC ground school. The scouts were treated to flight demonstrations by several talented RC pilots, as well as offered “stick time” using four buddy boxes. The day was capped off with full-scale airplane rides provided by four area private pilots who donated their time. A true “all-aviation” day.
The talent base of our membership is vast and using these resources at every opportunity is key to the survival of model aviation. Our collective goal must be to get all ages flying, learning on a simulator, a buddy box, in the air at club and community events. This is how the “bug” will bite!
If you have questions or would like more information about our work, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org