, Las Cruces

, New Mexico

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 0:41:20
“As a little kid I had a passion for anything that flew. I received a subscription to Model Builder Magazine around age 8. I learned to build every rubber powered airplane in those magazines from scratch. I really wanted to fly RC models but just could not afford that at the time. At age 14 an uncle gave me a plane and some basic RC model equipment. After some searching I found a member of the local club who took the time to get my pane and equipment set up for flying. He then taught me every detail I would ever need to know about flying models and their maintenance. Additionally, this really became an activity where my father and myself could spend quality time together. He always seemed to come up with the money and time to drive the 70 miles round trip to the local flying field so that I could get lessons. I have been flying everything that I could get my hands on over the past 28 years. What the hobby really has done for me, is to teach me that I could build anything that I set my mind to build. Over the years I have become proficient in welding, woodworking, construction, blacksmithing, and of course building model airplanes. I contribute this to my early years building all those rubber powered model airplanes. The fundamental skills learned from those airplanes also spill over in my career. I work as an agricultural researcher. I often have to design and build equipment to perform a specific task in some part of my research (such as farm implements, forage grinders, greenhouse environmental controls, etc.). Additionally, my model flying skills earned me an opportunity to consult and fly UAS systems for the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Our group was among the first operators of a UAS aircraft that was utilized as a photograph platform for rangeland research. This was all done as a commercial operation through the FAA. This opportunity lasted for 8 years before the program ended due to financial problems within ARS. It allowed me to work with some of the neatest people I have ever met. I was also able to pass along my flight knowledge by training 2 pilots for ARS. We were essentially bush flying aircraft that cost more than my home.”