Derek

Westphal

, Fort Wayne

, Indiana

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-14 4:26:58
“I am Derek Westphal, from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’m a 43 year old husband and father. My wife (10 years married, this year) and my 6 year old daughter are my two biggest rc flying supporters. My wife doesn’t fly with me (she has a fear of crashing) but my daughter has expressed an interest in flying with me. I’ll be buying her a plane this year. I first got into flying rc airplanes around 2009. I found a very educational Youtube channel, called Experimental Airlines. The gentleman, in the videos, takes sheets of foamboard, hot glue, and packing tape and makes very functional rc airplanes. Once I realized the simplicity of the build process, I was hooked. Shortly there after, I found another Youtube channel called Flite Test. Experimental Airlines and flight test have been such an inspiration to me and I’m thankful to both groups of people. In 2001, I became interested in rc helicopters. Wow! Was I in for a surprise there, lol. The cost of some of the kits that I was looking at are quite expensive….but I was very curious. I bought a medium grade helicopter and I began practicing, along with a PC Flight simulator. My first successful hover attempt had my knees wobbling and my heart pounding with excitement. What an incredible experience and I loved it! A few years later, I found rc multirotors with FPV. WOW WOW WOW!!! What can I say about that avenue of rc flying! It’s amazing! I love that I can order a stand alone frame…order various electronics that are based on my experience and based on my skill level (which isn’t super high, lol) and I can begin building the fpv multirotor frame and soldering the electronics and configure the flight controller and then begin tuning the settings and then take it out for it’s maiden hover test…then to be rewarded with a smooth and level hover. It’s an awesome feeling! Then I began getting into FPV flying wings and a few fpv fixed wing models (all scratch built and home made). It’s such an awesome experience and a great feeling to take common materials and make something fly. Then, to be able to fly the wings, fixed wings, and multirotors, via FPV…..sitting in the pilots seat is just awesome and I love it. My 6 year old daughter and I would fight over my fpv goggles so much, I actually had to buy a second pair of fpv goggles so that she could ride along. My wife doesn’t appreciate the fpv ride so much…it makes her sick to her stomach (silly girl, lol) but my wife is very supportive and she enjoys coming to the flying field or the park or the soccer field with me and supporting me. My dad, who is 64 and retired, has picked up an interest in flying and he now flies with me. My daughter loves it when I begin a new build because she knows that when she gets her school work done, she can come to the workshop and help me build my next project. That’s right…..she helps and she does a great job. Although her participation in the build process does slow things down a bit….I wouldn’t change a thing. I love it when she comes to the shop and helps. She great with the glue gun. She’s beginning to solder (with my supervision, of course). She loves putting her “My Little Pony” stickers on my planes. So, to end this comment, rc flying has brought me challenges of learning something new but Im not afraid of that challenge. I wanted to learn it and the reward of a flying rc aircraft is just amazing! Rc flying has brought something that my family has a part in, in some sort. It’s something we do together. I’m grateful for the friends that I’ve made at the local hobby shops, and the local flying sites, and in the rc community.”
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