Erik

Richard

, Brighton

, Colorado

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-21 21:49:21
“I have been actively involved in model aviation for 50 years and have been a continuous member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for 47 years. Over the last four decades I have flown and competed regularly in many national and international RC model aircraft competitions involving a broad segment of the hobby that includes soaring, aerobatics, scale, and racing. This hobby is a passion for me. I presently own over fifty (50) RC model aircraft ranging from small electric flyers to large 45% scale 200-cc gas powered advanced aerobatic aircraft. Several of these models are over 25 years old and are still flown regularly today. Many of these models are of my own design and construction from simple balsa and fabric techniques to state-of-the-art advanced carbon fiber composite structures. Over the years I have built, acquired, or purchased many advanced tools and accessories (including CNC and rapid 3D prototype machines) to facilitate and enhance my model aircraft building techniques. All totaled, my investments in models, equipment, and tools exceeds $100K – indeed, it is a hobby that I take seriously and I am only one of many others that do also. For me personally, the experiences and lessons that I have learned from model aviation have been at the center of my successes throughout my life. I have benefitted from the model aviation hobby by learning life-long skills from my father who fostered an environment of constant support and endless encouragement that have guided me throughout my youth and adult life. I now have children of my own that I try to instill the same encouragement and guidance through shared experiences and achievements with the hobby of model aviation. In fact, my daughter was born just after the passing of my father and she has been an AMA member her whole life – her AMA membership number is her late grandfather’s old number – carrying on the legacy of three generations in recreational model aviation. Professionally, I am a Ph.D. Astrophysicist and Senior Research Scientist on the faculty at a major university and research institution. In my active research I am responsible for many NASA-sponsored satellite and space science instrument programs either through serving as Principal Investigator or Project Scientist roles. For many of these programs, I advise and mentor young science and engineering students (both undergraduate and graduate students) that represent the future of the US aerospace and space science workforce and leadership in the 21st century. All of my academic and career achievements would not have been possible without the strong positive influence that model aviation has provided me throughout my life. It is truly a wonderful hobby that builds self-confidence at an early age and offers endless opportunities to interact with and learn from a wide diversity of like-minded enthusiasts and professionals including astronauts, test pilots, engineers and scientists – many of whom also started with model aviation at a young age that provided the seed inspiring their future careers. I am Model Aviation….and I hope to be doing this wonderful hobby the rest of my life.”
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