June, 2020 Presidents Report

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  • TomE
    • Dec 2015
    • 0

    June, 2020 Presidents Report

    USRA President Introduction 2020-2021
    February 2020
    Greetings from your new President of the USRA..

    It’s now June as we are starting to come out of lockdown from the pandemic and entering another lockdown for protests and riots. I hope everyone is safe during these challenging times and look forward to racing competition in the future. I know that many of us have used the “stay at home” guidelines, which really means “stay in your workshop” and “build more planes”, so I expect some new and shiny stuff this year!!!
    I had written an intro to myself a few months ago, so my apologies if you are just reading it now. The USRA is working hard behind the scenes to make sure our events can continue safely, per the post Covid changes, so stay tuned for the updates. Also, don’t put off your yearly membership, please get your $50 mailed in to:
    Box 221
    Skull Valley, Az. 86338

    Some of you have reached out to make suggestions and positive input of things you would like to see to help grow the sport. Thank you and keep them coming!!!

    For those of you who don’t really know me, my name is Douglas Killebrew and I am your newly elected USRA President for 2020-2021. I have been involved in the world of R/C since the early 1970’s when my dad competed in 3 pole pylon and pattern. I grew up going to the races and watched my dad (Ron Gilman) compete at the top levels of almost every part of R/C. He was a top level designer, builder/craftsman, and most of all and top level pilot and competitor. Pylon, Pattern, T.O.C, Scale, RC Jets, and in 1993 I watched him race GSR in Madera. I remember asking him about learning to fly in my younger days and his response was very clear. My dad simply stated that learning to fly would require learning to build, and my reply is still burned in my memory. I said that I didn’t have any interest in building, so I passed on the opportunity, something that I regret to this day. I picked sports and other hobbies like bowling or softball, R/C cars and stuff that I was good at, but I really missed pylon and the days of watching my dad compete.
    In 1994, I relocated closer to my parents in the Lancaster area and started in new career in the car business working for Mike Johnson as a salesperson. I asked if I could be a part of his Giant Scale Race Team as I knew he needed a support crew and nobody else at the dealership was interested. As we traveled to the races each year, my desire to learn how to fly became more and more, but there was even a more specific goal I had discovered. I didn’t just want to fly, I wanted to race!!! Sometime around 1998, I discovered a computer program by Dave Brown that came with a simple plastic transmitter and I secretly started to learn how to fly RC. I soon upgraded to RealFlight and logged thousands of hours before I built a small trainer with the help of my dad and flew it a couple time to confirm I could do it. I even tried mode 1 before settling on mode 2. After a year on the computer, I felt I was ready to race, so I asked my boss if I could race a Formula 1 at the upcoming Madera race as a participant on the Johnson Ford Race Team. Mike’s reply was priceless: I didn’t know you can fly? Mine: Yes I learned on the computer, I can fly. Mike: So you want to race one of my $8,000 models 170+ mph after you learned on the computer? Mine: Yes I think I can do it!! I was very persistent and after some hesitation, he sent me out with a pattern plane and a trusted pilot to see if I could really fly.
    In 1999, I raced a Rankin Polecat in GSR at Madera and won the Silver class and got to race in Gold as an alternate when someone else didn’t get off the ground. I was on cloud nine as you might imagine and my own racing career had begun. In 2000, I raced my first 3 pole event and never looked back while working my way up quickly to the Q40 class. I continued to race GSR for Mike until the economy fell off the cliff and Mike took a breath from racing to stay alive in the car business. Thanks to Team Extra, I was pulled back into GSR a few years ago with the mass production of the Ashley and the help of my race partner, Scott Baker with his building and motor experience and I feel like was instantly competitive because of their help although everyone knows that anything can happen in a GSR event.
    Today I’m the General Manager for Antelope Valley Ford Lincoln and Mazda and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work my way up the ladder with the guidance and knowledge, and training from Mike, my parents, and many others in business, personal and R/C. I hope to build on the excellent foundation from the prior leadership of the USRA and bring some fresh ideas along with some help building excitement for the sport as it continues see growth again. I see 4 places that we must improve in order to have continued growth worthy of being called a comeback. Planes, sponsors, pilots, and places to race, oh and that FAA thing coming down the pike. I would certainly be open to any ideas you have to help grow the sport. I’m a believer the best ideas come from the ground floor, it just takes the top willing to listen sometimes. I’m confident that anything can get done when you put your mind to it, so let’s work together and make it happen!!!!
    Last of all, get to the website (usrainfo.org) with a refreshed browser so you can see some of the updates, changes and new video links!!!!

    A special thank you to our USRA sponsors. We couldn’t do this without your support!
    Antelope Valley Ford
    Horizon Hobbies
    Desert Aircraft
    BCC Performance Engines
    Team Extra Air Racing
    Rich’s Brew
    APC Propellers
    Aviation Field Services
    Sammy’s Camera
    Fly Low, Fly Fast Inc.

    Douglas Killebrew
    661-400-5636 (cell)
    Your USRA 2020-2021 Officers
    Douglas Killebrew, President dk@avford.com
    Tim Foster, Vice President fosterp51@yahoo.com
    Tony Husak, Eastern District Member Representative thusak1@windstream.net
    Jeff Powell, Central District Member Representative poweljk@aircanopy.com
    Jeff Wheless, Western District Member Representative jeff@wheless.com
    Jeanne Foster, Secretary fosterp51@yahoo.com
    Terry Raymond, Treasurer flyingranch21@gmail.com