"The hobby is a way of life for me. The hobby led me to a career as an Airline Pilot for a legacy Carrier in the USA.“
By RC Enthusiast - Rich Baker
How did you first become interested in the RC hobby?
As a kid, I was always captivated by flight, aircraft, flying machines and really anything that could fly. I was fascinated by flight. Whether it was aircraft or spacecraft, the ability for man to leave the earth and fly was a regal achievement that had no rival. It was something I was destined to be a part of. This interest drove me to build and fly model aircraft and ultimately led me to a career in full scale aviation as a jet pilot.
What was your very first RC product? And how did you feel at the time?
I first started with making paper airplanes, then plastic models & then rubber band powered wood airplanes that I built myself & flew. My first R/C product was an R/C Car that I built and drove the wheels off of it. At age 13, I jumped directly to flying R/C Helicopters & then airplanes later on.
Do you have any advice for friends who want to get into RC? For instance, what knowledge and skills do they need to be aware of?
My advice for anyone learning to fly is to get a good flight instructor at your local club to help you get started! Having a good instructor to teach you is the BEST way to learn how to fly. Do not rely on stabilization technology as a crutch, but rather learn to fly the plane without the technology if possible. There is no substitute for stick and rudder skills & flying cold with no automation. That being said, Stabilizers are an excellent aid and when properly used greatly enhance flying. Additionally, having a good flight simulator at home is the best way to practice when you can’t get out to a flying field. A simulator also allows you to practice new maneuvers before you try them with your model.
With whom do you usually play RC? And where is your favorite place to have a good time or challenge the game?
I fly with many people as often as I can. I have the most fun when flying in tandem with other friends/pilots. I prefer to fly from grass than from a paved surface as it is less wear on the airplane.
What does the hobby mean to you?
The hobby is a way of life for me. The hobby led me to a career as an Airline Pilot for a legacy Carrier in the USA. Without the R/C hobby, I would not have had the success in life I have had! I have been fortunate to also become a full scale FAA flight instructor, where I have trained pilots from all over the world. I ma blessed to now be flying Jet Airliners for a living. Thanks to the R/C hobby, I now fly the BOEING 757 & 767 both domestically and internationally! I now work hard to pass on what I have learned over the years for the benefit of future Aviatiors and builders.
As an RC enthusiast, what channels will you use to hone your RC skills, expand your RC knowledge and scale your fun?
There are a lot of great channels out there to learn from & I occasionally will get tips from many of them. However, I usually just focus on my own channel and make videos as often as I can to show how I do things & share what has worked for me. As an influencer, I often find that originality is often lost when looking at what others are doing to much. As an influencer, I think its important to learn from others but also be yourself and be original in the content you share with your audience.
Do you have any recent events, activities (online or offline), accomplishments, etc. to share?
I have attended so many events in the past decade that its hard to list them all. The best event of them all is Joe Nall at the Triple Tree Aerodrome! Stay tuned to the RCINFORMER YouTube channel for BIG things coming, more model reviews, live shows & how to videos!