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Meet the 2013 team

Tom Kiesling (pilot)

Tom Kiesling with his F3J Xplorer.

Tom Kiesling with his F3J Xplorer.

Tom is a 42 year old Mechanical Engineer from California. Tom has been modeling for over 20 years. Tom has lived in San Diego for five years with his wife, Betty and their four cats.
Tom’s collaboration with Dr. Drela has resulted in one of the most interesting new entries in the F3J sailplane world, the Supra. While competing with his own design planes, Tom has recorded an extraordinary achievement record placing him in the top echelons of soaring in the USA.

Tom was a member of the 2004, 2006 and 2012 US F3J teams. Tom has also represented the USA as a pilot for the 2007, 2009 and 2011 US F3B teams and was an alternate for 2001, 2003 teams. He was the second alternate for the 2011 US F3K team. He has been a multi-time National Champion in F3J, F3B, Unlimited, and Two meter classes. Last but not least he has been a multi time Eastern Soaring League Season Champion. The Eastern Soaring League is where Tom got his start in competitive soaring and he is most proud of this accomplishment.

Tom performed admirably at the 2012 F3B Team Selects to once again take a place on the US Team. He is happy to be flying Baudis Fosa’s equipped with ultra reliable and precise MKS servos. He is looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones in Nardt, Germany.

David Klein (Pilot)

Dave measures a perfect landing during the 2011 World Championships in Laiwu China.

David Klein is a 32 year old father of 2. He and his wife Kate are raising a young family in Scripps Ranch, San Diego where they have lived for the past 14 years and look forward to many more years there. David currently works as an Aerospace Engineer, specializing in the design and analysis of lightweight composite structures. He grew up in San Jose, California, and moved to San Diego in the fall of 1999 to attend the University of San Diego. There he attended both undergraduate and graduate school, conducting research and development work on unmanned aircraft. Since 2008, David has worked as a mechanical engineer performing analysis based design for new aircraft structure at General Atomics, Aeronautical Systems Inc.

David began flying radio controlled airplanes at a young age, when his father Richard taught him to fly nitro and slope soaring gliders at the age of 6. While attending UCSD, David was reintroduced to his passion for soaring at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. He started flying there in 2003, and began casually slope racing in 2005. David was first introduced to F3B by Aaron Valdes after working with him on UAV research and development. He attended the 2006 US F3B team selection as a helper, and began flying F3B with Aaron Valdes and Mike Smith as they trained for the 2007 World Championships in Emmen, Switzerland. Learning to fly F3B allowed David to surround himself with the most talented pilots, accelerating his learning curve.

Currently, David enjoys all aspects of soaring competition from F3K (hand launch), F3F (slope racing), F3J (thermal soaring), American TD, and his greatest passion, F3B. David has focused his efforts and attention to F3B. He enjoys the challenge of the task, forcing a greater understanding of all aspects of soaring. His current hanger is full of soaring gems, all controlled by his well loved Airtronics SD-10G transmitter with FHSS-3 receivers. He thoroughly enjoys the flexibility of programming that the transmitter offers, allowing him to optimize the setup for each soaring task. His current F3B plane is the FS4. For F3K, David is very proud of his Salpeters, designed by Andreas Herrig and exquisitely built by Franz Demler. For F3J and American TD competition, his glider of choice is a Lubos Padzerka Aspire. David competed well at the 2012 USA F3B Team Selects contest to earn the honor of once again representing his country in Germany in 2013.

Darrell Zaballos (Pilot)

Darrell shows off one of his Fosa’s

Darrell Zaballos has been actively involved in R/C modeling for more than 32 years. He has flown fixed wing power, helis and sailplanes. Drawn to the challenge of soaring, F3B has all the aspects of radio controlled flight that he is looking for. He has not been involved in a lot of flying for a few years because he has been busy building his family home in the Hayward Hills of California. He currently lives in this home with his wife Sheryl and 2 sons: Paul 18, Steven 17. In addition to flying, he enjoys riding off road dirt bikes with his sons.

Darrell is a 3rd generation contractor and continues to build for a family owned development company started over 60 years ago by his grandfather. His passion for building is also apparent in his own fiberglass designs. He was co-designer and builder of the SP-1, which he produced along with his partner Gavin Botha.

He was able to attend the 2001 World Championships in the Czech Republic as a base A helper. He was an F3B pilot on the USA team in Kirchheim Germany in 2003 and now with some excellent piloting has once again made the US Team to represent his country as a pilot in Nardt Germany in 2013.

Gordon Buckland (Team Manager)

Gordon measures a landing of his Target during the pre-contest at the F3B worlds in China 2011.

Gordon Buckland has loved all aspects of flying since flying rubber powered stick models and paper planes in Primary school. Growing up in rural Australia, he began building and flying free flight and control-line models and graduated to RC at 15 YO with a Cox .049 powered Honker. Having also flown full size gliders and developing a love of soaring, Gordon built an 80″ AeroFlyte Trident and a 60″ Silent Squire sailplane from RCM plans and a life long love of thermals ensued. A Dodgson Maestro Mk III soon followed and at 22 YO Gordon entered in his first thermal duration contest – the Central Queensland Championships and placed 3rd. This instant success saw him join the Brisbane Model Soaring Club and enjoying the thrill of competition, Gordon was active in RC F3B sailplane competition from 1982 through 1987, winning a Qld F3B Championship along the way. As his 2 sons were born and parental responsibilities grew, model aircraft took a back seat for 23 years though Gordon pursued his love of aviation in Australia, obtaining his Private Pilots License in 1999 before moving to USA as President of Kwik Kerb USA Inc.

In November 2008 he and his son Jamie noticed the Orlando Buzzards “Soaring Contest” sign beside a road in Oviedo FL and the long forgotten passion for RC soaring was re-ignited. Since Feb 2009 Gordon has returned to TD soaring with a purpose. Continuing with the LSF program he began in 1982, Gordon completed his LSF V in May of 2010 and then completed the LSF program through level V for a second time in April 2012. Gordon is a very active contributor to the RC Soaring community with a passion for writing including the Nats News in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and is the current Model Aviation soaring columnist. He maintains a number of soaring websites e.g. Orlando Buzzards, the Gator F3B contest site, the USA F3J, F3F and F3K Team websites and this USA F3B Team Website.

Gordon attended the F3B Worlds in China Sep 2011 as a Team USA helper and assisted in conducting the 2011 US F3J Team Selects event in Cocoa Florida. Gordon was also selected as the US Junior Team Manager for the F3J Worlds in Sth Africa in 2012. Gordon is very active in TD soaring in Florida, encouraging others to fly in events and LSF participation and can be seen at all the Florida Soaring Society events. He has won many TD events including the FSS Series and Grand Champion awards at the Tangerine in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is currently flying the Soaring USA Toba in F3B and in F3J Gordon has been flying various Xplorers since 2010 and currently the 3.5M ST X2. He flys a Super Ava in RES and has great success in 2M with a “Lawicki” Duck.

Gordon’s wife Sheralyn supports him in his soaring endeavors attending many contests and they have a daughter Tanya in Australia and two sons in Florida – Jamie and Nathan.

Glauco Lago (Helper)

Glauco is also an avid builder and loves Dr Drela designs.

Glauco was born in Brazil, where he worked as a Civil Engineer before being hired by a St. Louis-based construction company 13 years ago. A few years before moving to the United States with his wife Leticia and their children (Isabela, 17, and Gabriel, 11), Glauco started flying RC. Soon he found his passion for soaring starting with a Sophisticated Lady, a Zagi for the slopes and a Chrysalis hand launch.

Glauco was the equipment manager and president of the Mississippi Valley Soaring Association for several years, the Nats CD for RES the last few years, the OVSS score keeper and the event director for the last Soaring Masters.
His first contact with F3B was at the 2008 Nats, and that same year he was a helper at the Team Selects in Chicago. Glauco has taken up flying F3B with a passion rarely seen and has improved his skills tremendously in the short time he has been flying the multi task event. Glauco has been a great supporter of F3B events in USA attending the annual GatorF3B and working tirelessly as a helper at the 2012 F3B Team selects in California. In 2011 Glauco was chosen as a helper to assist the US F3B team at the World Championships in Laiwu China. He was a big part in the Team effort which saw the USA Team win the Silver medal in China.

Glauco currently flies an Aspire for TD/F3J but his true love is F3B where he flies Radical Pros and Fosas.
When not flying F3J or F3B, Glauco also enjoys flying his helicopters, slopers and electric foamies along riding his road bicycle to stay fit. As an avid soarer and dedicated team man he is a great asset for the US F3B Team.

Don Scegiel (Helper)

Don with his Shooter at the 2012 F3B Team Selects

Don is the West Coast Senior Project Director for a national based R.E.I.T. He is a National Certified Building and Home inspector and licensed commercial and residential General Contractor. He lives in Vista California with his wife, daughter and a St. Bernard. He also has two sons and four grand children. He moved to California from Scottsdale Arizona six years ago.

While living in Estes Park, Colorado, Don was a reserve Deputy Sherriff and a Reserve Colorado Division of Wildlife enforcement officer. Enjoying Practical Police Combat (PPC) pistol competition, Don is an NRA Distinguished Master Shooter. Don won First place at the United States National Pistol competition in Des Moines, Iowa. Also competing in the National Police Olympics he won two Gold medals and Silver, in this prestigious event. As an outdoorsman, he enjoys fishing and hunting along with 1000 yd target shooting.

An avid flyer for the past 30 +yrs, Don enjoys F3b, F5b and F3J competition and holds the level V achievement designation from the League of Silent Flight (LSF). Don flies a F3B “Shooter” by Fisher, F5B Avionik , and for F3J a “Pike” E.T. manufactured by Samba.

He is looking forward to helping the US F3B Team accomplish their goals at the World Championships in Germany.