Meet The 2011 Team

David Klein (Pilot)

David Klien with his Target at the 2010 Team Selects

David Klien with his Target at the 2010 Team Selects

David Klein is a 30 year old father of 1. He and his wife Kate are expecting another son December 2010. David and Kate have lived in their condo in Scripps Ranch, San Diego for the past 6 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 a 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 Target by Hans-Peter Golz with aerodynamics by Max Steidle. 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.

Tom Kiesling (pilot)

Tom Kiesling with his F3J Xplorer.

Tom Kiesling with his F3J Xplorer.

Tom is a 40 year old Mechanical Engineer from California. Tom has been modeling for over 20 years. Tom has lived in San Diego for three 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 and 2006 US F3J team. Tom has also been a pilot for the 2007 and 2009 US F3B teams and an alternate for 2001, 2003, and 2011 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.

With Mike Lachowski’s withdrawal from the 2011 F3B World Championships, Tom will be competing as a pilot 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 China.

Kyle Paulson (Pilot)

Kyle Paulson and his children - Kyle and Kyler

Kyle Paulson and his children - Kyle and Kyler

Darrell Zaballos (Team manager)

Darrell Zaballos

Darrell Zaballos

Darrell Zaballos has been actively involved in R/C modeling for more than 30 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 flying for a few years now 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 16, Steven 15. 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 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. He is honored to assist this talented group as team manager for the 2011 World Champs in China.

Gordon Buckland (Helper)

Gordon Buckland has loved all aspects of flying since as early as Grade 1 in Primary school with rubber powered stick models and paper planes. Growing up in rural Australia, he began building and flying free flight and control-line models through primary school 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. A Dodgson Maestro Mk III soon followed and at 22 YO Gordon came 3rd in his first TD contest – the Central Queensland Championships. Joining 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 Championship along the way. When his 2 sons were born, model aircraft took a back seat for 23 years though Gordon pursued his love of aviation in Australia obtaining his Private Pilots License in 1998 before moving to USA in 1999 as President of Kwik Kerb USA.

In November 2008 he and his son Jamie saw the Orlando Buzzards Soaring Contest sign beside the road and the long forgotten passion for RC soaring was re-ignited.

Gordon at the Midsouth with his son Jamie

Gordon at the Midsouth with his son Jamie

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 with a final Level V win at the “Midsouth” in Tullahoma TN. He has since started the LSF program again with a goal to complete the entire LSF program as quickly as possible. Since his return Gordon has been a very active contributor to the RC Soaring community with a passion for writing including the Nats News in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Gordon has also written for Model Aviation with a recent piece published about the World Soaring Masters. He maintains a number of soaring websites and publishes an in depth report on RCGroups after every contest he attends.

His interest in F3B has remained strong and in 2011 he conceived and conducted (with encouragement from mentor Mike Lachowski) the first major F3B contest in Florida in decades with the GatorF3B at Cocoa in Feb 2011.

Gordon is very active in TD soaring in Florida and can be seen at all the Florida Soaring Society events. He has won many events including a Grand Champion award at the Tangerine in 2010. Gordon has been flying various Xplorers during 2010 and 11 and currently flys a 3.5M Spreadtow Xplorer. He has also recently acquired an Icon 2 and for F3B he has been flying a Europhia, RES a Super Ava and 2M a “Lawicki” Duck.

Gordons wife Sheralyn supports him in his soaring endeavors and he has two sons in Florida – Jamie and Nathan. Jamie has also taken up RC soaring and appears to be a very talented pilot.

Glauco Lago (Helper)

Glauco Lago

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 12 years ago.

A few years before moving to the United States with his wife Leticia and their children (Isabela, 16, and Gabriel, 9), 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 has been the equipment manager and president of the Mississippi Valley Soaring Association for several years and also the Nats CD for RES the last 3 years.

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 currently flies an Aspire for TD/F3J and is building another super-light homebuilt Supra, with a 45 oz. weight goal. For F3B, Glauco flies a Tanga and a Freestyler 3.
When not flying F3J or F3B, Glauco also enjoys flying his helicopters, slopers and electric foamies. As an avid soarer and dedicated team man he is a great asset for the US F3B Team.

Tim Traver (helper)

Tim grew up in Southern California with a father that was a full scale sailplane pilot. As a kid, he went to many of the local full scale competitions and helped as ground crew. Computers were brand new to the sport in helping to calculate scores, and his father was heavily involved with scoring contests around the Southern California deserts.

After coming to University of California San Diego and getting a degree in Engineering, he decided to stay in San Diego, eventually starting up an internet business right ahead of the internet boom. In 1999 he started to race formula cars for fun, but as in anything he does, it became a passion and quickly rose to win an open wheel championship.


Tim is an avid Formula and Sportscar Race Driver too.

That led to several years of professional race car driving in Grand American Road Racing, travelling and racing at tracks around the country. To date, he has 3 professional wins at Daytona, Watkins Glen, and Virginia International raceway.

He started a family in 2002 and has a boy and a girl that are 8 and 9 years old.

After funding subsided from racing, a friend of his(Bob Bingham) introduced him to flying RC gliders in early 2011. After having a good time learning how to fly at the slope, he decided to try an F3F race, and has been hooked ever since. He lives for friendly competition, and F3F and F3B are his next passion to learn. An opportunity to go and help the US team for China was too good to pass up, and he’s learning as much as he can from the wealth of talent conveniently located in his backyard.