Tom Kiesling (Pilot)
Tom is a 45 year old Mechanical Engineer from California. Tom has been modeling for over 30 years. Tom has lived in San Diego for 8 years with his wife, Betty and their six(!) cats.
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, 2011 and 2013 US F3B teams and was an alternate for 2001, 2003, and 2015 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 2016 F3B Team Selects to once again take a place on the US Team. He is happy to be flying Baudis Pitbull’s equipped with ultra reliable and precise MKS servos and controlled with the outstanding Graupner HOTT system.. He is looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones in the Czech Republic in 2017.
Mike Lachowski (Pilot)Mike Lachowski is one of the 2015 USA F3B Soaring Team Pilots. He has also been a Team Pilot in 2003, 2009, and 2011 as well as alternate in 2007 and 2013. He has been going to USA F3B Team Selection Contests since 1992 and has over 43 years of R/C Soaring experience. His model choice is a Freestyler 3 with LDS driven by JR servos. Besides F3B models, he has collected US National Championships in Unlimited, 2 Meter, RES, and Nostalgia as well as the Eastern Soaring League. He currently flies a Pike Perfection, Ava Pro and Mirage in competitions. For fun, it’s an 1:2.9 aerotowed Foka 4 and too many other models to count. In addition to the flying, Mike has built just about everything F3B from molds to winches, turnarounds, and even the timing and signaling system that has been used at the US F3B Events for over a decade. In March 2013, Mike became the first pilot to fly a speed run faster than 12 seconds with an 11.98 second run flying a Shooter at the Gator F3B.
Mike has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Computer Science. He has recently retired from a large international oil and gas company and enjoys many activities like golf with his wife, Terry.
Mike is a Team JR Americas Sponsored Pilot and is using the JR XG14 radio.
Reto Fiolka (Pilot)
Reto was born, raised and educated in Switzerland. Reto holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from ETH Zuerich, Switzerland and is specialized in high resolution microscopy. He moved from Switzerland to the US in 2009, conducting research first at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. He is currently an assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas TX, where he develops enabling imaging technologies for cancer research, cell biology and the life sciences.
Reto has been addicted to RC soaring since 1994 and started flying competitively F3B in 2001. A few years later he also got involved in F3K RC Soaring and has been very successful in both disciplines. Among his greatest successes was reaching the fly offs at the first F3K World Championships in 2013, winning the Gator F3B World Cup contest in 2016 and making the US F3B team for the world championships in 2017.
Among Reto’s successes in R/C Soaring are winning the US F3K tour in 2013 and 2014, winning “The Bruce” F3K contest in the US in 2013 and the corresponding Team Trophy in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Reto is a big fan of F3B soaring and has participated in all Gator F3B events and Team Selection trials since his arrival in the US. He really enjoys the challenge of the different flying tasks, the strategy that goes into the distance task, the precision needed to setup and fly F3B planes competitively and also the fact that there is steady progress in technology and results.
Reto is proud to represent the USA at the F3B world championship in Jesenik, Czech Republic. He hopes that his analytical skills and his experience in flying F3B both in Europe and in the US will help the USA team to succeed.
Glauco Lago (Team Manager)
Glauco was born in Brazil, where he worked as a Civil Engineer before being hired by a St. Louis-based construction company 17 years ago. A few years before moving to the United States with his wife Leticia and their children (Isabela, 21, and Gabriel, 15), 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 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. He 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 was a helper at the 2013 World Championship in Germany where the USA Team won the Bronze medal and also the team manager at the 2015 World Championship in the Netherlands.
Glauco true love is F3B where he flies Fosas. When not flying F3B, Glauco also enjoys flying his helicopters, slopers and electric foamies along with riding his road bicycle to stay fit. As an avid soarer and dedicated team man he is a great asset for the USA F3B Team. Glauco is the Team Manager for the 2017 USA F3B Team going to his 4th consecutive World Championship.
Gordon Buckland (Team Helper)Gordon has loved all aspects of flying since building rubber powered stick models and paper planes in Grade 1 at his 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.
In November 2008 his 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 with a final Level V win at the Midsouth MoM event in Tullahoma TN. He has since completed the LSF program again and is currently working on the Level V tasks for the 3rd time around. Since his return to soaring Gordon has been a very active contributor to the RC Soaring community with a passion for writing including the Nats News in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Gordon is the Model Aviation Soaring Columnist and also maintains many soaring websites e.g. Orlando Buzzards, the Gator F3B contest site, this USA F3B Team website and the USA F3J Team Website.
Gordon attended the F3B Worlds in China 2011 as a helper and the 2013 F3B Worlds in Nardt Germany as USA Team Manager. He has also been USA F3J Junior Team manager 2012, 2014 and 2016 cycles. Gordon is very active training and encouraging juniors in FAI events and LSF participation. He has won Grand Champion awards at the Tangerine in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Gordon’s wife Sheralyn supports him in his soaring endeavors attending many contests and they have a daughter Tanya and 3 grandchildren in Australia and two sons in Florida – Nathan and Jamie with one Grandchild Lorelei.