Worlds Site Forecast


Humidity: %
More forecast...

Meet the 2019 Team

Tom Kiesling (Pilot)

Tom Kiesling

Tom in “full-on landing mode” in Perris CA.

Tom is a 47 year old Mechanical Engineer from California. Tom has been modeling for over 30 years. Tom has lived in San Diego for 10 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, 2013 and 2017 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 2018 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 2019.

Mike Lachowski (Pilot)

Mike Lachowski

Mike is one of the US Teams most experienced pilots.

Mike Lachowski is one of the 2015 USA F3B Soaring Team Pilots. He has also been a Team Pilot in 2003, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2017 as well as alternate in 2007 and 2013. He has been going to USA F3B Team Selection Contests since 1992 and has over 45 years of R/C Soaring experience. His model choice is a Freestyler 5 with LDS driven by JR servos.

Besides F3B models, Mike 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 aerotowing a 1:3 Orlik and a 1:2.9 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 is retired from a large international oil and gas company and enjoys many activities like golf with his wife, Terry.

Thomas Cooke (Pilot)

Thomas Cooke

Thomas with his F5J model.

Thomas is the owner of MKS Servos USA and here shows off his GPS Triangle model.

In 2007 I moved to the USA from Australia with my wife Nina so that we could both try to chase the “American Dream”. Initially packing our
bags for a 2 year secondment in Los Angeles, after moving to Houston in 2009 it seems the chase continues on and we now fly a Texan flag too.

I started slope flying in 1996, a chance encounter when driving home from school one day and stopping to check out the slope action at
the local hill. I was first introduced to F3B by my friends BJ and Carl in Sydney. Since that first contest (2002 in Milang), I have been hooked!

I enjoy both the challenge and frustration of F3B as it pushes me to improve and do better, put the work in and succeed. Get better in distance, don’t forget about doing well in speed followed by did I just bomb in task A…. I live and breathe the hobby, working for the past 9 years growing the awesome MKS Servos in the Americas!

My list of B machines started with a Tragi 702 and Race M in Australia. Then to a Ceres (RIP on Mt Vincent), Ceres Lift, Fosa (Thanks TK for stealing from me lol), Fosa Lift, Pitbull, Pitbull 2 and now the Freestyler 5.This is my first World Championship as a pilot and I am very proud to representing the USA.

Thank you for all your support!

Pavel Safarik (Helper)

Pavel Safarik

Pavel’s experience is a great asset to the USA F3B Team

I’m a mechanical engineer by trade, born in Czech Republic, had lived for many years in Austria and since 2003 I’ve been living in Seattle area. I grew up with model airplanes and the first time I got attached to the hobby being 6 years old when I found old Letecky Modelar magazines from 1950-tees in my grand mom’s attic. I had spent entire school break reading them and trying to glue models out of plywood and sticks. At 7 years old, I joined a model airplane club in my hometown Liberec where I learned to build basic models, A1 gliders and then compete with them against guys from another districts. It was awesome!

Over the years I had built and compete with many models, free flight A1, F1A, CL stunt, I had lead for couple years model airplane club, coaching and learning school kids. Some of the boys have been sticking with the hobby till today. In 1985 I got introduced to RC (my club lend me a RC set, it was outside my reach..) , I got hooked up with RC gliders. I have started with V2 (predecessor of F3J) and moved up in to F3B. In Liberec we had a great group. We were making club GF fuselage, cutting foam wings, we didn’t have the resources; our RC equipment was unreliable and basic, our Epoxy was the one you can get in home improvement store, balsa was a limited availability stuff, etc. But this didn’t stop us to build models using materials we found in our local hobby and home improvement stores, to practice and to travel from contest to contest. Trust me, it was like living a dream. Since 1988 I had been living in Austria, there I got first into F5B (the real electric gliders; with 27 cells and smoking ESCs), in 1996 found my way back to F3B by being part of one of the Czech groups. I always liked to build models, it has been my passion. In the time in Austria, I had built F5B molds, couple F3J/B fuselages etc for my friends. Some of the models were actually really good.

My professional path had lead me to USA. Starting from scratch again. Didn’t find F3B group but I found way into F3A. I had done competitive F3A actively in NW district. Flying together with my son Alexander who turned into a very good F3A pilot. Our F3A activities peaked in 2013 with our participation on F3A NATS and Alexander making it to semifinals (and me not being last). In 2014 we have lost our practice field, putting me on the search what to do in this hobby, situation.

I found way back to F3B! Sailplanes do follow me my entire life. I’m extremely excited supporting F3B Team USA! We go there to get them!!

Leszek Zyga (Helper)

Leszek Zyga

Leszek Zyga with his F3B model.

I was born in Poland. I graduated from high school specializing in the construction and operation of airplanes. I worked for a few years in the schematic department as a constructor in the prefabricated models of aircraft. I served military service in the Polish Air Force. After a few years, I left for the United States and settled in the state of New Jersey where I live to the present moment. Currently, I work at Norwalt Design Inc. which specializes in the construction of High Speed Assembly Machines.

But the passion of my life is aviation. In the years of my youth I flew on hang-gliders and full scale sailplanes and I have been flying remote controlled gliders since the age of 18.

For a few years I flew F3B models in the Polish national team. After leaving for the United States I had about 10 years break from the hobby until I found a club close to where I live. Now for about 20 years I have been flying F3J models in the North-East ESL. At the 2015 NATS I took 2nd place in F3J and 3rd in Unlimited. Now that I have the opportunity I am very happy to help the USA F3B team in the Czech Republic.