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Meet the 2015 Team

Kyle Paulson (Pilot)


Kyle lives in Westlake Village, California. He is married to his wife Mary Pat and together they have 4 children; Courtney, Christian, Kyler and Koby. Kyle has been a SoCal resident most of his life and plans to stay for years to come. He and his family love to camp and travel, many times going to locations and events centered on soaring competitions and fly sites. Kyler at 15 years old, the third child, flies and competes with his father Kyle and has been known to “put the hurt on the Old Guys” at times. Kyle and Kyler do most of their flying together and are “two-peas-in-a-pod”, “like father like son”. Look out for Kyler in the years to come! Koby his 4th child is now flying as well and coming along quite rapidly…. He may do an F3F race this year at the age of 8 years old!

Competition is the big draw for Kyle in all types of soaring. His specialty has been F3F and he is now branching out to F3B, Thermal Duration and F3K. He flies to compete and does well under pressure. He has been flying RC for 10 years and loves it more than ever. Some of his accomplishments include: 2 time F3F Viking Team member placing 10th in 2006 in Scotland and 5th at the 2008 Viking Race in Slovakia. He is currently the Southern California F3F Point Series Champion, 3 consecutive years in a row, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He also is the Point Series Champion of the 2008 F3F So Cal Cup. Kyle has also held multiple World Records, Dynamic Soaring. His most recent, although no longer the record, was DS’ing at Parker Mtn. at 302mph, caught on film and by radar gun. Kyle says his goals for the coming year are to win both the Southern California F3F Point Series for the 5th time, the So Cal Cup for the 2nd time.

Kyle is currently flying the Freestyler 3 and has two Freestyler 4’s coming and loves them for both F3F and F3B. For Thermal Duration he flies the Icon 2 and for F3K, the Aspirin. Again he can’t say enough good things about these models. Kyle is an Airtronics Factory Pilot and uses The SD-10G.

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.

Once again he is a pilot on the US team for the 2015 World Championships in Arnhem, Netherlands. Darrell is an MKS Servo USA Sponsored Pilot and is a Pilot on the Team.

Mike Lachowski (Pilot)
lachowskiMike 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.

Dillon Graves  (Junior Pilot)

gravesDillon is a 10th grader at Titusville High School taking advanced placement and honors classes. He enjoys being a member of the German Club and German Honor Society, playing the sousaphone with the Terrier Sound Marching band and is 1st chair tuba with the Wind Symphonic orchestra. He performs with the Creative Young Artists (Harmony Music Productions) in the Philharmonic Orchestra outside of school. Dillon comes from an R/C family as his grandfather is the founder of Graves RC Hobbies in Orlando Florida. He has represented Graves RC in many local air shows and indoor competition flying aerobatic and 3D planes like his 111cc 35% Extra 300. At the age of 9 he was introduced to flying. Early in 2011 Dillon began his career as a sailplane pilot. Spending many weekends, school holidays and after school practices with the guidance of his coaches Gordon Buckland and Jody Miller, he has become an accomplished pilot and Teammate.

He has accumulated many honors the past three years including: two time Junior National Champion F3J and Unlimited Thermal Duration in 2011 & 2013, National Champion Open Class F3J Thermal Soaring 2013, Overall Florida Soaring Society Champion as an Expert in Unlimited 3rd 2012 and 1st in 2013. 1st Sportsman Gator F3B World Cup 2013 and is now working on his League of Silent Flight level 5 just to name a few. He also flies in many contests sponsored by local clubs. Two of the biggest highlights in his young career was being a part of the USA F3J Junior Team, competing in South Africa in 2012 and in Slovakia this past summer. The experiences have made him push harder than ever before to become the best pilot he can be. With the support of his parents, John and Kim, he is looking forward to competing in The Netherlands and helping his Team bring home the GOLD!

Tom Kiesling (Alternate 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.

Glauco Lago (Team Manager)


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

Glauco Lago is 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 15 years ago. A few years before moving to the United States with his wife Leticia and their children (Isabela, 19, and Gabriel, 13), 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 also a helper at the 2013 World Championship in Germany where the USA Team won the Bronze medal.
Glauco currently flies an Xplorer 2 for TD/F3J but his true love is F3B where he flies Fosas and Fosa Lifts.
When not flying F3J or 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 2015 USA F3B Team.

Dave Olson (Team Helper)

olsonI fly like crap, have never won anything, I never have been on any team and have never travelled any where with a sailplane. I am not sponsored by anyone and probably never will be:-)

However, I really enjoy the people and camaraderie a lot! The friends you make. The sailplane pilots are just a great group. It is fun to learn and I really enjoy the process of striving to become a better pilot. This past year I have learned a lot and have improved my flying due to the gracious help of some very gifted pilots. What other sport do you get to rub shoulders with the “Formula 1 Drivers” and then they actually share their hard won knowledge with you. Flying with such talented pilots like Kyle Paulson, Darrell Zaballos, Mike Smith, Ron Vann, Steve Situm, Ken Gregory, Dan Field, Brandon Monte, David Klein, Tom Kiesling, Fred Sena, Aaron Valdes and Joe Wurts, just to name a few, that have gone out of their way and have spent time teaching me things. (forgive me if I left anyone out) Like most other sailplane pilots, I have a very strong passion for sailplanes. If I am not flying them, I am thinking about them. I find it very rewarding trying to pay it forward by helping out where and when I can:-)

Reto Fiolka (Team Helper)reto

Reto Fiolka 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 now director of a microscope facility at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he develops his own instruments.
Reto has been flying R/C since 1994 and started in 2001 competing in F3J, F3B, F3K and occasionally F3F. While still in Switzerland, Reto qualified for the Swiss National F3J Team for the 2010 World Championships in France, but gave up his spot. In the US, he focused mainly on F3K (handlaunch) and F3B. He represented Switzerland twice in F3K and made the fly offs at the first F3K World Championships 2011 in Arboga, Sweden.
Among Reto’s successes in R/C Soaring are a 19th rank (out of 119 participants) at the 2009 Oktoberfest Pokal F3B in Munich, winning the US F3K tour in 2013 and 2014, winning the “Bruce” F3K contest, one of the biggest DLG events in the US, in 2013 and the corresponding Team Trophy in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Reto is a big fan of F3B flying 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.
He is looking forward to helping the USA F3B Team with the best of his knowledge to achieve a great result at the 2015 World Championships in the Netherlands. Reto is a team helper on the 2015 USA F3B Team. Reto is an MKS Servo USA Sponsored Pilot. Reto is also sponsored by SoaringUSA.