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Brayden Chamberlain, holding his newly acquired Experience Pro, along with many of the generous pilots who helped him, at the Tangerine Soaring Championships.

Written by Gordon Buckland
RC Soaring column bonus content
Read more about RC soaring in the March 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.

I would like to report on something magical that happened in the Florida Soaring community. Dillon Graves (F3K Junior World Champion) recruited a 13-year-old school friend, Brayden Chamberlain, to come to a local Soaring contest to watch us fly.

We spoke with Brayden and his father, Doug, about the potential for Brayden to learn Soaring with the Orlando Buzzards Radio Control Soaring Society. Brayden was an accomplished electric-powered aircraft pilot and was interested in sailplanes, but Doug expressed concern that the high cost of the models would probably prohibit his entry in Soaring.

We put the word out to local aeromodeling clubs, and within days a local Soaring pilot, John Kennedy, offered to donate an RTF Experience Pro that he wasn’t currently flying. We decided to surprise Brayden by having it ready to fly at the Tangerine Soaring Championships. John Graves donated a used transmitter and receiver and the model was prepped and ready to present to Brayden at the contest.

Club members decided to test-fly and trim the model before Brayden arrived on Saturday morning. Then the unthinkable happened. After a few minutes in the air, with trimming done and flight modes tested, the model inexplicably dove out of control into the ground and was destroyed. To say we were shattered is an understatement.

When Brayden arrived, we had to explain to him what happened. It was in that moment of gloom that magic happened. Buddy Bradley said he had a similar Experience Pro for sale, which he would sell to Brayden for a reduced price of $500.

At the pilot’s meeting, we explained what had occurred, and asked all of the contestants if they would each be kind enough to donate $10 or $20 to replace Brayden’s model. Within 10 minutes, a bunch of generous pilots had donated sufficient funds and the model was purchased.

Brayden flew it for the first time after the event and has since been out to fly with the Orlando Buzzards. He competed in his first Soaring contest at Christmas, Florida, where he achieved some great maxes and landings in windy conditions.

I am proud of the community that we are part of, with so many pilots ready to step up and support yet another Junior getting started in our hobby. Thank you to the entire Tangerine pilot group for your wonderful gesture. You are part of RC Soaring’s future.

Watch this column for more about Brayden’s progress as we train him.
Go downwind and soar.



Team USA F3J

Orlando Buzzards

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