RC South Officers

President

Chuck Baker – Email

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I grew up in Clarksville, IN – down near Louisville, KY. My Sophomore year we moved out to the country, near Pekin, IN. I spent my Junior year as an exchange student to Sweden courtesy of Rotary International. After completing college in Bloomington with a degree in Computer Science, I moved to Indianapolis for work. Spent about 14 years doing industrial automation software for the corrugated container industry, then the following 19 years working on software for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. I’m now retired!

I have always been fascinated with Model Aviation, but didn’t start flying RC until 1986. My uncle got me interested and hooked me up with an old Sig Kadet MkI kit, which I added ailerons to, and a converted OS Max 35 control line engine. Purchased an old Kraft FM 4ch radio from the local hobby shop and I was on my way!

Flew my first electric in 1988, a Great Planes ElectriCub that my Uncle had built. It used an RC car motor and battery and he had put full-size servos and receiver in it. It would barely climb in level flight. He was disappointed with it, so he let me have it to see what I could do with it. I installed a Futaba Attack electric radio in it – receiver w/integrated speed control and micro servos. Also upgraded the battery to 7 cells and it was a completely different airplane – a joy to fly!

I flew both glow and electric for several years, but now pretty much fly electrics exclusively. I enjoy the scale birds and the electric ducted fans. I’m also partial to unique aircraft, as evidenced by the RC kite that I enjoy flying on calm days.

I have served in all three officer roles previously, 2 years each, and was President last back in 1998 and 1999. Hopefully I remember enough about the job to be able to do it again. Looking forward to serving as your President in 2020!

Vice President / Secretary

Adam Hunt – Email

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I have lived my entire life, except for college, in Hancock County, Indiana. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue and have worked as a Design Engineer and in Engineering Management for over 30 years. I will have been married to my wife Sarah for 25 years this summer and have a 17 year old son and a 12 year old daughter.

I guess I come from a family intrigued with flight. My grandfather and father both built and flew free flight models. My father still has some of my grandfather’s early gasoline and diesel engines. I was introduced to flight, like most kids, with paper airplanes, balsa gliders, rubber powered built-up, nitro free flight and control line. In the 3rd grade, my teacher asked for volunteers to start a model rocket club and all of that provided many years of enjoyment during my childhood.

In college, I took my ground school classes for full scale. I really did not have the money to continue so to satisfy my flying urge, I started going to the local RC field with one of my fraternity brothers. One day at the field, there was a crash which resulted in the pilot giving me the wreckage and his old Kraft radio. I rebuilt the plane and added a brand new OS 0.40 and learned to fly it. The radio never really was very good and after several crashes due to a mixture of radio problems and inexperience, I put the hobby on the shelf. In 1990, I built my first electric RC plane and purchased a new Futaba radio. The electronics were much better than my previous, but the NiCd batteries of the time were really not up to the task. After unsatisfactory results, I pushed pause on the hobby again.

From 2007-2010, I worked for a lithium battery technology start-up. I knew from this experience that batteries could now provide the type of energy needed to make them a viable replacement to internal combustion. I took a job with Praxair in 2010 working as a peer of Doug Gifford. In talking with Doug, I knew he flew RC planes and after completing a new India plant build in 2012 I was ready to return to the hobby.

In 2013, I bought an E-flite Apprentice (non-stabilized) and Spektrum radio. After a few weeks training with Doug and Bob Badger, I was able to solo. I now have about 10 planes and enjoy flying at our field and attending our monthly meetings. I also have a 3D printer and enjoy experimenting with that as well. I look forward to serving as the club VP/Secretary and getting to know all of you better. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can be of assistance.

Treasurer

Doug Gifford – Email

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My interest in aviation came at an early age growing up in northern New Jersey. My dad had been in the 8th Air Force in England during World War II as a statistician for the 2nd air division flying B-24’s. Although part of the ground based staff, he brought back a beautiful war bride (Mom) and a lasting interest in aviation. As I grew up we were often taken to air shows, museums and other aviation related events and attractions. My youth was filled with balsa dust, glow fuel and gun powder as I experimented a little with free flight and model rocketry but mostly with control line flying.

I attended engineering school at Newark College of Engineering receiving an EE degree specializing in control systems. In 1973 I married my grade school sweetheart, Debbie, and a year later, now working for Union Carbide, we were transferred to Indianapolis.

With a steady paycheck my thoughts turned again to model aviation but this time it was RC. I bought a used Andrews H-Ray with a Super Tigre .21 and an OS radio (yes – an OS radio – we are all fortunate that they specialized in engines). Helpful folks at Indianapolis Westside RC Modelers worked hard to teach me to fly but the crashes were all too frequent and soon raising a family and kid sports took precedence.

In 1995 Bob Badger invited me to come visit the Indy RC South flying field and after a few minutes of stick time on Bob’s fun fly bird I was re-hooked. I bought a well used airframe and an engine and the crashing began again. I was very determined and Bob Badger, Duane Wright, Brian Hardman and others were very generous with their time. Within a year I had graduated to the skill level of “traffic” at the Quickee 500 pylon races. I never got past the “traffic” level but had an absolute blast trying.

What enabled my return to the hobby was the welcoming and helping nature of the members of Indy RC South. I live in Brownsburg but I have so many friends in the South Side club I plan to be here as long as I can drive. Over the years I was President (around year 2000) and Treasurer for a number of years. The most enjoyment I have had has been being involved in new pilot training with Bob Badger. This area is a strength of this club and getting a chance to help new pilots as I was helped is very rewarding.

I retired from Union Carbide/Praxair in 2011 and have been enjoying a bit more flying but end up splitting time between my Corvette hobby and golf as well as helping with my three grandchildren in town. I look forward to getting more involved with Indy RC South working with Rick and Adam and serving as Treasurer for the coming year.

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