JS: How did you get involved with model
JO: I started working for Model Aviation
in January 1999, as an editorial production
assistant, straight out of college. I never
imagined that this hobby would become so
ingrained in me.
I had volunteered during one of the
Grand Events held at the International
Aeromodeling Center to help former AMA
Programs Director Jay Mealy with the EAA
Young Eagles program at Reese Airport
(south of AMA).
Jay took me on
my first general
me on all
model and full-scale. Obtaining
my full-scale pilot’s
license is still on my
bucket list, but I’ve been able
to fly with some amazing pilots
and in some incredible airplanes
including a B- 17, a Pitts racer, a T- 6
trainer, and an Extra 300.
JS: How has model aviation impacted your
life and/or career?
JO: Now my life pretty much revolves
around aviation. My fiancé works in the RC
helicopter industry, so we live and breathe
the RC model world.
My vacations are spent at events
throughout the country. I’ve had the
opportunity to meet many people and
make worldwide connections in the hobby
The tight-knit RC heli community
has become my second family. I
count many people from Germany,
Australia, United Kingdom, Vietnam,
the Philippines, and other countries as
friends. I’m fortunate and grateful to
be involved with AMA and this hobby.
I don’t think I’d trade it for anything.
JS: What disciplines of modeling do you
currently participate in?
JO: I’m partial to the helicopter
segment of the hobby! I’m still learning
to fly, but technology has made that
easier. I have an SAB Heli Division Goblin
500 with a DJI Naza-H stabilization system
on it, which has gotten me into the air and
able to learn orientation. I also have a couple
of trainer airplanes.
I’m interested in the sUAS and multirotor
segment of the hobby, and own a DJI
Flamewheel 550 with a Naza system. I find
the dealings with the sUAS community and
the FAA regulations fascinating and look
forward to seeing what the future brings in
JS: What are your other hobbies?
JO: I love photography and you’ll usually
see me along the flightline at events taking
pictures and trying to perfect my blade
or prop blur! I also love taking landscape
photos, especially of nature or old farm
structures and barns.
I’m a pig farmer’s daughter and I started
collecting unusual pig figurines in high
school. I have a collection of roughly 100.
JS: Who (or what) has influenced you most?
JO: I have so many influences! Greg
Alderman, my fiancé, supports me and my
job at AMA—and he has infinite patience
in my attempts at flying helicopters! He
influences me to be a better person.
Jeanette Hibpshman has been a huge
influence on me. Not only is she a full-scale
pilot, she is the first woman to compete in
the International Miniature Aerobatic Club
(IMAC) Nats … and she has a great time
doing both. She encourages me to go for it
Amy Botos is half of Synergy RC
Helicopters and a great friend as well. Not
only does she fly helicopters as well as the
boys, but she’s a fantastic photographer!
She motivates me to do better and try
JS: What advice would you give someone
interested in writing for the magazine?
JO: Words are my job, which means
grammar and correct information are key.
Take time to proofread your work and make
sure it reads well, is legible, and sounds
If you have a great idea about a particular
segment of the hobby for an article, go for it!
You don’t know until you try. It may just be
the next lead feature article.
168 Model Aviation APRIL 2014
Jennifer Orebaugh Model Aviation Assistant Editor