by Chris Mulcahy
Helicopter pilots from all over the world convene each year at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Indiana, to attend one of the largest RC helicopter gatherings to date: the International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association (IRCHA) Jamboree. IRCHA is AMA’s helicopter Special Interest Group (SIG), and
the organization has a little experience putting this event together. This year represented the IRCHA Jamboree’s 25th
You’ll find a little bit of everything at the event, and people from all walks of life. There is everything from 3-D to
Speed, Scale, and vintage machines. Manufacturers often use the IRCHA Jamboree as the place to announce and/or
unveil their latest products, while team pilots demonstrate their abilities. Whatever you’re into in the helicopter sport,
the IRCHA Jamboree will have it.
I spoke to IRCHA President Dave Millner about what it meant to be celebrating 25 years. He told me that it was
a testament to helicopter pilots’ abilities to adapt and embrace new and changing technology and ideas. He recalled
the inception of IRCHA, when Don Chapman and a handful of pilots decided to form the SIG, and help promote the
emerging helicopter side of the hobby.
That first IRCHA Jamboree, held in Dayton, Ohio, had 60 registered pilots. Twenty-five years later, the event
attracted 1,074 registered pilots (plus a few more who chose not to register, but that is another story). Something
to realize is that 25 years ago there was no Internet or forums, so the only way to learn about the hobby was to get
together and talk about it or read newsletters. The essence of IRCHA was fellowship and learning.
21 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2014