Dave Stott, cofounder of today’s FAC, launched his B- 25 during a 1975
FAC contest at Pinkham Field CT. Rubber-powered multiengines were rare
at that time. Photo by Bob Clemens.
FAC cofounder, Bob Thompson, tickled
everyone as he lofted his Langley
Aerodrome at the 1992 FAC Nats in
Geneseo N Y. Clemens photo.
FAC greats (L-R) Don Srull, Ralph Kunenz, Dave Stott, and Jack Moses
enjoyed a good laugh at one of the State University of New York Geneseo
campus dormitories in 1995. Moses photo.
to get an exact
were pleased with
the new FAC
rules, which were
then printed on
only one page in
the first newsletter.
printed in the
To become a
member of the
new FAC, it was
necessary to travel
and enter an FAC
contest. Doing so
implied that the
contestant was an
and therefore worthy of FAC membership and of receiving
the FAC newsletter. I made my pilgrimage to Connecticut in
1973 with my Caproni Ca 5 WW I Italian bomber, complete
with a crew of three. The model was untested and I elected
not to fly it, but it was warmly received.
Within roughly a decade, FAC clubs had formed in the
US, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. Membership
dramatically increased and demanded far more time, energy,
and expense than anticipated by the club’s founding fathers.
By the late 1970s, Dave and Bob both felt that they could
no longer manage the burgeoning FAC. As they struggled
with their dilemma, Lin Reichel, of Erie, Pennsylvania,
stepped forward. Lin and his wife, Juanita, had successfully
managed Little League baseball in Erie for years. Lin
recognized the potential of the modern FAC and offered to
become its next leader.
Dave and Bob saw the value of Lin’s experience and in
1978 welcomed him as the FAC’s new leader, affectionately
titled Commander in Chief. With Lin in charge, the FAC
transferred its headquarters from Connecticut to Erie. Juanita
knew little about aviation or aeromodeling. She was in
banking and helped with money matters involving the FAC.
Lin’s two principal helpers were his
old friend, Vic Didelot, and Ross Mayo,
both from Erie. Vic was an expert in
model engines and an astute judge of
craftsmanship. Lin, along with Mike
Midkiff, introduced Ross to the joy of
building model airplanes. Ross became
Lin’s protégé and accompanied him
54 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com