Rich holds an American flag as a supporter
for the US Team at the 2014 CL World
Championships in Wloclawek, Poland. Always
ready to help, Rich pitched in as a mechanic for
the New Zealand Combat team.
the most important, challenging, and
underappreciated roles in our society.
Later in his career, Rich was an
elementary school principal in some of
the most underprivileged communities
within the Los Angeles Unified School
District. When assigned to the worst-performing school in the district, Rich
poured himself into improving the
conditions there, elevating the standards
and educational opportunities for the
students, and eventually bringing the
school out of its initially dire state.
After that school was on a better
trajectory, Rich moved on to the next
most troubled school to improve it as
well. As you might imagine, the job was
tough and the conditions were trying, but
Rich gave his all to make it work.
With Rich, there was no halfway. When
he would commit or put his mind to
something, he was always full-on—you
always got 100%. Between his creativity,
organization, friendly and open character,
and understanding of people, Rich knew
how to get things done.
As a community, we are extremely
fortunate that Rich applied those skills
to helping us—writing this column
month in and month out over decades,
helping newcomers get into the air, and
even serving as manager for the US
CL Team, another important yet often
thankless job, which nonetheless is of
crucial importance for facilitating the
opportunities for others to achieve their
Although this is a tribute to a great
man and dear friend, this is also a column
about CL Combat, and I would be remiss
to underemphasize Rich’s spirit as a
fierce competitor. The statement that
Rich would always give 100% applies
everywhere, in particular to his flying.
Throughout the years, I had the
opportunity to come up against Rich a
few times in big competitions. Each time
it was a hard-fought battle to the end.
Even during and after his treatment,
weakened by the disease that would
eventually take him down, Rich
maintained an amazingly positive attitude.
Whenever the energy was there, Rich was
ready to fly. In the last few years, I saw
Rich put up some of the best flying of
his long career. At practice he might walk
slowly out to the handle, but once in the
air he was always back to full-tilt.
As my dad wrote in his tribute to Rich,
at times like this it is common for people
to wish the departed to rest in peace.
However, Rich was not a man of rest; he
was a man of action. The best way to keep
his spirit alive is to keep on flying and to
do everything we can to keep promoting
the sport so that it may continue to thrive
for many years.
A Final Note
I have a final note before signing off.
I believe Rich would appreciate this
because he was an avid competitor and
perennial supporter of the US teams. The
CL World Championships will be held
May 7-13, 2016, in Perth, Australia. There
will be a World Cup event preceding the
CL World Championships, running May
4-6. I’m sure Rich would have gone if
he’d had the chance, and I encourage as
many of you as possible to make the trip
if you are able. It’s a great opportunity to
compete in a World Cup event and then
support the US team in the CL World
Championships, while witnessing CL
Combat at its highest level.
I have even been told by Trevor
Letchford (an organizer) that many local
Combat fliers have already volunteered
to help as mechanics, so one need not
even worry about possibly going alone.
For more information, see the CL World
Championships website or contact Trevor
by email. Both are listed in “Sources.”
Control Line Model Aircraft World Championships 2016
Miniature Aircraft Combat Association (MACA)
126 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com
CONTROL LINE COMBAT