July 2012

Summer has been flying by it feels like! Over the past month I have traveled through 5 different states! We celebrated the 4th of July at Jackson Lake that is located in Jackson, GA. My family and I are members of a boat club where we bring our motor home and boat and stay for a week. We had a blast, but I couldn’t stay and watch fireworks due to I had to get home so I could leave the next day to Dayton, OH to start my trip for the 2012 Aerobatic Nationals.

I woke up around 8 AM to begin my trip to Dayton, Ohio. The 2012 Aerobatic Nationals took place July 9th thru 12th in Muncie, IN. but I ended up leaving on the 5th to go up and practice where one of my main sponsors are located. Ohio Model Planes is one of my main sponsors that supply the airplanes I fly in competition. They are located just outside of Dayton, Ohio. Luckily the flying field to practice at was just a few miles down the road and we had the field to ourselves! Only one problem…IT WAS HOT!!! The average temperature during the time we practice was above 100 degrees! Yes we were crazy!

After practicing for two days and spending time with my sponsors I loaded up and headed to Muncie, IN, where the 2012 Aerobatic Nationals was taken place. The AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) is the host of this event. AMA is the main organization of R/C Flying. The site was just an hour and half away from Dayton. When I arrived to the field on July 8, I was lucky enough to get one practice flight in before it started raining. After the flight I loaded up and headed off to the hotel where I was staying with other friends from the Southeast Region.

On July 9th it’s rough waking up at 5:30 AM to get ready for the start of the event! The flying started at 8 AM sharp and my class was the first to go! I was competing against 15 other competitors in the unlimited class and it was difficult! I am going against the best of the best! At the end of day 1 and 2 I maintained 10th place, which is not bad considering it was my first Nationals. At the end of the third day I jumped to 9th place!

At the end of the third day the annual banquet took place at the AMA headquarters building. We had an outstanding dinner! At the end of the dinner the President of the International Miniature Aerobatic Club gave his speech. In his speech he announced a new event that will happen in 2014. The 2014 Aerobatic Worlds. The Worlds will consist of different pilots representing their countries. As of now the qualification process to be apart of Team USA has not been announced, but I hope to have a shot to represent the USA in the 2014 Aerobatic Worlds!

On the 4th and last day of the competition I had some bad luck. Up to this point we have only completed 40% of our final score. The final day consisted of 60% of your score. We had to fly 4 times and on my first flight my engine quit during the sequence causing me to zero out most of the round! I flew outstanding the next two flights, but my final flight my nerves got me and ended up messing up the sequence. I was a little upset I did this, but I had a blast competing against the best! I ended up finishing back in 11th place. I also finished in 4th place for the freestyle portion, which is a separate event within the contest.

Overall I had an outstanding time at my first national event. I hope to make it back next year! The end of July we have the Youth Masters coming up in Woodruff, SC. This event is for 16 and younger boys and girls to come fly competition R/C flying. The airplanes are provided for the kids. This is how I got into competition flying through the Youth Masters back in 2005 and 2006. It teaches you a lot about competition and how to be a good competitor in the sport. I go every year to help out in anyway I can! Kids are our future and without them there won’t be a future in R/C flying. Many of them dream one day to have a career in the field of aviation. The owner of the field owns several real planes and gives the kids a ride when the competition is over. This is a great event for anyone and it teaches the kids a lot of life long lessons!

Well other than flying I have been busy doing online classes over the summer to complete my degree at Embry-Riddle. I am currently taking two classes. The classes end the first of August and after that I will then have a four-year degree from Embry-Riddle! After completing the degree I hope to be selected in October for the first hiring panel for Air Traffic Control. My goal is to get a job in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

That is all for this month! Hope you all are doing well and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email!

Kevin Garland

June 2012

What a busy few weeks it has been for me! To start out, right before I graduated from Embry-Riddle I participated in yet another IMAC competition. The competition took place in Jacksonville, Florida during the first weekend in May after finals! I had no practice going into this event mainly due to finals were the week before. I went to the contest just to have fun and ended up placing in second place! I was very surprise and happy with how well I ended up doing.

After returning back to Daytona after the competition I had to clean up and start packing up my apartment before graduation. My parents and family came down the Thursday before graduation to help me pack up. They ended up renting a U-Haul to take all of the furniture back to Georgia where I live. Graduation day was a very big day for me considering I am one of the first in my family to graduate with a college degree. My brother just finished his a few months ago. I had to end up doing degree complete considering I still have two more classes to take, but I am currently taking them at home through the Worldwide campus.

When graduation was over, we all finished packing up and hit the road. My family ended up driving back home while I went up to South Carolina for the whole week to attend the 30th Annual Joe Nall Fly-In. This fly-in is one of the biggest radio control air shows in the world. There are around 1,200 registered pilots with thousands of spectators. This event takes place in Woodruff, South Carolina, which is in the middle of nowhere! I had a blast for the whole week even though I ended up crashing three of my planes! One was my fault, but the other two had mechanical problems causing them to crash. Luckily, now I have replacements and have been busy building planes this past week!

Well now I am finally moved back home in Georgia with my parents. I plan on living with my parents until I can afford to build a house myself. We live on 76 acres and I plan to build my house next door to keep the land in the family. I am hoping to be picked up my FAA for Air Traffic Control in Atlanta this October. As for now I will be working on my CFI rating along with working at one of the local airports as a customer service rep. A few weeks ago I ended up meeting a few of my friends from Embry-Riddle at Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was very nice to see them again. We attended one of Stone Mountain’s Laser Shows. They will graduate this fall.

This month I have two competitions to attend with one being June 9-10 and the other on June 30 – July 1. Both are in Georgia and require just a two-hour drive to attend! So keep a look out for updates on how I do at these competitions! If all goes well I maybe attending the US Nationals Competition in Muncie, Indiana this July!

October 1, 2011

My name is Kevin Garland and I am currently a senior at Embry-Riddle majoring in Aeronautics, with an Air Traffic Control (ATC) minor, and an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) minor. How did I get where I am today? Well, back when I was just six years old, my grandfather introduced me to aviation by means of flying Radio Control Aircraft. I first soloed my first R/C Aircraft when I was seven years old and since then I knew what I wanted my future career to be in.

Today I am a commercial-rated pilot with instrument privileges and currently sponsored by some of the top Radio Control Aircraft companies in the world. I travel throughout the southeast region competing in precision aerobatic flying, or known as IMAC. (www.mini-iac.com) The 2011 season started back in January and currently I am ranked 4th in the region in the Advanced Class. Due to time constraints, I have been able to make only three competitions this year. The first one was in Land O’ Lakes, Florida where I came in 1st place with my new competition aircraft called a Raven. Ohio Model Planes, which is my sponsor, supplied me with this aircraft for my 2011 Season. In February, I attended the Deland IMAC event and placed 2nd place and finally in June I attended the South Georgia IMAC, in Andersonville, GA and placed 1st place.

The season is currently coming to an end with only a few events left on the schedule. One, which takes place in Ocala, Florida during the Fall Break, is a competition that the Radio Control Airplane Club at ERAU has always attended and done well in. The last contest of this year is the 2011 Southeast Regionals. This is where the top 10 pilots of each class go and compete to see who performs the best for the 2011 season. This contest takes place the second weekend in November in Jacksonville, Florida. Last year we brought home 3rd place in the Advanced Class and were 2nd place for the points race. We hope to bring home a win at regionals this year!

Flying R/C Aircraft is not all about competing. On September 18th we hosted an Indoor Fly-In at ERAU’s ICI Center. We had a total of 32 pilots from all over Florida attending this event. This was the second run of the event and it was a success for the organization! Keep a look out for the 2012 Indoor Fly-In which we hope for it to be in March!

The R/C Club at ERAU currently has 49 members involved in the organization. Many members have no experience flying R/C Aircraft so we assign instructors to teach them to fly. We have been busy the past month teaching new members to fly, which a few of them will use these skills in the field of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Having R/C Experience is great to have on your resume if you plan to go into the Unmanned world!

That is about it for this month. Check back next month for results on how we do at the Ocala Aerobatic Competition. The R/C Club and I will be heading over to compete as usual and we always have a great time!