Three new pilots, including two moving up from the ProTek R/C support team, will be joining the five returning members from last year, and each will be flying a mix of helicopters and support equipment. "Our pilots get to pick and choose what they fly, since they are sponsored 100% by us," said A Main Hobbies CEO Kendall Bennett. "This way, our team represents a wider range of the brands of products that we sell." All pilots will use ProTek R/C batteries, chargers, power supplies, and accessories exclusively.
A Main Hobbies' flight team pilots are tentatively scheduled to attend the following events:
- Huntsville Heli Flyers Fun Fly - Huntsville, AL
- Extreme Flight Championships - AMA National Flying Site, Muncie, IN
- Fabulous Las Vegas Fun Fly - William Bennett R/C Airfield, Las Vegas, NV
- 495th Squadron Helicopter Fun Fly - Pinnacle Street Field, Tewksbury, MA
- Oroville Air Corp Fun Fly - Oroville Air Corps, Oroville, CA
- IRCHA Jamboree - AMA National Flying Site, Muncie, IN
- Helifreak Fun Fly - Palomar RC Flyers Club, Fallbrook, CA
Returning for his second year as team manager, Frank Columbia of Long Island, NY, will once again oversee a group of pilots of different ages and experience levels. A former XFC invitee whose resume also includes appearances at Taiwan Cup and the Align Las Vegas Ultimate Competition, Frank's R/C career originally began over 20 years ago. "I'm looking forward to another great year with A Main Hobbies and appreciate the opportunity to be involved with such a progressive company," said Frank.
Andrew Merlino, of Tewksbury, MA, enjoyed a breakout year in 2011 that included star performances at the Huntsville Heli Fun Fly, IRCHA Jamboree, and Helifreak Fun Fly, along with a career-best finish in his second appearance at XFC. The 17-year old, who began showing interest in RC flight simulators as early as age 5, will be looking to continue his rapid climb to the top in his second year with the team.
Brian Tran moves up from the ProTek R/C support team after a great year in 2011 with his own equipment, and will be trading in his previous helicopters for brand new Align T-Rex 700E and 450 Pro V2 kits. Showing incredible skill despite flying for only a few short years, look for the 19-year old from San Bruno, CA to turn heads anytime he steps up to the flight line.
Devin LeBlanc also joins the A Main Hobbies team after flying for ProTek R/C in 2011; at just 19 years old, Devin joins Andrew and Brian as the three members of the team under age 20. The Las Vegas, NV resident has excelled in his short career and will excel in his new role with the team.
A full-time customer service representative at A Main Hobbies during the week, Helicopter Service Technician Greggor McGrath of Magalia, CA enjoys the rare opportunity to test new helicopters that arrive at the warehouse; this experience and versatility has made Greggor one of the most well-rounded pilots on the team. When he's not traveling to major events with the rest of the flight team, Greggor performs at local demo events and reviews products for A Main Hobbies' YouTube channel.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada's Leon Luke, a former F3C pilot for the Canadian National Team, is the third new pilot to join the A Main Hobbies - ProTek R/C flight team for 2012. Most recently a factory pilot for Align, Leon brings nearly two decades of RC experience, including appearances at some of the world's most prestigious freestyle events, to his brand new team.
Tim Jones, the power-hungry pilot best known for his one-off "Beast" electric helicopter, doubles as a test pilot for many manufacturers whose products are sold through A Main Hobbies. The 23-year old from Simi Valley, CA, whose RC career began at just five years of age and has included both land and air vehicles, brings the perfect combination of exciting, high-powered flights and broad hobby experience to the team.
Wesley Griffith, from Elmont, NY, is another member of the team who has spent years with both RC helicopters and as well as cars. A regular at events in the Northeast, the former Outrage team pilot will once again travel to the larger national events with the A Main Hobbies - ProTek R/C flight team in 2012.
About ProTek R/C
ProTek R/C, an A Main Hobbies brand, was founded in 2004 as a line of bearings. Now with a catalog of over 700 different products, ProTek R/C offers batteries, chargers, and accessories for radio controlled cars, trucks, helicopters, and airplanes. ProTek R/C products are available to hobby shops through Swift Distributing. The company's Web address is http://www.protekrc.com.
About A Main Hobbies
A Main Hobbies is a leading Internet retailer of radio controlled cars, trucks, helicopters and airplanes. Founded in early 2004, A Main Hobbies has rapidly become one of the largest Internet retailers in the country. A Main Hobbies prides itself on having the products customers need, when they need it, and providing first class customer service and product support. A Main Hobbies is a division of Good Time Hobbies, Inc., a privately held California Corporation. The company's Web address is http://www.amain.com.