The Hobby Has Lost a Great Ambassador - Dave Mathewson

Dave Mathewson was not just a good friend to many fellow RC pilots. He was a friend to the hobby. We have a lost another good one.


Remembering Dave Mathewson

The hobby lost a good friend today. Lately, I have really been preaching about being all of us being good ambassadors to RC. Dave Mathewson was exaclty that. I met Dave before he was the AMA president. Way back then 3D was the segment of the hobby that many pilots decided would "bring down the hobby." I found Dave at the Toledo show and he stopped and talked to me about his feelings about this topic for as long as I needed. It turned out Dave and I had the same thoughts on not only 3D, but most other things related to the hobby. The day Dave was elected as the AMA president he called me before it was announced. He said he wanted to let me know in advance and also to thank me for spreading this word. After that, I saw Dave at just about every show I attended. I always made a point to say hello to Dave and hug his wife Ginger. One year Dave and Mark Smith surprised me by attending my event here in Nashville. They fit right in!! I was very surprised when I was presented an award by Dave and Mark. It meant a lot.

Losing Dave isn't just sad for everyone that loved him, it is sad for our hobby. It takes folks like Dave to keep our hobby going and propelling it into the future. In honor of Dave's memory, I challenge you to be as good of an ambassador for RC as he was. Goodspeed Dave, we will miss you!

From Rich Hanson - AMA President

It is with great sadness that I share the news of Dave Mathewson's passing on Sunday, October 21. Dave was an ardent modeler, he loved the hobby, loved AMA, and served the AMA community for many years.

Dave served on the Executive Council as the District ll vice president for several years before serving as AMA president from 2008 to 2011, and was AMA's executive director from 2011 until his retirement this past Spring. He was also a close friend to many of us, including me. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave's family and friends during this time of grieving.

Like many of us, Dave's interest in model aircraft began at a young age. He flew his first RC model aircraft with his father when he was just 8 years old, leading to his interest in becoming a full-scale pilot and his career in science and technology.

We were all lucky to know and work with Dave. As many of you can attest, he had a passion for our beloved hobby, a tireless work ethic, and was always willing to help anyone in need. He will always be in our hearts as an AMA leader, lifelong modeler, and a true and loyal friend.

Last spring, we honored Dave at his retirement banquet, where many of his friends, colleagues, and fellow fliers spoke about Dave's commitment to our hobby and his many career accomplishments. To hear more about Dave's great career, his love for model aviation, and more, you can watch this video.

In Memoriam: Dave Mathewson (4 min 7 sec)

We will share additional information regarding visitation services when they become available. In the meantime, please send condolences to AMA Headquarters (address below) or leave a note on our webpage.

Thank you, Rich Hanson AMA President

Please send condolences to: AMA Headquarters Attn: Human Resources 5161 E Memorial Drive Muncie IN 47302.

Dave's Obit

Dave Mathewson, 66, of Cicero, passed away peacefully Sunday at home. At eight years old, Dave was first introduced to radio control (RC) airplanes by his father and a lifelong passion for the sport took flight. From the 70s into the 90s, Dave was an accomplished RC pilot with numerous championships in modeling competitions to his credit. In the late 90s, he became actively involved with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), first as associate vice president, then as vice president, and became president of AMA in 2008. In 2011, he was selected to be the executive director of AMA, a position he held until his retirement in April 2018.

Dave's love for aviation was not limited to RC model aircraft. In 1983, he became a licensed pilot of full-scale aircraft and subsequently became the owner of Marcellus Airport.

Dave was predeceased by his parents, Myron and Anne Mathewson. Surviving are his wife, Ginger; children, Jessica Dolan, Kevin (Mallory) Mathewson, Aaron Andreotta and Ryan (Amanda) Andreotta; sister, Diana (Arlindo) Neves; brother, Daniel Mathewson; grandchildren, Jozlyn Dolan, Ezekiel and Wyatt Mathewson, Alexis, Camran, Rusty and Robbie Andreotta; and several nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends may call Thursday, October 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Buranich Funeral Home, 5431 W. Genesee St., Camillus. Services will be private.

David will be laid to rest in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Marcellus. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to AMA, 5161 East Memorial Dr., Muncie, IN 47302. Share condolences at

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Oct 23, 2018, 10:40 AM
EB-66C Team Member
xplaneguy's Avatar
RIP Dave, and thank you for everything you did for our great hobby!

Oct 23, 2018, 12:08 PM
RIP Mr. Mathewson. THANK YOU for ALL you’ve done for the AMA & the hobby!!!! You’re up there with the angels now!!! Sincerely, Daniel
Last edited by Bell47G2; Oct 24, 2018 at 08:06 AM.
Oct 23, 2018, 04:07 PM
Registered User
23 tireless years with the AMA. How many can say that?

My condolences to his family and friends. We all appreciate his effort and the path he paved for all of us to have fun flying in this hobby. Rest in peace sir! You will be missed.
Oct 24, 2018, 07:44 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
RIP to a very good man. I was sorry to read this the other day from AMA.
Oct 24, 2018, 08:29 PM
Registered User
RIP for a nice guy. I have good memories of him flying my Magnum on floats at the JR Fest in Columbus- He had a good time landing/taking off from the water.
Oct 25, 2018, 11:56 AM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
My deep and sincere sympathy to his family.

I feel a sense of loss for our hobby. He put himself before the world, working on our behalf; and, I am grateful to him for his efforts.
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Oct 26, 2018, 08:21 AM
Home of "Golf Cart Flying"
pecanpatch's Avatar
RIP to a great man.....
Oct 28, 2018, 12:26 PM
Shameless Warbirdaholic.
Aros.MotionRC's Avatar
RIP to a great man and ambassador to this hobby we love.
Nov 04, 2018, 02:51 PM
AMA 8855
Good bye Dave. You will certainly be missed by all of us AMA members. You were the champion of our cause and a leader to be admired. You led from the front, representing our objectives, a trait shared by only the best. You left us to soon and we will miss you.
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