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Aug 29, 2007, 08:36 PM
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RCGroups.com Author of the week - pda4u!


We definitely have a contingency of Texans (a bevy? a flock? a pride?) in the RCGroups authors. Flying buddies even. A gang.

Mike Llewellyn, aka pda4u is one of this gang and a fantastic reviewer. I know I can always count on an easy read that's chock full of detail and gushing with love for some warbird or another or some crazy fast jet type thingy.

He's married, he's got kids, he's a Scout Master, and just a solid guy. He prefers Betty to Wilma, MaryAnn to Ginger, but his favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail so you know you can't entirely predict him (even if he is originally from Idaho).

His fellow RCGroups authors are the interviewers here.

How long you been into RC? 29 years. Started at 14yrs old after Control Line and Rockets. Self taught with GREAT difficulty!

Married? Kids? Yes and yes - 4 kids - Brandon goes to college in 4 days! Blake/15 started to get into RC again (thank heavens one of them likes it) Kevin/11 and Megan/9 (the little princess)!

Occupation? Marketing - after 19 years in Sales for the Sabre Group (computer reservations system for travel agencies/airlines/hotels/cruise/cars etc). They had no idea what a pain in the rear a customer advocate would be!

Other Hobbies? Used to be photography but now is working with the Boy Scouts. I guess that is a hobby although a LOT of work.

Fastest car or motorcycle you ever owned? Motorcycle - v65 Magna in college. My now wife then girlfriend loved it, until she started her work in hospitals (shes a med tech) but then she said it had to go (donormobile as she called it). Really loved my Toyota '79 Celica. Not super power but a blast.

Favorite rock song? "Long Time", Boston (although I am still peeved at Brad Delp for offing himself).

Favorite NFL team? Liking Dallas this year. Romo, HOLD THE FREAKING BALL. Sorry.

Favorite vacation spot? Cancun but warm Caribbean islands (Turks Bay, St. Croix, St. Martin all favs. Like cruising....a lot.)

How many electric planes do you own? You asking or my wife? Wife = 10, Actual = 15 (these are all ready to fly!) 3 more in build stage.

AMA member? Yep - considering a life membership - but that is a lot of cash......

How often do you get to fly? 2-3 time per week

What plane or type of plane would you most like to be assigned for review? Scale warbirds first, scale anything next and fast third.

Besides planes and radio gear is there anything in our hobby that you would like to review? Have not reviewed a glider that would be cool - I really love it, but it is a passion not shared by my flying buddies. Not really into cars, but a boat might be fun.

Have you ever flown gliders and if so slope and/or thermal? Yes to gliders and powered gliders (e and .049 back in the day). No slopers but would LOVE that. Mostly thermal duration - my fav Aquila Grande in fact when teaching myself - the ONLY plane I could fly (as I sadly learned wreck after wreck) was the Marks Models Wanderer 72". I hucked that little sucker about a bazillion times, then stuck an .049 on it and learned to fly. Wore that plane out... loved it.

Where is the most unusual place you have flown? Scout camp - with tall trees and about a 30x30 open space. Slow Stick - circled up and up and up, cleared the trees and flew around - the scouts could not believe it! Used the table for a spot landing! Tons of fun.

What is the most unusual thing you have done in this hobby? Let the scouts shoot model rockets at the Slow Stick - if they hit it - they win it! Fly nice and slow over the launch pad - amazing how hard it is to time! Next was using one of the 100,000 candlepower (or whatever, they are bright) spotlights and shining it on the plane (Slow Stick, we do really sick stuff to them!) while flyng in pitch black dark.

How would you describe your flying skills? Lucky beginner... well maybe a bit better. No 3D skills, no heli skills (unless you count re-kitting). I will TRY to fly anything!

What is the best food dish YOU prepare? Actually I do cook quite a bit. My best is likely chicken enchiladas..... Mmmmmm

Did RC influence the car/carrier you drive? Not really - I primarily drive a 2000 Accord. love Hondas. But I usually drive the "kid" mobile (a 1996 Mercury Villager minivan) when going to the field - ho hum.

Do you play a musical instrument and if yes, what? Yes - the radio. I quit piano at age 8, mom found out 6 months later - my rear still hurts from the tanning I got!

How many large bags of popcorn can you eat at a movie? Well back in the day one...maybe even the bucket. But now I have lost 37 pounds and 20 inches. Very happy with that! So no popcorn.

What is your favorite movie? Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

In school, were you the athletic type or the brainiac type? Brainiac - my only sport was tennis. Was the head photog on the yearbook staff my Jr./Sr. year and LOVED that most of all. My wife and 3 of 4 of my kids are all SIGNIFICANTLY smarter than me. In fact, yesterday I found a dust mite that gave me a run for my money.

What is/was your favorite plane of all time? Sig Kougar but very closely followed by the Sig Somethin' Extra. Both will likely be replaced by the Aspera. I only have a dozen flights on it, and I can't stop grinning. Disconnected a battery in an outside loop on it today. Thank heavens it had two separate packs - got it down safe! I will use velcro seatbelts on it from now on - promise!

Where were you born? Burley Idaho USA. Explains a lot about me actually.

Have you ever been to any foreign countries? Several. Traveled at length for work, at one point 5 days a week. Favorite is likely Philippines - love the people. Japan, Argentina are favs.

Have you ever taken flying lessons? RC - no (need to)! Full scale yes. Did not solo, but have the itch again. Wife not too sure, and not too sure = NO. Will have an ultralight when the kids are gone.

What comes on the perfect pizza for you? Canadian bacon and pineapple.

What is your favorite online RC vendor? Hard one - Tower, Hobby Lobby, Aircraft-World if I have to narrow it to one (or three)!

What do you like most about RC? It is my escape from reality. I love my wife and family but this is what I do for me!

What do you like least about RC? It can be VERY time consuming - especially reviews! But reviews have brought an element that I truly love, writing, pics and video.

Foam or balsa? Makes no difference to me. Love the aspects of foam - the perfect fuses and tail feathers. Balsa with laser cutting is unreal - how light they now are and fun to build!

Do you have an RC dream or fantasy? Yep, having 60+ acres and nice 500 ft x 80 ft paved runway surrounded by SHORT golf green grass. House "up" the hill and my Hobby shop on site. Pond for floats. All located in a moderate, fly 360+ days a year setting.

Tell us something about yourself that no one on RCGroups knows. I like to sing. Bass voice.

Who would you rather spend a day with Elizabeth Hurley or Quique Somenzini? Quique. Saw him fly once - truly mesmerizing. He has more talent in his little pinky finger.

Have you ever flown indoor RC? Yep love it , though the walls do close in a bit. Flown at the boys' ranch in Bedford (they do that every Thursday) and have flown in some AA hangars as well.

What's the smallest RC plane you've ever flown? The new 18g Cessna Centurian. Great flyer.

Kits or ARFs? Yes to both. Love to build and grew up in the hobby when that was the only choice. Know the days of cutting balsa from plans making copies and transferring onto Balsa! Love the new laser cut stuff - reminds me nothing of the good old days when the die got dull and mashed your balsa! Love the convenience and quality of todays ARFs. Still HATE covering models so that is nice not to have to do that. Great that they are light and well built.

Gas or Electric? All E now - but still have a glow battery and Sullivan starter! See no reason to not be electric. Cost on the biggies is a bit of an issue. The a123 cells may be the ticket there..

Most embarrasing thing you've done while flying RC? Crashed into a guy's car when I was about 16 years old left a nice dent - he was very nice (thankfully!). Dad's insurance paid for it!

What kind(s) of music do you like? Rock and Roll. 70s and 80s mostly my faves...

What's your all-time favorite place to fly? The model port Jordan Park in SLC. Nice long paved runway but no grass areas surrounding.

What was the last movie you saw at the Cinema? Bourne Ultimatum. Loved it.

What's the biggest plane you've ever flown? Piper Aztec (full scale) twin.

What's the greatest experience you've had in your time as a scout leader? Having my two oldest sons attain their Eagle rank. Very proud - cool to see the service and leadership they learn.

Proudest moment while flying RC? When my son soloed about two years ago. He quit, but in the last two months has flown with me a great deal (YAY!). Hoping to keep him in this time.
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Aug 29, 2007, 09:56 PM
AA6JB
Bajora's Avatar
Hey Mike, is that you in the front right corner? You are a fine looking young man!!

But seriously, what a great looking family! You are quite blessed sir!
Latest blog entry: Updated FMS 1400mm J3 Cub
Aug 30, 2007, 08:35 AM
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pda4you's Avatar
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is that you in the front right corner? You are a fine looking young man!!
In my dreams - I wished I had started that young.......!!! I have a great family - I am very blessed. They are a great deal of fun for sure.......

In the oddest of circumstance I do oddly have more photos of my airplanes than family! (just kidding......)

Mike
Aug 30, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Angela H
What's your all-time favorite place to fly? The model port Jordan Park in SLC. Nice long paved runway but no grass areas surrounding.
Mike, I love stopping to fly at Jordan modelport on the way home from work. Did you used to live in SLC?
Aug 30, 2007, 11:21 AM
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pda4you's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Darth_Elevator
Mike, I love stopping to fly at Jordan modelport on the way home from work. Did you used to live in SLC?
Yep - lived in SLC for 7 years. It is a great site - other than the proximity to SLC international! I miss SLC - except for the long COLD winters. But sure miss my garden - you can't grow much here in DFW land.......

Was an officer in the UTE RC club for a while too.....good folks!

My Son lives in Utah - in School at the Y....

Mike


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