Meet the 2019 Team

Oleg Golovidov (senior pilot)

Oleg at his home field

Oleg's modeling 'career' started when he was 8-9 years old; having subscribed to a modeling magazine, he saw a drawing of a schematic glider in the magazine and promptly began building it on the kitchen table from spruce sticks. He later joined a model airplane club for youth and continued building free flight glider models and control line models. Gliders and soaring were always Oleg's main passion in modeling. His first RC glider was built much later, during his high school years, when he was able to get his hands on a primitive discrete type RC system. The system was quite unreliable, but he had lots of joy with his first RC gliders. During his first visit to the USA in 1994 as an exchange student of the University of Michigan, Oleg saved the pocket moneys that were given to the exchange students and purchased his first 'serious' proportional type RC system - Airtronics Vanguard. He also immediately started designing and building a 6 channel RC glider from balsa using the gas dynamics lab as the workshop. That glider flew very well, although Oleg at that time still did not have a good concept of thermaling a glider.

Oleg's airplane modeling 'career' continued with many other custom designed gliders, some more successful than others. He dabbed into TD, F3B, F3J flying in the 90's; but later concentrated on building and flying hand launch (F3K) gliders. Between the late 90's and the current time, he was successful at several small and large F3K contests, and actively participated in organizing F3K events on the East Coast, including the first USA team selections for F3K in 2010. During the 2000-2014 years Oleg produced and sold kits of the Taboo line of vacuum bagged gliders. In 2011 Oleg went to the first ever F3K World Championship in Sweden, as an alternate pilot replacing one of the primary pilots, Paul Anderson, who had to step down due to an injury. Oleg also went to several other international F3K competitions, including the first World Air Games in Turin, Italy in 2009, but has not been successful at getting on the USA F3K team again.

When the F5J class began developing a few years ago, Oleg was immediately very interested in trying this new RC soaring class, and later became the F5J 'propagandist' and contest organizer on the East Coast. He designed a new F5J glider model, Volo, based on the wing design from Gerald Taylor; this model is currently produced in Lithuania and sold throughout the world. Oleg was extremely delighted and honored to earn the spot on the USA F5J team in September, 2018 and is eagerly preparing for the trip to Trnava, Slovakia in August, 2019 with the rest of the USA team.

Jon Garber (senior pilot)

Jon Garber

Jon began his soaring adventures in 2011 by flying ALES with his local Montana flying club, the Helena Flying Tigers. He was introduced into the hobby by his parents as an incentive to continue getting good grades in both middle school and high school, and was initially trained to fly by one of his fellow club members Curtis Suter using a Multiplex Easystar. Soon after this initial instruction by Mr. Suter, he met his best friend and mentor James Loughran. Over the course of the next 7 years Jim took an active interest in Jons future. During that time Jon and Jim designed and built many sailplanes, as well as furthered Jon’s soaring abilities.

During his late middle school and high school years, Jon spent every free hour he had practicing with Jim. Initially he was flying two airplanes that he and Jim had designed and built, called Jon-E and Pi Squared. Later he obtained a Vladimir’s models Supra and a Nan Xplorer. All of this practice payed off when he received an invitation from the AMA to attend the 2014 NATS. This invitation started the ball rolling on a whirlwind contest career for the next 5 years and beyond.

Jon won his first major contest in 2015 where he took first in the US National Championships for ALES, and ever since has had the dream of being on a US world soaring team. He and Jim spent several years preparing for F5J with the goal of trying out for the first US team, but part of that dream was cut short when Jim passed away suddenly on April 23 of 2017. Jon is proud to representing Team USA and the memory of of the man who had such an impact on his life at the 2019 World Championships in Trnava Slovakia.

Skyler Raver

Skyler Raver

Skyler started aeromodeling with free flight models at about 8 years old. His first RC sailplane was a Gentle Lady with a brushed 550 motor which got him hooked on soaring. It was throwing hand launched gliders that got him going to contests.

He has competed in F3K, F3J, F5J and F3RES all over the US, and went to the F3K championships in Lviv Ukraine to compete in the pre-contest and help the team. At the F5J team selects he flew Ultimas with a JR radio.

Skyler currently works at a hobby shop in Albuquerque, NM and flies pretty much anything RC (even a hot air balloon).

John Lovins (alternate)

John Lovins

Coming from a family of 7 children my exposure to model airplanes began around age 6 chasing free flights for my father. There was no money for a chase bike so 4 boys on foot was the ticket. He has a lifelong passion for flying and would do ANYTHING to entice his boys to the hobby, even being pit crew for control line goodyear racing when I was a young teen pilot. After serving in the Navy I returned to flying but not free flight or control line, indoor micro film where I honed building and trimming skills. I joined RMSA approximately 15 years ago and started in F3K, and after throwing thousands of times thermal chasing became a passion. The ability to read and chase thermals, then land the plane at your feet was like magic. With pilots like Skip, Cody, Mike V., Jim M., Lenny, Blane, John Padila, and many others looking down the flight line was intimidating. One of my biggest thrills was my first club open contest win. With time Jim Monaco and I became great friends, and I got involved organizing and participating in national events. I’ve been behind the scenes for many national events including F3K, F3J, and F5J team selects, Vegas, etc. The satisfaction of running great events for fellow flyers is very rewarding, but performing well at the first F5J team selects is special. I’m very proud to be alternate for the first US F5J team and respectfully ask for your support.

John Lovins AMA#6708

Daniel Estingoy (junior pilot)

Daniel at the Denver Team Selects
Daniel enjoying a nice thermal

Daniel Estingoy is a high school freshman from Overland Park, Kansas. He’s grown up with all things RC and has become an avid sailplane pilot. He was quite driven to make the US F5j team and truly looks forward to the hard practice sessions between the trials in Aug 2018 and the event in 2019.

In addition to RC he has become quite a CAD demon and enjoys designing and 3D printing his own designs.

Dennis Hesselius (junior pilot)

Dennis at the Soaring NATS

Dennis is 15 years old attending high school in Boulder Colorado. He first started flying rockets when he was 6. He and his dad would go to the rocket club and launch their high-power rockets. They kept building bigger and faster rockets until Dennis began flying radio control planes at age 8. He enjoyed flying aerobatic and pattern planes such as 4 Stars, Kadets, various F3A planes. Dennis also flew some scale planes such as Corsairs, P-51’s, and even some jets.

His very first sailplane was an inherited Gentle Lady that his dad flew as a kid. With that he learned soaring basics and got hooked on thermals. Since then he has flown most all soaring classes and has five wins at the AMA NATS.

His favorite soaring discipline is F5J. He started with an Xplorer F5J and has flown Ultima’s and now the El Nino. He competes locally, regionally and nationally. He is honored to be a F5J Team USA member and looks forward to Trnava in 2019. He will be taking two El Nino’s and another yet to be determined alternate airframe using a Futaba 18MZ radio.

He enjoys flying with his dad and older brother, who is also an AMA soaring national champion and full-scale pilot. He is considering a career in air traffic control and hopes to attend the University of Oklahoma. His other hobby is music, playing the baritone saxophone in his school’s jazz and marching bands.

Stoil Avramov (junior pilot)

Stoil Avramov

Stoil is a high school senior, living in Maryland. He began flying free flight gliders and R/C models at age of 8. He remembers his first hand launch flights with an Omega 1.5 R/C model. That was the time when he got basic lessons from his father Dimitre Avramov on how to control a plane in the air.

His earliest competitions started in 2010 with model rockets. In 2011 at the US Space-modeling team selections, he competed in class S8D (R/C rocket glider) and was eligible to join the USA junior team. Since then, he has attended many domestic, national and international competitions.

In the fall of 2013 Stoil became very interested in flying larger models and in spring of 2014 he entered his first Eastern Soaring League contest.  His achievements that year include a FAI Silver medal (13sec behind the Gold) at WCSM-2014, and a US National Record in class “A” rocket glider. In 2015 he attended the USA F3J team selection event and was very happy to be selected and proud to represent the US juniors at FAI World Championships 2016 in F3J.

Stoil is grateful for his parents and the soaring community’s support, the chance to meet, fly, and learn from some of the best pilots in the country. He is also thankful to his team and friends in Texas where without all of their phenomenal effort he could not have reached this success. Stoil says this means a lot to him as it helps him to grow and become a better pilot.

Lee Estingoy (junior team manager) 


David Beach (team manager) 

David at the team select contest in Denver

David started his aeromodeling at the tender age of 8 years old with a Cox PT-19 trainer. But he didn't compete in a soaring contest until 2005 when he managed to break three wooden airplanes in a weekend but still came away with a love of competition.

Active as a competitor and a CD, he has achieved his LSF Level V flying off winches and lacks only an 8 hour flight for his eLSF Level V.

David is excited about his role as manager for the first US F5J World Chamionship team. Electric launch sailplanes are the future of the hobby, and nothing is more exciting than F5J.


World Championship

2019 Corporate Sponsors




Clubs and Leagues