AMA Model Aviation Hall Of Fame 2022 Inductees

AMA Model Aviation Hall Of Fame 2022 Inductees

AMA Model Aviation Hall Of Fame 2022 Inductees

Membership News & Updates from AMA

As seen in the February 2023 issue of Model Aviation.

THE AMA MODEL AVIATION Hall of Fame has been honoring AMA members since 1969. Each year, members are nominated by family and friends prior to being evaluated by AMA on developmental and administrative accomplishments, volunteering efforts, and presence in competitions. This year, AMA is excited to announce the following inductees to the 2022 class: Anthony (Tony) Frackowiak, Tom Scott, Bob Sowder, Larry Leonard, Mike Fedor, and the late Ron Van Putte.

Anthony (Tony) Frackowiak

Tony Frackowiak has been an extremely active participant in the world of model aeronautics. He was nominated by Daniel Morgan, a fellow AMA member. The two friends met in 1988 at the national UAV training center in Arizona.

Tony has a long list of aeronautical accomplishments. Among other things, Tony has competed in RC Aerobatics (Pattern) competitions since 1975, designed and built models for NASA research, mentored Expert class pilots, and instructed for UAVs. He has held the positions of AMA club vice president, as well as AMA club safety officer and treasurer.

Tony’s dedication to model aviation propelled him to a position on six US RC Aerobatics teams, competing at world championships in the Netherlands, Australia, France, Germany, and the US, three of which won the championship title. Tony won the Nats in 1985, ’87, ’93, and ’97.

Inductee Tom Scott (R) with his AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame 2022 plaque.

Inductee Tom Scott (R) with his AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame 2022 plaque.

Tom Scott

Tom Scott is a highly respected member of the Greater Cincinnati Radio Control Club (GCRCC), as well as a notable AMA member. Tom has been in the world of model aviation since an early age. He vividly recalls spending time with his father, watching him fly model airplanes, before hunting down those that had fallen. Tom stated that "It would be easy for me to say I have lived my life through the image of my father. His love of modeling started at a very early age as did mine."

With his father as his inspiration, Tom has gone on to accomplish many feats. From setting various national records in Pylon Racing, to leading the fundraising for the AMA Cliff and Nancy Telford Scholarship, to starting his own modelmaking business, Scott Models Inc., Tom’s dedication to the sport is unwavering.

Tom’s many contributions to the GCRCC and AMA are not to be overlooked. His acquaintances, Dan Kane Jr. and Bob Belluomini, stated that "Tom has always been the guy who flew below the radar and did anything he possibly could to help the club and the community."

Inductee Bob Sowder.

Inductee Bob Sowder.

Bob Sowder

An AMA member since 1964, Bob Sowder is an individual who is dedicated to spreading his love for model aviation. He has assisted in the formation of two Control Line (CL) clubs and three RC Soaring clubs (the Capital Area Soaring Association, the Indianapolis Soaring Association, and the Memphis Area Soaring Association). Furthermore, Bob founded the MidSouth Soaring Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, which has since moved to South Carolina.

Throughout his time in the hobby, Bob has competed in CL Rat Race, Combat, and Aerobatics; however, his main focuses are now RC Soaring and Free Flight (FF). Bob also heavily contributes to AMA and its events. He holds many positions within the AMA community, including Leader Member, contest director, contest coordinator, and AMA District IV FF associate vice president. Bob often travels to events on behalf of AMA, where he serves as both a representative and ambassador.

Bob has done many things for the hobbyists in his community. For use by FF enthusiasts, he invented a bubble machine created for thermal detection called the Bubble-Up.

He consistently goes out of his way to ensure that he always gives back to the model aviation community. David Lindley, the National Free Flight Society president, wrote that Bob "acts as an organizer and a leader in every club and [Special Interest Group] that he has interacted with."

Larry Leonard

Larry Leonard has made a name for himself in the hobby of model aviation. With accomplishments ranging from obtaining his own hobby shop, Larry’s Hobby Center, to designing Das Little Stik, which was kitted by Midwest Models, hobbyists around the world recognize Larry’s name.

Larry has competed in various contests, setting a still-standing record in RC Aerobatics and Formula I Pylon Racing at the Nats in Las Vegas. Larry also competed in FAI Pylon Racing, acting as the captain of the US team for the RC Pylon Racing World Championships in 1971, and established A&L Distributors to give hobby shops access to RC parts in one location, lessening the work of hobbyists searching for parts.

Not only has Larry excelled in competing, but he’s used his knowledge and experience to become a mentor to many others. His expertise gave those whom he taught the skills required to go to national championships and/or become well-known in the hobby industry. Larry has had "a tremendous influence on a generation of modelers," according to Charlee Smith.

Inductee Mike Fedor.

Inductee Mike Fedor.

Mike Fedor

Mike Fedor, an AMA member since 1958, has developed a lengthy list of accomplishments throughout his years in the hobby. Mike holds national records in Indoor FF and Outdoor FF. He has won first place in multiple Outdoor FF competitions at the Nats.

His involvement in AMA includes serving as a contest director, AMA Leader Member, and District VIII Outdoor FF Contest Board representative. Mike has also been honored by NFFS, wherein he was inducted into the NFFS Hall of Fame in 2010, had two of his designs selected as NFFS Models of the Year (F1A Lil’ Hooker [1977] and F1H Texas Cloud Climber [2005]), and was selected as chairman of the Model of the Year selection committee in both 2011 and 2021.

Mike is highly respected by his peers. He is referred to as a "creative designer, a successful competitor, a promoter of FF competition, and a tireless and effective supporter of the sport" by Kit Bays, a fellow AMA member who wrote to support Mike’s nomination.

Inductee Ron Van Putte.

Inductee Ron Van Putte.

Ron Van Putte

Ron Van Putte, who died in 2018, graduated from Purdue University in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He then went on to attend the University of Michigan, where he obtained a master’s degree (1959) and a professional degree (1964) in aeronautical and astronautical engineering.

Ron served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 20 years, where he taught fellow officers the concept of aerodynamics before retiring with the rank of major. A prolific RC Aerobatics champion, Ron was known for competitively flying Pattern from the 1960s until his passing. Ron was also the owner of Shalimar Hobbies, a hobby shop. Through his shop, Ron provided his knowledge and materials to the RC Aerobatics community.

Ron was a columnist for Model Aviation for 20 years. He heavily participated in the National Society of Radio-Controlled Aerobatics, where he served as the vice president among other various positions. Ron also served as a mentor to members of the Eglin Aero Modellers Club in Niceville, Florida.

For more information about the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame, visit

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