Lee Ray: AMA’s Social Media Manager

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Written by Jay Smith
AMA’s Social Media Manager
As seen in the July 2021 issue of Model Aviation.
I Am The AMA

Bonus Video

JAY SMITH: How did you get involved with model aviation?

LEE RAY: My father and his love of aviation is the primary reason I am in this hobby today. It was a special time for me as a kid to sit in the hobby room with my dad and build airplanes together. He taught me to fly RC gliders first, which made my step up to powered flight seem so much easier. I miss those days when we’d spend an entire day flying those gliders in wide-open Texas fields.

JS: How has model aviation impacted your life and/or career?

LR: My father was a photographer and he got me hooked on that. At approximately age 18, I began photographing local air shows and RC events throughout Texas for fun. I was in IT for 13 years then eventually I took over my father’s photography studio and ran it for nearly 20 years.

While photographing one of my favorite RC events, Best Electrics in South Texas, I met Terry Dunn and Fitz Walker. We became close friends and created the RC Roundtable Podcast, a fun show where we discuss our love of the hobby and RC news.

I’m happy to say we’ve been recording that show for the past 5 years. In March 2021, I was offered the position of social media manager at AMA. These last few years have created dream jobs for me, combining my love of model aviation and photography.

lee ray
lee ray

JS: What disciplines of modeling do you currently participate in?

LR: I’d call myself an everyday sport flier. Most of the airplanes I fly today are electric—tiny UMXs up to a 10-pound aircraft. However, I also have a few glow-powered models and recently built my first gas-powered aircraft, a Top Flite 60 Corsair. Super fun! There will always be a special place in my heart for gliders, and I still have a few vintage kits from the 1980s in my hangar.

JS: What other hobbies do you have?

LR: My sons’ hobbies have become mine as well. I’m often busy with their Scouting, band, baseball, swimming, and other school projects. We also try to find time for fishing and traveling. Both of my sons fly model airplanes, so it’s a joy to hang out with them at our club or at other RC events. I volunteer as a National Rifle Association instructor for our Boy Scout troop with rifle and shotgun classes. Most of the Scouts tell me it’s one of their favorite merit badge classes.

JS: Who or what has influenced you the most?

LR: My father was my guiding force, and I’m so grateful to him. Besides teaching me how to fly a model airplane, all of his building skills and tool instructions apply to everyday tasks. I often find myself sitting with one of my sons, working with him to complete a project and feeling as though I had the same conversation with my dad. "Passing the torch" is very important to me because I’d like my sons to share these moments with their children.

JS: How can social media benefit AMA clubs?

LR: Social media is the modern way to share and learn about clubs, events, news, and people. As AMA’s social media manager, I’ll tag the club’s social media pages and add hashtags (such as #AMA, #IFlyAMA, #ModelAviation, and #RCPlanes, etc.) to help encourage others to see them.

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Hello Lee, I wanted to share a discovery of a very strong and light fabric-backed foam panel from the tile industry. I am a German citizen, AMA 1234910, and my dad flew r/c in Germany in 1970's. (my grandma worked in hobby shop) I am continuing tradition, as my dad also made foam wings in 70's. I am a long-time tile and stone contractor in Portland, Oregon and have discovered a very strong fabric-wrapped foam panel intended for tile, yet perfect for building 3D and other r/c planes. Have built 5 of these now, latest with polyhedral wing, scratch-built my own design. carbon-fiber rods are inserted in slits to induce airfoil shape and strengthen wing. Wing is hollow. This latest version "Tundra" flies like on rails. I am in touch with the Schluter corporation, and they have visited us with shirts and hats, as this is gaining interest. Here is a new maiden flight video showing this from my Youtube channel, Rotos Aerial: https://youtu.be/nItstnA4x0w I want to try to get this on the Focal Point section also. I am part of Oregon Scale Squadron, Portland. 503.267.8488 Thanks again, John Bauchrowitz AMA 1234910

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