Richard “Rich” Lopez was born on April 7, 1948 and grew up in San Francisco. As a young child, he built plastic static models of planes and cars. At age 12, he flew ½ A control line models in the street in front of his house. He joined a local hobby shop flying club and competed in combat, stunt, and balloon bust events. He would later joined three Bay Area clubs: the Piston Poppers, the Flying Tigers and Komita. His childhood interest in model aviation would spark a lifelong love of the hobby. Rich loved to compete and was a force to be reckoned with. He won numerous competitions and awards in his lifetime, including the AMA National Aeromodeling Championships. Most notably, he won the 1989 U.S. Team Trials and represented the U.S. as a Control Line Combat pilot in the 1990 World Championships in France. Rich had an immense interest in model design and strived to perfect his equipment. He designed many Control Line Combat models – the Matador for AMA combat, the Lil Matador, and Lil Snip for ½ A combat and the Samurai for FAI combat – a few of which were published in model aircraft magazines. The Matador and Lil Matador were kitted by Midwest Models. Sadly, Rich Lopez, 67, passed away peacefully at UCLA Medical Center on October 5, 2015 after a three-year battle with cancer. In October, friends of Rich came together donating an AMA Walk of Fame brick in their friend’s memory and honor. The brick will be placed at AMA headquarters in Muncie, IN in early 2016. Rich Lopez will be sorely missed by family, friends and members of the model aviation community. Visit the AMA Foundation website for more information on how to make a donation in memory of Rich Lopez. Click here to learn more about the AMA Walk of Fame program. [caption id="attachment_2273" align="alignleft" width="807"] Thank you to the friends and family members who contributed towards the purchase of an AMA Walk of Fame brick in memory of Rich Lopez.[/caption]
The Springfield Model Airplane Club has donated $310.00 to the AMA Foundation in honor of its long-time friend and member. The SMAC wants to help further Azarr’s support of the Foundation’s goals and programs which were of importance to him.