Robert O’Connor was born on May 24, 1929. As a kid in the 40's, Robert built model airplanes and played stick ball. As with other families, his parents decided to move from the Bronx to the suburbs, to a little town called Mahopac, New York. Robert’s love of flight followed him. He got the opportunity as a young adult to get flying lessons in a Piper Cub for helping out at the local airstrip. When he got married to his wife, Diane, they decided that his feet should stay on the ground. After Robert married, he decided to get into RC planes. He would come home after work to build a Top Dog, Falcon or one of the many others. On the weekends, Robert would always fly his planes. Sometimes in triumph and sometimes in disaster. At this time his friends nicknamed him "Crash n Burn". He loved it. Roberts son, Michael O’Connor, can still remember him running to catch up with a plane when Robert lost the signal. The planes they flew together had an actuator system in them that wasn't reliable. Mike remembers the days that him and his dad, Robert, would be searching for a plane or climbing a tree to get it down. Robert eventually included his son, Michael, in his hobby. He started Mike out on simple and stable models. Mike had a hard time landing the planes. He would get nervous and turn the wrong way which made the plane cartwheel into the ground. Robert worked with his son to teach him landing skills and rebuilding skills. Robert was a loving father. Michael's dad brought RC flying all together for him through the plans, pins, glue, sandpaper, hopes, dreams and fun. Robert O’Connor passed away on July 10, 2009. Michael donated an AMA Walk of Fame brick in his father's memory and honor. The brick was placed at AMA headquarters in Muncie, IN. Robert O’Connor will be sorely missed by family, friends and members of the model aviation community. Visit the AMA Foundation website or click here to learn more about the AMA Walk of Fame program.
The Casa Grande RC Flyers has recently been awarded a $175 Club Recognition and Reward Grant. Casa Grande RC Flyers club has been featured in The Robson Ranch Views monthly from Jan. to March and the April issue of the AMA Magazine. Casa Grande RC Flyers is an Arizona nonprofit corporation that raises money for local charities. Membership is open to anyone wanting fly or learn to fly radio-controlled aircraft. They also offer free lessons taught by any of nine AMA certified instructors. The club has about 156 members that include local residents and winter residents.