2024 USA F3J Soaring Team

The USA Team immediately after the Team Selection event held in Warrenton VA in Oct 2023. L to R: Anna Morell, Charleston Thomas, Luke Plesniarski, John Bradley, Ben McCabe, Dillon Graves, Neal Huffman, Jody Miller. (Amy Pool not present.)

Welcome to the official website of the 2024 USA F3J team. We hope that you will return here often to see how the preparation for our journey to Norway in August 2024 is developing. This Team was selected to represent the USA for the 2024 F3J World Championships at the Team Selection event held at Horsefeathers Airport near Warrenton VA in Oct 2023. The contest was interrupted on the second day with the close proximity of tropical storm Ophelia making it too wet and windy for any flying so the results were determined over fewer rounds. With overcast and low cloud conditions it wasn’t easy but the best pilots rose to the top.

The junior positions were fought out amongst 5 competitors including returning juniors John Bradley and Charleston Thomas from the last Gold Medal winning team in Slovakia. is was Charleston’s 3rd successful attempt as a junior and after leading the contest throughout, he fluttered an aileron on launch in the last round to slip to 2nd junior behind the fast improving John Bradley. Like Charleston, John has the experience of competing at the 2022 Worlds in Slovakia and he has the necessary skills and temperament to excel in Norway next year. Luke Plesniarski who has just began his journey as a junior will be the 3rd junior on the team. Ben McCabe will be the alternate. 3rd place in the Team Selection was actually taken by junior Anna Morell and she will compete in Norway as a Junior Female. This is the first year females have been admitted in the junior category as a separate class. Much credit must go to David Bradley Sr and Dave Bradley Jr for the effort put in to bring 4 juniors to the contest – three who had never before flown F3J before August this year. This is the kind of enthusiasm needed with juniors to continue to grow interest in USA in our soaring hobby.

The senior pilot positions were decided over 10 rounds flown in light lift conditions that saw many groups struggling at some point to make 10 mins. Dave Bradley Jr was a real standout competitor during the contest being in 1st place after day one and in the top three throughout up until the final round. But for his errant landing in the final Rd 11 he would have made the team in 3rd place. The final results for the senior team were 1st Dillon Graves, 2nd Neal Huffman, 3rd Jody Miller with the alternate in 4th Dave Bradley Jr. They will be joined by our top female pilot Amy Pool (the returning womens World Champion after taking Gold in Slovakia in 2022.

Unfortunately due to personal commitments Dillon Graves is unable to take his place in the lineup for Norway and has relinquished his position with David Bradley Jr now becoming the 3rd pilot. Josh Glaab will be the alternate.

As most of you know our national organization (the AMA) sponsors our FAI Teams but this valuable sponsorship only pays for a very small portion of the costs to send a team to a World Championships. The last few years have seen a huge reduction in the funding of FAI Teams by our National body and as a result we must rely on you – our fellow sail-planers to help us with fundraising to make up for the extra costs that sending this very competitive team will incur.

Norway is a very long way from the USA and the cost of airfares alone are extremely expensive. We are also faced with the decreased buying power of the US dollar. We would like the US Team to be able to spend as much time as possible readying for the competition, and not have to worry about how they will pay for air tickets, transportation, and model shipping.

We hope that you will help your national team by buying tickets in the giant raffle we are planning or by buying some Team apparel. If you want to simply make a tax deductible donation you may do that also. We have provided a team store and shopping cart on this site for your convenience and you can use Visa, Mastercard or AMEX to make your purchase. The raffle includes many fantastic prizes, donated by our fabulous Sponsors in the RC soaring industry. As time goes by check out the growing and amazing list of raffle prizes and please purchase tickets to win.

Winning F3J Team Selection event Team.

The winning Team at the 2023 Team selection event was L to R: Neal Huffman, Jody Miller, Josh Glaab, Dave Bradley Jr.

Dillon Graves 100 landing.

Just like he never stopped flying for 5 years Dillon Graves returned to F3J triumphantly at the Team Selection event.

This 2024 USA Worlds Team has the experienced campaigners Neal Huffman and Jody Miller and one of the best f3J pilots in the World with Dillon Graves maturing from an extremely talented Junior into an amazing force to be reckoned with. Neal Huffman has campaigned at two previous Worlds having competed in Romania in 2018 with great distinction making the fly-offs and then soaring brilliantly it take the Silver Medal in Slovakia in 2022. Neal is the epitome of the perfect Soaring Pilot having a steady temperament and the ability to always find the good air. Jody Miller returns to the Team as a pilot in 2024 after leading USA to Gold in 2022 as the Team Manager. Jody has enormous experience on the World stage having represented USA twice as an F3J pilot in Slovakia 2014 and taking the Silver medal at the 2018 Worlds in Brasov Romania.

This exciting new Team has a huge depth of experience and will represent USA at the highest level. The pilots have selected the very experienced Team Manager in Gordon Buckland to lead this Team to Gold in Norway.

Go Team USA!

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