I was told that I needed to talk to Ray, who is a member of the AMA Hall of Fame. I could not agree more.
Ray Juschkus joined the AMA in 1945. That was about twenty years before I was born. He was an AMA Associate Vice President (AVP) for thirty-two years. I am sure it is some sort of record!
I hope you enjoy the interview which Ray graciously granted us. Do you know somebody that would make an interesting interview subject? Let me know!
What are the most surprising changes that you have lived through in the model airplane hobby?
From Free Flight to Control line to RC with only 7 frequencies. Then Bob Aberle got us 50 frequencies. Then LiPo Batteries and finally we got 2.4 GHz.
Do you wish that we could all go back to the simplicity of free flight?
How do you see the hobby changing in the future?
Not too many people will be building models anymore. Models will come ready to fly. Only time will tell.
How do you see the AMA changing in the future?
If it is not broke, do not fix it! I think the AMA is doing a fine job!
Is FPV a fad?
Yes, until it is miniaturized.
How do you see UAVs changing the RC hobby?
That is a tough one to answer. The military is using them and no telling what will happen in the future.
You have been an AMA AVP for thirty two years. Why are you still doing it?
I retired last year after receiving the AMA Fellowship Award. I also was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thirty two years was some sort of record.
You must have an interesting story to tell about being an AMA AVP for that long.
I worked under 5 AMA VPs. Most of them were great except two. Which two is my secret. It was a lot of fun meeting people at events.
You were a professional photographer for 55 years. What is your favorite camera? Why?
Nikon. I started out in commercial photography using an 8×10 view camera. Then I got to do more 35mm work and my first Nikon was the SP which was a range finder camera. Then I went to the F model until digital came along. I was so used to using Nikon that I stayed with it.
Is it true that you were David Rockefeller’s Photographer? What was that like?
That would take a book to write. It was a dream job! Photographing heads of state and celebrities.
Do you have advice for aspiring commercial photographers?
Study as hard as you can! You have to be better than the next person. Take courses in composition and remember today everybody is a photographer. Only the best get the jobs. When I got my first job there were 30 people applying for the job and I got it.
How about some RC model picture taking tips for us amateurs?
Most times try to fill the screen. Do not use a cell phone camera. Get a camera with changeable lens’ and get a long zoom lens like a 300mm.
What is your favorite model to fly right now? Of all time?
I have a new one that I like very much, it is the Super Taiji by World Models. I won first place at the Nationals in Navy Carrier in 1962 in Chicago flying the Grumman Avenger.