Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
Jason Krause with the Xcell
1. How did you get started in RC helis? When did you
start? What equipment got you started?
My girlfriend bought me a Concept 30 for Christmas in 1995 I was 19 years old.
I started flying airplanes when I was 12. Unfortunately my family did not support
my R/C habits. However, after I had been flying helis for a while a good friend
of mine, Dave Vandalsen, became very supportive of me. If not for his help I
would have never been able to keep flying.
2. What do you think have been some of the greatest advances
in RC helis?
Since I have been flying, heading lock gyros and digital servos.
3. How many gallons would you burn in a year?
Average around 100 gallons or 800 flights.
4. What do you enjoy most about the hobby?
Meeting new people. I have met some very interesting people who I have become
very good friends with over the years.
5. Developments such as Heading Hold gyros, large capacity
engines, digital servos and such have accelerated the growth of RC helis, what
do you think has been the main contributor for the growth in popularity of our
Lower cost and better quality of beginning level helicopters, radio gear, and
6. What advice do you give to someone just starting out
with RC Helis?
Start out with a good quality helicopter and related equipment that is popular
in your area so you can get help easily. Think about safety and remember to
not fly close to yourself and others.
Autographing for the 'fans'
Photo courtesy of sdheli.com
7. You've been involved in the development of the
Xcell Fury, you must be very pleased with it's outstanding popularity in
the US. What new things are you working on with Min Air? A Fury Gasser maybe?????
I am very pleased about the popularity of Xcell Furys. I figured if it was
tough, fun to fly, and not impossible to build, it would do very well. We
are working on many new things with the fury but I really do not want to
get specific until we have tested our new ideas.
8. Todd Bennett and yourself run the Freestyle3D flying
school, by all accounts this seems to have really taken off with glowing reports
from students of the school. What has been some of the challenges and highlights
of this endeavor?
Developing patience and understanding the true needs of the student has been
my biggest challenge. Seeing the students progressing beyond there own beliefs
has been the greatest highlight.
9. You've been doing very well in some of the latest
3D competitions, such as the Extreme Flight Championships (USA) and the
3D Masters (UK). How do you think these competitions will develop the style
I hope the competitions will develop different styles of 3D instead of everyone
flying the same. I think Freestyle flying is like playing a guitar in a
rock band. It is hard to say who is really the best, but everyone has their
10. You're in the top level of the 3D community however,
there are plenty of people shooting up the ranks such as the Szabo brothers,
what do you do to ensure that you retain your status as one of the most
innovative 3D pilots?
I try to keep a unique flying style and work on new maneuvers as well as
flying my helicopters at their maximum possible performance. The Szabo's
are a great family and have become very good friends of mine. I hope that
both brothers go as far with helis as possible.
One of Jason's takeoff routines.
11. You also fly a camera ship for Flying-Cam and
footage shot from this ship has been used in such movies as Beautiful Mind,
Ocean's 11 and The Matrix 2. The disciplined flying required for such applications
contrasts wildly to the blinding 3D you perform, how do you find the challenges
of flying the camera ship compared to the challenges of flying Fury's in
Although the camera and 3D helis fly very different the mental decision
and reaction process is very simular. They both require very quick thinking
as well as planning ahead.
12. Achieving and maintaining your status obviously takes
a lot of time and effort, how have you found balancing time and travel commitments
with having a young family?
When I'm home I spend as much time with the family as possible. Although I travel
a lot it seems that I get to spend more time with them now then when I had a
13. Our hobby can be very trying at times, we all
sometimes get runs of bad luck, give us an example of a frustrating run
In one weekend I crashed 3 helicopters and during the same time frame I
had more trouble testing new parts. I learned a lot from that experience
and although I wanted to get out of the hobby I'm glad I did not.
14. What would you describe as some of the highlights
of your flying career?
Just being regarded by some, as one of the top 3D pilots and having some
of my ideas contributing to the future of RC have been some of the biggest
highlights to me.
Jason, Alan Szabo Jr, and Todd
Photo courtesy of sdheli.com