Our History

The Aero Modelers of Perrine (AMPS) Club first started in 1959 and has been active since that time. During the years we had numerous flying sites, which for one reason or another were eventually lost. In 1993 we decided to remedy the situation and purchased five acres in West Dade County. We then proceeded to build one of the finest flying fields in South Florida. It has two highly manicured grass runways; one running East/West and the other running North/South. Both runways are planted with special Bermuda grass. We have a 20' x 30' covered shelter and two 10' x 100' covered pit areas.

If you are a beginner, we have several certified club instructors to choose from. Each has extensive experience working with new pilots and can make your transition to solo pilot as easy as possible. If you are an old hand at R/C flying, then come join us and enjoy the camaraderie and our fine facilities.

We look forward to getting to know you!


Our club has four levels of memberships: Adults (19 to 64 years of age), Juniors (up to 18 years of age), Senior (65 years and older) and Non-Resident (with permanent residence outside of Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach counties). As part of all of our membership levels we offer extensive flight training to help you ease into the wonderful world of model aviation.

Click here for more details regarding our membership programs and to obtain membership applications.

AMA membership is required for all flying activities.

Elected Officers



Acting President:  Bill Bishop

Previous Service Vice President 2006, 2004 Vice President, 2000-2006 Chief Instructor



Vice-President :


 MauricioFigueroa.jpg Treasurer: Mauricio Figueroa

Previous Service: 2012-2016 Treasurer

  Secretary & Newsletter Editor: Carlos Silva

Appointed/Voluntary Positions


Chief Flight Instructor: Juan Carlos Vallejo


Safety Committee Chairman:
AbrahamMarquez.jpg Events Committee Chairman: Abraham Marquez

Past Officers - Partial List


President 2016 - 2017:Anthony "Tony" Fandino

 Rolando Hernandez


 President 2014 - 2015: Rolando Hernadez

ChrisHogan2.jpg  Secretary 2009 - 2015: Chris Hogan

Chris Hogan is from New York City and moved to Miami in 1968 to attend the University of Miami. His interest in radio controlled model airplanes began in 1965 when he joined the Westchester Radio Aero Modelers. It was continued in Miami as a member of the Tropic Aeros from 1979 to 1985 when he joined the AMPS. In the AMPS Chris has served previously as Newsletter Editor and Secretary/Treasurer. A long time member of the International Miniature Aerobatic Club, his primary interest is building and flying scale models of aerobatic aircraft. Previous Service: 1989-1990 Secretary/Treasurer, 2009-2013 Secretary

ButchWenrich.jpg  Vice President 2009 - 2013: Butch Wenrich

Butch was born and raised in Miami Springs. Started building and crashing airplanes (control & free flight) in the late 50's. He started flying radio control airplanes in 1985 and joined  the North Dade RC club in 1985 and was elected club safety officer in 1989 to 1992. He was the club president from 1993 until 2001 when the club lost it's field and disbanded. He joined the AMPS in 2003. His interests are giant scale and sport flying. He has over 20 airplanes of all shapes and sizes.

Previous Service: 2008 Safety Committee Chairman, 2009-2013 Vice President

 VicarHernandez3.jpg Vicar Hernandez  2002-2005 Events Committee Chairman, 2005 Interim Treasurer, 2006 Secretary, 2006-2011 Treasurer, 2012-2013 President

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Vicar came to Miami to complete graduate studies in Computers and currently develops software for a living and for fun. He is married to Diana and has a daughter Cassandra.

Vicar started crashing planes around 1995 and has not been able to stop since. He likes to fly sport and giant-scale airplanes and always has something on the bench, either building or rebuilding (most of the time!). His favorite plane is a 98" wing span Pilatus Turbo Porter which he has decorated in a sky diving motif and is named the Coquí after a little tree frog from his native Puerto Rico and whose name comes from the sound it produces "ko-kí"'.

 MikeCipolato.jpg Mike 'Chip' Cipolato 2009-2011 Safety Committee Chairman, 2012 Treasurer
 BobCox.JPG Robert 'Bob' Cox - 2009-2011 President, 2006-2008 Secretary, 2003-2006 Field Engineer, 2011-2012 Safety Committee Chairman

Bob is a displaced "Hoosier" from Indiana. He relocated to Miami in Dec. of 2000 to help his parents with the family business of temporary pool heating. Bob first started crashing control line models back in 1975 when his father bought him his first Cox PT-19 control line trainer. The rumor goes that Bob's father got tired of watching him put holes in the infield of the local little league ball diamond so in 1982 he gave Bob his first Radio Control model. Of course Bob crashed this plane (on the first flight actually) because he tried to fly it himself with no instructor. After learning a valuable lesson he bought another plane and sought help. He has never looked back. In the last 23 years he has flown pattern, IMAC, and most any scale airplane he could get his hands on, but loves precision aerobatics the most.

Bob has also been instructing for the last 15 years and was an AMPS club instructor in 2004. He is currently the Field Engineer over seeing all maintenance of the club flying field.

 TonyFandino.jpg Anthony 'Tony' Fandino - 2006-2008, 2014 - 2015 Vice-President

Tony has been involved in model aviation since 1973. He first soled when he was 12 years old flying at the Tamiami park field . Since 1976 Tony has been instructing students and helping advance model aviation in our area. Some of Tony’s recent accomplishments include being appointed the AMA associate Vice President for district V in 2006, IMAC Sportsman National Champion and Bennette cup winner in 2005. He presently helps mentor pilots interested in learning and competing imprecision Aerobatics.

Tony is an active IMAC competitor and Contest director and has run our IMAC contest for the last four years and has drawn acclaim from his fellow pilots. Tony was born in New York and came to Miami 1972 and has been here ever since. He is involved in the entertainment industry and runs a company called Creative Staging Systems inc.

He is also a state Licensed General contractor. His Educational background is in electronics engineering. Today  his main job activities are Sound engineering, Show management, and entertainment structures as well as trying to fly in as many contests as he can.

 TomCaldwell.jpg Thomas 'Tom' Caldwell - 2006-2008 President, 2005 Vice President & Secretary

Tom grew up in Miami. He soloed in a Cessna 150 on his 16th birthday at the (old) Tamiami Airport, where the SW 8th street FIU campus is located today. On his 17th birthday he got his private pilot's license and then his commercial pilot's license on his 18th birthday, while still a student at Southwest High School. He went to the University of Florida where he continued to do a lot of flying, including in a J-3 Cub, but mostly in a Cessna 180 in which he amassed about 400 hours. He has a total of about 700 flying hours in his log book as well about 130 sport parachute jumps. He is the holder of a United States Parachute Assn "C" license. Tom learned to fly radio controlled airplanes at Tamiami Park in 1987, where, coincidentally, he had learned to fly full scale planes 21 years earlier. Tom has been an AMPS instructor since January of 2004. He has built about 20 radio controlled planes from plans or kits and remains an active builder. For the last 29 years Tom has been a civil trial lawyer in the south Florida area.

 Bill Bishop2.jpg William 'Bill' Bishop Jr. - Vice President 2006, 2004 Vice President, 2000-2006 Chief Instructor

Bill has been flying RC Control Airplanes since 1958. His first airplanes had a radio built from a hearing aid tube and a rubber band escapement controlling only the rudder. Bill’s first successful flight was 8 airplanes later. He has been a member of AMPS since 1987 when the club flew out of Lindbergh's Landing. At that time he started flying IMAC and continued to participate in contests until 2002. Since the year 2000 Bill has been AMPS' Senior Flight Instructor and held the office of Vice President during the year 2004. At age 71, Bill hopes to have many more years of RC flying ahead of him.

 MikeLaughlin.JPG Mike Laughlin - President 2005

Mike became a member of AMPS in 1981 which makes him one of the oldest members who still is only 45 years old. The Flying Field was on 100 Street just west of Krome Avenue. After a few years at 100 Street the club moved just South to Lindbergh Landing. They used the western most part of the East West runway where the group flew for many years. Then they moved to a narrow and long grass runway in Homestead which is now part of the Homestead Motor Sports Park. The AMPS was at this field for several years until the present home was found.

He has been involved in various club activities to include: Vice President from 1995 to 1996, Safety Officer 1990, 93, 94, 98, and 2002, Contest Director from 1996 to the present, and in 1998 received a Leader Member Status Issued by the AMA for demonstrating leadership in model aeronautics. Over the years Mike has learned much about the process for building models. To date he has completed over 65 Kits, 23 ARF's for himself and other modelers. His building has excelled while his flying has suffered. Now balancing the scales just a little, and have begun flying on a regular basis. He also enjoys assisting new pilots by becoming an instructor. After 24 year of being part of this great group, he continues to be active and supportive to his fellow modelers.

 RickPellecchia.jpg Richard Pellecchia- Secretary/Treasurer 1985-2005

Rick started his model building and flying as a teenager flying control line models in Brooklyn, NY.  Soon after, he got his start in commercial aviation courtesy of the USAF, and after almost 45 years in the business, he is now retired. He holds a Commercial Pilots License, a Single/Multi-Engine Land and Instrument Rating in addition to an Aircraft Dispatchers License. Most memorable employment “hands down” was with Air America from 1965 through 1973 serving in Southeast Asia and the Far East.  Second to that was with Southern Air Transport here in Miami.  SAT’s humanitarian relief flights into Sub-Sahara and the Horn of Africa using L-100 (C-130) aircraft was a time never to be forgotten. Rick and his son Richard joined AMPS in 1985.  He became Secretary/Treasurer in 1995 mainly because nobody wanted the job…seems still nobody wants the job.

Rick has now relocated to West Melbourne Florida where he has found a new group of R/C enthusiasts to continue his lifelong love of aviation alive.

 WallyCrichton.jpg Wally Crichton- President 2002 - 2004

Born in Inola, Oklahoma on Christmas day, 1936. He loved model airplanes for as long as he could remember. First started modeling at age 5 or 6, building stick and tissue free flight models of World War II military aircraft. He began flying U-control at age 12 or 13, which continued until his early 20’s. In 1958 he built his first R/C single channel airplane and has flown radio controlled models ever since.

In the fall of 1993, he discovered the Aero-Modelers of Perrine, applied for membership and was accepted. He served as Vice President for several years and then accepted the position of Newsletter Editor, which he held for seven years. In the late 90’s the Club started it’s own web page and he acted as the Web Master for several years. In January 2002 he was elected President and served three terms, until December 2004.

 ArtSilver.jpg Art Silver- President 1980 - 2002

I was born on March 1, 1944 in Trenton New Jersey. I'm not sure the Doctor has ever gotten over the event because my mom said that I was so ugly the doctor spanked the wrong end! My dad was in the Army Air Corps at the time and takes total responsibility for the allies winning the war. At any rate he shipped my mother and me to Miami to stay with my grand parents while he single handedly defeated the German Army. After he returned from Europe we spent the first 10 years of my life living in Miami. In 1954 we moved to Homestead. What a thrill!

My modeling habit started on my 11th birthday. Somebody gave me a Testor's plastic U-control model airplane. The .049 engine turned out to be an enigma to me. I don't think I was ever successful in maintaining flight for a full tank of fuel. As a matter of fact, I think that may be true to this date. HA! That little piece of @#$%^ "plastic" was responsible for what was to come in my later years. And so ends my preface.

My association with the AMPS Club started, I believe sometime in early 1979, when a member and friend, Tom Costello invited me out to watch him and some other AMPS members fly their R/C model airplanes. I took him up on the offer, loaded up the wife and daughters and headed off for the flying field in the boondocks south of Florida City. The first R/C airplane I saw fly was being flown by Nick Zelinka, a founding member of the club. I was so impressed that I couldn't wait to join. Later that week I attended my first AMPS meeting at Tom Costello's house. At that time I found out that we had approx. 13 members and about $250.00 in the bank. At that meeting Tom sold me an old hi-winged airplane of his and showed me how to place my first order with Tower Hobbies. Here's where I should say " and the rest is history", but some of my newfound friends had more in store for me. Shortly after joining the club Pete Hendricks (some of you might remember him or heard his name mentioned from time to time) decided to run for president. He asked me if I would run for vice-president since nobody else would. At that time the office of Vice President was solely to make sure that nobody bumped off the President thereby keeping me from taking over the position. A year later I was cajoled into running for President since nobody else would take it. My tenure lasted until my father passed away in 1988. At that time I relinquished the gavel to Dave Woodin. I had a lot on my plate with my father's passing and I didn't feel that I could give the office the attention that it deserved. The following year Dave asked that he be relieved of the post and I was drafted unanimously (I hope I spelled it correctly). My rein continued for a total of 20 years. I could sit here and unwind stories about the AMPS for several hours, but what it boils down to was that all I wanted to do from the beginning was to leave the organization a little better than when I arrived. I think I did.

 TomCornell.JPG Tom Cornell - Secretary/Treasurer (many years ago...)

Tom was born an 8th of April, 1935, in New London, Connecticut. He grew up in Key West, Florida and spent 7 years at the University of North Carolina where he received a B.S. and D.D.S. degrees. In 1962 Tom returned to Key West to establish his dentistry practice which he kept until his retirement.

It was the early eighties when he joined the AMPS club. As a member Tom served on the board for about 7 years as Secretary/Treasurer. He is most proud of the fact that he and Art Silver finally figured out the best way to buy the property where the club is now located: raise the money from within the club members. Tom has relocated to the west coast of Florida where he still enjoys the occasional flight with the local club.