A European aeromodelling titleholder is working at Plarium’s Kharkiv studio. His name is Denis Kobzan, and he is the Senior Сommunity manager. We had the opportunity to sit down and ask him some questions about one of his greatest passions!
Denis, what does aeromodelling mean for you personally? I suppose it’s not just a hobby but also an opportunity to see the world and realize your potential?
For the majority of aeromodellers this is more than just a hobby, this is a lifetime project. The people involved are usually very devoted. I know many people that started aeromodelling like me, at school, and now they are over 30, some even over 60. Any person at any age and any time can start aeromodelling. It’s easy to begin – you just need to have passion.
What are the special skills and talents an aeromodeller should possess?
One of the most important things is patience since it generally takes several months to create a model. The second most important thing is to be careful. Every model is fragile and any careless movement can damage it. You may not be very precise while making ribs, for instance, and a mistake means you have to start over from the beginning. Doing something like this requires you to have nerves of steel. Various unexpected situations can happen. Expect to receive criticism when you’re doing something wrong and to occasionally struggle through poor weather conditions at the trainings and contests. It’s raining, the temperature is +3 °C and you are at the competition but you need to get out of the tent, prepare your model in rain and wind, and make it fly. The model may land in unexpected places – in the marsh or in a tree possibly. It’s important to know how to find and recover it.
How do you manage to find free time for your hobby? Has it ever interfered with your everyday life?
When I was at school, I trained after classes. At university I had more free time that I could devote to my hobby. I had enough time to do whatever I liked. I can’t recall anything interfering with the activities I liked. I don’t look back and regret anything that has happened in my life.
We know that you are dreaming of winning the world contest. When can we do to support you and how are you going to prepare?
In 2006 I took part in the junior world contest in Germany. My team and I took 4th place. Of course, I would like to participate in another international contest. There is a chance that this could happen this or next summer. My preparation consists of training, training and more training. It’s important to be focused and concentrated at all times.
Is there some kind of good luck charm that you usually keep with you during competitions?
I have several lucky T-shirts that I like wearing during competitions. If I’m competing, I have to be wearing one of them.
Do you communicate with other aeromodellers? How do you manage to get along with fellow aeromodellers of different ages? Do you feel that you are rivals?
For me personally it’s much more interesting to socialize with more experienced aeromodellers. All the members of our club usually attend the contests, even the 12-year-old kids. I communicate with them too but mostly just to give advice if it is needed. I know all the Ukrainian aeromodellers, we spend a lot of time together at international contests. As for the contestants from other countries, I can talk and share with them the weight of my model, but I do not usually tell them about other technical characteristics – it’s a secret. But aeromodelling in general is a very friendly kind of sport.
How do you feel while flying? Would you like to learn fly a real plane or helicopter?
Flying is awesome! Flying is freedom. But to tell you the truth I have never dreamt of becoming a pilot. My hobby is enough for me and I like it very much. If I ever do get my own plane or a helicopter, I will have to master Pilot skills, but for now I enjoy what I am doing.
Have you ever tried flying air-balloons, paragliders…?
I have flown a paraglider and a hang glider. It is an exciting experience as well. I have always dreamed of skydiving, but something always disturbed me about this. I thought of giving an unusual present like this to myself and my friends but for now it is an unrealized dream.
Can you say that this kind of sport changed you somehow?
Yes, I can. Aeromodelling gave me a lot. It taught me to never give up. I had several breaking points when I couldn’t reach the desired results; I wanted to quit this sport, leave and start doing something else. But I realized that I just needed to endure these temporary difficulties and everything would be ok.
Denis, we wish you success, ascending air, predictable landings and new victories. We look forward to cheering you on in your upcoming competitions!