Heavy-Lift Challenge 2023 Winners, Runners-Up, and Honorable Mentions Announced!

For the past several months at AMA Headquarters, we’ve been very excited about the 2023 Heavy-Lift Challenge. This year’s competition marked an incredible 300% increase in registrations over the 2022 season, so we knew there would be some very impressive results!

To refresh, the Heavy-Lift Challenge is designed to test teams’ flying skills (of course), ability to find engineering solutions, and successfully navigate the science of meteorology by modifying a standard Horizon Hobby Aeroscout model to carry the largest, heaviest payload of water possible. This is an open-ended challenge where almost anything goes (as long as it’s safe) and teams all have the chance to test their ideas on their home turf!

After careful review of this year’s submissions, the AMA Education team is pleased to announce the winning team for this year’s Heavy-Lift Challenge is: the Golden Eagles from Bellbrook Middle School! From Bellbrook Ohio, this team consisted of Andrew Bowser, Aiden Colston and Cooper Redfern, sponsored by Keith Numbers!

Our runners-up were AeroHAWKS 2, consisting of Zander Empey, Aiden Finney, Zaen Grissino-Mayer, and Trey Harvey, who placed second, and AeroHAWKS 1, consisting of Adrian Alemar, Bailey Mounts, Caleb Mulder, and Khalil Ortiz, who placed third! Both AeroHAWKS teams were based out of Knoxville, Tennessee and sponsored by Tim Smyrl.

We also wish to give honorable mentions to a few teams who also submitted impressive results, including:

The Center Grove RC Flying Club out of Greenwood, Indiana, which consisted of Josh Burris, Angelo Lawrence, Jack Matthews and Dylan O’Brien, sponsored by Brent Schulz

Old Town Valley Youth out of Boliver, Ohio, which consisted of Hunter Houze and Keegan Warner, sponsored by Robert Draman

Ratchet & Clank out of Edinburgh, Indiana, which consisted of Ella Crabtree, Cyrus Erb, and Logan Maqueda, sponsored by Erin Maqueda

The AMA Education team congratulates all of our participants for this year’s Heavy-Lift Challenge, and encourages our entire youth membership to keep their eyes peeled for a 2024 season registration form in the coming months! We are already working on ways to improve, expand, and continue with this exciting, accessible, and yes, challenging program!

Happy flying!

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