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START HERE NMPRA Hall Of Fame Inductee - 2017




Pete Bergstrom


Pete found his love of all things model aviation at the age of 12 after pilfering a copy of Model Airplane News from the school library. There was a feature article written by George Aldrich on his CL Aerobatics ship the Nobler, complete with page plans. Something about the whole idea of CL Aerobatics and building this airplane fascinated him and he learned to scale up drawings from that article. The airplane was never built but it did light a lifetime of fervor for all things model aviation, from FF scale airplanes through model rockets.

After joining the Army in ’79 and becoming an Army Helicopter Pilot stationed at Ft. Lewis in Washington State, Pete spent his twenties actively involved in CL Stunt competition throughout the Northwest. He left the Army in 1986 and purchased a hobby shop in Tacoma (The start of what would be a 27-year career in the model airplane industry).

Being an active member of Seattle Skyraiders (CL Club) led him to participate with the annual contest swap with the P.R.O.P.S. (Pylon Racers of Puget Sound) where the CL club worked the PROPS club Championship Race in return for PROPS members working our annual Skyraiders Championship Contest. Pete’s first pylon race view was from the inside of the #1 Pylon cage for the Formula One and Quickee 500 events for the entire weekend. He vowed by the end of Sunday to be at the other end of the course in a pilot station in time for the next race. He started racing later that year in their winter Quickee Series.

Pylon Racing mentoring came primarily from Tom Strom and Tony Huber in those formative racing years. Through his hobby shop Pete started producing a line of Quickee 500 kits called the EDGE 500 which Tom & Tony had designed. This was Pete’s first foray into manufacturing and ended after producing about 200+ kits. Through this time he was active in the West Coast Racing circuit, attending the NATS and becoming more involved in contest administration and the NMPRA. His best Formula One year he earned a 9th place finish in National Season Points.

Pete was the point person and main instigator for getting the NATS out to the Tri-Cities in Washington State for the first year by working with local officials and national AMA leaders. That year in Tri-Cities was Pete’s first foray as the Director of Pylon Racing at the NATS.

Pete served as President of the NMPRA twice during his racing career and as District VP twice as well. After selling his hobby shop in 1991 Pete went to work for Hobby Dynamics as the West Coast Sales rep for the next year. He moved from Washington to the Detroit area 1994 and got involved in the CAPS racing program as both a competitor and CD at many events. While in Detroit Pete was working for the Rider’s Hobby Shops as manager and then General Manager of a two-store Franchise. In 2002 Pete made the move to Horizon Hobby in Champaign, IL as a category manager overseeing the engine lines, as well as JR radio and Hangar 9 for a time. He retired from Horizon in 2014.

Pete began as the Starter at NATS in 2005 working alongside Mike Condon as well as Gary Freeman, missing only one year in the last thirteen. He began this to give back to the hobby that had provided him a lifetime career. This NATS experience led to being the starter at the 2007 F3D World Champs in Muncie, the Contest Director for the F5D World Championships in 2010 and the first F3T event at the World Air games in Dubai in 2015. He has been honored also be the starter at numerous National level races (Phoenix, Sepulveda Basin).

While no longer actively competing in Pylon Racing he is still an ardent supporter of the people, planes and technology that drive this great event and sport.