Some people have all the luck. Wouldn’t it be great if you could play with your favorite toys and make a good living doing so? Greggor McGrath, 33, is one such man. He flies and teaches others to fly high-tech model airplanes and helicopters that go 100 miles per hour at Chico’s A Main Hobbies and all around the country.
What do you like best about flying models?
The fact that it’s my favorite activity and pays well enough that I can support the woman I love and my three sons. I fly every chance I get: before and after work, on my lunch hour and on weekends. The models can go over 100 miles per hour and can stop within a foot. They fly upside down, sideways and even backwards. I also love teaching others to fly. Our A Main Hobbies motto is “Help people share the fun.” Another big highlight is building a new helicopter every year for Keeping Up with the Kardashians co-star and Olympic gold medal decathlete Bruce Jenner.
How did you get involved with model aircraft?
In high school I got in with the wrong crowd, doing meth and getting into trouble. Shortly after high school I started caring for my mother, who was dying of cancer, and I promised her I’d change my life. I saw an ad for a micro helicopter and thought it would be fun to play with indoors to distract me from the drugs and my sick mom. It was a great challenge, and it worked. I lost my mother seven years ago, but I got off the drugs and never looked back. Now not only do I not get into trouble, but I regularly do demonstrations for District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s softball tournaments.
What does your job consist of?
I’m the leader and only local member of the national Team A Main Hobbies that travels the country putting on public demonstrations of our helicopters and airplanes. I’m also the lead aircraft tech; I do phone tech support and make YouTube videos on how to build and fly the helicopters.
How did you get to be head of Team A Main Hobbies?
Eight years ago I was just a regular customer of A Main Hobbies who was hired to do menial work. Within a year the owner, Kendall Bennett, saw me flying a model behind the warehouse and said, “Where the hell did you learn to fly like that?” He hired me to run the team, which keeps me traveling from four to 14 days a month. It’s weird now, when I travel the country, people want my autograph and even say I’m their hero.