a. Introductions: President Bob Brown, Bradford, PA; Executive Vice President Gary Fitch, Franklinville, NY; District Vice Presidents: I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI; II-Eric Williams, Schenectady, NY; III-Mark Radcliff, St. Marys, WV; IV-Bliss Teague, Hickory, NC; V-Jose Soto, Apopka, FL; VI-Randy Cameron, Springfield, MO; VII-Tim Jesky, Monroe, MI; VIII-Mark Johnston, Albuquerque, NM, IX-Jim Wallen, Arvada, CO; X-Lawrence Tougas, Fairfield, CA; XI-Mike Mosbrooker, Oak Harbor, WA; Executive Director Dave Mathewson and AMA Legal Counsel Felix Gora, Rendigs Fry Kiely & Dennis.
HQ staff in attendance was Richard Hanson, Shawn Grubbs, Wendy Neal, Michael Smith, Greg Prater, Ilona Maine, Rob Kurek, Jeff Nance and Chad Budreau. Other attendees were Charles Eide, Fly Safe; Reid Condon, Dist. II AVP; Rusty Kennedy, LM Committee Chairman; Rick Grim, Dist. V AVP; Randall Gibson, Dist. VII AVP; Hank Mausolf, Dist. IV AVP; Marjorie Mausolf and Shirley Teague.
b. Additions to the agenda:
Safety Code Language (Jesky) – OLD BUSINESS
c. Final Flight List
Additions to the list – Fred Kruzel and Herb Eggers
2. Consent Agenda:
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to approve the Consent Agenda. Consent Agenda items: April 27-28, 2013 Executive Council meeting minutes; Mail/Conference call re Award, Affinity Program, 6-18-13 AMS Discussion and 6-24-13 AMS Approval.
3. President’s Report
The President attended a UAS meeting at AMA HQ. He thanked Council members for attending the Annual Membership Meeting which was held during the Joe Nall event; received positive feedback from members as they appreciate all that Council and HQ are doing for them. The XFC was held again at the IAC and the President noted the cooperative effort between the XFC organizers and Headquarters staff. Prior to the XFC the President sat in on a meeting between HQ and members of the Ball State media department. He also attended a Radio Control Club of Rochester (NY) event as well as the Warbirds Over Delaware event.
He was part of various meetings via conference call; the President reported conference calls, using Skype or Go to Meeting in lieu of in-person meetings, means significant savings for the Academy.
He continues to work with the ED and R. Hanson/workgroup relative to FAA issues, as well as A. Argenio and the Automated Flight Systems Committee.
4. Executive Vice President's Report
The EVP attended the Joe Nall and had the opportunity to converse with the membership. While there, he interviewed two possible candidates for the CFO position; any EC member who is aware of anyone with an interest in this position is asked to contact the EVP.
He attended a Boy Scout event that included rocketry and RC trainers, and assisted with flight simulator activity.
Along with E. Williams and R. Condon, he attended a memorial service for an AMA member and his wife who were tragically killed in an automobile accident in FL.
Spent significant time finishing up the document relative to suggested duties/responsibilities guidance for AVPs.
5. Executive Director’s Report
AMS Contract – signed the contract last Wednesday; first meeting with them will be next week and the project will get underway.
Documentation Service – negotiations continued since Council declined the offer presented at the last meeting. The owner has made a counter offer and the ED is looking for direction. It was noted that there is not enough supporting data to prove this to be a viable business venture. Following a brief discussion, Council directed the ED to again suggest the individual put a value on the items and donates them to the museum; Council is not in favor of further negotiations.
Scholarship Award – There was no opposition to announcing the winners in the Youth newsletter. The President noted Pylon fliers/NMPRA members donated $2,780 to the Telford Scholarship fund; this amount was matched by an anonymous donor.
Per Diem Policy - It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to increase the per diem rate to $46/day to come in line with IRS policy; effective 7-20-13.
Education Trailer – Council received copies of a draft brochure that could be used to attract potential sponsors.
Copyright of FAA, CBO and Safety Program documents – We are still working through the copyright process. They have been submitted to copyright office and if all goes well we can expect registration in a couple of months.
Foundation – One concept to generate non-dues revenue was to create an online auction. D. Kane from Ohio will be handling this; he is a knowledgeable modeler and knows the value of model-related items. First items to be offered will be donations from Carol Lieberman (Carl Goldberg’s daughter). Monies from the auctions will go to AMA’s donation funds such as Scholarship, Education Outreach, et al. A policy was created for unrestricted donations affirming the individual understands their donation is made unrestricted and AMA could do what they want with it, including selling the item.
Nats – The Nats manager had health issues and was unable to attend the Nats this year. J. Hager and Y. Jones are running the Nats this year from Headquarters, with the help of the sub-managers (W. Yeager, A. Williamson and B. Schuette). Joyce and Yolanda are doing a great job and knowing that AMA is always looking to contain costs, Headquarters recommendation to the President is expected to be that the AMA staff continues to be the Nats top level management.
Plans Printing Proposal – M. Smith reported that the company has been contacting Headquarters off and on for a couple of years about the possibility of AMA becoming the printing house for their plans. AMA has presented an initial proposal to the company. Plans orders would be taken by the company and sent to AMA where they would be printed; the additional workload to AMA staff would be incorporated without the need for additional staff. Consensus was that this opportunity should be pursued. Council needs to provide more adequate direction to the museum as to where they think it should go; this could be discussed relative to the SLRP.
American Aircraft Modeler – J. Shalberg has just completed scanning Model Aviation 1936-1967 and it will be added to the digital archives. Between the years 1967-1975, Model Aviation was a component of American Aircraft Modeler and AMA does not have copyright of those issues. Permission is being sought that would allow AMA to incorporate those years publications into its archives.
6. NAA REPORT
J. Gaffney not present. B. Brown reported that an invitation was extended to a U.S. pilot to perform demo flights for the FAI, as model aviation (F3P) will be included in the FAI World Air Games (WAG) this year.
7. Committee Reports
Since the last EC meeting, Mitch Rose was beneficial in assisting the Academy with sending a congressional inquiry request to Senator Dan Coats’ office re receiving an update on the status of the application and for details as to the cause of the delay. The foundation roll-out plan was reviewed. Hanson reported that the website is sketched out and M. Mikulski continues to add content to it; it will not go live until the foundation is launched. Council will be sent the link to the web site. The various donor levels and incentives, as well as the Heritage Society were reviewed. Council viewed a sample donor pin and membership card, as well as a job description for foundation board members. Wallen noted that Executive Council members could be eligible for a board member position.
Currently 159 clubs have signed up to participate in the National Model Aviation Day. A plaque from the state of Indiana proclaiming August 17, 2013 as Indiana Model Aviation Day was passed around for Council to see. A state proclamation was also received for the state of Missouri. Hanson is hoping that next year, a state proclamation can be received for every state that has a club participating in National Model Aviation Day. There will be much activity on site including activities in the museum, scheduled air show times and static displays by local clubs.
S. Grubbs reported that membership numbers as of July 13, 2013 are up 136 (paying members) and up 10,161 overall. At this time there are 33,154 Youth members. September 14 is closing time for membership numbers for the 2013 membership year; Council will continue to receive reports every Monday.
Membership acquisition/retention – Highlights include weekly emails soliciting renewals; running a media campaign to acquire new members; online advertising on Google and Facebook; purchase of online ads on RC Groups and RC Universe; and one distributor ran an exclusive offer on AMA’s behalf which generated 350 new AMA members. Overall the online campaign has generated 771 new members to date since it was launched May 3.
EAA AirVenture – AMA will be in the same locations as they have in the past, but in addition, will have a presence in the new interactive education zone area. This new area includes representation from colleges, Disney (launching the movie Planes) and the Discovery Channel among others. The EAA has offered AMA space in the area at no cost. AMA will also have a booth in the new Young Eagles Chapter pavilion on the main strip to talk with chapters about how they can partner with AMA chartered clubs. In addition, AMA will be part of RC Mobile Experiences Passport Program. AMA staff will be working hard to turn their attendance at AirVenture into a membership generation experience; designated AMA volunteers will be at each of the four locations to talk about AMA membership and sign up new members. Hobbico has donated prizes that will be given away at each location. Based on past years, AMA expects to touch around 20,000 people with the AMA message during AirVenture.
MCA Report – Nance reviewed the key conclusions/recommendations derived from the research study. These include:
• create a non-member model aviation focus group
• improve the insurance need, value and benefit
• commission a gender, age and ethnic diversity task force
• investigate recruiting potential from other hobby interest areas such as cars, boats, kites and trains
• shift the tablet edition to being a core benefit
• expand non-dues revenue programs (Affinity Programs)
• expand partnerships with EAA and AOPA (Nance hopes to come back from AirVenture with future opportunities with EAA)
• consider moving to year-to-date memberships
• inconclusive findings relative to the Park Pilot Program from members and non-members in the study
Council was asked to study the reports and forward any suggestions to J. Nance.
R. Kurek knew there would be a steep learning curve associated with utilizing the technology to develop a tablet app. It has enabled them to learn some very important lessons and will allow them to take it in a different direction for the rest of this year going into next year. It will open up a potential opportunity with a much wider range of our membership and potentially attract new members. C. Budreau reported on the digital strategy beginning now and moving into 2014.
AMA is on pace with other publications that charge for their app. AMA members like the app, but not that they have to pay for it. Publications will be moving away from the Adobe platform and going toward a platform that allows members to have the app for free. They talked with over a dozen software providers and rated them in terms of handling distribution options, interactivity, non-dues revenue, the ability to ad advertising, etc. and in the end chose to go with GTxcel™.
Options that might be afforded to members are:
• Print Edition which includes print MA, the digital research library and modelaviation.com included as a benefit of membership
• Digital Enhanced Edition which includes modelaviation.com, digital research library and the desktop edition (for Kindle, Android, iPad and smart phones) and a print feature included as a benefit of membership
• All-inclusive package which includes (for a small additional fee TBD) both the Digital and Digital Enhanced Editions
Members who have already paid for the annual subscription to the app will receive some consideration for purchasing a subscription. Life members will receive the All-inclusive package.
Duties/Responsibilities for VPs/AVPs (Appendix)
G. Fitch reported that developing duties/responsibilities for LMs, AVPs and VPs is part of the AMA’s communications effort from Council/HQ to the members and vice versa.
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to approve the document titled Academy of Model Aeronautics Suggested Duties and Responsibilities Guidance for Associate Vice Presidents as presented July 20, 2013.
Flying Site Improvement Grant-ad hoc (Appendix)
During the April 2013 EC meeting the ad hoc committee was established and tasked with improving the 2014 program. M. Mosbrooker sent the recommended changes to the committee, the ad hoc committee and EC members for comment. Since the respective VP must sign-off on a clubs application they should scrutinize the application carefully and if time allows, contact the club if they have any questions.
MOTION I: Moved by M. Johnson (VIII) and seconded by T. Jesky (VII) to approve the recommended changes to the document titled 2014 Flying Site Development/Improvement Grant Application Instructions as presented July 20, 2013.
MOTION passed: 8-Y; 4-N (III, V, VI and X)
Automated Flight Systems (Appendix)
Argenio noted that as a result of concern expressed by the FAA in recent conference calls, two changes are proposed. In an effort to give more value to the term buddy-box, a definition of the system will be included in Documents 550 and 560. In addition a change was made to Document 550, Section 3e Operations-Requirements-Limitations, to reflect a more forceful statement.
MOTION II: Moved by J. Wallen (IX) and seconded by E. Williams (II) to approve two changes to Documents 550/560 as presented. Changes:
Documents 550 and 560, item 7. DEFINITION OF TERMS, include definition/explanation of “Buddy-Box System”.
Buddy-Box System: A system that has one transmitter operating as the master controller, while a second transmitter is linked/slaved to it allowing dual control of an aircraft. The operator of the master transmitter allows one or the other transmitter to control the aircraft through the use of a spring-loaded switch. The switch provides instantaneous transfer of control from one transmitter to the other. The buddy-box system is an efficient and effective means of achieving a position transfer of control from one pilot to another. Although this system is commonly used for training novice fliers, it is also useful in situation where an experienced pilot may have an increased likelihood of needing a second pilot’s assistance in maintaining control of the aircraft. The use of the buddy-box may be helpful in assisting pilots with physical limitations, flying in congested environments, during times of reduced visibility, or anytime during FPV when a timely transfer of control may be beneficial.
Document 550 Section 3e Operations-Requirements-Limitations will now read: During an FPV flight, the FPV spotter must be prepared to acquire the transmitter/control from the FPV pilot and assume VLOS control of the model aircraft any time safe operation of the flight is in question.
MOTION passed unanimously.
Argenio reported that the committee held a conference call with a core group of individuals involved in sUAS, to research opportunities for the AMA to expand its’ programming to become more responsive to those involved in the SUAS community. They are looking at the possibility of recreational, educational, scientific and small semi-commercial application. Within those communities AMA could provide services, programs, advocacy, insurance, as well as standardizing safety guidelines as an alternative means of complying with government regulations. Charles Eide addressed Council requesting the development of a community-based standard, for small commercial SUAS operation. He is a small commercial UAS user and wants to be able to fly safely and legitimately in the eyes of the FAA. R. Hanson noted that right now the FAA has identified the recreational users and the dedicated commercial industrial users, but has left undefined the group in between (amateur/personal/small commercial UAS user) and people are approaching the AMA with the hopes they can fill that void. Argenio reported they will continue communications with the core group, look at which target markets they might want to look at and try to get a feel for where the FAA may be heading relative to SUAS.
R. Hanson briefed Council on:
• A federal registry notice that will differentiate between Circular 9157 and Public Law 112 95 to explain what activity would occur under each one of those. They will also within that registry, give examples of what they consider careless and reckless operation. There will be an opportunity for us to comment on that document before it gets posted to the national registry
• The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the relationship agreement between the AMA and the FAA that addresses how we move forward under the Community Based Organization (CBO) structure to make sure that model aviation continues to operate safely in the national air space. Hanson will send a copy of this document to Council members
• The executive order that would detail the criteria to become a CBO and the process by which you would apply or they would accept application
• The first draft of a document created by an association of Lt. Governors that addresses privacy issues
E. Williams reported that during the Nominating Committee meeting this morning the list of candidates for the 2013 election ballot were ratified.
MOTION III: Moved by M. Johnston (VIII) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to approve the report of the Nominating Committee. Names to appear on the ballot:
President: Bob Brown (incumbent)
District I VP: Andy Argenio (incumbent)
District V VP: Kris Dixon
District IX VP: Jim Tiller
MOTION passed unanimously.
A sensitivity training session was conducted by AMA’s Legal Counsel Felix Gora. The following motion was a result of discussion during that session:
MOTION IV: Moved by T. Jesky (VII) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to adopt the AMA Adult Volunteer Agreement presented July 20, 2013.
MOTION passed unanimously.
7. Old Business
2014 Safety Code (Appendix)
Council received copy of the proposed changes for the 2014 Safety Code. To resend an updated copy of the code to all 2,400 clubs would cost around $11k. Jesky noted HQ is looking at different options to control costs when minor changes are made to the code.
MOTION V: Moved by R. Cameron (VI) and seconded by E. Williams (II) to approve the 2014 Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code as presented July 20, 2013.
MOTION passed: 11-Y (District IX VP not in room at time of vote)
8. New Business
Air Show Operation Guidance
This came about because the FAA is updating their policy regarding unmanned aircraft operations at full scale aviation events. For several years the FAA has looked to the AMA AST safety program as guidance in this area. The FAA is looking to ensure safe responsible operations at events where model aircraft are involved that do not include or involve AMA Air Show Teams. R. Hanson drafted some language they want to include in the FAA safety program; the ED read the short paragraph that would be included. Hanson would like Council to adopt this as policy so FAA can include it in their document. The ED pointed out that although the AST program is not funded by the AMA, Council did not disband the program so the document is still in place and the FAA continues to look at it for guidance. Concern was expressed relative to the CD being responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of an aircraft. For clarification, the ED pointed out that when a pilot flies at a sanctioned event (proposed policy is for sanctioned events), the pilot signs a form attesting to the airworthiness of his/her aircraft. After some wording changes the following motion was presented.
MOTION VI: Moved by M. Radcliff (III) and seconded by R. Cameron (VI) to adopt the suggested policy relative to model aircraft flight operations at full-scale air shows as modified July 20, 2013.
Policy: “Other than events involving AMA Show Teams, all model aircraft flight operations at FAA waivered aviation events (air shows) must be overseen by an AMA Contest Director and conducted under an AMA issued Class D sanction. The Contest Director shall verify the competency of the pilots and the safe conduct of the flight operations.”
MOTION passed unanimously.
All awards were approved by acclamation.
Next meeting: October 19, 2013 – Muncie IN
Meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.