Lawrence Tougas
Fairfield, California

It is time for a change.

The AMA has strayed from its mission.

We must return the AMA’s focus back to traditional modelers.

If you agree with those sentiments please read on to see why I, Lawrence Tougas am the best choice to be the AMA’s next President.

The AMA is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. We’ve had a wonderful history. A history filled with the safe operation of model aircraft. We’ve done this largely invisible to the general public. We were invisible that is, until recently.

Starting in 2014 a tidal wave of bad news stories crashed down on AMA members. There seemed to be a report daily of some model flying close to a manned aircraft or over a place it shouldn’t have been flying. These stories were in the most prominent news publications and television networks. The common denominators in these events were that the offender was flying a multi-rotor model (MRM) and they were not an AMA member.

MRM’s are not inherently bad. The problem is that they require little skill to fly. Novices with no modeling experience can and do fly them. Since an MRM pilot doesn’t need flight instruction and they can be flown from a small area there is no incentive to join a local club or the AMA. This is reflected in our membership numbers. Less than 10% of our members list MRM or First Person View (FPV) as their interest. Most of the current MRM and FPV pilots that are AMA members are traditional modelers who have expanded into these areas not new recruits to our fold.

So if we are not seeing a large increase in membership in these areas then why is the AMA chasing people who have clearly spoken that the AMA is not for them? Like most important questions it’s a complex issue. The original decision to market to MRM and FPV modelers was made with the best intentions. The thought was the AMA would have a new stream of members to fund all of our membership programs such as flying site assistance grants, education scholarships, political outreach, etc. Now we have a much better understanding of the market and it shows that it is time to reassess our plan.

I have served as the AMA’s District X Vice President for almost 6 years. I have made it a point to travel the district attending events and meetings with as many clubs as possible. I fly competitively. I currently fly Precision Aerobatics in the Advanced class and have attended the last 4 NATS and in 2015 finished second or as I like to call it Vice Champion :-) In fact, I am the only candidate for President that flies models on a weekly basis. I have spent 25 years working as an Engineer with a major U.S. airline and have dealt with the FAA extensively. I am the only candidate with this much experience with the FAA. I will fight on your behalf to ensure that our membership is free to pursue modeling without the FAA’s interference.

Please follow my campaign at, www.tougas4president.com.

Sincerely,
Lawrence Tougas
AMA 232

P.S. Remember if you want the AMA to return its focus to traditional modelers, and a President who actually flies models then I am the right choice for AMA President.