Executive Council Meeting

July 12, 2003
Muncie IN


Note: All minutes are unofficial until approved at the following Executive Council meeting (July 12-13, 2003).

I      To accept the definition of model aircraft and its operation, as revised. This will ...
II     To add as the first sentence in Safety Code, Radio Control item 5, I will not ...
III     To announce that the General Membership Meetings for 2004 will be held at ...
IV    To accept the recommendations of the Scholarship Committee for its 2003 awards.
V     To receive a site insurance certificate in those situations where there are multiple clubs ...

The following were approved by acclamation:
to approve the minutes of the April 26, 2003 EC meeting as presented ...
Results of June 16, 2003 E-mail vote re proposal EC-05-02 ...
To accept the report of the Nominating Committee.
To approve the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Bylaws with changes ...

In Attendance
President's Report
Executive Vice President's Report
Executive Director's Report
NAA Report
Committee Reports
Old Business
New Business
Action Items

District XI Vice President Bruce Nelson and NAA Representative Don Koranda were not in attendance.

Prior to the convening of the Executive Council, the Nominating Committee met from 8:00 a.m. - 9:05 a.m.

The regular meeting of the Executive Council assembled at 9:15 a.m. and was called to order by President Dave Brown.


President Dave Brown, Hamilton, OH; Executive Vice President Doug Holland, Raleigh, NC; District Vice Presidents: I-Don Krafft, Duxbury, MA; II-Dave Mathewson, Baldwinsville, NY; III-Bob Brown, Bradford, PA; IV-Bliss Teague, Hickory, NC; V-Jim McNeill, Birmingham, AL; VI-Charlie Bauer, Norridge, IL; VII-Bill Oberdieck, Southgate, MI; VIII-Sandy Frank, Weatherford, TX; IX-Russ Miller, Carrington, ND; X-Rich Hanson, Scottsdale, AZ; Executive Director Joyce Hager; and General Counsel Felix Gora.

Attending from Headquarters staff were Jay Mealy, Rob Kurek, Tom Schwyn.

Also present were Bob Underwood representing the Scholarship Committee; Wes DeCou, Flying Site Assistance Coordinator (West); and Shirley Teague.


  • · J. Mealy requested a minor change to AMA’s definition of a model aircraft and its operation.

MOTION I: Moved and seconded to accept the definition of model aircraft and its operation, as revised. This will replace the current definition in the Official AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code, General section, item 7.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • J. Mealy received a call from a gentleman who indicated that Fox National News broadcasted a report which included an FBI agent saying that model airplanes should be banned due to the possibility of them carrying explosives. The ED received an E-mail from someone in Texas who saw the same newscast. Council viewed a taped portion of the ABC News broadcast from Friday night in which they reported the same thing. There is concern that someone who is unhappy with a nearby flying site could use the excuse they were concerned about potential terrorism attacks by model airplanes, to shut down a flying site.
  • While in the process of updating the Safety Code last year, a portion had been dropped and needs to be put back in the code.

MOTION II: Moved and seconded to add as the first sentence in Safety Code, Radio Control item 5, I will not knowingly operate my model within three miles of any pre-existing flying site except in accordance with the frequency sharing agreement listed below in this paragraph.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • Establishing the date of the annual membership meeting. The President entertained the idea of holding meetings at various venues.

MOTION III: Moved and seconded to announce that the General Membership Meetings for 2004 will be held at the AMA Show in Ontario, CA; WRAM Show in NY; AMA Homecoming in Muncie, IN; Weak Signal Show in Toledo, OH; and Chicago, IL. The meetings in Toledo and Chicago are dependant on venue availability.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • The President indicated that RC Airport has merged with RC Universe. There was concern that they may develop a new classified service, and it was questioned how that will impact AMA’s contract with RC Airport. The President suggested AMA wait and see how the merger works out.
  • The President’s recent column addressing the potential of tiered membership, received very different reactions from that which was published approximately three years ago discussing the same issue. This recent column produced a large positive reaction from a broad cross section of people. On the basis of this reaction, it may be time to take a serious look at some method by which AMA might have a tiered membership system. This would not only be for economic reasons but also for reasons of safety and training.
  • An area of concern to the President is that of a wildfire caused by a model airplane, particularly in times of high fire probability (different areas use different terms for this situation). As an example, a turbine loaded with fuel that crashed could cause a wildfire and could have extreme financial repercussions on the Academy. It would not be unreasonable to establish rules which restrict turbine flying in some manner when there is a high fire probability. The Safety Committee was instructed to address the issue and have a report for the Nov. 1-2 council meeting.
  • Council was informed that four members of the Hall of Fame Committee have resigned.
  • B. Underwood, representing the Scholarship Committee, gave the report for the 2003 awards.

MOTION IV: Moved and seconded to accept the recommendations of the Scholarship Committee for its 2003 awards.
MOTION passed unanimously.

The committee will continue its follow-up research on scholarship recipients.

Break/Executive Session
During lunch S. Tweedy reported that the cost of embroidered shirts for VP’s, etc. had doubled. To keep costs down, she would like to define a standard shirt and requested Council’s opinion. Orders will only be made twice a year. Council consensus was to use the “golf shirt” style. (Color is up to the individual ordering.)

  • As a result of discussion during Executive Session, the following motion was made.

MOTION V: Moved and seconded to receive a site insurance certificate in those situations where there are multiple clubs using the same site, there are two options. The first being each club shall submit an application for a certificate of insurance; the second option is the clubs shall chose to form a Chapter and submit an application for a single certificate of insurance in the name of the Chapter.
MOTION passed unanimously.

    It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the minutes of the April 26, 2003 Executive Council meeting as presented.


  • The cost of the new CL circles and providing electrical service to the RV site was $148,000.
  • AMA is beginning to experience a positive turnaround in its investment portfolio; and has increased the amount of cash available to work with as compared to last year.
  • The EVP reminded Council that if there is something they will request funding for, they need to place it in the budget for 2004 and spend it accordingly.
  • Council should put a line in the budget for “contingencies” that would allow for mid-year allocations.


  • The following E-mail vote results were read into the minutes:

    E-mail vote of June 16, 2003 re the proposal EC-05-02.
    7 no; 2 yes; two districts did not vote and there was one abstention.

    Sufficient information pertaining to issues to be voted on will accompany all requests for a vote. Criteria had never been established for an EC non-vote on contest board matters. Currently, non-votes by EC members (pertaining to CB matters) are treated different than non-votes by CB members. It was agreed that in those cases, EC vote will be subject to the contest board criteria.
  • The President appointed an ad hoc committee to review nominating procedures and the handling of electronic submission of items. Committee is Bill Oberdieck, chairman; Joyce Hager and Charlie Bauer.
  • The Executive Director would like to see Council mandate to the Nats Steering Committee, that they reduce the time length of the Nats. Reasons for this include: during the Nats there are eleven headquarters people tied up for 12 hours a day, seven days a week; six weeks of prime flying season at the National site is lost; events have been added to the Nats schedule but none have been removed (noting RC specifically). Suggestions for improvement included extending the flying hours; and holding some events at the National site every other year (the SIGs could hold Nats events at different venue in those off years). The ED will draft a letter for the President’s signature mandating the Nats Steering Committee reduce the length of the Nats to thirty (30) days starting in 2005.




Park Flyer-Ad hoc (Appendix II)

Intro Membership/Park Flyer Update 7/12/03 was distributed. The Committee would like to institute the intro member program at Hobby Visions in October. Promotional ads are currently running on selected Web sites; will also put program information out via E-mail, the magazine, and Web sites just prior to launch. T. Schwyn explained how clubs will be able to verify the memberships when the office is not open (weekends, etc.).

In trying to put together a communication piece which shows AMA in a nice light, a media package was developed. Each package holds a summary of the sport and organization and is equipped to hold additional material. Copies of this package will be sent to all AVPs.

The Committee is currently working with a volunteer to update and provide significant information on the Park Flyer Web site.

The Committee discussed the problems of the Web site. It was noted that the site had been down numerous times and R. Kurek is evaluating the problems and possibly seeking a new vendor.

The report from Ball State regarding internal web management will be distributed by headquarters to the Publications Committee.

Council should review the Model Aviation Mission Statement and Policy for Photo Publication, and forward any comments to the committee.

R. Kurek continues work on the concept of an on-line magazine.

It was moved, seconded, and approved by acclamation to accept the report of the Nominating Committee.

Club Bylaws-Ad hoc (Appendix III)
The committee reviewed two documents on the Web site (#539, #540) pertaining to club bylaws. To make the documents more easily understandable to clubs, they offered various changes which are included in their report. It should be made very clear to the clubs that these are only samples and guidelines for an outline.

It was moved, seconded, and approved by acclamation to approve the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Club Bylaws, with changes as noted. Headquarters will make the changes to the documents.

The submitted bylaws will be reviewed and it is expected that feedback and/or recommendations will be offered back to the club.

FAI Review-Ad hoc
The Committee continues investigating ways to increase activity in FAI events; the committee is currently in talks with headquarters staff re possibly adding an FAI column in Model Aviation.

A suggestion offered by the committee at the last EC meeting was possibly offering a reduced sanction fee/free sanction to those that host contests which include FAI events. One district VP reported a very positive response from within his district to this concept.

The new Control Line pad is complete except for the seeding. As of today only one circle has been marked for control line racing.

No NATS events had been lost due to the excessive rain that fell. The amount of rain experienced over the last couple weeks is not considered normal. Since the AMA site is in the center of an area declared a federal disaster area, FEMA should be approaching AMA for a list of costs incurred (from damage) due to the rain. Any maintenance that needs to be done to sluices, etc., must be done prior to repaving.

One of the old Control Line circles needs repair done to the pylon which is rising out of the ground. When repaired, it must be put below the frost line (four feet suggested). Stanchions for fence need repair also.

Development of training program which can be expanded to allow for commercial flight instruction-Ad hoc
The Committee is in agreement that it would be beneficial to members and clubs if AMA were in the position to provide some type of liability insurance package to paid instructors.

The Committee is trying to determine what type of paid instructor to cover; most likely targeting the casual type instructor (someone who instructs an individual on a casual basis to earn a few dollars now and then). The professional-type instructor, commercial schools, etc. will be excluded.

There should be a significant cost to apply for this certificate (possibly $100-$150) for two reasons. First, to ensure the person applying for the certificate is serious about instructing; second, the Committee is investigating some type of reserve fund to act as an SIR (similar to fund in general policy.)

AMA should require registration (maintainable database) so they are able to refer people to instructors. This would be a service to the instructors and the members.

In an extension of the discussion relating to new members and flight instructors, the President solicited Council's opinion on clubs with closed memberships. Comments included: AMA should reward clubs that are open to additional members and/or penalize clubs with closed membership; it is difficult to promote the growth of a hobby with a limited number of available sites that are already saturated, without having additional sites to accommodate member growth; AMA should not get involved in club ‘politics’; part of AMA Mission is to grow the sport, but if there are no clubs to send new/potential members to, how do we grow the sport; and a limit on the number of members may be put in place by the entity controlling the site, not the club. No action was taken.

Development of a tier-level for flight level achievement program to, to work with SIG’s-Ad hoc
The committee has not had the opportunity to meet; still waiting on copy of training program from LSF. Committee will have something to present at the next Council meeting.

Investigate methods to enforce reasonable safety practice on part of members-Ad hoc
No specific ideas to present as yet; this item to be carried over to next Council meeting. One suggestion was that to charter a club, the club must agree to adhere to the safety code. This would mean that all people who join the club must abide by the safety code. J. Mealy to write something using the club charter that obligates clubs to enforce the safety code at their site. AMA could include in the charter package a statement that intentional and constant violation of the safety code can result in the revocation of the club charter. Another idea was to reward clubs that have no accidents or safety violations.


EVP Position Paper Review
Prior to this meeting Council received this item for review. For the position of EVP, individuals with certain education, skill, and experience are preferred. It is hoped to include this in the standing rules, however the proposed wording needs to be changed to reflect that certain skills, etc. are preferred, but not required. It was suggested that Council make the change to the pertinent section of the bylaws and send it to the Leader Members for a vote.

R. Hanson will massage the document to get the specific words as proposed for the bylaws. It will be brought to the next meeting for a vote by Council, and ultimately a vote by the Leader Members.

Earned Membership Policy
As directed by Council at the last meeting, a survey was sent to Leader Members re earned memberships. Of the 1,700 E-mails sent, received responses from just over 700. It was almost 2 to 1, in favor of what Council had originally voted (50% reduction or pay full price). The ED explained the results of a report done on the number of fliers per contest director (as reported on forms sent in following the contest-for the year 2002). Those results included: of the 1425 CDs listed, only 304 held more than one event, 72% of events which resulted in an earned membership, had less than 25 participants, and only 21% of those who received earned memberships held two or more events. The ED noted that the Leader Members were very appreciative that AMA requested their input on the matter.

Council was in agreement that the motion from last October will stand and take effect for 2004 membership. (50% credit) It was suggested that AMA consider a non-monetary way to recognize those that volunteer their services; possibly a once-a-year ‘thank you’ in the magazine, listing the names of those who volunteered their time for the Academy.

Bylaws update of what we have so far
We are down to the critical issues, including nominations/elections and the discipline of memberships. R. Hanson will send a copy of what has been done so far to Council members via E-mail. Show changes in italics or bold; show strikeouts, etc.


For discussion: Currently the 2003 Official AMA National Model Aircraft SAFETY CODE under GENERAL 4) “The maximum takeoff weight of a model with fuel is 55 pounds, except models flown under Experimental Aircraft Rules, Document #549.”

Propose rule #4 be modified to read: 4) “The maximum takeoff weight of a model is 55 pounds dry. After weighing, the maximum fuel allowed shall be one and a half gallons.”

Comments expressed included: a 55 pound aircraft that takes on 10 pounds of fuel (1½ gallons) now weighs approximately 65 pounds; possibly impose a maximum of 1½ gallon of fuel for ALL models; allow in exchange for an increase in weight limit, a means to increase the safety of the model; none of the competition categories allow any plane over 55 pounds, including fuel; consider doing what they do in England—anything over a certain weight limit goes under the regulations of the equivalent of the FAA; it could be argued that by cutting off the size, weight, and performance of a model, you are undermining the mission of the Academy which is to promote the advancement of technology in the arts and science of model airplanes; it may be time to restrict certain models at particular flying sites; and rules that restrict size and weight do not restrict technology.

The Safety Committee, with input from the turbine group should investigate this issue.


All awards were approved by acclamation.

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.


November 1-2, 2003 Muncie, IN

Respectfully submitted by JoAnne Brown, Recording Secretary for the July 12, 2003 Executive Council Meeting.

Action items from the July 12, 2003 Executive Council meeting

1. Safety Committee to address the issue of possible wildfires caused by model planes. (see President’s report July 12, 2003 EC minutes) Make report at November EC meeting.

2. New Ad hoc Committee: B. Oberdieck, Chmn; J. Hager; C. Bauer. Committee charged with reviewing nominating procedures to handle electronic submission of items.

3. ED to draft a letter for President’s signature to Nats Steering Committee re reducing length of Nats to thirty (30) days starting in 2005.
4. Send Media Package to all AVPs.

5. R. Hanson to provide specific wording for proposed bylaws change re EVP position. Will present at November EC meeting.

6. R. Hanson to E-mail copy of bylaws with changes thus far, to all EC members. Show changes in italics or bold; show strikeouts.

7. Safety Committee to investigate proposal re modifying Safety Code General item 4. (see NEW BUSINESS page 5 of July 12, 2003 EC minutes)