President's Blog

Displaying the last 10 posts.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Notice to Airman (NOTAM) involving a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for the Denver, CO area during the Democratic National Convention beginning on August 25, 2008 and ending on August 28, 2008. The TFR prohibits most aero operations, including model aircraft and model rocketry between 2p and 11p MDT on August 25th, 26th, and 27, and from 4p to 11p MDT on August 28th. You can view the online version of the TFR by visiting .


Thursday, August 7, 2008

As many of you know yesterday, August 6,2008, we took a big step forward in promoting model aviation and the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

A little over seven months ago when I became AMA president, I said that I wanted to get model aviation on ESPN – and yesterday we accomplished that objective! While this was a relatively short clip, and our ultimate goal still is to get feature coverage of an aeromodeling event, we now have our “foot in the door”.

ESPN’s daily show, "ESPN First Take," featured footage (provided by AMA member Fred Midgett who is President of High Planes Productions) of the 2008 XFC and AMA All-Star Andrew Jesky flying his helicopter. ESPN First Take, formerly Cold Pizza, is aired Monday-Friday from 10 AM-Noon ET on ESPN2.

During the segment, host Dana Jacobson mentioned that she doesn’t think of model flying as a sport, although she thought it was "very cool". While many of us view modeling as our hobby, there are just as many of us that describe today’s aeromodeling activities as sport. Let’s contact Dana, thank her for featuring model flying on her show, let her know that competing in championships such as the XFC is indeed a sport, and that we, as AMA members, would love to see more model flying on ESPN.

You can now view the full clip here.

You can contact Dana at:

If enough of us contact ESPN, perhaps we can continue to see model flying on national T.V.


Dave Mathewson, AMA President

Friday, August 1, 2008

AMA has received a number of inquiries regarding the Monster Planes USA event to be held in Lake Wales, FL on October 17-19, 2008. AMA members flying in this event with an aircraft that falls within the confines of the AMA Safety Code, including Experimental Aircraft with a current Permit to Fly, will have the usual AMA coverage. If not, you will need to discuss coverage available with the event organizer.

Dave Mathewson
AMA President

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I want to thank the dozens, maybe hundreds, of members who took the time at the Joe Nall to visit the AMA tent or come up to me on the flight line to share your thoughts on AMA. Thanks, too, to those of you who attended the Thursday evening AMA general membership meeting in spite of the less than ideal weather. I'm not sure how many of you attended but I was told that the Confederate Air Farce crew cooked 500 hot dogs for the after meeting cookout and they were all gone.

Thank you, as well, to Pat Hartness for his support in giving AMA the opportunity to hold this meeting, Pat's crew for setting up the seating and PA systems, Kirby and Carol McKinney for organizing the cookout, and to Gene Strozier and his CAF crew for manning the grills.

Hope to see you all again in 2009.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The acting FAA Administrator has recently authorized the creation of an Aviation Rule-making Committee (ARC) tasked with making recommendations to the FAA regarding the integrating of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). According to the FAA, the challenge for the committee will be "to propose regulatory language that allows for the maximum safe operations supported by the current technologies, while harmonizing with current manned aviation." The results of the ARC's work will be used to help "in establishing a regulatory basis for allowing sUAS to operate in the National Airspace System for compensation or hire, and to clarify the definition of a model aircraft."

AMA has been invited to participate in this process and will be represented at the initial organization meeting to be held in Washington DC on May 27-29, 2008. The anticipated term of the committee is 20 months.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

On April 29-20, 2008 AMA will participate in a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) forum focusing on safety concerns of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The forum, to be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington DC will provide an opportunity for the NTSB and other interested parties to understand the safety implications presented by the growing use of the National Airspace System.
Topics on the agenda will include:
- Regulatory standards,
- Integration within the National Airspace System,
- Human factors, and
- Perspectives of current users of the National Airspace System.

Forum participants will include representatives from the military, industry, the FAA, government agencies, among others in the aviation community.

Friday, March 28, 2008

From March 27th through March 30th AMA will be attending the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in Boston, MA. NSTA, with a membership of over 55,000, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching.

AMA's attendance at the convention is intended to promote model aviation as a tool to teach science and math in the classroom environment. Through our AeroLab DVD series, AMA provides curriculum support and materials for middle school physical science and math programs. Additional support includes assisting classroom teachers who wish to integrate aerospace education concepts into math, science, and technology education programs to meet goals and objectives of the national standards for these disciplines.

AMA is investigating new ways to help acquire and develop flying sites. In our membership surveys, our members consistently indicate that adequate places to fly are their number one concern and and their most important priority.

Later this year AMA will be participating in a limited number of state, and national conventions that attract municipal leaders that attend for the purpose of investigating new ways to utilize municipally owned properties.

As of late March our plans are to attend the League of Cities State Convention in Florida on August 14th and 15th. The Florida League of Cities is one of the largest municipal leagues in the US with a membership that includes nearly 99% of Florida's 412 municipalities.

Additionally, we are making plans to attend the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Convention to be held this October in Baltimore, MD. NRPA conventions attract park professionals and urban planners, and are the people we'd like to reach to promote the value of creating model aviation facilities in their communities.

We will be continually evaluating these and other similar opportunities with the intended purpose of encouraging stakeholders to consider model aviation as an appropriate use of their facilities.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Over the next several days AMA's Leader Members will be receiving a letter announcing a new AMA initiative called Membership Dynamic. The AMA Executive Council conducts much of its business through a system of committees. We also recognize that we have a tremendous resource in our more than 150,000 members. As a first step in this new initiative we are asking our members who have specific expertise in certain areas and are willing to volunteer some of their time by serving on one of our various committees to let us know. The form included with this letter provides a list of committees as well as space for a member to indicate an area of interest and additional space to outline their background in the given area. This form will also appear in the April issue of Model Aviation.

We expect to receive a significant number of replies and, of course, it is unlikely that we will be able to take advantage of every offer this year. However, all replies will be entered into a database for future consideration. Replies will be forwarded to the appropriate committee chairperson for consideration and, if selected, the committee chair will directly contact the member.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Applications for the 2008 AMA Takeoff and Grow (TAG) Program are now being accepted until 4/15/08. TAG is an AMA support program designed to help AMA chartered clubs introduce model aviation to their friends and neighbors.

AMA was exceptionally pleased with the results of the 2007 version of TAG. Nearly all of the clubs selected to host a TAG event last year reported a successful day. Some clubs felt that their first event was so successful that they held additional TAG events during the year. We were also pleasantly surprised by the unanticipated residual effects for some clubs that hosted a TAG day. This ranged form clubs developing a working relationship with local corporations involved in the aerospace industry, a club being asked to host another TAG day as part of a community weekend, another club being invited to participate by running another TAG day at an aviation museum, and a major university being so impressed with a club's efforts that they donated 2 computer systems to be used as part of the fight simulator  portion of TAG. In addition, many clubs reported that local radio, television, and newspapers ran positive reports about TAG events. Finally, many of our clubs that held a TAG day last year reported the day resulted in new members for the club and a more positive perception of aeromodeling by others in their community.

This is exactly what AMA envisioned when TAG was developed. Based on the success of last year, TAG is back for 2008 with some changes and improvements. In 2008 clubs will be asked to provide a more detailed outline of their proposed day, including a proposed budget. This year we're also asking clubs to provide back to AMA a more detailed reporting of their event. A major change for 2008 will be that instead of providing each club with trainer models and flight simulators as we did in 2007, we will be providing cash grants, up to $1,000 based on the budget submitted with the application. This change was a direct result of input from clubs who hosted a TAG last year who indicated that while they appreciated the equipment used to host a TAG event, most already had that equipment available to them and said that funds that could be used for other purposes like promoting their day, hosting an event picnic, etc. would help them be more successful.

Hosting an AMA TAG event is a great way to promote what we do as model aviation enthusiasts to others in the communities in which we live. At the same time it can be a lot of fun. If you'd like to know more visit the Education section of the AMA Website and click on 2008 TAG Announcement.