AMA Introductory Pilot Program
(Applies to all categories of model flying — RC, CL, and FF)

Please Note: This program is not intended to alter or replace any instructor program offered by AMA chartered clubs for their AMA members. This program is intended to introduce the non-AMA member to aeromodeling while providing liability insurance coverage to the non-AMA member and the chartered club. This program is optional.

A non-AMA member may fly at a chartered club site and receive member liability insurance protection as long as he/she is flying under the direct supervision of a club-designated Introductory Pilot Instructor. The Introductory Pilot Instructor must hold a current AMA Open membership with the “Intro Pilot” classification. Supervised instruction must take place at an AMA chartered club’s site, and must be closely supervised. The non-AMA member will have the same liability insurance coverage that other AMA members receive, solely while under the direct, one-on-one supervision of the Intro Pilot Instructor, for a period of 60 consecutive days starting from the first session. No other AMA benefits are provided to the non-AMA member.

Participation in this program is on a one-time basis only. This program covers assisting new modelers through education and training activities only, and does not constitute permission to fly in any organized event of AMA members or clubs, sanctioned or otherwise. No AMA card will be issued to the non-AMA member during the 60 day introduction period.

If the non-AMA member’s model is used, it should be carefully checked and the Intro Pilot Instructor should fly it until familiar with it. High performance aircraft should not be used for training. For radio control clubs, if the non-members radio is “buddy-box” ready, its use is recommended.

Chartered clubs are requested to have a reasonable number of AMA members as Intro Pilot Instructors. A club officer must complete the Introductory Pilot Instructor Designation form and submit it to AMA HQ online, by fax, or through US Mail. A person may be designated as an Intro Pilot Instructor by more than one chartered club. The designation will renew automatically each year. At the time of an individual’s first-time designation, AMA will verify that the designee is a current member. In subsequent years, it will be the club’s responsibility to verify and assure that all of its designated Intro Pilot Instructors are current AMA members prior to any non-AMA member student training. Signing up online can easily be done at anytime on our Web site. Click here for instructors or here for students.

All record keeping is the responsibility of the chartered club and its designated Intro Pilot Instructors. Using forms provided by AMA, clubs shall establish and maintain up-to-date records showing date of enrollment and date of termination for each non-AMA member enrolled in the program. Neither the club nor the Intro Pilot Instructor is permitted to charge any training fees. The granting, duration, and revocation of Intro Pilot Instructor status is at the sole discretion of the chartered club. Requests to remove Intro Pilot Instructor designations can be made by either the individual instructor or by the applicable chartered club and have to be submitted in writing to the attention of AMA’s introductory pilot program, intropilot@modelaircraft.org.

The Intro Pilot Instructor must instruct the non-AMA member in club-related site safety rules. Each non-AMA member must be given a copy of the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code, and a copy of this document,along with any other introductory material the club feels is appropriate.

Policy limits for model aircraft are $2,500,000 per occurrence involving bodily injury and/or property damage. This coverage is provided as “excess” to other applicable coverage the non-AMA member, club or Intro Pilot Instructor may have including homeowners insurance. The $250 property damage claim deductible is waived by AMA and is not the responsibility of either the Introductory Pilot Instructor or the non-AMA member student during this training period. No liability protection is provided to the non-AMA member when flying away from the chartered club site, with or without the Intro Pilot Instructor. Neither AMA, the chartered club, nor the Intro Pilot Instructor shall be liable for any damage to a non-AMA member’s aircraft.

A report to AMA HQ of any incident is the responsibility of the Intro Pilot Instructor and the chartered club. A telephone report by the close of business the following business day, followed by a written report, is required. During normal business hours call (765) 287-1256.

Clubs are encouraged to develop and implement their own formal training program. Contact AMA for information, suggestions, and samples of programs being used by other clubs.

Summary of Introductory Pilot Program
Instructions for Clubs and Pilots

Clubs:

1. The Intro Pilot Instructor designees must be a current member of AMA and should be experienced instructors. Three-month trial members cannot be designated Intro Pilots.

2. Fill out Form #1, the Intro Pilot Instructor Designation form or register on the AMA website for instructors here. The form must be completed by a club officer.

3. When the Designation Form is processed, the Intro Pilot Instructor will receive a supply of Student Registration Forms. Xerox copies are acceptable, you can request more copies from AMA HQ. For students, click here. The form must be completed by a club officer.

4. As your Intro Pilot Instructors sign up students, keep copies of their Student Registration Forms in the club’s files.

5. Official Introductory Pilot Program rules and regulations should be kept on hand by each Club, and every Intro Pilot Instructor should be familiar with the rules.

Intro Pilot Instructors:

1. Once you’ve been designated as one of your club’s Intro Pilot Instructors, you need to have a supply of the Student Pilot Registration Form. You should also have a supply of the “Welcome to Aeromodeling” package provided by AMA. These can be requested from AMA HQ.

2. Have your student fill out the Student Pilot Registration Form #2.

3. Send the Registration Form to AMA HQ. The forms can be submitted online here; faxed to (765) 286-3303; emailed to intropilot@modelaircraft.org; or mailed to AMA HQ. It’s important for the Student Registration Form to be submitted to AMA HQ within 48 hours of the student’s first flight.

4. Give each student copies of the official AMA Introductory Pilot Program outlining its procedures and the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code.

5. Proceed as usual with your program of flight instruction. The student is covered under the AMA’s liability insurance policy, as long as he/she is flying at the club site under your direct, one-on-one supervision, for a period of 60 days of the student’s first flight.

6. If there is an incident that may involve a claim on the AMA’s insurance policy, it is the responsibility of the Intro Pilot Instructor and/or club officers to make a telephone report to AMA HQ by the close of business the following business day. A follow up, written report is also required.

Questions?

Call AMA HQ between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Standard time, Monday through Friday. (765) 287-1256 ext. 291; Fax (765) 2286-3303; E-mail intropilot@modelaircraft.org.