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Discover Flight Website Announced

Discover Flight Website Announced

Next year, AMA will celebrate its 80th birthday. This is a great accomplishment, and one that AMA staff, its leaders, and strongest supporters are very proud of. Our members have been instrumental in ensuring that our organization and the model aviation hobby continue to grow and advance. For some, model flying has been a lifelong passion. For others, its introduction led to a career or to pursuing full-scale flight. For many, the hobby is brand-new and something they are eager to start learning more about. Each story is unique and special, and AMA wants to share the different facets of these stories with the public. Your AMA leadership team thinks it’s important to share the message that AMA continues to grow because of these stories, and to remind everyone that our passion is fueled by ideas and imagination that have impacted so many. Please visit www.discoverflight.org to view AMA’s new video and informational website, developed with the general public in...
People using FAA loopholes for UAV publicity?

People using FAA loopholes for UAV publicity?

While searching for an interesting topic I happened across an article about amateur drone pilots. There has been a drone pilot group formed by Austrian R/C enthusiasts and salespeople called “Team Blacksheep”. They are traveling around the world with drone aircraft capturing images of flights for publicity tactics. Team Blacksheep is using a loophole in the new FAA standards to accomplish this. The latest flight was around the Golden Gate Bridge. According to the article (link at the bottom) amateur pilots do not need FAA waivers to operate drone aircraft as long as they remain in the pilots line of sight and do not fly above 400 feet. The group is pulling this by because they are non profit. Any drone flown for business purposes are required to apply for a FAA waiver. Everyone from fire and police departments and private business owners are going through the strict FAA rules governing UAV operations. Even Amazon is planning to be delivering packages less than 30 miles of a distribution center with the use of drone technology in the not so distant future. The latest predictions are saying that there will be over 30,000 drones in operation through waivers for businesses by 2030. What are groups like “Team Blacksheep” doing to the AMA’s efforts to work through this regulation writing with the FAA?  ...
Never OVER Estimate the Size of Your Flying Field

Never OVER Estimate the Size of Your Flying Field

With the smaller size of some of todays park flyers and micro flyers it is easy to think that your flying field is adequate. The truth is that if you are a small field modeler and you decide to go larger you need to find an appropriate flying field. Of course this should be an AMA sanctioned club field. I have an empty hay field beside the house that is about 2 acres square. I have tooled around it quite a few times with some small electric planes having wingspans of about 24″-36″. With that being said wouldn’t it make sense that any electric airplane that flew slowly would be just as suitable for that area? In my mind the answer was yes too. I had just finished a scratch building an electric powered glider and it was too late to make it to the field before dark. Man it just felt like it would sail so nicely when I was holding it admiring my work! Being excited to see what it had to offer I gave it a quick glide test across the backyard but it just floated too far. I decided that I needed a larger are for a real glide test. After picking it up, I was on the way to the garage/shop to put it away until I could make it out to the local flying field when I glanced over at the neighbors field. I had flown in it before and figured a glide test wouldn’t hurt so off I went. Once at the top corner that bordered my property I checked control throws once again and...
UAV common ground

UAV common ground

It seems that the real ground breaking common ground achieved between the FAA and the AMA is the “Know Before You Fly” campaign. It is a great educational guide for everyone interested in UAVs and there is even a devoted website.  http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/ I had no idea that there was so much information in one place for UAV pilots or people considering getting into UAV operations. There is even a organization called AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International ). AUVSI is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics. It represents more than 7,500 members from 60+ allied countries. The organizations members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. You should check this website out if you are remotely interested in getting into UAV operations and if you already are then it is a must...
The safety of others ALWAYS comes first!

The safety of others ALWAYS comes first!

The larger size of some of todays popular aircraft demand extreme judgment in addition to piloting skills in order to fly them safely. The picture above is a promotion ad but I want to show the size of the airplane compared to a person. Add to this size difference the flying speed, even at a stall, and the weight of the airplane, and a person does not stand a chance in an encounter with one. I recently witnessed first hand poor judgment taking its toll at a fly-in. A gentleman with an IMAC size airplane was having some issues with his engine. I am uncertain as to why he decided to try and fly knowing that he had a good chance of losing power in flight but he did. I hoped that he was intending on a quick couple laps to test an adjustment and not the thought of something magically fixing it for him in the air. In either case after a few basic maneuvers (no idea why this was done) his large  aircraft lost power. The huge plane was about 30 feet in altitude just on the other side of the runway about center field. The pilot immediately banked hard and pointed the nose directly down at the runway building tremendous speed in the process. It was also very apparent that he did not apply any rudder to attempt to line up to the runway.  He was going to put his prized possession on the ground at the airfield at all cost with total disregard to those around him. He slammed the plane down a few feet from the rough grass separating...