Choosing a club trainer
Idon’t know about you, but I am happy to see winter come to an end. This year’s weather is one for the
record books. I hope you were able
to build something for the upcoming
AMA’s Executive Council confirmed
National Model Aviation Day as August
16, 2014. The focus will again be to
recognize model aviation. Funds raised
will be directed toward the Wounded
Warrior Project. Last year’s initial effort
generated $76,000. Can we do better
If your club has another focus, that
is fine. Just celebrate National Model
Aviation Day in some form!
CDs frequently ask, “How can I
generate a better contest?” There are
many solutions, but a primary one is to
apply for your sanction several months
before the contest. We offer an online
sanctioning process that is designed
to eliminate the need for multiple
mailings and speed up the process.
If you go to www.modelaircraft.
cd.aspx, you can link to the process.
If you need help, contact the
Competitions department via email at
Have you heard about Camp AMA?
It’s a weeklong summer camp held at
the International Aeromodeling Center
in Muncie, Indiana. Attendees have
the opportunity to learn about various
aspects of model aviation.
They will work with AMA Youth
Ambassadors, including Nick Maxwell
and Andrew Jesky. These fine young
men are world-class pilots. The
curriculum is tailored so that each
student can enjoy model aviation’s
Individuals and clubs can sponsor
a youth at camp. Please contact Jessy
Symmes at email@example.com for
Nearly every club has a pilot who
fails to focus on safety. For some
reason, club members are hesitant to
point out this deficiency, but safety is
An unsafe flier recently created a
dangerous situation in which I was
involved. I advised the person of the
unsafe action and was thanked by
several at the event. I hope all learned
and the situation will not occur again.
Safety must be the foundation for our
When is a trainer not a trainer? It
depends on how people will be
introduced to the world of model
aviation and by whom.
Many clubs have a single or
specific type of airplane that they
use to introduce new pilots to flight.
The club trainer is often used for
an occasional training day at the
club field, for events such as AMA’s
Take off And Grow (TAG) program,
and other gatherings that provide a
glimpse into the world of model flight.
Has your club thought about the need
for a multiuse type of airplane? We can
generally agree on the flight qualities
of a trainer, but have we considered the
differences between how the average
pilot’s or club trainer airplane is used
vs. one that is used at an event such as
a TAG program? When a club decides
to build a trainer, consider using better
equipment than what you would
normally think is necessary.
District VII Associate Vice President
Randy Gibson’s club, the Mid Michigan
Radio Control Helicopter Association,
uses an airplane that has been purposely
built to handle either a single training
session or the stresses of 200 or more
participants during the day at a TAG
Those who have run a large event
know that typically, when youth are
involved, having a trainer that can
handle longer flight times helps to
reduce the number of refueling stops.
It should allow many participants the
opportunity to fly the airplane, yet limit
the time for those waiting in line for
It might be helpful to consider an
inexperienced pilot’s slightly more-aggressive handling of the transmitter
controls. Last season, the club’s trainer
flew 22 hours without an incident.
The equipment choice is important
with this type of usage. In the Mid
Michigan club’s case, multiple built-in
redundancies allow for maximum safety.
Should one system or component fail,
another has been thoroughly considered
and put in place to allow a safe,
controlled landing if the need arises.
When your club decides to build
a trainer for this type of usage, I
recommend it use better equipment
than would normally be considered
sufficient. If you would appreciate
additional information about the
trainer, contact Randy at rgibson@
6 Model Aviation APRIL 2014