Know Before You Fly program launched
You may have heard that, after many delays and setbacks, the FAA released its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for sUAS on February 15, 2015. I am hopeful
about its effect on recreational modelers. It appears that the
FAA has looked favorably on AMA safety programming.
The proposed rule should be open for comment as you
read this, and it is still possible that the FAA could make
changes to its ruling. See the “AMA in Action” column on
page 15 and AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson’s
column on page 137 for more information about the NPRM.
The AMA has joined with the Association for Unmanned
Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Small UAS
Coalition, and the FAA to promote the Know Before You
Fly Program ( www.knowbeforeyoufly.org). The program is
designed to educate neophytes to safely fly in the
National Airspace System.
Materials about the program will be placed in product
packaging, in hobby shops, and with clubs. Several
manufacturers and distributors, including Hobbico,
Horizon Hobby, Castle Creations, and Futaba, have been
receptive to our ideas and will assist in the efforts.
We are attempting to fund this project through unique
methods. A concert with the group OK Go was held in
January in Washington D.C. The evening’s goal was to
increase awareness of the Know Before You Fly campaign as
well as the work AMA and our partners in this project have
invested in introducing this new community of enthusiasts
to safe and responsible flying. I believe we may have
generated enough money to sustain the program for the
The public image of modeling is becoming more positive.
Rich Hanson and I attended a presentation at the National
Press Club in Washington D.C. Our basic message was
“educate, don’t legislate.” This effort allowed us to create
more knowledgeable friendships on Capitol Hill.
Our public relations firm, CLS Strategies, has produced a
great publicity campaign in a very short time. We will be
working on more things in the future.
We have also engaged another firm involved in informing
those in Congress of our needs.
AMA Expo 2015 in Ontario, California, had many activities
and speakers. The highlight for me was listening to Norbie
Lara’s presentation for the Wounded Warrior Project (http://
amaexpo.com/attractions/specialguests/#wwp). His positive
attitude and commitment to the US deserves a genuine
thank-you and expression of gratitude from everyone. I was
very proud to present him and the Wounded Warrior Project
with a $100,000 check generated from National Model
Aviation Day fundraising activities.
Although a few AMA members have argued against the
Academy’s focus on the Wounded Warrior Project, the
Executive Council has reviewed the project and we will
again donate funds raised through the 2015 National Model
Aviation Day efforts to the Wounded Warrior Project. If you
have suggestions for the 2016 event, please forward your
ideas to AMA District VII Vice President Tim Jesky
Several FAI teams are attending various FAI World
Championships this year. These world-class competitors
have spent unbelievable time and money focusing on
representing the AMA.
The teams need your financial help to offset the various
expenses involved in going overseas. Please contact Colleen
Pierce ( firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional
information. These competitors may have helped you … it’s
your turn to provide assistance to them!
6 Model Aviation APRIL 2015 www.ModelAviation.com