Dawn Patrol Rendezvous
Every other year, the Dayton Ohio Giant Scalers club hosts the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The event is held in conjunction with a full-scale gathering,
including period reenactors, vintage automobiles, and other war-era memorabilia and
presentations. AMA members from across the country participate in this weekend
On the opening day of the air show, I received an urgent telephone call from
Doug Cox, the contest director (CD). There was some confusion between the FAA
and the full-scale event staff about the modeling activities. Until those issues were
resolved, every model aircraft was grounded.
Most of the issues were simply because of confusion and miscommunication
between the full-scale staff and the FAA. I have attended the Dawn Patrol
Rendezvous in the past, and it is always extremely well organized. Doug did an
excellent job complying with AMA’s air show policies. The document can be viewed
After it was confirmed that the AMA event was in full compliance with AMA’s
safety programming and FAA guidance, the action was permitted to resume. Much
credit is owed to Doug and his team of
volunteers who feverishly worked to get
the modelers back in the air. The entire
situation was handled well by all parties.
Days after the event, I had a follow-up conversation with Doug to recap the
incident and discuss how we can avoid
something similar from happening. A
few lessons were learned.
1) Read, reread, and read again AMA’s
“Full Scale Air Show Requirements”
document at the link previously listed.
Doug was able to clearly articulate
AMA’s safety programming and
demonstrate to FAA officials that the
event was in full compliance with
AMA’s safety programming.
2) Months before the event, the full-scale event staff needs to document to
the FAA that modeling activities will be
occurring. Although this is the full-scale
staff’s responsibility, the CD should offer
to help and provide any documentation
that might be needed to fulfill this
requirement. Any unanswered concerns
about aeromodeling activities should be
resolved months before the event, not
the day of the gathering.
10 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com