140 Model Aviation M AY 2014
The only way
to describe this
past winter is
as “a winter to
in the Northeast
for most of my
life, I’m used to
the snow and
cold temperatures and just “deal
with it.” However, this recent winter
pushed the boundaries of even that
On the bright side, spring is here
and with any luck we’ll be rewarded
with a great flying season for having
to endure what we have just gone
With the flying season ramping up,
clubs will begin to prepare for their
summer events. Fly-ins, contests,
open houses, etc. are a big part of
many clubs’ annual activities.
As you plan your event, give some
thought to doing a little community
outreach and inviting your friends and
neighbors to come out and take part.
You might even want to set aside
some time to let some of your visitors
try their hand at flying a model.
Although it might take extra
planning and effort, there is a huge
upside to doing this. It’s always better
for us when those in our communities
have a clear understanding of what we
do. With all of the media attention
focused on the use of “drones,” it’s
important that our neighbors are
able to distinguish between a drone
and what we as recreational model
aviation enthusiasts fly. To those who
are not overly familiar with what we
do, the difference is sometimes hard
Privacy issues continue to pop up in
state legislatures across the country.
Much of what we’re seeing is driven
by public concern. In some cases
the proposed legislation AMA sees
borders on the fringe of impacting
recreational users. So far, we’ve
successfully worked through these
We’ve typically found that it is not
the intent of elected representatives
to do something that would
negatively impact model aviation.
However, it is their intent to afford
their constituents privacy protection
as it relates to the use of technology.
So, it’s all about education:
educating those in our communities
and educating those who represent
us in government. One of the best
ways to do that is to invite the non-modeling public to your events. Help
them understand the differences
between what we do as modelers
and some of the other uses of the
technology that they read about in
the newspaper or see on television.
They’ll learn something and likely
have a good time doing it.
There’s another good reason to
build good relationships with your
neighbors, and that has to do with
acquiring and keeping good flying
sites. It doesn’t matter how long you
have been using a site, whether you
own the site, rent it, or have a small
or large number of members who fly
from the site. The odds are better
than even that someday that site will
be at risk.
When that happens, a club will
have to work to retain its current site
or make an effort to acquire a new
one. Either way, it’s always best to
have your neighbors as advocates for
you when faced with these challenges.
The best way to do that is to
become an asset in your community.
When your club hosts an event
that supports a charity—or an
event to introduce model aviation
to the younger members of your
community, the public sees that as a
positive and is more likely to support
a club that is giving something back
to the community than one that’s not
engaged in such activities.
Elected representatives also like it
because part of their job is to ensure
that their community is an attractive
place to live. There is no better
activity for families than becoming
involved in model aviation. The
educational element is something that
many other recreational activities may
There is a serious concern in
this country about where the next
generation of aviation and aerospace
engineers will come from. Model
aviation has all of the elements
needed to teach science, technology,
engineering, and math (STEM).
Clubs that get involved in building
instructional programs for young
people stand out in their communities
as being important assets.
Your elected representatives
recognize this, respect and appreciate
your efforts, and are more likely to
support you and your club when you
ask them for their help.
See you next time.
Announcements, news, and information from the Academy of
Model Aeronautics and the elected district representatives
VIEW FROM HQ by Dave Mathewson, AMA Executive Director
Build good relationships with
“As you plan your
event, give some
thought to doing
a little community
outreach and inviting
your friends and
neighbors to come out
and take part .”