AMA District VIII AMA District VIII
  District News

New AMA District-8 Website Under Development

by Sonny Coleman   February 8, 2020

URL Link to new website:

New site in the final stages of development.

Check it out!

Sonny Coleman
AMA District-8 Webmaster

District News


by Lawrence Harville   October 7, 2019

Dear member –

We need your assistance in an urgent matter. Late last week, the FAA unexpectedly informed us that, contrary to earlier commitments to AMA, the agency is planning to limit all recreational model aircraft operations to 400 feet in controlled airspace – with no exceptions. Additionally, the FAA is proposing restrictions in uncontrolled airspace to altitudes that could present safety issues as well as limit some model aircraft operations altogether. We were stunned by this proposal and are pushing back, but we need your help.

We urge you to send a letter to your elected representatives in Congress and ask them to contact the FAA on this critical issue. Please visit to contact your representative.

Congress specifically granted the FAA the flexibility to allow operations over 400 feet if safety would not be affected. The FAA has not provided AMA with any data that proves that our operations are a safety risk. As you know, our model aircraft operations do not pose any safety or security risk to local airports or aircraft. The FAA needs to honor the Congressional directive to work with AMA on these issues.

Because of the negative impact on so many AMA members and clubs, we are going to fight this proposal with every resource at our disposal. You, our members, are our best resource.

To have the maximum impact on this proposed policy as possible, please share this message with your friends, family and fellow club members who love our hobby. To learn more about this policy, please click here. Also monitor your emails for new information as we work to fight this restrictive policy. As always, we are committed to doing everything possible to protect the model aviation hobby. If you have questions, please contact us at (765)287-1256 or


The AMA Government Affairs Team

District News

Great Day in Alamogordo, New Mexico

by Tom Holmsley   May 12, 2019

The Alamogordo RCers annual club picnic was held at their flying field starting early on Saturday morning, May 11, 2019. The eager early birds were rewarded with a beautiful, clear morning which made their flying that much more fun. They gathered with their planes for the photo below. They are L to R:
Dawn Packwood
Walt Packwood
Terry Ott
Maurice Morgan, Safety Officer
Todd Penka, President
Mike Taylor, Horizon Club
Tom Jacoby, Event Manager and Secretary.
Harry Johnson
David B. Smith
Charlie Bice

A highlight of the day was the superb picnic lunch cooked by President Todd Penka with dishes provided by other members.

Since this is always such a nice annual event, we're already looking forward to next year.

 The Alamogordo RCers Early Birds 

District News

Public Relations Grants

by Lawrence Harville   April 14, 2019

How to receive up to $300 for your public relations coverage for AMA club

How to receive up to $300 for your public relations coverage with the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program

Involve your AMA chartered club in support of an activity that is beneficial to a local charity or community activity…receive positive recognition in the form of television coverage, radio coverage, or print coverage; and receive additional recognition and a financial reward from AMA.

How to qualify for the Club Recognition and Reward Program.
1. Your club hosts a fun-fly, and all proceeds generated during the event are donated to the local Ronald McDonald House. If your activity and donation are highlighted by a local newspaper/magazine, radio station, television station, or Web Site, your club qualifies for the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program. 2. Your club may decide to donate a certain number of man-hours to a park for the purpose of picking up trash along the access road every month. If your club is recognized in a positive manner by the media for its ongoing efforts, you would qualify for the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program.

If you have additional questions, contact Chris Brooks, Public Relations Manager, at (765) 287- 1256, extension 276 or Return the Club Recognition and Reward Program form to: Chris Brooks Public Relations Manager 5161 E. Memorial Dr. Muncie IN 47302 765-287-1256 Ext. 276

Lawrence Harville
AMA District VIII
Vice President

District News

New AVP in Oklahoma

by Clay Ricks   March 14, 2019

First off, a little about me. I live in Duncan, OK and I'm the club president here at the local field, Chisholm Trail RC Squadron.

Aviation is a lifelong passion for me. I honestly cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't obsessed with flight. I got my first model airplane around the age of 10. I flew some as a kid growing up but not as much as I wanted.

After high school, I attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe where I earned a bachelor's degree in aviation business. It was during my college years that I truly got into model aviation. My friends and I would fly every chance that we could get out.

However, life doesn't always go as you planned and I ended up working as a pipeline corrosion technician in Oklahoma. It was here that I met my wife and we now have a family here in Duncan.

Once I started flying with the club in Duncan is when I started to get into giant scale and then into 3D. I currently fly a variety of aircraft types including 3D (primary), helicopters, scale planes, and sport planes. Simply put if it flies I like it.

I host an event here each year and I attend events all over the district. I will be attending several this year spanning across Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.

My goals as an AVP include meeting and talking with AMA members at events, helping members and clubs with issues that arise, and I'd like to see more flying events in the state of Oklahoma.

I look forward to meeting and doing some flying with you all.

  picture  picture 

District News

FAA Registration Requirements

by Lawrence Harville   December 14, 2018

There has been some confusion about FAA registration and model aircraft as it relates to new federal regulations passed by Congress earlier this year. Below is a series of commonly asked questions and answers.

Q: Do I have to register every model aircraft or drone separately or can I register once and use that single number on all of my models?
A: Section 349 does not require you to register each model separately. You only need to register your name, physical address, and email address once. You can continue to use your assigned single FAA number for all of your models.

Q: When will my registration number expire?
A: Traditionally numbers need renewed after three years. Anyone who registered before December 12, 2017 will have their registration date automatically extended two years to 2020 at no charge. The only caveat to this free extension is for those individuals who specifically requested that his or her name be taken off the FAA registration database.

Q: Do only drones and multirotor operators need to register?
A: Anyone who flies a model that can freely navigate in the air and uses a remote control device (e.g. RC transmitter) is required to register. This includes drones, traditional fixed wing model aircraft, model helicopters, and other remote controlled model aircraft. If you exclusively fly models under .55 pounds, indoors, control line, or free flight models - you do not need to register.

Q: Do I need to list both my AMA number and my federal registration number on my aircraft?
A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft.

Q: I only fly CL, FF, or indoors - do I need to register?
A: No. If you exclusively fly indoors, FF, or CL you do not need to register.

Q: How do I check my expiration date, number, or renew?
A: You can access your FAA account at This site will allow you to view your personal FAA registration number and expiration date.

District News

FAA number to expire

by Lawrence Harville   November 16, 2018

All renewals have been extended by two years. Most renewals are now due late 2020. Members can check their new expiration date by visiting If they forgot their password, they can reset it at that site.

We are sharing this information in the Model Aviation, earlier this week in the blogs, and in the next AMA Today.

Chad Budreau
Interim Executive Director AMA

District News

AMA club Roster

by Lawrence Harville   November 14, 2018

After tooooo long a delay
the AMA Club Roster page is working

District News

AMA Final Flight Honor Roll

by Lawrence Harville   November 13, 2018

The AMA honors members who have passed away in 2018, If you know of someone and would like to have them on the AMA Final Flight Honor Roll----send me their names to me.

District News

Horizon City RC Fliers

by Tom Holmsley   April 6, 2018

The Horizon City RC Fliers utilize two flying sites. One field was built by Danny Sander (kneeling in the green shirt), and to show Danny their appreciation for his contribution, members of the club presented this Horizon A-26 to him.

 Members of the Horizon City RC Fliers with Danny Sander in the green shirt. 

District News

3 Generations Change Windsock

by Tom Holmsley   March 27, 2018

Three generations replaced the windsock at the El Paso Radio Controllers Patriot Field. Don Geyer (standing right) started flying at the EPRC field in 1963, but started U-Control in the 1940s and also flew in Alaska and Germany. His son John, also standing, has been flying RC for many years, and he brought his son Ryan (on the ladder) into the hobby at an early age. All 3 are avid fliers and great supporters of the club.

 Don Geyer, standing right, John Geyer also standing, Ryan Geyer on the ladder. 

District News

Event Calendar Change

by Lawrence Harville   February 16, 2018

We have made a change in the Event Calendar, the new version is a direct link to the AMA EVENT CALENDAR.

We did this to give you a more up to date listing of ALL events in District VIII. Previously some events were either not listed on our D8 site but would show up on AMA site and sometimes the delay of posting was lengthy, now as soon as any event is approved and posted on the AMA site--YOU HAVE ACCESS.

Another bonus of the AMA site is you can look up events in any state in the USA, helps plan your vacation and where you want to go.

If you have any questions-drop me a line at or give me a call.
I think after you look it over you will be very pleased, it is a very user friendly site.

District News

Site to Flying fields

by Lawrence Harville   February 7, 2018

AirMap is a site promoted by AMA to help us find model fields and to help show you who/what is around us
Airfields, Heliports, Schools, AMA flying sites

Some of you guys who are SMARTER than me (OK, I know that is a large group)
Check out the site go through the drop downs and check

I just started but if you want to see AMA fields it will show every field in USA--I suggest a smaller area then you can click on any field and it will give you name of the field, same with all types of infor

Let me know what you think--
Go to site
hit Use Airmap
I hit
CLICK ON Brown circle if there is a site Model or full scale -click on it for info

I just started--there may be better use of the site--I DONT KNOW YET
check it out
let ALL of us know what you think---is it good --waste of time WHAT?

District News

Drones are being watched

by Lawrence Harville   January 11, 2018

the politicians are watching drones all the time

District News

Richardson Radio Control Club 2017 Science fair project-scale 747

by Lawrence Harville   December 29, 2017

A report from Harold J. Walsh II from Richardson RC Club

Mark Cole
2017 Science fair project. Scratch building out of foam a scale 747 with electric ducted fan engines

What do you do when your 14 year old son comes out of a store with 32 sheets of foam board and wants to build a remote control 747? Interesting question! You go with it!
We had been into model aircraft for a while, but had never built a plane from scratch. I thought that he wanted to build a plane similar to the flight test foam planes that he had previously built. That was way off from want he wanted to build! As we started to layout the plane on the ping pong table, I soon realized what he wanted to build was much bigger and a giant scale plane. He said he wanted to build a scale 747 that was 9-10 foot long with 4 electric ducted fans. I knew it would be a huge project that was probably beyond our skill level, but I went with his idea.
At the same time we began the building process, my son needed an idea for an 8th grade science fair project. We mentioned his model plane project to his teacher and showed him a few early pictures. The teacher recommended that he should use it as his science fair engineering project. Great, we killed two birds with one stone! We had three months until it was due.
Knowing that time would be an issue, we got busy building and trouble shooting the many problems we encountered. The goal for the science fair was to mainly use foam board and hot glue to build a plane that could taxi, takeoff, controllably fly for at least 15 seconds, and land without a structural failure.
Once we had the rolling, partially covered fuselage and the wings in place, we noticed that we had significant wing droop and flex in the fuselage. We needed more strength so we doubled the foam ribs, added foam stringers, added balsa supports, and a few carbon fiber rods in each wing.
At this point, we began to wonder where we could flight test the plane. A nearby hobby shop referred us to a local RC flying club, RRCC (Richardson Radio Control Club) who had their own paved airpark. I contacted the president and was invited out to a fun fly event. This was the lifeline we needed to finish the project!
The wealth of knowledge that we had tapped into was invaluable. We met a RRCC member, Brad. He offered to advise us on the project and help test the engines. As it turned out, he helped us to finish the build. I am pretty sure we wouldn’t have finished the project on time without his expertise! I will just say the last three weeks before the project was due included many late nights and full build days.
In the end, the airplane weighed 41 pounds with approximately 45 pounds of thrust. We installed four 90mm EFD and ran 2 - 4s batteries in series (8s) and 22,000 mah. To ensure we had the best possibility for a successful flight, we asked Brad, with his years of experience, to fly the first flight.

We finished the airplane late on the Saturday night before the project was due, which left us one day for the test flight. The weather that day was perfect for RC flying. The airplane taxied and lifted off in 136 feet. The climb performance and handling was great and Brad said it flew really nice. Midway through the flight we lost power on all the engines. This was due to a de-soldering of a Battery series connector that we had purchased. Luckily, Brad was able to turn toward the runway and glide it down for safe landing. We were using a separate receiver battery pack for the flight controls!!
Building this airplane was a huge learning process for me and my son. It included many hours of father son time with a common goal-priceless! For the weeks following, my son and I would say to each other “IT FLEW!” As for the science fair grade and competition, he is still waiting to hear back.

  picture  picture 

District News

How to receive up to $300 for your public relations coverage

by Lawrence Harville   December 24, 2017

How to receive up to $300 for your public relations coverage with the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program

Involve your AMA chartered club in support of an activity that is beneficial to a local charity or community activity…receive positive recognition in the form of television coverage, radio coverage, or print coverage; and receive additional recognition and a financial reward from AMA.

How to qualify for the Club Recognition and Reward Program.
1. Your club hosts a fun-fly, and all proceeds generated during the event are donated to the local Ronald McDonald House. If your activity and donation are highlighted by a local newspaper/magazine, radio station, television station, or Web Site, your club qualifies for the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program. 2. Your club may decide to donate a certain number of man-hours to a park for the purpose of picking up trash along the access road every month. If your club is recognized in a positive manner by the media for its ongoing efforts, you would qualify for the AMA Club Recognition and Reward Program.

If you have additional questions, contact Chris Brooks, Public Relations Manager, at (765) 287- 1256, extension 276 or Return the Club Recognition and Reward Program form to: Chris Brooks Public Relations Manager 5161 E. Memorial Dr. Muncie IN 47302 765-287-1256 Ext. 276

District News

AMA Executive Vice President Election 2017

by Lawrence Harville   August 31, 2017

The AMA election for Executive Vice President is coming up.

You have a choice this year---Elections mean something --if you dont vote -Dont complain
You have two choices--you wanted something done--now you do your part.
Listed in Alpha order
Randy Cameron, Lawrence Tougas

Randy Cameron
Springfield, Missouri
The fabric of AMA is its 82 year history of members like you!
• AMA needs to listen better to our best asset — you the members!
• AMA must build its future and protect traditional model aviation!
I ask that you vote for me, Randy Cameron for AMA EVP and help protect model aviation.
Since introduced to Control Line flying decades ago by my father, I have enjoyed every aspect of our hobby. With four sons and eleven grandchildren, my wife Fina and I are now teaching our fourth generation of family flyers.
My interests in our hobby are wide. I have flown Control Line, Free Flight, IMAC, 3D, combat, and sport aircraft. I’ve held every club officer position in multiple clubs over the past 35 plus years, in civilian life and while in the Air Force for 22 years.
I have been an AMA Leader Member since the mid-1980s and became a contest director in the 90’s. I served as the District VI Contest Coordinator for ten years and as a District VI Associate Vice President for prior to becoming the District VI Vice President.
As an AMA Vice President on the Executive Council, I’ve served as committee chairman to AMA Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and the Property Acquisition and Development Committee (PADCOM), working to improve the AMA headquarters flying sites — home of the AMA NATs and other events. I also worked to streamline the Flying Site Improvement grant process.
The federal, Special Rule for Model Aviation must be protected! AMA is strong in providing both federal and local government advocacy. This must continue. I am the only EVP candidate that has walked the halls of Congress in Washington DC, to protect model aviation. I am also the only EVP candidate with a proven record of working to defeat local and state legislation harmful to our hobby.
The only way we can help solve the drone issues is to educate drone fliers, and bring the safe and responsible ones into our organization. A recent survey showed that fully 90% of all AMA chartered clubs are welcoming the newest multi-rotor technologies. Today, 21% of new AMA members are multi-rotor enthusiasts. The significant down-turn in media-reported drone sightings and incidents is an important validation that AMA’s efforts and influence within this community are working! I have been a staunch supporter of our marketing efforts which has allowed our membership to grow from 142,000 to approximately 200,000 members today.
The fabric of AMA is its 82 year history and members like you. In 1936 AMA was built on the principals of education, advancing technological, and providing one national voice for all modelers. From the beginning of Free Flight, to Control Line, and then Radio Control, each new technology was accepted. Numerous AMA clubs are reporting that when they welcome new interests, such as multi-rotors, these new fliers are discovering, and becoming, fixed wing and helicopter pilots as well. Just as we’ve done in the past, we must embrace new technologies to keep younger generations interested in model aviation
AMA needs to listen better to our best asset—you the members! AMA must improve on programs that; attract and involve youth in our hobby, foster club growth, provide assistance for improving and purchasing flying sites, and other important programs.
Communication to our members must improve. Existing membership and club programs are not widely recognized. AMA must improve and provide easily accessible and efficient member benefits, and eliminate costs to the members and the AMA alike.
With your vote I will bring your issues to AMA and the Executive Council, and ensure member’s needs are met.
Please email for more information.

Lawrence Tougas
Fairfield, California

The AMA has lost its way.
The AMA has stopped listening to its members.
The AMA was founded by traditional Modelers and needs to remember that.
If you agree then please vote for me Lawrence Tougas to be the next Executive Vice President (EVP) of the AMA.
Last year I ran for President of the AMA on a similar platform. I believed then and I believe now that the majority of members in the AMA have been and always will be traditional modelers; whom I define as pilots of fixed and rotary wing models whether they be free flight, control line, or radio controlled. This is opposed to the newest segment of modeling, drone modeling.
I do not believe we should ban drone modelers from the AMA, far from that, I think as long as they fly responsibly and follow our safety code they are welcome to join. My issue is the irresponsible drone modelers who have caught the media’s attention. Their actions must be stopped before more harm is done.
The number of drone modelers in the AMA has plateaued at 8% of total membership. As the current District X VP I have access to our membership numbers and have been observing this trend for some time. One issue I see is that we spend much more than 8% of our staff’s time on issues associated with drone modeling. The Executive Council has spent the last several years addressing drone issues well out of proportion to 8% of our time.
I think there should be more or less a balance of our time and resources spent between the various modeling disciplines. The claim that drone modeling will be a great source of future membership is simply not being reflected in our membership data. That fact has to be recognized and the AMA’s time and money need to be rebalanced to support our core constituency which is overwhelmingly traditional modelers. Elect me as your EVP and I will make that my goal.
I have served as the AMA’s District X Vice President for almost 7 years. During this time I have worked on our Finance, Election and Insurance Committees. During my time on the Executive Council there have been times when I have disagreed with programs that we were developing. When those times come I am not afraid to speak truth to power. You can count on me to keep what is best for our membership as my number one priority.
I have made it a point to travel the district attending events and meetings with as many clubs as possible. I fly competitively. I currently fly Precision Aerobatics in the Advanced class and have attended the last 4 NATS. I have spent 26 years working as an Engineer with a major U.S. airline. During that time I have dealt with the FAA extensively. I have over 23 years of experience in the FAA rulemaking process. I am the only candidate with this much experience with the FAA.

Please follow my campaign at,
Like me on Facebook at
Follow me on Twitter at

Lawrence Tougas
AMA 232

P.S. Remember if you want the AMA to be balanced in the way it treats its members then I am the right choice for AMA EVP.

District News

Club Disaster Relief Program

by Lawrence Harville   August 30, 2017

To everyone involved in model aviation in any way, the first priority-- our loved ones, friends, neighbors and homes. Hobbies are put on the back burner for now, but in these hard times and many more to come, be assured the AMA 200,00 members and District 8 with over 56,000 members will be here for you. There will be here time to resume modeling. In order to give time to those in need, the AMA Executive Council voted unanimously to automatically extend the following year Leader Club status and extend for 120 days beyond the March 31 deadline Club Charter renewals on a case by case basis for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. AMA has other programs to assist club.

District News

Club Disaster Relief Program

by Lawrence Harville   August 8, 2017

Club Disaster Relief Program
When nature turns cruel, AMA is there for clubs.
The Academy’s most prized possessions, aside from its members, of course, are the thousands of AMA flying sites that are necessary to pursue aeromodeling at its best. When a natural disaster strikes, AMA has your back.
For chartered clubs that suffer damage to their sites through natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquake, fire, or similar catastrophic events, AMA offers limited financial assistance (up to $500 per incident) to help clubs with the repairs needed to make sure that the damaged flying site is again accessible and usable to club members.
Please note: This is a grant, not a loan. It is not intended to pay for repairs to structures or facilities, except as to the extent to make the site and runway adequate for flying once again. Your club needs to provide adequate photos of and information about the damage for your application to qualify.
If you have any questions about the Club Disaster Relief Program, please call (765) 287-1256, extension 200, or email
application in PDF format.
Please email your application to Joyce Hager at or mail it to Academy of Model Aeronautics, 5161 E. Memorial Dr., Muncie IN 47302, attn: Joyce Hager.

District News

FAA 5 dollar registration refund

by Lawrence Harville   July 5, 2017

Drone hobbyists no longer have to register with the FAA. Those who did can delete their registration and receive a refund for the $5 registration fee — two major community concerns.

According to the FAA website, “If you are an owner operating exclusively in compliance with section 336 and you wish to delete your registration and receive a refund of your registration fee, you may do so by accessing a registration deletion and self-certification form (PDF) and mailing it to the FAA at the address designated on the form.”

That’s right: If you’re flying a drone recreationally and you registered with the FAA, you can get your 5 bucks back. And if you don’t want your personal information publicly accessible through the FAA’s registration database, you no longer have to volunteer it. Though keep in mind that commercial drone pilots still need to register with the FAA.

District News

Drone Flyer Arrested

by Lawrence Harville   July 5, 2017

He is not and has never been and AMA member 1

District News

Goodbye 2016

by Brian Regan   December 26, 2016

Wow 2016 is almost gone. What a year it has been.We said goodbye to Mark Johnson, who did a outstanding job as VP and elected Lawrence Harville as the new VP. He has done a great job his first year. Please support and help him continue into 2017. We have a new AMA president. He will do a great job too.
The AMA helped us with the FAA. We can still fly our aircraft by the AMA rules. I hope the AMA and FAA will put politics aside and get back to flying.
I think we had a good year. WE lost a few members and gained some new members. The technology has grown leaps and bounds.
This year let's remember this is a hobby. We do it for fun. We want to take flying safely serious and have fun at the same time. Try to help the new flyers learn the safety rules. Make them feel welcome and want to come back.
Happy New Year.


District News

Vice President Email

by Lawrence Harville   June 28, 2016

DONT use the link to email me-Lawrence Harville-the link does not work


District News

Contact your U.S. Senator now, the AMA needs your help!

by Lawrence Harville   April 14, 2016

Spread this to your local clubs-lets help get the word out.
Anyone feel free to use it.
Please pass the word and have your spouse, children, family and friends "write their Senators" in support of model aviation and Amendment 3596. Everyone's voice is needed.

Its easy and only takes a couple of minutes using AMA's web-based link. Doing so today is critical in support of recreational model aviation!
Thank you and here's the link: Just cut and paste

District News

Rice University AIAA Design/Build/Fly Team

by Benny Behrens   April 10, 2016

On Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10, 2016 Alvin RC Model Airplane Association had the pleasure to host a team of students from Rice University in Houston, TX. The team is in the test flight stages of their entries in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design/Build/Fly competition. Alvin RC member Russell Bear served as their AMA pilot for the test flights.

A very brief description of the competition requirements:
• Design, build and fly two airplanes consisting of a Production version and a Manufacturing version.
• Production version is required to be capable of carrying a payload equal to a 32 oz. bottle of fluid as well as allow for disassembly/reassembly to provide for transport in the Manufacturing version.
• Manufacturing version is required to be capable of transporting the components of the Production version over a prescribed course making as many trips as necessary to transport and reassemble the Production version.
• Prepare and submit a detailed report of their entire project.
• The flight competition will include flying the manufacturing plane without a payload, flying the production plane with a payload, and transporting the subcomponents of the Production version within the Manufacturing version. All flying will be over a prescribed course and time frame. In addition pilots do not have to be members of the university but must be AMA pilots.
• Additional detailed information is available on AIAA’s website.

This is a challenging project and the final judging will take place April 15, 16 and 17.

Good luck to the Rice Team….

  picture  picture 
 Production Version on Left - Manufacturing Version on Right Some of the team members 

District News


by Lawrence Harville   March 29, 2016

If you are trying to send me and email--DO NOT USE the link to me listed on the home page
Send emails to me directly at

I can not receive anything you send on this websie, use my personal email, we will get it fix soon

Sorry for the confusion, we are trying to fix the problem
Lawrence Harville
District VIII
Vice President

District News

FAA is actively searching for ROGUE drone operators

by Lawrence Harville   February 20, 2016

Latest FAA press release to reel in “rogue” drone operators. Just FYI.

Most of us AMA members bet the ones they catch will NOT be AMA members.

From: Federal Aviation Administration
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 3:46 PM

Subject: FAA, DHS, CACI, UMD Perform UAS Detection Work

FAA News & Updates
FAA logo
News & Update
You are subscribed to News & Updates from the FAA Homepage. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.
FAA, DHS, CACI, UMD Perform UAS Detection Work

Each month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives more than 100 reports from pilots and others who spot what appears to be an unmanned aircraft (UAS) flying close to an airport or a manned airplane. Its become a serious safety concern for the agency, and a potential security issue for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In addition to the FAAs ongoing outreach and education efforts, an additional step toward a solution is to detect and identify these rogue drones and their operators. Recently, the FAA partnered with DHS and CACI International to explore how the companys prototype detection technology may help detect UAS in the vicinity of airports. The main goal of the partnership is to safely explore procedures and processes for deploying and operating detection technologies in and around commercial airports.
The explosive growth of the unmanned aircraft industry makes evaluating detection technologies an urgent priority, said Marke Hoot Gibson, FAA Senior Advisor on UAS Integration. This research is totally aimed at keeping our skies safe, which is our number one mission.
"Working with the FAA, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate is proud to provide our expertise in testing and simulation of technologies to better address the safety and security challenges posed by unmanned aerial systems, said DHS Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology Robert Griffin.
CACIs proof-of-concept system employs radio frequency sensors at strategic locations around an airport in high, prominent locations. When the sensors detect frequencies unmanned aircraft typically use, it triangulates the signals and determines the location of both the UAS and the operator.
CACI Chief Operating Officer and President of U.S. Operations John Mengucci said, The results of testing under our PathFinder agreement with the FAA at Atlantic City International Airport demonstrate that CACIs proprietary system SkyTracker performed as designed. SkyTracker successfully identified, detected, and tracked UAS in flight, and precisely located drone ground operators all without interfering with airport ground operations. We are very proud to partner with the FAA and DHS to help ensure national airspace safety from the escalating UAS threat.
From January 25 to February 2, the CACI system was evaluated at Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), the first UAS detection research in a commercial airport environment. A total of 141 operations were executed over five days 72 with a UAS on the ground and 69 with different small UAS in flight. In the coming months, engineers from the FAA, DHS, CACI and the University of Maryland (UMD), which also was a partner in the evaluation, will work together to compile the data for a final report by August 2016.
Research on UAS detection systems may go beyond addressing the FAAs concerns with the safety of UAS in the nations airspace. The effort also may contribute to keeping the skies safe from bad actors who want to use unmanned aircraft for malicious purposes. To that end, the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DHS in December to collaborate on the safe integration of UAS into the U.S. aviation system.

District News

FAA and AMA open DC for flying again

by Lawrence Harville   February 9, 2016

This is a post from the FAA concerning opening up the DC area for flying again. This is important to all model flyers. Hopefully more changes AMA wants will follow.

AMA and FAA Reach an Agreement: DC SFRA Back Open to Model Aircraft

Dear members,

AMA and your District IV Government Relations Committee are pleased to report we have reached an agreement with the FAA that allows our members to fly once more inside the DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). On Wednesday, February 10th, you may begin flying operations again.

It is important to note there is no change to the 15nm Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) in DC. The FRZ will continue to be a no-fly zone.

In regards to the DC SFRA, the FAA has issued a permanent NOTAM. This outlines specific parameters to recreational flyers in order to fly in the SFRA. These parameters include flying under a 400' altitude ceiling, only flying platforms that weigh 55 lbs. or less, and only flying during daytime hours. These parameters will apply to everyone flying for recreational purposes inside the SFRA.

We know that AMA members fly safely and responsibly. However, it is critically important that everyone wishing to fly inside the SFRA follow these restrictions and rules. Additionally, we ask that you help pass the word to as many people as possible about these restrictions to ensure everyone knows the limits before taking flight. Ray Stinchcomb, your District IV Government Relations Coordinator, will address these restrictions in an analysis shortly.

While this is a permanent NOTAM to the DC SFRA at the present time, we are working with the FAA to allow special waivers for events. Additionally, if there are no problems with the security partners over time, we will work to obtain permanent waivers for our operations.

The AMA and your District IV Government Relations Committee are continuing efforts to work for you in representing your interests. As we work through the specifics with the FAA, we will continue to update you as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate your patience to date, but please understand it will take some time to solve these issues.

All of us involved in this effort, including the FAA, do not have any desire to stop recreational flying and enjoyment of this hobby. One of the functions the FAA has is "encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology" that includes hobby and recreational aviation.

As more and more issues surface on the city, county and state level, we would like to add a few good modelers to our district committee. If you are an active or retired congressional leader or lawyer that understands the legislative processes please drop me an email, or Ray Stinchcomb an email . Let us know your willingness and how you might be able to help represent our hobby by educating our representatives about model aviation.

Now, Go fly and have fun safely.

District News


by Lawrence Harville   January 13, 2016

I want to start off the New Year with a special thanks to Mark Johnston; he served District 8 very well. He has been out and about, worked for us and when you see him at events say “Thanks for a job well done”.

When I decided to run for this office, I tried and did make visits to all five states in our District. That alone was a large task. I always knew there were great modelers all over and pleased to verify they all seem to live in District 8. I am honored to be elected by one of the largest Districts in AMA and will do my best to keep you up to date and informed to the events of the day. My door, my phone, and my email are always open to you. If you have a concern or problem, just give me a call.

I am a very active modeler so hope to see you at one of your local events, but your closest outreach is to your Associate Vice President. We are very blessed to have 16 AVPs. There have been some changes with new AVPs coming on board even as you read this. The AVP’s main task is to GET OUT in their area and visit with you. Get to know them, invite them to your area or club events. They have the most up to date information I can get to them.

I assure you I will do my best to represent you on the local and national arena. If you have some ideas to make the website or District 8 better, let me know. Let’s all work together and it will make the work easier for all of us. So what can you do? Send me pictures! I want your picture, club pictures, and event pictures. I want you in the AMA Magazine; on the website… send me pictures.
District 8 is already the best District in AMA, so let’s keep it that way.

This information is changing so fast that I am putting a date on this post Effective Jan 29,2016.SUBJECT TO CHANGE

AMA has been and will continue to send out mass mailing to membership with the latest info on what is happening.


We are close to streamlining registration for our members. The FAA and AMA are agreeing on solutions, but it is unlikely everything will be buttoned up by February 19. One of the biggest hurdles is that the FAA IT team cannot complete everything on time.

Q: Am I permitted to fly above 400 feet? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?
A: Yes. AMA members who abide by the AMA Safety Code, which permits flights above 400 feet, are still allowed to fly and are protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft under the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. The federal registration box requiring agreement to only fly under 400 feet applies to individuals who are not operating within the safety guidelines of a community-based organization. We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude restriction does not apply to AMA members.

Q: Do I need to list both my AMA number and my federal registration number on my aircraft?

A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft. We are advocating to allow members to use their AMA numbers. We believe an AMA membership already meets the intent of registration. It should not be necessary for our members to register again through the FAA when they are already registered with the AMA.

Q: Do I have to register every aircraft?
A: No. Registration is only required for each operator. AMA members should use their same AMA number on each aircraft they are flying.

Q: I only fly CL or FF, do I need to register?
A: No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.

Q: What happens if I don’t register by February 19?
A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. This could include civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties that include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

Q: What can I do to help?
A: You can help by making your voice heard with the FAA. Specifically we are asking all AMA members to submit comments on the FAA’s interim rule on registration. The deadline to submit comments is Friday, January 15. More details can be found here.

District News

Forming a Chapter of Chartered Clubs

by Benny Behrens   December 26, 2015

On December 12, 2015 I invited representatives from 10 local AMA Chartered clubs in the Houston, TX area (South of I10) to a meeting to explore the possibility and potential benefits of forming a local Chapter. At this initial meeting we had 5 clubs represented with two additional clubs having to back out at the last minute due to conflicts (in hind sight December 12 was probably not the best date for our meeting due to the Holidays).

I believe the meeting turned out to be very positive with those present interested in the potential benefits. It was decided to meet on a regular basis and hopefully we will be able to build on the interest and momentum we have started. Below for information is a copy of the minutes to our initial meeting:

Meeting Minutes:

Meeting Date: Saturday December 12, 2015
Meeting Location: Alvin RC Clubhouse
Meeting Time: 10 AM

• Cesar Flores – President SHARKS (Tom Bass) -
• Rob Longenecker – President Fort Bend RC -
• Erik Valdez – Vice President Brazoria RC -
• Mike Vawters – Vice President Alvin RC -
• Ken White – Leader Member/CD – Representing JSCRC -
• Benny Behrens – AMA District VIII AVP –

Additional Invitees that could not attend:
• Mike Samano – President Texas City RC -
• John Kling – President Gulf Coast RC -
• Mike Laible – President JSCRC -
• Keith Dick – President Bayou City RC -
• Jack Graham - Texas Cloudbusters -
• Glenn Keeling - Bay Port Aero Club - GEKEELING48@YAHOO.COM

Purpose of Meeting:
Discuss possible interest and potential benefits in forming a local chapter of AMA Chartered Clubs.

Summary of Meeting:
• Benny discussed his role as local area AVP and possible ways he might be able to assist and support clubs through AMA interface, communications, posting articles of interest to members and clubs along with event flyers on District VIII’s website (, information distribution, etc.
• As a group we discussed the various potential benefits to forming a local chapter.
o Improved communications between clubs, AMA and the local community
o Consolidated representation
o Sharing of experiences and activities, ideas, issues, etc. that worked or doesn’t work.
o Sharing of common problems and solutions
o Sharing access to potential resources in areas such as printing and guest speakers.
o Ways to increase membership, meeting and event attendance
o Possibility of allowing members of chapter clubs to fly at other chapter club’s fields with payment of nominal landing fees. To be discussed further.
• It was suggested that we try doing a quarterly newsletter.
• Based on our discussions it was decided that we would meet quarterly.
• Next meeting members will review information and decide on filing the chapter formally with AMA or keeping it loose for now.
• At or prior to our next meeting members can submit items and articles to be included in the newsletter and or used as agenda items.
Next Meeting:
• February 6, 2016
• Location: Alvin RC Club House
• Time: 10 AM – Breakfast will be available 7 – 9:30 AM
• Agenda items to be sent to Benny

District News

Thanks Mark

by Benny Behrens   December 26, 2015

I would like to Second Brian Regan’s thanks to Mark Johnston. I believe Mark has done a great job over the last 3 years as our District VP. I know Mark has put a lot of effort into visiting clubs/events across the District and in representing our interest on the EC. Over the last three years I have seen substantial improvements in representation and communications. In addition the implementation of our new website has been a major improvement and hopefully will provide much improved communications in years to come. Thanks Mark

Benny Behrens

District News

Great job Mark.

by Brian Regan   December 16, 2015

I want to thank Mark Johnston for the last 3 years as VP. He did an excellent job. It seems he was always out of town visiting the clubs in District VIII. I don't know how many clubs he visited, it was a lot. I also want to thank his wife for going with him. She was a big help at the District VIII meeting in Kingsbury.
Mark will be missed. Please take the time to tell him thanks for the time he spent being our District VIII VP.
Thanks Mark.

Brian Regan

District News


by Jerry Walters   November 27, 2015

Acadian Radio Control Club (ARCC), formerly in Maurice, LA. and Aerodrome of Acadiana (AOA)have merged. The new club, known as Aeromodelers of Acadiana (AOA) will continue to fly at the Breaux Bridge flying site. The original ARCC AMA charter will be maintained by the merged club, AMA #321.

Merging the two clubs facilitated the formation of a much larger, better financially positioned club at a beautiful flying site with no airspace limitations.

The clubs capital investment strategy is being formulated and plans for new construction and improvements are in process.


District News

District VIII Celebration of Flight and Memorial

by    October 4, 2015

Yesterday we had 70 pilots attend the District VIII Celebration of Flight in Kingsbury Texas sponsored by the Tri-City flyers. Frank Simas was the CD, He had lots of help from the club and Jim, Linda and Gary Rice. Folks from all over came out n support of the event. Notable attendees include a large group from Laredo, Texas and a group from the Bayou City Flyers. Others from the Houston area and Austin also were in attendance.

Saturday nights BBQ was done by Ritches Raiders as always. The food was as awesome as usual. Amazing how quiet it got once everyone got a plate in hand. We had 60 or so for the meeting and BBQ, both Myself and Ilona Maine from AMA spoke about AMA issues and answered questions from membership in attendance.

I am already looking forward to next years event!!!


District News

BB Weber Memorial Fly-In 2015 and 27th Annual B-17 Gathering

by Benny Behrens   September 22, 2015

This past weekend Bomber Field in Monaville, TX held their 27th B-17 Gathering and scale Big Bird Fly-In “BB Weber Memorial”. The email and link below will take you to a brief article prepared by Matt Keller aka Bucky owner of RC Hobby Shop Stafford.

Click link for Brief article about last weekend’s 27th Annual B-17 Gathering plus view over 30 pilot’s cards showing awesome pictures telling an amazing day.
If you fly in Houston Area you should recognize someone in the article.

RC Hobby Shop Stafford

  picture  picture 
 BB Weber Memorial Fly-In BB Weber Memorial Fly-In 

District News


by Stew Moore   September 17, 2015


  picture  picture 

District News

Fort Bend RC Club Muscular Dystrophy MD Fly-a-Thon

by Benny Behrens   September 6, 2015

Saturday September 5, 2015 Fort Bend RC Club (FBRCC) held their annual Muscular Dystrophy Fly-A-Thon with event proceeds donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This is the 18th consecutive year FBRCC has held this very successful event.

The event was held at FBRCC’s field which is located west of Houston in Rosenberg, TX just north of Highway 59. The club has outstanding facilities with two paved crossing runways of suitable length for most any RC airplane including large scale turbines. 24 pilots were registered and essentially all sized airplanes from basic trainers up to twin engine turbines were safely flown for the pleasure and entertainment of the many spectators and visitors that were on hand.

At lunch time RC Hobby Shop’s Warbird team put on a very impressive demonstration, followed by a great helicopter demonstration after which was there was additional flight demonstrations by several pilots flying their turbine aircraft.

Rob Longenecker, President of FBRCC, recognized “Charlie Caulkins for successfully managing the elements and volunteers to have such a successful event. We also appreciate the support of the Air Force JROTC and Major Doug Hawn from Dulles High School, who handled donations and food service”. It was obvious that many of the club’s members had a hand in helping make this a very successful event. I am sure the spectators, pilots and RC visitors from local clubs had a great time and really enjoyed the event – I know I did.

And most important the Muscular Dystrophy Association reaped the rewards thanks to all that participated.

  picture  picture 
 Very nice twin turbine A-10 and it flew beautiful Some of the spectators and visitors 

District News


by Stew Moore   August 13, 2015

Well, you ask , why isn't this posted under CONTROL LINE ?
I hope that most of you take the time to read the articles in MODEL AVIATION pretty thoroughly and don't "cherry pick" mostly items that really interest you .If you have noticed , there have been more and more articles concerning control line activity , which is growing .
You may have read that JOE NALL has added several control line circles and has had several hundred people of all ages take a turn in the circle . There is a generational gap concerning control line . Many of us old "moss backs" were introduced to the hobby with "stick" models and control line models .Then came R/C in the 60's and 70's and that area has been the main attraction since and has been much easier to get into due to the ARF'S and now it's the "drones" that have captured the attention of many .
I suggest that some of you individuals and clubs consider looking at the current state of the control line models . Electric power and ARF'S are now a quickly growing segment of that SIG and offer many possibilities for introducing youth to the hobby . An electric powered control line model can be flown in a nearby park with no associated noise , if you have been flying electric you have all you need except he model and the electric timing module - both inexpensive . Perhaps some club members can put together a gas or electric powered model that can be brought to the club field for kids or younger flyers . There are several ARF models available that are good starters .
This is a great hobby and encompasses many model airplane disciplines and is not one dimensional , some clubs encourage control line activity and have made allowance for it at their flying site .
If any of you are interested in these thoughts or are needing information on sources, please send me an email and I will be pleased to pass along the information I have .I would caution some of you guys that are near my age that it's not as easy as it once was to fly in that circle anymore - falling down is not a pretty picture .


District News

AMA DISTRICT VIII attendees at the 2015 SEFF event at MAC HODGES in Americus Georgia

by Stew Moore   August 12, 2015

The picture shows most of the DISTRICT VIII attendees at the 2015 SEFF EVENT ( southeast electric flight festival ) held at MAC HODGES held each year .I have been a volunteer staff member since 2006 . Over the years I have met many people there from DISTRICT VIII . Now an AVP , I thought I would try to group some of them for a picture this year , as I was too busy after the morning pilots meeting -Michael " crash ' Hancock was kind enough to compose the group and arrange the picture.
Left to right- Michael McDougall , Michael Hancock , UNKNOWN , Jim Ballard , Matthew Vaudrin , John Ballard , UNKNOWN
DISTRICT VIII has many active members that travel long distances to various events and represent our district very well


District News


by Stew Moore   August 12, 2015

This event was called the "SWEATY RED NECK FUN FLY ' on the district VIII listing and was it correctly named !! As most of you in the Arklatex area know , the temperatures have been very high with some reaching heat index figures of 110F . This was my first visit to the Nacogdoches flying site which is located on the A.L. MANGHAM REGIONAL AIRPORT facilities on an unused older runway .This flying site is the result of some very close work of club members , airport operators and the city of Nacogdoches and they are justly proud of it .
The club website is one of the better ones I have seen in my area and I recommend a visit to it . The club is the NACOGDOCHES AERO MODELERS CLUB , AMA CHARTER 2305.
While there I presented two AMA DISTRICT VIII MAD AWARDS( making a difference ), Drew Thomas -president and CD AND Dave Hinson-creator of the website and major player in the club .
I also met several members of the Lufkin , Texas club, Teresa and Keith Beasley and Robert Witherspoon

  picture  picture 

District News

Almost too hot for flying

by Jerry Walters   July 27, 2015

This heat in South Louisiana is killing the flying for all but our most avid pilots. We've been running between 95-100 for two weeks now with no rain or breezes to create some relief. Last weekend at Aerodrome of Acadiana in Breaux Bridge the President of Acadian RC, a neighboring club, showed up with a surprise to help (see picture). Unfortunately, Louisiana has no sanctioned events scheduled in July or August.

District News

Richardson R/C Club receives Award of Excellence

by    July 8, 2015

As you may have seen in previous columns several clubs in the Dallas and Fort Worth Area were flooded out. The Richardson Club stepped up to offer the use of their field to other clubs in the area who had no place to fly. For that I was able to Award them the Award of Excellence which is the highest award a club can receive. I did surprise them a bit by going to the last event for the summer which was a float fly at Lavon Lake. I enjoyed the event and had a good time with everyone there. The awards were given at a emergency Club meeting I got them to call at a local eating establishment. The Club received a plaque, a small flag to fly at their field as well as a patch for every member. A big thank you to everyone in the club!


District News

Welcome to our new website update

by Sonny Coleman   July 8, 2015

What you are seeing is the beginning of a complete website update. This first step replaced the old AVP forums with a more modern blog system. The latest 10 blogs will have a short version show up on the home page. Clicking on the color banner or the bloggers name will bring up the complete blog message which may also include a couple of pictures.

Over the next few weeks the rest of the site will be updated.
Hope you enjoy the changes,
Vic Newton


Vice President

Lawrence Harville


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