I attended the AMA Expo in Ontario, California, January 10-12 2014. I enjoy seeing new manufacturers’ items and educational and entertaining presentations. I went to as many as I could and I want to share a few things I feel are important to District III.
On Friday, the new AMA Foundation officially kicked off. The foundation will help AMA have a solid future. Donations can be made that will go toward strengthening the organization. Although members have donated in the past, AMA wasn’t set up to actively engage in endowment giving. For more information, visit http://amafoundation.modelaircraft.org.
I met EAA officials Rick Larson, vice president of marketing, and Sean Elliott, vice president of advocacy and safety. Both are active RC modelers. Our two organizations have much in common and we can grow by joining forces and working together, especially through the EAA Young Eagles program. One example of this was presented by Dennis Lord of EAA Chapter 96 in California. To see how a combined event can be held, visit www.96.eaachapter.org/flyinmodelexpo.htm.
I was inspired by a presentation called “Miracle on the Hudson.” The presenter, Jeff Skiles, was the copilot for Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger when he landed on the Hudson River five years ago. Talk about being calm under pressure! Would you believe that the entire flight lasted slightly more than 3 minutes?
When a flock of geese hit the engines, the airliner lost all power. Sully instructed Jeff to find the 700-page emergency checklist that pertained to engine failure. Jeff immediately opened the book to the proper page and they carried on their procedures in a calm, businesslike manner. Jeff said that although two things went wrong (both engines quit), much went right that made for a successful landing on the Hudson. His presentation was an inspiration.
At AMA’s general membership meeting, one area of discussion was AMA’s position on sUAS aircraft. This is a significant element for future of our hobby and will attract many who may not have previously been interested in model airplanes. The FAA recognizes AMA as the organization that it will look to for guidance between hobbyists and professionals. AMA will always advocate for the model aviation hobbyist/enthusiast.
Probably the most important occurrence at the Expo was the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AMA and the FAA. On Saturday, January 11, the two organizations entered into an agreement establishing the platform upon which they will jointly work to ensure the continued safe operation of model aircraft in the National Airspace System.
James Williams, executive manager of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, and AMA President Bob Brown signed the MOU, ensuring that AMA and the FAA will share the national airspace, therefore keeping our love of model aviation intact. For more information, visit the AMA website.
If you have any questions about AMA’s actions and plans for now and the future, please contact me. The future has never looked brighter for AMA and its members.
These were just a few of the things I saw and participated in at the Expo. To see more photos that I took at the event, http://share.shutterfly.com/view/flashShareSlideshow.jsp?sid=0AbMWrNqzYu....
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the coming year. Until then go fly and have fun!