If you recall, in last month’s column we featured tips for the making of an entertaining air show. This month we’re going to hear about the event sanctioning process from our Michigan Contest Coordinator, Wayne Yeager.
Before I turn it over to Wayne, I wanted to share final the results from the 2014 National Model Aviation Day. At the AMA Expo this past January, AMA President Bob Brown presented Wounded Warrior representative Norbie Lara a check for $100,000. Of that amount, District VII clubs and members were responsible for $13,383.75. Thank you all for the outstanding work! Let’s see if we can top that this year.
Let’s let Wayne step in now with his tips on event sanctioning.
Sanctioning an open contest, whether RC, Control Line, Free Flight, or all three, results in several pluses for a contest director (CD). The first one is area protection. This means that the area surrounding your sanctioned event is protected from someone hosting a similar contest on the same date.
You don’t have to be concerned that your projected contestants might go to a different contest down the road somewhere. An “A” contest classification allows your event an area protection of a 100-mile radius.
AMA works on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if your sanction application is received by AMA on an earlier date than someone else requesting the same variables, your request is approved and promoters of the second contest must select a different date.
“Traditional dates” are approved for contests that host the same type of meet on the same dates for a minimum of three years in a row. However, application for a traditional date contest must be sent to AMA Headquarters within a restricted timeframe.
An “AA” contest classification requires the event to have at least four sets of awards, through two or more places, and a minimum of two events. Having two or more events is as simple as two or more class contests as long as you have awards for each. Most RC Aerobatics, helicopter, sailplane, RC Pylon, RC Combat, and so on, have more than one class scheduled and an AA sanction increases area protection from 100 miles to 300 miles.
An “AAA” or an “AAAA” meet becomes more difficult to sanction because they range from state or regional championships through national championships. Even a national championship is an event prohibited from competition at the same time as the AMA National Aeromodeling Championships.
An additional benefit to sanctioning is that the contest becomes endorsed by AMA and supervised by an AMA-accredited CD, a person who has been tested to ensure his or her knowledge of the process and that this process is followed. It means the contest is restricted to AMA (or MAAC) members only. The contestants are all covered with AMA’s insurance coverage of $2,500,000, which is protection for you.
An AMA sanction also means your event will be listed in Model Aviation and on the AMA website, which can greatly boost the attendance level of any modeling activity.
After you are issued a sanction, the sanction number qualifies your organization for donations from major sponsors, which is important for increased success of a meet. Contestants remember a nice prize cache, sometimes more than an award.
Today’s process of applying for a sanction is simple because most of it is done electronically. A visit to the AMA website will require you have an AMA account with an access code and password. Once logged in, go to www.modelaircraft.org/MembersOnly/Portal/Sanctions/cd.aspx. This link will allow you several options. Select “Create Sanction” to fill out a simple sanction application form. You will be asked for a credit card number to pay for the sanction.
You will be asked for your flying site’s GPS location to determine your proximity to other meets, so be sure to have that information available.
When the form is complete, it goes to the AMA Competition Department for recording and review, and then it is sent to the district contest coordinator who approves it. The entire process can be completed in a matter of days.
Take a kid flying.