I’m sure many of you have heard by now that the FAA has released the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rule Making. At the time of this writing, the 196-page document is being reviewed by AMA Headquarters staff and the Executive Council.
At first glance, it does leave intact the Special Rule for Model Aircraft that are flown in accordance with AMA’s Safety Code. How the FAA is allowed to interpret this rule will ultimately be decided by the court system and will easily take two years or longer before it becomes final.
I think cautious optimism would best describe my take on things so far. Your continued flying in accordance with the AMA Safety Code will steer you clear of potential problems.
Although there are plenty of thanks to go around for those who continue to quarterback this endeavor, I think you need to look no further than yourselves. You and those who came before committing to safe and responsible operations of model aircraft have paved the way for the exemption to be granted. Without that commitment, the conversation never happens.
Randy Gibson is going to step in now to tell you about a Toys for Tots event that he helped organize. Great work everyone!
The Mid-Michigan Radio Control Helicopter Association (MMRCHA) again held its 2014 Holiday Classic benefitting Toys for Tots. The fun-fly and toy drive marked MMRCHA’s third year involved with the city of Clare and Isabella County’s drive to raise donations and toys for the area’s less fortunate children.
Pilots from across Michigan came to this indoor fun-fly held on the campus of Central Michigan University at Finch Fieldhouse in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. We were also fortunate to have current Extreme Flight Championships winner Jase Dussa attend and put on some remarkable flights showing why he is deserving of his title.
In attendance this year were Barb and Greg Markley of West Michigan Park Flyers, a manufacturer and distributor of top-quality EPP and Depron foam airplanes. Many of the spectators and pilots were entertained by watching their version of the flying truck and shopping for last-minute items. Even Santa Claus was present to listen to the Christmas wishes of children of all ages.
Added to the 2014 event was the Christmas Glow. With the gym lights turned down, pilots brought out their multicolored, LED-enhanced airplanes, helicopters, and multirotor model aircraft to light up the interior of the Finch Fieldhouse.
The event was an outstanding success, demonstrating the generosity of the modeling community. More than $500 and several large boxes of toys were donated to the Toys for Tots organization. A big thank-you to all in attendance for your generous contributions.
The program did not end there. In keeping with MMRCHA’s active involvement within the community, club members participated in the Toys for Tots Distribution Day. Finch Fieldhouse was turned into Santa’s House and MMRCHA members helped by assisting the families with their toy selections, restocking shelves, and guiding those who attended.
One MMRCHA member stated that although it’s always good to help with the causes that we campaign for, to see the joy and happiness on the faces of the area families really brings it home. MMRCHA’s president, Randy Gibson, added: “We are very fortunate that we are able to enjoy the hobby that we do and can take our airplane or helicopter out to the field and have fun. To imagine a child waking up on Christmas Day to nothing under the tree is just heart wrenching. The Toys for Tots program and our participation allows us to bring smiles to many of those who otherwise would wake to nothing.”
It was estimated that 12,000 toys were provided to more than 2,500 area children this year.