In January, the annual AMA Expo took place in Ontario, California. This year was again an outstanding event put together by AMA staff. Lots of visitors attended and there were many vendors showing new stuff. I tried not to spend too much money on stuff since I always fly there, but I ended up buying a new 20cc gas model from Aerobeez.
The weekend was filled with lots of important events. We had a positive round-table discussion with Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs Rich Hansen; AMA President Bob Brown; James Williams, executive manager of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office; and Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
Jim Rice nominated Rich Hansen for the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame and Rich was presented with the award during Expo. Jim did an outstanding job with the nomination and the award presentation. Rich was surprised and touched by receiving it. Rich has done a lot for AMA and continues to work hard for the membership.
On Saturday, Bob Brown and James Williams signed the memorandum of understanding between the AMA and the FAA. I believe we are not too far away from being recognized by FAA as a community-based organization. The NPRM should be soon to follow in months ahead. This was a great day for the Academy.
Bobby Smith went to the East Texas Aeromodelers’ Toys for Tots fun-fly in Longview, Texas. The event had 20 pilots and was well attended even though wind was gusting. Pilots gave a $10 toy plus a $10 entry fee.
Doug Staines attended the 17th annual Georgetown Aero Modelers Association swap meet on Jan 25. The event was run by Bob Petninec and had a great turn out.
Bill Holland attended the Shawnee Thunderbirds annual swap neet held in Prague, Oklahoma, on January 25. More than 200 modelers attended from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. Everyone had a great time catching up since the subfreezing temps and snow hit Okie land.
Jim Marshall and Cliff Town attended the annual Tejas RC Association airshow on January 18. The sky was filled with large roaring, smoke belching, gas-powered warbirds and 3-D aerobatic aircraft while several smaller electric-powered jets and foamies zipped, zoomed, and screamed by to the delight of those that came to the show. Jim gave a CL demo during lunch, which I am sure was a sight for everyone to see.
The weather is cold in many parts of the country and fortunately we get to see many good days of flying during the winter.
Hope to see you all at the field!