President’s Report – December 2014
Recently I enthusiastically watched the launch of the Orion, NASA’s new spacecraft.
In my lifetime I have been fortunate to witness the evolution of space exploration from the Sputnik era to that of today. The benefits of the program are endless and it is a true determent that the United States has lost interest. Quite often I question the direction in which this country is headed. While watching the Orion launch, the enthusiasm displayed by mission control was extreme. However, the need for youth in the program was apparent. I am not degrading those currently involved but am seriously concerned as to the future. There is a need for aerospace engineers. The members of the AMA Foundation are aware of this need and are beginning to focus on how the Academy can provide assistance. Endowments in the name of the AMA scholarship program can certainly increase its’ success.
Thanks to those that recently ran for office in the AMA elections. We look forward to working with the election winners: Gary Fitch – Executive Vice President; Mark Radcliff – Vice President District III; Jay Marsh – Vice President District IV – Tim Jesky – Vice President District VII; and Chuck Bower – Vice President District XI. This year the Council will revisit the long range plans. If you have ideas that should be incorporated in this plan please discuss them with your district Vice President.
In January of 2014 I signed an MOU with Jim Williams, Manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office. Within the next month we were told we would have a viable agreement with which aero modeling could enjoy the use of the national airspace. A year has passed and no agreement has evolved. It is a shame since most of us thought the situation was so positive. Do I blame Mr. Williams? No I do not. Unfortunately certain things evolved that generated legal issues. Unfortunately, the legal system in the United States moves in strange, slow ways. Recent rumors focus on the fact that the Notice for Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is about to be issued by the FAA. That rule will certainly cause some effect on aero modelers. Hopefully those involved have understood our issues and the rule will be positive. Rumors also prevail that the commercial aspect of sUAS activity may face some type of licensing. I can understand the FAA having the desire for the commercial pilots to have some knowledge of the national airspace. I question if a demonstration of piloting skill is necessary. I am sure 2015 will be interesting.
Over the past several months several AMA clubs, schools, colleges, and businesses have developed educational programs that allow the neophyte to become familiar with the safe operation of multirotors. One of the most sought after gifts during the recent holidays was the multirotor. It would be to our advantage to advertise the fact that we know the safe and correct way to utilize these aircraft. If you are interested in membership growth in your club why not create such an activity? Not only will you be growing the club but you might be generating the example that allows model aviation to continue in a positive direction. If assistance is needed in creating a program, please call the Education Department at AMA Headquarters.