I attempt to keep you apprised of our progress with the various government agencies each month. This is disheartening when little movement has been made, but this month is slightly different.
The AMA has joined with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Small UAS Coalition, and the FAA to promote the Know Before You Fly Program (knowbeforeyoufly.org). The program is designed to educate a neophyte to safely fly in the National Airspace System.
Materials will be placed in product packaging, in hobby shops, and with clubs. Several manufacturers and distributors, including Hobbico, Horizon Hobby, Castle Creations, and Futaba, have been receptive to our ideas and will assist in the efforts.
We are attempting to fund this project through unique methods. A concert with the group OK Go was held in January in Washington D.C. The evening’s goal was to increase awareness of the Know Before You Fly campaign as well as the work AMA and our partners in this project have invested in introducing this new community of enthusiasts to safe and responsible flying. I believe we may have generated enough money to sustain the program for the immediate future.
The public image of modeling is becoming more positive. Rich Hanson and I attended a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Our basic message was “educate, don’t legislate.” This effort allowed us to create more knowledgeable friendships on Capitol Hill.
Our public relations firm, CLS Strategies, has produced a great publicity campaign in a very short time. Major media outlets have been involved. We are working on more things in the future.
We have also engaged another firm involved in informing those in Congress of our needs. It is no surprise that our efforts are much more constructive than those of four years ago.
AMA Expo 2015 in Ontario, California, had many activities and speakers. The highlight for me was listening to Norbie Lara’s presentation for the Wounded Warrior Project (http://amaexpo.com/attractions/specialguests/#wwp). His positive attitude and commitment to the US deserve a genuine thank-you and expression of gratitude from everyone. I was very proud to present him with a $100,000 check generated from National Model Aviation Day fundraising activities.
A small number of AMA members have argued against the Academy’s focus on the Wounded Warrior Project. The Executive Council has reviewed the project and we will again donate funds raised in the 2015 National Model Aviation Day efforts to the Wounded Warrior Project. If you have suggestions for the 2016 event, please forward your ideas to AMA District VII Vice President Tim Jesky.
Several FAI teams are attending various FAI World Championships this year. These world-class competitors have spent unbelievable time and money focusing on representing the AMA.
I have worked with several of these competitors, and I can say that each of them has offered help to individual members and clubs. I wouldn’t be surprised if one might have attended one of your local events and put on a show for the spectators.
The teams need your financial help to offset the various expenses involved in going overseas. Please contact Colleen Pierce (email@example.com) for additional information. These competitors may have helped you … it’s your turn to provide assistance for them!