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Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety CodeEffective January 1, 2018
A model aircraft is a non-human-carrying device capable of sustained flight within visual line of sight of the pilot or spotter(s). It may not exceed limitations of this code and is intended exclusively for sport, recreation, education and/or competition. All model flights must be conducted in accordance with this safety code and related AMA guidelines, any additional rules specific to the flying site, as well as all applicable laws and regulations.
- As an AMA member I agree:
- I will not fly a model aircraft in a careless or reckless manner.
- I will not interfere with and will yield the right of way to all human-carrying aircraft using AMA’s See and Avoid Guidance and a spotter when appropriate.
- I will not operate any model aircraft while I am under the influence of alcohol or any drug that could adversely affect my ability to safely control the model.
- I will avoid flying directly over unprotected people, moving vehicles, and occupied structures.
- I will fly Free Flight (FF) and Control Line (CL) models in compliance with AMA’s safety programming.
- I will maintain visual contact of an RC model aircraft without enhancement other than corrective lenses prescribed to me. When using an advanced flight system, such as an autopilot, or flying First- Person View (FPV), I will comply with AMA’s Advanced Flight System programming.
- I will only fly models weighing more than 55 pounds, including fuel, if certified through AMA’s Large Model Airplane Program.
- I will only fly a turbine-powered model aircraft in compliance with AMA’s Gas Turbine Program.
- I will not fly a powered model outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for myself or my helper(s) located at the flightline, unless I am taking off and landing, or as otherwise provided in AMA’s Competition Regulation.
- I will use an established safety line to separate all model aircraft operations from spectators and bystanders.
Key elements of AMA’s Safety Code include the requirement to see and avoid manned aircraft and maintain model aircraft operations within visual line of sight.
In addition to operating within our safety programming, AMA members should comply with any and all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
In February 2012, and again in July 2016, Congress officially recognized the efficacy of community-based safety programming in managing the aeromodelling activity within the United States. With the passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (PL 112-95) , Congress set aside further regulation of model aircraft provided, “the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization. (Section 336, Special Rule for Model Aircraft.)
Under Section 336, AMA members can operate their model aircraft within the boundaries of AMA’s safety guidelines and programming.
FAA MODERNIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2012
Model Operations Near Airports
When within five (5) miles of an airport, AMA members must notify the airport(s) before model operations take place. Permanent flying locations, such as chartered club flying sites, should establish a mutually agreed-upon operating procedure to eliminate the need for constant and repeated notification. When within three (3) miles of an airport, model aircraft should remain below 400 feet above the ground unless there is notification or an agreement with the airport that allows models to safely go higher.
Be Aware of No-Fly Zones
Do not fly near stadiums, critical infrastructure (correctional facilities, water treatment centers, utilities, etc.), large open air events, or any time or place where model aircraft operations are prohibited.
It’s important that you respect the privacy and property of others and be aware of your surroundings. What might seem like a cool flight path to you may be a nuisance or perceived as invasion of privacy by others.
Using imaging technology for aerial surveillance with a model aircraft capable of obtaining photographs and/ or videos or using any types of sensors for collection, retention, or dissemination of surveillance data or information about individuals, homes, businesses, or property locations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy is strictly prohibited by AMA, unless you have obtained written permission from the individual property owner(s) or manager(s). AMA members should educate themselves on community ordinances, guidelines, or any laws regulating the ownership and operation of a model aircraft.
Dick Scobee Memorial Airfields – Field Rules: Multirotor, Drone & FPV (First Person View)MULTIROTOR AND DRONE AIRCRAFT MUST FOLLOW ALL THE SAME RULES AS OTHER AIRCRAFT AND THE PRIMARY FLYING AREA IS AT THE HELICOPTER PAD. FLYING FPV (FIRST PERSON VIEW) IS NOT ALLOWED WITHOUT A SPOTTER AND THE SPOTTER MUST HAVE CLEAR LINE OF SIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT AT ALL TIMES. DO NOT FLY OUTSIDE OF THE DESIGNATED FLYING AREA.
Read: Know Before You Fly
Read: AMA Document: Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Operation: Utilizing "First Person View" Systems
Read: AMA Document: sUAS Flight Safety Guide - Guidance for safe, responsible flying.
Note: sUAS = small Unmanned Aircraft System
Basic sUAS Safety Principles:
- Do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
- Yield the right of way to manned aircraft. See and avoid other aircraft at all times (AMA Doc #540-D).
- Do not endanger persons or property. No intentional overflight of moving vehicles or unprotected persons. Fly no closer than 25 feet.
- Fly no higher than necessary (less than 400 feet). Remain below surrounding obstacles when possible.
- Avoid operations in close proximity to airports. When within 5 miles of an airport, contact the airport/Air Traffic Control (ATC).
- Ensure pilot competency/proficiency and the safe operation of the aircraft.
- Remain within visual line of sight (VLOS). Use a spotter when necessary/appropriate.