Safety & Field Rules

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AMA - Model Safety Code - Jan 1, 2018

Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code

Effective 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.

    Regulatory Compliance

    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.


    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.

    Download DSMA Safety Rules as a pdf
Multirotor, Drone & FPV (First Person View) RC Model Aircraft
Multirotor pilots must have a valid AMA membership to fly at Dick Scobee Memorial Airfields

Dick Scobee Memorial Airfields – Field Rules: Multirotor, Drone & FPV (First Person View)

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.
BCF Visitor Liability release
AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics)
Home Field Bayou City Flyers (No Fly Zone)
Harris County Constable Precinct 5 (Dispatch 281-463-6666)
BCF Constitution and Bylaws (Safety)
D. DICK SCOBEE MEMORIAL FIELD SAFETY RULES GENERAL RULES: 1. The AMA Safety Code and all amendments thereto is adopted by the club in intent and principle and will be adhered to and enforced 2. Flyers must be CURRENT members of AMA. Current BCF club membership ID or AMA membership ID MUST be prominently displayed. 3. Any and all AMA waivers (e.g. turbine, pulse jet, overweight planes) shall be available for presentation upon request. 4. Flying while intoxicated or having alcoholic beverages at Scobee Memorial field is strictly prohibited. 5. SAFETY and Policing the field (trash control), is every member's and field user's obligation. 6. Flyers are responsible for the conduct of family members and guests. 7. No spectators are allowed inside the fenced area at the field. 8. All pets must be on a leash. FREQUENCY CONTROL: 1. 2.4 MHZ and above transmitters are exempt from frequency control requirements 2. Flyers using transmitters with a frequency less than 2.4 MHZ shall establish a frequency control system with other low band width flyers at the field FLYING RULES: 1. Flying over any NO-FLY ZONE (roads, pit area, parking lot, picnic area, etc.) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All aircraft MUST remain within line of sight. 2. BCF officers reserve the right to inspect and judge the air worthiness of a NEW or recently REPAIRED airplane. 3. Pilots must stay behind designated pilot line and within pilot/gaggle stations while flying. 4. Pilots will ANNOUNCE and ACKNOWLEDGE take-offs, landings, on runway, dead-sticks, and other pertinent information while flying. 5. TAKE-OFFS and LANDINGS will normally be performed into the wind. 6. The runway should primarily be used for TAKEOFFS and LANDINGS. PASSES directly over the runway must ALWAYS be on the east side of the runway away from the pilot stations and beyond the yellow centerline. 3D hovering type maneuvers should ALWAYS be performed over the grass area east of the runway. 7. Start engines only in the PIT area, NOT UNDER COVERED WORK AREA. Electric motors should only be energized in the PIT area. 8. Minimize ground running time on engines in the Pit area (Be aware of impact of high noise on flight line communication). 9. Break-in running and extended tuning MUST be done away from the pit area (on test stands behind the clubhouse). 10. Be considerate of prop-wash and jet wash when running up engines in Pit area. 11. Pilot station maximum occupancy will be three (3) people. GENERAL SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. The use of "chicken sticks" or electric starters are recommended for starting engines; DO NOT use bare fingers/hands. 11 2. Painting propeller tips with a bright color is highly recommended. 3. Protective eye wear is recommended when working around engines. 4. ALWAYS make engine adjustments from "behind" propellers. 5. Smoking around flammable fuels (gasoline) and airplanes is not recommended. Any violation of these field rules should be addressed by ANY club member observing an infringement. OTHER club members present should provide necessary support and all incidents should be reported to a Club or Field Safety Officer. If a person persists, they will be asked to leave the field. If they refuse, appropriate lawenforcement officers should be called. Repeated safety offenses by club members shall be handled in accordance with the Disciplinary Protocol detailed in Article V of the Constitution and By-laws IT IS EVERYONE'S DUTY TO ABIDE BY THESE RULES AND AID IN THEIR ENFORCEMENT! BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!!

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