By: Mandee Mikulski—
World’s largest model aviation association launches public awareness campaign.
(Watch the inspiring “Discover Flight” video at the bottom of this story.)
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and its community of more than 187,000 members across the globe are uniting today to welcome and encourage the next generation of model aviation enthusiasts. In a public awareness campaign titled Discover Flight, AMA will show the world why it’s never been a more important, or exciting, time to take to the skies.
Everyone’s journey toward model aviation starts with an idea – with imagination. AMA is helping the world realize that flying model aircraft, and embracing imagination, can take them anywhere and can open the door to new discoveries, new possibilities and new frontiers.
AMA has been helping model aircraft enthusiasts discover their passion for flying model aircraft since the organization opened its doors in 1936. With advancing technology, AMA members are now flying a more diverse set of model aircraft than ever before – aircraft featuring advanced GPS and location tracking systems, high-tech video and photography capabilities, enhanced control features, and more. AMA, its members and industries are embracing these advancements; supporting the evolution of model aviation in hobby, sport and business; and helping everyone realize they, too, can fly model aircraft.
“We’re thrilled to embark on this new journey in our history and to open the world to model aviation like we’ve never done before,” said Bob Brown, president of AMA. “With this campaign, we’re telling the public the story of AMA and how model aviation is evolving and shaping tomorrow’s leaders; we’re engaging new and existing members to share their experiences; and we’re opening the doorway to discovery for an entirely new generation of modelers.”
AMA’s reach is both wide and varied. With its 187,000 members located throughout the world, the association is the largest and oldest of its kind. More than 2,400 flying clubs and 3,000 flying fields located throughout the continental United States have made the opportunities to fly virtually endless.
AMA members live in every state and in nearly every county across the nation, and its members are diverse. AMA members are celebrities, NASA astronauts, airline pilots, engineers, students of all ages, hobbyists and everyone in between. They fly multirotor drones, radio-controlled model airplanes and helicopters, and more. And they’re continually innovating, breaking new ground, building the models they fly and contributing to a more advanced society.
“AMA really began as a way to bring communities of people together by way of model aviation and to celebrate and enjoy a new, emerging hobby,” said Brown. “And, while this still holds true today, AMA has become so much more: an introduction to a new hobby or competitive sport, a launching pad for some of our world’s most intelligent minds, a gateway into some of the greatest career opportunities available and an avenue for some of the most advanced technology on the market today. It really is an exciting time to be flying model aircraft.”
Providing nearly $1 million in scholarships to modelers since 1970, AMA is an association that believes in investing in today’s youth and teaching the modelers of tomorrow how to be responsible flyers. Youth ages 19 and under fly for free at any AMA flying field and have access to innovative training opportunities, like AMA Flight School and Camp AMA, where young modelers can learn to fly alongside peers, mentors and AMA-certified professionals.
AMA also invests heavily in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities. The association recently launched UAS4STEM, a first-of-its-kind program encouraging students to explore the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS), or drone, phenomenon by combining teamwork and competition with new and emerging technology. The program takes users on a search-and-rescue mission, utilizing both sUAS technology and STEM fundamentals to complete their mission. AMA also provides resources to schools, museums and other institutions to show how model aviation is equal parts science, physics, engineering, technology and skill.
AMA also believes that safety in flight is, and always has been, priority number one. They’ve built an exemplary safety program to prove it. Not only do they have their own safety code for members, but AMA also provides its members with updates on all federal and state-wide flying rules and regulations so all members fly with the knowledge and background they need to operate both safely and legally. And, with access to more than 50 full-time staff members, AMA advocates on their members’ behalf and maintains relationships with several state, local and federal government entities so its members enjoy the security of hassle-free flying.
Most of all, AMA is a community. It’s a community of diverse individuals coming together for hobby, for sport, for competition, for camaraderie and, above all, for flying model aircraft. AMA teaches its members how to fly, what to fly and where to fly. And no matter the skill level or degree of involvement, an AMA membership offers something for everyone.
So AMA is asking the question, “Are you AMA?” To find out, visit the new Discover Flight website at discoverflight.org and learn more about the association, sign up as a member and begin your journey to discovering flight today.
With its national headquarters located in Muncie, Ind., AMA is the largest association representing model aircraft enthusiasts in the world and has been helping its members discover flight since 1936. AMA is committed to being the leading voice and advocate for modelers throughout the world and is dedicated to making modeling the foremost sport and hobby across the globe. The Discover Flight campaign was created to bring awareness to the sport of model aviation and advance the AMA’s efforts to reach a new generation of modelers. To learn more about the Discover Flight campaign, visit discoverflight.org. You can also learn more about AMA by visiting modelaircraft.org or following them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/modelaviation), Twitter (https://twitter.com/modelaircraft) or YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/modelaircraft).
Mandee Mikulski is with the AMA in Muncie, IN.