Large Model Airplane Program Update

12 Oct 2017 7:30 AM | Andrew (Administrator)

Large Model Airplane Program

Throughout the last several years, AMA and the Safety Committee had been approached about concerns regarding the layout/concept of the current Large Model Airplane (LMA) program document, as well as some potential inconsistencies. One of the LMA inspectors (LMAIs) submitted a proposal regarding these issues. The Safety Committee chair tasked a subcommittee to review the proposal and restructure/reorganize the program. This subcommittee, consisting of 12 LMAIs, volunteered their time and expertise for this project.

The intent of the review was not to change the program itself or to implement/recommend any drastic changes, but to simplify and streamline the document. Although we generally try to clearly mark any additions in bold letters, this approach proves more difficult with a document restructuring. The following is a summary of the changes that were approved by the AMA Executive Council at its July meeting:

Regulation rewrite
We divided the document into five sections for easier digestion and comprehension. They will eventually be available as separate documents/downloads:

  • Program and model requirements.
  • Supplemental information (servo torque).
  • Inspectors.
  • Foreign participants.
  • Forms.

There was a major emphasis on simplification:

  • Combined LMA and LTMA sections to eliminate redundancy.
  • Some basic requirements displayed in tabular form to aid in overall comprehension and reduce text.
  • Created a single table outlining FAA, national residency, weight of model, type of model, insurance, and other LMA requirements to aid in the understanding of these complex relationships. This will be a supplemental chart hosted separately on the AMA website (#540-F), but will be referenced in the LMA document.
  • Eliminated items that were either unenforceable, change frequently due to evolution of technology, or were otherwise felt to be unnecessary.
  • Collapsed multiple inspection forms into a single section.


  • LMAIs can sign off on their own aircraft.
  • Three-view photographs required.
  • Unless the model crashes or is modified, permits will be valid for three years.


  • Clarified and expanded inspector requirements.
  • Created “Guidelines for Inspection” to promote consistency in approach.
  • Eliminated open-book test in favor of more practical evidence of relevant experience in the inspector’s application process.

Servo Torque

  • Extracted existing torque calculations into a separate appendix (Section 2).

Speeds and Weights

  • Raised the LTMA-2 limit from 140 to 170 mph to provide more latitude in speed envelope and to conform with a more realistic expectation of how these models are operated.
  • All other speeds remain unchanged.
  • All weights remain unchanged.
  • All weights in pounds and ounces, should be consistent with other AMA documents.

The safety committee, in assistance with HQ staff, will also look into additional, mainly administrative improvements of the program, including detailed clarification of forms and procedures, fillable web-forms, etc.

Please take a moment and review the updated document on our website at and contact us at if you have any questions regarding the changes.


  • 13 Nov 2017 2:18 PM | Daren (Administrator)
    Thanks Andy. The officers at Plum Island Airport RC Flyers are very interested in assisting LMA and Turbine Inspections and training as our facility is uniquely beneficial by virtue of the experience level of the membership, the flying site and the location. I will pass this along to the officers.
    Daren Hudson
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