District News Blog – AMA District Officers, Clubs and Members updating and sharing the latest news relating to aeromodelling activities, events, issues and concerns:

  • 12 Aug 2017 10:12 PM | Daren (Administrator)

    "Hey, will you spot for me?"  How many times have we said it or heard it?  How many times have we had misunderstandings or conflicts on the flight line and wondered "what was that spotter looking at or communicating to the pilot?" 

    The following is an article I came across a couple years ago.  As I've attended quite a few events since then and talked to many pilots who have also attended large and small events I thought it was a good idea to write this blog and open up the conversation for review.  When you are at an event or at your field when several airplanes get in the sky please remember clear, effective communication on the flight line is critical to assure safe operations.  At the field your club policies dictate, at an event the CD or his/ her designee has the responsibility to make sure all individuals on the flight line understand their responsibilities.  Take a few minutes to look over the following and feel free to comment and discuss the topic with your fellow modelers.  Fly often and fly safe.

    Pilot Spotter's Responsibility  by Bob Ackerman
    While at the field recently I was asked, “What does a pilot spotter do?” I quickly told him, “spot for the pilot.” I thought about my response for a few minutes and I realized that was not a good answer. Do you know what the responsibility of the pilot spotter is? I asked a few pilots and I got the same answer from most, “spot for the pilot.” So, what does that mean?  The pilot spotter, or just spotter, is a safety person for the pilot. The pilot and spotter should be a team working together for the safety of the pilot, the spotter, the aircraft, and all parties at or near the field. Whereas the pilot has the responsibility of flying his/her aircraft in a safe manner, the spotter has many other responsibilities, which include:
    • Relay messages from the flightline and safety personnel to the pilot about landing aircraft, aircraft emergencies, or dead-stick landings by other aircraft on the field, and other information important to the pilot flying the aircraft. The pilot may be concentrating on the aircraft in flight and may not hear or pay attention to background messages on the field.
    • Relay messages from the pilot to the flightline and/or safety personnel about the pilot’s landing, emergency, or dead-stick landings, and other information that needs to be passed from the pilot to others.
    • Be the eyes of the pilot away from the aircraft. Watch the flightline and inform your pilot of aircraft taxiing in front of the pilot, people on the runway line, obstacles on the ground if the pilot walks around while flying, or other safety issues that your pilot should be aware of.
    • Watch the other aircraft in flight and inform your pilot of aircraft that may cross the flight path of his or her aircraft. Changes in pattern direction or aircraft in different flight types (aerobatic vs. pattern flight) crossing your pilot’s flight path should be reported.
    • Keep the pilot advised of the type of aircraft (slow foamie or high speed jet) that are being started for flight. Some pilots may be flying the pattern and if a 3-D aerobatic aircraft is getting ready to fly, the pilot may decide to fly at a different altitude or land the aircraft.
    • Minimize the distractions to the pilot in flight. The spotter is the eyes and ears for the pilot. Anything that could distract the attention of the pilot should be explained so that the pilot can keep his/her eyes on the aircraft and not look at the distraction.
    • A pilot spotter/ caller may also assist the pilot at contests, such as a pattern/ IMAC contest, by providing information to the pilot about the next maneuver at key points of the flight.
    This is not a complete list of responsibilities that the spotter has.

    Some pilots will have specific instructions for their spotters as to what to do, what to watch for, and what to explain. Each pilot and spotter should discuss these responsibilities before each flight.
    Every field has different rules for the use of a pilot spotter during flight operations. Most fields do not require a spotter when no organized event is scheduled, or the number of pilots flying is low. Other fields require a spotter on all flight activities. Most fields require the use of a pilot spotter during all scheduled events. Do check with your club or field rules about the use of a spotter.
    The ultimate purpose of a pilot spotter is to increase safety for all. So be a good spotter and help keep our field, and our pilots, safe. 

    Thank you for operating the safest you can.

    Daren Hudson

    District 1 AVP

  • 20 Jul 2017 8:39 PM | Daren (Administrator)

    Host Club: Skystreakers AMA 1165, New Gloucester, ME
    Sponsor: Ray Labonte, Ray and Robbins Hobby Center, AMA AVP, ME
    CD: Tom Chabot
    Scoring and a lot more!: Carissa Parent

    What can I say? A wonderful event with a great sponsor, fantastic organizers/ CD, beautiful facility and exemplary AMA host club.

    The EVENT: This was the 22nd Annual Maine IMAC Challenge. 22 years run by the same CD and scorer, sponsored by the same sponsor and held at the same field. The longest running IMAC event in New England lived up to it's reputation as a well organized, welcoming, enjoyable event. What a pleasure to be a participant for my first but certainly not my last time. Participants (including several Skystreaker members), callers, family members came from throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania and friends from the north from Montreal and Quebec, Canada. All here sharing the love of model aviation and scale aerobatics.  A non IMAC highlight of the weekend acts as a reminder to all of us to be prepared for an introduction flight at any time. After competition on Saturday as we received our unknowns and pilots began rehearsing a group of 4 adults (2 women, 2 men) began asking questions. I engaged them as I try to engage all curious spectators. I had my E Flight Timber with me and I always have a spare "buddy box" transmitter. When one of the women was genuinely excited with the conversation I asked "do you want to fly?" Well, the 4 of them lit up like kids. About 5 minutes later, after a quick briefing she was flying the Timber in the late afternoon blue skies. If we didn't make a new pilot we definitely added 4 supporters of model aviation. Either way it was a fun, productive and worthwhile 30 minutes for sure as when I do intro flights for adults I always discuss how "this" is model aviation and not the hysteria the media would have the general public think. I haven't met any adult who realizes that AMA and responsible Aero modeling is not the threat. If you can fit one, have a trainer or an "easy flier" and a buddy box on hand. You never know when you can gain a new fan for the cause.

    The CLUB: Skystreakers RC Club. A sign greets you at the main road and for this weekend a sandwich board highlighting the IMAC event. You drive in about a mile on a dirt road and come out to a 160 Acre oasis in the Maine woods. A prominent sign reads "Welcome Skystreakers Model Aerodrome AMA 1165". A large area for RVs and camping, a huge wide grass runway and a paved runway atop a gentle hilltop with clear flying airspace. Welcome is an understatement as the participants never feel anything but welcome from officers and members alike who have "given up" their terrific facility for 3 days to the IMAC competitors. I was surprised at the number of spectators who also make the trek through the woods on a dirt road to see the action at the field. Each one was glad they came in to see what was up. Throughout the weekend as I spoke with VP Ed Alonso, Secretary, Dave Field and Field Marshall, Dave Snowman ( I understand club Pres. Joe Pobe was present but we never had a chance to speak Joe, sorry) and members of the Skytreakers it was clear that these folks are (rightfully) very proud of their club which has been on this site since the 60s. I had the pleasure to meet the land owners who are very engaged in and support the club. It was great to see them enjoying a burger and drink under the professionally constructed shade structure as we competed. In addition the members and officers wanted to highlight their latest investment, an expansive solar powered charging station (see photos) attached to one of two large storage containers. This club has been operating successfully with a working relationship of land owners as well as the added challenge of being located under the approach to Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. Through effective communications within the club, during pilot meetings each day at events, in the pits and on the flight line several full scale traffic situations were handled as professionally and as safely as I've experienced. As a commercial pilot and an officer at Plum Island Airport RC Flyers, an active club at a full scale airport I was very proud and impressed at the Skystreaker's operational performance. Well done!

    In closing, special thanks to Tom Chabot, Carissa Parent, Ray Labonte, the Skystreakers RC Club and all my fellow participants for a truly wonderful modeling experience. As one of your Associate Vice Presidents for District 1 I’m proud to say you all exemplify the mission of AMA and our Community Based Organization: Operating safely, supporting and promoting the hobby, cooperating with land owners, safely handling full scale aircraft interaction, supporting SIGs (Special Interest Groups) within AMA, welcoming modelers and spectators alike. You've got it all! Keep up the great work.


    Daren Hudson, District 1 AVP, NH, MA

    ps. I've added video clips to the comments section. Please share and add any of your photos and comments.

    Be looking for an article in MA magazine.

    See photos in the ME Photo Slideshow Gallery on this site.

    Interested in IMAC, check it out at: http://www.mini-iac.com/

  • 30 Jun 2017 10:11 PM | Steven

    It seems that turbine jets are becoming more popular and affordable to modelers that want to cross over to the truly Fun side. However if you are planning to make that leap then you should know that there are certain rules and regulations that are required to operate a turbine safely. They are much more responsive and things happen quicker than most prop planes so you really have to be on your game. There is a list of SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT

    POWERED BY GAS TURBINES that you must know and demonstrate before you are allowed to fly at any AMA Club. You must take pass a flight test and understand the operation of turbines and safety procedures to obtain a turbine waiver. 

    The safety of spectators and yourself is paramount above everything. Turbines are a lot of fun but also can be quite dangerous if protocol is not followed! Reach out to a fellow turbine pilot that yo may know and ask for assistance. I guarantee that they will be more than happy to help you out. Here is the Regulation http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/510-a.pdf

    It's All About The Hobby!

  • 24 Jun 2017 4:52 PM | Steven

    Good Day Felllow AMA Members,

    Today I was fortunate enough to attend an estate sale for the late Barry Schubert (former AMA D-1 Contest Coordinator) in Westport MA and all i can say emphatically is WOW!!!!!

    I must say that I've never been to Westport MA and frankly didn't even know where it was. Being from MA I thought I knew every town in MA (or most) lol. This town is a hidden gem on the border of Tiverton RI. It was one of the most beautiful parts of MA that I've ever seen! It was an ocean side community surrounded by farms and ocean! When I was driving there I thought my GPS had me lost with all the winding turns and rural areas. I almost turned around after driving an hour and a half from Salem, MA! I knew that I had arrived when I saw all the cars parked along the road.

    I walked down a long driveway and I could see a couple of pop ups with items on them. As I was walking I became disappointed thinking that I drove all that way to look at two tables full of trinkets. Boy was I WRONG!!! As I got closer my eyes lit up with amazement and surprise. I thought that this was a flea marked for RC items and people trying to sell their items. When I got closer to the "hanger" (and it was big enough to be one) my jaw dropped to the floor. I sounded like Jackie Gleason from the Honey Mooners for those of you old enough to know what I'm talking about! LOL. WOW!! isn't a big enough statement to the amazement! I don't think that I've ever been in hobby shops with as much stuff that Mr. Schubert amassed over the years!

    I didn't know Barry Schubert but he must have been a wonderful human being for his friends to catalog literally thousands of items that all belonged to Barry Schubert! He collected everything from A to Z and I'm not exaggerating! There were all kinds of airplanes from every era. He even had a few Jets in his collection. (Didn't see any turbine engines cause I would have been on that) lol.... He collected cars, boats, kits, arfs, electronics, servos! You name it if you needed it it was there!. I couldn't help myself but to drop a "few" dollars myself. I got some servos, wires, and miscellaneous items. Let's just say I spend my lunch money! LOL

    I was really so overwhelmed with this collection that I didn't really get to see everything in this collection. The members of the club were friendly and accommodating. The proceeds from this sale will all go to the family of Mr. Schubert. His friends had nothing but nice things to say about Barry Schubert and his collection. One member told me that if he needed a part for anything that Barry would have it for sure and I believe it!

    This hobby is a wonderful thing that we have and it brings people together no matter what the situation. In this case it was bitter sweet closure for Barry Schubert's family. They know that everything that Barry Schubert did in this hobby was for the betterment of the hobby! Everything collected will be recycled to people like me and others that have the same passion for the hobby as Barry Schubert.  As we say up north. "It's all about the hobby"!

    Again, I didn't know Barry Schubert but somehow I feel that he's smiling down knowing that his collection is not going by the wayside and will make some lucky folks extremely happy. Hopefully a plane or two will end up with a inquisitive young person and take them to heights only in dreams!

    It was a pleasure meeting all of the good folks of Westport and God Bless you for taking care of your friend Barry Schubert and his family.  Mostly God Bless Barry Schubert for his Love of the Hobby!  (Photos in my gallery but don't give a real clue of what was there)

    Thank you,



  • 15 Jun 2017 9:34 AM | Andrew (Administrator)

    As you may know, a bipartisan group of United States Senators has introduced legislation known as the “Drone Federalism Act” that would give state and local governments some authority to restrict drone and model aircraft flights under 200 feet.

         If enacted, this proposal could make life more complicated for our members, leading to a patchwork of confusing and restrictive state and local laws. We take this proposal very seriously and are actively working to counter it.

         AMA, along with 13 other organizations, sent a letter to members of Congress urging them not to pass legislation relating to the governance of the national airspace until the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) has reached consensus recommendations on the proper role of state and local governments. AMA is a member of the DAC and an integral part of this collaborative effort to provide guidance to the federal government on state and local authority.

         In addition to the letter, AMA is also meeting directly with members of Congress and their staffs to express our concerns about the pending federal legislation. Our hope is that Congress will table the bill and defer to the consensus recommendations of model aviation and drone industry stakeholders who have been working collaboratively on this issue for some time.

    The following ling is to  a copy of the letter for you to read and we will keep you updated if anything progresses. As always, we want to extend our appreciation to all members for your continued support.


  • 01 Jun 2017 10:42 PM | Steven

    This past week ( Memorial Day Week )  I had the pleasure to attend First In Flight Jet Rally in Wilson North Carolina. This was my second time participating in this event and I must say that it is a classy well organized Jet event! The event is coordinated by Mr. Larry Lewis and hosted at the Wilson Industrial Air Center Airport · Wilson, NC. A big thanks to Larry Lewis and his crew of volunteers! Also thanks to the City of Wilson for hosting this great event! Although the weather was a little iffy on Wednesday and Thursday it turned out to be a fabulous week of flying and fellowship!

    This event had some of the best RC Jet pilots in this country flying some of the most beautiful scale and non-scale jets that you've ever seen! Mr. Frank Alverez brought with him his beautiful Skymaster BAE Hawk and his Swedish Saab 35 Draken. The Saab 35 Draken was a Swedish fighter aircraft manufactured by Saab between 1955 and 1974. Photos in my gallery.

    District 1 was also well represented with myself (Steven Goler), John and Michelle Almeida, and Larry Roper of Boomerang RC Jets. (http://www.boomerang-rc-jets.com/ ) Larry flew a prototype airplane that is called the Baby Turbinator. If flew with a Swiwin 60 that puts out 14 lbs of thrust and moved this plane very fast!! Photos in my gallery also.

    We saw Jim Brown with his Nicely painted T-ONE Models jet and it flew great. Jim is from Canada and makes it to almost every big jet event in the USA from East Coast to West Coast! Jim is always accompanied by his lovely wife Ann. In this hobby you get to meet people from literally all over the world sometimes!

    Well as the week ended and I was on my way home it was nice to see a bridge in Connecticut all lit up in Red, White, and Blue to Honor those that made the ultimate Sacrificed to this Nation! Humbling and gave me goosebumps!

    Time to recharge the batteries and get ready for our own Jet Rally at Plum Island Airport RC Club AMA # 5198. This event will be held June 14th thru the 18th. Father's Day week at Plum Island Airport. This is a great event that is not as busy as some of the bigger venues but we still draw a decent amount of pilots from the East Coast! If you are not doing anything any of those days come on up and enjoy the smell of kero burning from our mini turbines and watch some of great flying!

    It's All About The Hobby!!

  • 30 Apr 2017 8:05 PM | Steven

    Hello AMA Members All Over,

    Larry Roper of Boomerang RC Jets and myself (Steven Goler District 1 AVP) were invited to visit District 4 Eastern Shore Aeromodelers Club ( http://esacclub.org/ ) for a introduction to RC Turbine Jets to club members and spectators. Larry Roper was invited by D4 Club members Dennis Blades and Tom Perkin. They are two of four members of the club that are currently fling turbine jets at there. Tom was able to obtain his turbine waiver this weekend demonstrating the necessary skill requirements to earn his waiver according to AMA guidelines. Congratulations to Tom Perkin! Special thanks to Dennis Blade for setting this whole thing up with Larry Roper! I was there in two capacities, District 1 AVP and Boomerang RC Jet Rep.

    The Eastern Shore Aeromodelers Club has one of the most attractive and inviting flying fields that I have ever seen. The sky was wide open and the runway was as smooth as a putting green! They had a good turn out for the event and the members were welcoming and very friendly. I can't say enough about the hospitality they showed us. The atmosphere was relaxing and it felt like a home away from home with much better weather!! lol

    I was able to set up my Boomerang XL turbine jet on a buddy box and let some of the members see what it felt like to fly a turbine. Needless to say they were extremely excited and found it not to be as intimidating as the sound of the turbine. The highlight of my training was when a young member of the club named Noah got the chance to take the buddy box sticks and fly around. To tell you the truth I was a bit nervous because I had never seen any of these guys fly but let me tell you Noah took to that jet as if he's flown them before. I guess it's because these millennial's were born with joy sticks in their hands! LOL Larry Roper set up his buddy box also and took up some of the members with his Boomerang Elan. The Elan is just a little smaller than the XL but both fly very easy.

    While lunch was cooking I asked permission to fly my Chroma (drone) and let some of the spectators and members try it out. Some of the people that never tried one before were a bit intimidated but I assured them that they couldn't crash that particular drone if they tried. They loved it and they couldn't believe that they could view what the camera was showing directly to the transmitter in their hand. I was able to take a small video of the field and layout so that you can see how awesome that the Eastern Shore Aeromodelers Club is to fly at! Here is just a little video of the field and some of the members. Hope you like it because I had the time of my life!!!  A Big thanks to the Eastern Shore Aeromodelers Club Dennis Blades,Tom Perkin, and club President Jack Upchurch and all their members! 

    It's All About The Hobby!!!!   (Photos to follow)

    Admin note- See some of Steve's photos at the MA Photo/ Slideshow page.

    and at the District 1 Facebook Page.

    Great aerial video of the flying site:


  • 26 Apr 2017 9:22 AM | Daren (Administrator)

    AMA Government Affairs has been working on Op Ed pieces to send to various markets throughout the country this spring as the flying season begins. 

    From the Concord Monitor, Concord, NH April 26, 2017:


    The intent is to shed a positive light on the importance of our Community Based Organization- AMA Safety Code and our stellar record.  By highlighting key points and referencing local modelers who are members of the community (voting residents) the hope is to raise awareness and gain positive traction as the federal government reviews the special rule for model aviation later this year.  The special rule (commonly referred to as 336) is what identifies AMA as a Community Based Organization and allows us to operate within our safety code and beyond the more restrictive "recommended" practices put forth by the FAA.  The often misquoted and misunderstood "400 foot rule" for instance.  Please enjoy your season of flying but also keep in mind to be welcoming, informative and positive in sharing this great hobby.  Help us put the "Community" back in "Community Based Organization".  Fly safe, Fly often and Have Fun!


    Daren Hudson

    District 1 AVP

  • 21 Apr 2017 3:08 PM | Daren (Administrator)

    We have provided several FREE methods for you to increase the exposure for your event.  Follow the instructions below to utilize one or more of the following options.

    POSTER SLIDE SHOW on the website HOME page- can be viewed on the Home page or "enlarged" for easier viewing:

    >Create a Photo Image "poster/ flyer". Put as much information as you like on it.

    >Remember less is more and limiting to most important information will limit cluttering.

                 Easy to create on MS Word and save as jpeg! (need some help, let us know).

                 Note that it must be a photo image, type: jpeg, png, gif or tif.

    >Navigate to the Home Page- click on "UPLOAD"

    >Select Browse and find your saved "poster"

    >Click Upload and wait.  Photo image will be loaded in the folder and on the slide show in a moment or two. 

    >When uploaded you may add captions to the photo.

    >Done!  Image can be selected from the folder, saved, emailed or printed. To spread the word for all clubs when sharing information share the link to this website too.

    * We kindly ask that when your event is over please go back into "upload" and delete your poster/flyer so you don't get inadvertent calls.  Thanks


          *Create a Facebook Event on your FB page and include it as an Inserted link on the OPEN FORUM topic:"EVENTS EVENTS TOPIC..." (see chain symbol above right in the text box)

    When you include a photo we will hyper link your photo/ flyer/ poster as a link to the Facebook Event.

          *Please "Share" your Facebook event at the District 1 Facebook Page and/ or the New District 1 Facebook Group


          *Post your event information on this topic of our "OPEN FORUM" - 


         *Please try to use the following guidelines when listing your event information.  Keep in mind the Poster option above allows you to do whatever you want on the Poster/ Flyer and add captions!

    Please keep the listings limited to:  Following this format allows us a quick copy and paste method of creating your event listing.  Thanks

    Event Name




    Sponsoring Club (s)

    Description (limit to 200 characters)

    Links to your website listing, Facebook page, Facebook Event etc. 

    Photo or Poster which will be linked to the location of your choice (please provide link)

    Please look through existing events for ideas.

    Thanks for taking advantage of this free service provide to you by your District 1 Team.  The more we can share the great events taking place the more the entire District 1 (and beyond) community can benefit.  Looking forward to seeing and meeting many new faces at these events.

    Your District 1 Team

  • 17 Apr 2017 11:15 PM | Daren (Administrator)

    "Open Club", "Closed Club", "Restricted Club"? Whatever you choose please let's all be "WELCOMING CLUBS"

    "We don't want that kind of flying here because :..." "Those darn (fill in the blank with undesirable discipline) are ruining the hobby", "You can't fly that here", "No way man, no (fill in blank)"- Any of these sound familiar? Heard some form of them? Said or inferred any form of them?  We're all probably guilty at one time or another.  I feel the worst situation is a member comes to fly, they see someone flying the "undesirable discipline", don't say a word to anyone and leave.  Fast forward to next meeting or another day at the field with the other "undesirable discipline" flyer not present and the trash talk begins!  Problem?- NO communication between the original two pilots, could be as simple as "Hi, I'm uncomfortable flying while you are flying that discipline or in that way, mind if I fly alone?" Likely response- "No problem I can take a break"- End of problem.  But in my scenario we have, through rumor and innuendo and lack of good communication created a cancer in the club.


    "AMA is trying to make us all be open to flying all disciplines, supporting all this (fill in the blank)!"


    FACT- AMA is asking clubs to give us accurate information about their particular desires for operations.  What disciplines do you welcome and more importantly what would you rather not see.  (you may have a good reason or not, that's your club's business).  What we don't want is to send an interested and unsuspecting modeler to your club and have them turned away as in the examples above, leaving a bad taste not only for you and your club but for the hobby and all AMA chartered clubs- not good!  If a modeler with a discipline you would rather not see or spectator wanders in to your club field :

    PLEASE "DO"- politely welcome them and even thank them for showing interest.  For spectators- put them on a buddy box and get them in the air if possible and  (in the case of a modeler) explain your club's position and put the individual in touch with another club in your area who supports the discipline, a District AVP or  District VP,  (all "Contacts" available at this website) so they can find a match to enjoy the hobby (and its many forms) that we all enjoy.

    PLEASE "DON'T"- brush them off, scare them off or be rude.  It took courage to just walk up to your club field knowing no one.  They are there because they are interested in this hobby (and it's many forms) and show an interest in your club.  You have no idea what skill sets this individual could offer your club.

    So, "Open Club", "Closed Club", "Restricted Club"? 

    Whatever you choose please

    let's all be "WELCOMING CLUBS"

    Daren Hudson, District 1 AVP

    AMA Government Relations Blog post Feb 2018

    FBI Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Outreach

    Fantastic opportunity to do some good by informing and educating.  It shouldn't matter who approaches our clubs and members, they ALL need to be treated in a polite and professional manner.

    Outstanding companion article from Dave Scott- May 2016 MA magazine

    Fostering an Active Flying Club

    Last modified: 13 Mar 2017 12:07 PM | Daren Hudson

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