AMA Chartered Clubs Serve as Community Connectors 

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Chartered Club program started in the mid-1960s to create safe locations, flying fields, to help establish places to gather to enjoy the wonderful world of model aviation. The AMA Chartered Club program today charters more than 2,000 clubs in the US. The club flying fields are safe places for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels to gather and share their love and passion for model aviation. 

The flying fields are much more than just a fun, safe place to fly. This network of clubs serves as not only the backbone of AMA, but they are also place that facilitates community connections. 

My name is Mark Benson. In my role at AMA, I see and hear club stories that help illustrate the impact of this hobby and the impact clubs have on individuals, families, and communities. Clubs host a variety of events, some that include student age groups with activities like rockets, RC cars, drone racing, and yes, learning to fly model airplanes. They also host community focused events that help support charities. I would like to share a few recent stories that show the daily impact that clubs make, and maybe inspire others to join the fun! 


AMA Charter #5100: Arizona  

Casa Grande RC Flyers: This club seems to get weekly coverage in the local news for something it is doing for the local community. This year marks the eighth year the club has held a fly-in for pets at its airfield. This year Nancy Friedman, club treasurer, gave the Valley Humane Society and the Pets in Need Action League a total of $3,000 raised during the fly-in. 

Club Snapshot: Casa Grande RC Flyers, Casa Grande, AZ

AMA Charter #905: Indiana 

Indianapolis RC South: This club has hosted events for more than 40 years, raising proceeds exceeding $150,000 for local charities. The club also lost its flying field because of development and recently landed a new flying field location that will enable the members to continue making an impact in its community! 

AMA Charter #1012: Ohio 

Greater Cincinnati Radio Control Club: This club has been running an event that raises proceeds for local charities for more than 60 years. Its annual Kids Fly event benefits Spina Bifida of Cincinnati where it not only donates as much as $10,000 per year to the charity, but also gives kids suffering from Spina Bifida a chance to fly an RC airplane of their own.No photo description available. 


AMA’s Introductory Pilot Program started more than 25 years ago and now has more than 3,000 introductory pilots serving as mentors for new pilots. Here are a few recent examples: 

AMA Charter #797: California 

Santa Barbara RC Modelers: Clubs provide mentors via AMA’s Introductory Pilot Program. This club recently enrolled six new club members composed of father/son pairings after learning to fly from an AMA instructor. Model aviation is truly a family friendly activity. This club, like many others, fly out of one of the parks in the community. 

The AMA Introductory Pilot Program (IPP) is a great way to get started. The program allows people to learn how to fly, along with three months of free AMA membership to help get off the ground! 

AMA Charter #963: Ohio 

Lorain County RC Club: Teaching High School Students to Build and Fly – Cover story for the February 2023 issue of Model Aviation magazine. Read the full-story here >> 


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