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Written by Randy Cameron
Jets Over Kentucky 2016 and AMA government relations
As seen in the October 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.

Jets Over Kentucky 2016

This past month, I was honored to attend Jets Over Kentucky, held at the Lebanon-Springfield Airport in Lebanon, Kentucky. I met up with Bob Gautreaux, the Sedalia RC Flyers club president, who showed me around and introduced me to Lewis Patton, the event contest director.

Lewis has done a great job of managing and building this event into the premier jet event. I believe there were more than 150 registered pilots, including the youngest RC jet pilot, Jayleigh, there with her Frozen-themed jet and her father, Jose Melendez, an AMA District V associate vice president and sales manager for Jet Central USA.

Lewis Patton (R) and I at the Jets Over Kentucky event.

Jayleigh with her Frozen-themed jet.

Throughout Wednesday, I kept hearing about an SR-71 Blackbird that would make an appearance on Thursday. I have only seen one other RC SR-71 fly in the past—a twin ducted-fan model—at an event called the Show Me R/C Extravaganza, held in Jefferson City, Missouri, approximately 16 or 17 years ago. It was flown by Lance Campbell.

Much to my surprise, on Thursday, Lance appeared with his current SR-71 Blackbird, with twin turbines. It is so impressive that last year Lance was invited to an SR-71 pilots’ reunion. While there, with his Blackbird, many of the SR-71 pilots signed the bottom of the hatch.

Lance Campbell’s SR-71 Blackbird.

Bonus photos

You can also go to my Flickr account to see the good with the bad pictures in the shared album of Jets Over Kentucky at

Model Aviation Magazine - October 2016 AMA News District VI Bonus Photos

AMA government relations

Recently, many of you may have seen that Earl Lawrence, FAA’s Director of UAS Integration, provided Dave Mathewson and the AMA with a letter explaining that, when following the guidelines and rules of the AMA, an FAA-recognized community-based organization, we are allowed to fly our aircraft more than 400 feet above ground level.

He also stressed that the 400-foot limit is a recommendation, not a regulation, and that the FAA has responsibility for the safety of the airspace for manned aircraft and the FAA may pursue enforcement action against model operators who endanger the safety of the national airspace. The letter can be seen at

This is good news for modelers, however, we must police ourselves to ensure that we don’t interfere with manned aircraft.

Happy flying!

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