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Written by Tyler Dobbs
AMA in Action
As seen in the July 2018 issue of
Model Aviation.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently contacted AMA concerning the use of nitromethane in gas-powered model aircraft. DHS regulates security at high-risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, which works to reduce the security risks associated with certain chemicals that the DHS has labeled “chemicals of interest.”

Nitromethane, which is used as a fuel additive in some RC, Control Line, and Free Flight model aircraft, has been identified by the DHS as a chemical of interest and an Improvised Explosive Device precursor chemical. Nitromethane can be dangerous when used improperly; it was used in the terrorist truck bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995.


There is concern that extremist groups could use nitromethane to inflict harm and cause serious damage, so we ask our members to be vigilant and help identify any unusual behavior. If there is immediate danger, call 911; otherwise contact the DHS at (877) 394-4347. Any individual or facility that possesses 400 pounds—approximately 42 gallons—or more of nitromethane must report their chemical holdings to the DHS within 60 days by filing a Top-Screen survey (

If you currently possess this amount of nitromethane or more, you must report your chemical holdings immediately. If you purchase this amount of nitromethane in the future, you must report it to DHS.

Thank you for all you do to protect our longstanding hobby, including complying with processes such as those outlined. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the AMA Government Affairs team at (800) 435-9262.

—Tyler Dobbs
Government Affairs & Public Relations Representative

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