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Written by Tony Stillman
New event manager program



Jim T. Graham of RC Groups fame and Model Aviation “Born to Fly” columnist tells you what a contest director does, how you can become one, and what you will get from the process.



Attending, creating, and participating in model flying events are the most enjoyable activities within model aviation.

AMA sanctions nearly 2,500 events each year. Approximately 2/3 of these events are fly-ins or noncompetition events. Through discussions with several AMA officials, it became clear that there was a need to create a position that is similar to a contest director (CD), but one that focuses on the noncompetition events that are prevalent today.

The CD credentialing process focuses on Competition Regulations and how to make sure that contests are run fairly and by the rules. In noncompetition events, the need is more about overall safety of the sites and events. Creating an event manager (EM) position to focus on these types of events makes sense.

We believe that there are many AMA members out there who are already running non-competition events for their local clubs. Now they will be able to obtain an AMA-recognized official position so that they can sanction these events.

The table below provides a brief overview of both positions.

Contest Director Event Manager
Event Classes Authorized to administer all event classes. Authorized to only administer class C, C-Restricted, and D events (nonrule book).
Responsibilities/Authority Acts as a representative of AMA and has full authority over the event. Acts as a representative of AMA and has full authority over the event.
Liability Coverage Primary, vicarious liability coverage while performing CD duties during the event. Primary, vicarious liability coverage while performing EM duties during the event.
Requirements/Prerequisite Successful completion of online test specific to CD duties/responsibilities. Three consecutive years of AMA membership. Successful completion of online test specific to EM duties/responsibilities. One year of AMA membership.
Dues Credit 50% discount on annual dues with qualifying event. 50% discount on annual dues with qualifying event.

Are you wondering why you should consider becoming a CD or EM? As Jim T. Graham of RC Groups fame and Model Aviation “Born to Fly” columnist says in the above video, "I guarantee being a contest director will make the hobby better for you, but, even more important, it'll make the hobby in general better."

The process to obtain either CD or EM accreditation is completely online. There is a $25 administration fee to go through the process. Go to www.modelaircraft.org/credentials, and the process is explained on the page. We hope that the video and documentation will simplify the process and encourage you to become a CD or EM for your club!

—Tony Stillman
Flying Site Assistance Coordinator/Competitions Technical Director






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