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Written by Tony Stillman
Flying Site Assistance
AMA News
As seen in the September 2019 issue of Model Aviation.

AS WE MOVE into the second half of the flying season, I continue to get questions about our Contest Director/Event Manager (CD/EM) program and why a club should sanction its event. Let’s review so you might better understand why you should.

Sanctioning your event with AMA accomplishes several things. It announces to the modeling world that you are having an event because it is listed in the "AMA Sanctioned Event Calendar" in Model Aviation and in the Online Sanctioned Event Listing on the AMA website at

The online listing is current whereas the printed version was current only when the magazine was sent to press. That means the printed version is at least 45 days old and won’t have current sanction information. We suggest that you review any events you are interested in by checking the online event calendar in case an event has been canceled or postponed.

Another great feature of the online AMA event calendar is that you can get more information by clicking on the event description. This will take you to a page with more details such as the event classes, site details, directions, and a map. If there is a special event website or event flyer, you will find a link to it here as well. The CD/EM’s contact information is usually listed.

"Sanctioning your event can also provide area protection. That means that your event is the only one similar to it within a certain radius of the flying site. "

By sanctioning an AMA Competition Event, all competitors are assured that you will be following the current AMA/FAI regulations. Current regulations can be found on the AMA website under the Events heading. Click on Rules & Regulations in the blue dropdown box. All of AMA’s Competition Regulations are listed for you to view or download. You can also order a hard copy of the individual books you are interested in for $5 each or $20 for the whole set, including shipping.

Sanctioning your event can also provide area protection. That means that your event is the only one similar to it within a certain radius of the flying site. This helps ensure that you are not competing with other clubs hosting an identical event on the same date(s).

If you are hosting the event at a site that is not your normal club flying site, you can also purchase site owner’s insurance to cover the site owner for liability issues during your event. Specific details about this insurance can be found in the Safety and Member Benefits section of the Media & Resources heading on the AMA website.

Current FAA regulations require sanctions for events that are not being held at an AMA chartered club flying site. They also require obtaining a Letter of Agreement with the local FAA Air Traffic Control office. AMA will assist any CD/EM or club in obtaining these agreements, but it is important to sanction the event several months ahead of time to avoid issues that might delay the approval process.

I hope that I better clarified the value of sanctioning your event. Sometimes it is unnecessary, such as if your club is having a members-only event like a fun-fly or club cookout. In cases where you are not reaching out to invite other AMA members to attend, it is probably not necessary to sanction (unless the event is at a site other than your regular club flying site).

To become a CD or EM, please go to the AMA website and log in. Under the Events heading, select Become a Contest Director/Event Manager. This will take you to a page with a video and you can also review the CD and EM guides.

If you have any questions about sanctioning an event or becoming a CD or EM, please feel free to contact me!

Now, enjoy the weather and go fly!

tony stillman

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