July 2014 Cover
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I’m writing this on the fourth of July, Independence Day here in the USA. Fortunately we still have quite a lot of independence in this country to be appreciative of but those of us who build and fly model airplanes are seeing that independence shrinking almost daily.
We have all seen flying fields disappear either due to increasing use of agriculture or problems with noise or liability. Now there is another problem, potentially more serious than ever.
The FAA is in the process of issuing new rules that can seriously affect flying of models nationwide. Ridiculous, you say, how can the FAA be interested in people flying model airplanes? Well, they are! They have issued proposed rules that are very stringent and, if interpreted strictly by local authorities could see you charged with a federal crime for just flying a little hand launched glider at a local schoolyard or a park.
Having spent a good part of my life dealing with the FAA when I worked as a designer for Piper, Champion and Bellanca I have first hand experience relating to how the FAA can make it difficult for anyone if they choose to do so.
The AMA (Acadamey of Model Aeronautics) is the voice of model aviation in the USA and as an individual the FAA won’t listen to you. But when you speak through the AMA you have the cumulative effect of about 150,000 voices, many of whom are voters. Politicians guide the FAA and politicians take notice when a lot of voters speak up
Contact the AMA at -- www.modelaircraft.org -- for detailed information on how to add your voice to all of the other modelers who could be affected by this.
Keep 'em Flying,
Roland Friestad, Editor
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SWAMP by Gary Clark