Academy of Model Aeronautics starts public awareness campaign

By Ann Bailey | October 22, 2015

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has launched a public awareness campaign to enocurage the next generation of model aviation enthusiasts and to let them know it's an exciting time to let their hobbies take flight.

Through the public awareness campaign, called “Discover Flight,”  the AMA is sharing the academy’s story with the public and letting people know how model aviation has evolved and is shaping future leaders, said Bob Brown, AMA president. The campaign includes a video that illustrates how model aviation leads to interest in careers and in full-scale flight.

What begins as a fun hobby for youngsters who are model airplane enthusiasts often ends up in careers when they become adults, said Mandee Mikulski. AMA communications coordinator. The academy, based in Muncie, Indiana, boasts members who are commercial and military pilots and astronauts, she said.

“They start flying, maybe with Grandpa, and they pursue careers. A large number of pilots will go into engineering’” Mikulskii said. “It’s just really the starting point for so many things.”

The Academy of Model Aeronautics, launched in 1936, has 187,000 members, who are flying model aircraft that includes multirotor drones, radio-controlled model airplanes and helicopters, according to the AMA. While the academy continues to bring people together to enjoy their hobbies, it also encourages career development in aviation and promotes safety.

The AMA has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships for STEM-based learning. The AMA’s UAS4STEM program provides teams of four to eight students with training, insurance and licensing to compete in search-and-rescue challenges.

Flying model aircraft safely is an AMA priority and all members are given a safety code, Mikulski said. The academy was one of the founders of the “Know Before You Fly” educational campaign that gives model aircraft users information and guidance about flying safely and responsibly. The AMA also keeps its members in the loop about local, state and national legislation involving model aircraft, Mikulski said.