Take Off - Model Airplane Enthusiasts Experience the Thrill of Flight in the Park Academy of Model Aeronautics Launches Novel Park Pilot Program

Muncie, IN, June 15, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Turn off the TV. Throw the Gameboy in the junk drawer. Instead, pick up a model airplane and head to a local park.

That’s the message the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is delivering to both aspiring and seasoned aviators, young and old alike, this summer as its new Park Pilot Program takes off across the country.

Model aviation has changed dramatically during the last several years as the quiet battery and electric-motor technology have opened new doors for model-flying enthusiasts. Every day, more models enter the marketplace that are smaller in size and capable of slower airspeeds more suited to confined areas.

“The quiet revolution of electric-powered models has allowed modelers to access flying sites in local parks, schoolyards, and fields,” said Dave Mathewson, President of AMA, one of the world’s largest sport aviation organizations that dates back to the mid-1930s. “More and more model pilots are getting involved in the aviation sport with these Park Flyer models.”

While there are already thousands of model aircraft pilots soaring the skies-AMA boasts more than 150,000 members-there is a shortage of designated flying sites, especially in metro areas. Recognizing this new trend in aeromodeling, AMA developed the Park Pilot Program to support small-field aviators and introduce new modelers to the joy and camaraderie of the hobby.

The first Park Pilot site was unveiled earlier this year at a local school in the Las Vegas area, with the ultimate goal of establishing hundreds of outdoor and indoor venues at parks and recreation facilities throughout the nation. In addition to these potential outdoor sites, Park Flyer models are easily flown in the space limitations of gymnasiums, sports arenas, golf domes, enclosed tennis courts, and indoor soccer fields.

“Park Piloting is a safe and fun way to introduce people to the sport.” said Mathewson, noting that specially designated Park Flyers are lighter, quieter, and slower than other model aircraft--some of which can span more than six feet and reach top speeds of 200 mph.

Weighing two pounds or less, the Park Flyer models reach speeds no greater than 60 mph and are electric powered, which are much quieter than conventional models. Plus, new ready-to-fly and almost-ready-to-fly models let anyone learn to fly, without having to spend months building a plane.

“Flying with my friends is a ton of fun.” said the first Park Pilot member, 17-year-old Devin Troy of New York. “We get to spend time outside trying new stunts and racing our models.”

“Another great thing about this program is that for a relatively small investment, modelers can fly an aircraft and enjoy the solidarity of the sport,” said Mathewson, noting that a year-long Park Pilot membership, which includes $500,000 liability insurance, is $29.95 and a basic Park Flyer starts at $30.

“Ultimately, the goal of the Park Pilot Program is to bring the joy of model aeronautics to as many people as possible,” said Mathewson.

There are currently more than 2,500 model airplane clubs across the country. As the official national body for model aviation in the United States, AMA sanctions more than two thousand model competitions throughout the country each year and is the organizer of the annual National Aeromodeling Championships, the world’s largest model airplane competition being held in Muncie, Indiana, July 7 - August 10.

For more information on AMA, the Park Pilot Program and the Nationals visit www.parkflyer.org or call 800-435-9262.


About AMA
Founded in 1936, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is the world's largest sport aviation organization, representing a membership of more than 150,000 for the purpose of promotion, development, education, advancement, and safeguarding of modeling activities.

AMA is the voice of its membership, providing liaison with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communications Commission and other government agencies. AMA also works with local governments, zoning boards, and parks departments to promote the interests of local chartered clubs.

AMA seeks to introduce young men and women to the art and craft of aeromodeling. Through an active educational outreach program, AMA supports teachers and community-based organizations who wish to infuse topics in math, science, and technology with aviation activities.

For more information visit www.modelaircraft.org or call 800-435-9262.
Jwalcher Communications
Maya Ellman