Official Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model
Aircraft Safety Code
Effective January 1, 2005
1. A model aircraft shall be defined as a non-human-carrying
device capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere. It shall not exceed
limitations established in this code and is intended to be used exclusively
for recreational or competition activity.
2. The maximum takeoff weight of a model aircraft, including
fuel, is 55 pounds, except for those flown under the AMA Experimental
3. I will abide by this Safety Code and all rules
established for the flying site I use. I will not willfully fly my model
aircraft in a reckless and/or dangerous manner.
4. I will not fly my model aircraft in sanctioned events,
air shows, or model demonstrations until it has been proven airworthy.
5. I will not fly my model aircraft higher than
approximately 400 feet above ground level, when within three (3) miles of an
airport without notifying the airport operator. I will yield the
right-of-way and avoid flying in the proximity of full-scale aircraft,
utilizing a spotter when appropriate.
6. I will not fly my model aircraft unless it is identified
with my name and address, or AMA number, inside or affixed to the outside of
the model aircraft. This does not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.
7. I will not operate model aircraft with metal-blade
propellers or with gaseous boosts (other than air), nor will I operate model
aircraft with fuels containing tetranitromethane or hydrazine.
8. I will not operate model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic
devices which explode, burn, or propel a projectile of any kind. Exceptions
include Free Flight fuses or devices that burn producing smoke and are
securely attached to the model aircraft during flight. Rocket motors up to a
G-series size may be used, provided they remain firmly attached to the model
aircraft during flight. Model rockets may be flown in accordance with the
National Model Rocketry Safety Code; however, they may not be launched from
model aircraft. Officially designated AMAAir Show Teams (AST) are authorized
to use devices and practices as defined within the Air Show Advisory
9. I will not operate my model aircraft while under the
influence of alcohol or within eight (8) hours of having consumed alcohol.
10. I will not operate my model aircraft while using any
drug which could adversely affect my ability to safely control my model
11. Children under six (6) years old are only allowed on a
flightline or in a flight area as a pilot or while under flight instruction.
12. When and where required by rule, helmets must be
properly worn and fastened. They must be OSHA, DOT, ANSI, SNELL or NOCSAE
approved or comply with comparable standards.
1. I will have completed a successful radio equipment
ground-range check before the first flight of a new or repaired model
2. I will not fly my model aircraft in the presence of
spectators until I become a proficient flier, unless I am assisted by an
3. At all flying sites a straight or curved flightline must
be established, in front of which all flying takes place. Only personnel
associated with flying the model aircraft are allowed at or in front of the
flightline. In the case of airshows, demonstrations, or competitions,
straight lines must be established. An area away from the flightline must be
maintained for spectators. Intentional flying behind the flightline is
4. I will operate my model aircraft using only radio-control
frequencies currently allowed by the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC). Only individuals properly licensed by the FCC are authorized to
operate equipment on Amateur Band frequencies.
5. I will not knowingly operate my model aircraft within
three (3) miles of any preexisting flying site without a
frequency-management agreement. A frequency-management agreement may be an
allocation of frequencies for each site, a day-use agreement between sites,
or testing which determines that no interference exists. A
frequency-management agreement may exist between two or more AMA chartered
clubs, AMA clubs and individual AMA members, or individual AMA members.
Frequency-management agreements, including an interference test report if
the agreement indicates no interference exists, will be signed by all
parties and copies provided to AMA Headquarters.
6. With the exception of events flown under official AMA
Competition Regulations rules, after launch, no powered model may be flown
outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for the pilots and
helpers located at the flightline.
7. Under no circumstances may a pilot or other person touch
a model aircraft in flight while it is still under power, except to divert
it from striking an individual.
8. Radio-controlled night flying is limited to
low-performance model aircraft (less than 100 mph). The model aircraft must
be equipped with a lighting system which clearly defines the aircraft's
attitude and direction at all times.
9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall
control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without
enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the
pilot. No model aircraft shall be equipped with devices which allow it to be
flown to a selected location which is beyond the visual range of the pilot.
1. I will not launch my model aircraft unless I am at least
100 feet downwind of spectators and automobile parking.
2. I will not fly my model aircraft unless the launch area
is clear of all individuals except my mechanic, officials, and other fliers.
3. I will use an effective device to extinguish any fuse on
the model aircraft after the fuse has completed its function.
1. I will subject my complete control system (including the
safety thong where applicable) to an inspection and pull test prior to
flying. The pull test will be in accordance with the current Competition
Regulations for the applicable model aircraft category. Model aircraft not
fitting a specific category shall use those pull-test requirements as
indicated for Control Line Precision Aerobatics.
2. I will ensure that my flying area is clear of all utility
wires or poles and I will not fly a model aircraft closer than 50 feet to
any above-ground electric utility lines.
3. I will ensure that my flying area is clear of all
nonessential participants and spectators before permitting my engine to be
SPECIALIZED SUPPLEMENTAL SAFETY CODES
Specialized supplemental Safety Codes exist for the
RADIO CONTROL COMBAT (#525)
GENERAL RADIO CONTROL RACING (#530)
GIANT SCALE RADIO CONTROL RACING (#515-A)
GAS TURBINE OPERATION (Note: Special waiver required) (#510-A)
These special codes and appropriate documents may be
obtained either from the AMA Web site or by contacting AMA Headquarters.