Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code
Effective January 1, 2014
A. GENERAL: A model aircraft is a non-
1. Model aircraft will not be flown:
(a) In a careless or reckless manner.
(b) At a location where model aircraft activities are prohibited.
2. Model aircraft pilots will:
(a) Yield the right of way to all human-
(b) See and avoid all aircraft and a spotter must be used when appropriate.
(AMA Document #540-
(c) Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator.
(d)Not interfere with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport or seaplane base except where there is a mixed use agreement.
(e)Not exceed a takeoff weight, including fuel, of 55 pounds unless in compliance
with the AMA Large Model Airplane program. (AMA Document 520-
(f)Ensure the aircraft is identified with the name and address or AMA number of the owner on the inside or affixed to the outside of the model aircraft. (This does not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.)
(g) Not operate aircraft with metal-
(h) Not operate model aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or while using any drug that could adversely affect the pilot’s ability to safely control the model.
(i) Not operate model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic devices that explode or burn, or any device which propels a projectile or drops any object that creates a hazard to persons or property. Exceptions:
Free Flight fuses or devices that burn producing smoke and are securely attached to the model aircraft during flight.
Rocket motors (using solid propellant) up to a G-
Officially designated AMA Air Show Teams (AST) are authorized to use devices and practices as defined within the Team AMA Program Document. (AMA Document #718.)
(j) Not operate a turbine-
3. Model aircraft will not be flown in AMA sanctioned events, air shows or model demonstrations unless:
(a) The aircraft, control system and pilot skills have successfully demonstrated all maneuvers intended or anticipated prior to the specific event.
(b) An inexperienced pilot is assisted by an experienced pilot.
4. 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.
B. RADIO CONTROL (RC)
1. All pilots shall avoid flying directly over unprotected people, vessels, vehicles or structures and shall avoid endangerment of life and property of others.
2. A successful radio equipment ground-
3. At all flying sites a safety line(s) must be established in front of which all flying takes place. (AMA Document #706.)
(a) Only personnel associated with flying the model aircraft are allowed at or in front of the safety line.
(b) At air shows or demonstrations, a straight safety line must be established.
(c) An area away from the safety line must be maintained for spectators.
(d) Intentional flying behind the safety line is prohibited.
4. RC model aircraft must use the radio-
5. RC model aircraft will not knowingly operate within three (3) miles of any
6. With the exception of events flown under official AMA Competition Regulations, excluding takeoff and landing, no powered model may be flown outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for the pilot and the pilot's helper(s) located at the flight line.
7. Under no circumstances may a pilot or other person touch an outdoor model aircraft in flight while it is still under power, except to divert it from striking an individual.
8. RC night flying requires a lighting system providing the pilot with a clear
view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. Hand-
9. The pilot of an RC model aircraft shall:
(a) Maintain control during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses prescribed for the pilot.
(b) Fly using the assistance of a camera or First-
(c) Fly using the assistance of autopilot or stabilization system only in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #560.
C. FREE FLIGHT
1. Must be at least 100 feet downwind of spectators and automobile parking when the model aircraft is launched.
2. Launch area must be clear of all individuals except mechanics, officials, and other fliers.
3. An effective device will be used to extinguish any fuse on the model aircraft after the fuse has completed its function.
D. CONTROL LINE
1. The complete control system (including the safety thong where applicable) must have an inspection and pull test prior to flying.
2. The pull test will be in accordance with the current Competition Regulations for the applicable model aircraft category.
3. Model aircraft not fitting a specific category shall use those pull-
4. The flying area must be clear of all utility wires or poles and a model aircraft
will not be flown closer than 50 feet to any above-
5. The flying area must be clear of all nonessential participants and spectators before the engine is started.
Below is listed the AMA Model Aircraft Safety Codes -
AMA also published other documents:
One is: “SEE AND AVOID” GUIDANCE”
The other pertains to FPV.
including General rules for aUAS operation
To view the document (PDF), just click on the blue bold letterings
– Safety –
– AMA/FPV Safety –