Yankton, South Dakota District IX - AMA Charter 4156

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AMA and Club Rules


Effective January 1, 2014

A. General:  A model aircraft is a non-human-carrying aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere.  It may not exceed limitations of this code and is intended exclusively for sport, recreation, education and/or competition.  All model flights must be conducted in accordance with this safety code and any additional rules specific to the flying site.

1.  Model aircraft will NOT be flown:

(a) In a careless or reckless manner.

(b) At a location where model aircraft are prohibited.

2.  Model Aircraft pilots will:

(a) Yield the right of way to human-carrying aircraft.

(b) See and avoid all aircraft and a spotter must be used when appropriate. (AMA Document 540-D.)

(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-A.)

(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 models flown indoors.)

(g)  Not operate aircraft with metal-blade propellers or with gaseous boosts except for helicopters operated under the provisions of AMA Document 555.

(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 the model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic devices that explode or burn, or any device which propels a projectile or drops and object that creates a hazard to persons or property.


*  Free Flight fuses or devices that burn producing smoke and are securely attached to the model aircraft during flight.

*  Rocket motors (using solid fuel propellant) up to a G-series size may be used provided they remain attached to the model during flight.  Model Rockets may be flown in accordance with the National Model Rocketry Safety Code buy may not be launched from model aircraft.

*  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-powered aircraft, unless in compliance with the AMA turbine regulations.  (AMA Document 510-A.)

3.  Model Aircraft will not be flown in AMA sanctioned events, air show 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 required by rule, helmet 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-range check in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations will be completed before the first or a new or repaired model aircraft.

 3.  At all 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-control frequencies currently allowed by the federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Only individuals properly licensed by the FCC are authorized to operate equipment on the Amateur Band Frequencies.

5.  RC model aircraft will not knowingly operate within three (3) miles of any pre-existing flying site without a frequency-management agreement. (AMA Documents 922 and 923.)

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 and 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 held illumination systems are inadequate for night flying operations.

9.  The pilot of an RC model 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 of First-Person View (FPV) only in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document 550.)

(c)  Fly using the assistance of an autopilot or stabilization system only in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document 560.


Note:  Additional Rules:  C & D below are posted at the flying site.


C.  Free Flight

D.  Control Line


Club Rules

1.  Flyers must be a member of the AMA with the exception of item (3) below and comply with rules and regulation set forth by the AMA.

 2.  Any accidents at the field involving personnel or private property should be reported to the Yankton RC Club Safety Coordinator, President or Vice-President as soon as possible.

 3.  AMA Pilot Program:  ( Must be a current member of the Yankton RC Club and have passed the ground school.*)Under the AMA  Introductory Pilot Program, a non-AMA person may receive lessons during a 60-consecutive-day period under the direction of a designated AMA Instructor. (see a. Below) The program information has been mailed to each chartered club. During supervised flight instruction, liability insurance is provided for the trainee for a 60-day period but only at the club site. Though the trainee will not receive a membership card, he/she is considered a member of the Academy while under the direct supervision of the currently registered designated Introductory Pilot. Introductory Pilots are charged with the responsibility to ensure that the trainees’ activities will be conducted in compliance with the AMA’s National Safety Code(s). Coverage under the Intro Pilot Program begins the day recorded on the Trainee Pilot Registration Form. Signing up Intro Pilots and trainees can be done at anytime at the AMA Web site at: Forms are also available for download at  (* Details about the Ground School available).

     a.  The designated Introductory Pilot must be a current AMA member, and the a chartered club officer must submit the Introductory Pilot application designating him/her along with the $5 administrative fee. 

    b.    For non-AMA members wishing to experience a “hands-on” model flight, the Academy does allow this, on a one-time basis per person ONLY, (with the use of a Buddy Box system for RC). During this one-time flight, the club is protected through its liability coverage as long as the non-member’s supervised flying is in accordance with the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code(s). Under NO situation should the non-member’s equipment or aircraft be used.     

 4.  Flyers must use the pin board and replace the frequency pin with a pin providing flyers name, current AMA number and expiration date of the current AMA membership card.

 5.  Flyers must obey parking regulations.

 6.  Flyers must not use or possess alcohol at the field.

 7.  No more than 5 aircraft will be allowed in the air at one time.

 8.  Flyers should not hoard frequency pins and should share the frequency pins with others.

 9.  Glider pilots should keep flights under 20 minutes per flight when there are 6 or more aircraft at the field.

 10.  Flyers must clean up the pit area after flying.

 11.  Flyers must announce their intentions when placing an aircraft on the field.

 12.  Flyers must announce their intentions and directions for takeoff and landings.

 13.  Visitors may not be in the pit area.  They must remain in the area of the pin board and the picnic bench.

14.  Pilots flying gas powered aircraft are urged to keep a fire extinguisher close by or on their flight bench.  A fire extinguisher is provided in the box at the field.