Welcome to the hobby of flying remote controlled model aircraft! This article assumes you're planning on flying at Springbrook Prairie Model Aircraft Field in Naperville IL, home base for Prop Masters RC Aero Club. As you start out learning all there is to know about RC model aviation, please do not neglect your safety education. There are several stakeholder groups that have their unique safety rules and guidelines that you should be familiar with. They are the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC), and Prop Masters RC Aero Club. This article is intended to give you a brief overview of each organization and the role they play in RC model aviation safety.
The FAA mission is to promote aviation and aviation safety. They are the federal organization that is responsible for regulating private and commercial aviation. This includes RC model aircraft pilots! Two major FAA rules that you should be aware of to fly recreationally are (1) the requirement to register your model aircraft with the FAA and (2) the requirements associated with Remote ID. To learn more, visit the FAA website at www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers. At the time of this writing many new rules are being developed. You should review the FAAs website frequently to remain aware of any new regulatory changes.
While visiting the FAA website, it can be helpful to know that the FAA refers all RC model aircraft types with their radio equipment as UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems). They also use the term "drone" to refer to all types of RC model aircraft, including airplanes and helicopters.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics is a community-based organization that provides its charter clubs and members liability insurance, and rules and guidelines for the safe operation of model aircraft, among many other services in support of the hobby. Prop Masters RC Aero Club is AMA chartered club #397. Membership in the AMA and compliance with AMA rules and guidelines is a practical means of meeting permit requirements to fly at FPDDC model aircraft fields. Visit the AMA website at www.modelaircraft.org. For safety resources, search the site for the AMA Safety Handbook and AMA Safety Code.
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC) provides model aircraft fields for community use. They have their own rules to be complied with. Model aircraft pilots are required to carry a valid FPDDC Model Craft Permit to fly at these fields. To learn more, visit the FPDDC website at www.dupageforest.org. Search for “model crafts” to find pertinent details on the FPDDC site.
Prop Masters RC Aero Club also has safety rules and guidelines that we ask our members to follow. These are posted at the Springbrook Prairie Model Aircraft Field and at www.propmastersrc.org in the Safety section.