How to Get an AMA License for RC Planes

By Stacie Dagres ; Updated April 12, 2017
Joining the Academy of Model Aeronatics will license you to fly RC planes.

Flying remote control or radio control planes is one of the fastest growing sports today. When piloting RC planes, it’s essential to observe appropriate safety rules and local government regulations. One way to learn the ropes about RC flying is through the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the largest U.S. association for model plane enthusiasts. In addition to chartering more than 2,500 model airplane clubs in the United States, the AMA represents members' interests to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communication Commission and other government entities. Many model airplane clubs require AMA membership or license before flying RC planes on their grounds. .

Determine what type of RC plane you wish to fly: gas or electric. Experience shows that the best plane for beginners is a ready-to-fly electric package model. If you choose to fly nitro-powered RC planes, keep in mind that many model airplane clubs require AMA licensing or membership for insurance purposes.

Visit the AMA website to learn more about the organization and benefits of membership. Be sure to review the Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code, which all members must follow to maintain insurance coverage and avoid liability for potentially dangerous situations.

Navigate to the online AMA membership application center. Underage applicants who wish to become licensed require consent of a guardian or parent.

Choose the level of membership that best suits your individual circumstances. The full membership program costs adults $58 annually and includes $2,500,000 liability insurance; medical, fire and vandalism coverage; club visitations and Model Aviation Magazine.

The Park Pilot Program costs adults $29.95 and includes $500,000 personal liability insurance coverage, access to the Park Pilot Partner network and the Park Pilot quarterly magazine.

The three-month trial membership is $19.95 and the temporary fee can be used toward payment of a full membership. Temporary membership includes insurance coverage, access to AMA charter clubs and Model Aviation Magazine.

Check the applicable membership level on the AMA online membership application center page. Click next and continue filling out the online membership application form for your selected category

Note the AMA waiver of liability notice. Be sure to sign the agreement to follow the AMA Safety Code, which includes this waiver exempting the AMA from liability for personal injury or damages due to negligence.

Pay for your AMA membership online with your credit card or via PayPal.

Warning

Failure to follow the AMA Safety Code may result in a loss of liability insurance for claims or damages. Once a member is involved in an accident a written notice must be submitted immediately.

RC planes should not be considered toys and can prove hazardous if operated incorrectly. Make every effort to learn how to fly RC planes correctly from an experienced pilot.

About the Author

Stacie Dagres began writing professionally in 1994. Her writing experience is drawn from a background in government, business and nonprofit organizations. Dagres' work has appeared in numerous government publications and a regional radio network, while her public relations writing has been published in newspapers, magazines and online. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geography from the University of Idaho.