Academy of Model Aeronautics
National Model Aircraft Safety Code
Effective January 1, 2010
A model aircraft shall be defined as a non-human-carrying aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere. It may not exceed limitations
established in this code and is intended to be used exclusively for sport, recreation, and/or competition.
1. I will not willfully fly my model aircraft in a careless or reckless manner, and will abide by this Safety Code and any additional rules specific to
flying sites.
2. I will yield the right-of-way to man-carrying aircraft and will see and avoid all aircraft, utilizing a spotter when appropriate. (See AMA Document
#540-D on See and Avoid Guidance.)
3. 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
4. The maximum takeoff weight of a model aircraft, including fuel, is 55 pounds, except for those flown under the AMA Experimental Aircraft Rules.
5. I will not fly my model aircraft in sanctioned events, air shows, or model demonstrations unless I have previously proven that my aircraft, control
system, and piloting skills are adequate by successfully executing all maneuvers intended or anticipated in the specific event. If I am not a
proficient pilot, I will not fly in these events unless assisted by an experienced pilot.
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.
8. I will not operate model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic devices which explode or burn, or any device, which propels 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 AMA Air Show Teams (AST) are authorized to use devices and
practices as defined within the Team AMA Program Document.
9. I will not operate my model aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or while using any drug which could adversely affect my ability to safely
control the model.
10. 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. All pilots shall avoid flying models over unprotected people.
2. I will complete a successful radio equipment ground-range check in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations before the first flight of a
new or repaired aircraft.
3. At all flying sites a safety line or lines 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 safety line. In the case of air shows or demonstrations a straight safety line must be established. An area away from the safety
line must be maintained for spectators. Intentional flying behind the safety line is prohibited. (See AMA Document #706 for Recommended Field Layout.)
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. (See AMA
Document #922 for Testing for RF Interference. See AMA Document #923 for Frequency Management Agreement.)
6. With the exception of events flown under official AMA Competition Regulations rules, 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 a model aircraft in flight while it is still under power, except to divert it from striking an individual.
This does not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.
8. Radio-controlled night flying requires a lighting system that provides the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation 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. First-Person View (FPV) flying may only be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in
AMA Document #550.
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
3. I will ensure that my flying area is clear of all nonessential participants and spectators before permitting my engine to be started.
Specialized AMA Documents:
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)
Park Flyer Safe Operating Recommendations (#545)
First Person View (FPV) Operations (#550)
Recommended Field Layout (#706)
Procedure for RF Interference Testing between Model Sites (#922)
Frequency Management Agreements (#923)
See and Avoid Guidance (#540-D)
Team AMA Air Show Safety Document (#718)
These special codes and appropriate documents may be obtained either from the AMA Web site at or by contacting AMA