Cub Scout Day Camp

On Tuesday June 7, 2016 our club was invited to attend and demonstrate our RC airplane hobby at a Cub Scout day camp. The camp was at Ellis Park up on Lookout Mountain and there were about 150 scouts aged 6 to 11 years old, plus adult leaders, parents, and siblings.

Dewey, JD, and Ted had a great time answering numerous questions, talking to them about how RC and control line airplanes work, and flying their airplanes in the park. The scouts, other kids, and adults enjoyed and appreciated the demonstration. There is no doubt that some of them will be visiting our field for demo flights and training.

AAM Support University “Design, Build, Fly” Projects

The Arvada Associated Modelers (AAM) has, for many years, made efforts to give back to the community. In 2014, this effort was furthered by moves to actively support local University aviation-related projects. The club created an “Education Coordinator” position, with a primary duty to support and enable university groups. This year, AAM supported the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) and University of Colorado (CU) student teams in their efforts with an international Design, Build, Fly (DBF) competition.

DBF is an annual competition where student teams from around the world create model, radio control, aircraft to meet a set of given criteria and to complete designated “missions”. Teams are typically clubs, extracurricular, and supported with limited university funding.

The missions this year required the students to design two aircraft:

  • The “Production Aircraft”, which was to carry a payload of a 32oz bottle of Gatorade™.
  • The “Manufacturing Support Aircraft”, which is designed to carry the Production Airplane internally.

Rules and criteria favored, limited, or specified: batteries, weight, and number of pieces the production aircraft dis-assembled into.

The 2016 Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff was held in Wichita, KS, April 15-17, 2016. The event is organized and put on by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is sponsored by the AIAA Foundation, Cessna and Raytheon. This was the 20th anniversary year since the original competition. A total of 145 entries were received, 93 teams were selected for the next phase, and 69 teams attended the Flyoff (25 international). Over 625 students, faculty, and guests were present.

The CSM team approached AAM in order to utilize AAM’s flying facility. The team consisted entirely of Mechanical Engineering students and had a talented student pilot. We arranged access to the AAM field as requested, where they performed numerous test flights.

The CU team not only needed a testing facility, but needed help flying their designs. AAM members/pilots Dan Underkofler and Joe Pirozzoli volunteered to assist. Test flights were scheduled around weather and personal schedules and were, to say the least, not entirely satisfactory. Nevertheless, Dan generously volunteered to take the planes, support equipment, and several students in his motorhome to the Kansas competition.

Dan and Joe also had the opportunity to support other DBF Teams including North Dakota State, Cornell University, and PES University (India). With their assistance, Cornell finished impressively in 8th place.

While neither CSM nor CU were in the hunt for victory, both teams were satisfied with the success they did have. What impressed us the most was the time, effort, and perseverance that the teams displayed in the face of all the obstacles encountered that weekend. We are excited about being involved with DBF next year and hope to be involved earlier in the project to lend advice in addition to facilities and piloting expertise.

Dan Underkofler
AAM Education & Research Coordinator

AAM Visits Legacy High School Aeronautics Class Again

On Monday, February 1, 2016 Arvada Associated Modelers visited Legacy High School. JD, Dewey, and Ted met with teacher Al Godman’s aeronautics class and talked to the young folks in his class about our club, the RC hobby, training, and professional/commercial applications for RC flying. It was snowing, so at the end of the class everyone went to the gym and JD flew a quad and a Vapor.  One student brought and flew his quad. We hope to see some of the students at Thursday training this spring.

AMA ALERT: RESPONSE NEEDED to FAA Model Aircraft Registration Rule

Dear AAM Members,

Hopefully by now you have received an email from AMA or have visited the AMA website to learn about the FAA’s recent “Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft” rule and that the AMA has suggested to wait until the FAA registration deadline of February 19, 2016 at the latest to register.  This will give the AMA more time to fight this registration from at least two known fronts: challenging the definition of “aircraft” and working with the FAA to exclude AMA members from the registration. The ultimate goal is to get Congress to throw out the FAA rule on model aircraft registration altogether (impacts all modelers), but in the event that doesn’t work, the hope would be that AMA membership is sufficient registration for the FAA and only non-members would have to comply with this new registration rule. AMA’s public stance is its membership body hasn’t been the problem so they shouldn’t have to be included in the FAA registration.

It is extremely important that every single one of us respond to the FAA’s UAS Registration rule because of its highly aggressive approach and potential detriment to our hobby.  The response deadline is January 15, 2016 so please do not delay.  YOU MUST RESPOND!

There are four ways to respond, but easiest way by far is via email as follows:

Email: Go to which posts the rule for your review. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

It is important to respond in a thoughtful and meaningful manner.  Please refer to the following link for: Tips for submitting your comments.

The following Summary of tips are meant to help you submit comments that have an impact and which will help agency policy makers improve federal regulations.


  • Read and understand the regulatory document you are commenting on.
  • Feel free to reach out to the agency (or others within AAM) with questions.
  • Be concise but support your claims.
  • Base your justification on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted.
  • Address trade-offs and opposing views in your comment.
  • There is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment.
  • The comment process is not a vote – one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters.

Additional Resources

  • The AMA provided guidance for commenting on the FAA UAS Registration interim rule
  • The PDF of the presentation given at the AAM January 2016 club meeting
  • Here is an example of a well-written and detailed response for your reference.  Please note, this is not an official position or response by AAM or its Board of Directors.

For more information or questions, please contact any of the AAM board members.

Thank you and please act quickly!

AAM Visits with Girl Scout Troop 3572

On Friday, December 11, 2016, Dewey Louderback and Ted Hughes attended a meeting of Girl Scout Troop 3572 and talked to them about RC airplanes. Their interest, enthusiasm, and excitement was fantastic. There were 16 Girl Scout Cadettes who are learning about different aspects of air as part of a “Breathe” journey. They will also be building kites to participate in the Arvada Kite Festival in April and visiting Wings Over the Rockies.  They hope to develop a new badge program for Girl Scouts of Colorado that would include RC modeling because of all of the STEAM activities troops could do (science, technology, engineering, art, math). They are looking forward to coming out to the field and learning to fly in the Spring.

Dewey and Ted had a terrific time talking to them and answering their questions. They were challenged with over an hour of very interesting and intelligent questions from the scouts.


AAM Visits Legacy High School Aeronautics Class

On Tuesday October 13, 2015 Arvada Associated Modelers visited Legacy High School. Pat Vachon, Dewey Louderback, and Ted Hughes met with teacher Al Godman’s aeronautics class and talked to the young ladies and men in his class about our club and the RC hobby. At the end of the class everyone went outside and we flew some airplanes. One student brought and flew his Stryker.

Legacy HS Class

Standley Lake Float Fly October 4, 2015

The Fall 2015 float fly at Standley Lake was a bit chilly, but still fun. The club-sponsored float fly raised about $300 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that raises money for childhood cancer research.

Photos by Lee Jay Fingersh.  More photos here.