Opt in/out to the AMA sponsored program to allow me to fly in the Colorado Desert District Parks.

Dear PRCF Members:

 

As you know, the Palomar Radio Control Flyers are actively seeking additional flying field locations throughout San Diego County.

 

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is participating with us to define an initiative to identify, qualify, and make available both private and public lands where we can have additional flying locations as well as securing a permanent location in the event that Johnson Field succumbs to the development that has us surrounded.

 

One of the initiatives that we are pursuing is to gain access to some sanctioned flying locations within the Colorado Desert District Park Units.  This district includes park land within the enormous Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Salton Sea State Recreation Area, Palomar Mountain State Park, Picacho State Recreation Area, and Indio Hills Palms Property.

 

Recently, the District Superintendent for the Colorado Desert District issued an order prohibiting ALL RC aircraft within the District.  The AMA and your Board of Directors believes that the restrictions in the order are excessive.  Our club and the AMA have been working together to put this restricted use of airspace to a test that may set a precedent for our hobby as a whole and may afford our club members and any AMA member that wishes to fly in the parks mentioned above the ability to fly within the parks in designated areas.

You can see the Superintendent's order by clicking here.

 

What we are asking for from the Colorado Desert District is to have certain sections of land to be designated as AMA sanctioned flight fields.  Our club has offered to work with the park’s officials in conjunction with the AMA to identify and develop a number of flight fields that would be designated as safe flight zones within the park land.

 

Initially, our involvement to create these flight areas seemed to be gaining traction with the Colorado Desert District and other state officials.  However, the continuance of the discussions has suddenly come to a halt.

 

So, here’s what we are proposing to do to keep this project on track:

 

1.  The AMA is asking that we send a list of all of our PRCF members to the Colorado Desert District and ask  to create an “authorized pilot” list that would allow AMA members to fly within designated flight areas within the parks that will need to be identified and sanctioned in a reasonable period of time.  The purpose of sending this list to the District Superintendent is to put some pressure on them to accept the generally accepted rules, guidelines, and safety practices that the AMA has been working so diligently on and to continue in the successes that they have this  year with the FAA to eliminate the necessity of RC pilot registration and other prohibitions to our hobby.

 

2.  If, for some reason, the Colorado Desert District does not take affirmative action to start the process of allowing AMA members to fly in designated flight zones within the parks, the AMA’s legal team will then have a precedent to begin the process of pursuing legal action to open up some areas in the parks.

 

3.  The AMA has retained a Public Relations firm out of Washington, D.C. that has had success in lobbying efforts and producing media presentations (print. videos, and other media) to take on the task of supporting our hobby.  This PR firm will interview our Board members and club members to produce the media necessary to promote our wishes.

 

What we need from you is your permission to send ONLY your name (emails, phones, addresses, AMA numbers, etc. will NOT be sent) to the AMA who will then contact the Park officials to create this “authorized to fly” list.

 

I hope that all of you will choose to opt in to this important program for not only the benefit of our club, but for all RC pilots.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Gebler at (760) 487-8723 or fly@stevegebler.com.

 

We need your vote by September 24 to participate in this important program.

  

Best regards,

 

 

Your Palomar Radio Control Flyers Board of Directors

AMA Charter #141