We, at AMPS, know that getting started in this hobby can be very frustrating and many times discouraging. Below you will find a brief introduction to our hobby intended to give you an overview of the basic necessities and requirements that can help you "earn your R/C wings".

One of the most important aspects of learning to fly R/C is to get a good instructor. The club has several instructors that are always very happy to help. You can either come to the field or to one of our monthly meetings and arrange to meet with any one of our instructors. We have developed a course curriculum that helps them ensure you will get a complete and quality training.

We must not forget one of the most important resources to any R/C pilot, the local hobby shops. Here in South Florida we have many hobby shops that are very well stocked and manned by experienced pilots, always willing to offer help and advise. These shops are always present and never say no to providing our club with airplanes, engines and other materials for our event raffles. A list of some of the local hobby shops is available in the Links page. Please visit them and don't forget to mention that you are an AMPS member as most of them offer discounts to our membership.

Cost is a very important factor when considering getting involved with R/C planes. As a minimum you will need a plane, an engine, a radio, fuel, and some other basic items which can cost anywhere between $300 and $500. Most Hobby shops and internet hobby stores now have packages of "Almost Ready to Fly" (ARF) systems. These include the airplane with the engine and all the electronics already installed plus the radio equipment. The only requirement is to glue together the wings and tail section and bring it to the field. This is the most cost-effective way to start R/C flying.

One most important element is to be protected from eventualities. Our club is a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) which provides us with insurance coverage for most accidents. In order to fly at the AMPS club you must be a member of the AMA in addition to your AMPS membership. When you consider all the fun we have, this is but a small price to pay for the great facilities and camaraderie our organization offers.

Safety is another issue that beginners must be made aware of. These models are NOT TOYS, they scale replicas of full size airplanes. They have rotating parts that can cause bodily harm and injury is always possible. Please check our Safety First page for additional safety guidelines and suggestions. Let's have fun but with caution!

Additional References:

  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions
  • Our site contains a wealth of information under the R/C Library.
  • Model Aviation's Sport Aviator - the e-zine for the new model pilot. An AMA online magazine dedicated to the beginner r/c modeler.
  • Take the time to talk to your fellow AMPS members, they are always willing and ready to help.
  • And finally, your instructor is the most valuable resource in our club. The only stupid questions are those never asked...

See you at the field!