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Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

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Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

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Old 03-30-2005, 05:56 PM
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J_R
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Default Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

2005 FAI-CIAM Bureau/Plenary Meeting
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 17-19, 2005

Condensing three full days of meetings of the International Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM) of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) into a short report will be difficult. The United States’ positions prevailed or were the basis for the resolution of most of the decisions which were made, so I came away happy and proud of the performance of our group.

Before much will make sense to the layman, it’s necessary to understand the structure of the CIAM organization and meetings. CIAM involves one voting delegate from each of the 37 countries represented at this meeting.
These delegates constitute the Plenary and they vote for seven officers of CIAM—president, three vice presidents, and three secretaries. The secretaries include a "regular" secretary, a "technical” secretary, and a "French-speaking” secretary. Those seven officers—actually it has been only six because the French secretary was also first vice president—in the past have constituted the Bureau, which meets twice a year.

The Plenary also elects a subcommittee chairman for each of the aeromodeling disciplines. CL and FF are each disciplines and each of the RC events generally has its own subcommittee. There is also an Information/Education Committee.

The makeup of those committees is determined by the chairman and the members act as technical experts, not as representatives of their respective countries. I believe the United States is the only country with a member on every subcommittee, but there is no guarantee that will remain the case. Several of the subcommittee chairmen are from the United States, including CL, RC Helicopter, and RC Pylon.

In the past, the chairmen of the committees were asked to be a part of Bureau meetings, but were not allowed to vote. With a proposal approved at this meeting to make them voting members of the Bureau, this has changed. The effect on the United States’ influence isn't changed significantly, because we had two CIAM officers in the past—I was second vice president and Bob Underwood was the technical secretary.

After this meeting, we have one Bureau officer and three committee chairmen (Laird Jackson, CL; Horace Hagen, Helicopter; and Bob Brown, Pylon) out of 10 subcommittees. I think this change to expand the Bureau will be beneficial since it expands the perspective.

Bob Underwood, who has served as the CIAM Technical Secretary for a number of years, decided to step down and was replaced by Jo Halman, from the United Kingdom. Bob has done a terrific job and the sport owes him a great deal of gratitude for his work. I expect Jo Halman will do a good job in this key position in the future, and Bob plans to remain involved in the process.

While I'm on this subject, there were two other changes in the elected positions. Pierre Chausseborg of France stepped aside as first vice president but will remain as the French-speaking secretary. I moved into the first vice president’s position and Gerhardt Woebbeking of Germany was elected second vice president.

Now that you understand the structure of CIAM, I can relate that the Bureau met on the first day to discuss the agenda, hear reports on World Championships, review and create the proposals to the General Section of the rules, and handle such subjects as the future of aeromodeling and the World Air Games. Among the most time-consuming parts of the Bureau is reviewing completed Championships, addressing any problems encountered, and approving the proposed entry-fee structure and judges for future World Championships which have been awarded in previous Plenary sessions. The Bureau spends a large amount of time on ensuring that there are a minimum of time-consuming problems for the Plenary session where the agenda is large and the time is short.

During the Technical Meetings on the second day is when the meat of the proceedings happens. These sessions are open to almost anyone and are an opportunity to get many of the subcommittee members together along with interested parties from all nations to make recommendations on all of the proposals that apply to that discipline.

Theoretically, voting is restricted to one vote per country, usually placed by the subcommittee member or the delegate but sometimes that is not applied. With the tight schedule, these meetings, which are held concurrently at various locations around the Olympic Museum, are finished before 2 p.m. when the Plenary session starts.

Because we need the minutes of the Technical Meetings before tackling the individual proposals on the agenda, the Friday afternoon part of the Plenary is dedicated to approving minutes from previous meetings, reports from various FAI and CIAM officials, voting on the main awards from CIAM, and a ceremony where the World Cup awards are made. This is where the Plenary approves the list of Judges and technical experts submitted by each country.
Day two is long but the third day is the longest and most hectic. This is when everything done previously is approved or denied, and the pace is remarkable. Consider that we have 37 countries voting and need to allow time for comments from anyone desiring such, and that we have eight hours of meeting time—9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour for lunch—and we take approximately 80 votes and conduct the election of officers which takes a good hour.

If we use more than four or five minutes for each item, we are falling behind. If you can't handle hectic, this isn't the place for you. As the voting delegate, the process for me is complicated by the fact that I must sit on the stage, separated from all of the United States’ technical experts, who advise me as to what our position should be on those items within their categories. A complicated system of signals between me and a team leader in the gallery keeps us in sync.

For the technical experts, this day is hours of boredom. Subjects they have no involvement in are voted on, interspersed with a short time of intensive involvement. Making matters more confusing are those occasions when an item which applies to their class comes up out of order or at an unexpected time in the agenda—that's when it can become a real fire drill!

I'm extremely proud of our people because they work together so well. The United States is effective in these meetings, primarily because of the level of support between the members of our delegation. While we may lose a few, we win the vast majority of our points, whether it is the passage of a proposal or more often the elements which are incorporated into the final proposal. There is much give and take at these meetings, but we manage to get our points across most of the time.

The meetings wind down with the election of officers and subcommittee chairmen. As noted before, I was elected to the position of first vice president, and Laird Jackson, Horace Hagen, and Bob Brown were re-elected committee chairmen. Upon announcing his decision to step down, Bob Underwood received a well-deserved standing ovation from those present.

Significant United States items which were addressed included the new FF Electric event. Our proposal became the basis for the approved rules and we only voted on the losing side of one item. That is the result of preparation and hard work on the part of our team.

We were awarded the Pylon World Championships for 2007, and Robert White was awarded the Alphonse Penaud Aeromodelling Diploma. Unfortunately, we were not awarded the Helicopter World Championships for 2007. The honor went to Poland after we withdrew our bid with the concurrence of our Helicopter expert and the rest of the team.
Given our lack of promotional material and information, we concluded that we had little chance of winning the Helicopter bid. We need to work on this type of situation for the future because the bidding process has become a lot more sophisticated.

When the meeting is over, normally it's a rush to the train which leaves in half an hour, but this year, because of cheap ticket availability, we got to relax for a day—an unusual but welcome luxury.

If you want to review all of the items the meeting addressed, I recommend that you go to the FAI Web site and review the minutes and announcements when they are posted.


posted from: http://www.modelaircraft.org/FAIreport.asp
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:06 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

Losing Underwood is a huge loss for the FAI.

Bob Underwood is one of those really special people in aeromodeling. I can’t imagine what can be done for him. He is already a member of the AMA Hall of Fame ( http://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/bio/Underwood.pdf ). He just seems to be everywhere things need to be done.

He was the driving force behind the re-write of the Safety Code last year. If you get a chance to talk to him at a trade show, make it a point to do so. He is just incredible to talk to.

JR
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:01 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown


ORIGINAL: J_R
He is already a member of the AMA Hall of Fame ( http://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/bio/Underwood.pdf ).
Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no "AMA Hall Of Fame". The correct name is the Model Aviation Hall Of Fame.

It's administered by AMA but is open to anyone, member or not.

Not that it matters, pragmatically speaking . . .
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown


ORIGINAL: the-plumber


ORIGINAL: J_R
He is already a member of the AMA Hall of Fame ( http://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/bio/Underwood.pdf ).
Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no "AMA Hall Of Fame". The correct name is the Model Aviation Hall Of Fame.

It's administered by AMA but is open to anyone, member or not.

Not that it matters, pragmatically speaking . . .
Of course, you are quite correct Fred. However, the FAI has a number of Hall’s of Fame, and I wanted to differentiate between our more local one and the international ones. In that respect, the correct name is somewhat misleading to the uninformed, and the article is about the FAI.

I will endeavor to be more careful: Muncie is home to the International Aeromodeling Center (not the National Flying Site, or just plain Muncie), we all carry AMA licenses (not a membership card), AMA clubs are chartered (not sanctioned), and there are competition regulations (no rule book). Well… maybe I won’t.

Hey Fred, when did you become so politically correct? Did becoming an AVP do that to you?
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:38 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

How does this article benefit 99.99% of AMA members? Are there really very many member's who really care about the inside working of the FAI or the FAI itself?
I would think not, but; Oh well......
Jon
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:39 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown


ORIGINAL: F106A

How does this aritcle benefit 99.99% of AMA members? Are there really very many member's who really care about the inside working of the FAI or the FAI itself?
I would think not, but; Oh well......
Jon
Hi Jon-

It doesn't benefit me as an AMA member but it might have, which is why I read it. Unfortunately the message I was looking for wasn't there, DB is not president of CIAM so it appears he will remain president of AMA.

Abel
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

It's pretty absurd to think that we are paying to jet set people around the world, so they can hammer out the ever so important details of how we should play with our toys in the international arena. How much would you say we dropped on this trip? $10-$20K? I'm all for competition, but I'm also all for keeping things in perspective. Playing with toy airplanes has nothing to do with the real world, in spite of the efforts of many to try toconvince us that it is.
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

A large part of the clout the AMA carries is though its affiliation with NAA and consequently, the FAI. Those relationships are a large part of the basis for the AMA being able to have relationships with the FAA, the FCC and other assorted and sundry federal organizations.

While some of you may view the purpose of the AMA as being to provide insurance, or furthering areomodeling, it is every bit as much part of the purpose for the existence of the AMA to promote competition locally, nationally, and internationally. There is no convincing to be done. It is part of the by-laws of the organization.

F106A

I am not sure if an exact number exists. Without question, the number of people involved in FAI vastly exceeds the number of turbine waivers, as some sort of unreasonable comparison. I will see what I can do about getting an estimate of the number of AMA members that are also involved in FAI.
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:33 PM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

combatpigg, I see your point, but I think that is one of the things I pay dues for so the AMA can do just that. It is sort of absurd that I built myself a nice shop for building toy airplanes rather than plopping down the cash for a Hummer. Thing is a shop is important to me and a Hummer isn't. So different folks have different real worlds, I suppose.

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Old 04-04-2005, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: Nice Report and primer on FAI by Dave Brown

F106A

As I suspected, there are no exact figures on how many AMA members are involved in FAI. There are about 300 that actually fly in FAI sanctioned events. My understanding is that those are the people actually on teams that compete for World Championships. Typically that will be 3 pilots, and support personnel.

The AMA also sanctions FAI events. The best guess from HQ is that those involve somewhere around 1000-2000 AMA members, maybe more. No specific records are available.

In addition are those that don't enter competition becuase they do not feel either their ability or the particular aircraft is competitive. So you have a few thousand that would like to compete either for a World team or individual title by pursuing FAI.

Just as with those that pursue "high performance" aircraft, those that pursue FAI are part of what is, at least supposed to be, the reasons the AMA exists. To dismiss any group interested in aeromodeling is, in my opinion, just plain wrong.

The fact that Dave Brown's name is connected to any aspect of modeling does not make it wrong, per se.
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