The South African Model Aircraft Association (SAMAA) has a proud history, having been in existence for more than 80 years. At first, the efforts by these early pioneers were purely recreational and experimental, but within a short period, the competitive nature manifested itself.
The majority of our members participate in recreational flying.
Through the years, it was the energy of these competitive aeromodellers that spurred development. Currently, the SAMAA coordinates, manages, and provides administration for aeromodelling activities in South Africa, on both the recreational and sporting front. The majority of our members participate in recreational flying (Sunday flying), enjoying fly-ins, airshows, and social gatherings, and about 20% participate in local competitions, in a variety of disciplines, ranging from aerobatics, gliders, and pylon racing, to helicopters, drone racing, and model parachutes.
South Africa was fortunate to have two of our pilots qualify for the fly-off rounds. Tiaan van Rooyen (junior) managed to emerge victorious, and deservedly earned the coveted FAI gold medal.
A small proportion of the membership aspires to international participation, and the abilities of our South African pilots are well recognised. During 2017 we had good results from our RC Aerobatic team, competing in Argentina, with the team's best result since 1979. Our glider team, competing in the Ukraine, delivered a junior world champion, which is indicative of the competitive spirit of our model fliers. Reports on these two championships, and other competitive and recreational events at club, regional, and national level, appear regularly in our national newsletter, the SAMAA News. These newsletters are available on the SAMAA website www.samaa.org.za
The SAMAA is duly delegated by the SACAA as the responsible body for aeromodelling, and enjoys the support of approximately 3 600 members, who fly at nearly 200 registered flying clubs and facilities around the country. Without exception, the activities are conducted in a safe, regulated, and responsible manner.
SAMAA is duly delegated by the SACAA as the responsible body for aeromodelling, and enjoys the support of approximately 3 600 members.
The SAMAA has ten Special Interest Groups (Sig's) that are self-governed by their own Sig committee, reporting to the SAMAA Management Committee, with regular meetings. These ten Sig's mostly represent the competitive side of the sport. The SAMAA is directly affiliated to the FAI (and the Commission for International Aeromodelling - CIAM) via the Aero Club of South Africa, and a delegate attends the Plenary and Bureau meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland.
There are nearly 200 registered flying clubs and facilities around the country.
SAMAA members feature prominently at the Annual Aero Club Awards function, sharing the honours with other sections of the Aero Club.
The management and members of the association are often asked: "What is the definition of a model aircraft?"
∑ A craft that is flown for recreational or sporting purposes only.
∑ A craft that is flown within line of sight of the pilot's or spotter's naked eye.
∑ A craft that is under full control of the pilot for the duration of the flight (not autonomous flight).
∑ A craft that does not carry passengers on board (human or animal).
The SAMAA is not mandated to take care of commercial activities, and we make a clear distinction from recreational and sporting endeavours.
The most significant activities of the SAMAA Management Committee is to negotiate the use of airspace, radio frequencies, competition activities, proficiency testing, communicating with the membership and other bodies with similar interests, ratification of teams and administration to allow our members to compete internationally, and making sure that all members enjoy public liability cover while enjoying their hobby and sport at registered SAMAA clubs and flying sites. Most activities take place at these clubs over weekends.
SAMAA has ten Special Interest Groups (Sig's) that are self-governed by their own Sig committee.
The day-to-day administration of the SAMAA is conducted from our offices in Bonaero Park (011 973 3679, or firstname.lastname@example.org, web site . The SAMAA sporting codes and manual of procedures are published on the website. The SAMAA also has a self-help membership portal www.samaa.co.za
SAMAA is directly affiliated to the FAI (and the Commission for International Aeromodelling - CIAM) via the Aero Club of South Africa.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office staff or members of the SAMAA management committee for more information. In these tough economic times, we know that our membership fees are affordable, and we cater for membership for Juniors, Adults, and Senior Citizens.
The SAMAA has regular promotional and awareness activities, to create an awareness of this most rewarding pastime.