What is the SAMAA?
The South African Model Aircraft Association is the governing body for model aircraft activities (also known as aeromodelling, or model aviation). The SAMAA is delegated by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (through RAASA – Recreational Aviation Administration of SA, and the Aero Club of South Africa), to provide a membership service to those interested in the building and flying of all forms of model aircraft.
What does the SAMAA do?
In short, the SAMAA provides a service to its members. This service includes, but is not limited to, advice and guidance, registration of clubs and flying sites, public liability insurance cover, event approvals, communication through a newsletter and the web, management of radio frequencies, flying proficiencies, rules and regulations, local, regional, national and international competitions, representation, shared use of airspace, and affiliations to other bodies with similar interests.
When was the SAMAA started?
In August of 1937, the South African Model ‘Aeronautic’ Association was formed on initiation of Viv Gracie of Cape Town, Phil Dalgety of Durban, and Alf Yardley of Johannesburg. Up to the mid-1950s, the activities were mostly free flight and control line. In 1958, radio control activities became popular and a body was established to take care of competitive activities. In 1986 there was a move to once again unite all aeromodelling activities under a single body.
Where does the SAMAA operate from?
Currently, the SAMAA has an office in Bonaero Park (Kempton Park), where a general manager handles the administration of some of the day-to-day membership functions. An elected management committee, consisting of volunteers, perform various functions, like marketing, promotions, finances, compliance, development, special interest groups, clubs, dealers, etc. Election of office bearers takes place every two years, to ensure a steady stream of new ideas and enthusiasm.
Where do SAMAA members practice their activities?
There are nearly 300 clubs and flying sites in South Africa, where members of the SAMAA may practice their hobby and sport. The major metropolitan centres are well served with a variety of clubs. There are also clubs in the bigger towns, and even clubs and flying sites in rural locations.
What activities are most popular with SAMAA members?
By far the majority of SAMAA members, are recreation fliers (or Sunday fliers). They are content to go to their local club, fly for fun or relaxation, and share their hobby experiences with fellow club members on a social level. About 10 percent of SAMAA members are interested in competitive activities, and pit their skills against each other and against competition rules.
Why should I join the SAMAA?
The SAMAA, with nearly 4 000 members, has a collectively strong voice with the Aero Club of South Africa, RAASA, and the CAA. SAMAA members enjoy direct and indirect affiliation to these entities, which offer protection. Each member is covered by a great insurance policy, against accidents or incidents. Each member receives a regular electronic newsletter. For the competitive members, there is affiliation to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the international aviation federation, governing international airsport activities.
How do I join the SAMAA?
You can simply follow the steps of doing an on-line application through the membership portal (www.samaa.co.za – no log in required). Or, a short e-mail with basic information of name, ID number, club, postal address, and contact numbers, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, make a phone call to the general manager on 011-973-3679. Membership fees are affordable, and cater for juniors, adults, and senior citizens. Membership of the SAMAA is a pre-requisite at most clubs.