If you find what we do interesting and would like to try it then the best way to start is to come to the field on a Sunday morning and talk to TOSS members. The hobby has changed significantly over the last decade or two so what you might remember, or just think of, as flying model aircraft is only superficially like how things are done today.

Many clubs have a 'getting started' page -- here is one from an older TOSS website -- but before we can discuss how planes are made and flown we should look at some of the rules that govern both what we fly and how we fly it. TOSS deals directly and indirectly with these organizations.

-- The Academy of Model Aeronautics. The AMA is the US's national organization for flying model aircraft. One of its most important functions is to negotiate insurance for model aircraft fliers, and part of this is to to have a safety code that governs where, when and how we fly.

-- The Conejo Parks and Recreation District. This organization runs parks in Thousand Oaks and our use of the Sapwi Trails flying site is per an agreement with this organization.

-- The Federal Aviation Administration, the agency of the Federal government that controls all airspace in the US.

This isn't quite as onerous as it looks since everything links together through the AMA. This is why we need people who fly at Sapwi to have AMA membership. This is not only a condition imposed on us by the CRPD but the AMA through its status as a "Community Based Organization" with the FCC registers model aircraft sites like ours with the FAA as "FAA-Recognized Flying Areas" (FRIAs) where model aircraft can be flown without the incoming requirement for on-board remote idenification equipment. Put simply, if you're an AMA member, you use commonsense when flying (i.e. stick to the safety code) and have completed the FAA's TRUST program through the AMA then there's nothing left to do except build and fly.

Thousand Oaks Soaring Society -- Getting Started (1)
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