Rich Hanson currently serves as the President and CEO of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) headquartered in Muncie, IN. He previously served as AMA’s Government and Regulatory Affairs Director from May 2008, until taking office as president in January 2017, and prior to that served on the AMA Executive Council for 15 years as a member of the Academy’s board of directors.
Rich is an aviation professional with a 50-yr career in full-scale aviation and over 7,000 hours as a commercial pilot in airplanes and rotorcraft. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served 27 years in the US Army and the Army Guard and Reserve components. During his military career and as a commission officer Rich served in numerous military aviation leadership positions and is a graduate of the Army Aviation Safety Officer Course.
Rich also worked 26 years as an air rescue helicopter pilot, a commissioned peace office and a public safety administrator for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Rich managed Arizona’s Governor’s Office for Highway Safety for two years and served one year under special assignment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assisting in the development of NHTSA/IACPs Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program. In his last seven years at the Department of Public Safety Rich served as the Aviation Division Commander over Arizona’s statewide fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Rich is a life-long modeler and has years of experience in all aspects of aeromodeling and unmanned aircraft. He is an AMA Fellow, an inductee to AMA’s Model Aviation Hall of Fame and was recently awarded the Paul Tissandier Diploma by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) for his contributions to model aviation and the aeromodeling community.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics is the world's largest aeromodeling organization. Founded in 1936, the AMA has grown to more than 180,000 members with nearly 2,400 chartered clubs located in all 50 states, the US territories and at US military installations around the world. The AMA has the dedicated mission of furthering, supporting, and advocating on behalf of model aviation and represents and supports a diverse community of aeromodeling enthusiasts. AMA’s nationwide community-based programming provides an established safety structure for all forms of model aviation including the recreational, educational and purposeful use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).