US Junior FF World Championships Team

US Junior FF World Championships Team

US Junior FF World Championships Team

President’s Perspective

By Rich Hanson, AMA President | [email protected]

As seen in the October 2022 issue of Model Aviation.

FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS, competition has been at the heart of model aviation. From the first time two modelers flew their models at the same place and at the same time, they endeavored to see who could build the best model aircraft, fly the fastest, perform the most accurate aerobatics, or achieve the greatest level of precision.

For decades, this competitive spirit has driven innovation and technology. It has spurred competitive events at local, regional, and national levels, and has culminated in world championship events where teams from countries around the world compete for the title and bragging rights as aeromodeling world champions.

International aeromodeling competition is managed by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. Competition in the US is managed by AMA as the National Airsport Control organization for the FAI.

Model competition can be as simple as a local club fun-fly or as complex and prestigious as a world championship. All events occurring within the US are managed within AMA’s event sanctioning program and overseen by licensed contest directors and event managers.

Throughout the years, formal competition has been somewhat overtaken by more social and less formal aeromodeling events such as fly-ins, rallies, and jamborees, all of which allow modelers to gather, enjoy the camaraderie, and share in the love for this great hobby; however, formal competition that tests an individual modeler’s skills and abilities remains at the core of it. Hundreds of such competitive events can be found in AMA’s Competition Directory and FAI’s Sporting Code.

During the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed much of this activity, and nearly all of the traditional formal and informal events were canceled or postponed. World championship events were postponed and, in some cases, canceled outright. Large fly-ins, such as Joe Nall Week, were put on hold, and local and regional events were nearly nonexistent.

With the pandemic arguably behind us, we’re seeing a resurgence in both formal and informal aeromodeling events and a renewed interest in competition. This summer, the AMA hosted the FAI F3D/F3E World Championships for RC Pylon Racing at the International Aeromodeling Center, and US teams attended FAI world championships in Bulgaria and Poland. Many of AMA’s team selection committees are gearing up for new and postponed world championship events that are slated for 2023, while others are putting together plans to select teams for world championship events that are scheduled in 2024.

2022 FAI F1ABP World Championships in Bulgaria

The National Free Flight Society (NFFS) is proud to announce the accomplishments of the US Junior Free Flight World Championship Team at the FAI F1ABP Junior World Championships for Free Flight (FF) Model Aircraft, held July 25-30, in Pordim, Bulgaria. This is the first championship in four years because of the pandemic, and 14 countries participated. Team USA pilots included Noa and Anat Goldstein, Skylar Donnelly, and Ittai Kohavi.

Noa is the F1A Junior World Champion! She is the highest-placing female and the first American to ever win this event. Ittai is the F1B Junior World Champion! He was the second American to win this event.

Anat became the second-highest-placed female in F1A and placed seventh overall out of 46 competitors. Skylar was the highest-placed female in F1B and placed eighth overall out of 32 competitors.

 (L-R) Sevak Malkhasyan (assistant team manager), Anat Goldstein, Skylar Donnelly, Ittai Kohavi, Noa Goldstein, and Charlie Jones (team manager).

Team USA: (L-R) Sevak Malkhasyan (assistant team manager), Anat Goldstein, Skylar Donnelly, Ittai Kohavi, Noa Goldstein, and Charlie Jones (team manager).

 (L-R) Charlie, Skylar, Anat, Ittai, Noa, and Sevak.

Team USA: (L-R) Charlie, Skylar, Anat, Ittai, Noa, and Sevak.

It’s worth noting that Noa won the 8-minute flyoff by nearly a 1-minute margin. She and her sister, Anat, also became the highest-scoring F1A females in the contest. The conditions were tough, but the managers said that the pilots pushed through with incredible performances against topnotch competitors.

In honor of her sisters, Yael Goldstein created a music video on the Free Flight Facebook group to congratulate them for their winning efforts:

Congratulations to the pilots, their managers, and all of the supporters who helped them accomplish this spectacular achievement.

Much to its credit, NFFS actively inspires youth to participate in STEM curriculums and encourages them to engage in aeromodeling activities. NFFS has done a remarkable job of bringing boys and girls alike into the hobby, as evidenced by the members of the 2022 US Junior FF team. Congratulations to NFFS and thank you for your efforts in support of the hobby.

 Sevak, Anat, Noa, and Charlie.

(L-R): Sevak, Anat, Noa, and Charlie.

 Charlie, Ittai, and Sevak.

(L-R): Charlie, Ittai, and Sevak.

Are you interested in more information about FAI world championships? Check out the AMA report on the 2022 F3D/F3E World Championships at

If you’re interested in FAI competition, or perhaps even participating in a world championship team selection, you can find more information on the AMA website at

Keep ’em safe, keep ’em flying, and continue to enjoy this great hobby!

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