The "Builder of Model" Regulation
January 1959 Model Aviation News Bulletin
Here is a tack from 1959 that you won't see these days on why The "Builder of Model" rule must be obeyed: "Honor" and a "basic American sense of fair play." Those days are gone forever, most likely. In today's rude, crude society, you would more likely be admonished against making others feel bad for excelling above them or for believing that being an American is anything special. Even President doesn't think Americans have anything to brag about and needs to be "fundamentally changed.".
January 1959 Model Aviation
modeling has undergone significant changes over the decades - both in technology and preferences. Magazines like American
Aircraft Modeler, and American Modeler before that, were the best venues for capturing snapshots of the status quo of
the day. Still, many things never change, so much of the old content is relevant to today's modeler.
are here to wax nostalgic, or are just interested in learning history, hopefully you will find what you are seeking. As
time permits, I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
(Endorsed by the AMA Contest Board)
The "Builder of Model" rule, paragraph 1.18 in the AMA Official Model Aircraft Regulations, is the most basic concept in the entire book! It is absolutely fundamental to our very hobby. We call our hobby "model building," and we call ourselves "model builders"! The "building" is as basic and important as the "model"! Hence, the rule and the concept behind it are the very bedrock upon which both the hobby and the competitive sport of model aviation are founded.
Further, violation of this rule is violation of the basic American sense of fair play. Therefore, violation cannot be tolerated.
It is admirable and desirable that fathers help their children in this hobby. This both benefits the family relationship and fosters model aviation in general.
But when it is done in violation of the "Builder of Model" rule, the father is, by example, teaching his child how to cheat -- and the child knows it!
It is obviously and eminently unfair when a Junior or Senior flyer competes with a model built by an experienced Open modeler. It is, of course, most unfair to other younger contestants who compete without the benefit of similar aid. And these contestants deserve as much of a break as anyone. After all, this is the reason why the AMA maintains separate age groups for competition and' record.
The AMA and its Contest Board do not wish to stand in the way of family unity. Therefore, paragraph 1.20 of the rules permits team entry - under which a father and son can build a model together, compete together, and win together if they are skillful and lucky enough. But for fairness to others, this must be done in the age group of the father.
Remember, it is fine to start a boy off in this great hobby-but it is vital to teach him honesty and fairness! A father should be ashamed 'to help his son compete dishonestly, unfairly and in violation of published regulations - and his son should also be ashamed of him.
Many people advocate the elimination of this rule because it is difficult to enforce. But should murder be legalized because so many of them go unsolved? Of course not! And our hobby without this rule would be more or less comparable to a place where murder was legal.
Elimination of this rule would soon result in commercial and/or expert-built contest models which, in many events, would prove far superior than any a modeler himself could produce. These events would soon deteriorate into a competition where the contestant's ability to pay would be more important than his ability to build. This would apply in all age groups and would soon degenerate our entire hobby.
Rescinding of the rule is unthinkable. Violating it is intolerable. Both contest directors and contestants should make every effort to see that this regulation is enforced. In plain words, violation of the "Builder of Model" rule is cheating!