Want to learn to fly?

For anyone wanting to learn to fly Radio Controlled airplanes, the Des Moines Modelaires club offers two training programs open to the public.

West Field

At our West Field location, training programs are held every Monday night starting June 3, 2024, through Monday, August 26, 2024.

EPJ Field

At our EPJ Field location, training programs are held every Monday night starting June 3, 2024 through Monday, August 26, 2024.

Instructors and equipment are available from 6pm until dusk. You can attend this program for up to three nights free of charge.

We request that the minimum age be at least 14 years old. The minimum age rule can be waived at the instructors’ discretion.

NOTE:  If the wind is over 12 mph, send an email to dsmmodelaires@gmail.com to determine if training will be held that night!

The time required to learn to fly radio control models varies with each person. Some people pick it up very quickly. Others take more time. Either way, we want you to enjoy the hobby as much as we do and will help you learn the skills you need. Learning seems to work best for people who can schedule their training sessions close together over a short period of time.

If you decide you want to take up the hobby, we offer additional options. These options require that you acquire your own equipment and join the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics). You must buy equipment that is trainer or “buddy box” capable. Joining the AMA is necessary in order to provide liability insurance coverage. Also, registration with the FAA is required. You can do this at www.faa.gov/uas and the cost is only $5 for a 3 year certificate. While you are learning to fly, you are welcome to attend all club meetings and events.

Option 1 – Introductory Pilot Program

Our club and the AMA offer free membership for 60 days under the AMA Introductory Pilot program. You are entitled to fly with us and get personalized instruction from one of our qualified instructors. Training sessions are arranged between you and your instructor and can be done anytime you and your instructor can work out a time. You will not have full access to the field and you cannot fly by yourself. You must be with an instructor. At the end of your 60 days, you can decide if you want to become a full member in the club and AMA.

Option 2 – Full Club/AMA Membership

AMA has two membership options; full membership and park flyer membership. The Des Moines Modelaires only accepts full memberships at this time.

Full membership in the AMA is $75 for adults and free for youth 18 and under. Club membership is $100 for adults and $15 for youth under 18.

As with the Introductory Pilot Program, you can receive instruction from our qualified instructors. Your instructor will work with you until you have successfully soloed and demonstrated that you can safely control your aircraft. Once your instructor has signed your solo certificate, you will be granted full, unrestricted access to our club facilities.

The AMA membership options are explained more fully on their website at www.modelaircraft.org. Information about our club and our application can be found on our website at www.desmoinesmodelaires.com.

If you want to learn to fly or need more information, please email us at:


Please include your name, phone number and email address. A qualified instructor will contact you and schedule a one-on-one training time.


We recommend the Apprentice S15e RTF by E-flight as a first plane

The Modelaires proudly recommends Hobby Haven and Hobbytown as your local sources for all your equipment needs.

Hobby Haven
(515) 276-8785
2575 86th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

(515) 964-0443
1701 SE Delaware Ave, Suite 100
Ankeny, IA 50021