Welcome to the Miniature Aircraft Association website. The Miniature Aircraft Association has long used the slogan "The Friendly Club" and strives to live up to it. We offer flight training for new pilots getting started or older pilots returning to the hobby. To access more information about the free instruction, or get into touch with our certified instructors click on the Flight School above. Those who are already accomplished pilots and would like to be a member of our group you might like to check out the Membership Application page. If you are a pilot looking wanting the current wind conditions near Higgins Field, our weather page is reported from a station within a mile of the flying field. The weather forecast is for the exact GPS coordinates of Higgins Field.
We also have many more informative pages you find using the tabs above. The Event Calendar lists events from our club and nearby sister clubs. Club members are invited to join the MAA's discussion group, where they can discuss relevant topics, get answers from other club members on any of the numerous topics in the model automobile and aircraft hobby. We also have the requisite information cascade on our Facebook page. Our online Library is growing fast with still photos and Videos from various events and links to the Newsletter Archive dating back to 2002.
Who We Are
The MAA originally formed in 1992 as a member of the Sport Flyer Association. Currently the MAA is affiliated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, charter number 3342. Our first flying site was the West Richland soccer field on Bombing Range Road, consisting of a 20 to 30 acre soccer field. As the sport of soccer grew and more and more goal posts and buildings were installed, it became apparent that changes for our club were in order. After one year, we had to move to another site in West Richland. The city had a 13-acre piece of land that was listed as a future park, but was being used as a private dump for West Richland. We put down used dryer belting from the Boise Cascade paper mill for a runway and flew out of there until 1997. When the Sports Flyers Association ceased, the club joined The Academy Of Model Aeronautics.The club grew in membership and the local housing area was expanding by leaps and bounds. Several club members had been working with the Benton County Park Board and a long-term lease was set up in 1997. We are now firmly established at our current site off Highway 225 near the Yakima River. A great deal of work has been accomplished. Our well has been pumping water to our well established grass areas. We've installed underground sprinklers and in 2002 moved from a dryer belt runway to paved a 40 by 400-foot runway. Fortunately, our grass saved us from losing everything in the big Hanford fire of 2000. It burned all the way around the fields up to the grass, however, it did scorch the edges of the grass and we lost our well house, but that was repaired in short order. Also in 2002 we renamed the field to Higgins Field, with a unanimous vote from all members present. In 2003 the Benton County Park board voted to install electricity to its Horn Rapids Park and watering the grass became much easier. Recent improvements include a grass runway for cross winds.
The MAA holds several fun flies and other flying events each year with our annual three day Indian Summer Jamboree as the last event of the year. Beginning in 2012 two separate paved runways and flight lines are available, accommodating as many as 10 simultaneous pilots. The additional runway allows 3D and Helis to fly away from fixed wing -- and pilots face east which is very favorable for afternoon flying.
The MAA field has a large graveled parking lot, plumbed rest room facilities and concessions. Over night camping is permitted. One mile north is the Horn Rapids Park facility with full service RV parking, including power and a clean out facility. Check our web site calendar for specific dates, information and maps.
Our flying style is for sport flying. Our planes run from the very simplest electric to big bird to scale with a growing . Our standard is, if you can fly it safely, then fly it. Continual improvements are being made. Our membership is open to all. We require that you belong to the AMA and be a member of the MAA, however guests and prospective members are welcome to fly along side of current AMA members. Training is available with "buddy boxes" for novices. This is a great opportunity for camaraderie, sharing ideas, and having fun.