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Old May 27, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Good to see Typicalaimster is still around!
I agree that we should push for relaxing the buddy box rule but don't think the time is right for that flight. I doubt that AMA is going to consider relaxing any rules until after the dust has settled on the new regs. They are rightfully more concerned with holding on to what they have than adding any more controversy.

If you think AMA acceptance of FPV even with a buddy box was not important consider where we came from and where we stand at the moment. Like them or not AMA is the only organized body speaking for amateur modeling and the only one which has a chance of being heard by FAA. When 550 was written AMA had little to gain and the buddy box rule was never considered by those closely involved to be of any real help except it opened the door to possible future change.
If you have followed the situation you should know that very likely in the near future there will be no middle ground with vague guidelines that can be bent to fit your situation. Your plane will either be considered a sUAS or an amateur model as defined by AMA. If your a sUAS the only way to fly will be deep pockets or illegally and I believe you can expect there will be enforcement. If AMA were to for whatever reason write FPV totally out of their rules we would be between a rock and a hard place. From what I have seen recently I believe there are people within AMA who would like to do just that.
I realize that there are those among us who will say to hell with regulations and fly no matter what the consequences may be. Thatís fine but there are many other who see the advantage of remaining legal and it is those who need to carefully watch the scorecard as this plays out. The next opportunity for mass action will be when the NPRM is published.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Evans View Post
If you have followed the situation you should know that very likely in the near future there will be no middle ground with vague guidelines that can be bent to fit your situation. Your plane will either be considered a sUAS or an amateur model as defined by AMA. If your a sUAS the only way to fly will be deep pockets or illegally and I believe you can expect there will be enforcement. If AMA were to for whatever reason write FPV totally out of their rules we would be between a rock and a hard place. From what I have seen recently I believe there are people within AMA who would like to do just that.
Gary hit it here.. This is the EXACT reason why 4 years ago a group of us from RCGroups took the initiative to talk to the AMA. This was after someone in the group gave us a heads up that some sort of ruling would place us under some tighter regulations. I personally went to the FAA and visited someone there during their 50th anniversary. He said if we wanted any movement we'd have a better chance speaking with the AMA. Keeping in mind the AMA represents ALL modelers in the US. I was then quickly introduced to Rich Hanson who was attending the FAA's 50th.

Like it or not the AMA was the FPV'ers voice on the ARC for these regulations.

If you guys are going to petition anyone right now you should be going to your District Vice Presidents (DVP) or their Associate VP's. Your DVP is the person that's going to be casting the vote at the AMA meetings. Your District VP's is the person that are getting the heat from the constituents under them.

Keep in mind it's not not necessarily the AMA representation that wants to get rid of FPV.. It's your fellow modeler. Your fellow modeler that watches a viral FPV video on YouTube. They then feel that way of flying is a threat to their hobby. So the emotional modeler writes, calls, talks to his DVP and complains and tells their DVP FPV should be banned.

There are folks that spend a ridiculous amount of money in the hobby. Like I could have bought a nice used car for the price you paid for that aircraft ridiculous. You have AMA members that are not well versed with the technology and are scared of anything radical or new. When was the last time your average FPV'er spent over $8K on an aircraft?

Some of these folks talk with their DVP's or AVP's at contests or other AMA events. That or a member will see something and freak out and call their DVP. FPV'ers kinda keep to themselves.. So I challenge you to take 15 minutes of your time to email/write/phone your DVP. Educated them about FPV and what you do. Share some of your best videos with your DVP and explain what you did as far as safety. Build a relationship with your DVP or AVP. Here is the list of Districts and the contact information for your DVP..

http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutam...c/contact.aspx

If your DVP is to far away, check the link for the Associate VP's and see if one lives near your location. I've already met my AVP in San Diego and spoke with him.

The other part of the AMA you should be targeting is the Safety committee. Just do a search or find on this page for Safety. It's head up by Bob Brown and Tim Jesky

http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutam...ommittees.aspx

Note that Tim Jesky is the District 7 DVP! So FPV'ers in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin take the guy on a FPV ride!

I agree with Gary that not much is going to change between now and the regulations. If you guys are going to start a letter writing campaign then let's at least direct it toward the right people and get them educated. I think you'll find once the regulations have taken affect it'll be easier to change AMA rules vs Federal Regulations. Again choose your battle wisely and carefully.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
My main problem though is that AMA leadership has been actively/vocally antagonistic toward all forms of FPV that don't comply with their rule, that nobody follows. From my perspective, that means they are anti-FPV period.
Yes and I can agree to that because of some of the FPV'ers out there gave us a black eye. I recently experienced this when I met my AVP at a local club in the city I just moved to. I was inquiring about flying FPV at their club and what I needed to know.

I was met with what could be perceived as some hostility due to an event that happened at their club. Some bozo was flying way points around a island beyond LoS within tightly controlled airspace. So a understandable situation to be upset at. Sadly, one rogue guy and they think all FPV'er flys the same way...

I've since had some email interaction with my AVP (who is also a board member of the club). Sent him over what could be considered a FPV resume. He talked to the clubs board and they'd like me to come by and show them what I do.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by patrickegan View Post
One of the other 5
I considered you the outside informant..

1: Typicalaimster (Scott F)
2: Gary Evans
3: TwinTurbostang (Brian R)
4: Pete Schug
5: Rob Day
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pathloss View Post
No way would I ever give them one red penny of my cash to support an 'organization' that, seemingly, hates my harmless hobby. Yes indeed, I am so glad someone put this in their ear. Now, if they would only listen...
You don't have to give them a red penny. However I would suggest taking the time to email your AVP/DVP and putting it in their ear instead. The same time spent blasting the AMA on here could be spent writing a very formal and constructive email to your AVP/DVP rep. Helping educating them about your part of the hobby.

Their ears are open. There's just no one there talking to them.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutam...c/contact.aspx

I mean think about it folks. AMA AVP/DVP are not going to read every forum and every article in the forums. Most of them have interests in other things (Pattern, Warbirds, Scale Flying, etc) If you email them personally one of two things is going to happen. They'll see it, or it'll go to their junk box.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:54 AM
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As was said, there is value in keeping legal avenues. Who want's to have a hobby or business operating outside of Federal law? Does not make for a very relaxing hobby.
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Old May 27, 2012, 03:44 PM
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Lehi, Utah, United States
Joined Dec 2001
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Fortunately the AMA District Rep in Utah is perhaps one of our most Avid FPV fliers. And a good friend of mine.

Getting FPV planes covered as a AMA model is going to be more vital to this portion of our hobby than clearly some around here seem to understand.

Thanks to those of you trying to change it from within. That is our best shot.
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Old May 27, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by patrickegan View Post
As was said, there is value in keeping legal avenues. Who want's to have a hobby or business operating outside of Federal law? Does not make for a very relaxing hobby.
This would be my first hobby so controlled by the gov't or a single insurance company for that matter.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:24 PM
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It's coming!
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Old May 28, 2012, 07:03 AM
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I just sent Mark Radcliff an email. Hope it could help. I think there should be a weight limit on Beyond VLOS flying. Also think a limit on radio / RF range should be implemented. The video pilot / FPVer should be within radio range to safely guide an aircraft to the *surface* in the event of loss of power. (ie Expired flight battery) [It happens!!] In other words, if you fly 5 miles away and your aircraft looses power, can you fly it to the surface for a safe landing WHILE STILL IN RADIO RANGE? This is what I call Radio Line of Sight (RLOS). For my moderate setup, this would be about 1.5 miles, but does vary with terrain, trees and other RF 'pathloss' variations. I'd also suggest a 10 pound maximum weight for this type of flying for obvious reasons.
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:10 AM
Nakelp
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Originally Posted by pathloss View Post
I just sent Mark Radcliff an email. Hope it could help. I think there should be a weight limit on Beyond VLOS flying. Also think a limit on radio / RF range should be implemented. The video pilot / FPVer should be within radio range to safely guide an aircraft to the *surface* in the event of loss of power. (ie Expired flight battery) [It happens!!] In other words, if you fly 5 miles away and your aircraft looses power, can you fly it to the surface for a safe landing WHILE STILL IN RADIO RANGE? This is what I call Radio Line of Sight (RLOS). For my moderate setup, this would be about 1.5 miles, but does vary with terrain, trees and other RF 'pathloss' variations. I'd also suggest a 10 pound maximum weight for this type of flying for obvious reasons.
Radio range often outshines the video range.
If you dont see what your craft is doing at 1.5 mile you have no control regardless how good your radio link is. So solid video is more important IMHO.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Yes, indeed... agree. I should have clarified myself. What I mean by Radio Line of Sight RLOS is the video 'downlink' from the aircraft. It is also (of course) important that your uplink is solid as well. The suggestion I made for RLOS would also include the uplink. You are correct, the uplink is usually far better. I did indeed jump in assuming that was common knowledge. The term 'radio' to me, just means anything RF related to include video or your microwave oven for that matter, but to RC folks (I ARE one !! :-) ) means the uplink transmitter. This is my whole point, you must be able to see your craft all the way to the surface via video downlink to be able to guide it to the surface safely. This what I think AMA should adopt. Also get rid of the ridiculous 'buddy box' requirement with two AMA pilots. I used to fly single pilot IFR in general aviation.... if one pilot is good enough for the FAA with real passengers... it should be good enough for a toy airplane!! AMAs two pilot requirement for FPV is an shameful membership drive via the FAA regs!! Frankly it repels me, and I'm sure many others on this forum.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:33 AM
Nakelp
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Regarding FPV safety AMA guys should realize that any FPV flier is doing everything they can to protect everyone and especially their investment as LOS pilots do.
I personally do not know anyone who puts together great FPV plane, invests about $1000.00 or more in the FPV plane and set up and sends the plane on its marry way not to be seen again.
Buddy box is just big no no since second pilot can over react very easy. I personally like to fly with "buddy" but not in a box. Just the person to warn you when under goggles that people are gathering, making sure no one interrupts video link and looking up for real planes in the air.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:38 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
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United States, VA, McLean
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That you are to maintain control of your airplane at all times is a no brainer. You should know the limits of your craft and stay within it.

The reason for the requirement to remain within LOS (however you define that) is so that you (or your spotter) can clear your craft from traffic (especially manned full scale) NOT maintaining your RF links.
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Old May 28, 2012, 10:12 AM
Nakelp
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Originally Posted by nakelp86 View Post
and looking up for real planes in the air.
That is what I said.:-)
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