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EAA Reviews the Proposed FAA Model Aircraft Policy

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) takes a hard look at the FAA memo.

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The EAA has concerns over recent FAA legal interpretation for RC.

The Experimental Aircraft Association is a part of the full scale world but that doesn't mean they don't care about the radio control aircraft interpretation released by the FAA recently.

The FAA revealed it's legal interpretation about the types of remote control aircraft and aircraft operations that the agency believes should be subject to federal regulation. This came after an NTSB admin law judge ruled the FAA didn't have regulatory authority over RC aircraft.

The EAA is concerned about the scope of the interpretation and the lack of safety data supporting it. The EAA's Advocacy and Safety Dept. is reviewing the NTSB decision, and the FAA's appeal. They are also reviewing the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This Act mandates that the agency create policy and rule making regarding unmanned aerial systems. After the review the Experimental Aircraft Association will submit comments to the federal docket. The concern is that if the FAA can ignore the years spent working with the AMA on regulations for RC, then there is possibility they could do the same to the EAA when regulating full scale aircraft.

Learn more at the EAA site.

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Old Jul 07, 2014, 09:25 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
3,927 Posts
Friends In the full sized aviation community! Talk about help when we need it, this is amazing. Let's conduct ourselves in a way that shows we're worth of their time and effort. It's really hard not to dance a jig over this unexpected development.

But seeing their concerns, I wonder if the skydiving, ultralight and model rocket communities might harbor the same reservations?
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 09:02 AM
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United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
4,771 Posts
This is positive news indeed. FWIW, I've noticed a gradual shift in the perception of drones in the media. More and more large news agencies are reporting on how the FAA is hurting, not helping us. People are slowly becoming educated on the positive aspects of UAV's.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 10:12 AM
Knife-Edge
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Joined Mar 2013
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Thank you EAA for recognizing that I have not see any evidence to fully support the FAA's response.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Blacksburg, VA 24060 USA
Joined Feb 2000
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RR,

I agree with you. There are many aerial activities that need to be considered as the FAA works up rules governing conduct in domestic air space. Conduct takes place in two regimes: 400 feet and below, where AMA recommendations prevail, and 500 feet and above, as FAA regulates.

FAA is now moving to control air space below 500 feet, which is a startling development. It has already had push-back from federal court (see the Pirker case), but FAA is nonetheless still working on complete control. The various organizations that have dogs in this fight need to push hard to prevent FAA from becoming yet another federal bureaucracy dabbling in all aspects of our lives.

Jim R.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 11:44 AM
Stop scaring my donkey!
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Greenland
Joined Mar 2012
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Jim, no federal "court" has yet decided anything. The NTSB is an executive agency with judicial powers, only. It is not a court and the administrative judge is not a judge as most understand the term, just a hearing officer.

The real test is pending in a true court, Texas Equusearch. That is a true article Iii court.

Yes, it makes a difference.

No, I'm not aligned with any side, just safe practices and rational regulation.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 12:45 PM
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United States, NE, Kearney
Joined Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnathanSwift View Post
Jim, no federal "court" has yet decided anything. The NTSB is an executive agency with judicial powers, only. It is not a court and the administrative judge is not a judge as most understand the term, just a hearing officer.

The real test is pending in a true court, Texas Equusearch. That is a true article Iii court.

Yes, it makes a difference.

No, I'm not aligned with any side, just safe practices and rational regulation.
Here is an article AND documents from the FAA as well as Texas Equusearch's federal suit seeking relief from FAA intervention.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the...-desist-orders

It's intriguing and hopefully a judge will make a statement soon.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:10 PM
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United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Mar 2002
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That is very interesting!
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:16 PM
Stop scaring my donkey!
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Greenland
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It's a whole panel, likely to punt on the absence of an order.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:26 PM
Dave The Geek
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United States, SC, Greer
Joined May 2009
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I guess that under the 400' mark also must include kites as well? There are kite enthusiasts and kite photography (both paid and unpaid) that this might apply too also. Next thing you know we got to worry about trampolines and baseballs.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:58 PM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
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How high is 500 feet?

The problem is that when sport flying or thermaling I have absolutely no idea how idea I am flying. That's especially true for large models. How does the AMA or FAA propose to solve this problem? I have had altitude recorders on large sailplanes (4 meter) any I get way over 1000 feet when in a strong thermal.

I think that 2000 or 3000 feet would be a much more reasonable height if I am away from airports.

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Old Jul 08, 2014, 03:14 PM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
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Novi, Michigan, United States
Joined Jan 2001
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While I can't speak for the entire model rocket community, I can assure you that a portion is concerned.

1) The RC/RG flyers regularly exceed 500'. The typical boost is between 500' and 1000', so the altitude limits are a real concern.

2) Around 25 years ago, the NAR spent several years in federal court to get the FAA to take action on an NAR proposal to change the definition of a "model rocket". The proposal was supported by testing and risk analysis studies. The FAA simply ignored the request for several years and even stonewalled after the NAR convinced a federal judge to issue a writ of mandamus, ordering it to take make a decision. Ultimately the FAA did act, creating a three tiered structure (old, no interaction rule for original definition model rockets; new, notify ATC 24 hours in advance for new definition model rockets; and old, file for an approved waiver for rockets outside of either definition). Over time the FAA dropped the notification requirement - my guess is that ATC didn't like being bothered with what was to them didn't even rise to the level of a VFR flight.

While I suspect the NAR officers are aware of this issue, it wouldn't hurt to drop them a note.

- Roger
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 03:37 PM
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United States, VA, Franconia
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Having friends is a very good thing.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 03:51 PM
Stop scaring my donkey!
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Greenland
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And, making low enemies in high places the worst possible thing....
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 04:36 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
Joined Nov 2005
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Glad to see there are more of us fighting this battle than just the AMA. Our measly numbers could not amount to much.

Frank
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