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Old Mar 24, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Larry Dudeck's Avatar
Williamsville, NY, USA
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FAA ruling on RC

It appears the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 is now the law of the land. In the April issue of Model Aviation is a decent synopsis of how RC flyers might be affected.

If you haven't already done so, read section 336 which pertains to model aircraft.

Para.2 refers to the AMA, of course.

My main concern is para. 5 which puts some restrictions on model aircraft flying within 5 miles of an airport. My flying field has 3 airports within the 5 mile radius, one of which is Buffalo International. So it looks like our club will somehow sit down with the ATC guys and come to some sort of agreement. Either that or call them every time someone in the club uses the field

All in all, not very restrictive to us.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 10:47 AM
Current project: Electrolyte
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Hi Larry,
Any mention of the turbines?
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Cant find my mag. Please paste that paragraph while I find it. Our field is close to a municipal airport.

Edit: lol you cant paste it cause its not on the computer.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:12 PM
EDF rules... :)
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The page at the AMA is located:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/gov.aspx

Eric B.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:28 PM
Effumall
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Doesn't say anything about turbines. There is a weight limit of 55 lbs, however
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelberts View Post
Doesn't say anything about turbines. There is a weight limit of 55 lbs, however
It makes mention of a approved set of rules.. or something phrased like that.. AMA is an approved set of rules essentially. which mean turbines are covered under the AMA safety code
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Hi Larry, have seen your posts many times, never realized you are from WNY. Seems we are both into EDF. I am with the RC/Aircrafters and we fly out of the Hamburg air park. We are also close to the small airport off Lakeveiw RD. I know there has always been an FAA reg. concerning our model air traffic. I know we at one time contacted the airport operators and our location was posted with them so pilot's were aware of us. We now wonder how the new ruling might work for small airports where there sometimes are no operators manning the airport to even take a phone call. I guess we will see soon, time will tell. By the way our 48th annual auction is tomorrow in West Seneca, why not come down with some of your members and say Hi.

Dean
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 05:53 PM
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I think weve got off pretty easy. We have always maintained a working relationship with our close by airport. Even before these changes were made , we were instructed if there was to be a large scale plane flying - to call the airport. Theres a sign at the field with the number.

I talked to a scale masters pilot who flies at our field. He told me that as long as no airport is attacked by terrorists and no idiot with an FPV camera strapped to his Telemaster runs in to the Statue of Liberty, they should leave us alone.
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 08:01 AM
Effumall
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Note, there are no altitude or speed restrictions. The rule doesn't specifically anoint the AMA as the "community" .

Again, you need the "turbine waiver" only if you want the AMA excess insurance coverage. As I've said before, you could fly anything you want (now subject to a 55 lb limit) as fast as you want, powered by whatever you want.

Of course, the 5 mile airport proximity rules apply as well.

We got off very lucky. Now it's up to all of us to make sure some irresponsible a-hole doesn't make them take another look at our hobby
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 08:05 AM
Effumall
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The thing that concerns me is the non-line-of-sight, FPV/autonomous guys. They are now technically considered to be flying UAVs. Will they adhere to the rules?
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 08:31 AM
"Take Off" eh!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelberts View Post
The thing that concerns me is the non-line-of-sight, FPV/autonomous guys. They are now technically considered to be flying UAVs. Will they adhere to the rules?
Most likely not. There's a Know-it -all in every club. You know the kinda guy that has been flying trainers for 30 years but Knows everything about any type of AC. Now that kind of idiot gets into FPV and starts taking video of how far out he can fly because he thinks its cool, and doesnt think any harm can come because he such a professional
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Williamsville, NY, USA
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Dean,

Thanks for the invite. Wish I would have known about you auction earlier.

I've been to you field a number of times for the big August meet but have never flown there. Are the soccer moms still creating issues?

My club's (Brookfield RC) field is on Roll Rd In Clarence, right in the middle of an industrial park. Nary a soccer field to be seen.

You're the only other flier I'm now aware of who flies EDF's around here.
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 01:05 PM
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FPV Issue

All:
After reading thru the posts, I saw a mention of some idiot messing it up for us. Just FYI, we had an "idiot" who apparently lives in a town north of Austin, TX take his FPV plane up recently. The day was cloudy but he took off and flew up to about 900 ft agl. You could see the clouds below the plane and the clear blue sky above. He descended thru the clouds and landed. He then posted the video of his FPV flight on you Tube and guess what, the FAA saw it. So next week at one of the local electric events, the FAA is going to speak to the assembled pilots about flying FPV and probably some other issues. In listening to those who are fimilar with the event, it sounds to me like if the FAA had a mechanism to "punish" the pilot they would (i.e. if they could revoke his pilot license or fine him). I am concerned that the FPV people may be the biggest threat to our hobby.

In reading the latest issue of Model Aviation, there is an article on the law that exempts model avaition from the restrictions if flown for recreation or research. However, in reading thru the article, the law still allows the FAA to control the airspace in which we fly so there might still be restrictions on stuff like altitude but none of us will know until the final FAA rules are published.

Just my thoughts on the issue.
Ed
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 06:41 PM
Effumall
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Model flying must be line of sight, per the new rules. Therefore, if you are not flying line of sight, you are not flying a model, but a UAV. This should be our mantra, if we get a visit from the FAA. We ONLY fly line of sight...So, Mr. FAA man, don't talk to us about that FPV guy, he's not flying a model.
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Old Mar 26, 2012, 06:34 AM
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Our club had our 48th annual auction yesterday. Gary Fitch AMA Executive Vice President was in attendance and spoke to the crowd about the latest status of our situation with the FAA. We are not out of the woods yet. The law that was passed recently that we are referring to in this thread was a preemptive attempt by the AMA to not have the FAA overly restrict our activity and to create a delineation between us and commercial UAV activity. Regardless of what Congress does, the FAA still governs the air space which is defined as from one quarter inch above ground to outer space. Their ruling, the small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) has been pushed back to July 2012. They could still hammer us with over burdensome regulations regardless of the law that was recently passed by congress. Gary told us that the AMA has spent over a half million dollars in dealing with this issue including our own lobbyist to deal with congress (the pay to play system our congress has degraded to) and it was through those efforts we got the recent law passed. The big event though will be the upcoming NPRM ruling. It could still be very over burdensome for us, in which case our only recourse would be to overwhelm them with complaints during the written comment period that the NPRM mandates. We do however have strength in numbers and with over 130,000 AMA members we are probably all going to have to write the FAA and fight for hobby. This is what we should be prepared for. I am not holding my breath in anticipation that the FAA will be sensible in separating us out of commercial UAV activity.

On the matter of FPV flight I spoke to Gary personally about this because I also see it as a potential big upcoming problem for our hobby. He told me that currently the only AMA LEGAL FPV flight happens when there is a buddy box attached to the FPV pilot and the master radio operator governs the flight within line of sight. Now tell me how many guys do you think are flying FPV this way now. I would bet not many.

It seems that our saving grace in this whole thing is going to be our membership in the "community organization" that will exempt us from what will surly be severely prohibited RC activity without it. That means for anyone caught flying RC aircraft without a membership in a community organization (what better than the AMA) there will be sever fines and penalties levied by the FAA. I know a lot of people feel no need to join the AMA but they will be completely rolling the dice with out it, and at the same time screwing it up for everyone else. I could see a future where we as responsible modelers are all going to have to unite under the AMA umbrella and police the activity of rouge flyers who will not.

Dean
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