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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:11 AM
Did You Hear That?
wattnoise's Avatar
Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 2003
2,224 Posts
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There Cannot Be Double Standards

There Cannot Be Double Standards

My stance: The Federal Aviation Administration should not set-up a different standard or class of aircraft within what is currently defined as a model aircraft for the sole reason that these aircraft would be considered for commercial purposes… The ramifications to the burgeoning and existing industries of commercial model aircraft use would be detrimental and the precedent would be set for changing the hobby/recreational guidelines in an adverse way…

As the FAA has stated, everything that flies by remote operation (unmanned) and from 4oz to tons of weight is now considered an Unmanned Aerial System… The FAA regulates all UAS… Model aircraft have been defined as less than 55lbs. since 1981 and operations have been guided by FAA Advisory Circular 91-57*… The FAA has allowed the continuation of the model aircraft class to operate under AC 91-57 as long as it is for hobby/recreational purposes only… All private commercial use of model aircraft is not allowed per FAA policy**… This is one double standard…

Who has been affected by this policy?

1. Operators of model aircraft for commercial purposes
2. Manufacturers of model aircraft and equipment
3. Retailers of model aircraft and equipment
4. Model aircraft research and development companies
5. Electronics and camera manufacturers and retailers
6. Commercial sponsorship
7. University and college programs
8. Law enforcement agencies
9. Fire fighting efforts
10. Search and rescue efforts
11. Movie industry
12. News media
13. Construction contractors
14. Realtors
15. Land managers
16. Farmers
17. Archeological research
18. Security and surveillance
19. Ecological studies
20. Advertising
21. + ?

If you combine all of that together - how much money has been lost due to the FAA's policy? Whose jobs are harder and more costly now? How many jobs have been lost? How much research has been negated? What is the future? Should it be only up to the bureaucrats and only by their edict?

Is one type or size of aircraft able to do all the possible operations listed above? - NO - Is it proper to have any type of model aircraft do all the possible operations listed above? - NO - Is there a proper time, place, and safe operation for every type and size of model aircraft to date that would be suitable for at least one type of commercial venture listed above? - YES - No one is going to fly a 55lbs. model airplane on the local parks baseball diamond… On the same token, not many would fly a Slow Stick at an Academy of Model Aeronautics club field…

A 55lbs. aircraft is legal and deemed safe to operate at an AMA field for a hobby/recreational purpose… But, what if that pilot is sponsored/paid by the manufacturer to demonstrate that model at the AMA field - is it legal? I would imagine "marketing survey" would cover that, but the aircraft would have to have an experimental airworthiness certificate and the pilot would have to meet the requirements for a UAS pilot… What if the aircraft has a camera on-board and the local media would like to purchase the images or video - is it legal? - NO - another double standard…

Manned aircraft precedents and double standards:

1. Airworthiness certificates were primarily implemented to protect the safety of the pilot and passengers - secondarily to people and property on the ground… Most model aircraft are regularly and safely flown at AMA fields to stress levels far beyond the capabilities of certified manned aircraft… Model aircraft can be flown safely with far less possibility of damage to people or property on the ground in a crash incident in comparison to a manned aircraft…

2. Private commercial operations of one type or another are allowed in every certified manned aircraft… None are allowed for model aircraft…

3. Commercial pilots are allowed to fly private commercial operations of one type or another in all certified manned aircraft… Qualified UAS pilots are limited to authorized public operations and restricted experimental category aircraft in the private sector… Model aircraft and pilots are not allowed any access to commercial operation possibilities and the authorities scoff at experimental certification…

4. Commercial pilots and operators are not going to fly a Cessna 172 to dump water on a wildfire… And, they are not going to use a 747 for sightseeing trips around town… But, technically, it would be legal for either circumstance… Why would a commercial model aircraft pilot fly the wrong type of model aircraft for a particular type of operation?

Model aircraft of every type and size and their pilots have been shown to be safe, conscientious commercial operators over the past 2-1/2 years that the FAA has been looking into the ways that they can incorporate them into an operations standard… Many model aircraft pilots were verbally told and even encouraged to operate commercially under AC 91-57 prior to February 13th, 2007…

Model aircraft as currently defined should be allowed to operate in a commercial capacity… Commercial model aircraft pilots should either qualify as UAS pilots as stipulated in the FAA documents*** or as RCAPA has suggested… Either one, but not one over the other… Spotters should self-certify that they can see the aircraft at all times that the model aircraft is operated…

AC 91-57 should only be updated to incorporate the technology advancements since 1981… The FAA has on a number of occasions sited "churches, schools, etc." out of context… Noise nuisance was the main complaint in 1981… With the advent of electric powered model aircraft this is not an issue… I would suggest: "Model aircraft should not be operated where the noise of the aircraft adversely effects people on the ground." If someone does come up to you and says that the aircraft is noisy or disruptive, then the operation should cease immediately…

In respect to RCAPA's efforts and letter, I am only posting this here on RCGroups… I cannot sign RCAPA's letter due to the differences in viewpoint that I have with that letter… I have laid out the differences in this post without the intention of undermining their letters intention, but only to offer alternatives that I feel should be considered… Since the FAA "is watching", perhaps if you agree with the stance of this post you could post your agreement… If you do not agree or would like to add something, post that also, and please, make a case as to why… It is not going to be sent anywhere but here… The FAA does watch this group as characterized by them quoting my posts to me in the past so there is no need to send it anywhere else…

Kevin

*AC 91-57 - http://www.faa.gov/ats/ata/uas/ac91-57.pdf
** FAA policy statement 02-13-2007 - http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/p89/452254.pdf
*** AFS 400 UAS Policy 05-01 - http://www.faa.gov/ats/ata/uas/AFS_P...ept16_2005.pdf
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Jacques Flambeau's Avatar
Backwoods Alabama
Joined May 2000
3,861 Posts
Kevin--

Double standards do exist and are a sad fact of life. To a large extent it depends on who and not what. Another example in AC 91-57 is the altitude limitation: FAA/91-57 says thou shalt not fly above 400' agl, but AMA says <wink-wink> that is only within x-miles of an airport. This has allowed in violation of the Federal rulemaking procedure without the proper publication and public hearings of this change in that rule. Without dragging every AMA field in the country, one could challenge the altitudes flown at the Nats in Muncie to express this point. And the commercial aspect of sponsored R/C pilots is another inconsistency: some are getting compensation for flying, which makes this commercial flight, but <wink-wink> again, this is informally allowed.

This makes this current AP flight ban "arbitrary and capricious" and we should force an "emergency rulemaking procedure" to allow our AP flights, with restrictions, until the final rules are finalized.

--Bill
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 11:47 AM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Coupeville, Wa
Joined Jan 2006
4,722 Posts
Kevin,

While in my heart I agree with you, in my head I have to agree with Bill and accept the fact that some regulations are going to be needed.

I also think in the long haul this could be the best thing that ever happened to RC/AP, IF THEY GET IT RIGHT and don't go overboard with the regulations.

While almost all who we see post here who do commercial AP are responsable and safe to the point that can claim a 100% safety record (and what other industry can claim that!) we all know of some who slide along the razors edge. (although I think they do fall in the hobby catagory)

I want to see this profession develop into something with a positive image in the public eye and without some sort of regulation I fear that could be at risk.

The other issue is real insurance.
Running a business without it is sticking your neck way out there.
Many including myself have been hesitant to spent what is a lot of money (at least to me) on insurance that would be of dubious value. When faced with a substantial claim not backed up by the force of law the insurer need only declare the activity was not legal and walk away. Insurance of this type, I feel, would only act as temporary lawyer bait.
New, clear and hopefully reasonable regs would change all this and will allow businesses to grow without all the question marks hanging over their heads.

Also we sure could us a name that garners as much respect as your on the list. We can try to sort out the details later.
$00.2

Ira
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 11:50 AM
SlowStick Test Pilot
patrickegan's Avatar
Yumastan RCAPA.NET
Joined Feb 2003
5,855 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris
Kevin--

Double standards do exist and are a sad fact of life. To a large extent it depends on who and not what.

--Bill
Just ask any married guy if you still have doubts…
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 11:52 AM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Coupeville, Wa
Joined Jan 2006
4,722 Posts
I think this is the post that was reported for trolling but I don't get it??

Well it was not anything important so I made it go away.

Ira
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 12:22 PM
I fly low, I'm in high demand
birdman11787's Avatar
Smithtown, NY
Joined Jul 2003
848 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattnoise
.......Since the FAA "is watching", perhaps if you agree with the stance of this post you could post your agreement… If you do not agree or would like to add something, post that also, and please, make a case as to why… It is not going to be sent anywhere but here…
I agree with everything you said Kevin. We should not have to accept a double standard. I have said before as you have stated above also...... That this could definately spill over into new restrictions being placed on modelers/recreational flyers. I thought that RCAPA was working to prevent this......that they were part of the effort to define RCAP to the FAA, writing new standards and attending all those meetings so commercial AP could be lightly regulated. Instead commercial AP is shut down. What happenned guys? (maybe that last question would best be answered in a new thread rather then disrupting this one). Anyway, well written Kevin.
john
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Sparky Paul's Avatar
Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
13,382 Posts
"1. Operators of model aircraft for commercial purposes
2. Manufacturers of model aircraft and equipment
3. Retailers of model aircraft and equipment
4. Model aircraft research and development companies
5. Electronics and camera manufacturers and retailers
6. Commercial sponsorship
7. University and college programs
8. Law enforcement agencies
9. Fire fighting efforts
10. Search and rescue efforts
11. Movie industry
12. News media
13. Construction contractors
14. Realtors
15. Land managers
16. Farmers
17. Archeological research
18. Security and surveillance
19. Ecological studies
20. Advertising"
.
It's this expanding use-base for r/c that is the problem.
No one should be able to toss anything they wish up, anywhere, and not be held to some (hopefully) minimum standards for safety of flight.
"forcing" standards on the automotive industry has brought us far superior vehicles than were the norm in the 40s and 50s, as one example.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:21 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman11787
I agree with everything you said Kevin. We should not have to accept a double standard. I have said before as you have stated above also...... That this could definately spill over into new restrictions being placed on modelers/recreational flyers. I thought that RCAPA was working to prevent this......that they were part of the effort to define RCAP to the FAA, writing new standards and attending all those meetings so commercial AP could be lightly regulated. Instead commercial AP is shut down. What happenned guys? (maybe that last question would best be answered in a new thread rather then disrupting this one). Anyway, well written Kevin.
john
And you are blaming it all on RCAPA now? Why not be a part of the solution, and not a continuing part of why we are all currently in this situation. For an organization that has been, and STILL IS, on a shoestring budget I think that RCAPA has accomplished quite a bit to date. From day one RCAPA has requested input, and support from the AP community, and it is only now, in the last week or so that the reality has finally dawned on many people out there. So, WAKE UP, get involved, and let's let the FAA know that there is a large base of people being affected by these changes, and that something needs to be done NOW, not months or years down the road. Support RCAPA, as it is currently the only group supporting APers at all!!

Joe
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:29 PM
Registered User
Near Austin
Joined Dec 2001
5,388 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman1178
I thought that RCAPA was working to prevent this......that they were part of the effort to define RCAP to the FAA, writing new standards and attending all those meetings so commercial AP could be lightly regulated. Instead commercial AP is shut down. What happenned guys? (maybe that last question would best be answered in a new thread rather then disrupting this one).
Sorry to hijack your thread Kev......but I don't think this topic needs another new thread.

RCAPA has from the beginning lobbied for ZERO, none, nada, NO REGULATION for aircraft under 55 lbs. What happened? Boeing happened, Lockheed-Martin happened, Northrup-Grumman happened, Cyber-Defense happened.

Should I go on?

And to elude to Sparky Paul's post, these are the guys that want to be the Ford's, Chryslers and Chevrolets of the UA industry. And they have the $$ to do it!
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:43 PM
Flown There, Crashed That
E.N.'s Avatar
Woodinville, Wa
Joined May 2006
618 Posts
Quote:
I thought that RCAPA was working to prevent this......that they were part of the effort to define RCAP to the FAA, writing new standards and attending all those meetings so commercial AP could be lightly regulated. Instead commercial AP is shut down. What happenned guys? (maybe that last question would best be answered in a new thread rather then disrupting this one).
And supporting RCAPA is an email I got from the FAA that said they were following the best practices doc as a guideline for developing the new rules. The cyber defense co. and the Florida sheriffs department and other law enforcement agencies (L.A. sheriffs) were the ones who pushed the newly released doc from the FAA that close commercial AP not RCAPA.

Back to Kevin's thread:
It looks like the FAA is trying to work something out that is lenient towards AP but how fast is the question. I think that they should at least issue a temporary doc as Ira suggested to alleviate the immediate problem. The RCAPA petition is probably the way to go and maybe personal letters suggesting a temp. rules and supporting RCAPA.

Ian
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:44 PM
SlowStick Test Pilot
patrickegan's Avatar
Yumastan RCAPA.NET
Joined Feb 2003
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Is there a dead horse emoticon somewhere?





Found it
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 01:45 PM
Did You Hear That?
wattnoise's Avatar
Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 2003
2,224 Posts
I'm not saying there should be nothing done... I think you'll see though that the post emphasizes pilots and flight rather than the aircraft themselves... My point is the aircraft are not as big of an issue as they are made out to be when the appropriate aircraft are used in the appropriate conditions... But, who determines "appropriate" - it should be the pilot... The pilot is the one then that needs the education as to what is correct and be solely responsible for the actions just as certified pilots of manned aircraft are... I really worry that emphasizing the aircraft will be detrimental to the hobby side... I do believe AC 91-57 needs to be updated but not overhauled...

Food for thought: When a certified manned pilot steps up in performance (200+HP, retractable gear, constant speed prop) he is required to get a high performance sign off from a CFI... The type of airplane did not change to suit the pilot, the pilot was taught to fly the type of airplane...

Kevin
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Last edited by wattnoise; Feb 22, 2007 at 03:29 PM. Reason: wording - the point is the same
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 02:04 PM
Did You Hear That?
wattnoise's Avatar
Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 2003
2,224 Posts
I'm not going to apologize for this thread... This has not been discussed enough until the FAA again comes out with whatever they're going to next time... I believe that everyone should be heard and without the "kick in the ribs" from any side of the discussion...
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 02:15 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Coupeville, Wa
Joined Jan 2006
4,722 Posts
No need to apologize for anything Kevin.
Please don't take my opinions as any kind of kick at all and thank you for starting this thread.
At this point all comments (that are realistic and constructive) can only help.

Ira
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 02:15 PM
Flown There, Crashed That
E.N.'s Avatar
Woodinville, Wa
Joined May 2006
618 Posts
In your original post, I couldn't find much difference between your stance and RCAPA's. Could you differentiate more clearly? Also what do you recommend doing about the situation?

Ian
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