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Mar 07, 2011, 09:14 PM
Advocating for RC Aviation
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AC 91-57 Model Aircraft Operating Standards

Model Aircraft Operating Standards is the subject of FAA Advisory Circular 91-57 (AC 91-57) of June 9, 1981 which "encourages voluntary compliance." It can be thought of as a starting point for any new Rule that may affect us in the future, and one of two documents that give us insight into the NPRM coming this summer (the other being the 2009 ARC recommendations to FAA on sUAS). It is a one page document written in acronym free, easy to understand english, making it readily accessible and ideal for discussion here.

Despite it's accessible language and simple statements, what do we really think of AC 91-57? Any thoughts on how the modeling hobby has changed since it was written which make it more or less relevant today, than it was in 1981? What, if anything in this guidance would hinder our hobby if it were to go forward into a new Rule and find the force of administrative law in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)? Anything else we might ask and discuss now to be better prepared to respond to the NPRM during the public comment period this summer? Any questions of your own about AC 91-57? What is the difference to you between "voluntary compliance" and mandatory compliance, especially if old guidelines form the foundation for new rules? Please regard this thread as a neutral ground and place to learn from each other about how, perhaps, things look from the regulator's perspective viewing our hobby and what we can learn from exploring that together.

Good posting and good flying!
Dana (#2 from NJ)
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Mar 11, 2011, 08:33 AM
Advocating for RC Aviation
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Here is another link to AC 91-57 in an interesting conversation:
Mar 11, 2011, 11:10 AM
Registered User
I can see problems with 2 of the statements in the document operating standards. A: forces you to a fling club and B: will not let you fly your newly built plane around any people until it is proven flight worthy, by who's standards.
I have seen a lot of things fling in the air that I don't consider flight worthy. But the person fling it thinks it is just fine to fly.
Mar 13, 2011, 08:41 AM
Advocating for RC Aviation
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Just 2 problems with AC 91-57? Anything good you want to see find the force of law?
Mar 21, 2011, 06:50 PM
Advocating for RC Aviation
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Updated Guidance issued to US Air Traffic Controllers for UAS in the NAS

A 19 March article in sUAS news makes for an interesting side bar to the move towards regulating hobbyist use of the NAS. Gary Mortimer wrote

"This section caught our eye

(3) Hobbyist.

(a) Hobbyists should follow the guidance contained in Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57.

(b) For model aircraft, the authority is AC 91-57.

NOTE- The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying UAS with the mistaken understanding they are legally operating under the authority of AC 91–57. AC 91–57 only applies to modelers and specifically excludes its use by persons or companies for business purposes."

Check out the rest of the article for insights into the regulatory scene today.

Good Flying! Dana

P.S. Rich Hanson comments on AC 91-57
Last edited by danamania; Mar 25, 2011 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Postscript added

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