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Feb 04, 2012, 02:05 PM
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House passes FAA bill with "model aircraft" exclusion


The U.S. House last week passed the FAA Authorization Bill as reconciled by the House/Senate Committee. It will go to the U.S. Senate next week, be passed and signed into law by the President.

This is the section pertaining to model aviation:

Quote:
SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.

(a) In General.Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if

(1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;

(4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and

(5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).

(b) Statutory Construction.Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system.

(c) Model Aircraft Defined.In this section, the term ``model aircraft'' means an unmanned aircraft that is

(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;

(2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and

(3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.

Brad
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Feb 04, 2012, 02:33 PM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
The way I'm reading this, it looks like good news.

What about non-LOS FPV flyers? By the definition given, those wouldn't be 'model aircraft'.
Feb 04, 2012, 03:36 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
I don't like the 5 miles provision, but at least it gets rid of the 400' phrase.

Andy
Feb 04, 2012, 03:55 PM
RIP Azarr - "Old age is not for sissies"
Azarr's Avatar
Do you have a link for this?

Azarr
Feb 04, 2012, 04:01 PM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TP16 View Post
The way I'm reading this, it looks like good news.

What about non-LOS FPV flyers? By the definition given, those wouldn't be 'model aircraft'.
That would presumably indicate that they are not model aircraft, and not able to enjoy the operational dispensations granted to model aircraft. They might come under more stringent regulation as UAVs.
Feb 04, 2012, 04:03 PM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
I'm thinking this is old news and not what is going on now. A date for the OPs info is a must.
Feb 04, 2012, 04:04 PM
RIP Azarr - "Old age is not for sissies"
Azarr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Myers View Post
I'm thinking this is old news and not what is going on now. A date for the OPs info is a must.
I did a Google search and am more confused than ever. Couldn't find a reference to the compromise bill. Hope it is correct though.

Azarr
Last edited by Azarr; Feb 04, 2012 at 04:10 PM.
Feb 04, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Harry H's Avatar
It's dated 2-1-2012

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2012/02/faa-uas.html

Harry
Feb 04, 2012, 05:26 PM
A man with too many toys
Looks like those FPV guys are going to have to be careful. If you fly it out of visual sight it is not a model aircraft had will need FAA certification. Actually I think that’s a good thing.

I also am glad they got rid of the 400’ rule. When I do soaring I’m sure that I get way above 400’.

Looks like the Commercial AP guys will need some sort of certification. I guess that’s ok since they are a proffit organization and can write off the expense.

.
Feb 04, 2012, 06:06 PM
R/C Addict for Life!!
Darryl Miller's Avatar
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/m...AFeb3-2012.pdf

Its on the AMA site.

D
Feb 04, 2012, 06:22 PM
Suspended Account
The links on Google are for the version from Feb of last year. The House & Senate passed different versions of the FAA Authorization, so there was a reconciliation committee to bring the two versions into alignment. The House passed the committee reconcoliation version last week, the Senate will next week. Here are some links:


Congressional Record:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-20...-4.pdf#page=19

Thomas:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...8XWBy:e214532:

Brad
Feb 04, 2012, 06:38 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
I also am glad they got rid of the 400 rule. When I do soaring Im sure that I get way above 400.
There never was such a rule before that I know of. The AMA has this rule, and that is unlikely to change. But if you're not flying with AMA insurance, then there is no 400' rule, except within 6 miles or so of an airport.
Feb 04, 2012, 07:13 PM
R/C Addict for Life!!
Darryl Miller's Avatar
The AMA saftey code states that the 400' rule is only within 3 miles of an active airport....unless u notify the airport operator......
If your field isnt close to an airport, their is not 400' restriction.............if there were, there would never be ANY sailplane contests, even at the AMA flying site!!

Quote:
2. Model aircraft pilots will:
(a) Yield the right of way to all man carrying aircraft.
(b) See and avoid all aircraft and a spotter must be used when appropriate. (AMA Document #540-D-See and Avoid Guidance.)
(c) Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport, without notifying the airport operator.

This has been one of the most missinturpreted rules I have seen quoted...................

D
Feb 04, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
Looks like those FPV guys are going to have to be careful. If you fly it out of visual sight it is not a model aircraft had will need FAA certification. Actually I think that’s a good thing.
Is that 'visual line of sight' with the unaided eye?

Does that mean that I can still use FPV style flying as long as I can still see my plane visually?

Does that mean I can fly my plane FPV if I have a spotter standing next to me with a high powered set of eyes, or binoculars?

Who will determine exactly how far out a plane can be and still be able to be seen visually? If I state I can see my plane from 5 miles out, will I have to take a test to prove it?
Feb 04, 2012, 07:32 PM
fmw
fmw
Registered User
fmw's Avatar
The government has a problem with FPV's. They are going through a series of steps to ban them.


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