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AMA Members Urged Not to Register with the FAA

The AMA sent out an email yesterday to members urging them to hold off on registering with the FAA...

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AMA Says "Hold off on registering model aircraft"

The AMA sent out an email yesterday to members urging them to hold off on registering with the FAA this coming week. The AMA filed a petition in August 2014 asking the court to review the FAA's interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. Essentially, in the past the FAA has considered model aircraft to not be "aircraft" which requires their regulation. With the new registration system, the FAA repeatedly referred to drones, toys, essentially anything flying via r/c that weighs between .5lbs and 55lbs to be "aircraft." The AMA is asking for immediate attention to their petition as it will help clarify whether the FAA has legal authority to require registration or not. While the AMA works through all this they are encouraging members to not register with the FAA when the system comes online this Monday December 21st, at least not until the AMA advises to do so or until the February 19th deadline. Here's the full email from the AMA for your reading pleasure:

"Dear AMA Members,

Yesterday, the AMA Executive Council unanimously approved an action plan to relieve and further protect our members from unnecessary and burdensome regulations. This plan addresses the recently announced interim rule requiring federal registration of all model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds.

AMA has long used a similar registration system with our members, which we pointed out during the task force deliberations and in private conversations with the FAA. As you are aware, AMA's safety program instructs all members to place his or her AMA number or name and address on or within their model aircraft, effectively accomplishing the safety and accountability objectives of the interim rule. AMA has also argued that the new registration rule runs counter to Congress' intent in Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, otherwise known as the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft."

The Council is considering all legal and political remedies to address this issue. We believe that resolution to the unnecessary federal registration rule for our members rests with AMA's petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This petition, filed in August 2014, asks the court to review the FAA's interpretation of the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft." The central issue is whether the FAA has the authority to expand the definition of aircraft to include model aircraft; thus, allowing the agency to establish new standards and operating criteria to which model aircraft operators have never been subject to in the past.

In promulgating its interim rule for registration earlier this week, the FAA repeatedly stated that model aircraft are aircraft, despite the fact that litigation is pending on this very question. The Council believes the FAA's reliance on its interpretation of Section 336 for legal authority to compel our members to register warrants the Court's immediate attention to AMA's petition.

While we continue to believe that registration makes sense at some threshold and for flyers operating outside of a community-based organization or flying for commercial purposes, we also strongly believe our members are not the problem and should not have to bear the burden of additional regulations. Safety has been the cornerstone of our organization for 80 years and AMA's members strive to be a part of the solution.

As we proceed with this process, we suggest AMA members hold off on registering their model aircraft with the FAA until advised by the AMA or until February 19, the FAA's legal deadline for registering existing model aircraft.

Holding off on registration will allow AMA time to fully consider all possible options. On a parallel track, it also allows AMA to complete ongoing conversations with the FAA about how best to streamline the registration process for our members.

In the near future, we will also be asking our members to make their voices heard by submitting comments to the FAA's interim rule on registration. We will follow-up soon with more detailed information on how to do this.

Thank you for your continued support of AMA. We will provide you with more updates as they become available.

Kind regards,

The AMA Executive Council

Bob Brown, AMA President Gary Fitch, AMA Executive Vice President Andy Argenio, AMA Vice President, District I Eric Williams, AMA Vice President, District II Mark Radcliff, AMA Vice President, District III Jay Marsh, AMA Vice President, District IV Kris Dixon, AMA Vice President, District V Randy Cameron, AMA Vice President, District VI Tim Jesky, AMA Vice President, District VII Mark Johnston, AMA Vice President, District VIII Jim Tiller, AMA Vice President, District IX Lawrence Tougas, AMA Vice President, District X Chuck Bower, AMA Vice President, District XI"

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Dec 18, 2015, 01:17 PM
New at this whole life thing
Cfiimei's Avatar
Not sure about this one. I'm not knocking AMA, I just prefer not to belong, and I don't care for flying at club fields. This almost kinda sorta looks like a grab to be the controlling agency. I would hate to be forced to join, which incidentally costs more than five bucks.
Dec 18, 2015, 01:38 PM
Registered User
The AMA made that grab to be the controlling agency when they lobbied for 336 to be passed. Now they're upset that they were betrayed and don't get to control after all. I won't register regardless, but I can't be too upset at the AMA for not getting the benefits of the law they paid for.
Dec 18, 2015, 01:38 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfiimei
Not sure about this one. I'm not knocking AMA, I just prefer not to belong, and I don't care for flying at club fields. This almost kinda sorta looks like a grab to be the controlling agency. I would hate to be forced to join, which incidentally costs more than five bucks.
So let me get this right. You'd rather give your info and $5 to a government agency that has shown repeatedly NOT to have your modeling interests at heart or in consideration at all?
At least the AMA promotes modeling. That for me alone is worth the $75 membership, not to mention the insurance, the magazine, and keeping me up to date in the world of aeromodeling as a whole.
Dec 18, 2015, 02:10 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc manic
So let me get this right. You'd rather give your info and $5 to a government agency that has shown repeatedly NOT to have your modeling interests at heart or in consideration at all?
At least the AMA promotes modeling. That for me alone is worth the $75 membership, not to mention the insurance, the magazine, and keeping me up to date in the world of aeromodeling as a whole.
+1. I am all for better education and a properly thought out plan to protect bystanders from idiots and miscreants. But the FAA registration plan as it stands accomplished nothing useful while providing hackers with another database to mine. I am not so concerned about my credit card info or address as it is everywhere on the internet. What if someone has a list of names and addresses and registration numbers? Using that info, what if someone were to misuse the registration number to get someone else in to trouble when they screw up intentionally or unintentionally?
Dec 18, 2015, 02:55 PM
Closed Account
Fact is only people with a concience, and safety I'm mind will end the dangers. Not tests, regulation, license, bans, nothing! Only education and enlightenment. The gov. Only knows how to push, pushing will only make people vindictive and that creates will full disregard.
Dec 18, 2015, 03:54 PM
Luke A.F.B., AZ
SubyDude's Avatar
I'm a AMA member, and I'm encouraged to see the AMA pushing back against this FAA crap. This is lookin up.
Dec 18, 2015, 03:56 PM
Registered User
AMA better not give my info without my consent... Just sayin' crap may happen.
Dec 18, 2015, 04:21 PM
Phantom 3P, Inspire 1, P4
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngogl...cly-available/
Dec 18, 2015, 04:28 PM
Registered User
echoplanar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socal Rich
Thanks for that.
Dec 18, 2015, 04:54 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socal Rich
Putting hobbyist names and addresses in the public like a sex offender list is a deal-breaker. When they kill this fun and educational hobby, folks will probably take up the hobby of gun collecting.
Last edited by yser; Dec 18, 2015 at 05:04 PM.
Dec 18, 2015, 06:04 PM
Closed Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by yser
Putting hobbyist names and addresses in the public like a sex offender list is a deal-breaker. When they kill this fun and educational hobby, folks will probably take up the hobby of gun collecting.
My problem is it is a list for robbers to find the best stuff.
Dec 18, 2015, 06:04 PM
Registered User
Doogman's Avatar
I'm glad to see that after the AMA's tepid initial announcement that they are going to continue to fight this disastrous ruling by the FAA, which will surely end the RC plane hobby as we know it. As long as they continue to fight this ruling I will support them. I fly planes by myself on my own property and never would have dreamed that these small, hand-built foam and balsa planes are suddenly drones of death. Absurd!

While I've never been a AMA member before, it looks like the Section 336 court case they are fighting is the only fight that will continue to matter so join I will.

I know the some people don't think it's a big deal, $5 and your name on the publicly searchable sex, err drone offender list. But owner accountability isn't all they are after or they would have simply required your name and address on the plane. No, once RC toys flown by line of sight are considered small aircraft the sky is the limit on what regulations they can pursue. At the very least you can kiss your current transmitter and radio system goodbye as they will require a kill switch. Transponders? FAA approved designs? Plane Registry? Who knows where it will end.
Dec 18, 2015, 06:43 PM
Registered User
I hope this is more than just an attempt by the AMA to give us the appearance of doing something. If my name ends up on a searchable list either because I am forced to register or the AMA rolls over and gives it to them, I see no point in being an AMA member. As far as I am concerned, the AMA is fighting to stay alive/relevant.


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