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Jan 10, 2016, 06:54 PM
Bellanca Kruesair
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My "Take" on the AMA

I'm an old man, soon to be 75...I have my opinions, and my own thoughts on how things should or shouldn't be. If you're gonna read this, just listen to my ramblings, and keep in mind that you're free to draw your own conclusions the same as I am.

I don't like drones, or helicopters, or model airplanes that go 250 miles an hour. I don't like people who fly too close to other people, airplanes or buildings.
I( do like guys who fly with respect, that build their own models, and respect the opinions of others...
Several years ago, when the 'Quads' made their presence known, I was impressed with their versatility, and the fact that they had cameras on 'em, unencumbered by the propellor strobes always visible in videos made in my models.

Then, slowly, insidiously, the minds that think outside the norm thought, "Hey ! wouldn't it be neat if we"-(add your own craziness here). Well they started flying around Airports to get close ups of Full Scale Aircraft, they flew into Fireworks displays, and into backyards where girls were sunbathing nude.I've seen videos of them being flown down City Streets, and through the doors of College dorms, and up and down the halls.

About that time, the AMA, whose membership has been in a steady decline, (one guy has a number in the millions, when the actual count is 185,000 if you believe that sort of thing)saw a chance to pad their pockets with money generated by this influx of new fliers.
Contrary to the suggestions of others, who thought this was NOT a good idea, they (AMA) embraced this new breed of scofflaw with open arms, and free trial memberships. As the reports of more outrageous actions began to mount, the AMA said "We can handle this if we get 'em in our community based organization" Well they did get them in, but there was little control evident. It seemed that at the end of 2015, there were weekly incidents that were newsworthy.
The AMA's control was ineffective, so the FAA decided to show them how it's done....In a short time period, rules were established, and registration seemed the only way to get a handle on who's doing what.....
I believe the registration shows the FAA that there are responsible people out here that recognise what they intended to accomplish. I (we) don't have any problem telling the FAA we fly models safely and responsibly...

.I don't believe the FAA set this up so they could generate income.I also think that if we get caught misjudging 400' of altitude, there WILL NOT BE AN INVESTIGATION BY THE NTSB!. There may be a small fine or reprimand, but it doesn't automatically have to be $27, 500 .That is the maximum fine .Law Enforcement Officers can use discretion in doling out fines, according to the seriousness of the act.

Now , today, the AMA says "Go ahead and register, while it's still free....and we'll give free membership to anyone who buys a quad at Best Buy, and possibly other stores as well...We gotta generate more INCOME !!!....uhhhhhh guys,- that's not how it's done...
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Jan 11, 2016, 06:38 AM
AMA 79169
rdstarwalt's Avatar
Interesting reflection on how we got to where we are epoxyearl. I respect your words.

I am going on 58 and have been an AMA member since the mid 1970's and will continue my membership as long as I can afford it (yes, it is getting expensive). A major item that almost never is discussed is the amount of educational support and activity the AMA performs. Scholarships and Flying Field/club support are often neglected in the conversation regarding the effort. I won't bother with providing links to those section of the website and if you are a member, it becomes clear if you read the back sections of Model Aviation that the hobby has many facets and activities that are not just RC.

In my comments to the FAA (the Agency) on this recent 'ruling' I expressed my disappointment based on what is, in my opinion, a consumer product issue. To be sure these aircraft are taking up flying fields and places we traditionally saw only certain things at, but like the current 3D Heli trend, cycles occur and then fade in time. I think the FAA has made a mistake in responding to an upswing in consumer purchasing and not core hobby operators.

The Agency is throwing us all under the same blanket essentially saying 'We are not going to try to separate the true believers from the kid who just got a new present.' You and I both know it is unlikely that kid will ever migrate into building an RC scale B-29 that needs 23 servos, but the AMA perspective is if that new gift is all he/she knows about RC, their world-view will be extremely small.

I am also a Amateur Radio operator (KB4FEM). We experienced a similar angst when the FCC dropped the requirement for morse code. The ARRL (ham radio's AMA) listened, made comments and in the long run accepted the 'new kids' (CB radio folk) into the community. Bad actors were pointed out and provided with good operating procedures and the rules of the FCC for operation.

At my club, too few members actually, we have all aspects of the hobby except FF and CL. The biggest threat to our hobby is not quads, hexes, or anything else. The threat is humans who don't like the sound of a gorgeous P-51 (gasser) tearing through the skies...(it scares their horses - horses are half crazy to start with) and we are rural club. The same complainers will happily break out their leaf blower or stick steer lawn mower and spend the day raising the particulate count in the atmosphere, but I guess that does not matter in their world-view.

Build and Fly on epoxyearl - we will survive this -- even if the FAA has it wrong.

Jan 11, 2016, 06:54 AM
Bellanca Kruesair
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In another thread,I mentioned that a neighboring County wanted to extend their Full Scale Airport's runway to accommodate Jets.

The surrounding Horse Farms complained loudly to the County Commissioners that these 15 second intrusions would frighten the wits out of the Livestock, ...One wizened representative opined as to how Northern Dancer was born, raised, and trained at the end of the Runway (that had been in existence for 60 years and more), and that seemed to have had a Positive effect on the Horse...

The request was approved....
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Jan 11, 2016, 08:12 AM
OR65 Eagles Nest
Sure hope our hobby survives this .. I'm going to be 48 next month and have been flying rc for 10-15 years. I have recently had interest in building as well.
I fly airplanes and helicopters only " LOS " not much interest in having all the electronics gadgets and such on board ... well other then my gyro and governor for the helicopter and the occasional as3x receiver .
When I was a 13 year old kid I tried to get into this hobby and could not afford to but returned shortly after I turned 35 and have been a AMA member since .
Now I'm our club safety officer. The biggest thing about the registration that concerns me is the 400 ft alt. cap .
When flying 1/4 to 1/3 scale aircraft and gliders ... 400 ft comes up very quick. A 70-100 " plane being pulled by a 35-75 cc gasoline engine ... Even some of my 6-12 cell electric planes make 400 feet seem close to the ground will almost stop aerobatics with these planes .

I was taught to fly 9 mistakes high and away from people, buildings, and other objects . Now the FAA wants us to stay on the deck ???
I am to invested in this hobby to leave till we are just told we cannot fly at all then I guess i'll have some cool static display models.
Jan 11, 2016, 04:10 PM
Registered User
I feel like we are a few years away from all parts being GPS enabled and thus flight parameters governed in firmware.

While I don't like the whole" those quad guys screwed up our good thing!" view I do think there are inherent differences between technologies and hopefully at some point the rules will be altered to recognize that. Something like fixed wing fliers vs rotor flight etc. Although with quad copters now coming with wing attachments who know's where that goes....
Jan 27, 2016, 09:18 AM
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Seems lots of folks now days are concerned about their freedoms, with little or no concern for the other guys.

The public has a legitimate concern that model aviation is conducted responsibly. I've no problem with that as long as the concern is reasonable. I get the licensing requirement that has an educational and discipline effect.

The regulation neither breaks my bones or picks my pocket ( seriously) so in the words of Jefferson, I've no problem with it.
Jan 28, 2016, 11:53 AM
Bellanca Kruesair
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I had the assumption that the AMA could do something to prevent the FAA registration requirement..We were told so often in carefully worded statements that all would be 'well'.
Reviewing those statements, it is obvious it was a smoke and mirrors trick to keeps us occupied , while the AMA tried to convince the FAA to use the same numbers. That would ensure continued revenue for the AMA, by forcing everyone to join, to be eligible to fly.

While playing this 'game' people exponentially learned about the actual amount of Insurance that was available from the AMA is a hologram.
This has hurt the AMA tremendously, because, as the saying goes, you can fool ALL of 'em sometime, and some of 'em ALL the time, but not ALL of them, ALL of the time.

AMA Execs have become complacent in the third part, and are in for a rude awakening.
The FAA only wants us to register, and they can care less whether we're insured....That leverage has been taken from the AMA, due to the pathetically poor payouts they have been privy to
I asked in an open letter last year for the recipients to take a step forward, if they had received an insurance payment sponsored by the AMA.....Four (4) people indicated they had...From that, we can surmise that the AMA is strict with their qualifications, or we are one hell of a bunch of safe fliers.
-Either way the insurance ploy has lost it's attraction.
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Jan 28, 2016, 12:34 PM
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A couple of weeks ago, an AMA email said they had obtained a concession that the AMA number could be used in lieu of the FAA number but in a recent email, they say the FAA number is required.

That flighty change is a bit bothersome.
Jan 29, 2016, 09:11 AM
Registered User

FAA $5.00 refund

Earl, just got my Visa statement and refund of $5.00 shows as a credit. So I don't see what the big deal is all about; lots of folks all bent out of shape over the registration thing. Big brother already knows more about us than we can imagine, so I don't see the harm in giving him more info to chew on. The V is coming along slowly but surely; maybe show and tell next week at the OFC get together.
Jan 29, 2016, 09:54 AM
Bellanca Kruesair
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Originally Posted by Richie1939
Earl, just got my Visa statement and refund of $5.00 shows as a credit. So I don't see what the big deal is all about; lots of folks all bent out of shape over the registration thing. Big brother already knows more about us than we can imagine, so I don't see the harm in giving him more info to chew on. The V is coming along slowly but surely; maybe show and tell next week at the OFC get together.
Rich, as far as I'm concerned , it' s just another 'thing', like taxes, darkness , and rainy days. I don't necessarily like , them, but they make the 'good life' possible.

I'd like to see the Valkyrie in it's awesome.
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Feb 19, 2016, 06:59 PM
Registered User

Food for thought

Earl, missed you at the OFC b'fast. Was thinking; will we have to have FAA number for a sanctioned event? So I e-mailed our friends in Muncie and asked them. Got a quick reply saying as of now the AMA will not require an FAA number; it would be up to the individual contest director. Now, suppose there is a large event like Warbirds, it is just possible the FAA would be there, just like the AMA always sends a crew down there. Now, if there is no FAA requirement by the CD and there is an accident that results in damage to persons or property could the club or CD be held accountable or worse anyone without a FAA number could be fined. Hmmm
Feb 19, 2016, 07:19 PM
Bellanca Kruesair
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The FAA is clarifying some of the requirements, and they're taking a 'hands-off' approach to the 'enforcement' of the suggested safe-flight rules....
They maintain that if you 'cause a problem' with safety and common sense, you should be ready to face the consequences...I talked to an FAA representative, who shall remain unidentified, and he said as much.

Law Enforcement Officers are not going to be actively seeking your registration number.....IF there is an incident, it's no different than checking you driver's license at an accident. Just for I.D.

I won't attempt to solve 'what -if' issues, but I firmly believe the 'culprit' will be held responsible for any infraction, not the entire Association.

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Jan 14, 2018, 11:19 PM
Registered User
Just two things I wanna say here.....
1) Amen
2) same thing just louder........ AMEN!

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