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Jul 27, 2016, 08:56 AM
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FAA: CBO membership NOT req'd to comply w/336


"The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO ... You must only follow the guidelines of a CBO."
- FAA UAS Integration Office in email to me on 12 July 2016


------- Background ----------
PL112-95 Section 336 contains five enumerated paragraphs that operators must meet to operate as a "model aircraft" under the law. While many were addressed in the "FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule on Model Aircraft," one that was not addressed was paragraph (a)(2) which says: "the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;"

The ambiguity left in the minds of many is what does it mean to be "...within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization? [emphasis added]"

So I decided to just ask the FAA UAS Integration Office. For those interested in the exact email exchange, I've attached my email to the FAA and their response. I've highlighted the key sections. Other than redacting my personal info, it's all there word for word ... including my embarrassing use of the word "therefore" in two consecutive sentences.

No matter what some are saying that indicates you have to be a member to comply with Section 336, the FAA UAS Integration Office says you do not have to be a member of a CBO to comply with Section 336. They add that you just have to follow the guidelines of one. I would expect they would not hold you to following guidelines that imply or require membership - as they've already said you don't have to be a member.

There's any number of reasons why folks might join, but what the FAA has said (explicitly) is that compliance with the law isn't one of them.
Last edited by franklin_m; Jul 27, 2016 at 09:27 AM.
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Jul 27, 2016, 09:04 AM
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CBO is just club & no authority [per law]
Jul 27, 2016, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boombang
CBO is just club & no authority [per law]
Absolutely. I think it's terrific news that there is not one set of privileges for CBO members and another set for the "unwashed masses."

All citizens have the same privileges in the public airspace, not in any way tied to whether or not you lay money at the alter of a CBO.
Jul 27, 2016, 12:04 PM
Registered User

who's winning?


win-win for both sides
CBO-AMA members stay happily within among selves in flying fields & other r/c users operate elsewhere in the airspace without the club-mob
Jul 27, 2016, 12:15 PM
STICKS FORWARD!
jinly's Avatar
In the July Issue of Model Aviation. I noticed an editorial by the Executive Director stating that they have come to an agreement with the FAA about the 400 ft. Ceiling requirement.

They mentioned that only AMA Members can fly above the 400 ft. Ceiling.

Is this indeed True?

If you are Not a Member of the AMA and have a sailplane or a Tow- glider, you cannot fly above 400ft. unless you are an AMA Member.

It sounds very confusing, I am deciding if I will renew my membership, in the light of this article, I am being told that the AMA has exclusive rights.


It was mentioned in this AMABLOG also:

http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...afety-program/


Am I missing something here?..
Last edited by jinly; Jul 27, 2016 at 12:21 PM.
Jul 27, 2016, 04:05 PM
Just here to have fun with RC
Rhea's Avatar
If everyone would have flown with the safety rules put in place by the CBO i.e. AMA all along there would have never been an FAA intrusion and rules making confusion.
Whether you are a member of a club or of AMA, if you fly within the rules of AMA you will not have any problems.
Flying above 400’ AGL is not a problem if you are not in airspace occupied by full size aircraft.
Jul 27, 2016, 04:44 PM
STICKS FORWARD!
jinly's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
If everyone would have flown with the safety rules put in place by the CBO i.e. AMA all along there would have never been an FAA intrusion and rules making confusion.
Whether you are a member of a club or of AMA, if you fly within the rules of AMA you will not have any problems.
Flying above 400’ AGL is not a problem if you are not in airspace occupied by full size aircraft.
So the AMA does NOT have Exclusive rights. Anyone who follows a CBO Guideline can fly above the 400 ft. Ceiling? You Do Not have to be a Member of the AMA.

Yes? or No?
Jul 27, 2016, 04:52 PM
Just here to have fun with RC
Rhea's Avatar
I don't see anything that says you must be an AMA member. . . . . . unless you read the statement from the AMA.
So I say No, you do not have to be a member. Just follow the AMA rules and enjoy.
Jul 27, 2016, 06:42 PM
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PL112-95 Section 336 (a)(2) says "the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;"

The FAA UAS Integration Office said "The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO, nor does the FAA list any CBOs. You must only follow the guidelines of a CBO. [emphasis added]"

So, the FAA says you don't have to join, just follow the CBO guidelines. And the AMA's guidelines allow flight over 400' AGL.

If you want to fly recreationally:
(1) Register w/ FAA
(2) Comply with PL112-95 Section 336 [soon to be part 101.41]
(3) Comply with the AMA safety guidelines.

...and that's it!!
Jul 27, 2016, 11:18 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
If everyone would have flown with the safety rules put in place by the CBO i.e. AMA all along there would have never been an FAA intrusion and rules making confusion.
Whether you are a member of a club or of AMA, if you fly within the rules of AMA you will not have any problems.
Flying above 400’ AGL is not a problem if you are not in airspace occupied by full size aircraft.
Very possibly the best comment ever on the subject.

Kudos!
David
Aug 01, 2016, 04:44 AM
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Some are now trying to say that an email isn't "official."

So Friday I sent formal letter to FAA, asking same question, along with copy of email from UAS Office.

I really don't expect them to reverse themselves.

I'll post formal response when I get it.

That should remove any lingering doubts.


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Aug 05, 2016, 10:14 AM
Flying R/C since 1964
kallend's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m
PL112-95 Section 336 (a)(2) says "the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;"

The FAA UAS Integration Office said "The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO, nor does the FAA list any CBOs. You must only follow the guidelines of a CBO. [emphasis added]"

So, the FAA says you don't have to join, just follow the CBO guidelines. And the AMA's guidelines allow flight over 400' AGL.

If you want to fly recreationally:
(1) Register w/ FAA
(2) Comply with PL112-95 Section 336 [soon to be part 101.41]
(3) Comply with the AMA safety guidelines.

...and that's it!!
From AMA:

There has been confusion among our members as to whether operations above 400 feet are permitted by the FAA. AMA has remained steadfast that] the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act) permits operations above 400 feet if conducted within our safety program requiring the pilot to be an AMA member, to avoid and not interfere with manned aircraft, and to keep the model in visual line of sight of the pilot/observer. It should be noted that the AMA Safety Code requires model aircraft to remain below 400 feet above the ground when within 3 miles of an airport unless there is notification or an agreement with the airport that allows models to safely go higher.

In January of this year, the AMA requested that the FAA clarify the 400-foot issue in writing. We are happy to share that in a recent letter to the AMA, the FAA recognized AMA’s role as a community-based organization and acknowledged our safety program, including allowing flight above 400 feet under appropriate circumstance.

In this letter, dated July 7, 2016, the FAA states:

“…model aircraft may be flow consistently with Section 336 and agency guidelines at altitudes above 400 feet when following a community-based organization’s safety guidelines.”
“Community-based organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may establish altitude limitations in their safety guidelines that exceed the FAA’s 400 AGL altitude recommendation.”
Aug 05, 2016, 10:57 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Please remember the Safety Guidance:

•I will fly below 400 feet
•I will fly within visual line of sight
•I will be aware of FAA airspace requirements: faa.gov/go/uastfr
•I will not fly directly over people
•I will not fly over stadiums and sports events
•I will not fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
•I will not fly near aircraft, especially near airports
•I will not fly under the influence

To operate as a hobbyist, you must operate according to the safety guidance you have acknowledged and in accordance with a community based set of safety guidance. For further information on the safety guidance visit faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft
current hobby sUAS registration does not show AMA exemption,
must is for all hobbyists
Aug 05, 2016, 11:11 AM
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jmc67's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallend
From AMA:

There has been confusion among our members as to whether operations above 400 feet are permitted by the FAA. AMA has remained steadfast that] the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act) permits operations above 400 feet if conducted within our safety program requiring the pilot to be an AMA member, to avoid and not interfere with manned aircraft, and to keep the model in visual line of sight of the pilot/observer. It should be noted that the AMA Safety Code requires model aircraft to remain below 400 feet above the ground when within 3 miles of an airport unless there is notification or an agreement with the airport that allows models to safely go higher.

In January of this year, the AMA requested that the FAA clarify the 400-foot issue in writing. We are happy to share that in a recent letter to the AMA, the FAA recognized AMA’s role as a community-based organization and acknowledged our safety program, including allowing flight above 400 feet under appropriate circumstance.

In this letter, dated July 7, 2016, the FAA states:

“…model aircraft may be flow consistently with Section 336 and agency guidelines at altitudes above 400 feet when following a community-based organization’s safety guidelines.”
“Community-based organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may establish altitude limitations in their safety guidelines that exceed the FAA’s 400 AGL altitude recommendation.”
The Letter from the FAA mentions the AMA as an example of a CBO. Does not say you have to or must be a member.
Aug 05, 2016, 12:02 PM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmc67
The Letter from the FAA mentions the AMA as an example of a CBO. Does not say you have to or must be a member.
I can absolutely see where the FAA would not dictate that you must join any particular CBO in order to comply with Section 336. The question is whether or not any given CBO can provide use of its safety program only to its members. In others words, can a CBO restrict access to its intellectual property only to its members? I think the answer to that is a resounding "Yes."

And just like the FAA may not tell you that you have to join a CBO it will also not tell a CBO that it must give away its intellectual property to non-members.


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