Federal Appeals Court: The FAA's Registration Rule Violates Section 336

John A. Taylor beats the FAA in Federal Appeals Court and voids the FAA registration for drones and model aircraft.

Splash

Is This The End of Meaningless Hobby FAA Registration?

John A. Taylor, and RCGroups member, made all of us aware of a case he filed on March 14th, 2017, challenging the FAA's Small Unmanned Aircraft Registration. Taylor, a Maryland attorney, successfully argued that section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 expressly prohibits any further regulation, including registration, of model aircraft.

Today, the Federal Appeals Court of the District of Columbia rules that drone and hobby model aircraft registration did violate the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (section 336), and rendered it void. This is a huge victory for hobby model aircraft pilots that were forced to comply with FAA regulations or face stiff penalties. Is this the end of this dark chapter in model aviation? One would hope, but given the FAA propensity of fighting hobby model aircraft and their pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration may retaliate in some manner; let's hope that doesn't happen. But for now, join us in celebrating a David versus Goliath-style victory for model aviation!

CLICK HERE for the RCGroups thread started by John A. Taylor

The official ruling the the Federal Appeals Court of the District of Columbia

Quotes From the Ruling by The United States Court of Appeals

"In short, the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act provides that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,” yet the FAA’s 2015 Registration Rule is a “rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft."

"The FAA’s arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive. First, the FAA contends that the Registration Rule is authorized by pre-existing statutory provisions that are unaffected by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Specifically, the FAA notes that, under longstanding statutes, aircraft are statutorily required to register before operation. See 49 U.S.C. §§ 44101, 44103. But the FAA has never previously interpreted that registration requirement to apply to model aircraft. The FAA responds that nothing in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act prevents the FAA from changing course and applying that registration requirement to model aircraft now. The FAA claims that the Registration Rule is therefore not a new requirement at all, but merely a “decision to cease its exercise of enforcement discretion. We disagree"

"The FAA’s Registration Rule violates Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. We grant Taylor’s petition for review of the Registration Rule, and we vacate the Registration Rule to the extent it applies to model aircraft. "

Read the final ruling here.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; May 19, 2017 at 12:11 PM..
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by Matt Gunn, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
May 19, 2017, 12:14 PM
Gaftopher
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
What was the AMA's involvement with the Taylor case?

Drone Stuff This Week | 2 May 2017 | Advocacy (1 hr 17 min 21 sec)
May 19, 2017, 12:15 PM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
/\ Thanks for posting this Gary!!
Last edited by Matt Gunn; May 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM.
May 19, 2017, 12:20 PM
RC Enthusiast
YarSmythe's Avatar
Thanks John!!
Latest blog entry: Funder & Lightning Videos
May 19, 2017, 12:24 PM
Trampling out the vintage
This is great news. Thanks to Mr. Taylor.

I haven't flown much in the last couple years as I'll be (explicative deleted) if I am going to behave like a drugged, tamed monkey and cow-tow to a silly and over-reaching and inappropriate rule. This whole registration mess was, IMO, just one more example of a wildly out-of-control federal government that looks at the citizens as sheep to be controlled, and views the concept of "freedom" as an annoyance to the expansion of its power.

I may actually get back into the hobby now thanks to Mr. Taylor.

BTW, why didn't the AMA do this?
May 19, 2017, 12:25 PM
Registered User
Congratulations to John for a job very well done!
May 19, 2017, 01:23 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
I must congratulate John for doing what the AMA could not, that is end the administrative requirement to register.

I'm one of those folks have concern about unintended consequences, namely how the FAA will respond. But until then. No need to register.
May 19, 2017, 01:24 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mortimer
What was the AMA's involvement with the Taylor case?
As I understand, the AMA had no involvement in the Taylor case.
May 19, 2017, 01:52 PM
Registered User
Wee!!!

Good thing I refused to register!!

I never have and never will ever register my RC planes. Go stuff it.
May 19, 2017, 01:55 PM
I just wanna fly, fly, fly
Brainstorm's Avatar
Hurray! When John Taylor argued the case before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the writing was on the wall. I'm glad to see the court in its final opinion agreed with his sound legal arguments.

It's hard to believe that nearly a million RC hobbyists registered themselves with the FAA, all based on an unwarranted registration rule, which has now been voided. I suspect the ball is in Congress' court now. In the meantime, I'll gladly get back to flying heavier RC model aircraft, instead of limiting myself to sub-250g toys.
May 19, 2017, 01:59 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainstorm
Hurray! When John Taylor argued the case before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the writing was on the wall. I'm glad to see the court in its final opinion agreed with his sound legal arguments.

It's hard to believe that nearly a million RC hobbyists registered themselves with the FAA, all based on an unwarranted registration rule, which has now been voided. I suspect the ball is in Congress' court now. In the meantime, I'll gladly get back to flying heavier RC model aircraft, instead of limiting myself to sub-250g toys.
The people who registered probably also voted for Obama and Hillary.
May 19, 2017, 02:02 PM
Serenity Now!
jbrundt's Avatar
The FAA has a record for seeking retribution. They won't let this lay.
May 19, 2017, 02:04 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrundt
The FAA has a record for seeking retribution. They won't let this lay.
Ohh no!! I am so SCARED!!

I wish I registered my drone because I am a huge pansy and I am worried about the FAA!!
May 19, 2017, 02:05 PM
Multi-Platform Pilot
barracudahockey's Avatar
If you're going to bash the AMA you should at least watch the video.
May 19, 2017, 02:14 PM
I just wanna fly, fly, fly
Brainstorm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready2Crash
The people who registered probably also voted for Obama and Hillary.
This was a clear cut legal question. I don't see any connection between a person's vote for president and refusing to register under an illegal scheme. If you do see a connection, that discussion belongs in the Life, the Universe, and Politics forum, not here in Model Aircraft & Drone Advocacy.

Time will tell whether Congress changes its "hands off" approach to model aircraft. I don't see them acting before summer recess. But I suspect we'll see something when it's time to reauthorize FAA funding for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2017. Personally, I'm worried that Congress will cave and agree to regulate model aircraft, in order to further commercial (manned and unmanned) aviation interests. But I hope I'm wrong, and we can continue (again) to fly our RC models free from government interference for generations to come.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help! Support John A. Taylor's Lawsuit against the FAA's Registration Rule BuffaloJustin Multirotor Drone Talk 92 Yesterday 10:44 PM
Alert "FAA Sued In Federal Court Over Drone Registration Rules" DJO Model Aircraft & Drone Advocacy 81 May 24, 2017 09:05 AM
Discussion U.S. federal court throws out case against FAA's drone policy small_rcer UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 0 Jul 23, 2014 06:54 AM
Discussion Appeals court ruling on FAA daddiozz Life, The Universe, and Politics 5 Jul 18, 2014 06:04 PM