Thread Tools
Apr 16, 2018, 04:54 PM
The Detritus of Rcgroups
rdwoebke's Avatar
Alert

AMA is again encouraging us to write/call our congressional representatives


I posted this link in the general section, but I know some folks in the slope soaring community tend to just hang out here.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/protect336.aspx


Ryan
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Apr 16, 2018, 08:41 PM
Faster is Better
Slopemaster's Avatar
The FAA reauthorization is getting signed by the end of this month. And as far as I know, there's no language in it repealing Section 336.
Latest blog entry: LEG Fat Albert Take 2
Apr 16, 2018, 08:45 PM
Faster is Better
Slopemaster's Avatar
Anyway, FAA interpretation of Section 336 has already been codified in 14 CFR, Part 101 for hobbyists.
Latest blog entry: LEG Fat Albert Take 2
Apr 16, 2018, 08:57 PM
The Detritus of Rcgroups
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopemaster
The FAA reauthorization is getting signed by the end of this month. And as far as I know, there's no language in it repealing Section 336.
There is concern that there are groups, apparently one named "commercial drone alliance" and another named "Small UAV Coalition" pushing to have 336 removed from the reauthorization bill.


Ryan
Apr 16, 2018, 09:42 PM
Registered User
bluffman's Avatar
Just sent mine.
Apr 17, 2018, 11:53 AM
And Repairs
TyFlies's Avatar
Thanks for posting the link. Was quick and easy.
Yes, the politics of RC rules are ridiculous and aimed at drones -- but there's the potential of us all getting caught up in the cross fire.
AMA isn't perfect and there's probably a power grab on their part too -- but it's the best voice we've got and the only organization trying to help.
Apr 17, 2018, 12:06 PM
the occasional flyer
rothlisburger's Avatar
So (idiot here), could someone summarize the issues concerning RC aircraft? What's the big deal with the legislation, in a couple of bullet points..

Thanks.

-David
Apr 17, 2018, 12:42 PM
The Detritus of Rcgroups
rdwoebke's Avatar
This may be a little oversimplified

1) The FAA as authorized by congress manages the US airspace and that includes all things made by people that fly in it (balloons, model airplanes, jet liners, etc). The laws that authorize the FAA are not "forever" laws. They need to be renewed every few years. Sometimes congress rewrites them completely and sometimes congress just rubber stamp extends them as written.
2) There are several existing regulations that cover model aircraft (called small unmanned aircraft by the FAA) and include things like they need to give way to all man carrying aircraft and are not supposed to interfere with man carrying aircraft, etc. But more or less the regulations are fairly light.
3) For the past few years congress added a special rule in the laws mentioned in #1 above, special rule 336, prohibiting the FAA from overly regulating model aviation when done under the program of a community based organization (aka the AMA and the AMA safety code). The FAA for a few years has been rattling sabres that there should be more regulation of model aircraft. You may remember that model aircraft registration system the FAA came out with where people were supposed to pay $5.00 and get a FAA registration number and then write that somewhere on your models (well ones that weigh over 250 grams anyway). That was just one of the things the FAA has been talking about trying to require. There are some more worse things they have been rattling the sabres about.
4) The laws mentioned in #1 above expire this fall. Congress is currently working on renewed versions of the laws for going forward
5) There are a number of groups pressuring congress to remove special rule 336 from the new laws mentioned in #1 above. Some of those groups are the FAA and some are various big business companies (think like Amazon and their package via drone delivery concept) that for some reason want more regulation of model aircraft. Some of the things that are being thrown around are requirements for model aircraft to carry transponders, FAA pilot certification exams for folks that fly model airplanes, etc. Pretty much all of these things would be not ideal for folks that fly RC gliders or really pretty much any RC models.
6) the AMA believes there is strong support within the house of representitives to side on the groups mentioned in #5 above that want to remove the special rule for model aircraft. That is why we are strongly encouraged currently to reach out to our representatives and urge them not to do that.


Ryan
Apr 17, 2018, 01:28 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
The FAA's registration requirement was supposed to apply to *all* model aircraft weighing
more than 250g, which means the vast majority of slope/F3X/DS aircraft were supposed to
sport a registration # as well. Of course most folks here either didn't know that, or actively ignored it.
The registration requirement was eventually struck down in court
based entirely on the very clear wording of Section 336 which said that the FAA could
not create new rules the applied solely to amateur (non-commercial) model aviation
performed under a set of community guidelines.
Of course the FAA turned around and immediately tried to do just that, which is why
there is a need for Section 336 to be maintained and protected periodically.
FAA set the precedent that they will over extend their mandate. Imagine what they'd
do if they had no restraint on them at all.

And yes this whole thing really started with regulation of "drones" (which of course
is what a lot of people call any RC aircraft today), but most of the issues revolve specifically
around consumer stabilized camera platforms.. ala.. DJI Phantom, Mavic, Spark, etc.
From a safety perspective about 99/100 incidents of people flying them in places
they shouldn't (near forest fires, sporting events, airports, etc..) are with a DJI platform, and
most of the pilots aren't even part of what we would call the RC community. Anyone
*can* buy and fly a DJI Mavic so anyone does. There is some overlap with the RC
community, but most of it is not.

As for why the big UAV groups are going after Section 336. In addition to the reasons
mentioned above with regard to transponders and such, they see amateur drones
as competition for paying jobs (roof inspections and such). Why allow someone
to do that sort of thing themselves when you can pay a lot of money for someone else to do it.

What both the UAV groups and FAA (with plenty of backing from some members of congress)
want, is to raise the barriers to entry much higher, and if we don't express our concerns now,
we'll all get caught up in the resulting rules/regs. And the problem is, even though the FAA
doesn't have the manpower to enforce them directly, they do try to recruit local law enforcement
to help them (LEOs can't legally enforce FAA regs, but FAA asks them to become witnesses).
LEOs in turn then just interpret these new regs any way they want, and will spout
random nonsense. Had a park ranger a couple weeks ago tell me "My boss said that the FAA now
prohibits model aircraft in *all* parks everywhere.". That is of course nonsense. FAA can't
make that rule. Some parks and park systems can and do prohibit certain activities (including model aircraft
operations), but that's as far as it goes. FAA can be asked to create a TFR for a specific piece of airspace
(such as low over the grand canyon) but it then affects all aircraft, not just model aircraft.
Last edited by Daemon; Apr 17, 2018 at 01:41 PM.
Apr 17, 2018, 04:17 PM
the occasional flyer
rothlisburger's Avatar
"...were supposed to sport a registration # as well. Of course most folks here either didn't know that, or actively ignored it. The registration requirement was eventually struck down in court..."

Hmm. I never registered, and felt a little guilty. But I fly in Idaho, where only the buzzards and raptors of the air see me. And the mice. And little brown birds.

-David


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alert AMA is again encouraging us to write/call our congressional representatives rdwoebke Sailplane Talk 42 Apr 28, 2018 03:16 PM
Discussion Fmr US Vice President encourages violence against current US President. rcposter Life, The Universe, and Politics 23 Mar 29, 2018 08:12 PM
Discussion Answer the call from AMA to contact your House rep in Congress abel pranger Model Aircraft & Drone Advocacy 8 Aug 02, 2017 09:28 PM
Discussion AMA wants us to write House Reps in support of AIRR Act abel pranger Model Aircraft & Drone Advocacy 19 Jul 20, 2017 04:20 PM
Discussion AMA testifies in Congress once again J_R AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) 19 Apr 05, 2006 08:28 PM