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May 13, 2019, 11:20 PM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
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Discussion

Bad news for soaring


FAA just published new rules effective May 17, 2019
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May 14, 2019, 04:36 AM
Gots me a good used Hobie Hawk
Steve Corbin's Avatar
So what's the best way to discover if my mountain area slope site is in controlled airspace?

I personally don't have a problem with the 400' limit. A big part of the enjoyment is being able to see my plane clearly, and for the most part they are small enough that beyond 400' they can't be seen very clearly.

I believe that once the dust settles it will be possible for clubs and/or individual flyers to obtain waivers allowing higher altitudes at most locations, but I wouldn't bother trying to get one from the person who wrote this one up, he/she sounds like a really uptight hard a**.
May 14, 2019, 06:59 AM
Red Merle ALES VII SJ
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Too early to know anything from this:
1) The site locations published at http://uas-aa.opendata.arcgis.com doesn't work.
2) Advisory Circular 91-57B isn't published yet
3) Here is the UASFM map: http://uas-aa.opendata.arcgis.com

Curtis
May 14, 2019, 06:59 AM
Registered User
Over here we can get exceptions at model aircraft club locations

Regards

Joao
May 14, 2019, 08:03 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
Too early to know anything from this:
1) The site locations published at http://uas-aa.opendata.arcgis.com doesn't work.
2) Advisory Circular 91-57B isn't published yet
3) Here is the UASFM map: http://uas-aa.opendata.arcgis.com

Curtis
I suspect that things like AC 91-57B and the links won't appear until May 17, 2019 when they say this will go into effect.

Keep in mind that since the new law was signed Section 336 no longer existed and as such we were operating without any authorization. This is the FAA moving forward. Technically they could have done the same thing they did with Section 333 and Part 107 and prohibited operations until they published full policy. The new law Section 349 also requires a test as well and the FAA could have just as easily ceased all sUAS operations (Limited Recreational) until that was ready.
May 14, 2019, 08:05 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by joao
Over here we can get exceptions at model aircraft club locations

Regards

Joao
It appears that for right now that does not exist. The new policy clearly states no fixed fields within 2 miles of a controlled airspace airport and that the altitudes published in the UASFM are followed.
May 14, 2019, 08:33 AM
Registered User
Seems this memo is mostly addressing new procedure for flying in controlled airspace, specifically, communication between hobbyists and local air traffic control. As far as 400', that became law when it was signed last year.


And as far as this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Corbin
.....part of the enjoyment is being able to see my plane clearly, and for the most part they are small enough that beyond 400' they can't be seen very clearly.
If your vision is such that you are unable to see clearly beyond 400' then sure, fly at your own restrictions and preferences. But some of us can see quite clearly beyond 400' and would appreciate those who "have no problem with the 400' rule" consider the rest of us and leave the rest of us out of it. Making public comments in support of it isn't helpful.
If an individual wants to fly low, or doesn't want to fly low, then that's his prerogative to do so. But this is unnecessarily restrictive and an asinine rule with no realistic basis in safety or airspace issues.

MOST of the RC soaring community does indeed "...have a problem with the 400' rule".

Now I'm no contest flyer, in fact I'm participating in my first one in just a couple of weeks but from what little I know and what I can determine:
Most ALES contests limit 30 second motor run or 150 or 200 meters. 150 meters = 492' 200 meters = 656'
F3-RES requires 15m of rubber and 100m of line. Total unstretched length 115m or 377'. With a little zoom at the top, your launch height will be close to 400'. Can't go up, nowhere to go but down.
Various varieties of thermal duration, line or winch launch, motor launch... virtually all soaring contests with timed duration formats, use a launch method close or beyond 400' and even F5-J or other low-launch formats requires climbing to meet time tasks.

THAT'S why most of the RC soaring community has "a problem with the 400' limit". Not to mention, some just like to find a thermal and ride it UP. That IS soaring after all.
Last edited by Crashbound; May 14, 2019 at 08:42 AM.
May 14, 2019, 08:41 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
Seems this memo is mostly addressing new procedure for flying in controlled airspace, specifically, communication between hobbyists and local air traffic control. As far as 400', that became law when it was signed last year.
Pretty much as I see it too.
May 14, 2019, 09:02 AM
Registered User

Said Perfectly!


Mostly aero towing scale ships. We tow well beyond 400ft.

Specked out is a good day, almost as good as waking up in the morning!!!!!!

When are people going to realized that the damn little droneflyers are the problem.
Someof the stunts I've seen on TV indicate that the those flyers seem to not have the intelligence that they were born with.

But then again, the FAA would have to hire a lot of new people...…………..

regards
Jim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
Seems this memo is mostly addressing new procedure for flying in controlled airspace, specifically, communication between hobbyists and local air traffic control. As far as 400', that became law when it was signed last year.


And as far as this:



If your vision is such that you are unable to see clearly beyond 400' then sure, fly at your own restrictions and preferences. But some of us can see quite clearly beyond 400' and would appreciate those who "have no problem with the 400' rule" consider the rest of us and leave the rest of us out of it. Making public comments in support of it isn't helpful.
If an individual wants to fly low, or doesn't want to fly low, then that's his prerogative to do so. But this is unnecessarily restrictive and an asinine rule with no realistic basis in safety or airspace issues.

MOST of the RC soaring community does indeed "...have a problem with the 400' rule".

Now I'm no contest flyer, in fact I'm participating in my first one in just a couple of weeks but from what little I know and what I can determine:
Most ALES contests limit 30 second motor run or 150 or 200 meters. 150 meters = 492' 200 meters = 656'
F3-RES requires 15m of rubber and 100m of line. Total unstretched length 115m or 377'. With a little zoom at the top, your launch height will be close to 400'. Can't go up, nowhere to go but down.
Various varieties of thermal duration, line or winch launch, motor launch... virtually all soaring contests with timed duration formats, use a launch method close or beyond 400' and even F5-J or other low-launch formats requires climbing to meet time tasks.

THAT'S why most of the RC soaring community has "a problem with the 400' limit". Not to mention, some just like to find a thermal and ride it UP. That IS soaring after all.
May 14, 2019, 09:30 AM
Registered User
ReidRoberts's Avatar
There are a couple important points here.

-The 400’ restriction has now been transferred from law (as passed last Oct) to FAA regulation. This procedure is similar to transferring the new tax reform law into IRS tax code. In other words, you don’t really know what you’ve got until you see the regulation.

-This item that Silent posted (thank you) is a briefing to actual tower controllers. It is interesting to note that the memo does not spell out an enforcement avenue for controllers, i.e. “call the cops if you see a glider, UAS, etc.”. That is because agreements between local law enforcement and the FAA are complicated and localized. Those will be coming where they don’t exist. LAX already has them with surrounding police departments. So...see my very last sentence.

-2 miles from a paved runway is good news. It used to be 5. 400’ agl is not. But I see a lot of r/c soaring pilots becoming very poor judges of height. Still, are you going to market sailplanes in the US as these regulations firm up? Are you going to host a Team Selects?

-AMA actively deceived us. Let’s be generous and call them well meaning bubbas. That’s all they’ve ever been. But they’ve said on numerous occasions that they were working on waivers and all manner of relief for the altitude restriction. Chad Boudreaux said “we’re banging on doors in Washington”. Nope. There was NEVER even a memo for record in any of the NPRM proceedings that acknowledged the AMA in any way. Are they bad guys? No. Are they completely and profoundly over their heads? Yes.

R/C soaring now falls in the category of active civil disobedience.
May 14, 2019, 09:35 AM
Sagitta Fanboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagesailplnr
Mostly aero towing scale ships. We tow well beyond 400ft.

Specked out is a good day, almost as good as waking up in the morning!!!!!!

When are people going to realized that the damn little droneflyers are the problem.
Someof the stunts I've seen on TV indicate that the those flyers seem to not have the intelligence that they were born with.

But then again, the FAA would have to hire a lot of new people...…………..

regards
Jim
There's a caveat on the drone guys.

Most of the drone guys who are active within the RC community are racers or freestylers. They play down low and safely. The racers are VERY safety conscious in particular. They are not the problem and in fact are potentially significant allies (especially since they actually have media visibility thanks to the DRL)

The problem is the long-range FPV guys, who are not necessarily drone guys (lots of fixed wing BLOS FPV) and the aerial photography guys, especially the UrbEx ones who were notorious lawbreakers even before they started getting Phantoms.

The simplest solution for the BLOS FPV guys is from the FCC. Many of them are operating illegally in terms of spectrum as well as BLOS operations and they're a lot easier to track on transmissions. Also if you see videos of illegal operations, report them to both the FAA and FCC. the FAA is well known to investigate reports of illegal flight operations based on Youtube videos.

The aeerial photo guys are largely non-technical and technological limits from DJI & sundry will mostly solve that problem.
May 14, 2019, 12:46 PM
Registered User
We are are aerotowing this weekend at Visalia with typical tows to _______ feet. No problem right? You can fill in the blank.
Latest blog entry: Testing the blog page
May 14, 2019, 01:03 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
399?
May 14, 2019, 03:29 PM
Registered User
The good news from the AMA:
Dear members,
Some of you may be aware of a recent FAA Memorandum that addressed altitude and flying restrictions in controlled airspace. This memorandum was intended as FAA guidance to educate air traffic control facilities (ATC) on best methods to respond to recreational flyers seeking authorization, not as guidance to recreational operators.
Recent legislation under Section 349 (c) states operators in controlled airspace will be required to seek authorization from towered airports, unless flying from a charted flying site. We successfully championed that if you are flying at an AMA flying field or sanctioned event, you can continue flying by following AMA's safety program and within the existing agreements your club or contest director has with nearby airports.
AMA has been in contact with the FAA regarding this memorandum, and we have been assured that our flying sites' current agreements with air traffic control facilities (ATC) will be honored and our members can continue flying within AMA's safety program, as usual. This memorandum was not intended for public distribution, and out of context can read as problematic or contradictory to previous messaging to protect our operations. The FAA clarified this memorandum is just one of many steps in the Section 349 implementation process.
Future steps in the implementation process will require letters of agreements (LOA) between AMA flying sites in controlled airspace and nearby ATC. Updates and guidance on how clubs should proceed with LOAs will be provided to our members in the coming days. Please monitor social media and www.modelaircraft.org/amagov for the latest information. You can reach our offices at 765-287-1256 or [email protected].

Sincerely,
AMA Government Affairs Team
May 15, 2019, 06:44 AM
Just plain ridiculous. Sir.
rdwoebke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReidRoberts
-AMA actively deceived us. Let’s be generous and call them well meaning bubbas. That’s all they’ve ever been. But they’ve said on numerous occasions that they were working on waivers and all manner of relief for the altitude restriction. Chad Boudreaux said “we’re banging on doors in Washington”. Nope. There was NEVER even a memo for record in any of the NPRM proceedings that acknowledged the AMA in any way. Are they bad guys? No. Are they completely and profoundly over their heads? Yes.
Can you provide evidence of this “active deception”?The document posted at the start of this thread references the AMA several times.

Ryan


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