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Oct 08, 2019, 12:56 PM
Registered User
aeronaut999's Avatar

We'll be lucky if we get higher than 400 feet in Class G


Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Andersen
I followed this link that was listed on the expanded letter from AMA:
https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/web...06ebf6a06754ad

I spoke with Crystal at AMA for some time. She confirmed that the airspace outside of the marks on the FAA UAS map are still open to flying as we have for decades. It's possible that those unmarked air spaces will eventually have some ceiling, you may have seen numbers like 700 to 1200 ft, nothing firm on this yet. Reading through posts it seems that some of us have the notion that the 400 ft ceiling is for all airspace, not so. It might be worth starting to consider what might be a workable ceiling in uncontrolled airspace if it comes to that.
I hope you are right, but the FAA has been saying for months now that the limit for recreational sUA's is 400' in uncontrolled airspace (Class G). It's been all over their web pages for half a year now. See the related threads https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...rom-FAA-coming ,
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...lass-G-400-AGL , and many other threads in
https://www.rcgroups.com/model-aircr...-advocacy-943/ .

Also, it's right there plain as day in part (a)(6) of the Section 349 language (the exemption for recreational sUA's) that Congress passed last October.

" ``(6) In Class G airspace, the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet above ground level and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions."

See https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-...iew=closed&r=3 .

(Note also that part f basically says the FAA can change the requirements set out in part a whenever and however they wish.)

So a waiver, exception, or rule that gives us anything higher than 400' in uncontrolled airspace would be a bonus that is more generous than the basic language that Congress actually passed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the FAA has any intention to begin enforcing a 400' limit in Class G right now, but it seems reasonable to assume that that will happen eventually, in the absence of firm indications to the contrary.

Btw a 400' agl limit is also what commercial drones must obey in Class G airspace (as well as all other airspace), unless operating next to a tower (eg radio antenna), or operating with a waiver or other special authorization to go higher. See FAR 107.51b.

Now, apparently, IF the latest communication from the AMA is accurate (see http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...19/10/07/4029/ ), the FAA is considering allowing r.c. flight in Class G (perhaps only at fixed sites?) to the top of the Class G ceiling (usually 700' or 1200' agl), not to exceed 1200' agl (I'm reading between the lines here). That would be sort of ok for gliders, but before you jump for joy, keep in mind that the areas where the Class G ceiling is only 700' are fairly widespread, and some airports even have vast expanses of controlled-to-surface airspace (no Class G at all) around them far exceeding a 5 mile radius even though a 700' class G ceiling would seem to suffice for much of it (see for example Sheridan Wyoming http://vfrmap.com/?type=vfrc&lat=44....=763xxE1MJHyhr ).

Steve
Last edited by aeronaut999; Oct 08, 2019 at 03:35 PM.
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Oct 08, 2019, 12:57 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
I'm not a lawyer (you may have guessed) but I wonder about laws governing lawsuits against government agencies.
Is it possible? Something like a class action suit? Rather than wait until some poor sap gets his life and finances ruined fighting in court, what if. ..

What if say, 1000 hobby flyers donated $100 bucks each into a pool to hire some high profile lawyer, a Jay Sekulow type, to take the FAA to court about this? I realize about the only foundation to challenge this would be on grounds of Constitutional or civil rights violation and you'd be on shaky ground at best but the publicity alone could actually bring about the desired result.

$100k would be a small price to pay to have it restored.
Oct 08, 2019, 01:04 PM
Dark Side of the Red Merle
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Andersen
I followed this link that was listed on the expanded letter from AMA:
https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/web...06ebf6a06754ad

It's the FAA UAS map showing areas with the 400' ceiling. It generally remains the 5 mile radius around controlled airports.

I spoke with Crystal at AMA for some time. She confirmed that the airspace outside of the marks on the FAA UAS map are still open to flying as we have for decades.....
I that's the case then it's most likely a non-issue for the majority of folks who already fly above 400'. So why alarm the community?
Curtis
Oct 08, 2019, 01:13 PM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Suter
That's my gut feeling too. The AMA is cashing checks they can't back and they have little to no voice. Hope I'm wrong.
Last year Congress wrote some drafts of a bill that had a lot of concerning wording. The AMA leadership asked its membership to reach out to Congress to try and keep the hobby protected. Congress ultimately didn't change the wording of the bill but told the AMA leadership that they have a good faith intention to protect model aviation as we know it. After the bill passed the AMA leadership met with the FAA. The FAA told them that they are not interested in changing how its membership does things. The AMA leadership passed that information on to its membership. Now the FAA is changing their tune. So the AMA leadership is now asking its membership to reach back out to congress.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
I'm not a lawyer (you may have guessed) but I wonder about laws governing lawsuits against government agencies.
Is it possible?

About 15 years ago the high power rocketry community took the BATF to court over unnecessarily burdensome regulations regarding the storage of high power rocket engines. They won the suit and those regulations were removed in the late 2000s. This effort was lead by the 2 model rocket associations.






Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Oct 08, 2019, 01:31 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
Last year Congress wrote some drafts of a bill that had a lot of concerning wording. The AMA leadership asked its membership to reach out to Congress to try and keep the hobby protected. Congress ultimately didn't change the wording of the bill but told the AMA leadership that they have a good faith intention to protect model aviation as we know it. After the bill passed the AMA leadership met with the FAA. The FAA told them that they are not interested in changing how its membership does things. The AMA leadership passed that information on to its membership. Now the FAA is changing their tune. So the AMA leadership is now asking its membership to reach back out to congress.






About 15 years ago the high power rocketry community took the BATF to court over unnecessarily burdensome regulations regarding the storage of high power rocket engines. They won the suit and those regulations were removed in the late 2000s. This effort was lead by the 2 model rocket associations.






Ryan
Well there you go Ryan. We bring a lawsuit against the FAA and make them prove in court that model aviation poses a public safety issue and significant threat to full size aviation when operated within line of site over 400'. That with an 80+ year safety record to back up OUR case. Make them prove why 400' is some magic number, how they arrived at it, and why we are less safe without that ceiling.

We can do this folks. I'll throw in $100. 999 more to go.
Oct 08, 2019, 01:37 PM
2.1.9 Forever
Miami Mike's Avatar
Scroll back to Allan's post #32. In America you don't win by throwing money to lawyers, you win by spending it on campaign donations.
Oct 08, 2019, 01:39 PM
Everything's A Composite
Knoll53's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
I wonder about laws governing lawsuits against government agencies.
Is it possible?
According to the Urban Lawyer "In the last two decades, federal prosecutors have convicted more
than 20,000 defendants involved in public corruption. That staggering
figure includes the convictions of federal, state, and local officials, as
well as private citizens involved in the corruption. "
I'm guessing that government officials get prosecuted and convicted.

Filing litigation on behalf of the RC crowd should be the business of the AMA. You know, the same group that collects $$$ (millions?) each year via membership fees.
Oct 08, 2019, 01:43 PM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
Well there you go Ryan. We bring a lawsuit against the FAA and make them prove in court that model aviation poses a public safety issue and significant threat to full size aviation when operated within line of site over 400'. That with an 80+ year safety record to back up OUR case. Make them prove why 400' is some magic number, how they arrived at it, and why we are less safe without that ceiling.

We can do this folks. I'll throw in $100. 999 more to go.
The AMA leadership said they are committed to doing everything possible to fight this. Litigation may well be the next logical step. I say that as an extrapolation I have no insider info on any pending litigation efforts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knoll53
Filing litigation on behalf of the RC crowd should be the business of the AMA. You know, the same group that collects $$$ (millions?) each year via membership fees.
I believe their strategy up until now has been more along the lines of lobbying congress and trying to work with the FAA rather than litigation. Litigation may be the next step. I say that as an extrapolation I have no insider info on any pending litigation efforts.

Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Oct 08, 2019, 01:52 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knoll53
According to the Urban Lawyer "In the last two decades, federal prosecutors have convicted more
than 20,000 defendants involved in public corruption. That staggering
figure includes the convictions of federal, state, and local officials, as
well as private citizens involved in the corruption. "
I'm guessing that government officials get prosecuted and convicted.

Filing litigation on behalf of the RC crowd should be the business of the AMA. You know, the same group that collects $$$ (millions?) each year via membership fees.
Well I suppose there would have to be SOME central body representing the masses that actually brings about the lawsuit. So I don't know if you'd have 1000 Joe Blows represented by one lawyer in a suit against the FAA, or one agency representing the 1000 Joe Blows and hiring the lawyer on their behalf. I'd guess the latter.
Not sure the AMA is the one that should do that nor sure how I feel about sending money for litigation their way, but I have no other agency in mind that would serve that purpose.
Like I said, I'm no lawyer and don't know how this works.
But in Ryan's example above with the rocketry crowd, there's no reason it would necessarily require another agency, maybe just one or two names willing to carry the torch on behalf of the rest if us. Well that and some financial backing .
Oct 08, 2019, 02:01 PM
Everything's A Composite
Knoll53's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
Not sure the AMA is the one that should do that nor sure how I feel about sending money for litigation their way,
I would suggest that you have already paid them for the proposed litigation.

Somebody please do the math.
40000 AMA members at $60/year = $2.4 million. I'm thinking that they have enough $$$ to publish a monthly magazine AND litigation.
Oct 08, 2019, 02:01 PM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashbound
But in Ryan's example above with the rocketry crowd, there's no reason it would necessarily require another agency, maybe just one or two names willing to carry the torch on behalf of the rest if us. Well that and some financial backing .
I should clarify. The rocketry example I gave was lead by 2 model rocketry associations. The National Association of Rocketry and the Tripoli Association of Rocketry. They got help from their membership via donations and other fundraiser type activities to pay for the legal fees. They may have used some dues money but both these organizations are small compared to the AMA. The bigger of the 2 has about 7,000 members.

When they won the suit the judge ordered the BATF to pay some amount of money (in addition to overturning the regulations). I think it was about 1/3 what they spent on the litigation. So they did get some of their $$$s back.


Ryan
Latest blog entry: Supergee wing mount pylons
Oct 08, 2019, 02:03 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Mike
Scroll back to Allan's post #32. In America you don't win by throwing money to lawyers, you win by spending it on campaign donations.
No actually I think throwing money at lawyers can be quite effective strategy at times. As far as throwing money at politicians, when I wrote my representatives (I use that word loosely) I thought, the first thing that will happen is some aide look at my name and then look FOR my name on their list of contributors.

Which means like last time, I'll get some automated canned response from an aide and my "representative" will never read it.

Seriously folks, just think about this country and all that is happening. Do any of you seriously think toy airplanes is going to get even the first glance, much less a second glance?

The politicians have done their dirty deed and passed the legislation, one year ago. This isn't even on their radar any longer, this is past history and no amount of yelling is going to cause them to give it the least attention .
Oct 08, 2019, 02:05 PM
AECS USN RET. P3 FE
allanp's Avatar
It's too "wordy" to copy and paste
But check out this link for what UPS is up to (It's UPS not Amazon pushing the drone agenda)
https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/sum...?id=D000000081
So,100K doesn't amount to much...
Oct 08, 2019, 02:05 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
I should clarify. The rocketry example I gave was lead by 2 model rocketry associations. The National Association of Rocketry and the Tripoli Association of Rocketry. They got help from their membership via donations and other fundraiser type activities to pay for the legal fees. They may have used some dues money but both these organizations are small compared to the AMA. The bigger of the 2 has about 7,000 members.

When they won the suit the judge ordered the BATF to pay some amount of money (in addition to overturning the regulations). I think it was about 1/3 what they spent on the litigation. So they did get some of their $$$s back.


Ryan
Okay that make sense. And heck yeah, let's demand damages and compensation while we're at it.
Oct 08, 2019, 02:09 PM
Registered User
Crashbound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanp
It's too "wordy" to copy and paste
But check out this link for what UPS is up to (It's UPS not Amazon pushing the drone agenda)
https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/sum...?id=D000000081
So,100K doesn't amount to much...
The $100k isn't to pay off a politician or bureaucrat, it's to take the FAA to court. I haven't noticed the courts of justice being controlled and steered by outside interests and hope they are still largely unaffected by campaign contributors but maybe I'm naive'.


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