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Oct 09, 2019, 04:38 AM
pushing the envelope
rcgroupie's Avatar
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Discussion

Tiered System for Testing Complexity and Airspace Rights


Notice: If you want to endlessly discuss the pros/cons of the AMA this is not the thread, start your own or get out.

A tiered system would be the optimal solution for test complexity and airspace rights. This has been very successful in the amateur radio (ham) system. For example, a novice ham is constrained to morse code on most frequencies, maximum power levels are low, and spectrum is limited. This prevents interference with broadcast radio as well as other legit amateurs. More power, more modes, and wider spectrum rights are available once appropriate knowledge has been proven by tests administered by volunteers (VECs). The hobby is self-regulated and the FCC signs off on the regs.

RC regulations and testing should be similarly developed. A 'novice' flyer, for example, might be limited by size and weight restrictions, altitude etc. but the testing would be much less rigorous. A 'general' or 'advanced' flyer would have greater flexibility based upon greater knowledge. Requirements would be developed by hobbyists along with sets of test questions administered by volunteers approved by the FAA.

This would have the benefit of allowing entry-level flyers to get into the hobby without undue hurdles and then progress to higher classifications as desired.
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Oct 09, 2019, 05:29 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
I'm all for FAA administered* testing and licensing for tiered privileges in the airspace.

By "FAA administered" I mean something structured similar to how FCC amateur licenses are handled. Other agencies can give the test, for a fee even, but the questions are controlled by the FCC and the license comes from the FCC.
Oct 09, 2019, 05:59 AM
Registered User
atreis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m
I'm all for FAA administered* testing and licensing for tiered privileges in the airspace.

By "FAA administered" I mean something structured similar to how FCC amateur licenses are handled. Other agencies can give the test, for a fee even, but the questions are controlled by the FCC and the license comes from the FCC.
One of the few things on which we agree. A tiered structure that allows for greater access to the airspace as skills and knowledge improves (leveling up), also similar to amateur radio, also makes sense.

FWIW, my amateur radio tests were free. One of the benefits of living near Dayton - they're free at Hamvention.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:12 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by atreis
One of the few things on which we agree. A tiered structure that allows for greater access to the airspace as skills and knowledge improves (leveling up), also similar to amateur radio, also makes sense.

FWIW, my amateur radio tests were free. One of the benefits of living near Dayton - they're free at Hamvention.
Mine was too. I had to drive to Harrisburg (no small expense in 12.5 mpg vehicle), but the club gave them for free.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:17 AM
pushing the envelope
rcgroupie's Avatar
Thread OP
To clarify, this thread is about tier and testing reg recommendations, not about what org. does the testing.

I'm thinking tier 0 would be no test, no license, no registration and 500g weight limit at some reasonable altitude.
Tier 1 might be 400' in class G with appropriate gear and knowledge.
Tier 2 might be limited use of camera 'drones' by realtors etc. to photograph buildings for sale, but NOT by pilots offering services to realtors - defining that as 'commercial' use. It is absurd that any kid off the street can fly a drone and take pics whereas an adult realtor cannot. DUH.
Tier 3 would be something like gliders and such to 2K' with permanent airspace allocations, giving way to piloted, but NOT giving way to damazon drones etc.
Operation of a transmitter should be more than sufficient for notification of RC craft in the area, and is already regulated/authorized by the FCC. If a gen. aviation pilot is dumb enough to fly below 400' in class G they should be required to monitor allowable RC frequencies. Gliders at 2K' might reasonably be required to have a transponder or similar.
The current system of regulation by waiver is the most moronic possible way to administer the law, and rulings can be arbitrary depending on the individuals involved with the approval process. It lends itself to bribes and corruption as we have seen in the MAX debacle.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:36 AM
Registered User
Unless the FAA has mentioned tiered testing then the thread is useless. Discussing the theory of FAA possibilities is senseless.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:47 AM
pushing the envelope
rcgroupie's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by roids
Unless the FAA has mentioned tiered testing then the thread is useless. Discussing the theory of FAA possibilities is senseless.
No, the point is to introduce legislation that strips the FAA of it's arbitrary tyrannical powers and specifically establish guidelines for the NAS. Access to the NAS is a right, not a privilege, and should be regulated only to the extent necessary to prevent bad things from happening.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:52 AM
Registered User
I can agree with that but who or what organisation will pony up the money?

To me, the simple solution, as far as traditional model hobby fields are concerned is to put them on a sectional. Treat them like skydiving operations.
Oct 09, 2019, 06:58 AM
pushing the envelope
rcgroupie's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by roids
To me, the simple solution, as far as traditional model hobby fields are concerned is to put them on a sectional. Treat them like skydiving operations.
That would work for the 2K' glider ops but are you really proposing putting a kid with a micro on a sectional? Hence the need for tiers. They really do solve a lot of problems.
Oct 09, 2019, 07:49 AM
R/C Addict for Life!!
Darryl Miller's Avatar
In regards to testing requirements to fly RC. Do I, (and all the other licensed pilots who fly RC) get credit for time served? I mean, we have taken multiple FAA administered written and practical exams, what possible positive would come from making those with ratings take yet another test? Seems like we (collectively) can read a sectional and know the regulations and additional testing requirements are overkill.
I’m just curious what the pundits here think about this topic.

D
Oct 09, 2019, 08:09 AM
Registered User
How would this tier system be enforced. Anyone can buy a plane or a drone, new or used, and fly where and when they like. Ham and radio control are not exactly the same, one requires the participation of another person, one does not. The other person’s involvement and request for a license number helps with enforcement.

Europe is ground zero for society ruled by government and we seem to be headed in that direction. How do they address the issue? i’ve seen some very large models flown there on Youtube, they may have a system we can replicate.
Oct 09, 2019, 08:43 AM
Registered User
aeronaut999's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcgroupie
Notice: If you want to endlessly discuss the pros/cons of the AMA this is not the thread, start your own or get out.

A tiered system would be the optimal solution for test complexity and airspace rights. This has been very successful in the amateur radio (ham) system.
Possession of a full-scale pilot's license could automatically confer the higher privileges, since it indicates an understanding of the airspace system.
Oct 09, 2019, 08:51 AM
Registered User
I think it is funny when the FAA says we have to take a test to fly RC, many say "hell no". Now were are talking about multiple tests to fly RC.
Oct 09, 2019, 08:52 AM
Hey Guys, Watch This.......
mike2663's Avatar
Tiered System would be way to labor intensive. Remember your dealing with the goverment.

Mike
Oct 09, 2019, 08:58 AM
Registered User
Any such system would be rigged so basically no one who isn't a pilot or doesn't fly for a living (and hence make a full-time job out of following FAA regulations, or have a support organization to handle this) couldn't practically use. Look at what the FAA gives as an example for a part 107 400' waiver: satellite phones, spotters, geofencing, etc.


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