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Jan 23, 2020, 07:25 PM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
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Question

Thinking about foreign-produced UAS's and UA's, etc


How does Subpart F, the production standards, relate to unmanned aircraft produced in other countries?

Quote:
Subpart F—Design and Production of Unmanned Aircraft Systems with Remote Identification

89.501 Applicability.
(a) This subpart prescribes –
(1) Requirements for the design and production of unmanned aircraft systems operated in the United States.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, this subpart applies to the design and production of unmanned aircraft systems operated in the United States.
I don't understand how this is supposed to work. Can I design and produce a UAS in the US, intended for commercial sale in another country, without including RID? Then if someone brings one back from that other country and operates it in the US, does that mean that I the producer have now broken the law? In other words, what is the meaning of "operated in the United States", as it pertains to a manufacturer? A UAS on the factory assembly line isn't being "operated" anywhere yet. How can anyone know where it will be eventually operated?

Now consider this-- what if a Canadian company manufactures a Bind-and-Fly plane without RID, intended to be sold worldwide. The US FARs don't apply in Canada, so the Canadian company isn't breaking any regulation. Say my local hobby store orders some and I go buy one and bind it to my existing transmitter. I haven't done any fabrication or assembly at all, so I don't see how I could be considered to be the producer and held to the production standards of Subpart F. So, no regulations have been broken so far. (Or, if it is necessary to complete the argument, assume that the plane is sold complete with a transmitter.)

I don't see why I can't go fly this plane at a FRIA without breaking any regulations. I'd still be in full compliance with:

Quote:
"89.105 Remote identification requirement.

Except as otherwise authorized by the Administrator, after [COMPLIANCE DATE 36 MONTHS FROM EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], no person may operate an unmanned aircraft system within the airspace of the United States unless the operation is conducted under one of the following conditions: ...

(c) The unmanned aircraft system does not have remote identification equipment and that person complies with the requirements of § 89.120

§ 89.120 Unmanned aircraft systems without remote identification.

A person may operate an unmanned aircraft system that does not meet the requirements for a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft system under § 89.110 or a limited remote identification unmanned aircraft system under § 89.115 only if the requirements of (a) or (b) are met.

(a) Operations at FAA-recognized identification areas. Unless otherwise authorized by the administrator:

(1) The unmanned aircraft system is operated within visual line of sight.
(2) The unmanned aircraft system is operated within an FAA-recognized identification area
For that matter, even if the RID-less plane was illegally "produced" by a US company in violation of Subpart F, it seems that I still wouldn't be breaking any regulations if I bought one and flew it at a FRIA. Of course I'd have to register it. Maybe I can't register it unless it has a serial number? Ok, then assume it does have a serial number.

Also, what about this--

Quote:
Subpart B—Operating Requirements

§ 89.101 Applicability.
This subpart applies to the following:
(a) Persons operating unmanned aircraft registered or required to be registered under part47 or part 48 of this chapter.

(b) Persons operating foreign civil unmanned aircraft in the United States.
So, what determines whether or not a given unmanned aircraft is "foreign"? Where it was produced? The nationality of the person flying it? If it is registered in another country or not?

What part of the regulations, if any, makes a "foreign" unmanned aircraft exempt from the requirement to be registered in the US if it is flown in the US, as the wording of 89.101 seems to suggest is the case? Is a plane produced in China and brought to the US for sale in US hobby stores "foreign"? Is it exempt from the requirement to be registered?

Consider this--
Quote:
§ 48.20 – Eligibility for registration.
A small unmanned aircraft may be registered under 49 U.S.C. 44103 and under this part only when the aircraft is not registered under the laws of a foreign country and is—

(a) Owned by a U.S. citizen;

(b) Owned by an individual citizen of a foreign country lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States;

(c) Owned by a corporation not a citizen of the United States when the corporation is organized and doing business under the laws of the United States or a State within the United States, and the aircraft is based and primarily used in the United States; or

(d) An aircraft of—

(1) The United States Government; or

(2) A State, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, or a political subdivision of a State, territory, or possession.
Would it help to register our unmanned aircraft under the laws of some other country-- one that doesn't require RID?
Last edited by aeronaut999; Jan 25, 2020 at 12:54 AM.
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Jan 23, 2020, 08:06 PM
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you won't find any loophole
outside the FRIA no UAS will be allowed without remote ID to be "operated" as fly in the NAS of the U.S.
except with R&D waiver & at restricted area, so good luck trying to beat the NPRM
Jan 23, 2020, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boombang
you won't find any loophole
outside the FRIA no UAS will be allowed without remote ID to be "operated" as fly in the NAS of the U.S.
except with R&D waiver & at restricted area, so good luck trying to beat the NPRM
Let's say for the sake of argument I'm happy to just fly it at a FRIA. I am trying to understand how Subpart F, the production rules, are supposed to related to foreign-produced models, if it all, and what regulation would stop me from purchasing a foreign-produce model with no RID and flying it in a FRIA.

It appears that it will not be legal for manufacturers to produce models with no RID in the US, even if they tell people to only fly them at FRIAs.
Jan 23, 2020, 08:24 PM
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there will be a time frame when it becomes rule; 3 years & then another 2 years [or something like that], after that you may not be able to register the UAS without certified serial number
Jan 23, 2020, 08:30 PM
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Expecting things to make sense.... doesn’t make sense!


The entire nprm is riddled with rules and regulations that conflict with each other, are vague and open to wide interpretation or appear to be impossible to follow.

IMHO the FAA is not concerned with any of this making sense. The intention is to kill rc as a hobby and turn the skies, down to the very grass, over to the big commercial companies that are lining the pockets of our lovely government representatives. The whole point is to kill the hobby in it’s entirety.
Jan 23, 2020, 08:43 PM
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atreis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
How does Subpart F, the production standards, relate to unmanned aircraft produced in other countries?
Sorry, no loopholes here. It's the same as MANY other products. Lots of products are made in foreign countries and imported to the US. Products being sold as new have to comply with US law in order to be legally imported and sold here. Cars have to meet US emissions requirements, have side-impact protection, have brakes that are strong enough to overcome the full power of the engine, etc ... Toys have to meet US requirements for material content (no lead-based paint, Cadmium, etc.). This is no different.

Lots of products are also made in the US for sale in other countries. Those products don't have to meet US requirements, but do have to meet the requirements of those other countries. For instance, cars sold in the EU have different headlight requirements and hood requirements (for pedestrian collisions, which are more common there), and so on ...

If you go to another country, buy something and bring it into the US, you are the importer. Generally speaking (there are always exceptions - weapons and food come to mind) it doesn't have to meet US regulatory requirements unless you use it and you have to disclose that it's not legally usable in the US if you sell it. As the importer, you're the responsible party if you sell it without making such a disclosure. As the owner, you're the responsible party if you use it without it being legal to use. (e.g. You can import a factory-built car that's road legal in another country but that doesn't meet US requirements without modification, but you won't be able to register it (to get a license plate so that you can legally drive it on public roads) without modifying it to meet US requirements. The same is true for a lot of radio equipment. You can import it or buy it, but you can't necessarily use it legally. If you buy a transmitter from a Chinese vendor with no physical US presence, you're the importer and it may not be legal for you to use that transmitter without an amateur radio license if it's not labeled as being FCC approved whether or not there are others made by the same company that have that label. This one isn't enforced a lot, but that doesn't affect whether or not it's legal.)
Jan 23, 2020, 09:00 PM
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atreis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
Let's say for the sake of argument I'm happy to just fly it at a FRIA. I am trying to understand how Subpart F, the production rules, are supposed to related to foreign-produced models, if it all, and what regulation would stop me from purchasing a foreign-produce model with no RID and flying it in a FRIA.

It appears that it will not be legal for manufacturers to produce models with no RID in the US, even if they tell people to only fly them at FRIAs.
As the rules are currently written, if the kit contains everything and you just assemble it the manufacturer of the kit is responsible for ensuring that it has Remote ID. Otherwise, it's not legal for sale for use in the US. (It could be sold in the US if the buyer is informed that it's not legal for use in the US. The buyer could then export it to another country where it is legal for use.)

Quote:
UAS Kits. The FAA anticipates that some UAS producers will wish to sell kits that would allow a person to assemble a fully functional UAS. If the kit contains all the parts and instructions necessary to build a UAS, the producer of the kit, not the person assembling the UAS from the kit, is considered the manufacturer of the UAS and is subject to all of the design and production requirements of proposed subpart F. For purposes of the proposed rule, the FAA does not consider any package containing less than 100% of the parts and instructions necessary to assemble a complete, functional UAS to be a UAS kit.
If you buy parts from various vendors and build something that is more than 50% pre-manufactured (whatever that means) then you're the producer and it can't be flown legally without RID (including in a FRIA).

Quote:
UAS assembled completely from pre-fabricated parts. The FAA anticipates that some model aircraft enthusiasts may assemble UAS entirely from pre-fabricated parts and that commercial vendors may wish to sell UAS parts, including packages that contain more than 50 but less than 100 percent of the parts necessary to build a UAS. The resulting UAS would not qualify as amateur-built because the person building it would be fabricating and assembling 50 percent or less of the UAS. The UAS would not qualify as built from a kit because it did not include 100 percent of the necessary parts. Under these circumstances, the person assembling the UAS would be considered the producer and would be required to comply with the design and production requirements of proposed subpart F.
These two rules are actually pretty clear. They don't make any kind of logical sense, but they're clear.
Jan 23, 2020, 09:45 PM
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How do you get an rid?
Jan 23, 2020, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
I am trying to understand how Subpart F, the production rules, are supposed to related to foreign-produced models, if it all, and what regulation would stop me from purchasing a foreign-produce model with no RID and flying it in a FRIA.
You would be unable to lawfully register that model.
Jan 24, 2020, 11:01 AM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreis
Sorry, no loopholes here. It's the same as MANY other products. Lots of products are made in foreign countries and imported to the US. Products being sold as new have to comply with US law in order to be legally imported and sold here. Cars have to meet US emissions requirements, have side-impact protection, have brakes that are strong enough to overcome the full power of the engine, etc ... Toys have to meet US requirements for material content (no lead-based paint, Cadmium, etc.). This is no different.
Maybe it is different. Maybe those other rules address the features that must exist in a product that is sold in the US, while the RID NPRM appears to address features that must exist in order for a product "that is operated in the U.S." to be legally produced.
Jan 24, 2020, 11:03 AM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronaut999
I am trying to understand how Subpart F, the production rules, are supposed to related to foreign-produced models, if it all, and what regulation would stop me from purchasing a foreign-produce model with no RID and flying it in a FRIA.
You would be unable to lawfully register that model.
Why couldn't I register it?

The proposed regulations say

Quote:

§ 48.100 Application.

(a) Required information. Each applicant for a Certificate of Aircraft Registration issued under this part must submit all of the following information to the Registry:

...


(6) For any standard remote identification unmanned aircraft or limited remote identification unmanned aircraft, the serial number issued by the manufacturer of the unmanned aircraft in accordance with the design and production requirements of part 89.
The phrase "in accordance with the design and production requirements of part 89." seems to only describe the issuing of the serial number, not the whole production process. If there is a serial number which conforms to the standards for serial numbers specified in Part 89, why can't I register the foreign-made RID-less UAS? And then go legally fly it in a FRIA?

EDIT-- sorry, I'm not thinking straight. 48.100 (a) (6) doesn't even apply at all to UAS's with no RID. There appears to be no specific requirement for a serial number for a UAS without RID.
Last edited by aeronaut999; Jan 25, 2020 at 01:38 AM. Reason: modify re serial number
Jan 24, 2020, 11:58 AM
Multirotors are models too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombang
there will be a time frame when it becomes rule; 3 years & then another 2 years [or something like that], after that you may not be able to register the UAS without certified serial number
Please provide a section number from the rule that states this. Or a page number from the register or the draft document. i have seen no mention of this in the rule..... (but I could have missed it)
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Jan 24, 2020, 05:21 PM
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yeah, something got mixed up
actually the limited recreational operations hobby r/c model can still be registered

Quote:
Page 72488
XVII. Proposed Effective and Compliance Dates
The serial number of any UA required to be registered must be listed on an FAA-accepted declaration of compliance or the UA can only be flown within an FAA-recognized identification area (89.110(c)(1) and 89.115(c)(1))
First day of the month following 36 months after the effective date.
Jan 24, 2020, 06:03 PM
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aeronaut999's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boombang
yeah, something got mixed up
actually the limited recreational operations hobby r/c model can still be registered

Quote:
Page 72488
XVII. Proposed Effective and Compliance Dates
The serial number of any UA required to be registered must be listed on an FAA-accepted declaration of compliance or the UA can only be flown within an FAA-recognized identification area (89.110(c)(1) and 89.115(c)(1))
First day of the month following 36 months after the effective date.
OK, first of all, keep this in mind. The quote above from the NPRM preamble is not quite accurate. 89.110c and 89.115 only pertain to UA's with RID. Therefore they have no bearing at all on UA's without RID. Even though a RID-less UA weighing more than .55 pounds is indeed required to be registered. Presumably it would never be legal to fly an unregistered UA weighing more than .55 pounds, even in a FRIA. Although the quote above almost implies that it might be.

48.100 (a) (6) doesn't even apply at all to UAS's with no RID. There appears to be no specific requirement to provide a serial number in order to register a UAS without RID, even if that UAS was produced out of conformity with the production standards of Subpart F, or even if that RID was produced in another country and would not conform to the production standards of Subpart F if it had been produced in the US.

It seems to me therefore that a RID-less ARF plane like lots of us are flying will STILL be able to be registered, even after 36 months after (whatever), even though it will not be listed on a FAA-accepted declaration of compliance. Of course, it won't be legal to produce an ARF, either with or without RID, in the US. Likewise an ARF produced either with or without RID outside of the US would never be listed on a FAA-accepted declaration of compliance. But I don't see what regulation would be broken by importing a RID-less ARF for sale in the US. It seems to me it could still be legally registered. Naturally, it could only be legally flown in a FRIA.

Or would the final assembly of the ARF make the assembler the "producer" and thus subject to RID compliance? OK, change the whole argument to a BNF, or a full-blown RTF set-up including transmitter. Now does it work? I don't see why not.

Does the FAA really mean to ban the production of a plane in the US, that is perfectly legal to fly in a FRIA? And that-- as far as I can see-- is perfectly legal to import into the US?

Think about that for a moment.

Are the US hobby manufacturers (if there are any left) up in arms about this?

Steve
Last edited by aeronaut999; Jan 25, 2020 at 01:15 AM.
Jan 24, 2020, 06:31 PM
Registered User
the amateur-built 50-100% stuff is for the standard & limited remote ID UAS with serial number,
according to XVII. Proposed Effective and Compliance Dates the amateur-built rule does not apply to the limited recreational operations [home-built hobby] UA


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