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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › FAA authorization law and drones/model aircraft
12-22-2018 11:40 PM  11 months ago
revmix

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NJ

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ChrisO no interest in joining the likes of AMA.
CBO membership is not required by HR302
§ 44809. Exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft
“(2) The aircraft is operated in accordance with or within the programming of a community-based organization’s set of safety guidelines that are developed in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th...95400F38BA66A4A
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12-23-2018 12:18 AM  11 months ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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ChrisO
TMoore Great news about ADS-B then. I'm sure we'll all have it on our models in no time.
No, you won't have it on your models in no time. That's not the intent and I'm not sure who thought that up. But it's not true. Commercial UAV's will certainly have it as a requirement. It is the NextGen replacing radar in TRSA's and Class E airspace. But even so, not even all full-size aircraft are required to be equipped with ADS-B Out if they fly in Class G airspace. Just like now, all full-size do not have to be equipped with Mode C transponder with encoding altimeter. You only need that equipment if you fly in certain classes of airspace.
TMoore Are you just another fullsize pilot that likes to come on model forums and tell us how it's supposed to be done or are you a real modeler?
I fly a couple scale models for fun. And I see a lot of modelers over-reacting to the law. The reactions vary from thinking they are the prima donna and nothing applies to them, to it's not gonna work anyway. This implies a basic misunderstanding of aviation in general. The primary focus of FAR's is commercial - it is billions of dollars every year to move people and commerce quickly, efficiently and safely. Secondary is regulating General Aviation so all can enjoy flying, but they have to stay out of the way of commercial operators. And again, enjoy flying safely. Unmanned aircraft have entered our airspace now, there is problems, and they must be dealt with. This is nobody's fault. It is an evolution of technology that brought it about.
TMoore Do you really think that just because you get your Part 107 that anyone should fly around an airport with permission or not?
Yes. I do it all the time. We get hired to do various surveys with UAV that's safer to do than with a full-size helicopter around airports. Again, that's the intent of the law - to make sure the people doing it have the training to do it. We operate in a different world from modelers, hence the separation in pilot and equipment requirements.

OTOH, if I'm making an approach into an airport the last thing I want to see is a UAV flying in my airspace. It's not the Part 107 pilots we worry about. It's the recreational pilots that are the problem, either doing it intentionally, or unintentional because they don't know any better.
TMoore The Drone Weenie label fits. It is very appropriate because the FAA have unleashed a group of operators on to the landscape with little to no flying skills and no mechanism to learn them.
No, it is not an appropriate label. It infers some sort of inferiority complex imposed by one group of recreational pilots to another.

The new law imposes very minor requirements on long-time recreational pilots. So you have to register your helicopter for $5, and take a test to fly it. This is a very small price to pay to give enforcement the bite of law. If a pilot takes the test he/she acknowledges that he/she at least knows what the rules are by passing the test. Now, if that pilot decides to break the rules anyway, it won't be the FAA showing up. It will be the cops. And they no longer show up and tell the person, "you can't do that because we said you can't." They have concrete grounds for making an arrest of somebody breaking federal aviation laws. All aviation infractions, no matter how small, are prosecuted in U.S. District Court. It is not a local or state thing.

Unlike the FCC, the FAA is an arm of US DOT. They have vast enforcement resources thru local and state law enforcement, and the FBI. But they do need the legal channels to establish the requirements for enforcing it, which is the intent of the law.
It all sounds good but I'll wait and see how it works in reality. As far as the transponder stuff is concerned that's already being pushed by some and thus far it's not compatible with current RC tech so the jury is out on that one.

Part 107 doesn't teach flying skills and certainly doesn't teach LOS skills. I see Drone pilots all the time that are so dependent on the automation that it absolutely cripples skill development. IOW they can't fly LOS. The automation will fail at some point, it always does, not to mention the fact that quads and hex's are not aerodynamically sound machines.

The Drone Weenie label is absolutely appropriate. Turn off the automation and the machines are virtually unflyable. I can certainly fly a model airplane or heli with no automation because I have the skill set to do it. Drone operators as a majority are very low time pilots and don't have the skill set to fly, build or maintain their equipment because they never had to. So the idea that I'm inferring anything isn't true. I'm saying straight up that the Drone Weenies, unless they have a modeling background typically don't have the skills to fly safely without automation and by definition that makes them inferior to someone that has lots of hours flying LOS aircraft without automation. Have you ever flown pylon racers? I did back when I was a lot younger, both Form 1, Quarter Midget and Quickie 500. You better have some serious orientation and building skills so you don't kill someone or yourself. Same thing with 3D helis or aerobatic aircraft, orientation skills and practice are essential to being safe. Highly automated GPS machines are not safe especially with less than hobby grade equipment for control. There is no test that ensures safety, good operating practices and flight skills. Only practice and doing it will make it happen. Dependence on automation or on board equipment is foolish.

A skill test without a flying test is nothing. Would you just test a prospective pilot with a written test and then show them the aircraft and let them fly it; how about a car? Of course you wouldn't. That's why full size pilots have to have a certain number of actual flying hours before they solo. It's no different with models. That's what made the hobby challenging. It also culled the low hanging fruit that don't have the building and flying skills. IOW the hobby was self regulating. It's not so with GPS stabilized multirotor appliances.

The FAA may have vast enforcement resources thru local and state law enforcement but unless you are an absolute holy terror the local boys won't give you a second thought. There are not enough of them and they have more important things to do than mess with folks that are flying models in their back pastures.

You're starting to sound like a more verbose version of revmix.
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12-23-2018 07:03 AM  11 months ago
ChrisO

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Barron, WI USA

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TMoore As far as the transponder stuff is concerned that's already being pushed by some and thus far it's not compatible with current RC tech so the jury is out on that one.
Well, there is ADS-B out for UAV's. But it's around $1,200. I expect somebody like DJI will put it in their drones and then advertise they can automatically avoid manned aircraft.

DJI is the primary problem in the industry. IMO they need to have like $800 million billion in tariff's slapped on 'em to import a drone to the US. It would solve a lot of problems.
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12-23-2018 08:38 AM  11 months ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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ChrisO
TMoore As far as the transponder stuff is concerned that's already being pushed by some and thus far it's not compatible with current RC tech so the jury is out on that one.
Well, there is ADS-B out for UAV's. But it's around $1,200. I expect somebody like DJI will put it in their drones and then advertise they can automatically avoid manned aircraft.

DJI is the primary problem in the industry. IMO they need to have like $800 million billion in tariff's slapped on 'em to import a drone to the US. It would solve a lot of problems.
That's about the only thing you've said so far that I agree with.
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12-23-2018 11:48 AM  11 months ago
dialarotor

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Traverse City, Michigan

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FAA test and How High?
if I have to study and take a FAA test, maybe I can substitute for a Bi Annual Flight Rview. As for 400', any FAA or LEO weenie comes up and ask how high it my model? My answer, 399', prove me wrong.
RapRexSynLogo Pilot
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12-23-2018 05:24 PM  11 months ago
AirWolfRC

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The reason class G "uncontrolled" airspace exists is because the FAA doesn't have equipment that can monitor that space or they simply don't want to.

ADSB out is another story. It requires you to broadcast your position so others can know about your position.

And don't forget the additional battery draw for the ADSB electronics.
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12-23-2018 06:06 PM  11 months ago
TMoore

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dialarotor FAA test and How High?
if I have to study and take a FAA test, maybe I can substitute for a Bi Annual Flight Rview. As for 400', any FAA or LEO weenie comes up and ask how high it my model? My answer, 399', prove me wrong.
Good point and here's my problem with the FAA Test proposal. As with registration it does nothing for true modelers, it's only really for Drone Weenies. The reason that I call them GPS stabilized multirotor appliance operators Drone Weenies is because Drone F-Tard is really inappropriate for all age groups on the forums but F-Tard is really more fitting...just sayin.

The proposed testing is a Congressional hat trick to make it look like the FAA has this situation well in hand and they can show Congress that they did something to mitigate those dangerous model airplane folks that have been terrorizing the skies like over at Gatwick airport in the UK. Here's the problem with that; just testing me on my knowledge of the Alphabet airspaces is virtually meaningless because in actuality modelers only fly in Class V airspace because the FAA doesn't know it exists. That's the airspace that the modeler is working in whereby "you can't fly what you can't see". Some of the FAA shills out there will pipe in and say that all sUAS systems flown for recreation must by FAA mandate be flown VLOS....if only that were true.

The Drone Weenie version of VLOS is more akin to DBS which means "Drone by Smartphone" or just Drone by phone. Why is this critical? Well, the reason it's critical is because as far as I know there are no GPS enabled multi flight control systems out there other than Naza's and Wookong's commercially available that don't work off of some kind of smartphone. Every GPS stabilized multirotor appliance that I've personally flown and seen in action always uses a smartphone. Here's where the FAA shills will pipe in and say "so what". The "so what" is that when you fly a GPS stabilized multi rotor appliance with a smartphone in drone by phone mode are you really flying VLOS? IMHO, that is a NEGATIVE. The reason why is because the Drone Weenie will hit the auto take off button, with their eyes on the smartphone or VPH (visual peep hole) and take off in one direction or another, program a way point or just climb to altitude and hold. In order to do that the operator is using a spring loaded altitude control on the transmitter and 99% of the workload to fly to a position in 3D space via a high level of automation, all the while the operator is paying attention to the smartphone and not where the model is in Class V airspace. IOW, the operator isn't really watching the model they are watching the view as in pure FPV mode or through the VPH. Technically speaking if you are flying in the mode you should have a spotter, right? That isn't happening. In FPV mode your situational awareness is pretty much nil as far as approaching aircraft due to the limitation of the FOV of the VPH. Another reason that DJI and others are adding sensors to all their Drones.

The drone operator can park the model anywhere in 3D space and leave it as long as they want or have battery capacity for, pan and tilt the camera, go get their fave beverage from the cooler, relieve themselves behind the truck, pick their teeth, scratch their privates, shave and anything else they want to do until the battery warning goes off and the model will RTH automatically to the take off point if it is close enough to the take off point. All the while, the operator is viewing their surroundings via the VPH mode in the smartphone. Let's face it, if the phone just dies and there is no video feed can most of the operators acquire the model visually and then fly it back conventionally? That depends on how far it is away. Most likely that's a big negative. All they can do is hit the RTH switch and hope for the best. I've lost the video feeds on quad racers on several occasions and simply released the sticks to neutral, switched to self level model, punched the collective and acquired the machines based on my best guess near where they were on the track. Self level mode is not GPS, not by a long shot. Drone operators don't fly in VLOS mode as we in the RC Model hobby know it. The model may be in the rough vicinity of the operator but 99% of the time they are flying in FPV mode and just keeping the model roughly in a VLOS radius. If they had to acquire the model and fly it back home under visual control most of them have no training for that. In short the Drone Weenies need the FAA test because they don't fly VLOS. Since IMHO the Drone Weenies aren't truly flying VLOS they are in violation of the FAA rules already by virtue of the fact they are using the FPV mode on their phones to fly with. On top of all of this the Drone Weenies need no landing strip, no flying field just a convenient take off and landing point and the vast majority of them do just that in the most unsafe environment they can find, flying over people and property with abandon. Look at the videos on YT and prove me wrong.

In the case of an RC model, the modeler is flying in Class V airspace 100% of the time. We can't fly what we can't see. Truly, modelers fly in VLOS mode. Our models have no auto take off, no RTH and no automation that allows us to park the model in 3D space and do something else. 100% of the flight mode is controlled by gray matter. The RC TX's have no facility for smartphone connections(the IX12 is an exception since it runs on the android system but I'm not aware of it having cell service at this time), the models aren't stabilized in 3D space by GPS and the only time that FPV might apply is if the modeler integrates it into the model themselves because there are almost no commercially available FPV aircraft that you can by off the shelf or in a RTF/Bind and Fly mode other than indoor quads from Horizon. If I fly a jet, or fixed wing, it needs a field with a runway. A modeler can't fly a fixed wing from a sidewalk, side of an interstate hwy, busy park with dogs and people or from the side of a bridge with any degree of safety and a responsible modeler wouldn't. I've seen Drone operators fly from all of those locations on YT. AMA members by and large fly at chartered club fields. The locations of which are known. If I fly at other than a Club field I have to have permission of the landowner to maintain insurance coverage.

So if the RC Modeler is restricted to club fields for the most part why bother to administer a rules and regs test? We already fly in the most restrictive of airspaces, Class V airspace. The answer is that the FAA is lumping all of us into the Drone Weenie classification whether we like it or not because they are either too lazy to understand the difference, too ignorant to understand or just plain don't care. IMHO, it's all of those. Anyone that thinks that Drone operators and RC Modelers are the same just isn't thinking. As I've explained, the differences are considerable.

A knowledge test is useless without a flight test. Passing a test written just around rules is meaningless. Would you give a prospective pilot a written test then hand them the aircraft and wish them good luck on their solo flight, how about a OTR truck driver, how about handing the car keys to your daughter after she passes the written with no actual hands on training. I can go on and on. This the problem I have with the Part 107 and the proposed FAA test for recreational pilots. If it's just questions, it's useless just like registration was. It won't make us safer.
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12-23-2018 06:30 PM  11 months ago
ChrisO

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dialarotor if I have to study and take a FAA test, maybe I can substitute for a Bi Annual Flight Rview. As for 400', any FAA or LEO weenie comes up and ask how high it my model? My answer, 399', prove me wrong.
The 400AGL limitation for unmanned came about due to 14 CFR Part 91.119. Which states that manned aircraft have to stay minimum 1,000 ft above the highest obstacle within 2,000 ft horizontal, or in non-congested areas 500' AGL. Except over open water or non-populated areas manned aircraft can fly as close to the surface as they want. And this done by aerial applicators "crop dusters" all the time, which is what I do.

There is an exception in that part for helicopters, which can fly below the minimums for fixed-wing anyplace, any time. Helicopters are used for emergency services, law enforcement, agriculture, etc.. The FAR's state that helicopters can land anywhere on improved or unimproved sites, on buildings, whatever.

So this is the thinking behind the 400 ft limitation to provide a pseudo-separation between unmanned and manned aircraft.

Nobody is going to get excited if you accidentally punch out to 450AGL with your model. You have to use some common sense and best practices says to stay below 400. Remember that the airspace always belongs to manned aircraft, and you are only allowed to use it if you don't interfere with them.

There has never been a problem with this with modelers at RC airfields in 80 years, and I don't expect there ever will be. And the FAA recognizes that and they are not going to say anything about it. The FAA is not after modelers. They want to get the people flying "drones" on FPV well out of LOS that are doing this with total disregard to avoidance of manned aircraft. As far as I know, there has only been one collision where one hit a UH-60. But we don't need any more of them:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media...-hawk-collision
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12-23-2018 07:13 PM  11 months ago
drdot

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So. California, Orange County.

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Hi...

I spent a great deal of time talking to the faa at the AMA show this year...While they were polite, they as much as admitted that there is no plan in place to implement or enforce the new regs.
That said, the AMA itself is stating that the 400 foot ceiling desteoys 30% of the hobby. Large scale aerobatics, almost any sailplane activity, heli auto contests, FAI pattern, etc.
I have contacted Feinstein, the FAA, and Chad Budreau about my concerns, no answers yer...My (legal) question is, if this restriction applies to rc hobbyists, why are model rockets and free flight exempt?....Further discussion with an attorney indicated that the legal concept of estoppel may apply...We have done this for so long, resticting it now may be illegal.
I need to see the AMA get with the program....Drag the rockets and free flighters in...discrimination a great lawfare tactic....
I am not seeing a reasonable effort on their part to defang this disaster.
In other words....I got your 400 feet right here!

John.
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12-23-2018 07:16 PM  11 months ago
ChrisO

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Barron, WI USA

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TMoore The Drone Weenie version of VLOS is more akin to DBS which means "Drone by Smartphone" or just Drone by phone.
Not all us fly DBS. I fly a piston machine for ag survey work and the autopilot is necessary to get the pass-to-pass accuracy. At the distances we fly at it is VLOS, but impossible to get an accurate flight path +/- 5 feet for proper image overlap when working with a camera.

While the autopilot system I use can take off and land automatically, I don't use it because it's not safe. The autopilot system has to go thru a series of three in-flight checks before I'll allow it have control of the helicopter. Take off with the SAS to make sure the attitude controller is working properly. If it's not, the flight is aborted. Then switch to GPS navigation mode and make the nav controller is working properly. The heli should hold position, the compass heading must agree, altitude must agree, engine temp and headspeed must be normal, attitude controller must agree with the AH. Then engage the autopilot and let it fly the flight.

Due to the distances, sometimes up to a 1/2 mile, the RTL function is necessary if the link is lost to the helicopter. We can't let it simply fly off someplace and crash if the link is lost.

DJI's system is pure crap. It runs everything on 2.4GHz. The system I use uses three different radio bands for redundancy, with two of them capable of full manual control, the third is just for FPV to have a visual reference of where the heli is from the aircraft's perspective.

The average person that flies a DJI product doesn't have the first clue how to fly one of these. But the piston helicopter provides performance, flight time, immunity to wind, and safety and redundancy that no electric "drone" can match.

So please don't lump all Part 107 pilots into the category of "drone weenies".

Watch at YouTube

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12-23-2018 08:24 PM  11 months ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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ChrisO So please don't lump all Part 107 pilots into the category of "drone weenies".
If you aren't flying that stuff then take yourself out of the classification. That 766 isn't a stabilized multirotor. You are the exception, although I'm not too sure about that radio.
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12-23-2018 08:28 PM  11 months ago
TMoore

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drdot That said, the AMA itself is stating that the 400 foot ceiling desteoys 30% of the hobby. Large scale aerobatics, almost any sailplane activity, heli auto contests, FAI pattern, etc.
Did you read the latest Model Aviation?
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12-23-2018 10:51 PM  11 months ago
drdot

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Hi,

Yes, I did..That 30% is direct quote...A step fuerher...AMA puts on a contest at Muncie for large scale aerobatica...Who would be lurking about?,,,
We have a jet meet yearly at Apollo in Van Nuys...Who would be carrying a radar gun waiting to find somwone breaking the 87 mph speed limit?
Remember...We are paying these sphincters to make our lives miserable. I know...Lots of people say "I'll just go off by myself and fly rouge"(west hollywood)...Oh,no you won't, because no one will manufacture hobby radios or helis any more...Folks, this gummint overreach has to STOP.

John.
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12-24-2018 12:22 AM  11 months ago
TMoore

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You may have missed the part where AMA says the FAA said they were flexible on the 400' limit.
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12-24-2018 12:35 AM  11 months ago
AirWolfRC

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I haven't read all the new stuff and I'm curious.
Is the 400 ft. number still ADVISORY like it used to be or is it now REQUIRED ?
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12-24-2018 12:40 AM  11 months ago
Heli_Splatter

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USA

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TFR
By cooperating, especially for the big events, the FAA can issue a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) for the event. Then you can request what you need and it will be issued to all pilots. The FAA is not always the enemy. They just want air separation.
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12-24-2018 01:10 AM  11 months ago
ChrisO

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TMoore You may have missed the part where AMA says the FAA said they were flexible on the 400' limit.
Yeah, this is what I've been saying about the FAA not being too worried about modelers. I don't know if it will be a TFR or a simple NOTAM (which would suffice), but they do not intend to prevent model aircraft pilots from doing what they do. If they do as regular NOTAM, which would be the simplest, it doesn't even require AMA to call the FAA. Just notify the controlling agency or airport manager for the closest airport, give him/her the details for effective start/end etc, and it goes to Flight Service.

If they do it as a TFR that has to be approved by the FAA. And TFR's are usually only established for hazards like wildfires, security reasons, or large airshows. It is unlikely a RC event would get a TFR approval. This is the current TFR's in the US

https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
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12-24-2018 01:33 AM  11 months ago
drdot

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So. California, Orange County.

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Chris O,

I hope you are correct...If the faa is cooperative in issuing notam/waiver for events or cbo recognized fields my arguments are needless. If these become difficult to obtain, or we are still required to carry transponders, nothing has changed...I cannot carry a transponder on my mcps...even if I could, I could not power it...
As of tonite, I have 2 dozen helis....how much do these aerial ankle bracelets cost?
Btw, goes without saying altitude and range requirements or restrictions in waivers are non starters...

I have to go back to Apollo field...Been there for years, public not club field, right under departure from VNY....never a problem...until dronies showed up and flew octacopters off over the freeway....

John.
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12-25-2018 09:06 PM  11 months ago
ChrisO

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Barron, WI USA

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drdot I hope you are correct...If the faa is cooperative in issuing notam/waiver for events or cbo recognized fields my arguments are needless.
John, from what I've heard this is not going to be a big deal. Transponders are not going to be required except for commercial. ATC and pilots of full size could care less about seeing a bunch of ground clutter from drones flying around. I expect some drone manufacturers will put ADS-B receivers in drones, and then advertise that they can automatically avoid manned aircraft. But this is mis-guided because the new ADS-B requirement deadline in 2020 for full-size does not require ADS-B out even in all full-size manned aircraft.

This is not going to stop the drone industry from being stupid and pushing it as a "feature" anyway. They will still do it just because it looks good in the media propaganda, which doesn't know any better. But for modelers the FAA knows better than that, and they know full well it will never accomplish anything.

I do not see any sort of waiver or NOTAM system being allowed for anything but national CBO's. The FAA knows these people follow the rules, that's why it's recognized in the new law.

One thing AMA did, which I don't agree with, is champion part of the law. AMA wants to be recognized as the "Big Dog" in CBO's. Which I think is going to make it harder for independent organizations to establish themselves as a "nationally recognized CBO". While membership to AMA is not required for recreational flying under the law, for a private field to get a waiver this will make it harder to get, even if they establish bylaws or rules that are the same as AMA. Because they have to have the "nationally recognized" part. I don't know how this is going to shake out. IMO AMA is pushing their own agenda here, and private clubs should have equal weight and consideration to AMA for being recognized as a model aviation safety and instruction organization. That sucks - they should've left that "nationally recognized" part out. You can blame AMA for that.
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12-26-2018 03:25 AM  11 months ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/am...ld-be-flexible/

Government never do things that make sense to us, only to them.
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