Duane Brocious's Posts (49)

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Sikorsky Cypher predecessor?

Sikorsky Cypher; Although the Wikipedia article on this UAV claims it was developed in the late 80's, It was a classified project in the 70's. I know this because I personally put many of the used and damaged blueprints in the "burn barrel" with other top secret documents in 1974.

I am not sure why this was classified as it was devloped at a university in the 60's and quite well known at the time.

Now, here is my question: What was the university and professor that invented it ? for the life of me I can't remember. I think it was at Stanford but I can't find any info on it anymore. There was a video clip of it in an old documentary but I can't remember it either. Getting too old I guess.

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I have noticed that many people aren't aware of the full ARC/FAA document released in April 2009. It is 74 pages long, as opposed to the handful of pages on the AMA website that many seem to be using. Lots of info on what may be coming our way, esp. when I doubt that recreational users wil have less limitations imposed than commercial operators (IE: 400 ft ceiling and 1500' lateral distance)

Get it HERE..

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AMA official response to NYC FPV video

New York City First Person View Video

A recent video posted to YouTube depicts a First Person View (FPV) video flight of an unmanned aircraft over New York Bay; Long Island; the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges; Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty; over and in close proximity to buildings, occupied vehicles and water vessels; and directly over unprotected people. The nature of the flight was outside the realm of recreational aeromodeling activity as defined by the AMA Safety Code and posed a significant threat to people and property.

Although AMA recognizes the ingenuity and creativity of this activity, it does not condone the manner in which this flight was conducted and the threat it posed to the public.

AMA has provided specific guidelines for FPV activity for its members. These guidelines and related safety considerations can be found in the AMA Safety Code and in AMA document #550, “First Person View (FPV) Operations.”

– Rich Hanson, AMA Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Representative

First Person View (FPV) Operations

1. An FPV-equipped model must be flown by two AMA members utilizing a buddy-box system. The pilot in command must be on the primary transmitter, maintain visual contact, and be prepared to assume control in the event of a problem.
2. The operational range of the model is limited to the pilot in command’s visual line of sight as defined in the Official AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code (see Radio Control, item 9).
3. The flight path of model operations shall be limited to the designated flying site and approved overfly area.
4. The model weight and speed shall be limited to a maximum of 10 pounds and 60 miles per hour.

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From this interview in 2009. Totally unambiguos statement on model aircaft (recreational UAS):

“The FAA certainly doesn’t want to regulate model aircraft,” Talbert said. "Model aircraft are not to exceed 55 pounds or fly at an altitude of more than 400 feet. They must remain within the line of sight and not operate within three nautical miles of an airport or heliport", he said.

Seems to have been (and still is) the concensus at the FAA for years regardless of the amateur arguements that AC 91-57 is to be ignored. Note that he is giving a weight limit as well.

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In this FAA UAS risk analysis they state unambiguosly that AC 91-57 MUST be complied with for model aircraft (recreational UAVs). So much for all that "it is a request not a law" arguement. Apparently the AMA rules have been telling people to break the law for the last 30 years.

Read page 115 of this 2008 FAA document.

"Unmanned aircraft flown for hobby purposes or

recreation. Model aircraft must comply with

Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57, Model Aircraft

Operating Standards, published in 1981"

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AMA membership mandatory in new regulations?

The AMA is claiming that the FAA has "forced" them to become the "manager" of recreational aviation that will force every recreational sUAV user to be a member of the AMA or not be able to fly.

From one of the AMA's "ARC" FAQs:

"AMA would prefer to see a single set of guidelines managed by a community-based organization

that establishes the standards for all of model aviation. AMA is actively developing a

comprehensive set of model aviation guidelines from its current safety standards for submittal to

the FAA and hopefully acceptance and approval before the sUAS SFAR becomes a reality in


This may sound to some like the Academy is trying to force all modelers to join the AMA.

Certainly AMA believes there is strength in numbers and the health and welfare of the hobby

undoubtedly depends upon the presence of a strong national organization that can speak for and

advocate the interests of the aeromodeling community. But, forcing modelers to join the AMA is

by no means the intent of the Academy’s approach to the sUAS rulemaking. AMA’s sole aim is

to work through this issue that has been somewhat forced upon us, and achieve an end result that

allows the modelers to continue to enjoy the hobby in much the same way as they have in the


Seems like a sneaky way to bolster their falling membership by millions. The AMA has no oversight policy for its members or clubs and its safety policies are based soley on what an insurance company will allow. Let us hope that the AMA will be ignored by the FAA. A set of atandards for everyone to follow instead of forcing everyone to get an AMA insurance policy is what is needed.

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On Nov 18th at 11:30 AM a member asked the following on the AMA forum:

"If the NPRM happens in June 2011, what happened recently that made AMA say we have to do stuff 'now'? Cause 'now' aint June2011. "

On that same day by 4:00 PM his post was deleted. Why is the AMA afraid to answer a simple question to an issue they themselves raised? Why did they feel the need to delete his question. He had posted several times and his questions as well several other questions by several other members were deleted. This happens all the time over there but I actually documented this one with timed web snapshots. Are they afraid to answer or is there something "strange" going on in Muncie?


Just another Govt Document about the propsed rules. Note they are specifically concerned about "operating recreational remote control model and toy aircraft in the NAS" not sUAS. Quite different concept than other FAA documents that talk about sUASes.

Available here

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AMA aims to increases weight limit to 125 Lbs.

From a recent AMA Executive Council meeting:

"MOTION V: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to change the name of the Experimental Aircraft program to Large Model Aircraft program. Additionally, pending approval of the regulations and insurance, increase Large Model Aircraft program (formerly Experimental Aircraft program) maximum weight from 55.1 lbs.-100 lbs. to 55.1 lbs. -125 lbs. for propeller-driven aircraft, and, 55.1 lbs. to 100 lbs. for turbine-powered aircraft." (bolding mine)

Is this their way of saying, "Lets really annoy the FAA!" ?????

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The AMA just announced that the Federal Register (item #19 here) is wrong and the AMA knows that the NPRM is going to be out in June. Meanwhile the Governement records indicate the process is running on schedule for NPRM release in March.

The AMA is telling everyone that the AMA knows more about the situation than the governement itself.

The AMA claims the FAA "reconfirmed" the July or later dates last week, but provided no document or FAA source to support that claim.

So who is spreading misinformation, the AMA or the Federal Register ? I let you decide.

From the AMA (bolding mine):

"Over the past week there’s been a fair amount of speculation and misinformation on the internet regarding the proposed date for the sUAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). There have even been assertions that the public comment period for the proposed rule has come and gone. Nothing could be further from the truth. In December of “09”, the FAA announced its target date of June 2011 for the publication of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This is the date the proposed rule will be noticed (posted) in the Federal Register and the point at which the public comment period will commence. This date was reconfirmed last week by the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Program Office; if anything there’s the possibility this date could slip into July or even August.

So what caused all the fuss… ?

Well, the misunderstanding stemmed from a notice in the Federal Register posted in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA requires agencies to publish semiannual regulatory agendas in the Federal Register describing regulatory actions they are developing that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Act also requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review and comment on proposed rules with the potential for such an impact.

FAA posted its regulatory agenda relating to the sUAS rulemaking earlier this year. The rational for an RFA review was based on, “the novel legal or policy issues about the minimum safety parameters for operating recreational remote control model and toy aircraft in the NAS”.

The March 2011 date in the Federal Register relates to OMB’s review of the proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This review occurs before the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register and opened for public comment. Again, we expect the NPRM to occur in June 2011.

Please continue to check the AMA webpage for the most current sUAS rulemaking information. Timely alerts are also available on the web or on your cell phone at: Twitter.com/amagov "

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