AMA: Hold off on registering model aircraft


This just in, from the AMA:

"Yesterday, the AMA Executive Council unanimously approved an action plan to relieve and further protect our members from unnecessary and burdensome regulations. This plan addresses the recently announced interim rule requiring federal registration of all model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds.

AMA has long used a similar registration system with our members, which we pointed out during the task force deliberations and in private conversations with the FAA. As you are aware, AMA’s safety program instructs all members to place his or her AMA number or name and address on or within their model aircraft, effectively accomplishing the safety and accountability objectives of the interim rule. AMA has also argued that the new registration rule runs counter to Congress’ intent in Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, otherwise known as the “Special Rule for Model Aircraft.”

The Council is considering all legal and political remedies to address this issue. We believe that resolution to the unnecessary federal registration rule for our members rests with AMA’s petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This petition, filed in August 2014, asks the court to review the FAA’s interpretation of the “Special Rule for Model Aircraft.” The central issue is whether the FAA has the authority to expand the definition of aircraft to include model aircraft; thus, allowing the agency to establish new standards and operating criteria to which model aircraft operators have never been subject to in the past.

In promulgating its interim rule for registration earlier this week, the FAA repeatedly stated that model aircraft are aircraft, despite the fact that litigation is pending on this very question. The Council believes the FAA’s reliance on its interpretation of Section 336 for legal authority to compel our members to register warrants the Court’s immediate attention to AMA’s petition.

While we continue to believe that registration makes sense at some threshold and for flyers operating outside of a community-based organization or flying for commercial purposes, we also strongly believe our members are not the problem and should not have to bear the burden of additional regulations. Safety has been the cornerstone of our organization for 80 years and AMA’s members strive to be a part of the solution.

As we proceed with this process, we suggest AMA members hold off on registering their model aircraft with the FAA until advised by the AMA or until February 19, the FAA’s legal deadline for registering existing model aircraft.

Holding off on registration will allow AMA time to fully consider all possible options. On a parallel track, it also allows AMA to complete ongoing conversations with the FAA about how best to streamline the registration process for our members.

In the near future, we will also be asking our members to make their voices heard by submitting comments to the FAA’s interim rule on registration. We will follow-up soon with more detailed information on how to do this.

Thank you for your continued support of AMA. We will provide you with more updates as they become available.

Kind regards,
The AMA Executive Council
Bob Brown, AMA President
Gary Fitch, AMA Executive Vice President
Andy Argenio, AMA Vice President, District I
Eric Williams, AMA Vice President, District II
Mark Radcliff, AMA Vice President, District III
Jay Marsh, AMA Vice President, District IV
Kris Dixon, AMA Vice President, District V
Randy Cameron, AMA Vice President, District VI
Tim Jesky, AMA Vice President, District VII
Mark Johnston, AMA Vice President, District VIII
Jim Tiller, AMA Vice President, District IX
Lawrence Tougas, AMA Vice President, District X
Chuck Bower, AMA Vice President, District XI"

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  • @Coastwise, To be quite honest i had forgotten  that i have a zero take off weight  with up to 8 Lbs. of of payload !!

    D`OH  :)) ( face palm )!!

     Have you tried Tetra kites instead of box kites  it has been a long time since i used one but IIRC the Tetra kite has a higher lift efficiency than a box kite and Tetra`s are modular scalable to payload weight and Very stable more than a box kite .   

  • @ Evilmacaw,  What are you so worried about?  What is your "take off" weight?  At less than 250 grams,  e.g. "2 sticks of butter",  you, of most among us have nothing to worry about!  Have some sympathy for those of us who want to fly their heavy instrument laden camera box kites for  commercial meteorological observations. 

    Good luck

  • Yep it just went "Hot" and live . I guess i will have to register my 14' tethered Helium Blimp platform  ,though i have entertained the ideal of of "Lightship" powering it with vectored thrusters it would increase it`s payload weight  and still be under the 55 Lbs limit :)) but i think i will wait til next year  and still get my $5 back :)) ! 

  • Well, 2:00,  our expectant FAAthers should be returning from a nice leisurely lunch about now to check back into the maternity ward, where nothing seems to be happening. Might be time for a C-section or maybe just a DIY episiotomy. We're all anxious to see this new baby, with its public data base of badass toy freaks,  and start cruising around in it to see who is complying and who is not! 

  • Ah Ha! It's the 21st and you ask, "Where's this FAA registration page that's been the talk of the town for weeks? The main front page of the FAA Web site this morning has at the very top this notice:

    "The FAA Small UAS registry is expected to go live during the day on December 21."

    So, apparently the launch is something like a pregnancy, with the new little snowflake  "expected" to arrive today. One can only wonder how these people get themselves to their offices ... maybe service dogs?


  • OK Folks, it's 10:00 a.m. December 21st at the FAA bunker and I presume that means  that all the boys and girls there are busy at their desks. So, where's the dreaded registration Web site? The FAA page on the subject still announces today as The Day but the "Register Here" graphic is linkless.  Maybe somebody got an injunction? Or is it just the usual...?

  • If 336 is upheld, it would have implications (possibly positive) for the commercial side. Discuss. . .
  • RM

    The other issue is how long it takes them to do back flips on policy...sometimes they move so slow you can no longer tell what direction exactly they are flipping into! The uncertainty kills any industry. I'm not a fan of any political party a mob votes in, but Turnbull might turn out to be the least "bull" prime minister we've had in a while! ;-)

    At a minimum he is technically savvy enough to see merit in the "tools" of the current generation that will be the jobs of the future. 



    Not holding my breath at all, and I believe that air is in fact the solution to the problem!

    The solution can only be found in the root of government, the people, not the branches of government, run by the politicians.

    One of the applications I'm developing is using SDR in UAV's and the ground as pico-cell towers for creating a mobile mesh network. With that your infrastructure problems should become a thing of the past. The idea is to democratize the air, be that the radio airwaves or the small aircraft known as UAVs, to use them as sensor and communication relays as needed, when needed by simply using each radio in the system as a relay. Ever wonder why "cell towers" have replaced good old CB radios that didn't need infrastructure? An SDR mesh network is the "Citizen Band" of this century without the limitations of traditional CB.

    In Australia through the tyranny of distances,  infrastructure and resulting communication is sparse. No information = no "intelligence" or "smart devices" (although how smart the users are can be disputed!). The trick with mesh networking using SDR is that the hardware platform can adopt many different standards in software with little to no changes in hardware, and that every user can become a "prosumer", in that each node can relay information for another securely. It can also "translate" different signals to different uses or network types as desired allowing for a unprecedented level of interoperability.

    The point with any radio based hardware is that it does not require 10,000km's of cabling that needs to be buried, maintained and metered for profit. The airwaves are freely available natural resource, and they should be made available through de-regulating the airbands so that citizens once again become the primary beneficiaries of the air. Both for flying in and sending information through! ;-)

    There's a few other things that the air can be mined for to make our lives easier, but that's a story for another forum. (think carbon and water!)



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