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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  • Moderator
    Interesting, the CAA don't see the BMFA (UK AMA) as the best route for pilot training and licensing. There is no off field site selection component to the BMFA training syllabus, why would there be! So whilst a BMFA A or B certificate is currently accepted it is being phased out. For commercial UAS flight it will eventually be a CPL(U) and that will if you are correctly rated allow flight beyond VLOS. Private flight will still be allowed, below 400' and not beyond 500m.

    Seems like the USA is starting off behind!

    Still at least being an AMA member means the operator will have seen some of their safety information.

    3 months 8 days 13 hours 8 minutes until you all start finding out whats in store.
  • What? There is lots of money to be made in the care of geriatrics.
  • 3D Robotics
    "All in all the AMA needs to just open a nursing home and call it a day."

    LOL... nicely put ;-)
  • I remember when I first got into RC planes my mom made me join AMA and pretty much kiss backside for flight time. I rebuilt enough busted wings and fuselages to hate balsa, glue, and shrink wrap for the rest of my life all for about an hour of buddy flight time. Even though I had my own plane on my own freq they wouldn't let me fly because I was a beginner unless I had an instructor on the buddy system.

    All in all the AMA needs to just open a nursing home and call it a day.
  • The problem is that the AMA has little support and even that is fading fast. I think it is deplorable to set up what is little more than an insurance underwriter as a Govt body. They do no real science or evaluations to set their rules. The latest AMA rule was passed (3 foot metal rotor blades) with no published reason just so one rich member could use them. Pay-off or buddy system? Is that how we want rules made? Do anything as long as insurance will cover it? Is that what we want?
    All they will do is raise premiums and accomplish nothing except empty the pockets of millions of hobbyists. Might as well make the Gecko Secretary of the State and the Caveman President. Welcome to the new U$A.
  • @Duane - True... it actually heard and made a determination on disputes which, until then, had no prior means of appeal. As a result, several arbitrary rulings made by the 220 SMA (involving favoritism and discrimination) were "reversed" by the 220 FCC... which meant the amateur operators in question were no longer subject to license revocation and monetary fines. Instead, they were in compliance.

    The same could happen to the AMA, given enough hobbyist support... another organization could obtain group policy insurance and offer it piece-meal, thus placing modelers in compliance (were such compliance mandatory).
  • Comment by Lew Payne:
    " In the end, the FCC determined that the 220 FCC (headed by yours truly) had more membership support than the 220 SMA, and that it was indeed also considered a bona-fide frequency coordinator acting in a quasi-governmental capacity. A summary of the findings, and their implications, appears here."

    I will bet that 220 FCC did much more than sell insurance and peddle magazines. : (
  • Basically, the FAA is sayng any sUASes used for recreational purposes are "model aircraft". Only Commercial and Govt uses are covered in the rest of the regulations. It seems that, based on the members of this and other forums, the vast majority of sUAS users are non-commercial hobbyists. The AMA wanted all non-commercial sUAV users to have to become AMA members to continue to fly as hobby. Hopefully the FAA rejected this suggestion. One set of regulations for everyone to follow like the rest of US laws, no breaks for a small select group because they think they are better than everyone else. Do NHRA members get to ignore traffic laws? NRA members exempt from firearm regulations? Nope. Neither should the AMA be given special priviledges.
  • The recommendations are being made by the AMA and are biased in their favor.

    But there are two separate recommendations. Under AMA rules and policies; not under AMA rules and policies.

    The latter (section 3 of the sUAS ARC) Some in the AMA want to drop this section.

    If you are under 2 lbs you fly basically unrestricted.

    "3.3.6 Notwithstanding the above limitations, Model Aircraft weighing less than or equal
    to two lbs incapable of reaching speeds greater than 60 miles per hour (mph)
    (52 knots), and powered by electric motor or mechanical stored energy (e.g., rubber-band powered) may operate within 3 NM of a military or public-use airport
    or heliport; if they remain a safe distance from the airport or heliport, remain well
    clear of all manned aircraft, and remain below 400 AGL."

    Keep it in mind that this is a small subset of the rules for UAS. There is going to be an explosion of UAS in law enforcement, crop surveillance, you name it.

    The FAA wants to keep it under control so that there are no accidents. I doubt if there will be any part of the regulations that involve the AMA or the FAA in an active fashion. I was involved in ultralight aircraft in the 1980's when the same thing was going on. The FAA didn't have the money to actively regulate ultralights, and they don't have it for sUAS's either.

    I see a set of regulations to keep it pretty much like it is with more detail for modeler use.

    If you want to fly commercially then I am sure that it will be much more available than a COA. I would still expect a huge leap in paper work and expense.
  • It is like the DOT putting AAA in charge of all automobiles in the USA and requiring everyone to have Allstate insurance.
    Monopolies are never a good thing.
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