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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  • Developer

    Richard, I bet this area is a closed radar, emp, emf test range.

  • I have found out about areas where we as FPV pilots can fly distance and high altitude Near the California Arizona boarder. The NAS is higher then I think are models can go.

  • Moderator
    Yep thats about right Mark, all except the transponder bit there are lots of reasons thats an issue right now. Don't forget to operate a transponder you will require an FRTO and it will need to be tested and licenced.

    Hobby UAS will be heights less than 400' and VLOS end ex.

    Anything else will require proper training.
  • Developer

    FAA will define all terms and sUAS classes at their discretion, but... I know its way too much to ask for,
    A hobby size sUAS Class up to 5 kg all up weight with a max battery or fuel weight of 2 kg. This larger class allows a realistic sized 2 kg payload for scientific, aerodynamic & long duration surveys. FAA could tier the required downlink data: PICVSAA,TM with hobby grade Transponder above 400' with appropriate FailSafe actions based on desired range out to 20 miles and altitude up to 3000' in non-populated areas: deserts, dry lakes or over large private property: western cattle ranches, farms or agriculture lands.
    Trappy and others have demonstrated most of these capabilities, an affordable hobby class transponder standard will need to be developed by FAA.
    Airframe, Pilot & Range Safety Observer certification programs, similar to high power rocketry, where certified Mentors oversee and approve new pilots and airframes to next sub-tier by system and pilot demonstrations each sub-tier increasing in range and altitude. Range Safety Observers and AirFrame Inspectors will require extended certification levels after receiving certified sUAS Pilot status. Mandatory insurance is required as you start Pilot certification program. With reduced rates upon graduation and after maintaining a good safety record.

  • I believe this is not safe also. However; I this FPV person had an accident where someone got hurt or property damage from a crash, would and should be delt with by the property authority as to that individual responsible. I believe even if this person was an AMA member, he would not be covered by their secondary insurance. And furthermore I believe this would not inpact the hobby as the AMA may think. They just want the membership dues.

    I wonder how many claims were actually paid by the AMA for members flying by AMA guidlines and at Santioned airstrips

  • I agree Michael. I hope our small hobby grade platforms(toys) will be allowed to fly without any special licensing or insurance(AMA?). I can understand rules(like 400', 3 miles, LOS), but I hope they don't change much for these small aircraft. Even if these parkfliers are flying using FPV or using an AP.

    I think they may add additional rules though :(.
  • Thanks for posting that Andrew.
    Contradicts their previous statment that they have not been in contact with the FAA since September. I find people who constantly change their story to be unreliable at best.
  • Thought everyone who is following this thread would like to see the latest from the AMA on the issue.
    Click here:
  • It's "trappy" who made this video in collusion with several Americans ... he is a very well known Austrian FPV pilot. He won't apologize for anything. He is a bit like a base jumper. I love his work and he does work very hard to keep things safe, but what he does is illegal and he makes no illusions about this fact. I think he has a bit of a "death wish".
  • Even the most restrictive of the ARC reccomendations allows for 55# planes under 400' Alt. and further that under 2# electric aircraft may fly less than 3 miles from an airport.
    Parkfliers will not be restricted by even the toughest proposed stuff.
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