Chris Anderson, an early developer of sUAS hardware and ArduPilot firmware

Under new legislation, small Unmanned Aircraft System is subject to compulsory registration prior to the small UAS operating outdoors.

Since home development of model aircraft, small UAS is a procedure made of the following steps:

1. buy parts, install motors, propellers, battery, control unit, radio, sensor/s

2. assembly the above parts

3. test such home developed model aircraft outdoor

loop 1. 2. 3. 

Under new legislation home developers, modellers are banned to test new assembled

small aircraft, small drones outdoors,

since you are required to register any assembled kit before the operating outdoors.

Battery replaced >  New registration required > new registration number assigned

Motors replaced > ..

Propellers replaced > ...

New frame purchased for tests >  New registration required

So in theory and practice, activities of ArduDrone, ArduPlane developers, modellers

have been banned, since any new test is subject to prior registration.

If you claim, you are allowed to replace parts, frame, motor, propellers, battery, controller, radio in your home developed mini drone and such new developed small drone is exempted from compulsory registration, pls let me know your opinion.

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  • Darius;  If I look at a monitor with a OSD to check my altitude or to frame a picture for recreational purpose its O.K..  Its not much different than looking at Mission Planner from time to time.  If you take a picture and use it for business use with the name of a company than yes its commercial.  You also cannot compare what manned aircraft can do because you need a pilots license to fly a manned aircraft.  Again, I'm not happy with all this but its not the end of the world.  Enough of the Chicken Little stuff.


    David R. Boulanger 

  • Manned ultralights and other DIY aircraft still don't require registration?

  • When you have a case of conflicting laws, as we see here, then only a judge at the Federal district level can invalidate one of them. 14 CFR §48 is a new rule regarding small UAS aircraft which includes all model aircraft weighing more than 1/2 pound. If you want to spend the money to challenge the applicability to model aircraft, then go right ahead.

    What is more likely to happen is one of the many anarchists within the hobby will be caught flying an unregistered drone, and the defense will be Section 336 of the FRMA. This could get interesting.

    Complain to your congresscritter all you want. In fact if enough people complain, then Congress will likely respond by amending Section 336 of the FRMA to remove your coveted prohibition.  Be careful what you ask for.

    Or you could just pay the $5 and register all of your drones and model aircraft.

  • from




    The June 2014 FAA Interpretation of Section 336.

    In June 2014, the FAA issued its Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 above). With its Interpretation, the FAA declared, among other things:

    Compensation of any sort is banned. The FAA claims that flying a drone in a manner that is “in furtherance of a business” is illegal even though no currently enforceable statute or regulation exists that would forbid it. (Remember, the FMRA does not apply to the general public.) That includes everything from the obvious (aerial photography) to the less obvious (flight instruction or demonstrations that would further one’s business). Showing drone-obtained video and a company logo simultaneously online or on-air is considered “commercial.” Moreover, drone flights that are “incidental to a business” (which would not be considered “commercial” in a full-size manned aircraft) are considered commercial if done with a drone.




    Operating a drones using “first person view” (“FPV”) is prohibited. This means you cannot use goggles or any modern “watch it on a monitor” system to fly, or even the long-accepted “buddy box” method where a second person (with a separate controller) observes the drone at all time while the pilot flies. Instead, the pilot’s own eyes must be able to see the drone at all times while flying.

  • @ Stephen: "This is not a new law, but it is a new rule."


    "The FAA is just following the law ..."


    The following is law, as established by congress in 2012,‘‘FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012’’, Section 336.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:


    .. the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft,  ...


  • + 100 Thomas Butler!  Not saying I'm happy about it, but, in the grand scheme of life its just a little headache.


    David R. Boulanger

  • If the original poster of this thread had taken the time to actually read and comprehend the FAA ruling, this thread would have many fewer entries! Good job starting the fire!

  • @Ernst Von Schmidt

    thank your Ernst for your comments.

    The issue is we have been requested to join public hearing and comment new FAA small UAS (small drone) Registration Rule Law in public by Secretary Foxx and his staff

    and the above is exactly public response by individuals to the call.

    To read 200+ page actual rules by FAA  and FAQ and Q&A takes a full month of hard intellectual work for a professional lawyer to guess full impact of new legislation on individuals ( read Penalties Section)

    The new federal legislation by FAA is not a joke or a piece of cake

    Pls read Penalties Section.

    I am sure, detailed small drone (Small UAS) registration form coming with help text, explanation and printed version of the completed registration example form can help us more than friendly version of FAQ or Q&A making no rule or law.

    Please provide us your comments to exact wording excerpts from the FAA Law as your private expert's opinion.

    200+ page long FAA Rule Law is not made as Q&A so an interactive communication, dicusssion is the only way to get to know "hidden secrets" behind the new legislation.

    Believe or not but this 200+ page long legislation by FAA is highly professional and aimed at professional lawyers, so FAA generated FAQ and Q&A to the public and individuals.

    But please read Penalties Section again to learn what you risk if you fail to complete registration form properly.


    So in my opinion, properly completed registration form examples should be published

    by FAA before registration deadline to serve as educational tool to individuals concerned.

  • Registration is poorly perceived and poorly presented.

    The FAA has released their plan to register your drones, and all unmanned aircraft including fixed-wing scale model hobby aircraft. This is not a new law, but it is a new rule in 14 CFR Part 48 – "Registration And Marking Requirements For Small Unmanned Aircraft".

    The regulation is following the law set by Congress: 49 USC § 44102 requires aircraft to be registered prior to operation. For decades all aircraft were required to be registered, but the FAA has ignored model aircraft. Until now.

    The FAA is just following the law - they are not making it up.

    Where does the $27,500 maximum fine come from?
    The FAA has the statutory authorization to assess fines up to $27,500 for each violation. But the operative word is "up to". This level of fine is only assessed for the most egregious violations. The FAA Quarterly Enforcement report reveals that the highest assessments are against airlines for maintenance or hazmat violations. The law giving the FAA the authority to assess fines says:

    49 CFR § 46301 - 'Civil penalties' (a)General Penalty.— (1) A person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 (or $1,100 if the person is an individual or small business concern) for violating—

    28 CFR § 85.3 - 'Adjustments to penalties' Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 allows the adjusted penalties of of civil penalties for violations occurring on or after September 29, 1999.

    Why, then would the FAA use the higher, scarier figure for businesses when model aircraft registration applies only to individuals? The memo shoulld read "Up to $1,210 for individuals".

    The announcement from the FAA includes this provocative line: "The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by March of 2016." Is this a hint of the release of the Part 107 rules for commercial drone operations that are expected in 2016?

    Aircraft registration also has nothing to do with the FAA database of 951 drone sightings. (And that's all they are - someone thought they saw a drone. The data does not support the sensational news headlines of 951 near disasters). But the number of personal drones expected to be in the air in the near future has raised concerns. Registration of model aircraft using existing law offers the FAA an opportunity to deliver some aviation and airspace knowledge to the user. Most of the buyers of personal drones have no clue that a "Class B" airspace exists, let alone how to know where it is.

    Registration is not poorly thought out as many claim, rather it is poorly perceived by those who don't see the bigger picture.

    When the other shoe drops, things will be more clear.

  • It is unbelievable that  posters here and on many other forums either have not read the actual rules just released and/or do not understand them, but are still happy to pontificate, muddying each others' waters like a pack of pre-schoolers with tubs of finger-paint. This alone perhaps justifies the concerns of the FAA that have resulted in this bone-simple registration scheme.


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