New AMA Documents shed light on NPRM

3689388164?profile=original3689388101?profile=originalThe AMA appears to have broken the silence over the coming NPRM. Full docs posted on Feb. 4, 2011 HERE and HERE.

In short they say:


"Although the exact language of the proposed regulation is not yet known, there are a number of conclusions that can be drawn from the ARC recommendations. The following are AMA’s areas of concern, the restrictions that are likely to be imposed and their effect on
the model aviation community:"


ALTITUDE: As proposed, the rule would impose a nationwide altitude ceiling of 400 feet.

SPEED: It is likely that the rule will attempt to limit model aircraft performance by
establishing a set speed limit such as 100 mph


WEIGHT: As proposed, the sUAS rule will limit small unmanned aircraft to 55 pounds
or less.


TURBINE BAN: The blanket prohibition of gas turbine engines.


AIRPORT PROXIMITY: It is understood that the FAA is considering going outside the ARC’s
recommendation and extending the “area of concern” around the nation’s 19,760 airports
beyond the current 3-mile radius to 5 miles.


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  • "people that bought an RC have no idea what the rules are"

    There are no rules and have never been. The only official US document is AC 91-57 which has provided guidance for the last 30 years although even the AMA ignores those rules.

    Actually it is usually only the Park Flyers that are following the "rules" (AC 91-57)

  • I would guess that most of the people that bought an RC have no idea what the rules are. Most take them to a park and have a nice day at low speed and altitude.


    The 1 percenters are just like the motorcycle equivalent. They don't care about the rules.  As long as you don't hit a person or an aircraft no one else cares either.


    The FAA only cares about keeping us clear of aircraft. If you banned RC's totally the FAA would be very happy. In between no rules and draconian measures are what we have in front of us. Flying in any manner near aircraft doesn't make any sense. 5 miles is fine. If you have to drive a bunch to fly that's a minor inconvenience.


    I've watched RC jets fly at El Mirage dry lake easily 200 mph. I've also watched an A10 Warthog (the real one, flying out of bounds) at 300 plus take a low level pass down that same lake bed. The 100 mph limit will no doubt be ignored by all.


    Your freedoms are a small concern to the safety of the general aircraft population. They own the sky, we just borrow a tiny corner.


    I stated before that I went through all of this with ultralight aircraft. 254 lbs, 5 gallons of gas, 64 mph max speed in level flight, single person, daylight operation, no flights in controlled airspace. Sound familiar? It didn't slow down the industry AT ALL.

  • Based on the FAA/ARC/AMA's interpretation/implimentation of OMB.119, I think that the SCCA, NHRA and IHRA members should be allowed to make up their own speed limits and traffic laws.

    Why not? Double standard?

  • And a response to that post showing how self-centered some (a lot?) of AMA members are:


    "I'm good with that. "


    If the FAA decides not to give the AMA special privilidges, the only comfort I would have is telling all the self-centered guys it was their wish that the AMA didn't work for decent rules for everyone... then spit on the jerks.

  • A recent post on RCU sums the situation up:

    "Here is Dave's (AMA Pres.) response about the two documents that started this thread:
    We do believe that some of the concerns expressed in those papers may still be issues that could appear in the proposed (default) rule, but we are working to address those particular issues in our standards.

    oh goody, we dont need to worry, its only folks that dont pay muncie that will be hosed by the regs"

  • Much of it straight from the AMA's Park Pilot Program.

    "Aircraft are limited to 2 pounds in weight and speeds of less than 60 mph"

    Let us all thank the AMA for planting those randon numbers in the FAA's head.

    The numbers for weight and speed were just dreamed up by the AMA. No science research etc.; just some numbers they liked.

    This is why all the AMA rules are junk. Just made up with no research.

  • Developer
    It would be interesting to understand the 2lb number; a little higher (2-3kg or so) would grandfather in many if not most of the currently popular foam UAV airframes.

    Is it based on a bird-equivalent mass? Or was it just a nice round number?
  • The 400' rule and at/adjacent to public airport exclusions make sense except for class G airspace where one could safely go to 1200'. That is what I will address if it is in the NPRM. A good case can be made for it. As for 100 MPH (think of auto speed limits) and most of the other things, you need a well docuemnted and researched arguement for proving that it is safe and widely needed. That is what I suspect the AMA had been told regarding their "CBO rules".

    Nothing in the NPRM will be changed without valid and substantial arguement.

    We need to send academic level (and form) comments on the NPRM, those will be considered.

    "I want", "its ridiculous" and "It is unenforceable" never ever cuts it in Govt... unless you have gobs of cash or millions of votes to throw at politicians to pressure changes from above.


  • @Duane re. "Sorry about the rant but the "scofflaw/pirate" attitude is never a winning one in my experience."


    No problem with the rant.  It didn't seem like one, and I kind of like the sound of "scofflow/pirate."  Makes me feel like Jack Sparrow.  Anyway, I'm not suggesting ignoring laws, not at all.


    First, this is all speculation.  Then again, maybe the powers that be read some of this stuff and actually take it to heart.  The ability to enforce a law, and whether or not the law really serves a genuine purpose, really do come into play as to whether or not to pass the law in the first place. That's my point.  Right out of the gate, the 400' and 100 MPH rules (IMHO) are both silly and unenforceable.  Let's not pass them.

  • Would you risk your company designing and making things that could be considered illegal?


    True, a little plane won't get noticed, but the guys with the 100# airplanes and heliguys with turbines driving 3' rotors will raise eybrows and yes, it will allow police to have reasonable suspicion (or excuse to harrass) for arresting you and confiscating your equipment.

    I am amazed at how few have police in their areas that they are not aware of what cops can and will do. I just had an aquantance arrested by the local cops for having a BATF legally registered firearm in his home. He had to pay lawyers to get the judge to acknowledge that the cops were a-holes.


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