NEW AMA Policies for FPV, Failsafe, Stabilization and Autopilot Systems

The AMA is excited to announce the completion of revisions to its policies for R/C model aircraft operations utilizing First Person View (FPV) systems (AMA document # 550) and Failsafe, Stabilization and Autopilot Systems (AMA document #560).

The AMA Advanced Flight Systems Committee (AFSC) in a collaborative effort with leading members of the hobby industry and FPV community developed comprehensive guidelines to enable AMA members to utilize these systems within the parameters of AMA’s and FAA’s operational requirements. The AFSC Guidelines for these systems were presented, reviewed and adopted by the Executive Council during the October 20, 2012 council meeting.

Click on the above document images to view the complete AMA Advanced Flight Systems Report or the individual operational documents for FPV Systems #550 or Failsafe, Stabilization & Autopilot Systems #560.

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 1, 2012 at 2:07pm

No real defintion of VLOS, no waypoint flights, spotters still required for FPV. Of course no commercial use. Still if you have a mishap now off of an AMA field that results in an insurance claim what was expected of you is more clearly defined.

Or have I got that all wrong, placing flame proof suit on.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 1, 2012 at 2:14pm

I read through it and... yeah I dunno.

There's language in there which states that you must be able to take over manual control from the stabilization/autopilot system.  That's great in theory, but you can't fly a multi-rotor manually (ie: without stabilization).

There's also language in there that state that the reason for some of the restrictions is to counter the idea that people could use these systems to deliver explosives.... because terrorists will join the AMA and obey the rules?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 1, 2012 at 2:28pm

Good job 100lb jets are safe.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 1, 2012 at 2:50pm

Yeah, the VLOS thing... as if. Who's flying FPV within 100m of themselves?  Because that's about all you can do to be truly VLOS by their definition (as in, being able to fly 3rd person).

Comment by Peter Meister on November 1, 2012 at 2:50pm

Weight limit @ 15lbs but a RC Jet and oversized 55lb RC planes are ok.... That one had me laughing, 15lbs - thank god my APM flys on a foamie :)

Comment by Boston UAV on November 1, 2012 at 2:54pm

37min late.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 1, 2012 at 3:14pm

I agree that the reasoning for the 15lbs weight limit is somewhat dubious. Like a terrorist would bother with following AMA rules?

But at least there are some sparks of inteligence in there. Like the exclution of a buddy box for "experienced" FPV pilots. And this one is my favorite and says a lot.

10. I have heard that FPV flying and the use of complex autopilot systems will create a much greater risk of accidents occurring at my club’s flying site. If this is true, shouldn’t the AMA exclude FPV and Autopilot flying at all AMA chartered flying sites?

Educating members so they understand the basics of these systems and AMA’s requirements for use and implementation should alleviate these erroneous assumptions. The fact is FPV flying and the use of Stabilization and Autopilot systems in model aircraft have the capability to reduce the risk and severity of model aircraft accidents.

Comment by Peter Meister on November 1, 2012 at 3:31pm

@John, yes I agree the buddy box removal is nice. 

Comment by Project Nadar on November 1, 2012 at 4:42pm

Define Expirienced? I don't recall there are diplomas for different levels of skills.....

Comment by Scott Fuller on November 1, 2012 at 6:19pm

@R_Lefebvre - The idea here is the "stabilization/autopilot" is directed more toward a Autopilot system. They're not trying to hamper *copters, or other standard stabilization systems. I actually read it as you can fly Waypoints at a permitting AMA field.. As long as you can flip the switch and take it over. 


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