[laffs] Fw: Re: Fw: FAA Restrictions

  • From: "Gene Hatfield" <hatter@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <"Undisclosed-Recipient:;"@freelists.org>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 12:24:38 -0600

Hi Guys, I received this reply from John Swanson and want
to pass it on. At this stage of the game, we don't know how this will end. 
Guess we will have to wait until the restrictions
will be published. I didn't know this was old info. Thanks John, for your input 
!!        Gene

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Fredda & John Swanson 
To: laffs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 10:05 AM
Subject: [laffs] Re: Fw: FAA Restrictions

      "I contacted Dave Mathewson yesterday, and like I suspected, this is an 
old release, around September or October. 
      AMA did NOT send this to ANN. 
      Evidently this release was laying around ANN for months, and on a slow 
news day, they published it without checking with the AMA to see if the points 
were still relevant. 
      The FAA addressed all these issues at the AMA expo in January. "
       From RCU today.
                                    John Swanson

      --- On Wed, 2/9/11, Gene Hatfield <hatter@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

        From: Gene Hatfield <hatter@xxxxxxxxxxx>
        Subject: [laffs] Fw: FAA Restrictions
        To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;@freelists.org
        Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 6:11 AM

        ----- Original Message ----- 
        From: Darwin Loomis 
        Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2011 7:04 PM
        Subject: Fw: FAA Restrictions


        AMA: FAA Seeks To Restrict Model Aircraft Flight
        Academy Of Model Aeronautics Warns About Heavy Restrictions Coming From 
         The Academy of Model Aeronautics tells ANN that the FAA is set to 
place "heavy restrictions" on the hobbyists who fly model aircraft. In a 
circular sent to ANN over the weekend, the AMA indicates that the agency is 
poised to impose severe restrictions on the model aviation hobby, sport and 
industry that will have a potentially devastating impact on a recreational and 
educational activity pursued by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts, tens of 
thousands of employees and an industry that generates more than $1 billion in 

        According to the AMA, the FAA created an Aviation Rulemaking Committee 
(ARC) in 2008 tasked with proposing recommendations for small unmanned aircraft 
systems (sUAS) that have been proliferating, particularly those in the 
commercial realm. The ARC’s charge was to draft recommended rules relative to 
establishing regulations for commercial sUAS and to define model aircraft – 
nothing more. AMA’s members are strictly hobbyists, sportsmen and educators. 
They are recreational users that do not participate in commercial activities. 
AMA was assured that the recreational modeler would be exempted from regulation.

         In 2008, the ARC began its work with 20 members, more than half of 
which were from the commercial and public sectors with partisan interests. AMA 
was the lone seat for the hobbyist. AMA’s says its views and concerns were 
quickly swept aside in the haste to create enabling regulation for the 
commercial/public use sUAS industry. Subsequent protests and historical data 
presented by AMA have been repeatedly dismissed.

        In March 2009, the ARC submitted its report to the FAA recommending a 
two-path approach for model aviation. This two-path approach proposes a 
“default path” that contains a devastating set of heavy-handed regulations and 
restrictions that will have a detrimental impact on the industry and thousands 
of aeromodeling enthusiasts not involved in AMA’s membership or programming. 
Alternatively, AMA must develop and fund an acceptable set of standards in 
order to overcome the restrictive effects of the default regulations. The 
two-path approach is extremely problematic and will adversely affect the 
aeromodeling community. AMA voiced strong opposition to this approach in the 
ARC’s report to the FAA.

        AMA says that over the past 18 months it has worked diligently in an 
attempt to develop an acceptable set of standards to address FAA concerns. At 
the same time, however, the ground rules continue to change, creating a moving 
target and mounting frustration.

        AMA believes that the proposed regulations fail to address the 
substantial diversity of the hobby and its applications and establishes 
unenforceable restrictions, while leaving absent a safety surveillance program 
to support the thousands of modelers outside of AMA’s formal structure and 

        Large Model Aircraft

        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:

          a.. ALTITUDE: As proposed, the rule would impose a nationwide 
altitude ceiling of 400 feet. AMA recognizes the need for altitude limitations 
when model aircraft are operated in close proximity to airports, and this 
concept is supported in AMA’s current Safety Code. However, a nationwide 
altitude ceiling for model aircraft is impractical, unnecessary, unrealistic 
and unenforceable through any reasonable means of compliance and detection. 
          b.. SPEED: It is likely that the rule will attempt to limit model 
aircraft performance by establishing a set speed limit such as 100 mph. 
Imposing such a speed limit will have little to no effect on aircraft 
performance and is both undetectable and unenforceable through any practical, 
cost-effective means. 
          c.. WEIGHT: As proposed, the sUAS rule will limit small unmanned 
aircraft to 55 pounds or less, and the implication for AMA’s Large Model 
Aircraft Program has not yet been determined. Without an acceptable standard or 
an alternative means of compliance, this rule may well curtail a vital element 
of the modeling activity that drives creativity, innovation and technological 
          d.. TURBINE BAN: The blanket prohibition of gas turbine engines 
suggested in the ARC recommendations does not consider the wide range of 
products currently in the marketplace. The inclusion of this prohibition in the 
proposed rule will impose a significant and unjustified economic impact on the 
          e.. 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 that has 
been the standard for more than 29 years. The intent to extend this radius has 
absolutely no statistical basis, has no supporting data and has no accident or 
incident correlation. Doing so would exponentially impact the number of 
existing flying sites affected by the rule. Extending the radius by as little 
as 2 miles (to 5 miles) would nearly triple the area of concern and create more 
than 1,784,000 square miles in which “no fly without permission” restrictions 
would be imposed. 
        It is the position of the AMA that, based upon the direction the rule 
is headed, it is clearly evident that the intent is not to objectively evaluate 
the model aircraft operations and realistically assess the risks. It is rather 
to unfairly eliminate model aviation from the safety equation by arbitrarily 
eliminating it from the airspace it has revered and safely used for decades. 
The organization urges all who are in favor of full analysis, regulatory 
restraint and fair play to help AMA save a hobby, a dynamic sport, a vital 
educational pursuit, and a $1 billion industry from what it says is undue 
government intervention that will have devastating consequences.

        FMI: http://modelaircraft.org/, www.faa.gov

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