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AMA Poll about FPV


Flying Derp
This was my answer to #5. I can sense the fogies at the AMA being very leery of this.

5. What do you think AMA should do, if anything, about the growing proliferation of FPV aircraft?
Support it with equal enthusiasm as line of sight flight.
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Monkey/Bear Poker
My reply to number #5:

I think that the AMA should support all aspects of our hobby, as long as we are not using any of our footage or flying for malicious activity.

I can understand having issue with people that do not follow the AMA rules for flight, but I think people have a right to fly FPV. I think if there are places that are not highly populated, where it would be safe to fly FPV, we should be allowed. I have seen footage on youtube of the guy that flew FPV in a heavily populated city, (New York I think) that I thought was very dangerous. Only because he could have lost signal and really caused bodily harm to someone with the plane.
I have seen other footage from the same person that was in some mountains that were for the most part inaccessible, and the footage was breathtaking. Here I think it should be okay. Of course in situations like that, low flying manned aircraft will need to be ever vigilant and the RC FPV pilot will need to be as well. While I enjoy my hobby of flying, I would have a hard time if I were to have an accident and cause someone bodily harm or worse.

Just my 2 cents, not that it means much!


Site Moderator
If introducing legislation they need to keep in mind that many other things in life can hurt people and FPV has very little to do with hurting someone or privacy, if that's the issue. In relation to hurting someone, any RC aircraft can do this, but for the same token no one wants to lose their aircraft hence why we've had no major issues.

20 Plus years ago I remember radios going dead and big powered models pretty much flying away! One even ended up in Port Phillip Bay in Victoria which meant it flew about 6 klms away from the Flying Field! We're talking about a 1/4 scale Biplane! If anything FPV has made things safer. You will notice as people invest more and more on their aircraft they begin to wonder what's going to happen if they lose it! Hence people like investing in OSD systems with RTH etc which all makes modelling safer. There would be no reason for me to invest in RTH if I wasn't flying FPV. No way I want to lose my aircraft and all the Time and money.

I've also heard that privacy is an issue, well I'm pretty sure I can put my GoPro on a Kite and fly it without being in breach of any laws!

All I'm saying is one really needs to be sensible about this. My 13 year old has learned so much from our FPV experience and I can see far more positives than negatives. In all honesty anyone can put on their Black Hat and come up with Negatives for anything in life!

Here in Australia we pretty much follow what ever the US do (like sheep) . . fingers crossed the AMA don't go too silly! . . just remember in the US Guns are considered OK.

Well that's my 1cents worth!


Rotor Riot!
"The AMA should support the new division of the hobby, restricting only areas frequented by manned aircraft, such as airports. They should also have frequency ranges exclusively registered to model aircraft and video systems to avoid loss of aircraft due to interference."


Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
Why worry about privacy with numerous satellites in orbit that can tell your eye color from space and see through your roof in the IR spectrum.



Rotor Riot!
Why worry about privacy with numerous satellites in orbit that can tell your eye color from space and see through your roof in the IR spectrum.

And real airplane pilots can see your house in real definition (not in 240p) and even have a risk of crashing into you as they don't have RTH and autopilot :p


Monkey/Bear Poker
While I understand that the radios that we use today is much better than what was used 10 or 20 years ago, there are still failures and I do understand that accidents can and do happen currently at the field, but when flying truly out of sight if there is a failure, what can be done?

I am not suggesting that we cannot or should not be able to fly FPV, but to keep the AMA and the government off of our tails, we should help them in making some general rules about where we fly. I really don't think it's any different than where you can normally fly RC aircraft.

If flying FPV in areas that are not normally used for RC aircraft, what would be wrong with getting a permit, and having a flight plan so if a loss of signal, or radio failure the aircraft could be located and retrieved.

The rest of my 2 cents.


Rotor Riot!
If flying FPV in areas that are not normally used for RC aircraft, what would be wrong with getting a permit, and having a flight plan so if a loss of signal, or radio failure the aircraft could be located and retrieved.
Would TeamBlackSheep be granted a permit? :p

No matter what rules are implemented, TBS is always going to push some limits.
I think everyone is pushing the limits as all parts of the world have their own regulations.

By talking to my local airport(the tower) I could go FPV under the approach to our runway!
Only had to follow a few simple rules:
They could contact me by phone at any time during flight
I called them when I started and when I landed to tell them it was all clear.
I was not allowed to fly higher than 50 meters.

FPV and full size jet-liners in the same air :D
FPV and the AMA

I have to say that I'm happy to hear everyone's opinon here regarding FPV. I think what I've heard from just about EVERYONE I talk to is that the AMA frowns on the activity due to some who arn't flying with common sense. I always say that common sense isn't so common. But that foes for just about everything including regular RC flying (non-FPV) how many out there go out and fly in places they really shouldn't... exactly!

My thing is that the AMA is in the perfect postion to provide great support and structure to this new activity... but instead it already seems like it wants to 'control' it. Five years ago we wouldnt have never thought that flying FPV would provide any sort of real tangable skill sets... now, it can provide business opportiniteis (FPV commercial) or even military or civilian job opportunities. Why wouldn't you want to support this? Not like it's going to go away?

Everyone is scared of change... but change really should be ebraced. Like another member mentioned. The days of the radio locking out and your airplane flying away is just about gone... now, these FPV aircraft (even fairly simple ones) have fail safe's in them that have them fly back home via GPS... which is safer than some regular RC flying I'm seeing. I think they really need to support the activity and be there proactivly rather than taking a reactive role moving forard.

That's my take on it.
why regulate...

I think the whole idea behind regulating is that they see it going in that direction anyway possibly with the FAA. So the way some are looking at it is if the AMA are behind FPV for support we have a better reprsentation of the perspective of FPV'ers etc...

Personallyits hard to say.... i have the reeling that they will highly regulate this type of activity.... unless your military/LEO or such.... i think it should come down to airspace. Being a pilot and involved in aviation since 14... i think we can better utilize our airspace to include FPV?

As this activity is still evolving i think its a bit foolish to over regulate the activity before we know the possibilities. Ie: regulating to ONLY 400 AGL? when its smarter to say anyone wanting to fly above 500 should have to file a flight plan.... giving accountability as well as more lee way and options for FPV?

(Sorry for all the typos, i'm on a nook typing in haste LOL)

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
And real airplane pilots can see your house in real definition (not in 240p) and even have a risk of crashing into you as they don't have RTH and autopilot :p
They also have manned controls, don't have to worry about signal loss, and here's the kicker.....require a license to fly. Not to mention that you and I crash a lot more than your average Cessna pilot. I wouldn't try to compare model aviation to the real thing because it's a losing argument. They have to have licenses, insurance, medical evaluations to determine if they are fit to continue flying safely and their equipment is inspected annually by a certified Aiframe and Powerplant mechanic. My uncles last annual inspection was a modest 2000 dollars. Not bad really.

Before anyone jumps on me, I know that there are ultralight and light sport and experimental regulations and all of that. I know that there are exceptions to every rule, but I'm talking about general aviation rules. The most common type of non commercial flight over our country.

Sooooo......unless you want to have all of those things start creeping into our hobby, I wouldn't start making direct comparisons between the two.

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
I know, but those things have a way of gaining speed. My biggest worry is that people will make such a big deal out of it that the regulations are going to creep in a ruin a good thing. There's legitimate reason to worry about FPV, just as there are reasons to worry about lots of things. As long as it's an innocent hobby then the government will leave it alone. With FPV going further and further and people being so vocal about it, it's only going to take one incident to have it all come crashing down.
Yeah my point about using the example of having to file a flight plan was just an example. The point I was trying to make was for them not to go out of the box and set a limit of 400 feet before we've even evaluated what the sport or activity will be using and for what reasons etc.. it's kind of putting the cart out before the horse.

I'm not saying that Joe the RC pilot should be up there filing a flight plan like a IFR commercial pilot... but I'm just saying anytime that we share the airspace with 'real' aircraft I"m SURE there will be a requirement to inform the FAA and/or aviation community of our flight activity in the area.

We can't possibly think it's okay to take a FPV Sky Surfer and put it up to 6,000 ft (I've seem video) and not expect there to be issues with the FAA etc (albeit it was fantastic video) :) ...

I'm by no means trying to compare general aviation with a Hobby where no licence requirements are mandated or even available. I'm saying FPV MIGHT be that activity which, in the near future, may require more training and/or requirements to partake in... which is understandable due to the hazards associated with the airspace.

That being said, this is why I want to see the AMA embrace this activity because it will be great to have the backing of the AMA to help with getting regulation that is good for everyone involved.

So the issue is.... how do we change the AMA's view of this activity so that they don't isolate on the select few who are now flying to their content with no restrictions... and look at the bigger picture?

Thanks guys... I got to say, I'm glad the dialog is going on... I love seeing people talk this out. :)


Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
The way to "change" their view, is to join the AMA and write letters to the elected officials. Tell them what you want done.

Although, the reality is they're reacting more to the pressures from outside influences. Not just the full scale aircraft guys, but the large UAV businesses that want to corner the market.

Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, are all working with UAV programs. If there's going to be a commercial market, for police, EMS, GIS, surveys, etc, they're going to want to be the major players. If the rules are such that only their products will meet the legal demands, then your small mom and pop business, that's working with a Bixler, or a home made multicopter just aren't going to be able to get a finger hold.

Full scale pilots have something to worry about too. It's been mentioned that the days of radio black outs and such are all int he past. I don't think so. Otherwise the Iranians would not have that US military UAV they keep showing off. You're still going to have people who "cheap out" on their gear, assemble it incorrectly, damage it from crashes, and so on. Fail safes, and RTH systems can fail, they can be programed wrong, or can malfunction.

As to regulations, in a perfect world, everyone used common sense. There would be no need for rules to fall back on in the event of trying to determine fault, and the punishment that should follow if there's property damage, injury, or loss of life due to carelessness in the handling of these "toys".