• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Did the AMA just try to stab us in the back?

#21
At least the AMA sent out emails asking for action this time. It was nice to see them try to get their member base to speak out, and they made it easy to contact local representatives. That at least shows that they are trying, if not not exactly succeeding.

I sat down with one of the AMA Reps in Government Affairs at EAA Oshkosh this year, and had a long chat about where things were going with the FAA. He admitted that its been a tough battle, and they've been outmatched in funding and influence. The only thing that has let them have any influence is that they hold 80 years of historical data of safe operation of models. The official recognition of them as a CBO was more so to help give them a more permanent voice in responding to any further FAA legislation. They've been trying to save all ends of the hobby, from FT planes up to turbines, and at the time, he said they finally felt that they were making progress.

The biggest problem seems to be that the AMA isn't always invited to every discussion. We saw that with the Counter-UAS meeting that stirred the viral Xjet video that went around. And from the sounds of it, a decent amount of the language in the bill was not known to the AMA until the last second. A lot of the language in the bill is a major problem. The 400 ft limit, airspace limitations, a mandatory operator's knowledge test, and a section that literally says that the FAA administrator can change any of the section at their discretion, and create further rules against our hobby. There's also the whole remote ID mess that could REALLY screw things up.

With the CBO definition out there, it would be great to see Flite Test or some other CBOs pop up. At this point, we need all the voice we can get if we want to continue enjoying the hobby.

Sorry about the long post, just needed to vent a bit..
 
#22
Just need some clarification. If I hypothetically under current regulations didn't register with the FAA or pay a membership fee to the AMA, nor label my foamboard planes, but I always fly safely according to the AMA rules
I always fly at my grandparents' hay field in the middle of nowhere -
Could I be arrested?
What are the consequences of disregarding the new rules and flying without registration?
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#23
Flite Test and Multigp have more people backing them then AMA but neither have the financial resources to be a real presence in Washington.

This battle is down to money and lobbying. Its already far passed any individual (societal) influence.

Even then its still a battle against multiple corporate giants and the huge wall of "national security" and surveylance.
 
#24
Just need some clarification. If I hypothetically under current regulations didn't register with the FAA or pay a membership fee to the AMA, nor label my foamboard planes, but I always fly safely according to the AMA rules
I always fly at my grandparents' hay field in the middle of nowhere -
Could I be arrested?
What are the consequences of disregarding the new rules and flying without registration?
Dante, I'm not sure about being arrested, but theoretically they could hit you with a fine, but that's extremely unlikely. If you hold a full scale pilot's license, that's where things get scary. The FAA can pull your certificate for a violation with unmanned aircraft. I've done the registration and all that, but still haven't put the numbers in each model. Probably should get around to that at some point.
 
#25
Flite Test and Multigp have more people backing them then AMA but neither have the financial resources to be a real presence in Washington.

This battle is down to money and lobbying. Its already far passed any individual (societal) influence.

Even then its still a battle against multiple corporate giants and the huge wall of "national security" and surveylance.
There is still a small bit of hope. General aviation has held out for years against those same forces, due to having a good rep, and great advocacy organizations (AOPA and EAA).

That was one of the better points walking away from my conversation with the AMA rep. For the most part, they have backing from those major GA advocacy organizations. They've defeated ATC privatization, landing fees, and other issues that would have had a major impact over the years. Hopefully their backing and experience has helped the AMA at least a bit.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#26
Update on the new bill in Congress. Seems the AMA got what they wanted AND shot themselves in the foot at the same time.

They were so focused on getting recognized as THE CBO that they failed to pay attention to the rest of what corporate entities were lobbying for.

Seems the new bill will cut into AMA's finance stream by making some of their events illegal once the FAA gains full control over 336.

Get ready for mandatory insurance beyond AMA or home owners as well as licencing and testing.

I suspect DMV will have to add a line for drones in the next year or so.

Say good bye to things like gliders that need to be up high, drone racing like multigp thats not backed by huge corporations making DRL the new NASCAR instead of the WWE of the drone world.

Expect to have to put tracking devices on anything that flys so they can be tracked and later those things like insurance companies are working into cars so they can make you pay more if you are heavy footed on braking or throttle management.

Yes this is speculation and probably a bit conspiracy theory but so far everything I have fortold is happening little by little.
I'm going to say that, TO A POINT (and let me emphasize that again!) I'd love to have a tracker for something that flies. That way, if it goes down in our wooded area near our field, I can find it a lot easier. That is the ONLY reason I'd be for a tracker. The trackers that insurance companies want is something of a violation of our civil liberties, and is still being fought. I know they WANT to do that, and some companies have it for their work fleet to make sure their drivers are driving ok...But that's a whole other can of worms.

The tracker's a great idea IF it's only used to help recover a plane. I know there're things like Tile And Trackr devices that you can put on a keyring, and people have said they'll put them in a plane or mount them to a drone, but they only work when you're within about 20-30 feet of the device. If your plane is 40 ft up in a tree (which happens more often than you'd think at my field), how do you locate it??? LOL

At any rate, I've already told Congress not to vote to pass this bill. Not that Darrell Issa will listen to the people in his district (he hasn't in years), but there's always hope.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#27
The biggest problem seems to be that the AMA isn't always invited to every discussion. We saw that with the Counter-UAS meeting that stirred the viral Xjet video that went around. And from the sounds of it, a decent amount of the language in the bill was not known to the AMA until the last second. A lot of the language in the bill is a major problem. The 400 ft limit, airspace limitations, a mandatory operator's knowledge test, and a section that literally says that the FAA administrator can change any of the section at their discretion, and create further rules against our hobby. There's also the whole remote ID mess that could REALLY screw things up.

With the CBO definition out there, it would be great to see Flite Test or some other CBOs pop up. At this point, we need all the voice we can get if we want to continue enjoying the hobby.

Sorry about the long post, just needed to vent a bit..
I find this very troubling. Either the AMA is being intentionally left out, and they're doing a terrible job of fighting to be represented, or they're intentionally letting this fight be lost. As I stated in a previous post, it's counter productive for the AMA to fight for non members. It would be in their best interest to let the government regulate model aviation to a point that as hobbyists, we could only fly at CBO flying sites. In January 2018 there was over one million drone registrations. The important thing with that number is that is a million people, not airframes. The AMA brags about 250,000 members. If 3/4 of a million people suddenly had to join the AMA or fly illegal, there would be a surge to the number of AMA members. If the AMA fought and won, against regulations that would force people to fly at dedicated sites, they'd be hurting themselves rather significantly.

Now, I can't say for sure that this is something they'd hope for, but, it certainly would be crazy for them to turn down an opportunity like that.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#28
On a different note... while I love the idea of FT creating a CBO for all of us, there's a certain reality we'd have to understand.

There's a lot of work involved in starting, staffing, and running a national organization like the AMA. The FAA has laid out some very specific rules about what a CBO is.

(f) Community-Based Organization Defined.—In this section, the term “community-based organization” means a nationwide membership-based association entity that—
(1) is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(2) is exempt from tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
(3) the mission of which is demonstrably the furtherance of model aviation;
(4) provides a comprehensive set of safety guidelines for all aspects of model aviation addressing the assembly and operation of model aircraft and that emphasize safe aeromodeling operations within the national airspace system and the protection and safety of individuals and property on the ground, and may provide a comprehensive set of safety rules and programming for the operation of unmanned aircraft that have the advanced flight capabilities enabling active, sustained, and controlled navigation of the aircraft beyond visual line of sight of the operator;
(5) provides programming and support for any local charter organizations, affiliates, or clubs; and
(6) provides assistance and support in the development and operation of locally designated model aircraft flying sites.
(g) Recognition Of Community-Based Organizations.—In collaboration with aeromodelling stakeholders, the Administrator shall publish an advisory circular within 180 days of enactment that identifies the criteria and process required for recognition of nationwide community-based organizations. This recognition shall be in the form of a memorandum of agreement between the FAA and each community-based organization and does not require regulatory action to implement.
(h) Effective Date.—Except for rules to implement remote identification for unmanned aircraft that by design provide advanced flight capabilities enabling active, sustained, and controlled navigation of the aircraft beyond the visual line of sight of the operator and for rules regarding the registration of certain model aircraft pursuant to section 44103, this section shall become effective when the rule, referred to in section 532 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, regarding revisions to part 107 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, becomes final.
We have the FT crew working hard at it as it is, this is not something that I'd suggest trying to put on their plate. Instead, it would have to be a Flite Test Community project. Us. From our community we'd need to find the people to set up a 501(c)(3), be elected into the positions, create a program for finding, creating, and assisting with local flying sites across the country (I am not sure what the FAA's minimum requirement for this would be) as well as the rest of the things the AMA is already doing including acting as a lobbying agency in Washington.

I love the idea, but I wonder if it would be better to get the FT community to join the AMA. Work with an already established organization, and rebuild it from the inside. Get OUR guys to run for the offices. Get OUR guys hired into the decision making positions within the AMA. Put a new driver in an old, but good piece of equipment. We're too far into this fight to try to build a new agency. If we wait too long, the commercial interests will have us regulated to tiny club sites, and gone will be the days of flying over a farm, or at a soccer field, or even out own yards.


NOW, all that being said. If we find that all of a sudden that the only place that we can fly is an official CBO club field, and conveniently enough the only CBO that the FAA recognizes is the AMA, then yes, I'll be lead guy with torch and pitchfork in hand, yelling lets create a new CBO, let's find community members with land that we can call FT Fields. Let's put to rest the inept group of old men who looked out only for themselves, and killed the AMA through their laziness and greed. But until then, I say work with what we've got.