Faa proposed Transponder rules and how/if they change what we do as hobbyists


Active member
Sooo. elephant in the room, but the FAA just released the as of now unpublished proposed rules, requiring remote identification on (nearly:cool:)all UAS in the US.


while they sorta touch on it in several places, at the end of page 16, beginning of 17 they talk about how amateur built aircraft flown in space designated for RC will be exempt from the requirements.

c. UAS without Remote Identification Equipment
Under the proposed rule, the vast majority of UAS would be required to have remote identification capability, however as discussed in section X. A. 3, a limited number of UAS would continue to not have remote identification. The FAA envisions that upon full implementation of this rule, no unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds will be commercially available that is not either a standard remote identification UAS or a limited remote identification UAS. However, there will be certain UAS including amateur built aircraft and previously manufactured UAS that might not have remote identification capability. A person operating a UAS without remote identification equipment would always be required to operate within visual line of sight6 and within an FAA-recognized identification area. Under the proposed rule, an FAA-recognized identification area is a defined geographic area where UAS without remote identification can operate. An area would be eligible for establishment as an FAA-recognized identification area if it is a flying site that has been established within the programming of a community based organization recognized by the Administrator. The FAA would maintain a list of FAA-recognized identification areas at https://www.faa.gov. FAArecognized identification areas are discussed further in section XV of this preamble.

So, for the average Flitetester flying at their local hobby club field, as far as this paragraph says, for the time being things are going to be ok as long as you fly like what we would expect a hobbiest to do. Racing is in the same boat as long as they are doing it in approved areas...what about landowners flying on private property? Do you get a local club to designate your property a flying field and then register it with the FAA? seems to be a bit of gray area there.

However, the guys ripping a sick dive on a office building with a transponder-less multi-rotor might be breaking the law even if he has permission to be there, but if he has a remote identifier and permission he can fly pretty much as he was before, right?

Regulation sucks, but so does having idiots dropping wads of cash on something they dont understand, tapping cordinates on a ipad and having a computer do dumb things making us all look bad. this seems like a OK-ish compromise from the "these things all should be illegal" and the "you cant regulate me, bro"

I have two quads, a tricopter, and am working on a tailwitter Vtol, so I'm more a multi-rotor pilot than a fixed wing, and am a bit bummed that all my local parks are outa the question for the time being, but i personally am not flying to get followers, or to make money illegally without a part 107, to to get sweet footage I can set to techno, or anything commercial, Im flying to enjoy it, and these rules changes wont be affecting me quite nearly as much as I worried they might.

At the end of the day, i think im going to breath a cautious sigh of temporary relief, my fleet is legal at my local field. I hope that the tech becomes a negligible thing, like an integrated osd, a BEC on a speed controller, or a GPS+compass combo, just economies of scale and demand making things cheap and accessible.

And Im waiting with baited breath for that list of approved fields, FAA, I bet that'll get released at the exact time the rules will go in effect, and not be delayed for a couple years only to get mothballed by another directive:giggle:


Knower of useless information
I'm kinda ok with this for several reasons.

1) In theory, it will help curb the guys who are doing those crazy office building dives and flying where they're not supposed to, because there will be a portion who will actually follow the rules, just like there will be a portion that will thumb their nose at the government.

2) It ups the safety factor a bit. If you're flying at a designated area, people are less likely to wander in to the path of your landing aircraft, because there are generally signs that warn of incoming aircraft.

3) It legitimizes flight a bit more by saying, "Hey, we're not bad people - look, we have a spot to fly at. In fact, come watch us fly! Heck, come FLY with us!" Any chance we have of getting MORE people interested in the hobby is a great thing; we lament that the hobby feels like it's dying off, but a lot of that is the interest - people don't know it's out there, so they're not checking it out and going, "Hey that's cool!" Provide a legitimate flying location where people are allowed to fly without a bunch of red tape, and you can now get more people to come out and get into the hobby.

I know, there's going to be arguments from the extremes, and I know those people aren't going to go along with my mentality at all. So be it...


Legendary member
Being from a "Mind your own darn business" part of the country I have problems with ALL federal government that exceeds the scope of what the fed gov was supposed to be... sure you dont want Jack wagons doing high dives on New York city skyscrapers but, if in attempt to regulate them, you end up telling me, on private ground, in the literal middle of BFE Wyoming without a soul around for miles, that I can not do something harmless... I'm going to have a problem with that.

Traditionally the FAA has not concerned themselves with toys under 400 feet that aren't near airports. It should've stayed that way.

I really think its not the "dangers" these toys present that's the problem, even though that's the ploy they're using. I think it's the fact that someone thinks there is money to be made in our (sub 400ft) airspace and they need a way to control it...

Ryan O.

Out of Foam Board!
It wouod be difficult to enforce, and the FAA already needs funding, and enforcing it costs money. The registration rule is followed by everyone at my field, but I didn’t know about it until a few months ago. They might be testing the AMA as well. My local representative is retiring, and would go against ANYTHING I would want anyway. His potential replacements might be swayed though.


Elite member
It wouod be difficult to enforce, and the FAA already needs funding, and enforcing it costs money. The registration rule is followed by everyone at my field, but I didn’t know about it until a few months ago. They might be testing the AMA as well. My local representative is retiring, and would go against ANYTHING I would want anyway. His potential replacements might be swayed though.

I have a feeling the police will be doing the enforcing. I know a few local police officers (I live in Missouri) and the ones in STL have drone operation training and are fairly knowledgeable in their workings and they are aware of the new laws coming out.

Flying Monkey fab

Elite member
I've seen this all before with ultralights, the vast majority of people will either quit or go outlaw.
Right now I can run up to the park and fly safe and sane with a reasonably light electric plane.
If /when this is implemented I'll have to go underground so to speak as there won't be a magic spot to fly within a two hour drive.
I'm sorry and don't mean to be harsh but anyone here that is for this has not thought it through.


Wake up! Time to fly!
Several points to touch on.

These new rules apply to fixed wing RC as well as multirotors. So Even if you are all flying and paying for a club membership, AMA membership, and flying in a safe manor in a safe place you still would be required to add these electronic dog tags. It all STILL only boils down to money and has ZERO influence for safety.

As for people blaming multirotor pilots for all this thats not right either. Most of the pilots doing the building dives and such are experienced pilots with above average skills. These things are far too expensive to get all stupid with.

The problems are more from fixed wing long range losing their aircraft and the camera drone craze. both of which are FREQUENTLY flying FAR above 400ft. In nearly EVERY case of drone problems its a DJI product smack in the middle of the drama.

That all said I am fairly sure the digital dog tags are going to be for part 107 pilots who are the more likely of our hobby to be working near or around full scale aviation in a manor that would impact it more frequently then us lowly hobbyist. If they do make it mandatory for all hobby level craft to have these expensive identifiers they will only cause more rogue pilots or kill off the industry because things like freestyle quads or race quads wont use them as they will only detract from the safety and usability by adding more weight and forcing redesigns of frames or modifications to make room for the equipment.

No matter what laws are in place whether they are enforced or not, the same morons doing stupid things will still be doing stupid things. So STILL after near three years of the regulations debate it all boils down to making money for the government and certain companies lobbying our lawmakers to profiteer from an other wise safe and proven hobby nothing more nothing less.


Build cheap, crash cheap
Bad news but also possibly alarmist, hard for FT to do a video on, and definitely largely unenforceable. It's quite unlike the (nonsensical) 2-week TFR I'm under right now where if I broke it with my foam model in a private field far from the epicenter but not 35nmi someone could just place a phone call to say that I'm flying a drone and the PD would show up followed by the feds.

I'm not of the "whatever brings more people to the hobby" school of thought, because from what I've seen, the hobby was better off being a little more difficult to get into than just going to best buy and buying a camera quad that you can dumb-thumb around in an illegal manner without immediately putting it into the ground before it can do much harm/be newsworthy. Perception is everything, and right now, the consumers buying consumer multirotors are largely responsible for harming public perception of our hobby by association the increasing gov't interest in committing overreach that damages our hobby. Most of them are not a part of our hobby any more than the average commuter with "a car" is a part of the car enthusiast hobby, and frankly we as a group of model aircraft enthusiasts were better off before they had easy access to toys that associate them with us.

Most of the pilots doing the building dives and such are experienced pilots with above average skills. These things are far too expensive to get all stupid with.

I'm going to have to strongly disagree with that statement. I have seen plenty of exceedingly stupid stuff done with expensive things, from turbine models to real aircraft to exotic cars, consumer/hobby grade rc models that usually cost under a grand are in no way prohibitively expensive, let alone enough to be an exception. I don't care if it's my neighbor who has never flown one before, or the flavor-of-the-month top of a "drone" racing series guy doing it, if someone is out there flying near an airport or over crowds or diving buildings with people around it's bad optics and is harming the hobby. Skill doesn't change that.

We can only hope that whatever overreach manages to pass when more inevitably does, it doesn't flat out kill the our hobby or even damage it, but does largely kill the buy-a-drone-that-flies-itself-on-amazon market. Statistically speaking, the yahoo who wants to fly his DJI knockoff into class-B airspace for some instagram footage wouldn't be able to do it without winding up upside down in a tree if all he could easily find was hobbyist stuff that actually requires thought and practice to fly.


Wake up! Time to fly!
@varg Please dont confuse real freestyle / race pilots diving buildings with idiots flying phantoms crashing into buildings. These pilots are NOT the ones flying near airports nor over crowds. The building dives are usually done on weekends when there are no soft targets, with more then just the pilot there for safety to make sure there are no soft targets entering the area. Most of us that build our own stuff have more then financial investment in our gear and THAT is where the "too expensive" comes into play.

There is nothing automatic with our gear. The skill to fly the way we can and do is earned and not programmed in a factory. The gear we use is well maintained to be able to do what we do reliably every time we put it in the air. We value our ability to fly and its more then just going out to get a picture or for internet clicks.

Judging ALL us multirotor pilots by what you think we are like from internet videos and the media hype is just wrong. Just as the government is doing. We too want the hobby to be safe. No one I know of goes out to do some of the "risky" stuff without risk assessment and management, skill assessment, or the confidence to know we can put that craft where we need or want it to be.

Ill play the role of Bruce (Xjet in case you are not familiar with the name) and ask you to show us ANYTHING where a drone has done harm that wasnt a DJI product or clone of a DJI product. Its not the established RC community causing the problems its the new people entering the hobby because DJI promotes their products as "ANYONE can fly a drone" and all the copy cats are perpetuating that myth and that is just not true. With the tech anyone can put one in the air. Not every one can fly one. THAT is where the problems are its not the established pilots in the rc community.

Its not the experienced pilots pushing boundaries. Without that the tech nor the hobby nor anything else that evolves from this process becomes reality. The things we do look risky to people simply because they cant do it themselves. Its the history of the world... riding a two wheel bike without training wheels is scary to a child because they never did it. Driving a race car is scary to people who think speed is bad because they never did it, they never trained to do it, so the by nature cant believe its a good thing. Flying a full scale aircraft is scary to people who have not trained nor tried it.. The examples are endless. Drones are just the new big thing and because of the media that is driven by hype more people get to see the bad things to keep them scared and leery.

Bottom line is if people are on the "drones are bad" bandwagon they are just someone who is uninformed about the REAL part of our hobby and are perpetuating someone elses fears simply because of majority of other people are uninformed with facts. Even people IN the hobby are not up to speed about what our gear can do safely. As far as I know there have only been two or three confirmed instances since the inception of multi rotors interfering with full scale craft. Thats far less then in the history of them then there is with near misses or contacts between full scale aircraft on a daily basis.


Techno Nut
What it boils down to is UPS, FedEX, Amazon, and every other delivery company want in on the 400FT "Hobby" airspace without running in to each other or us. AKA: Commercialization. There are other developing markets wanting in too.

The one thing that this "might" be good for is if it allows us hobby peeps to go beyond LOS too....



Legendary member
@PsyBorg I do agree, the DJI stuff has brought more wankers into this hobby than just about anything. (Love watching Bruce btw) the capabilities of those platforms are far beyond the skills of most of their users, and they take such amazing footage of the stupid things they do!

I just hate seeing people in our hobby pointing fingers at each other. The old guard fixed wing croud points at those darn kids and their drones; the freestyle/racers say, "We dont have drones, these are quads, it's those idiots with DJI phantoms that started this." 99.9% of the DJI croud says, "I've never done anything like that, dont take it out on me"
Meanwhile the only people getting together to influence the government thats actually going to be regulating us are big, deep pocketed, ambitious corporations...


Wake up! Time to fly!
@Hondo76251 Yeah the lobbying for "drone delivery" is a huge part of it. The more worrisome thing is HOW Bills like this get thru to become the laws governing us.

Some of the latest laws / rules that got passed were piggy backed on an education bill because these weak sauce sell out politicians know these laws cant stand on their own so they use skeevy tactics like that. The education bill had to pass and had tons of support. The drone laws had diddly and squat for support. So to weasel the new drone laws thru they piggy backed them on one that was a guarantee pass. A fair portion of the politicians that passed the education bill had no knowledge of the drone addendum's piggybacked in the final draft. The aides who proof read all that mumbo jumbo and give the politicians a condensed version to go by are the ones bought off by the lobbyists.

I think the people who can and do fight these drone laws should attack the new stuff on the merit it does not stand on its own and it had to be put into place in such a sneaky and undemocratic manor by the few greedy scumbags in power that live in the pockets of lobbyists and not doing their duties for the people who voted them into that power.

And I am with the crowd that does not fly Drones. I fly multirotor / mainly quads. My gear has never fired a shot, never aggressively attacked anything but the flags and gates I crash into, and it certainly was not given the soul of a war machine by me when I built it. As far as I can tell the only people consistently doing evil things with drones are the governments trying to regulate ours.

Foam Folder

Active member
I don't know what the reason for the deliberate destruction of the RC hobby is but it's there. Don't think you can just obey the rules because they just make more rules. If you think the reason is safety then the rules make no sense as we all try to fly safely Criminals do not obey laws so criminal behavior will still be there.

I will not register myself as a criminal


Legendary member
Just a little jarhead humor from my other... um... hobby 🤣


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Build cheap, crash cheap
When they came for the freestyle pilots, I did nothing. I was not a freestyle pilot...

Here's the problem with that statement:
Nobody is getting singled out. They aren't "coming for the freestyle pilots" or any romanticized drivel like that, the rules that have been applied so far and have been proposed apply to the umbrella category of Unmanned Aerial Systems. This applies to the fudds who fly strictly balsa nitro planes, the rich dudes with the $25,000 scale turbines, the kids with race quads, the flite test guys, you, me, PsyBorg, Bruce, all of us.

All of the cases that make the headlines hurt all of us, and so far the headlines haven't actually concerned any of us but people who aren't anything like us but are associated with us because they are flying RC toys. When UAS for lack of a better umbrella term was just the hobbyists at their fields or on their private property having fun it was small, never made the news, and flew under regulatory radar. Now it doesn't anymore, and it isn't because of drib diving buildings when nobody is around, but the people who on instagram and youtube trying to be the next drib have been up to some dumb stuff and they do have something to do with it. You can bet that when one of them inevitably causes a ruckus flying where they have no business flying it'll hurt the hobby just as much as the headlines about "drones" near airports have. The toys, which is really the best term for the self-flying consumer stuff, opened pandora's box, and the commercial operators who want drone delivery and stuff have a vested interest in getting rid of us, we just have to condemn the stupidity and hope that we can escape unscathed at this point. Not that we're unscathed now relative to a few years ago or more...

Flite test in general has been great for the perception of this hobby. It's just a shame the good stuff doesn't make for good headlines.

Just a little jarhead humor from my other... um... hobby 🤣

Pretty much. It's my goal to get some land in the future out away from the masses so I don't have to be bothered with the hysterical media, the public or even suburban flying fields (or ranges) and the regulations. But in the mean time I'm at the mercy of the FAA.

Captain Video

Well-known member
Hey Folks;
Lets take all this enthusiasm and direct toward out replresentatives and MAKE them understand we are not the problem. Use the same verbage seen here to help them see these reglations are hurting the innocent RC pilot. I will be contacting my reps to let them know
MY OPINION COUNTS and there are lots of others like me who vote!