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

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

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
Particularly the comments section.

I am so discouraged by the local news. They keep showing images and video of DJI copters while talking about formations of drones with 6'-8' wingspans flying for 2-3 hours at a time. People here are scared of copters because that's what the news shows. They don't get that the TV news is showing stock footage of a copter but that what the story is about is a HUGE fixed wing UAV, almost certainly federally operated.

<foil>The fact that the feds aren't owning up to it looks to me like a false flag fake news attack perped by the FAA in order to garner support with voters. </foil>
 

Vimana89

Well-known member
Particularly the comments section.

I am so discouraged by the local news. They keep showing images and video of DJI copters while talking about formations of drones with 6'-8' wingspans flying for 2-3 hours at a time. People here are scared of copters because that's what the news shows. They don't get that the TV news is showing stock footage of a copter but that what the story is about is a HUGE fixed wing UAV, almost certainly federally operated.

<foil>The fact that the feds aren't owning up to it looks to me like a false flag fake news attack perped by the FAA in order to garner support with voters. </foil>
You know, I wouldn't be surprised... and I'll admit the thought crossed my mind.
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
I call 100% absolute BS on the 2k plus reports of pilots sighting drones... everyone is in such a hype they cant tell a 250 gram quad from a ****6,000**** gram goose....

Its hard enough to spot another plane in the air, let alone a bird the size of an eagle, forget about a drone... maybe they saw lights? You know how many lights I saw outside of a Huey at night that I couldn't make heads or tails of? Hundreds, back then, there was no such thing as drones...
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Over half the drivers in the world cant spot a turtle on the side of the road at 55 let alone a drone at 400+ mph... Its ALL fake news to drum up views and responses so the advertising on what ever media it gets served up on gets more exposure. Even on slow landings.. they didnt spot JACK as they were busy watching instruments and the runway.
 
Rarely does mainstream media ever run beneficial news stories, they run hit-pieces. They can push whatever narrative they wish and come borderline close to false information and pseudo-news. The only kind of "beneficial" news stories they'll run is any type of sob story that'll touch on the grandma's feelings, and they still find some way to bend even those stories to whatever narrative they're currently pushing in editing. We might as well forget about getting any kind of traction on this or any kind of stories that help and work in our favor from the media. The only way we'd ever get a word in on the subject is if they ran some sort of story about hobbyists and the battle we're facing in DC. However I would almost hesitate to suggest anyone participate in anything like that. Even if you wore some 3 piece suit and were articulate and succinct to hit the points home and let the public know we aren't criminals and this isn't about their safety in the short 60 seconds they give the story when it airs. they'll turn it around in the editing room take something you said out of context and make it seem like you're some deranged lunatic and you and all your drone buddies do fly-bys of commercial air-liners for giggles and spy on women and children in your free time.

We're in for a fight as anyone who stands to make a dollar off of this is going to do whatever they can to make sure we're run out of town, and lobbyists are going to be right there helping it along with sacks of cash. For as little good as it does, I think our only hope is to raise a ruckus on whatever forum they give us, contact anyone and everyone that runs for an elected office and let them know if they let this happen you are a voter, and you vote *every* *single* *time*, and you will make sure they don't receive your vote or anyone else's if this goes through. That, and hopefully rely on the companies that are the backbone of the RC hobby fighting this tooth and nail. If this happens it means the end of a lot of jobs, and a lot of innovation. Hopefully that motivates them to fight this and fight it hard.
 

varg

Build cheap, crash cheap
I have a little experience spotting RC airplanes from a real airplane. When I was in flight school, we used to do ground reference maneuvers over an abandoned housing development, and when people weren't drifting there they occasionally flew RC airplanes off those streets. Not that hard to spot if it's a decent size plane and you're looking for it, same as birds. Multirotors didn't really exist back then. Plenty of close calls with birds of various sizes over that time. I'm guessing I'd spot a phantom or something just as easily as a seagull during the day. It would be fairly easy to distinguish anything other than a bird shaped model from a bird unless it was very close and therefore brief sighting. I could tell when it was an osprey or a buzzard or a seagull when I had to dodge a bird. At night, no chance of distinguishing it from ground lights unless you passed right by it.

Based on my experience, I'm on the fence about this 2,000 sightings number you guys are talking about. It's perfectly reasonable to be able to spot a decent sized consumer multirotor or airplane, maybe not a race or freestyle quad unless you had a really close encounter, but most models are larger than that and more visually apparent anyway. This hobby is basically in its golden era right now, it has never been larger and it has never been easier to get into it as a newbie or do great things if you're experienced. Based on the sheer number of people in the hobby and outside of it buying consumer stuff, I don't think it's beyond reason to say there were 2,000 sightings total. I don't know what the mechanism or criteria for a documentable sighting is though.
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
@varg I agree, a large enough bird is easy to spot, even smaller things when you are looking at them. Ive got quite a few hours in ultralights, champ, and J3. Years ago, the last generation of ranchers, everyone had a plane. We rarely flew ABOVE 400 feet and from there, cruising at 60 knots, you can see anything. I am, however, still calling BS on 2000 drones being spotted close enough to an aircraft to be a noteworthy concern, but like you said, i guess we really dont know the criteria for the reporting.... would be interesting to see what the locations for most if the sightings have been...
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Most of the drone sightings are at air ports on approach. 99.9% of them NOT in a position to interfere with operations but merely within the no fly zone hovering to get footage of aircraft taking off or landing. Again Still blown way out of proportion as a safety hazard.

Id even go so far to guess most of these drone flights were not over air port property as even the dumbest person I know here in hickabilly land where I live knows not to trespass on airport property.
 
I wound up putting the following in the register:

Comment:Oh, for heaven's sake! I fly foam board aircraft as a hobby. The equipment you are talking about will cost more than I spend on the rest of the airframe combined! And, given that there is no extant system for gathering the data proposed, you appear to want me to spend this additional money before you are able to benefit from it. Plus there are the privacy concerns ("Why should the government monitor what I am doing at a particular time?) and even First Amendment issues (My aircraft has a saying on it and others see it. You're checking to see when I'm saying something?) to consider.

My suggestion would be for the FAA to concentrate on the real issues facing the "aeroecology" like aging infrastructure, serious quality concerns in airframe and maintenance. Let those of us who remain below 400 feet and mind our own business. You have not made a case that there is a problem, that regulation can address it, and that the cost-benefit analysis is to the positive.
 
The more people go over this proposal the more I think that the place to stop it is going to be in the courts. There are constitutional ramifications to huge chunks of it.

The question there is the AMA willing to challenge the worst parts in court?
BTW I am NOT saying don't write a response to the proposal, that is something each of us can and should do.
 

varg

Build cheap, crash cheap
The more people go over this proposal the more I think that the place to stop it is going to be in the courts.
Agreed, see my earlier post directed at the @flitetest guys. (still no response)

Some of us have seen this kind of stuff (subject-to-change rules made by unelected bureaucrats in a 3 letter agency without representation) before. Once the ball gets rolling on an agency being able to unilaterally make rules like this, the only way to stop it is to take it to court. Flitetest can, and the fans would back them. This is much more important than edgewater ever was. This hobby has guys who spend tens of thousands on turbine models in it, I guarantee some of them are lawyers who would help if it was asked for, and I'll bet some of them watch flite test.
 
Last edited:

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Agreed, see my earlier post directed at the @flitetest guys. (still no response)

Some of us have seen this kind of stuff (subject-to-change rules made by unelected bureaucrats in a 3 letter agency without representation) before. Once the ball gets rolling on an agency being able to unilaterally make rules like this, the only way to stop it is to take it to court. Flitetest can, and the fans would back them. This is much more important than edgewater ever was. This hobby has guys who spend tens of thousands on turbine models in it, I guarantee some of them are lawyers who would help if it was asked for, and I'll bet some of them watch flite test.
The likelihood of getting a response from the core team in the forums is EXTREMELY low mate. If you really want to address them do it direct thru one of their social media accounts other wise you may never get hold of them.
 
The news will never tell the story, but I can see a documentary on Netflix or a similar service making a splash. Imagine a documentary is made with the whole history of the hobby, showing early RC and balsa builds from the early 20th century all the way to the explosion of the hobby with new electronics and batteries and the DIY foam era. Show how kids build these for science projects, show how STEM programs are being done for education. Show quads being used properly and in useful manners, both for their own use and to help with things like crash retrieval. Show the events, the families and kids, the fun and people cooking out and stuff. Then proceed to show how the FAA and corporate greed intend to destroy all that right as its booming. If such a thing would get five stars, they might have a crisis of public opinion on their hands. This will inform your basic boob-tubers who may have been uninterested or uneducated about the hobby as well.
 
Watch till the end, during the final remarks session Josh pretty much sums up the concerns of recreational "drone" pilots. The FAA representative was borderline illiterate in my opinion. She seem distracted and un-involved and as a result she was not fluent or collected when she talked.
No doubt he is doing more for the hobby than anyone. This is one more reason to help support what they do. I've said before that I buy their stuff because I want to support them and watching this reaffirms that decision. The AMA was utterly useless. Makes it seem like they support the idea of restricting the hobby to designated fields as if they think that would be the way to bring life back into their dying part of the hobby...
 
No doubt he is doing more for the hobby than anyone. This is one more reason to help support what they do. I've said before that I buy their stuff because I want to support them and watching this reaffirms that decision. The AMA was utterly useless. Makes it seem like they support the idea of restricting the hobby to designated fields as if they think that would be the way to bring life back into their dying part of the hobby...
I have no firsthand AMA experience. I doubt that would be their intention for the most part, as the AMA is generally well intentioned at its core... but yes, a few grinchy individuals or snooty clubs within the AMA might actually be on board with this, some of the ones in particular that hate on foam, DIY, and/or multi rotor and just have everyone spend $2k on some recommended plane.