My Proposal for the FAA, NEED INPUT!

What do you think of this proposal?

  • I wouldn't mind participating/ complying to this proposal

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Good start, needs work though

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No! I do not want to have to register myself

    Votes: 7 100.0%

  • Total voters
Hey guys, I have been thinking recently about the large problem facing the entire hobby: whether or not it will die because of people who don't know how to safely fly a radio controlled aircraft. Because of the threat, not only to the hobby but also to the immediate safety of those around the pilot, I would like to propose a solution.

In full-scale aviation there are licensing requirements to fly an aircraft, as well as serial numbers on the aircraft which identify it, the owner, and sometimes its history.

I am not proposing anything as in-depth as what the FAA does, but how about a simple system of registering with an entity, whether it be the FAA, the AMA, or something new altogether, at which point you would receive a registration number which you would display on all of your aircraft. If a police officer saw you doing something unsafe they could run the number through a database to find out who the owner is and to contact them to give a warning, citation, or whatever it may be. This would also work for long range FPV as an unsafe aircrafts serial number could be written down and the owner contacted. If the aircraft is unregistered then the pilot could be punished.

This, in my opinion, would greatly solve the problem as all of us responsible pilots could be recognized as compitent to fly, whereas those who push the edges of the law and don't know what they're doing would be taken out of the skies. To take this a step further a licensing system could be added, just like in full-scale aviation. The licensing could be done at the DMV, an already established location, which would only have to add the tests and a new template for the certificates. Here's an example of the types of license/ratings you could receive:

Private Radio-Controlled Pilots License (PRCPL) - similar to a PPL, this would give you the ability to fly any fixed wing aircraft line of sight. Requirements would be simple, have say 4 hours of solo flying (pretty lenient considering this is only 8 flights), pass a "check-ride" and a short written test.

Multi Rotor Certificate (MRC) - would certify that the pilot is proficient in flying multi rotors. Would include flight time, a check-ride, and a written test.

Rotary Wing Certificate (RWC) - would certify that the pilot is proficient in flying helicopter, gyros, etc... Would include flight time, a check-ride, and written test.

First Person View I (FPVI) - this would give pilots the ability to fly FPV within a 1 mile radius of the ground station. Requirements would be 2 hours of FPV, a check ride, and a written test.

First Person View II (FPVII) - this would give pilots the ability to fly long-range FPV (greater than 1 mile). Requirements would once again be 2 hours of FPV, a check ride, and a written test.

Commercial Radio-Controlled Pilots License (CRCPL) - Would give pilots the ability to engage in commercial activities with their aircraft including inspections, aerial photography, etc... Would require a PRCPL, FPVI or above, and any extra aircraft certifications, depending on what they're flying (i.e. MRC or RWC). This would also solve the current dispute on professional RC flying.




I am by no means someone with authority in the world, but I am wondering how open you guys would be to this solution. If enough people like this proposal I might send it to other RC pilot websites, and maybe eventually to the AMA as a compromise that would make our skies safer. Let me know what you think, or if there is anyway you would modify the plan. Thanks,

Troop 17 Aviation Group


The Geeky Pilot
That seems much worse than what the faa is requiring. The general requirements at clubs and ama guidelines is. You have to be able to perform a figure 8 without losing 50 feet. You have to be able to do right and left based approaches. And normally be able to fly patterns both ways.. However note this is for club safety and liability reasons at private property. Your flight requirements along is way on the high side an averaged flight is around 5 min most people maybe fly around 3 tines or so in a day. So 24 flights.. Most people fly maybe once a month or ever few weeks. So 8 days of flying. Would equal like ~8 months. Who's going to admin and pay for the test? The cost and process will be to much for people to want to fool with and will stunt the hobby., its not the majority of the pilots that are the problem. Its those who get dji's at the store and want to get cool video and fly at cool but dangerous places.. I could possibly see this for aircraft in the 20-50 pound range but nothing under that.. Even then those buying 20-50 pound aircraft are not beginners. This is the reason the hobby has bee safe in the past. Like i said its the entry level consumer camera quad people who are the main issue..

Iv been flying since the 90s. I don't even have that much time or $ resources to meet those requirements. I would have to quit the hobby so would probably thousands of others. Its not a good idea.
Last edited:


Active member
I am with bhursey. This seems way to complex for a hobby, and if it WERE to be in place the hour requirements are way to low to gain any general proficiency. Not saying it has to be the 35 that you need for a PPL at a 141 school, but it should cover a bit more than that. I think a member of the hobby proposing so much FAA interaction is bad precedent to set as well. They may take it as a sign that we "want" them regulating us or are okay with it.


The Geeky Pilot
The aeronautical model hobby community has been self regulating for what 80 years? Without issues. The problem is not RC pilots in general. It is the easy to fly and get camera multiroater platforms, with a few bad apples flying where they are not suppose to.. Im not against theses platforms. However people need to use common since on where to fly and where not to.. When I started flying in the mid 90s it was not easy the way it is now. There was no dual rates, no mixes like expo, no stabilization systems, not many arf kits "most were trainers", and RTF kits forget about it.. Getting started was around 500$ about 750$ in todays $. Our airal photography consisted of a disposable 35mm camera riged up with a servo to trigger the shutter. I worked at a hobby shop and basically to be able to successfully fly you had to join a club which consisted of AMA and rules, and even a check ride. Note the training was not mandatory at what you have. It was just to show you could safely fly at the field and control your aircraft. Many times I had people who wanted to do it on their own. Come back the next week for another airplane and club and ama forums. I normally always asked where they were going to fly it prior to selling the airplane. FYI: I soloed my first flight never having touched an RC airplane before. Of course I flew standard flight simulators. Like FS 95, check yagers flight training, and my dad is an airline pilot. I never used a buddy box. The trainer was like ok you got this.. hahaha

Issue now is a few diffrent areas, most people are responsible. The most concerning for me is the following.

1. High altitude long distance FPV over populated areas. High altitude above 500 AGL is a bad idea anyway you put it. " I think flying over no where at low altitude or in the mountain passes like cofpv is fine"
2. People wanting to get shots and doing stupid things with their quad copters Flying over, people, near buildings and airports, through fireworks over people. Im sorry while that is cool not a good idea if its over people.
3. Flying over, or very close to people without safety precautions is a bad idea.

Some of this I actually feel is lost because, sales have gone online, and at normal retailes people are not knowledgeable.

Note most of this is outlined in AMA documentation..
Last edited:


Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
NO NO NO!!!@!!!! No more rules. enforce the laws on the books. Quit trying to avoid every potential situation. Punish the Law Breaker When the LAW is broken and not BEFORE! The government has spent the last 50 years making many activities I have enjoyed either highly restrictive or downright criminal. This country is falling to Imported ideas from cultures that ran away from issues in their countries and came here to create the same HELL they ran away from. If anyone came here and does not want to adopt the American Ideals and Ways that made this country great then LEAVE back to your country where your weird ideas originated from.:mad:



Senior Member
The licensing is a bit over the top. What I would propose over registering every single vehicle you own would be a registering the pilot. Then you just apply your number to all your different vehicles.
That is what I was proposing, sorry if I made it sound really in depth, but yes, only the pilot would be registered and the pilots number would be displayed on the aircraft. The licensing I was curious on thoughts about it. There has been a lot of dispute over commercializing RC pilots and I think a license, even if it is just if you do it professionally, would work well.


Biplane Guy
I'm not against safety, but making RC pilots take a written/practical test is paramount to what a full scale pilot goes through. Unless you want RC flying to be as harshly controlled as full scale aviation, I'd steer clear of any decision making from the FAA. A professional licence kind of thing would be nice for businesses, but then we get into what constitutes commercial model flying. The model flying community has been working together perfectly in almost perfect harmony for far longer than it has even been on the FAAs radar. The bottom line is that most hobbyists know far more about their limitations and rules than the FAA does, and there have been really no incidents (just one that I can think of) which require FAA involvement.


In theory, all cars are registered and all drivers are licensed, using the gov'ts logic, all vehicle crashes should have been eliminated. Obviously this has not happened, this is a solution in search of a problem since it does not address the issue at hand with uneducated pilots using poor judgement.