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Recent section 336 proposed repeals in the works.

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#1
Hey guys.. AMA members or supporters are not the only ones who need to address this. Seems there is legislation being proposed to repeal section 336 which allows us all to fly as model pilots.

I am not sure how much of this is the AMA covering their butts over control or if this is a full on threat to all of us but it surely can not hurt for all of us to pester the people that represent us to not screw us all over. If this is a real threat then we all need to stand up and let them know how many of us REAL pilots fly and follow the rules.

I will be writing emails and probably calling some people to voice my opinions and will make a point to mention Flite Test and what we do here as a community to show them what they would be destroying. You can stand up for the AMA if you wish but be sure to add your involvement here at Flite Test so they know there is a bigger community here they have been over looking.

This could also be a great opportunity to let them know there is another potential community based organization (CBO) that is bigger then AMA. This could open the door for when the FT crew decide to step up later as planned to become a CBO if there are enough of us that email or call the politicians.

Just be respectful and specific about what the hobby means to you and we need more places we are allowed to fly rather then taking them away making it less apt people will fly illegally if enough designated area is given for our growing community.

Anyway here is the AMA video.. you decide what you want to do to keep us in the air.

 

Bricks

Well-known member
#2
I am not very proud of the AMA and only a member because of club rules, but am still surprised this post is not getting more attention.

My most discern with AMA when they got nothing done about the new ruling of registration at first and a private individual had it reversed for a while and did not see AMA putting forth a huge effort into the lawsuit to help. Makes me feel they are really all in with the main ruling of the FFA with registration.

The AMA insurance is basically a third party insurance, only paying if any current insurance one has gets exhausted. Being I am paying for a specific insurance they should be the first to pay and my general insurance would pick up the rest.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#3
Well you can bet yer butt that the AMA is mainly looking at their own interests about control of the hobby. Kind of why they did not back that lawyer that was fighting to make sure multirotors were lumped in and protected. They now have several extremely out of touch people running their multirotor sections as an after thought.

That does not effect the fact that there are political and industrial entities trying to get our air space banned so it gets reserved for tech that right now will not be efficient nor safe. Don't think for one second if it comes down to getting the hobby banned or AMA keeping some kind of control even if only a tiny slice that it won't abandon the hobbyist to keep that money flowing.

I was going to bump this to keep it on top because the forum's hit counters are not working making a lot of important threads look as if no one is interested. This one needs to stay on top if possible.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#4
Agree 100% with you Bill

Edited to add even the Vid did not do a whole lot of explaining what is truly going on with the FFA it is almost like they are putting up a front and expect every one to know what is actually changing.
 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#8
If someone less verbally ham fisted then I at FFHQ would maybe like to do an official write up that we can all get on board with to copy as well as add our own experiences to it that my go a long way for congress to see this is really as big as it is and nearly 4x the size of what the AMA projects. Now may be the time to step up and shift gears in that manor.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#10
Well I have a draft of what I will be sending. Any ideas or changes that may help would be helpful or if you wish to use it for a strt to your own letters feel free.


Dear senator, congressman, council member, administrator, (whomever the targeted official may be)

It has come to my attention thru the A.M.A. that our government is really pushing to eliminate the Special Rule for Model Aircraft Section 336 or at the very least modify it in a bad way for true hobbyists who abide by and have followed the rules since the beginning of the hobby. As many other things in life the few that can not be directed to follow rules and be safe have caused much problems for everyone. The truth of the matter is this alarmist reaction to "drones" is fully unwarranted and totally and fully nothing but hype. Yes these things as with many other things can be used in a bad way I do not argue that point.

The fact is anyone wanting to use anything to do harm or break laws is not going to go by laws and rules that are being fought over. In reality someone wanting to do harm is never going to use hobby level "drones" for several reasons. First is payload. Most can not carry enough to do any serious damage. It is far more likely someone would use remote controlled land vehicles as they can carry far more weight more reliably. This is where the proof that the drone issue is all hype and nothing but scare tactics. Second is the batteries they use to fly. The current tech limits range as well as flight times. It would be far easier to use an RC land vehicle running off a lawn mower engine to take out a plane sitting on a runway full of passengers then it would be to hit a moving target with a hobby level "drone"

Anyway enough of the reverse hype. The point of all this is hopefully many more will come your way showing what you guys are planning is going to hurt a 100 year old hobby that has been more safe then any sports hobby has ever been yet they do not regulate baseball or football and require any registries or licences and so forth. The only thing regulation is going to do as it already is will be to make the true hobbyists ways to fly legally and safely that much harder to do.

We all know most of this has nothing at all to do with safety and is strictly a financial issue at its core. It all boils down to two things. Either government squeezing more money from its people or the fact big business wants to use the space that has been allotted for general recreational aviation since the start of it all for their own profits. Either way spells a bad end for our hobby and one more thing that would set back a lot of school age kids from learning many things from the hobby. As an example take a drone. Most real hobbyist will build their own even people just starting out quickly realize that mass produced "drones" are garbage. When that happens the person begins to learn many things from the hobby. First you learn mechanical engineering when you put a frame together and add in all the electronic components to make it fly. Then you get into the industrial electronics aspect when you learn how to solder and properly interconnect each component. Then you go into programming where you work thru a computer using com port drivers to connect to the flight controller to upload the proper and constantly evolving software to make them fly more stable and more safely. So you see there is a lot more then just stopping "drones" from flying. You would be stopping kids and adults as well from learning important life skills that could lead to jobs at any point of their lives.

That brings us up to the community aspect of what these laws will destroy. The A.M.A. may have started out supporting the hobby but has evolved more into a business and although it has done well for the hobby it only looks out for its own interests in my opinion. that was demonstrated when "drone" registration first came about when they wanted to represent only a small portion of the RC hobbies with fixed wing aviation only. There are many other communities involved with safe operation of remote controlled vehicles from boats to planes to cars to multi rotor craft. The largest I believe happens to be Flite Test. Flite Test has subscriber count well over 800,000 people. That far exceeds the registered or perceived A.M.A. community. The forums for which I am part of is also a HUGE place of community for our hobby where family, friendship, fun, and safe operation of all things remote controlled gather.

If you want a real perspective of what the hobby is about look to Flite Test not only on their you tube channel where they promote all aspects of the hobby as well as fellowship fun and community but on the forums as well. There you will see what the hobby truly is about. There people come for help and stay for friendships formed thru the hobby. On the forums there are no real conflicts, no violence, no putting down of anyone in any manor. It is only about making friends who have a common interest in flight as well as teaching and helping people become better pilots, be safer when flying, and keeping the hobby growing for many others to join and thrive in.

I will ask you that you take a little time out of your life and look at what the hobby is for many more people then you think and that normal thinking people do not want to use it in anyway shape or form to do harm. Most of us only want it to be even more fun and safer then it already has been for the last 100+ years. If you really want to regulate the hobby do it thru the mass production manufacturers who promote their products as "anyone can fly one" this is not true by a long shot. The technology has made it so anyone can put one in the air, not everyone can pilot one safely. If you want to crack down on bad issues for the hobby start with fining the drone companies for showing advertisements where people are breaking every safety rule the real hobbyists go by. Regulate the hobby thru education not limitation. Spend money wasted on drone regulation for people who already know and follow the rules on education like STEM programs and public service commercials showing safe and fun operation of "drones". Instead of locking up more and more areas to fly start setting aside areas of land that are not suited for building or habitation but could easily be converted to a flying field. There are enough of us normal hobbyist we can self regulate and keep safe designated areas as we have demonstrated for over 100 years. We can properly introduce new people to the hobby in a safe well protected and friendly way far easier then any regulation a government could ever issue or enforce.

In the end the government is regulating by taking away so many things you are creating an environment where no one has a way to be themselves or have enough things to distract them from working life or school life. If you want to know why there are more and more out breaks of violence you only need to look at yourselves and see what you do to normal people. When they have nothing then they will start to react and revolt in what ever means they can. Please on behalf of everyone in our hobby make sure that what we have and what we do is not taken away over money and power issues.
 
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#11
Hey Psyborg,

Thanks for taking the initiative to do something about this! I really need to keep up to date on all this stuff...

Great letter! Good job keeping it respectful - I think that goes a long way. Three critiques for you:

1. You mentioned it's "strictly a financial issue at its core." You may be right, but I wouldn't claim anything without including evidence. I would imagine Congress-people are lawyer types, so any unsupported claims will stick out like a sore thumb.

2. I would trim everything I possibly could to get down to the bare bones of my main point. I would think a concise, to-the-point argument would be most effective - politicians seem to be pretty busy.

3. Good point mentioning that a good community (like Flite Test) is one of the best ways to get people to fly safely!

I'm no English major, but those are my thoughts, for what they're worth. Thanks for the heads up! Maybe it's time for me to get off my duff and do some research and writing.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
I fired off a letter to my Congressman, one Republican Darrell Issa. Unfortunately, I think he's going to vote against it, because he seems to hate the potential of drones (never mind that the definition of a "drone", per the FAA, is different than the public perception, in that a drone is any unmanned aircraft, fixed wing, rotary, or otherwise).

However, I wrote to what he, on his website, seems to back - veterans, and business.

Veterans - I'd have to say that probably 75% of our club is veterans. That is, former Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Army branches. There are also "future" veterans that are enrolled in ROTC, Civil Air Patrol, Devil Dogs, and all sorts of junior military roles. They live and breathe our hobby, and to throw them to the wind by forcing them to get even MORE certification, pay more for their hobby than is already feasible, just so that they can keep flying on an annual basis, is absurd. If you want a new class of military member who is ready for the battlefield with familiarity with these vehicles, what better recruiting than a club such as this?

Business - Our district that Issa represents has several hobby shops in it. One of them, a Hobbytown, closed down in January, and at the end of Feb./beginning of March, a local hobby shop expanded into the area, adding a second store (which is absolutely WONDERFUL - the first shop is 30 mi. away from my location, but I would drive down there to buy parts because they had things like pusher props, balsa sheets, brass tubing - things to actually MAKE and fine tune planes; and if they didn't have it, they could get it for me inside of a week without charging me double or triple the prices of what I could get it online for). So I told my Congressman that if Section 336 went through, it would be harming these businesses, shutting them down. Nobody is going to want to buy the $300 models to fly, or the radios, or the electronics, or any of the add-ons, if they have to pay for additional licenses, insurance, take further tests, etc. over and above the AMA requirements. Those shops would go belly up, leaving even more empty storefronts in strip malls. And I played to the less taxes incoming and how we need to "Make America Great Again" (even though I personally think that whole tagline is a joke) by keeping these American businesses open rather than letting the overseas companies like HobbyKing, Banggood, and AliExpress take over.

(I already have a beef with HobbyKing, so I figure if I can throw them under the bus as well as keep my LHS open, I'm more than happy to do so!)

Whether I hear anything from his office or not, I don't know...I just know I want 336 to stay. I already have to register my aircraft with a $5 registration, I have to pay for an AMA membership to cover insurance for any accidental damage or liability, I also have to take a test every few years to keep my HAM radio license up to date so that I can fly with my FPV equipment - and now they want to have us pay for another license, take another test, and pay MORE insurance (because you know that the AMA insurance won't cover us under the same umbrella as what the federal mandates will want once 336 is repealed)? No, I think there'll be a lot of people who just start flying wherever they want, whenever they want, and to heck with the law - thus causing even more of a problem than what you have right now.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#14
Ahh nice!. some other good points I over looked in my draft with the effects on real businesses. I will amend mine to add more detail on that aspect.
 

jamboree1

Active member
#15
yup yup, i sent in my forms 3 days ago. Psyborg, others here mentioned it and they are right about 1 thing, keep letters short and to the point. Our congress don't even read the bills they sign much less letters from a citizen. I'll quote Nancy Pelosi "we have to sign it to see what's in it" Either way the RC community has to make a big stink about this or it will be signed, even then i doubt it would be enough as they seem to only look at their own best interests of whoever is lining their pocketbooks.
 
#16
All of you that fly that are not a member of a community based organization are flying illegally. The AMA is that organization for most. Don't be stupid, without the AMA the only rules that would apply would be FAA regulations which doesn't allow anyone under 16 years of age to fly. The AMA if nothing else provides the community organization which keeps 336 in place. I don't mind having 2.5 million in liability insurance as an AMA member.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#17
yup yup, i sent in my forms 3 days ago. Psyborg, others here mentioned it and they are right about 1 thing, keep letters short and to the point. Our congress don't even read the bills they sign much less letters from a citizen. I'll quote Nancy Pelosi "we have to sign it to see what's in it" Either way the RC community has to make a big stink about this or it will be signed, even then i doubt it would be enough as they seem to only look at their own best interests of whoever is lining their pocketbooks.
That's why I'm mentioning that it'll hurt businesses and piss off a lot of veterans, at least for Darrell Issa. He says that he's strongly for veterans, and wants to keep business here in the United States? Great - start by keeping our businesses alive by not killing a hobby that would cause businesses to go under. :)

Of course, I doubt anyone's going to actually READ what I said, but I can hope, right?
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#18
All of you that fly that are not a member of a community based organization are flying illegally. The AMA is that organization for most. Don't be stupid, without the AMA the only rules that would apply would be FAA regulations which doesn't allow anyone under 16 years of age to fly. The AMA if nothing else provides the community organization which keeps 336 in place. I don't mind having 2.5 million in liability insurance as an AMA member.
And technically, you're right. Without Section 336, you would have to get a specific pilot's license that falls under part 107, at the very least...And that's regardless of whether you're flying quadcopters, helicopters, or fixed wing aircraft. The upshot is that it's not as involved as getting a full bore pilot's license, but from what I understand (and this is hearsay, mind you - I haven't been able to muddle through the actual legal jargon for it yet) if you have an actual pilot's license you're legal to fly via radio control as well. Again, that last bit is what I have been told from an actual pilot, but the guy also went and got 107 certified because he uses photography drones for aerial home photography down in Florida...I don't know about it.

All I know is that if Section 336 goes away, it's going to cause TONS of problems for anyone who just wants to fly radio controlled aircraft - and that's whether you're a member of the AMA or not. I know there are a lot of people who aren't fans, but they're the only community based organization at the moment, and they DO try to instill safety procedures in pilots so that we don't do stupid things like fly over fires while planes are trying to drop retardant, or interfering with a police investigation/suspect chase where a helicopter is already in pursuit, or even flying over an active airport taking pictures of planes landing (I'm frustrated that we really need to have THAT discussion, but there are pictures and video out there of people who have done just that so apparently it needs to be told to some idiots out there that flying near planes that are landing is a BAD IDEA)...I see both sides, and right now, the AMA is the best of a bad situation.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#19
Well I could go full on Bill mode and just send them this...

Hello..

If you vote to repeal section 336 I will have to organize the RC community to make sure you are not sitting in that chair after next election. You have one vote we have hundreds of thousands. Please try to have a nice day.

Is that short and too the point enough?
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#20
Well I could go full on Bill mode and just send them this...

Hello..

If you vote to repeal section 336 I will have to organize the RC community to make sure you are not sitting in that chair after next election. You have one vote we have hundreds of thousands. Please try to have a nice day.

Is that short and too the point enough?
Yeah, I don't think that'll work.

Duncan Hunter Jr., who is a real slimeball of a Congressman (the guy has vaped as a protest while in a Congressional meeting, blowing smoke - literally - at the rest of Congress, telling them it was healthy, in addition to being under investigation for misuse of Congressional funds for a family vacation that he said, "That wasn't my doing, that was all my wife's fault!"), he had a town meeting in Ramona, CA, an outlying town of San Diego's East County, where he represents for Congress, and started singing to the people who were pissed off at him not listening to them (and this was a room full of voters, not just one or two angry citizens, but people on the verge of being a lynch mob) and so he started singin to see if it would shut them up.

His song of choice? " We Are The Champions". People want to vote him out, but he's got 2 years before that can happen, at least, and he's just laughing about it.

No, if you want action, flatter them, or speak to their base desires.