Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Important changes to model aircraft laws in the USA

Important changes to model aircraft laws in the USA
14th July 2014
The world of FPV is an exciting area of the hobby. With technical innovations and more affordable equipment, it is one of the fastest growing areas of the hobby that thousands of modellers worldwide love.
However, FPV as we know it is in jeopardy.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in the USA have announced that they are modifying the way that they interpret legislation relating to model aircraft flying. This announcement has many implications, but the two points of note that many of our customers will object to is that:
1) Flying a model FPV using goggles will become illegal
2) The FAA are able to further regulate all forms of model aircraft flying.
As the hobby has come into the mainstream over the last few years, the FAA have come under pressure from community groups and the media to address safety concerns. This is their solution.
These changes however are simply a knee-jerk reaction that is flawed and doesn’t address the issue of safety. The AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) have been setting rules and regulations regarding to safety of model aviation for decades and have been doing it extremely well for all parties involved. Members are required to follow these safety rules as a part of membership. Non-members who were not following rules will continue to do so, largely unpoliced, and those who were doing the right thing will no-longer be able to fly FPV legally.
What can you do to stop this?
The easiest (but still effective) method to make your voice heard is to submit a comment to the FAA through regulations.gov showing your opposition to this change and let them know why you think these changes are flawed.
If you are in the US, we would also suggest you show support to the AMA, by becoming a member if you have not already signed up. They are on the side of the hobbyist as well as being large advocates for safety. This is the group you want representing your interests.
Not a US citizen so you think this doesn’t affect you?
Think again. There is a chance these changes could become a model that other nations will adopt.
Not an FPV flyer so you don’t really mind?
You should. This change sets a precedent that could very quickly expand to other areas of the hobby.
Please get your thoughts heard now, this stuff matters.