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News from AMA January 15,16

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FAA Advocacy Meeting January 15 and 16

For decades, the AMA has had a tremendous safety record. For this reason, and based on the protections from Section 336 that we helped pass into law, we do not believe that our 188,000 members should be subject to the UAS registration rule. Section 336 is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act in which Congress recognized the effectiveness of community-based safety guidelines and exempted recreational/hobbyists from any new regulations.

The AMA is working with Congress and looking at legal options to address registration.  On a parallel path, we are advocating on behalf of our members directly with the FAA to find a solution.  On January 15 Rich Hanson, Bob Brown, Gary Fitch, Chad Budreau, and AMA’s legal counsel conducted a meeting with the FAA.  During the visit the AMA discussed several issues impacting the modeling community including registration.  We brought a list of our members’ concerns and asked the FAA for a clarification or a resolution to our concerns.

We raised multiple questions around the guidelines pilots must agree to during the registration process, such as the requirement to stay below 400 feet.  The FAA acknowledged that AMA members should continue to follow AMA’s community-based safety code.  We also discussed and the FAA confirmed that the language on the FAA registration site is a guideline, not regulation.  This guideline is not directed at the AMA community but rather, it is a simplified set of safety guidelines geared to the general public.

We specifically addressed the 400 foot altitude limitation and explained how under appropriate circumstances some modeling activity necessarily occurs above 400’ and other activity occurs at altitude to protect modelers and spectators on the ground. The FAA understands that this community flies higher than the guideline and acknowledged that AMA pilots can abide by their own safety code which is proven to provide safe aeromodelling operations

We also raised concerns with the FAA about a possibly stricter registration process for large model airplanes over 55 pounds such as requiring an “N” number.  The FAA acknowledged these concerns and we discussed possible ways to revise the large model aircraft registration process going forward.

In addition, we discussed the numerous affiliate AMA members, non-US citizen or non-US resident competitors, and citizens who are currently away from the states who have not been able to register on the FAA site. The registration site so far has not accepted foreign applications, foreign addresses or foreign IP addresses.  The FAA shares our concern about this and is working on a solution, which is expected in early February.

Many of our members have raised concerns about the privacy and security of the federal registration database.  While we know that the database will be searchable by federal registration number, we do not know yet what additional information will be publicly available. We expressed strong concerns with the release of personal information, especially the personal data of AMA’s youth members . We will continue to press the FAA to safeguard the security of our members’ personal information.

We understand there are AMA members who do not have a computer or do not want to submit a credit card during the application process.  We discussed with the FAA the use of a paper application, which currently is only available at local FAA Flight Standards Ditrict Offices (FSDO).  To make these paper applications easier to obtain, AMA is working to acquire these documents, which we can send to members who request them.  As for members who are willing to register online, but cannot or do not want to submit credit card information, the FAA has agreed to accept gift credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard.

For those clubs that own a model aircraft as an organization and not as an individual, we requested clarification as to how to register the model. We concluded that those models should be registered under the registration of one of the club leaders.  To protect that club leader who voluntarily placed his number in or on the club aircraft, the member should have a written document from the club indicating he or she should not be held responsible and is simply providing a registration number on behalf of the club.

At the end of our meeting with the FAA, we invited FAA representatives to join the AMA leadership at a nearby flying site to showcase firsthand AMA’s safety protocols, demonstrate club camaraderie and mentoring, and provide the opportunity for the FAA to speak with AMA members in-person.


MMAA President
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Thanks for the information, Carl. It is greatly appreciated. In the meantime, will the FAA accept checks or money orders also from those who don't have credit cards?

Onward and Upward.
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We understand there are AMA members who do not have a computer or do not want to submit a credit card during the application process.  We discussed with the FAA the use of a paper application, which currently is only available at local FAA Flight Standards Ditrict Offices (FSDO).  To make these paper applications easier to obtain, AMA is working to acquire these documents, which we can send to members who request them.  As for members who are willing to register online, but cannot or do not want to submit credit card information, the FAA has agreed to accept gift credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard.

MMAA President
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Oddly I've been waiting for this to come up, but maybe it has been talked about at the meetings. How is the Association going to handle the FAA registration? In order to fly at the field does a member need to be registered?
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At the last meeting we talked about this we are talking with AMA about this and if they will add FAA registration to the safety code, if they add it to the safety code then you will have to be registered to fly at the field

MMAA President
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Thanks Carl, I guess I'll have to get a gift credit card. Where would one find one, at the grocery store?

Onward and Upward.
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Well I'm a newbie. Just joined in October. I really hate Gov't intervention but I did register yesterday. What's a guy to do? It took 5 min and very little info given. I was just assuming that it would be required to fly at the field since the AMA advised to get registered.
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Thank you Carl for answering. B&chansen, if thats what you want to do then more power to you. I can't say that I agree with what is going on so I am going to wait.
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Randy Wal Mart has them

MMAA President
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It is my understanding that, anyone (AMA member or not) flying RC, anywhere, would need to be registered by February 19. If you are not registered by that date and you are flying your aircraft, you are breaking the law. It doesn't matter whether you agree with the law/regulations or not. What I thought we agreed upon at the last meeting was that as a nonprofit corporation we cannot in any way condone members breaking any law on Association property. Therefore, members must register before flying there.  If we start down the path of allowing (whether permitting it, or ignoring it) members to break the law, we're on the slippery slope to losing our status and therefore our property. Being cautious is in the organization's and member's best interest.

It is important that we remember that we are not a club flying on someone else's property. We are a corporation, and own the property, so our liability issues are different, as are our obligations to insure that we do not break the law.

Check the FAA registration FAQ here: http://www.faa.gov./uas/registration/faqs/   The answers make it clear that no one is in any way exempted at this time. February 19 isn't far off, and FAA may not move fast enough to give AMA approval to use our membership for registration. One way or the other, we'll need to be registered by the 19th of Feb. Some things are just not worth fighting at the individual level, so I did register. It's a piece of cake. The da__ :o number is obnoxiously long with numeric and alpha characters.  

AMA is doing the best it can to look out for our interests. It is in their interest as our advocacy organization to do so. Imagine our chances to have any control at all without AMA representing its members.

Thermals---I need thermals!
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As with all my bad luck with my nee now it is my hart I go to grand junction Friday to arrange surgery on it so I will not register until I can fly however long it takes

400 ' is high enough to get were you are going
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Tippodriver said

It is my understanding that, anyone (AMA member or not) flying RC, anywhere, would need to be registered by February 19. If you are not registered by that date and you are flying your aircraft, you are breaking the law. It doesn't matter whether you agree with the law/regulations or not. What I thought we agreed upon at the last meeting was that as a nonprofit corporation we cannot in any way condone members breaking any law on Association property. Therefore, members must register before flying there.  If we start down the path of allowing (whether permitting it, or ignoring it) members to break the law, we're on the slippery slope to losing our status and therefore our property. Being cautious is in the organization's and member's best interest.

It is important that we remember that we are not a club flying on someone else's property. We are a corporation, and own the property, so our liability issues are different, as are our obligations to insure that we do not break the law.

Check the FAA registration FAQ here: http://www.faa.gov./uas/registration/faqs/   The answers make it clear that no one is in any way exempted at this time. February 19 isn't far off, and FAA may not move fast enough to give AMA approval to use our membership for registration. One way or the other, we'll need to be registered by the 19th of Feb. Some things are just not worth fighting at the individual level, so I did register. It's a piece of cake. The da__ :o number is obnoxiously long with numeric and alpha characters.  

AMA is doing the best it can to look out for our interests. It is in their interest as our advocacy organization to do so. Imagine our chances to have any control at all without AMA representing its members.

I didn't mean to come off like I was going to break the law, but saying that I was going to wait for the deadline to register.
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Me to or maybe just fly control line

MMAA President
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astrohog said

As with all my bad luck with my nee now it is my hart I go to grand junction Friday to arrange surgery on it so I will not register until I can fly however long it takes

Wow, best wishes for you Cliff. Please let me know if you need help with anything.

Randy

Onward and Upward.
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Carl Shoup said

Randy Wal Mart has them

Thanks, Carl. I'll check it out.

Onward and Upward.
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