AMA has been working with the FAA on setting up certain guidelines that will still allow model aviation to take place in the United States of America. I could have posted this article over on my other blog (Flash 255 Bunker), but since this also involves real world politics and the FAA; I decided that it had to go on this blog.
For months, modellers have been worried that Homeland Security/Federal Aviation Administration will come up with some sort of rule set that in effect will force thousands of people out of the hobby. Thousands more to lose their jobs when their industry has(had) just be outlawed by the Feds.
So it was with some releif to read the press release by the AMA (dated February 18, 2011) entitled "AMA Works to Amend Reauthorization Bill Providing Relief for Model Aviation from sUAS Rules".
I will post the entire press release below -
M U N C I E, I N – Sen. James Inhofe, OK, successfully sponsored S.223 in the Senate yesterday with an amendment specifying a “Special Rule For Model Aircraft” that provides an exemption from regulation for model aircraft operating within the following parameters:
Flown specifically for recreational, sport, competition, or academic purposes;
Operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;
Limited to 55 pounds or less unless certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program currently administered by a community-based organization.
“On behalf of our 140,000 members I want to thank Senator Inhofe, Chairman Jay Rockefeller and Ranking Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson for their leadership in shepherding the FAA reauthorization bill through the U.S. Senate,” said Academy of Model Aeronautics President Dave Mathewson. “Aeromodeling is an exceptional family recreational and education activity that has traditionally been a stepping stone for our children to careers in aviation and aerospace. With the Senators’ help we hope model aviation will continue to help provide that impetus for future generations of engineers, pilots and astronauts.”
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, which is expected to rule on the matter in the very near future.
AMA has contended that the purpose and operation of model aircraft flown for recreational purposes is uniquely different from the operation of the growing number of commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for which the FAA is drafting regulation. Aeromodelers operating under AMA’s guidelines have earned a reputation of being one of the safest, if not the safest users of the National Airspace System. This exemplary safety record spans more than 75 years.
The Academy of Aeronautics, founded in 1936, charters 2,400 clubs across the country, sanctioning more than 2,000 events and competitions as a member of the National Aeronautic Association. It is dedicated to promoting aeromodeling as a recreational, competitive and academic pursuit.
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On a more mundane note, I flew my Seagull Models sport-scale PC-9 this morning for the first time. This now makes THREE of these models that I have owned. They are nice flying airplanes. The wing to this particular model I flew today actually came off my very first PC-9 which had a accident (i.e it crashed - busted out the landing gear). Totally rebuilt the wing and the fuselage came from someone in Greece. The landing was ok, but the model drifted off to the side of the runway, hit a clump of grass and ripped out the right landing gear. So more repairs are now needed. But - that just goes with part of this hobby.
1. AMA "AMA Works to Amend Reauthorization Bill Providing Relief for Model Aviation from sUAS Rules". February 18, 2011. (AMA Works to Amend Reauthorization Bill Providing Relief for Model Aviation from sUAS Rules).