Greetings to all. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
Today (December 5th 2019) I participated in a webinar put on by the AMA concerning the latest about the new FAA ‘drone’ rules. This was planned to include the heads of all the SIGs (special interest groups) for now and will be distributed more widely a little later. I just wanted to give my overview.
Firstly it appears that control line and likely free flight are mostly off the hook for now. I got a direct email from the UAS office of the FAA about a week ago that told me since I fly control line I need not register my flying field as an approved flying site and the inference being they didn’t consider a CL model as a UAS. Having said that I still think a good idea to anti-up the $5 and get registered. At least you can show legitimacy should a local law enforcement officer ask. For RECREATIONAL flyers one registration is good for ALL your planes. If you are classed as a Part 107 drone flyer then EACH ‘drone’ would require separate registration.
AMA is saying that if you have any contests or other events planned-proceed without concern unless and until they hear otherwise. That’s true of all disciplines but undoubtedly CL.
A lot of RC will get hit hard with these new rules. One clear difference I noticed with what AMA is saying and what a separate FAA web chat I watched is about the 400’ ceiling. I didn’t see a place where the FAA allows anything over 400’. The AMA says 400, 700, and 1200 feet depending on class of airspace. This doesn’t affect us but is still a question in my mind. AMA says Muncie has a 700 foot ceiling due to an airport a bit over five mile away. It will be interesting to see how they deal with that at next year’s Nats.
I am selfishly finishing up a couple new airplanes for next year but soon need to get busy with PAMPA stuff. I plan to get (many) emails out to members who have let their memberships expire and aren’t aware. I get asked by someone every few days about their status. We really blew that and I’m going to try to make that ground back up. The other project begging my time is the stacks of Stunt News magazines on loan from Keith Trostle sitting in my living room awaiting me to get the book scanner set up and start digitizing for upload to the website. I expect once I start that, it may take the rest of the winter (why I’m trying to prepare my planes first). Once that is done it will be time to start Nats planning. I’m still hoping to find an Event Director. If not then it may fall upon me to do. I’m reluctant but would do so if there isn’t another taker.
I have asked the District Directors whose district terms will be up in March to tell us soon who wishes to stay on and who wishes to step down. After the first of the year we will publish that info and will attempt for the first time to use our Survey Monkey account to vote. If your Director is going to step down I encourage you to consider taking their place and join our group. We will certainly welcome you!
Have a GREAT Christmas. Hope Santa leaves you a big load of contest balsa under the tree!