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AMA President speaks about AP and UA

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Old 06-25-2004, 06:23 AM
  #1  
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Default AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Im not going to offer an opinion here but for those of you here that
are AMA members and receive the Model Aviation mag, I would suggest
reading this month's (August 2004) President's Perspective on page 5.
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Old 06-25-2004, 07:55 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

I did read it, and I think some of their concerns are legitimate. The guy mentioned in the airticle appears to be flying way to far above the recognized altitude of safe operation of a domestic R/C model. There is no need for a model to be operating at 10000 feet without proper authorization. This type of activity will only go forward to harm the entire hobby, given the current world conditions and security concerns.
Tommy
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Old 06-25-2004, 11:11 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

That article boils my blood. It's grouping RC aerials with flying unmanned models above 10,000 feet and saying the FAA must be contacted to do commercial aerial work. Wow! Talk about stretching and mixing all aspects together to protect the commercial rights of full size aircraft which perform commercial aerials! However, I do agree with Dave's take on the bragger. There are always a few jackasses that try to ruin things for the responsible majority. Not many share this idiot's risky hobby of "flying with the big boys". It's just plan foolish! Unfortunately, this is the only point I agree on in the article.

The AMA explicitly states commercial work is NOT covered. Yet, Mr Brown is asking us to contact the FAA to obtain certification of our planes. UA a new classification for what? All RC planes manned or unmanned? This makes no sense! I know for fact the FAA doesn't care about RC planes flying at any altitude. There have been world altitude record attempts in which the FAA was contacted numerous times and they stated if the plane weighs less than a duck or a goose... it's not a concern or a problem. This sounds like an attempt to eliminate RC aerial business because the full size guys are worried we can do it better and cheaper than they can. Well get use to it. Technology changes and enables people to do things differently and more efficiently.

Maybe it's time for us to setup our own "AMA" organization for Commercial RC Aerials! Dave Brown can not speak for us simply because we use RC planes. Nor does it sound he is attempting to help in any way. Although I am an active member... he is not looking out for my rights. I currently don't belong to a club... why did I send the AMA any money?

What in the world is the difference if we fly for fun and capture aerials or do it to earn a living? No difference, the act of flying and capturing video is the same. The only difference is we will be meeting/supplying a need for low cost low altitude aerials. The sentence Dave Brown wrote, "I'd contact the Washington DC, office and ask for the people involved in "Unmanned Aircraft" rather than going to the local FAA people who might be prone to misinterpretations or simply having no knowledge of these situations". Dave's article was very vague and served no useful purpose other than inciting a riot! Yeah right Dave... call Washington and ask them about the UA? Wouldn't that be the same as walking down the street of Baghdad at midnight screaming "I'm an American, does anyone want to come out and play?" Or, yelling fire in a theater... come on. I can't take you serious when you make such a foolish statement which will only generate more fear and controversy concerning commercial RC aerials. You want us to draw attention to our plans to perform commercial RC aerials. Of course, if you ask for regulation... the government will give it to you. I don't fly irresponsibly, nor do I fly above 400 feet, and I never fly unmanned! Until I am told by the FAA that I am in violation of something or another... I will continue perform commercial RC aerials.

Here's where I can be reached:
Robert Lehman
PO Box 1583
Appleton, WI 54912 - 1583

I do have a concern about RC planes. I attempted to raise the issue with all the powers that be. Nobody returned my inquires. I developed a system to defeat an inbound RC plane carrying a payload into a crowd. The real problem is with the people wanting to do us harm, not with the people wanting to use RC as a hobby or an aerial RC business.
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Old 06-25-2004, 12:21 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Robert again raise the stickler to this rant by DB. My take on it as well is that this is probably something that the "big boys" want to regulate. I think in the future you will see our insurance limited thru the AMA to non-commercial activities and if you want to pursue paid flying you will have to pay extra. Everybody wants their cut of you endeavors.
TOmmy
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Old 06-25-2004, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Hi Doc... Prior March 9th of 2003, I learned the AMA did not and does not offer insurance for any type RC commercial aerials. As far as I know, the AMA has never provided coverage for commercial activities of any kind. I researched the AMA coverage quite thoroughly back then. I also found something else of interest... if I were to hit my son with my RC plane... the accident would not be covered... family members are excluded. Isn't that odd. I found this most interesting. The more I read... the less I felt comfortable about their coverage. It states you are covered where ever you fly as long as you fly within our guidelines. Well, that means a certified club flying field which completely adheres to the code. This is why I didn't renew my membership with my local club this year. I felt the field is not within their guidelines and I don't want to be sued for being part of a club. If you read very closely... one would feel nothing is really covered other than maybe a prop/hand incident. It's the lawyers... need I say more.

In addition to my other rant... Dave, the difference between a full size plane and an RC plane is a couple of thousand pounds. A full size plane can destroy a house... whereas an RC plane might make a dent. To compare the two and suggest identical certification is required... is simply saying The Sky is Falling.... The Sky is Falling! This type of irresponsible gossip, in a popular publication, is exactly what gets the regulator's pens a moving. Don't be surprised if they don't stop at commercial RC... why not shut down all RC!!! I hope Dave hasn't lite a fire to extinguish our hobby and our hopes to earn a living.
Rob
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Mike It’s great to hear from you again!
How are things going?

As far as the AP / AV regulation goes the FAA just bowed out of an issue that was happening on the RCGroups site.
First his operation was shut down, then it was determined he didn’t need to do anything as long as he followed the ’81 FAA safety advisory.
I’m guessing this is all done in the hope of a new more powerful AMA that will have a separate more expensive commercial insurance policy, and tight rules that will be enforced by the fed. Or they want to stay very distant from anything commercial or UAV so they can’t be blamed or even questioned in any way when there is an accident.

As far as terrorism goes, there seems to be an unlimited supply of people who are willing to give their lives by driving, flying or carrying something.
Low technology and low brainpower.
Yea, lets buy a bunch of UAV stuff creating a huge paper trail, then spend 6-months or so trying to figure it all out to deliver a 1to 5-pound payload? Full-scale airplanes, cars and public transportation are everywhere for the taking. I don’t think R/C fits into the category of people who “want” to loose their life for the cause
Let’s face it, R/C has never been the problem and I don’t see a rush to ban cell phones or GPS technology.

As far as commercial AP/AV goes, you cant teach or even regulate common since.
We had a very stupid local TV station hover a full-scale helicopter over a fractured grain bin until it collapsed. There were about 6 people working on the bin at the time and it was a miracle no one was killed.
They played the clip over and over in their ending credits, sooooo proud of the footage they “by only coincidence” captured.
I’m not sure R/C photo or video planes could ever match the carnage created on a weekly basis by full-scale helicopters. Personally I’d feel safer seeing a small UAV up there.

As for me, I fly over corn and bean fields, and I have plenty of sky over our own farm.
No one is going to force me to drive 45 miles to the closest AMA club field, not that they won’t try.

Jim
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Old 06-25-2004, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

As far as the AP / AV regulation goes the FAA just bowed out of an issue that was happening on the RCGroups site.
First his operation was shut down, then it was determined he didn’t need to do anything as long as he followed the ’81 FAA safety advisory.
I'd be interested to read more about this... Do you have a link?

-Mark
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Old 06-25-2004, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

I should have done that in the first place!

[link=http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=244085]The FAA Has Spoken!!! [/link]

Also:

[link=http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/1acfc3f689769a56862569e70077c9cc/$FILE/ATTBJMAC/ac91-57.pdf]AC 91-57 (PDF)[/link]
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Hi guys,

We are discussing this with both the FAA and the AMA.

Please see www.helicam.org or more specifically www.helicam.org/forum to get the update.
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:31 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Well, I must say as someone who is just getting started in AP this news is rather disheartening. However I have put to much thought into the subject to let a little thing like "BIG GOVERNMENT" regulation get in the way. So i will press on with my endeavor. Also in my opinion being HAM certified is about all the regulation there should be. I trust we will all come together on this issue and stick it to THE MAN. metaphorically speaking of course.

David
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Old 06-28-2004, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

It is a bit discouraging David,
Some of us are doing this as a hobby but see the business potential.
A couple of weeks ago we found out that new, but previously unknown FAA rules from last fall may keep us from gaining “any” form of income with our hobby.
Quite a few people have invested time and money in AP / AV, but if it requires even a fraction of the licenses and paperwork involved with full-scale charter operations few will continue development.
I think everyone is taking a deep breath and hoping for the best right now.
Jim
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Yes, If feel this way I cant imagine how some of you guys that have poured lots of money into this hobby/ profession must feel, so instead of being negative, I sat down and thought about some positive things we all can do. to help break this unjust !QUOT! STIGMA!QUOT! That some at the top of the gov food chain seem to have about our hobby/ livelihood. It is well known that people fell threatened by what they do not understand so we must make it our job to inform anyone who will listen just how safe these new fangled flying machines are.
My suggestion is for all of you with AP platforms no mater how big or small contact your local fire department and police stations and offer your services, a good way to get the ball rolling is give a free !QUOT!performance!QUOT! to your local volunteer fire department and explain the benefits of such a low cost aerial platform, use examples such as search and rescue accident investigation forest fire scouting house fire scouting. downed aircraft recovery. also offer your services to environmental agencies for actions such as drought monitoring, invasive plant monitoring and wetlands protection. I plan on having my platform going very soon and the first thing I plan on doing is building a good re-pore within my community. I suggest all of you to think about this and other things you can do to create a positive light around our wonderfully hobby, This is how we can stick it to the man.


David Gruber
Tampa, FL
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Old 07-02-2004, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

If we use Radio Control as a hobby ... we fly under AMA rules.

If it's used as a business ... get your own insurance and go to the FAA.

If an individual is using GPS to guide a model ... that is not this hobby.

If you are flying above 10,000 ft ... will a transmitter designed to control at 1 mile work or be a good control source?

I think DB is a little ahead of himself on this. Our hobby does not fall under unmanned aircraft as used in business or war.

If a person wants to start a business ... then they need to get the proper insurance and waivers.
If they are terrorist ... they abide by no laws.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:44 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

I have kept my local EMS and ATC in the loop and have had no problems. If you keep ATC informed, they seem pretty receptive, and notify other aircraft in the area.. Call them and give them your flight plan before you fly in a controlled area, and then call them back when you are done flying. It is up to you to operate in a see and avoid manner and not do any operations that would endanger the safety of other persons or aircraft. Common sense and good communications prevail around my neck of the woods.

Volunteering is a great idea, and I have done that . Not only does it break the ice with interested parties, but they get to know you and your equipment and that puts them at ease ( unless you are a jerk and crash alot!)[X(]

PR goes a long ways, and by volunteering, you can help make the world a better place. ( insert heavenly harp music here )
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:10 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Well put, I really like the cushy feel good ending remindes me of every episode of full house iv ever seen.

What type of volunteer work did you do? Also does anyone know of a site that shows controlled areas in the tampa FL area

Thanks
David
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Old 07-02-2004, 03:23 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

I have taken pictures of fires for the fire dept and the chief was very thankful. After our meeting, he gave me the go-ahead to fly during fire dept activities.
Hmmm, wonder if I could get one of those cool yellow jackets?

I have also met with Emergency Management for our county to fly the plane at disaster locations to provide a live video feed back to the headquarters. To get the video transported to them over several miles, I had to contact the wireless ISP in our area and get them to donate wireless CPE equipment and bandwidth during the situation. I convert the NTSC to an MPEG stream and send it over the internet. Luckly we havent had to do that yet, but I have tested the equipment, and it works good and is ready for action.
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:15 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Guys, I love the direction this thread has taken! I'm just starting to work with airborne video and for the forseable future I will always use a spotter, be aware of the airspace as well as what i'm over. I'm just one of the newbies in it and the first time I saw the stuff some guys put on the net, the stuff DB got told about by the FAA, I was hooked. Imagine my own little Spaceship One flying as high as I can with only the T.V. to watch. Way cool! But, all the FAA's worries really are warrented. None of this is DB's fault. The FAA called him. It was like have the grade school teacher call your folks because you were tossing spitballs at Becky in class. DB didnt know a few R/C'ers were going upwards of 25k ft then showing the world on the net, but the FAA wanted do know what he was going to do about it. To all those out there that are enjoying this "next big thing", lets do it right. We need to go along with the AMA and FAA with how this shakes out, offer ideas along the way and enlighten them to how everything works and show some type of safety plan. So long as we dont look like we have a radio in one hand and a beer in the other we should have a great time.
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:54 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

ORIGINAL: MustangFan

If we use Radio Control as a hobby ... we fly under AMA rules.

If it's used as a business ... get your own insurance and go to the FAA.

If an individual is using GPS to guide a model ... that is not this hobby.

If you are flying above 10,000 ft ... will a transmitter designed to control at 1 mile work or be a good control source?

I think DB is a little ahead of himself on this. Our hobby does not fall under unmanned aircraft as used in business or war.

If a person wants to start a business ... then they need to get the proper insurance and waivers.
If they are terrorist ... they abide by no laws.

I agree with these statements whole heartedly.
Why should anybody be allowed to start any kind of business without proper insurance or licencing?
Especially one as dangerous as unmanned vehicles.
If a model engine hit the prop of a full size aircraft, you want to make bets as to what would happen to that prop, and the occupants on board.

No matter how careful you guys think you are, something will eventually happen, then you won't be covered, and I'm sure if any lawsuits were to follow, you could be in risk of losing everything. Then the hobby will suffer for it. You know what the media would do to a story like that.

When you guys do this kind of thing, you are placing the liability soley in your own hands.
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

To add to my above statements, I don't even think its a good idea for RCuniverse to be encouraging this kind of stuff.
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Old 07-10-2004, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

To clarify antslake, what is RCU encouraging that you object to? What I largely see is very useful information on this new aspect of the hobby, that is using airborne cameras effectively and with safety AS the formost concern. Sure, there will be some posting here that may have a reckless streak in them but by posting in this forum they have a real good chance to see that safty should be formost in there mind. Without RCU for them to find help and advice they might never see there reckless behavior and THAT would be a problem that would get all in trouble. Having the attitude that R/C'ers shouldnt share insight and ideas on this matter is just silly. How can one promote safety if we cant talk about it? Mike E.
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Old 07-10-2004, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

I think one thing that has been overlooked (or I missed it in the thread) is that most of us that are doing aerial video and AP are not flying "under the hood". In other words, the video system is broadcasting to the downlink and recording system but that system is off to the side and not being used as part of the control of the aircraft. When I fly AV and AP, I am flying the plane strictly by visual as I would any other RC plane in my hangar. Once I land we cluster around the video playback system to see what I recorded. After the fact.
My AV flying is much safer than, say combat flying, stunt flying, formation flying, etc. which are all AMA sanctioned areas of the hobby.
[:-]
ORIGINAL: antslake

ORIGINAL: MustangFan

If we use Radio Control as a hobby ... we fly under AMA rules.

If it's used as a business ... get your own insurance and go to the FAA.

If an individual is using GPS to guide a model ... that is not this hobby.

If you are flying above 10,000 ft ... will a transmitter designed to control at 1 mile work or be a good control source?

I think DB is a little ahead of himself on this. Our hobby does not fall under unmanned aircraft as used in business or war.

If a person wants to start a business ... then they need to get the proper insurance and waivers.
If they are terrorist ... they abide by no laws.

I agree with these statements whole heartedly.
Why should anybody be allowed to start any kind of business without proper insurance or licencing?
Especially one as dangerous as unmanned vehicles.
If a model engine hit the prop of a full size aircraft, you want to make bets as to what would happen to that prop, and the occupants on board.

No matter how careful you guys think you are, something will eventually happen, then you won't be covered, and I'm sure if any lawsuits were to follow, you could be in risk of losing everything. Then the hobby will suffer for it. You know what the media would do to a story like that.

When you guys do this kind of thing, you are placing the liability soley in your own hands.
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Old 07-11-2004, 07:03 AM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Combat flying, stunt flying, formation flying, etc. Do not fly into recreational airplane space.
It is also more likely that you could lose control of your plane, the further away from you transmitter you fly. I have seen a few videos of it already.

RCuniverse is helping it along, by allowing people to post such videos of, hey look at me! I am going against the rules!

You guys are taking me all wrong too. I love this aspect of the hobby. I am bringing up these points to watch out for you guys who are doing it. I would not like to see some poor hobbiest lose everything he has in a lawsuit, because he was breaking the rules. When you post in here, and show people how you broke the rules, it is evidence, its encouragment for others to try it, and top the last guy. I have been reading the prgress in here for a couple years now, and see where it is going. I even have wanted to try it myself, but thought about it, and decided it wouldn't be wise on my part. Especially where I fly, in the landing pattern of Newark airport.

If you do not belong to the AMA then you are on your own, and you do these things at your own risk, and the risk of others.

If you guys were really concerned about safety, then you ralley to make such a thing AMA sanctioned, and come up with appropiate rules to help along with the safety. This could include all of the safety features that some of you guys are doing already, such as auto pilot. But would also include things like navigation lights, radio contact with airspace, permission from the FAA, a required spotter, and so-on.

As far as comercial work goes, and the AMA insurance covering it, that just will never happen. I also personally refuse to let my AMA insurance dollars support such a thing. I am not going to pay insurance for someone else to make money with for their own personal gains.
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Old 07-11-2004, 01:17 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

No antlake, I didnt take you wrong. Yor point of veiw is just skewed. Like the saying "Guns dont kill people, people kill people". People posting here on RCU does more good than harm and those that like to fly reckless will always do so or learn better and stop. Censorship is not the answer and most people that would like to censer others only do so because they think they live their lives better than others. And again, your not clear on who "You Guys" are but safety is the biggest concern for those that are "responsible" adults here.
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:14 PM
  #24  
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

Yikes this is long and I hope it doesn’t sound like a rant because it’s not!

What makes a discussion like this worthwhile is having opposing viewpoints and I do welcome your posts antslake because it helps us understand what gets people upset.
I think I know where you are coming from but are you saying we should edit our video to make it look less impressive or we should just quit flying by video?

You need to realize most of the video we make is edited to make it look the most impressive it can be. I doubt anyone would enjoy watching them if they were edited to look boring.
I’ve been flying for over 25 years and my video plane has been flying for a year now, it’s the safest airplane I’ve ever owned. I almost feel embarrassed flying a 20 mph trainer after all these years!
I’ve never spent this amount of time testing the limits of the systems involved and flying at less than 50% of their capabilities.
I’ve seen plenty of conventional R/C planes (and full-scale ones for that matter) fly out of control and crash in or near crowds of people. Or just go on flying until they were out of sight.
Lack of competence, poorly maintained equipment, un-informed pilots, flying anyway when you see servo glitches and flying in close proximity to people are what make flying dangerous not a video downlink.

If I wasn’t having a blast flying a combination of video and visual, my other interests are, Giant scale, Jets and 3-D. All are covered by the non-regulating AMA secondary insurance policy everyone talks about, and infinitely more dangerous in my opinion.
Ask the AMA how many “flying by video” injury claims they have denied in the last year and how many park flyer claims they have paid.
Ask the FAA how many R/C video related collisions there have been in the last few years, and how many R/C / Full-scale collisions there have been in history over their “suggested” 400ft altitude. While you’re at it ask them how many innocent people have been killed on the ground by full-scale aircraft under their regulation.

Perception of risk is relative, I could jump into any other forum on the site and start talking about the deaths and injuries created by their type of flying. Video flying has been going on for years now. I’m guessing the injuries are the lowest on the forum because people who fly by video have a better knowledge of the limits of the systems they fly and take safety more seriously.

Nothing is going to guarantee someone isn’t going to put a video system on his plane and try to fly it around his city block. But he’s probably been flying around his block with out one already.

As for me, for the first time in years it feels like I’m flying a full-scale again.
I’m seeing sights I haven’t seen in years. In my opinion I’m doing it safely and I don’t plan on stopping in the near future.
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: AMA President speaks about AP and UA

If you flew full scale, then you know what I'm talking about.
The videos are awesome. I really enjoy watching them. I just don't want any of it to ruin it for the rest of us.
If the AMA sets a altitude limit for us, there are many reasons why. If you choose to disobey it, then you open up a can of worms for yourself.
If the FAA doesn't approve of it either, then why would you still do it?
Of course we are talking about this country, but it would be good practice for others as well.

The odds of an incidence ever happening I agree are low. But if it is possible, it's just a matter of time before it happens. You think a guy flying a full scale aircraft would have a tuff time seeing a small radio control plane? You bet. Think it might damage his prop, or come through a window? It can happen.

You guys ever think of putting very visible navigation lights on these planes?
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