No, the FAA has no business regulating "hobby" airplanes. The FAA feel they have a mandate from congress to control every thing that Flys in the NAS and protect man carring aircraft from each other and anything that flys
Period! Now if my model aircraft was very large like some I've seen on You-Tube (large enough to fit a animal or child in it) only then I believe there should be new, seperate laws for them because they are about the size of a Cri-Cri and should be under the Article 107 of the FAA Certification. I think the FAA should work with the AMA to restrict very large scale aircraft, weighing over 100+lbs especially the ones with a Rotax style snowmobile engine.
For example- that would mean regular AMA and or FAA inspections to be done on them, and they should be restricted from being used at least 10 miles from any small private airport. 25 miles from any international airport. And 35 miles from any millitary restricted air space unless special permissions are granted for airshows.
again U are willing to throw one segment of our hobby/sport to the wolvs. There are many large Models flowen only at sanctioned AMA fields. Few are flowen very far from the pilot and not many are ever flowen very high ... they are just large scale replicas with a scale of 10 to 20 foot wing span. Where they are nomaly flowen poses no danger to general or comercal aviation. In Fact flying them below 1000 feet with in 5 miles of a towered air port is safer than farther out because except for an instrument approach path, aircraft in an airport traffic aera or just approaching to land are required to be at pattern altitude 1000 feet AGL .Now what the FAA is worried about is the UAV / sUAS that do pose a danger to maned aircraft.
But for the average model aircraft pilot, I think the FAA should leave us alone. But the more times people do stupid things with their aircraft- then post it on You-tube, I'm not supprised that the FAA is becoming a little nosey. Matter in fact, at the AMA/FAA Forum, the FAA stated at the meeting that they search You-tube to watch R/C aircraft and regular aviation videos. (That was a clue to me on why they are doing what they are doing investigating and probing the AMA)
I think the one video of the guy flying his plane in NYC, and the one that took his parkflyer and came close to hitting a airliner on final, and the one who was flying his large 3D aircraft at a airshow when the homebuilt flew into it was one of the deciding factors ( including all the videos of people getting hit by helicopters and fixed winged aircraft on You-tube) on why the FAA wants to question the AMA for its enforcing all the rules, and asking why not all are obeying the rules. IMHO I think You-tube has done some harm to the modeling community from people that like do risky things for the sole purpose of entertainment.
I think the problem we face now is with all these RTF cheap aircraft- easily obtainable by some kid including adults who don't care, and don't make a commitment to join AMA that can hurt us as a whole.
I think it is some of us that fail as responsible members to try and stop people from being irresponsible with their aircraft. When ever anyone does something stupid intentionally it is my responsibility to question that individuals action. The problem I find now is what to do with the non-AMA members who do what they please? Can't report them? These people will be required to fly under the more stringent FAR's
The AMA can't do anything and the FAA is only interrested if a full scale aircraft was involved. again the FAR's are mearly a set of laws governing who what where and how, one is allowed to fly in the NAS, National Air Spase . The FAA only inforces after the infaction is commited, just like any traffic law that is broken. If we as AMA members fly under the "Special" created to be an alternet to the FAR's I don't believe much will change for us
Last but not least, law enforcement has better things to do.Don't bet on it.
It's the non-members I'm more concerned about, not the AMA card holder in general.
That's my take on it. Other than that, most of us are safe so FAA- please pester someone else and leave us alone.