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CES 2018 FAA sez CBO mebership NOT required

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Old 01-26-2018, 07:10 AM
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franklin_m
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Default CES 2018 FAA sez CBO mebership NOT required

The Executive Director of the FAA's UAS Integration Office, Earl Lawrence, was at Consumer Electronics Show this year and participated in a forum : "Taking Stock: A New Year for Drone Innovation." At the end of the forum, he was asked something pretty close to this:

"The Special Rule for Model Aircraft list five requirements for people to fly non-commercial drones without getting a part 107 license. One of those says 'the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines AND within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization.' Does the FAA interpret the words 'and within the programming' to mean people must be members of a community-based organization to legally fly under this rule?"

His answer : generally speaking --- NO you do not need to be a member. His response uses terms like "not necessarily" which I interpret to be cases like turbines or greater than 55lbs. In both those cases, you can't comply with the safety guidelines w/o AMA's blessing. But if you're not a turbine flier or LMA type, YES, you can operate under 336 w/o being a member of a CBO. AMA can maintain that "they believe" differently, or that "to be within our programming you have to be a member", but they have ZERO enforcement authority. The FAA does. And FAA says you do not need to be a CBO member to operate under 336 so long as you follow the safety guidelines.

You can advance to time 56:45 to hear the question and his full response for yourself.
https://www.ces.tech/Conference/Conf...one-Innovation

The latest response to this from AMA is to quote the language from 336 along with the definition of a CBO from the legislative report that accompanied 336. But that is unpersuasive. Why? Because 336 says you have to follow safety guidelines issued by a CBO. Without a definition of a CBO, nothing prevents the "franklin_m CBO" from issuing guidelines. So Congress defined a CBO. And just because the CBO definition discusses membership, that only describes the type of organization from which safety guidelines may be derived. In no way does that extend to require membership.

But the fact remains that if AMA is so certain of their interpretation of law, then neither Congress nor FAA should care if the AMA takes all safety programming and the safety code and move it to a members only area. So long as AMA does NOT move that stuff to members only, it's all but an admission that AMA knows that membership is not required. Yesterday I sent an email to my district VP, copy Chad B and Rich H encouraging them to do just that - IF they're confident in their interpretation of the law.

Something tells me they won't do it ... because they know their interpretation is wrong, And that is my concern about AMA's approach - implying a membership requirement. I think it harms the hobby because professionals at FAA and on the Hill will quickly see through the AMA's blatant attempt to use law to boost membership, And that will result in Congress sticking a fork in 336 and letting FAA write the rules.

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Old 01-27-2018, 02:07 PM
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The current issue of the AMA magazine is arguing differently in one of the columns. They just can't let go of the fact that their gamble lost and there won't be thousands of new drone pilots joining their ranks. All they achieved was to tick off a lot of loyal AMA members that now feel like second-class citizens.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:27 PM
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Sadly, I'm one of them!
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
The current issue of the AMA magazine is arguing differently in one of the columns. They just can't let go of the fact that their gamble lost and there won't be thousands of new drone pilots joining their ranks. All they achieved was to tick off a lot of loyal AMA members that now feel like second-class citizens.
I don't have my February issue yet, but I heard about Rich's column. I really think they're going to end up hurting the hobby. Why? Because if they keep poking at the FAA, the FAA will bite back. All FAA would have to do is issue operational rules for recreational sUAS operations outside of 336. Nothing prevents it. And imagine if those operational rules are as generous as AMA's. There would be no reason to join AMA except for those folks who have to fly at AMA fields. Another thing would be for the FAA to simply refuse to recognize AMA as a CBO. Boy that throw a wrench in their plans!
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:05 PM
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Just got this email from our club:

I just received this fro Bob Brogdon our AMA District V VP.
He wanted me to share this with everyone. Thanks Bob!


Subject: Membership is required to operate within AMA's programming
Hello all,
FAA’s Earl Lawrence made some comments at CES that are being misinterpreting to mean membership in the AMA is not required to satisfy Section 336. I anticipate some of you will be contacted by members on the matter.
Near the 55 minute mark in the video below you will hear Earl say, “[336] does not necessarily require membership,” but you must be “operating under the purview of that particular organization.”
While other CBOs may not require membership, to operate within AMA’s safety programming you must be an active participant through membership.
You must read and then affirm you will abide by AMA’s safety guidelines as a condition of membership.
You be must be on our roster so we can communicate, educate, and if necessary take corrective action.
You must be financially responsible through our insurance benefit.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickslammer View Post
Just got this email from our club:

I just received this fro Bob Brogdon our AMA District V VP.
He wanted me to share this with everyone. Thanks Bob!


Subject: Membership is required to operate within AMA's programming
Hello all,
FAA’s Earl Lawrence made some comments at CES that are being misinterpreting to mean membership in the AMA is not required to satisfy Section 336. I anticipate some of you will be contacted by members on the matter.
Near the 55 minute mark in the video below you will hear Earl say, “[336] does not necessarily require membership,” but you must be “operating under the purview of that particular organization.”
While other CBOs may not require membership, to operate within AMA’s safety programming you must be an active participant through membership.
You must read and then affirm you will abide by AMA’s safety guidelines as a condition of membership.
You be must be on our roster so we can communicate, educate, and if necessary take corrective action.
You must be financially responsible through our insurance benefit.
What AMA is unable to comprehend is that there’s ample evidence that FAA really doesn’t care if you’re a member or not. And AMA is powerless to MAKE the FAA interpret the law the way AMA wants it interpreted. Only the FAA can take enforcement action for actions in the airspace, and they’ve made it clear that they do not interpret the law as requiring membership in a CBO.

If I’m flying I a farm field at 1,000 feet and the exhausted Rich H himself walks up to me, He has NO authority to ask for my CBO card. He has no authority to even ask my name. The AMA can talk all day long about what they belive, but so long as the FAA disagrees - it’s just noise.

Heck, AMA can’t even prevent people from using their safety code. Why? Because the FAA got them to agree to keep it on the public website.

If AMA wants to act like a big shot, then put the safety code and safety programming in members only area. They won’t do that though, and we all know why. Because FAA will say enough of this crap and write rules for recreational UAS operations outside 336 and cut AMA out all together.

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Old 01-27-2018, 08:16 PM
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franklin
page 6, entire page rant
page 10 para 4-5

mongo
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
franklin
page 6, entire page rant
page 10 para 4-5

mongo
With all due respect, I have no idea what you're talking about.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:02 AM
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The most important statement in Earl Lawrence's response, the last sentence:

"But in general, no, you do not have to be a member of a specific organization in order to be operating under their safety guidelines (emphasis added)."

So there it is. According to the FAA, you can operate under an organization's safety guidelines w/o being a member of that same organization. And I have to hand it to the FAA, they got the AMA to agree to keep their safety programming on the public portion of their website "in order to promote safety throughout the entire aero-modeling community, even among non-AMA members (emphasis added)." See page 2 of attached file, last bullet of "AMA agrees to..."

If AMA wants to force their interpretation, the solution is simple. Break the MOU with the FAA and move safety guidelines and safety programming to the members only area!
Attached Thumbnails FAA-AMA_MOU.pdf  

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Old 01-28-2018, 11:45 AM
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just giving ya the specific pages to look for, when your copy arrives.
mine got here sat, for what it is worth.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
just giving ya the specific pages to look for, when your copy arrives.
mine got here sat, for what it is worth.
Ah, gotcha. From the sounds of things, they're whining. Somehow I don't think poking at the FAA will turn out well...
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:21 PM
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I think the FAA will view them with the same disfavor the model airplane flyers feel.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:39 PM
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Default AMA's real motivation becomes apparent

For a while I've been analying AMA's performance using their IRS990 filings. I just received my copy of their 2016 filing and the reason for AMA's "membership is required" becomes readily apparent. After revenue went up in 2015, in 2016 it was back down again, just shy of $900,000 less than 2015. In fact, out of the last 13 years, membership revenue has been down in 10 of them, including last year.

So the aggressive stance is because they're dying... Apparently the "pretty smart" guys can't figure out how to break the trend. Everything they've tried to boost membership revenue has apparently failed. When Rich said "we need new ideas," he wasn't kidding. Maybe it's time for these "experts" to resign. Given the performance under their leadership, it's hard to imagine how an entirely new crew could do much worse.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	AMA Membership Revenue Trend.jpg
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Size:	24.3 KB
ID:	2252481  

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Old 01-28-2018, 03:31 PM
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I believe they'll take it down with them....
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:04 PM
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If the decline has been since at least 2003 , this points to a long term trend of something I've been saying all along , folks these days just don't seem to see the value in clubs like the AMA that the people of the past did . By percentage (and sales figures) there simply HAVE to be more people flying RC devices these days , and yet we have even LESS members than in days past ? I think the apathy is for such clubs in general and I don't think there is a thing the AMA can do (now that the whole forced membership thing has thankfully gone down in flames) that will entice folks to be members . I ask this question of all of my fellow AMA forum readers/posters ;

"If the decisions were yours to make , what would you change about the AMA to attempt to entice more RC hobby flyers to join ?"

I wish I had the "magic bullet" answer myself , but being more of a mechanic than politician , I have no idea what it'd take to put a little lipstick on our old pig to make it attractive once more .....

PS , There is no "C" in "Inflation" .

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Old 01-28-2018, 08:14 PM
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Course , I can think of ONE little tweak I'd make to the present system at the AMA ;

How's about catering to those of us who still WANT to be members , rather than throwing good money after bad trying to woo a group of folks who simply don't appear to be interested ?

I had hoped my vote for Frank Tiano would have brought about a bit of that , but , well , you know what they say about "elections have consequences" .......
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:22 PM
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Good point init4fun!
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:31 PM
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I made my thoughts known in another thread but, in a nutshell, it comes down to:
1) firing about a third of the AMA HQ staff
2) KILLING ALL PET PROJECTS!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:33 AM
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I like Hydro Junkie's ideas, but how do you get rid of anybody on the EC? They seem to be "dug in like a tick."
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:48 AM
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Some observations (from the IRS filings):
Magazines lose around half a million a year, every year
AMA donated $300,000 of AMA's money to the AMA Foundation
AMA spent a $256,100 on lobbying in 2016 (vs. $50k-$60k in prior years)
Executive compensation, as a percentage of all staff costs, has quadrupled
Salaries and benefits went up $900,000 in 2016 vs. 2015
Spent $135,000 in travel (vs. less than $50,000 on flying site grants)
Spent $164,000 on office expenses
Spent $900,000 in "Other Expenses" (wonder what that is)
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:17 AM
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Transferring assets?
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
Course , I can think of ONE little tweak I'd make to the present system at the AMA ;

How's about catering to those of us who still WANT to be members , rather than throwing good money after bad trying to woo a group of folks who simply don't appear to be interested ?

I had hoped my vote for Frank Tiano would have brought about a bit of that , but , well , you know whaWoult they say about "elections have consequences" .......
Wouldn't that be a refreshing change.........................

Mike
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
Transferring assets?
What better way to get pet projects paid for than to simply transfer assets from one account to another and then spend as desired claiming it wasn't from the initial account? If they can claim the funds weren't from the general fund but, rather, the AMA Foundation, now they get around a roadblock. The catch is that no one is supposed to know where the money in the AMA Foundation account came from, something that Franklin just uncovered for us all. My big question is "What is the $900,000 in OTHER EXPENSES really being spent on?" Something sounds very fishy to me in this one, do the words "kickback", "bribe" or "payoff" come to mind to anyone?

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Old 01-29-2018, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
What better way to get pet projects paid for than to simply transfer assets from one account to another and then spend as desired claiming it wasn't from the initial account? If they can claim the funds weren't from the general fund but, rather, the AMA Foundation, now they get around a roadblock. The catch is that no one is supposed to know where the money in the AMA Foundation account came from, something that Franklin just uncovered for us all. My big question is "What is the $900,000 in OTHER EXPENSES really being spent on?" Something sounds very fishy to me in this one, do the words "kickback", "bribe" or "payoff" come to mind to anyone?
I seem to remember the foundation board decides how the money is used, and that board is MUCH smaller than the EC. Furthermore, they're appointed and not accountable to members. The end result is it's a way to spend money, only a handful of people need to agree. I could be wrong, but it sure looks like a way of going around members and their EC reps.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:42 AM
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Default $300K from AMA to AMA Foundation

11 January 2016 EC Minutes, under "Old Business"

"As of December 8, the AMA Foundation had $55k in its endowment, the total liabilities and equities was around $325k."The $300k will not make the Foundation financially sound where they won’t still require support from the Academy. Mikulski indicated that of the $141k the Academy loaned to the Foundation, $75k was spent on a direct-mailing campaign; there are lots of costs associated with running a business and it will take us a while to have enough money in the Foundation General Fund not to rely on the Academy"
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