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FAA Sez CBO mbrs NOT legal to fly >400 AGL in class G

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FAA Sez CBO mbrs NOT legal to fly >400 AGL in class G

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Old 06-15-2019, 09:10 AM
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franklin_m
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Default FAA Sez CBO mbrs NOT legal to fly >400 AGL in class G

Back on the 11th, I sent the FAA a clearly worded set of questions to determine what is the true state of the 400 foot limit. AMA had implied that as a result of "direct communications with the FAA" that members could fly as they always have in both controlled airspace and class G. I was skeptical given the exceedingly consistent language coming out of the FAA, so I put three questions to them, and got answers:

Yes or no, in "direct communications with the AMA," has the FAA told the AMA that its members may operate above 400 AGL in class G?
FAA response: "The FAA has told AMA that at the current designated sites in controlled airspace (which are posted at the FAA’s interactive map on the UAS Data Delivery System), pre-existing letters of agreement to operate above 400 ft AGL will be honored until they are reviewed for applicability (emphasis added)."

"Yes or no, can AMA members legally operate above 400 AGL in class G?
FAA response: "No."

If yes to #2, then yes or no can any citizen (non AMA member) legally operate above 400 AGL in class G?
FAA response: "No."

I've attached a PDF of the email questions and response so as to remove any doubt.
Attached Files
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:56 AM
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I don't consider myself to be above average intelligence in spite of my education. That said, it has always been clear to me that 400 foot is the limit in class 'G'. Period! And the limit in controlled airspace is whatever the club/individual can agree on with the local ATC/FAA. And in some places that could very well be less than 400 feet while on rare or special occasion it could also be above 400. (Do I need to put AGL in there for people to properly grasp the concept?)

And I've said this many times. But you still find those who will argue it and claim "the AMA said........." As if the AMA has some kind of authority to over ride the government. Some no doubt think they do and will continue to do so even after this.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:22 PM
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the faithful will not be too receptive of this...
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
the faithful will not be too receptive of this...
Wake Up Call!
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
the faithful will not be too receptive of this...
Truth hurts.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
the faithful will not be too receptive of this...
How many of "the faithful" are left? I only know of one and he will probably argue that the information put out by "our leader" is either incomplete or twisted to fill some sort of agenda. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:51 PM
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But, but.…., but......the AMA says...……………………………………………………………..

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Old 06-17-2019, 06:34 PM
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Next shoe to drop will be the test. AMA still thinks that it'll be a "What is an airplane?" type trival questions. Reality is that it's going to look a lot more like the 107 than what AMA wants.

The adults are clearly running the show now.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Next shoe to drop will be the test. AMA still thinks that it'll be a "What is an airplane?" type trival questions. Reality is that it's going to look a lot more like the 107 than what AMA wants.

The adults are clearly running the show now.
Hay! Maybe now we'll be allowed to carry pocket knives too!
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Next shoe to drop will be the test. AMA still thinks that it'll be a "What is an airplane?" type trival questions. Reality is that it's going to look a lot more like the 107 than what AMA wants.

The adults are clearly running the show now.
I predict there will be quite a number of people who will give up the hobby or try to fly without taking the test. Especially the older ones who don't learn as well anymore. They'll be flying their lawn chairs instead.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:57 AM
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I wonder if any slack will be cut for those who already hold some type of airman certificate.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stickslammer View Post
I wonder if any slack will be cut for those who already hold some type of airman certificate?
That's a good question. I really doubt it since having a pilot's license(of any level) really doesn't help when it comes to learning to fly or actually flying an R/C.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Appowner View Post
I don't consider myself to be above average intelligence in spite of my education. That said, it has always been clear to me that 400 foot is the limit in class 'G'. Period! And the limit in controlled airspace is whatever the club/individual can agree on with the local ATC/FAA. And in some places that could very well be less than 400 feet while on rare or special occasion it could also be above 400. (Do I need to put AGL in there for people to properly grasp the concept?)

And I've said this many times. But you still find those who will argue it and claim "the AMA said........." As if the AMA has some kind of authority to over ride the government. Some no doubt think they do and will continue to do so even after this.

For the most part I am going to agree with this. It is pretty clear that this is what the FAA is telling us. They however are not talking too much about what exemptions will eventually be done. How can they as this will be done on a case by case basis. The Basin in SoCal has been told by the FAA that the paperwork process to reopen has begun and it will be expedited. We will have to wait and see just what that means. Meanwhile there are events taking place that with the current format MUST break 400'. The FAA is well aware of these events and is NOT, I repeat NOT shutting them down. IMO this is a good indicator that the FAA is willing to work with us. I'm confident enough that this will be the case that I just dropped a little over a grand on a new sailplane and had to drive 700 miles round trip to get it. In the meantime, I flew in a sailplane contest this past weekend and have signed up for another this coming weekend. Again a great indicator that the FAA is going to allow us to continue in most cases while the waivers/approvals are getting sorted out. There are going to be some cases where the altitude limits are going to set and that will handicap some sites and I anticipate that we will also loose some sites, however for the most part the events that require higher altitudes are going to survive.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:01 PM
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I commend you for your optimism .

I too believe the FAA will allow all kinds of model aircraft activity above 400 feet , with every session of such flying requiring an approved FAA hobby UAS flight(s) allowance for that flying session .
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:36 AM
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Thanks, it's obvious that some changes will happen. How we got here is pretty irrelevant. I do feel that the FAA will be making some concessions but only time will tell. In the meantime I am going to continue to enjoy my hobby the best I can. Worse case scenario my sailplanes and pattern airplanes become static models and I get serious about helicopters again. I anticipate that after my grand daughter arrives in late August I will experience a shift in priorities to a certain degree. Life will move forward regardless of what happens with the hobby.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:44 PM
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Sepulveda Basin

no outside verification on this yet,
but,
the changes look fairly draconian...

does not bode well for the future of other in controlled airspace sites...
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
Sepulveda Basin

no outside verification on this yet,
but,
the changes look fairly draconian...

does not bode well for the future of other in controlled airspace sites...
250 feet max, no smoke, and single direction traffic pattern. Looks like it's not what recreational folks "want," rather what FAA will allow.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:19 PM
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Looks like Sepulveda Basin will only be fit for small foamy aircraft, IMO its not worth the hassle for any club to take responsibility of such a site and try to control what can be flown there. I would bet in a few months
the city will shut the site down if they get many complaints from the FAA.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:28 AM
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I suspect the FAA will slowly make it impossible for any RC activity within a certain distance of an ATC controlled airport. 5? 10 miles? Who knows. Might go so far as to allow it in class G airspace only. And when you think about it, it makes a certain amount of sense.

Imagine if you would a major interstate highway where every off ramp is a playground for kids on their bikes, trikes, skateboards, etc. That is not unlike what we have when an RC field is located close to a major airport.

So throw your tantrums boys and girls. Fact of the matter is, in the next 10 years or so more and more of you will have to go further and further outside your city in order to fly at your favorite AMA gathering place. Might ask the AMA what they're going to do about it!

I suspect too the number of AMA clubs will decrease noticeably in the next 10 years.

I see on another forum where there are calls for the AMA to do something to help clubs own their own sites. Funny! I gave the AMA a business plan some 25 years ago which was geared towards just that. All it needed was time, dedication and vision. But it seems the AMA was all out of that back then. They did establish the Flying Site Coordinator position and even used the name I suggested. Imagine that!

Now, I have some glue to mix.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:23 AM
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Most of what goes on at the Basin is pylon and helicopters. I'm sure they were hoping for better but they will adapt. The Basin is unique in that you were not required to be a CBO member. I haven't heard yet or not if that has changed but I have been told that it was the non CBO members that created most of the safety issues. Certainly not a good example for evaluating the " Norm " of what the FAA is going to hold the remaining 2,000 plus CBO sites to.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
Most of what goes on at the Basin is pylon and helicopters. I'm sure they were hoping for better but they will adapt. The Basin is unique in that you were not required to be a CBO member. I haven't heard yet or not if that has changed but I have been told that it was the non CBO members that created most of the safety issues. Certainly not a good example for evaluating the " Norm " of what the FAA is going to hold the remaining 2,000 plus CBO sites to.
Just remember the vast majority of those so called 2000 plus CBO sites are already in class G airspace and should be experiencing no problems.

IMHO I wouldn't allow anything within 5 miles of an ATC controlled airfield and possibly 10 miles of some of the major airports. There would be no need for any agreements between RC Clubs and the FAA. But maybe I respect human life more than most.

I know of a case involving Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. An AMA member decided to fly from a public park some 6 miles from the end of the active runway. Right or wrong a DC-9 reported having to take evasive action during final over that park. Police, FAA, AMA, etc all got involved. The model if I recall correctly was a 40-60 sized trainer type.

Thing is, that AMA member was also a member of the local club whose field was only a few more miles drive and NOT under an approach path. And he had to pass another AMA club field to get from his home to that park not to mention a couple of renegade sites. And yes, he had come from his home and was an experienced flyer so he should have known better.

When it comes to flight safety between a human occupied aircraft and a toy! Sorry but the toy looses and needs to move on! There's lots of airspace available out there. Problem is today's generations don't want to have to work or drive for it. They expect it to be handed to them. A lot of modelers need to put their big boy pants on, face some reality and grow up.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:58 PM
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Since that last post seems to be directed at me, do you have supporting data that most AMA sites are in class G airspace? I've been putting together and event schedule for the rest of the year and all of the sites I will be visiting are not in class G airspace. I also have been very clear that I only fly at AMA chartered club fields so obviously traveling is not an issue for me. I do beleive however that a regular participant in these forums has commented multiple times that he is of the opinion that driving to a chartered field is a waste of his time. Under your current circumstances, I found your last sentence humorous. I will wait the required couple of days for your response before adding any more.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:31 PM
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take a look at the laanc map in the sticky.

great large swaths of airspace with no blue, green or red circles, you know, the ones that represent controlled airspace...

FAA only has about 200 sites so far that are in controlled airspace. now, i would hate to think that the AMA was so lax in reporting site info to them that there would be anywhere close to 800 more...
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:22 PM
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So if there are any discrepancies with that list it HAS to be the fault of the AMA? I mean the FAA is a Federal agency, they NEVER make mistakes right? I recently joined TWO clubs here in Oregon, both within 5 miles of an active runway, neither on that list. Has me wondering what exactly are the requirements for being on the list in the first place. Looks to me that it takes more then just being an AMA chartered site within controlled airspace. Either way nobody seems to want to directly address the fact that country wide there are sanctioned events taking place that must break 400' including the AMA Nats soaring and IMAC, the FAA is not shutting anything down. Of course one would have to actually go outside and participate to see these things.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:40 PM
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The last i knew, there are no ama charter flying sites, only ama chartered clubs.
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