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What Does the Future Hold?

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Old 06-26-2019, 04:31 AM
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Default What Does the Future Hold?

Supposedly these are some ideas being thrown around at FAA HQ in Oklahoma City, OK. with regard to recreational Drones:

1. Anyone who wants to fly anything over the 1/2 lb rule will need to be Licensed by the FAA. This license will require a written exam and practical (flight?) test. A minimum age requirement of 16 is also being bantered about.

2. In order to obtain your recreational RC license, you will need to obtain training by a Designated FAA instructor/examiner who is also a Commercially Licensed (part 107) remote control operator. Talk is 20-40 hours of training required.

3. Anyone that currently knows how to fly RC will need to go through certification just like someone that is first learning to fly.

4. Anyone who currently holds a full size pilots license will be required to have their BFR (biennial flight review) and Medical current in order to fly RC Models....

5. All recreational RC Model flying sites will have to be registered with the FAA as an Approved flying site.

I for one donít want to see it to go to this extreme. But I can see it happening. I can also see it having a severe impact on participation in the hobby. I suspect a lot of older knowledge will just walk away from it. While a lot of younger new participants will find it too regulated to deal with.

Hereís hoping the above is just office talk.
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:44 AM
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Sounds like a trip to Fantasy Island to me but who knows.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:59 AM
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This stuff won't happen. For one, those rules would simply be unenforceable. #1-3 would create a huge bottleneck and immense expense. #4 is utterly pointless. And #5 would be impossible to monitor and enforce. It would be easy for clubs to register, but there's no way to police every soccer field where guys fly planes or nearly every spot on the planet where drones can take off and land. Second, there's no benefit. 3rd, drone pilots have become a significant demographic with some lobbying power, and this would effectively kill that hobby altogether. We may have something to worry about from other discussions at the FAA, but I don't think this particular set of ideas is going to be an issue.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
This stuff won't happen. For one, those rules would simply be unenforceable. #1-3 would create a huge bottleneck and immense expense. #4 is utterly pointless. And #5 would be impossible to monitor and enforce. It would be easy for clubs to register, but there's no way to police every soccer field where guys fly planes or nearly every spot on the planet where drones can take off and land. Second, there's no benefit. 3rd, drone pilots have become a significant demographic with some lobbying power, and this would effectively kill that hobby altogether. We may have something to worry about from other discussions at the FAA, but I don't think this particular set of ideas is going to be an issue.
I would tend to agree that these ideas are probably not extremely likely to come to pass however... it is the federal government we are talking about... unenforceable... the government has many many unenforceable regulations, rules and laws. Immense expense... since when has the government ever been concerned with spending huge amounts of our tax dollars on stupid idiotic things? Impossible to monitor... again, you are expecting common sense from our government?

I certainly hope you are right and common sense prevails but I have seen no reason to expect that to be the case!
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:54 AM
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Like I said, "Supposedly". And having been in on some brain storming sessions over the years, I can see where some of these things could be mentioned. However, ref #1, we already know a written/online test is on it's way.

1. Anyone who wants to fly anything over the 1/2 lb rule will need to be Licensed by the FAA. This license will require a written exam and practical (flight?) test. A minimum age requirement of 16 is also being bantered about.

Given 10 years who's to say we won't have several of the other items? After all, they mirror to an extent what the full size crowd goes through which keeps it in line with the way the FAA thinks. While I would hope it's unlikely, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's impossible.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:59 AM
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I'm thinking of the track record of the FAA. They haven't gotten it right on the first try every time in their entire history, but generally they make smart decisions. They've encouraged the aviation industry to grow while establishing reliable safety regulations. I've said it in other threads and will repeat it here- I highly doubt the FAA cares one whit about toy airplanes. As long as we aren't flying them near airports to bother full scale planes, they don't care. They showed this by doing us a solid on licensing the first time around. They had to do something due to public pressure, so they hit us up for $5 every 3 years and required us to put a sticker on our planes. That's not exactly onerous.
I know people are pretty cynical about the government, but honestly, common sense prevails most of the time. The vast majority of our laws make sense, and new regulations usually don't get passed without a thorough review. Corruption isn't a major issue here like it is in some places (not that it doesn't exist, but it always will), and in general the people who wind up on top know what they are doing. So sure, goofy ideas like the ones above might have been tossed around in a brainstorming session. That's what brainstorming is- say it even if it's stupid. But the decision making process works, and it's important to remember that these are human beings thinking this stuff out. They value their jobs, so they are going to consider who they'd alienate and inconvenience with their decisions. I think they'll do a good job of establishing basic safety requirements that stop the worst from endangering other people while allowing hobbyists to enjoy their toys.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:46 AM
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In all seriousness, I do see an online safety test happening. Should be no more difficult then what the DMV gives us now. Proof of insurance, AMA number. Fixed sites being registered with the FAA, makes perfect sense to me, that could easily pave the road to higher altitude limits at those fixed sites. Proficiency test? Not going to happen. The FAA doesn't have the manpower nor do they want to bother with it. Medical exam? Nope. Appowner, who specifically is the source of your information here?
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:38 AM
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Just a little side thought here to Appowner's mention of an FAA mandated "check ride" to insure one has flying skills ;

The club I belong to has all new members prove to the club safety officer that they can actually fly an RC aircraft before they get to fly by themselves . If they have skills , great , they get to fly and if not they get to have a few sessions with the club instructors , before getting the OK to fly alone once the instructors give their OK .

So the precedent of flight tests already exists , how many of you gents clubs have a similar policy for new members ? Having the FAA administer such a test wouldn't bother me in the least , if I couldn't pass the check ride why should I be allowed to endanger the rest of the population by flying beyond my proven skill set ?
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:32 AM
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That opens up a whole bunch of questions. Who is going to establish the criteria? How would they handle a proficiency test with someone such as myself, whom has been flying for over 40 years and who does not own an airplane appropriate for training exercises. How would the clubs coordinate having FAA personnel on site to do these check flights in a timely manner?

Don't get me wrong here, I have always felt that what the typical club instructors do falls short. That being said, we all reach the skill set we are capable of/desire. Who is to say that because someone doesn't progress much past a trainer that he shouldn't be allowed to fly? Wouldn't that be like suspending someone's driving privileges because they can't parallel park or drive a stick shift?
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:37 AM
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Each club should have someone to check new members off. I have been flying for over 40 years and at my club there are a lot of people that scare me when flying. Quite a few struggle to land a stick type plane especially if there is a cross wind. I think the problem is that quite a few people learned to fly by themselves on these ready to fly foam planes that have a gyro. Very few people I see at the field has any idea that they need to check the CG of a new plane before they fly it! Yes, you even need to check the ready to fly foam plane!!!
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by geneh-RCU View Post
Each club should have someone to check new members off. I have been flying for over 40 years and at my club there are a lot of people that scare me when flying. Quite a few struggle to land a stick type plane especially if there is a cross wind. I think the problem is that quite a few people learned to fly by themselves on these ready to fly foam planes that have a gyro. Very few people I see at the field has any idea that they need to check the CG of a new plane before they fly it! Yes, you even need to check the ready to fly foam plane!!!
There are a lot of things in life that should be taken more seriously by the participants than they currently are. Driving is just one. Shooting and guns in general are another though the NRA works hard to educate. And flying of any type is yet another. But we continue to makes things available to the least deserving. All in the name of mis-understood rights. Well, we can all admire our participation trophy on the mantel.

Imagine if rocketry had the popularity of RC and high power was available at the local Wally World. Model rockets popping up all over the place without warning. I'd wager some FAA official has already lost some sleep over that thought. Imagine if it was more popular than RC?
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:06 AM
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If a proficiency test is truly coming for model aircraft (I highly doubt it is), the smart move would be for the AMA to go ahead and establish one. That way it's made by modelers for modelers, and will be something we can live with. A simple checklist sent to every club to be used by AMA instructors would get it done.
This recalls a conversation I had with our lead instructor a few years ago. I told him every new pilot should be taught the maneuvers in the SPA novice sequence before solo'ing. If you can do the whole sequence without any zero scores, you are ready to fly on your own. Those include straight flights down the runway, a fast roll, a loop, a Cuban 8, and takeoff and landing. If you can do all of that without crossing the safety line or losing orientation and needing the plane saved by an instructor, you are good enough to go on your own. The lead instructor only felt that right and left turns along with takeoffs and landings were needed.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:07 AM
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That would have been a great idea Jester. Learning those simple maneuvers would have required learning the use of rudder. That is the weak point of most model pilots. I will agree that should a proficiency test come about it should be standardized and written by modelers. I would,like to see club instructors go through some sort of qualification process as well but the reality of that is clubs would no longer have instructors. It is difficult enough to get them as it is and most clubs have to take whomever steps up to the plate. Same goes with teaching new guys how to properly set up an airplane. Nobody really reaches that and for good reason. I have tried not only here but in real life as well, most times guys are just plain lazy and don't want to take the time nessesary to do a good bench setup. When you tell them they need to measure everything and some things may require some shimming the crickets come out. We may just find ourselves in a position where we are required to teach these things but more importantly some guys will need to learn how to become better students.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:38 AM
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All this talk about testing and proficiency should reinforce the notion that these are not mere toys, yet that's what a lot of the people in power who are making the decisions consider them to be. So what`s it gonna be? It irks me when they are referred to as toys as anyone who can fly one knows they are not.

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Old 06-28-2019, 01:17 PM
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Nevermind

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Old 06-28-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
...... Wouldn't that be like suspending someone's driving privileges because they can't parallel park .......
If someone can't parallel park they shouldn't have passed their driver's license test to begin with , since parallel parking is part of the test . Fenders and bumpers for my 30 year old daily driver are getting both expensive and rare , so I don't want your inept parallel parker parking anywhere NEAR my car , thank you very much !
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:15 PM
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Love the color. Mine back in the day. Ram Air 455 powered.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
I'm thinking of the track record of the FAA. They haven't gotten it right on the first try every time in their entire history, but generally they make smart decisions. They've encouraged the aviation industry to grow while establishing reliable safety regulations. .
........
I think they'll do a good job of establishing basic safety requirements that stop the worst from endangering other people while allowing hobbyists to enjoy their toys.
Jester,
Having been an IFR fixed wing and rotorcraft pilot and aircraft owner for 30+ years I must respectfully disagree with you.

while commercial aviation has grown in some areas General Aviation (small aircraft, personal aviation, etc) has shrunk precipitously since 1980 mostly due to the costly requirements and judgements of the FAA. Having owned 3 full sized airplanes and a helicopter over the years Iíve never been without my own aircraft in 35 years until last year when cost of ownership finally became so high and so unpredictable due to the continuous heaping of costly new regulations and the specter of often ludicrous and completely unpredictable Airworthiness Directives that can instantly ground your aircraft and force you to spend tens of thousands of dollars on special inspections and replacement of perfectly good engine and airframe parts even to sell it let alone get it back in the air. A recent example has been on a common type of engine cylinder that the FAA declared unsafe when one small commercial operator who was abusing their engines through improper use had severalmfailures on one aircraft. As a result of a decision by one FAA inspector 30,000 aircraft that used this particular cylinder type were grounded and required to replace them regardless of condition at a cost of $12,000 to $15,000.

Just one one of hundreds of examples. Recreational aircraft flying is dying with documented data showing only a trickle of new private pilots compared to 30-40 yreas ago, the average age of private pilots in the high fifties and continuing to go higher, the average number of hours flown dramatically reduced, and the number of daily general aviation operations down by as much as 80% at many non-airline airports in recent years,

Where companies like Piper and Cessna once built thousands of small aircraft per year they now build only several hundred and a simple basic airplane like the Cessna 172 now costs around $500,000 to buy new due to morass of FAA regulations requiring onerous certification processes and documentation as well as liabilities insurance of course.

The ngine in that 172 is nearly identical in every respect to the engine it was introduced its back in the 1950s due to the costs of redesign and getting that new design approved by the FAA.

While the FAA has done a good job of making US based airline travel the safest in the world, it has nearly killed recreational and personal flyimg unless you have considerable financial means. Right now itís destroying RC model and drone flying having gone from one extreme to the other - completely hands off to completely and overly controlled. Likely they will reach some level of moderation over time but itíll take 5 to ten years.

No, what they are doing right now is a huge over reaction and the impact of that is big and thatís been the FAA style of operation as long as I can remember. Used to fly my many rc helicopters and fixed wing in the many vacant fields around here but no longe all the good fields are in controllered airspace now. At the moment there is only one place I can fly my fixed wings within 10 miles of my hours - if I join a club ( but I hear they have a waiting list for new members) but nowhere I can legally fly my drones or 3D helicopters that Iíve found yet.

Best regards,
Ron (wingspinner)
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:18 AM
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To Speedracer , I have always loved the look of the Firebird , from the first generation right up till Pontiac got eliminated by GM . No other car , even the Corvette , had the mass media exposure our cars did . Your second gen was of course made famous by Burt Reynolds in the Smokey & the Bandit movies , and my third gen had David Hasselhoff playing second banana to K.I.T.T , the robotic car in the Knight Rider TV series that launched Hasselhoff's career .

To Wingspanner , You are not the first private pilot I've heard saying that the recreational ownership of small aircraft is being priced out of the reach of all but the very rich , with most citing onerous FAA regulation as the primary cause . To be honest with you , I believe the general economy also has a large role in this , as I hear the same lament from my recreational boater friends , that their hobby is being priced beyond their reach , and they of course don't have the FAA telling them what kind of metal their engine's cylinders must be made of . Gee I'm left to wonder if those cylinders were Nickel plated rather than Chrome , the OS engines saga playing out in full scale ?

Bottom line = the FAA is gonna do what all government regulatory agencies do , it's gonna regulate . How much or how little remains to be seen and I am determined to do whatever it takes to stay within those regulations not only for the sake of legally covering my own Butt , but also to show the hobby in the best possible light of being comprised of a bunch of people who CAN follow the rules while still enjoying what we do
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:32 AM
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Init4fun, that was a very well put post. I think all the regular contributors to this forum should take a break for a day or so to go out and enjoy what we currently have. I think that if we all went out and had some fun with our models it may remind us of why we do this in the first place. As for me, this was the scene yesterday. Unfortunately being Friday I was the only one there. I missed having the guys around so both airplanes are still loaded in my SUV for tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:34 PM
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Wingspinner- I learned a few things from your post. I knew GA had reduced, but wasn't aware of the details. Of course, one could say that the FAA wanted to see GA go down due to the fact that safety in GA hasn't been nearly as good as in commercial aviation. Perhaps there is some nanny state thinking going on, or maybe there's an attitude that flight is a rich man's activity in general?
I still going to stick with my belief that the FAA couldn't care less about our hobby. As long as we aren't interfering with full scale planes, I can't see them going to a lot of trouble to hassle us.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Wingspinner- I learned a few things from your post. I knew GA had reduced, but wasn't aware of the details. Of course, one could say that the FAA wanted to see GA go down due to the fact that safety in GA hasn't been nearly as good as in commercial aviation. Perhaps there is some nanny state thinking going on, or maybe there's an attitude that flight is a rich man's activity in general?
I still going to stick with my belief that the FAA couldn't care less about our hobby. As long as we aren't interfering with full scale planes, I can't see them going to a lot of trouble to hassle us.
There's been the opinion in GA for years that the FAA is trying to push them out of the skies. I first heard it in the 1960's. The GA manufacturers use to build "trainers". But when the courts started to make them pay for the idiot students who killed themselves, Piper, Cessna, etc quit building planes designated and in some cases designed as trainers.

Once we're fully under the management of the FAA and some idiot manages to kill someone with their toy airplane, the Fat Lady will Sing.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Appowner View Post
There's been the opinion in GA for years that the FAA is trying to push them out of the skies. I first heard it in the 1960's. The GA manufacturers use to build "trainers". But when the courts started to make them pay for the idiot students who killed themselves, Piper, Cessna, etc quit building planes designated and in some cases designed as trainers.

Once we're fully under the management of the FAA and some idiot manages to kill someone with their toy airplane, the Fat Lady will Sing.
I keep hearing that but the fact is, while extremely rare it happens and we haven't been shut down.

That and the clown (NON AMA member) up in NY that hit a military heli during a TFR and barely got slap on the hand for violating a VIP TFR and hit a manned aircraft while flying BLOS illegally.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:02 AM
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What I find so disconcerting is that society in general takes the attitude that nothing bad should ever happen. That's what our politicians promise- to regulate and supervise to prevent any bad occurrences. I grew up understanding that accidents will happen, and there will always be idiots, and that's part of life and living in a free country. From what I can see, flying FPV near airports is the real issue. I recall seeing a prototype drone a couple of years ago that could shoot out a net to take down an RC model if it was in restricted airspace. So why isn't that tech being developed and deployed near airports where the problem actually is? That way, the FAA could not worry about what people are doing in safe places and keep pilots and their equipment safe at the same time.
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Old 07-01-2019, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
What I find so disconcerting is that society in general takes the attitude that nothing bad should ever happen. That's what our politicians promise- to regulate and supervise to prevent any bad occurrences. I grew up understanding that accidents will happen, and there will always be idiots, and that's part of life and living in a free country. From what I can see, flying FPV near airports is the real issue. I recall seeing a prototype drone a couple of years ago that could shoot out a net to take down an RC model if it was in restricted airspace. So why isn't that tech being developed and deployed near airports where the problem actually is? That way, the FAA could not worry about what people are doing in safe places and keep pilots and their equipment safe at the same time.
People seem to expect a Poly Anna world anymore. Just look at the news and see how shocked people are when someone dies. Accidental or not. The realities of life are lost on most. The cries of "I'm offended by that!" shows the weakness of the nation. Never before has the phrase "Pray for Peace but prepare for War" held so much meaning.

Many of you slept comfortably at night while me and many like me were prepared to do violence on your behalf. It's not a nice world out there and I'm sorry if you think I should be kinder, gentler and more polite. But I find some people simply routinely ignore the subtle comments to their actions and need to be told in no uncertain terms what they're doing wrong. I will play the game and report to the mods. But when the mods do nothing, I will step up and defend myself. And I rarely take prisoners.
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