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Weight limit

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Old 11-05-2012, 05:55 PM
  #1
JollyPopper
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Default Weight limit

Is there an absolute upper weight limit for RC planes and, if so, by whose rules?
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Oh yes, the upper weight limit is when the weight exceeds the available lift and that is by the rules of gravity...

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:37 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Just curious, why do you want that information?

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:51 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Yes, the AMA set the limits, been a long time and I don't really recall them. I think it was up to 50 pounds wet then you had to get them inspected for up to 100 pounds then you needed a waver? I'm sure John or someone is more up on the rules. We had an AMA inspector that would come out to our IMAA event every year and re qualify the pilots and planes in the 100 pound range. Been a while sense I have been involved in IMAA and I have forgotten the rules but they are in place. You can also look them up on the AMA site.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Gene, to begin, we are not an AMA sanctioned field, so do they still have any authority over us? And even if they do, they have no policing power other than what we allow them to have, do they? My question really was who has policing powers over a bunch of guys who are not AMA? Anyone? What set of rules do we have to follow to avoid spending time in the lock-up? If we are doing something wrong, whose rules are we breaking?

We used to be AMA, until about four years ago, and then we weren't. It is an interesting story.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

If it is not a sanctioned club then it is your own governing rules.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:26 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

As long as you are ready to asume responsibilty and liability for you and your club have at it. The FAA would be the one you have to look out for This drone thing may come into play.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Oh hell, three years ago I sat on the AMA board in discussions of giant scale aircraft exceeding the 55 lb. rule and setting new rules for aircraft in the experimental category due to my heavy involvement with very large airplanes. So as I stated if you are not flying at a sanctioned club then it is your rules, your responsibility and your liability, so just use common sense.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

The FAA has accepted the 55lbs as reasonable, 100 with inspection, by believing in the AMA rules. The problem comes in that the FAA owns all US airspace, period. It is their playground. There are generic laws in place that you are subject to. If you are on you own land and can crash only into your own stuff, who would know. If you are more public and something happens to the extreme like killing someone by accident, the FAA will make it true federal law of what they would like it to be if we dont self police. Think 2 1/2 lbs like the UAV people lobbied to FAA for a hobby model plane. The fight, that is going on, is trying to keep model airplanes out of the federal regulation code; right now we still are in grey area FAR wise. If things go wrong and we get full FAR regs like full size planes, it will kill model airplanes, but also we will be subject to the same penalties like $10,000 per infraction occurrence. Piss your neighbor off and he said he saw you do it 50 times; that would be quite a bill and probably jail. These are the same kinds of penalties that pilots, businesses, and mechanics are subject to everyday if they dont follow the law. The thing to do even if you are not an AMA member is at least keep the spirit of the rules in hand.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

We are not even a club insofar as there are no dues, no meetings, no rules. Just a bunch of guys who have a really nice place to fly and we get together a couple times a week and do just that. The only guidelines, as set down by the owner of the property where we fly, are that when a full suze aircraft sets up to come in, we have to get out of the way. The other thing is that anyone who shows up and wants to fly is allowed to until he demonstrates that he is a danger to others. Then we are allowed to ask (pretty emphatically) that he not fly any more.

So the FAA would be our governing authority? What do they say constitutes a drone? When does a radio controlled aircraft become a drone?
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

TFF, that is what this is all about. We were wondering what the spirit, if not the letter, of the rules is. How big can we go without offending anyone? Or breaking any laws.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

So if we were to build a plane over 55 lbs. and under 100 and wanted to have it inspected, who would we contact to do that?
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit

There is no actual weight limit if it is a non AMA field. if it is then i think inspected its up to 125 now.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Weight limit


Quote:
ORIGINAL: JollyPopper

So if we were to build a plane over 55 lbs. and under 100 and wanted to have it inspected, who would we contact to do that?
No problem at all then. We had people over the weight limit that couldn't fly there planes at the show but would fly them at a lake bed in Calif. Here at the lake bed we have had real models of the V-I with a ram jet engine. I have one on film, OOPS and SON of OOPS, all crash video's. Of course, we have 7 sq. miles of open flat with desert all around us. It's normal to see a few Ultra Lites flying out there too. We all get along except maybe the motorcycle people that tend to like to ride across our flattened runway.
I'm sure a lawyer would be able to make it against some FAA law but we have never had any problems.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:05 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit

AMA rules only apply to AMA members and AMA Charter clubs. They only apply if you are a member, fly at an AMA field or at an AMA sanctioned event. They may be adopted by the FAA as an approved set of community based rules which when followed will be exempt from FAA regulations. This is still in progress and has not been finalized by the FAA. Even if RC models end up falling under FAA regulations, the enforcement will be reactionary, meaning that they would only come into question when some incident has been brought to the attention of the FAA. The AMA guidelines can be found at www.modelaircraft.org.

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:14 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit

First off I applaud those pilots trying to adhere to the spirit if the law, all good stuff here. Second AMA member AMA field or not if something happens with a model airplane outside of the self regulating rules the FAA will see it as a model airplane community thing, not just an organization incident and all of model aviation will suffer. We have to remember we are all in this together if we want to continue to fly!
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:46 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit


Quote:
ORIGINAL: wkdbuell

There is no actual weight limit if it is a non AMA field. if it is then i think inspected its up to 125 now.
I think your right last I heard, 125 is the number inspected.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:02 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit

Quote:
ORIGINAL: JollyPopper

So if we were to build a plane over 55 lbs. and under 100 and wanted to have it inspected, who would we contact to do that?
An AMA designated inspector so you could have liability coverage under the AMA blanket, but as you stated you guys are not AMA members so all liability stops with you and the owner of the property you are flying from.

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:28 AM
  #19
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Default RE: Weight limit

In the UK there is no upper limit but there is an inspection scheme which is operated by the Large Model Association on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)and is a legal requirement that applies to all model aircraft exceeding 20Kg and their pilots who operate them within the confines of the United Kingdom.

I do not know of the current heaviest model in use in the UK but suspect it will be in the region of 250 to 300 lbs.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:42 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit

There's some misinformation in this thread, so let me put the answer to the OP's question simply:

1. There is no law limiting the weight of model airplanes. This is true whether you are an AMA member or not, and no matter where you are flying.

2. The AMA weight restrictions apply in determining whether your AMA insurance will cover you and whether you can fly at an AMA club field. Since you don't have the insurance and aren't going to fly at an AMA club field, this doesn't affect you.

3. If something goes wrong and somebody gets hurt or there's property damage, you could be found liable for damages and, in an extreme case, you might be convicted of a crime like manslaughter, reckless endangerment, etc. The fact that you were flying an unusually heavy model could be used as evidence against you in cases like this. There is no magic number, though.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:57 AM
  #21
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Default RE: Weight limit

I am so sick of hearing this "I don't belong to the AMA so I can do what I damn well please" crap! [:@]  Stop thinking about yourself and think about the eniter hobby in general.  As stated in the US the FAA owns the airspace get over yourself!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Weight limit


Quote:
ORIGINAL: rgburrill

I am so sick of hearing this ''I don't belong to the AMA so I can do what I damn well please'' crap! [:@] Stop thinking about yourself and think about the eniter hobby in general. As stated in the US the FAA owns the airspace get over yourself!
OK, so give us a citation to a statute or regulation establishing a weight limit for models. Saying "The FAA owns the airspace" means nothing until the FAA makes a regulation, and they haven't done that yet. The OP asked for information, and I gave it. This has nothing to do with "thinking about yourself": I've never had a plane weighing more than 16 pounds and I don't expect that I ever will. Whether the absence of a weight limit is good or bad is not the issue here.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:36 AM
  #23
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Default RE: Weight limit

Thanks, guys. I believe I understand what we need to do to stay within the rules well enough to contact the right people if the need arises. The project is a C130 with four new Saito 180s for power. We had the engines mounted on a board last week, each with its own tank, and we got them all running in synch. What an amazing experience. I was still vibrating when I got home and still say "huh?" a lot when someone talks.

I'm going to take a short time out now so I can think about myself and not the eniter hobby in general so that I can do what I damn well please.

Top_Gunn, I believe that missile was aimed at me because I had the audacity to say that I was not AMA. Automatically makes me a bad person.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:50 AM
  #24
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Default RE: Weight limit


Quote:
ORIGINAL: j.duncker

In the UK there is no upper limit but there is an inspection scheme which is operated by the Large Model Association on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)and is a legal requirement that applies to all model aircraft exceeding 20Kg and their pilots who operate them within the confines of the United Kingdom.

I do not know of the current heaviest model in use in the UK but suspect it will be in the region of 250 to 300 lbs.
When I was still involved with IMAA I used to get magazines from the UK showing there giant scale events. I was amazed at the size of these planes. I will never forget a photo of a young lady pushing a plane out to the flight line, she could have gotten into the cockpit, the plane was huge.. That's when I discovered thee UK had no weight limit. There were a lot of fantastic planes being shown!
RG, there are a lot of people that don't belong to the AMA and a lot of non sanctioned fields around the country. Get over it. I'm betting only about 1/4 of the people I fly with are AMA members. Only a handful of these people ever fly at an AMA sanctioned field. It's been 6 years sense I have flown on one. I no longer fly events, competitions or shows. I fly on private fields or on open lake beds. If the dues were cheaper I'm sure most of the guys I fly with would join just to help support the AMA but the dues are a lot for just getting a magazine each month. I tend to let my membership run out each year, the dues are due over the holiday season when my bank account is at it's lowest. They don't pro rate my fees just because I only belong for 9 months a year either. Guys I fly with on the lake bed may only take up a plane a few times a year too. No reason for them to join.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:19 AM
  #25
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Default RE: Weight limit

I don't trust or ever feel safe around any model flyer who isn't an AMA member either .
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