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  1. #1
    flyinfool1's Avatar
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    FAAs new rules interpretation

    The Faa has released a new document of rules interpretations pertaining to "Model Aircraft"

    http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...odel-aircraft/

    http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releas...m?newsId=16474

    Those are some scary documents.

    My interpretation is that the FAA has just completely outlawed FPV flight.

    It also looks like they may have outlawed a manufacturer test flying a prototype, and/or sponsored pilots demonstrating aircraft.

    I will be waiting to see what the AMAs interpretation of these new rules are.
    Jeff Borowski
    RAMS Club President
    www.ramsrcclub.com

  2. #2
    RCISFUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinfool1 View Post

    It also looks like they may have outlawed a manufacturer test flying a prototype, and/or sponsored pilots demonstrating aircraft.
    Really???

    Where do you see that?
    I did see they have guidance on pleasure and commercial.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Rich
    Jeti USA Flight Team - DS-16, Xtreme Arf, Fei Bao Jets, Jet Central: SE Rhino 200, Cheetah, & Super Eagle owner

  3. #3
    afterburner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCISFUN View Post
    Really???


    Where do you see that?
    I did see they have guidance on pleasure and commercial.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Really. All they say is they are reaffirming the rules they put in place from 2012?
    Marty

    BOialsos

  4. #4
    flyinfool1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCISFUN View Post
    Really???

    Where do you see that?
    I did see they have guidance on pleasure and commercial.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the clip you posted it clearly states under "Not Hobby or Recreation"
    Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft.
    To me this would be a factory sponsored pilot that is receiving compensation for demonstrating a product.



    From page 10
    Any operation not conducted strictly for hobby or recreation purposes could not be operated under the special rule for model aircraft. Clearly, commercial operations would not be hobby or recreation flights.5 Likewise, flights that are in furtherance of a business, or incidental to a person’s business, would not be a hobby or recreation flight. Flights conducted incidental to, and within the scope of, a business where no common carriage is involved, generally may operate under FAA’s general operating rules of part 91. See Legal Interpretation to Scott C. Burgess, from Rebecca B. MacPherson, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations (Nov. 25, 2008). Although they are not commercial operations conducted for compensation or hire, such operations do not qualify as a hobby or recreation flight because of the nexus between the operator’s business and the operation of the aircraft.

    5 A commercial operator is a “person, who, for compensation or hire, engages in the carriage by aircraft in air commerce of persons or property . . . .” See 14 CFR 1.1. The FAA would therefore not consider a commercial operation to be “flown strictly for hobby or recreation purposes” because it would be conducted for compensation or hire.
    It is MY interpretation that this part MAY affect a manufacturer test flying a prototype since that test flight is for business purposes.


    [/QUOTE]
    On pages 8 and 9
    By definition, a model aircraft must be “flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(c)(2).1 Based on the plain language of the statute, the FAA interprets this requirement to mean that: (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) that the operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft; and (3) people other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight. Under the criteria above, visual line of sight would mean that the operator has an unobstructed view of the model aircraft. To ensure that the operator has the best view of the aircraft, the statutory requirement would preclude the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles designed to provide a “first-person view” from the model.2 Such devices would limit the operator’s field of view thereby reducing his or her ability to see-and-avoid other aircraft in the area. Additionally, some of these devices could dramatically increase the distance at which an operator could see the aircraft, rendering the statutory visual-line-of-sight requirements meaningless. Finally, based on the plain language of the statute, which says that aircraft must be “flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft,” an operator could not rely on another person to satisfy the visual line of sight requirement. See id. (emphasis added). While the statute would not preclude using an observer to augment the safety of the operation, the operator must be able to view the aircraft at all times.

    1 For purposes of the visual line of sight requirement, “operator” means the person manipulating the model aircraft’s controls.
    2 The FAA is aware that at least one community-based organization permits “first person view” (FPV) operations during which the hobbyist controls the aircraft while wearing goggles that display images transmitted from a camera mounted in the front of the model aircraft. While the intent of FPV is to provide a simulation of what a pilot would see from the flight deck of a manned aircraft, the goggles may obstruct an operator’s vision, thereby preventing the operator from keeping the model aircraft within his or her visual line of sight at all times.
    To me this part flat out says FPV is NOT legal.

    As I said I will be very interested to see what the AMAs take is on all of this.
    Jeff Borowski
    RAMS Club President
    www.ramsrcclub.com

  5. #5
    mr_matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCISFUN View Post
    Really???

    Where do you see that?
    I did see they have guidance on pleasure and commercial.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It says right there. An example of a use not classified as a hobby: "Receiving money for demonstrating aerobatics with a model aircraft".

    The real target of this is FPV. IMHO the current AMA rules for FPV are not consistent with this FAA interpretation.
    Matt

  6. #6

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    I am not at all surprised to find that the FAA does not want to follow the law and exempt model operations in accordance with CBO/AMA rules.
    Ira d

  7. #7
    bevar's Avatar
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    Did you know that if flying a noontime demo at a show for a manufacturer, or during the "here are the boys from (insert name here), your AMA liability insurance is void and you are personally 100% exposed to damages?

    If it's just a "Here goes Boli and his Lightning" and I am not repping a product that is fine. If you are a team pilot, and displaying/demonstrating one of their products the AMA considers that flight to be a commercial Operation so your regular coverage is void and a separate policy is required.

    Beave
    Team JR,
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  8. #8
    bevar's Avatar
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    Rich,

    It looks just like the difference between Private Pilot flying and Commercial Pilot flying.

    Beave
    Team JR,
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  9. #9
    mr_matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bevar View Post
    Did you know that if flying a noontime demo at a show for a manufacturer, or during the "here are the boys from (insert name here), your AMA liability insurance is void and you are personally 100% exposed to damages?

    If it's just a "Here goes Boli and his Lightning" and I am not repping a product that is fine. If you are a team pilot, and displaying/demonstrating one of their products the AMA considers that flight to be a commercial Operation so your regular coverage is void and a separate policy is required.

    Beave
    With respect why do you think this is true? Notwithstanding this new FAA finding.
    Matt

  10. #10
    bevar's Avatar
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    Matt,

    Because it is true...and has been for years. Call the AMA and ask someone on the insurance board. I have a friend who was on the insurance board and he told me this directly. No one realized this but it is true.

    Beave
    Team JR,
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  11. #11
    ravill's Avatar
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    If all this is true, these noon time things will affect the bigger jets meets with those sponsored noon time demos. Like Florida jets.
    RAVjets Demo Team. All We Do Is Fly.

  12. #12
    bevar's Avatar
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    What is required is the company have a separate liability policy to cover the demo flights...that is all. The normal show coverage, unless it specifically states "commercial demo flights" does not cover it either. It's not hard to get, but no one realizes that it is needed...by the pilots that is.

    This came up a few years ago at a big show. If it's just a bunch of guys going up hot dogging that's covered, but if a company sponsored pilot goes up...reping their products ETC...that's when it kicks in.

    Beave
    Team JR,
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  13. #13
    ravill's Avatar
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    It seems counter intuitive.

    If some jackhole, like myself, is just demoing my incredible flying skills on my elan is covered, but when Ali is putting an UltraBandit with his new Kingtech 210 through its paces, he's not covered.

    My poor flying skills get coverage, and the industry shill (but who CAN fly) is the dangerous, non-covered one.

    Great, now I just opened the thought that no-one will be covered at a show.

    Friggin politicians.
    RAVjets Demo Team. All We Do Is Fly.

  14. #14
    bevar's Avatar
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    Rav,

    Actually...Ali would be covered...if he went up under the guise, and it was announced "Here goes Ali and his Kingtech powered UB". No prob.

    If he went up during the Kingtech demo time...and they were announcing "here is our new engine...come see it after he lands" he is not covered because that is considered a commercial operation and both he and Kingtech need separate liability coverage in case of a crash/injury during the demo/demo flights.

    The kicker is that is has always been this way...I found out about it 4 years ago and actually had a thread about it right here on RCU.

    Beave
    Team JR,
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  15. #15
    mtnflyer14's Avatar
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    Another part that bothers me is the following:
    "Accordingly, as part of the requirements for model aircraft operations within 5 miles of an airport set forth in section336(a)(4) of P.L. 112-95, the FAA would expect modelers operating model aircraft in airspace covered by §§ 91.126 through 91.135 and part 73 to obtain authorization from air traffic control prior to operating. "
    That statement is pretty clear: If your club flying field is within 5 miles of an airport, then you have to get authorization from the airport to operate model aircraft at your club field. The logical extension is that if the airport says no, then your club field can't operate. I suspect that will affect a lot of us.
    Regards,
    Gus
    AW Extra 260/ZDZ Super 80; Elan/K-100; GJC Viperjet/K-80;

  16. #16
    RCISFUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinfool1 View Post

    It also looks like they may have outlawed a manufacturer test flying a prototype,
    I'm still in the dark where this is being interpreted from?
    Rich
    Jeti USA Flight Team - DS-16, Xtreme Arf, Fei Bao Jets, Jet Central: SE Rhino 200, Cheetah, & Super Eagle owner

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by bevar View Post
    Rav,

    Actually...Ali would be covered...if he went up under the guise, and it was announced "Here goes Ali and his Kingtech powered UB". No prob.

    If he went up during the Kingtech demo time...and they were announcing "here is our new engine...come see it after he lands" he is not covered because that is considered a commercial operation and both he and Kingtech need separate liability coverage in case of a crash/injury during the demo/demo flights.

    The kicker is that is has always been this way...I found out about it 4 years ago and actually had a thread about it right here on RCU.

    Beave
    Hey Beave...

    I guess I'm kind of scratching my head on whether folks who get gear (airframes, motors, etc.) 'at cost' and then demo them with would really be any different than an 'officially sponsored' person???

    After all the person providing the items at a discount is doing it for their own commercial benefit aren't they........so the end user is actually the 'sales person' when he/she is showing it off in front of the public.

    A smart company isn't going to get caught in this trap................separate insurance would be the best safety net around

  18. #18
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    I don't see how a separate insurance policy exempts anyone from commercial ops in the National Airspace System ?
    I might not be very good, but I'm fun to watch!

  19. #19
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    Of course all of this ignores the ruling by the NTSB Administrative Law Judge that said:

    In his ruling dismissing the FAA’s fine, Geraghty said the FAA had no basis for asserting FAR Part 91 authority over Pirker’s operation, and that only advisory guidance applies to model aircraft. The FAA “has not issued an enforceable FAR regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; (and) has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of ‘aircraft’ by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in AC 91-57."

    Of course the FAA has appealed this decision, but if you go strictly by the law, the FAA has over-stepped their regulatory authority and is issuing "memos" and "policy statements" to attempt to circumvent the law without going through the *required* rule-making process. This newest "interpretation" is just that, a (legal) opinion, NOT a regulation. True, no one individual would want to go up against the FAA, but there are a *lot* of attorneys lined up on the other side of this issue.

    This is just another salvo in this debate...

    What the FAA *needs* to do is get off their butts and finish the sUAS rule-making process that they began somewhere around a decade ago, it seems, and that they have delayed dozens and dozens of times...

    Bob

  20. #20
    Gary Arthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinckley Bill View Post
    Hey Beave...

    I guess I'm kind of scratching my head on whether folks who get gear (airframes, motors, etc.) 'at cost' and then demo them with would really be any different than an 'officially sponsored' person???

    After all the person providing the items at a discount is doing it for their own commercial benefit aren't they........so the end user is actually the 'sales person' when he/she is showing it off in front of the public.

    A smart company isn't going to get caught in this trap................separate insurance would be the best safety net around

    I think you are mixing up two different things here. Hobby flying is allowed, flying models for profit is not. Insurance is a totally seperate item.

  21. #21

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    All of this discussion about who is covered and when is just opinion and conjecture. It REALLY gets figured out in court by the jury after something terrible happens.

    The bottom line is UNLESS your particular activity is obviously hobby related, AND low risk, AND you are certain that you are following all applicable AMA rules, local field rules, club rules and FAA rules, you should probably purchase your own insurance. Be assured that everyone involved will hire a lawyer to explain to the jury just how dangerous your activity is and how negligent you are.
    I fly aircraft at the leading edge of trailing edge technology!

  22. #22
    DrScoles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_matt View Post
    With respect why do you think this is true? Notwithstanding this new FAA finding.

    Then how can a sponsored pilot even attend an event? I traveled all over the US flying rc helicopters, think I was up to seven sponsors at one point. Whats the difference between a noon time demo and flying with everyone else at 10am??

  23. #23
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    if you go strictly by the law, the FAA has over-stepped their regulatory authority and is issuing "memos" and "policy statements" to attempt to circumvent the law without going through the *required* rule-making process.
    Precisely! Well said, Bob.
    I might not be very good, but I'm fun to watch!

  24. #24
    flyinfool1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCISFUN View Post
    I'm still in the dark where this is being interpreted from?
    If a manufacturer is test flying a prototype that he intends to sell, that is a business activity. According to MY interpretation of the FAA "clarification" this would not be allowed as a hobby or recreational activity. It is a business activity and therefor subject to all FAA regs regarding commercial aviation.

    While I agree with Bob that this is an attempt by the FAA to get around the judges ruling in the Raphael Pirker case, I sure can not afford the legal bills to be the new test case.

    This whole thing has nothing to do with insurance coverage of any one or any thing. Insurance is a whole different can of worms.
    Jeff Borowski
    RAMS Club President
    www.ramsrcclub.com

  25. #25
    bevar's Avatar
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    The difference comes in when you are doing a noontime demo for the manufacturer, and advertising for them to the public.

    That differs from flying the rest of the time during the show. A simple liability waiver can cover you but very few know to get one in the first place.

    B

    Quote Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
    All of this discussion about who is covered and when is just opinion and conjecture. It REALLY gets figured out in court by the jury after something terrible happens.

    The bottom line is UNLESS your particular activity is obviously hobby related, AND low risk, AND you are certain that you are following all applicable AMA rules, local field rules, club rules and FAA rules, you should probably purchase your own insurance. Be assured that everyone involved will hire a lawyer to explain to the jury just how dangerous your activity is and how negligent you are.
    Team JR,
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