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FAA: CBO Membership NOT required to comply with 336

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FAA: CBO Membership NOT required to comply with 336

Old 07-26-2016, 09:37 AM
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Default FAA: CBO Membership NOT required to comply with 336

PL112-95 Section 336 contains five enumerated paragraphs that operators must meet to operate as a "model aircraft" under the law. While many were addressed in the "FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule on Model Aircraft," one that was not addressed was paragraph (a)(2) which 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;"

The ambiguity left in the minds of many is what does it mean to be "...within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization? [emphasis added]"

So I decided to just ask the FAA UAS Integration Office. For those interested, I've attached my email to the FAA and their response. I've highlighted the key sections. Other than redacting my personal info, it's all there word for word ... including my embarrassing use of the word "therefore" in two consecutive sentences.

Bottom Line: No matter what some are saying that indicates you have to be a member to comply with Section 336, the FAA UAS Integration Office says you do not have to be a member of a CBO to comply with Section 336. They add that you just have to follow the guidelines of one. I would expect they would not hold you to following guidelines that imply or require membership - as they've already said you don't have to be a member.

For those that want to be members, or have to be members to fly at a particular field, then by all means pay your $75. All the FAA is saying, explicitly, is you don't have to be a member to comply with the law.
Attached Thumbnails FAA Email on CBO Membership dtd July 12 2016.pdf   Special Rule for Model Aircraft PL112-95.pdf   Conference Report PL112-95 CRPT-112hrpt381.pdf  
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Last edited by franklin_m; 07-26-2016 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Clean up attachments...
Old 07-26-2016, 11:25 AM
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Depends on which controlling entity one wants to accept as the higher authority.
Old 07-26-2016, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
Depends on which controlling entity one wants to accept as the higher authority.
My money is on the federal government. Last time I checked, the AMA had zero enforcement authority in the NAS.
Old 07-26-2016, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
My money is on the federal government. Last time I checked, the AMA had zero enforcement authority in the NAS.
Me too. My last post was an observation (based on some replies to your findings) more than opinion about how things ought to be.
Old 07-26-2016, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
PL112-95 Section 336 contains five enumerated paragraphs that operators must meet to operate as a "model aircraft" under the law. While many were addressed in the "FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule on Model Aircraft," one that was not addressed was paragraph (a)(2) which 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;"

The ambiguity left in the minds of many is what does it mean to be "...within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization? [emphasis added]"

So I decided to just ask the FAA UAS Integration Office. For those interested, I've attached my email to the FAA and their response. I've highlighted the key sections. Other than redacting my personal info, it's all there word for word ... including my embarrassing use of the word "therefore" in two consecutive sentences.

Bottom Line: No matter what some are saying that indicates you have to be a member to comply with Section 336, the FAA UAS Integration Office says you do not have to be a member of a CBO to comply with Section 336. They add that you just have to follow the guidelines of one. I would expect they would not hold you to following guidelines that imply or require membership - as they've already said you don't have to be a member.

For those that want to be members, or have to be members to fly at a particular field, then by all means pay your $75. All the FAA is saying, explicitly, is you don't have to be a member to comply with the law.
In other breaking news of the day, when it rains it gets wet outside.

The "ambiguity of the many" really appears to be the questioning of a few. Not a genuine question in search of an answer, but a question asked to try to justify and support the ongoing and persistent AMA=Bad theme. It really wasn't a burning question for the masses, it was pretty easy for those that can read and understand that the FAA never said anyone had to be part of the AMA, or a CBO. It's really only been you that has been trying to make an issue out of it. Next up this will be shared with Chad as a gotcha, at which point he'll say um ya, we know that.

But hey, it's another letter that we have now, so I guess that's great news.
Old 07-26-2016, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
The "ambiguity of the many" really appears to be the questioning of a few .... it was pretty easy for those that can read and understand that the FAA never said anyone had to be part of the AMA, or a CBO.
The FAA never said you had to be a member. It was the AMA's government affairs rep that said it. Are you now saying that Chad did not make the statement "you must join the AMA?"

Fortunately, thanks to the FAA UAS Integration Office, we now know that Chad's statement is patently false.


The FAA UAS Integration Office said quite clearly that "The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO ... You must only follow the guidelines of a CBO."

In case you forgot, here's Chad making the statement - that we now know is false:
"The Final Small UAS Rule" on this page: http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/gov.aspx or also the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaONsheXj1g
Old 07-26-2016, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
Me too. My last post was an observation (based on some replies to your findings) more than opinion about how things ought to be.

Thanks.

I don't mind them trying to get more members. What I take issue with is them trying to leave folks with the impression that fly legally the law requires them to join. Thanks to the FAA for saying that no membership is required to fly legally under Section 336.
Old 07-26-2016, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
The FAA never said you had to be a member. It was the AMA's government affairs rep that said it. Are you now saying that Chad did not make the statement "you must join the AMA?"

Fortunately, thanks to the FAA UAS Integration Office, we now know that Chad's statement is patently false.


The FAA UAS Integration Office said quite clearly that "The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO ... You must only follow the guidelines of a CBO."

In case you forgot, here's Chad making the statement - that we now know is false:
"The Final Small UAS Rule" on this page: http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/gov.aspx or also the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaONsheXj1g
Oh wait, this wasn't just a question you had...this had to do with something you thought the AMA was doing that was bad? Color me shocked.

You and about 5 other people (perhaps those are the "we"you refer to) who happen to find fault with absolutely everything the AMA does appeared to be the only ones in doubt. Now that it's cleared up, we can move on to the next issue.
Old 07-26-2016, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
You and about 5 other people (perhaps those are the "we"you refer to) who happen to find fault with absolutely everything the AMA does appeared to be the only ones in doubt. Now that it's cleared up, we can move on to the next issue.
You're a smart guy, and I know you've seen the video where Chad says explicitly that "you must join the AMA." If you haven't, then I encourage you to go watch it. Starting at about 35 seconds, the statement is clear and unambiguous.

So, the questions here are:

- Was Chad employed by the AMA when he made the statement? (Yes)
- Was Chad speaking for the AMA when he said it? (Yes, as evidenced by the logo and the hosting on AMA site)
- Did his statement leave the listener with the impression that you must join the AMA to be legal under 336? (I say yes)
- Do we know that statement to be false? (Yes, per FAA UAS Integration Office)

The question is will AMA correct their false statement? I hope they do. I would respect them if they did. However, if they don't, I think that speaks volumes as to the intent of the original statement (my opinion).
Old 07-26-2016, 01:52 PM
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Like what some of us have been preaching all along. NO membership required for .5 to 55lb crowd.
Old 07-26-2016, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
You're a smart guy, and I know you've seen the video where Chad says explicitly that "you must join the AMA." If you haven't, then I encourage you to go watch it. Starting at about 35 seconds, the statement is clear and unambiguous.

So, the questions here are:

- Was Chad employed by the AMA when he made the statement? (Yes)
- Was Chad speaking for the AMA when he said it? (Yes, as evidenced by the logo and the hosting on AMA site)
- Did his statement leave the listener with the impression that you must join the AMA to be legal under 336? (I say yes)
- Do we know that statement to be false? (Yes, per FAA UAS Integration Office)

The question is will AMA correct their false statement? I hope they do. I would respect them if they did. However, if they don't, I think that speaks volumes as to the intent of the original statement (my opinion).
They don't need to correct anything. What you fail to see is that they're entitled to their own interpretation.

It's absolutely no different than someone who prides them-self on their commitment to the safety of manned aircraft yet, despite the numbers, focuses all their efforts on non-commercial sUAS operations while thousands of wildlife strikes are happening annually to manned aircraft. Makes no sense, but....
Old 07-26-2016, 02:25 PM
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I wonder what the FAA’s position is on over 55LB models and other models that require wavers such as turbine models.
Old 07-26-2016, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TimJ View Post
Like what some of us have been preaching all along. NO membership required for .5 to 55lb crowd.
Then how do you explain the AMA's Chad Budreau "preaching" that "you must join the AMA" in the this video? "The Final Small UAS Rule" on this page: http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/gov.aspx or also the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaONsheXj1g

Thankfully, the FAA's UAS Integration Office said that Chad's statement is FALSE.

That FAA office said, and I quote: "The FAA does not interpret PL 112-95 Section 336 (a) (2) as requiring membership in a CBO."
Old 07-26-2016, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ira d View Post
I wonder what the FAA’s position is on over 55LB models and other models that require wavers such as turbine models.
The over than 55lbs is mentioned in law, but it remains to be seen how the FAA will react when they learn that AMA has refused to inspect non-member aircraft.

The turbine aircraft are mentioned in the code, which FAA says you have to follow. But like the over 55lb question, it remains to be seen how the FAA will react if the AMA refuses to certify non-members.
Old 07-26-2016, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TimJ View Post
Like what some of us have been preaching all along. NO membership required for .5 to 55lb crowd.
"With specifically limited authority, a designated AVP may act in the Vice President’s absence. The AVP Provides a communication link between the VP and Leader Members. The AVP also represents AMA at club meetings and events, and acts to facilitate communication between all AMA members, clubs, hobby shops, civic organizations, and the community at large, thus providing a positive impact on model aviation."

Does your "preaching all along" represent AMA's position on the issue of CBO (specifically when AMA is the CBO) membership being required to operate under 336?
Old 07-26-2016, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cj_rumley View Post
"With specifically limited authority, a designated AVP may act in the Vice President’s absence. The AVP Provides a communication link between the VP and Leader Members. The AVP also represents AMA at club meetings and events, and acts to facilitate communication between all AMA members, clubs, hobby shops, civic organizations, and the community at large, thus providing a positive impact on model aviation."

Does your "preaching all along" represent AMA's position on the issue of CBO (specifically when AMA is the CBO) membership being required to operate under 336?

Good point CJ.

And I'd add that if this is what TimJ has been preaching all along, why is he not preaching what Chad was...namely that "you must join the AMA?" (which thankfully we know is false).
Old 07-26-2016, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
The over than 55lbs is mentioned in law, but it remains to be seen how the FAA will react when they learn that AMA has refused to inspect non-member aircraft.

The turbine aircraft are mentioned in the code, which FAA says you have to follow. But like the over 55lb question, it remains to be seen how the FAA will react if the AMA refuses to certify non-members.
Good point, IMO the FAA can derail this whole you must belong to a CBO thing by not making any distinction between AMA and none AMA modelers but treating both equally when it comes to applying
the law in case of some incident or in the case of aircraft requiring a waiver.

Last edited by ira d; 07-26-2016 at 03:50 PM.
Old 07-26-2016, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ira d View Post
Good point, IMO the FAA can derail this whole you must belong to a CBO thing by not making any distinction between AMA and none AMA modelers but treating both equally when it comes to applying
the law in case of some incident or in the case of aircraft requiring a waiver.
I think the AMA will find itself losing support quickly in government when legislators and regulators when they find out citizens are trying to lawfully do things in the public airspace only to be denied that privilege by the AMA because they're not members.

If AMA doesn't let me fly at one of their fields because I'm not a member...ok. If they don't let me fly in one of their competition because I'm not a member...ok. If they won't let me participate in a fun fly because I'm not a member...ok. But they don't get to decide what I can and cannot do in the public airspace based on whether or not make a $75 offering to the AMA alter.
Old 07-26-2016, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
You and about 5 other people (perhaps those are the "we"you refer to) who happen to find fault with absolutely everything the AMA does appeared to be the only ones in doubt.
Maybe there would have been zero doubt had Chad Budreau not made that AMA video that included his false statement that "you must join the AMA."
Old 07-26-2016, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Maybe there would have been zero doubt had Chad Budreau not made that AMA video that included his false statement that "you must join the AMA."
I can't imagine how much sleep you've lost of Chad's statement. So much for the safety of manned aircraft....
Old 07-26-2016, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Maybe there would have been zero doubt had Chad Budreau not made that AMA video that included his false statement that "you must join the AMA."
Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Bachelors in Physics with a math minor, Masters in Engineering (concentration in structures & use of composites in structures). Graduate military test pilot school, instructor military test pilot school, and graduate military aviation safety school. Three years experience planning and flying developmental test flights, to include envelope expansion, and subsequent data analysis and test data reporting.
Say, which part of the curriculum does fixating on statements made by others and empowering them to control you life fall under?

For the record, it's never part of any of the professional leadership curriculum I've taken. Just saying.
Old 07-26-2016, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I think the AMA will find itself losing support quickly in government when legislators and regulators when they find out citizens are trying to lawfully do things in the public airspace only to be denied that privilege by the AMA because they're not members.

If AMA doesn't let me fly at one of their fields because I'm not a member...ok. If they don't let me fly in one of their competition because I'm not a member...ok. If they won't let me participate in a fun fly because I'm not a member...ok. But they don't get to decide what I can and cannot do in the public airspace based on whether or not make a $75 offering to the AMA alter.
Was that a slip of the tounge there, did you mean the the FAA or the AMA in that last sentence. Last I knew, the AMA doesn't control any part of the NAS, and never will. Is that a new fear you are going to start promoting now?

Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Maybe there would have been zero doubt had Chad Budreau not made that AMA video that included his false statement that "you must join the AMA."
Alas, he did no such thing in the context you seem intent on framing the issue in. Again, you and a few others (after you of course) are going to beat that drum, all fine and well as that's your interpretation of what he said. It might have been taken more seriously or seen as a legitimate question that was really clarified, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is yet another chapter in a 10 year diatribe against the AMA that just rings empty, wolf has been cried one too many times. It's borderline Alex Jones level stuff.

I can write the FAA with an equally silly question, like say "Dear FAA do I really have to register my airplane just because it's 1.5 lb? Guess what, they will write back and say yes. Then I can start a thread and say see...so many people (6) were unclear on this, so now that I have a letter it's clear.

That being said, it's great that you have clarified the question for the few that weren't clear on the issue.
Old 07-26-2016, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Was that a slip of the tounge there, did you mean the the FAA or the AMA in that last sentence. Last I knew, the AMA doesn't control any part of the NAS, and never will. Is that a new fear you are going to start promoting now?



Alas, he did no such thing in the context you seem intent on framing the issue in. Again, you and a few others (after you of course) are going to beat that drum, all fine and well as that's your interpretation of what he said. It might have been taken more seriously or seen as a legitimate question that was really clarified, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is yet another chapter in a 10 year diatribe against the AMA that just rings empty, wolf has been cried one too many times. It's borderline Alex Jones level stuff.

I can write the FAA with an equally silly question, like say "Dear FAA do I really have to register my airplane just because it's 1.5 lb? Guess what, they will write back and say yes. Then I can start a thread and say see...so many people (6) were unclear on this, so now that I have a letter it's clear.

That being said, it's great that you have clarified the question for the few that weren't clear on the issue.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Was that a slip of the tounge there, did you mean the the FAA or the AMA in that last sentence. Last I knew, the AMA doesn't control any part of the NAS, and never will. Is that a new fear you are going to start promoting now?
No slip. Logic goes like this: Law says that you can't fly a "model aircraft" greater than 55lbs unless inspected by a CBO (a.k.a. AMA). AMA has told me directly they won't inspect non-member aircraft. Thus if I want to fly a model greater than 55lbs in the public airspace, I have to join AMA. So in fact, AMA is acting as a gatekeeper to what I can and cannot do in the airspace, and it's based on whether I pay them $75 or not.

Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Alas, he did no such thing in the context you seem intent on framing the issue in.
So what was the context that explains the statement "We've made it clear, that to operate within our safety program, you must join the AMA and affirm your willingness to comply with our safety code and related safety guidelines. [emphasis added]"

How exactly am I misinterpreting that statement? It seems pretty clear.

And then there's this one....

"Chad Budreau July 12, 2016 at 13:13 Anyone is free to read and comply with parts of our safety program,but to fully satisfy all of 336 and to operate within AMA’s safety program you must be a member. [emphasis added]"

So now we have to misinterpret yet another statement? That one too seems pretty clear.

Last edited by franklin_m; 07-26-2016 at 05:51 PM.
Old 07-26-2016, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I think the AMA will find itself losing support quickly in government when legislators and regulators when they find out citizens are trying to lawfully do things in the public airspace only to be denied that privilege by the AMA because they're not members.

If AMA doesn't let me fly at one of their fields because I'm not a member...ok. If they don't let me fly in one of their competition because I'm not a member...ok. If they won't let me participate in a fun fly because I'm not a member...ok. But they don't get to decide what I can and cannot do in the public airspace based on whether or not make a $75 offering to the AMA alter.
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