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Thread: Help from the EAA to save the model airplane hobby

  1. #1

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    Help from the EAA to save the model airplane hobby

    Iím here asking for the EAAís help in saving the model airplane/radio control airplane hobby. Iíll explain:

    Without going into all of the details, the FAA has released the NPRM regarding remote identification of drones, or UAS as theyíre officially referred to. While we can all agree that drones need some regulation/framework to ensure an RV-8 doesnít have a play date with an Amazon delivery, this NPRM is not the answer. The problem is that the model/RC airplane hobby is getting caught in the crossfire and would cease to exist if the NPRM as written goes into effect. Iíll include a few bullet points along within some links for reading. Here are the major problems:

    - Most model/RC airplanes are either built from literal sticks of wood, or at least assembled from many different parts. Under the NPRM, these would be effectively banned due to certification requirements. Imagine if your Experimental pride and joy was subject to the same certification requirements as a C-172. https://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs...lt-rc-aircraft


    - Most model airplane hobbyists fly at dedicated clubs affiliated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The NPRM does allow for non-remote ID model aircraft to be flown at specific sites without remote-ID compliance, like dedicated AMA clubs, but it provides a very narrow window to approve these sites and no ability to renew them later. The NPRM even specifically says that the FAA wishes to see these sites phased out rapidly. https://uavcoach.com/remote-id-nprm/ and: https://www.thedroneu.com/blog/faa-a...one-remote-id/

    - There are other problems as well, but the two above are the first two major ones.


    I know many of you may have gotten your start with model aviation. I did. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a kid and then my retired Memphis Center ATC Grandfather took me to an RC club and the rest was history. Iím now a former 121 pilot and current Lear 45 captain. Once my wife and I move, Iím planning on a wheels up restoration of a J-3. I know the EAA is at least supportive, but Iím hoping our two groups can band together and stop this FAA overreach. https://eaa.org/eaa/news-and-publica...Fxy43GI31pICUc

  2. #2
    EAA Staff Tom Charpentier's Avatar
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    Hi Jack, and all-

    We are absolutely going to do our utmost to defend legacy/traditional model aviation from this proposed rule. The first official action we took on this NPRM was to file a request to extend the comment period from 60 to 120 days, which we did Wednesday. 60 days is too short adequately evaluate a 300+ page document.

    We're keenly aware of the many problems with this rule. While we certainly are concerned of the safety issues that semi-autonomous "drones" pose to manned aircraft in the airspace, it should be plainly obvious to everyone that traditional modeling has been a safe hobby for the better part of a century and completely undeserving of this level of scrutiny. As you point out, many pilots, including quite a few of us in Oshkosh, got their start in modeling and/or are still active in the hobby. We even have a new youth program for building and flying RC models at EAA chapters, in partnership with the AMA.

    When we have had more time to carefully evaluate the NPRM and develop feedback, we will share our talking points with EAA members so that they may add their own comments.

    Thanks for reaching out Jack, and don't hesitate to contact the advocacy department directly if you have any more questions. You can reach us at 800-564-6322 or govt@eaa.org.
    Last edited by Tom Charpentier; 01-10-2020 at 09:36 AM.
    Tom Charpentier
    Government Relations Director
    EAA #1082006

  3. #3

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    It'll be interesting if EAA will provide more pushback on this issue than they did with the ADS-B implementation. AOPA and EAA welcomed this additive with open arms and devoted much time to promote the concept to pilots with free weather info and collision avoidance. Now that your every move will be recorded if ADS-B equipped, it's only a matter of time when the Fed's will send you a bill for ATC and airspace utilization.

  4. #4
    EAA Staff Tom Charpentier's Avatar
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    It is a mischaracterization to say that we welcomed ADS-B with open arms. Quoting directly from our comments to the 2008 NPRM,

    “EAA is deeply concerned that that FAA is proposing mandatory equipage of a technology largely developed for use by commercial turbine aircraft without also developing practical and economical equipment necessary for the vast majority of the general aviation fleet. … The only ADS-B equipment available today is far too costly for the average general aviation aircraft and can exceed the value of the actual aircraft in the instance of older and/or smaller aircraft. This is not a realistic expectation on the part of the FAA…”

    While we acknowledged the safety benefits of ADS-B, we were clear in our opposition to a broad mandate.

    When the FAA nevertheless pushed ahead with a broad mandate, we have fought for flexibility in the rule and cheaper equipment whenever possible.
    Last edited by Tom Charpentier; 01-10-2020 at 02:26 PM.
    Tom Charpentier
    Government Relations Director
    EAA #1082006

  5. #5

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    Tom,
    I'm glad you pointed out EAA's vigorous opposition mounted in 2008. I suppose my mind was on financial matters having been forced out at age 60 a year earlier from my bankrupt airline and being deprived of a retirement.

    As a former U-control pilot while still in grammar school, I've always enjoyed the building, flying and sometimes crashing my handiwork. I was an adult when I took up RC flying for several years while furloughed from the airline and participated in the freedom of that hobby. Then more than thirty years ago, I started an RV4 and could not devote resources to both interests and finished the RV.

    I empathize with Jack and what's another overreach by the government. Perhaps the silver lining in modelers being forced to comply, is a small unobtrusive unit, movable from model to model while transmitting anonymous. I would consider equipping my aircraft with such a unit and bet others seeking a cost effective solution would also. Best of luck to the AMA and its members.

    I applaud the organization in joining with the AMA to encourage young membership. I always thought learning to walk before running was a logical step.

  6. #6
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Hey Jack, Like sport aviation there are many versions of RC flying. I belong to an informal bunch of flyers and we all have electric powered foam aircraft ranging from backyard flyers, motor gliders, 3D acro types to ducted fans.

    We are very lucky. There is a county park that was created by the donation of farm land that included a grass strip. Fortunately the county left the grass strip relatively intact. Due to our low noise footprint we are not hassled at all. In fact we get trail walkers who stop and watch and talk with us. We all try to fly responsibly so no one feels threatened. In the five years I’ve been participating there has not never been a complaint.

    There are are airports that GA and sport aviation friendly and then there are those that are not.

    Bottom line, whether you’re into model aviation or sport aviation it’s getting harder and more expensive to participate.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    We are very lucky. There is a county park that was created by the donation of farm land that included a grass strip. Fortunately the county left the grass strip relatively intact. Due to our low noise footprint we are not hassled at all. In fact we get trail walkers who stop and watch and talk with us. We all try to fly responsibly so no one feels threatened. In the five years I’ve been participating there has not never been a complaint.
    Dave, where is this park?

    BTW, try finding a big enough public space within 20 miles of here where you are welcome to launch a model rocket.

  8. #8
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Hey Kyle......Can’t think of the name of the park but ya got to go west on Rockmart Hwy like your heading out to Paulding Cnty Airport or Cedartown. Go south on the Villa Rica Hwy. Turn left on Mustang Dr. the park is on your right.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Hey Kyle......Can’t think of the name of the park but ya got to go west on Rockmart Hwy like your heading out to Paulding Cnty Airport or Cedartown. Go south on the Villa Rica Hwy. Turn left on Mustang Dr. the park is on your right.
    Thanks, Dave.

  10. #10
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Hey Kyle it’s White Oak Park.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

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