FAA plans to regulate home built model aircraft out of existence – you need to file comments now

The FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Remote ID goes well beyond just remote ID. I have not had time – yet – to read the entire proposal, but it does include a requirement that most all model aircraft be tracked in real time, once per second. Where “Internet is available” (which they mean 3G to 5G cell service), the position information must be relayed through a phone app to an Internet cloud database for real time tracking. They propose that third parties will run this air traffic management system and everyone will be charged an annual subscription fee. They’ve pulled a number out of a hat and say this might cost $30 per year (presumably PER aircraft); if this estimate is as accurate as the Affordable Care Act estimates were, then it will probably cost more like $100 per year. They will also change pilot registration to per aircraft registration, charging $5 per aircraft to be registered.

This is contrary to the recommendation of their own consensus of stakeholders advisory committee which recommend EITHER Internet tracking OR broadcast remote ID depending on the use and application. The FAA instead said it wants BOTH to be mandated. It is not entirely clear what happens when Internet is not available, and how they define that. If you have TMobile and no service, but Verizon has coverage are you required to also have Verizon service? While you can fly without Internet service such as in remote lands, there may be enforced restrictions such as a 400 foot horizontal limit (enforced by the certified quadcopter controller).

When the rule takes effect, they say all existing drones will be prohibited from flight after a grace period. Only new drones with certified real time tracking will be permitted. Only certain manufactured drones that can be updated by the manufacturer could be updated with transponder remote ID support. All others must be trashed.

The proposal would limited home built model aircraft to selected FAA approved sites only. This part of the rule is written in away that it gradually eliminates the sites over time and eventually, it will be illegal to fly any home built model aircraft. Only manufactured aircraft with certified remote IDs would be permitted.

Start here https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsid=89404

We have 60 days to file public comments. Do that here


While it is easy to post a rant comment, it will be more effective to write logical, fact and evidence based comments. It is likely that in the next days to weeks that we will see recommended talking points from the AMA, and FPV organizations. If you are not following discussions on social media, you may wish to look for FPV groups, drone groups and model aircraft groups on such places as Facebook. Several of them are or soon will be posting guides to help with comments.

It will be helpful for the sheer number of comments to be large, even if you only say little. With the FAA saying there are low millions of quadcopters, there needs to be more than 100,000 comments filed in opposition.

It is clear that the FAA’s intent is to raise very high hurdles for recreational use of the low altitude airspace – effectively, the FAA is attempting to privatize and sanitize the low level airspace for the de facto exclusive use of corporations such as Amazon and UPS. They are not even hiding that this is the goal.

Reminder: Quadcopters have killed zero people.

In the 4 days after the FAA released their preliminary proposal, there were 3 light plane crashes in Hawaii, Louisiana and Maryland, taking 13 lives. In late 2018 and early 2019, 346 people lost their lives in the crash of the FAA certified 737 MAX. In that case, the FAA had sold itself to Boeing, and the FAA has now sold itself to Amazon and UPS.

There were 14,400 aircraft collisions with birds at just 700 of the 15,000 airports in the U.S. in 2017. 285 people have died since 1988 due to bird strikes. From 1990 to 2017, there were 311 human injuries attributed to wildlife strikes with US civil aircraft.

0 people died due to drones.

Source: https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_safety/wildlife/faq/

Adds perspective to the hysterical mania regarding the public use of model aircraft and their alleged danger to aircraft.

Again, there have been zero deaths due to model aircraft. The FAA is intent on regulating them out of existence while the FAA’s own malfeasance on the 737 MAX contributed to the death of 346 people in the past 16 months.

One thought on “FAA plans to regulate home built model aircraft out of existence – you need to file comments now”

  1. Fixed wing aircraft have been flying since the mid 1930’s and as far as I know there has never been an accident with an aircraft. Quad-copters, on the other hand have had numerous close calls, and I thank a few collisions with full size aircraft, thankfully with no deaths. For this reason I understand why the multi-rotor aircraft, those beyond line of sight need to be controlled in some way. But to lump in fixed wing aircraft that has to be flown within line of sight, with multi-rotors that can be programmed to fly wherever the operator wants it to go, makes no sense at all. If there is a reason that the FAA wants to kill all model aviation including even in door flying, I would love to here the rational for that. There have been so many people that have made aviation their life, including many airline pilots, and even the first man to step on the moon,that have been influenced early in their career by model aviation. To destroy this segment of model aviation will limit the number of potential pilots of the future, and we all know there is starting to be a shortage of pilots now. I know what I am talking about, because I was a flight instructor for 11 years, and still a pilot 40 years later, and I fell in love with aviation at model airplane contest that many years ago where held at local airports and airbases. While I did not go into the airlines or military, I had students that did. That only happened because I was exposed to model airplanes at an early age. Not everyone that is exposed to models gets the bug to fly, but around the country many do. Why kill this avenue into aviation? Is there some other motivation for these unreasonable regulations? Please explain to all of us who fly fixed wing aircraft, and helicopters, that also, can only be flown line of sight. I know I have not made any friends in the quad-copter segment, but my point is to seprate the fixed wing and helicopter from the multi-rotor, they are not the same. One size does not fit all.

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