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AMA rules when do they HAVE to be obeyed?

New England Droning

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Ok, I don't pay much attention to CBO's and the AMA. but I've been talking to a local town official and he (and the town) were going off about drones during the 4th of July. I talked to him and he decided to take the Pilot institute course and get his part 107. now he feels well-armed to keep drones out of their area on the 4th of July.
Now I tend to agree with several of his concerns such as flying over crowds of people and such but he quoted the AMA on their home page:

"I will avoid flying directly over unprotected people, moving vehicles, and occupied structures."

Now, this threw me off as I'm not a card-carrying AMA member. But in reading over their charter, the AMA rules (I think) apply only to AMA events where fixed-wing & quads get together and do an airshow or a set-aside field where there is a letter of agreement (LOA) (would that be the same as an FRIA?) with any local airports and the FAA.

Anyway, he feels the AMA rules apply to everyone or at least recreational flyers. He wants to apply ALL 3 rules to his town (No flying over homes if you could be perceived as a nuisance).

Can anyone tell me what the limits of CBOs are and to whom do they apply? Do the AMA rules apply to all Rec flyers or ONLY when flying during an AMA event in a specified location?

Thanks
 
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In a nutshell, the AMA is NOT a government entity and has zero authority on non-members. Part of the Recreational requirement is to follow a CBO set of rules. There are several that are more clear than the AMA and less controlling.
 
I am an AMA Member BUT their rules only apply to me when flying at their Airfields- However- I will say that the AMA is the Civilian Body that the FAA has entrusted Model Aircraft Safety to --And the FAA listens to them!
It is my belief that if we ever see a FRIA in the U.S. It will involve the AMA and those using the FRIA will most likely have to be card carrying members. Back in the Free days of RC We all thought there would be NO WAY the government would limit our hobby to little AMA approved flying parks BUT Here we are-- and I fear the prediction will once again come true for the drone side of our hobby. Sooner than later unless you are a Part 107 pilot with some sort of paperwork, Your choices of flying areas are going to start shrinking smaller and smaller until we all meet at the Fria or AMA airfield for our weekly flying.
As for occupied structures This rule has always been in place mostly to keep your "gassers" from burning down some poor guys house you are doing stunts over or "buzzing" the safety guys tent on the other side of the flight line and I'm sure that rule will stand at least with a few changes.
I wouldn't worry about the flying over unoccupied structures rule -You won't find many at your local AMA Flying field. OOPS I Meant F.R.I.A.!
 
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Unfortunately this is more confusion BS from the FAA where you probably need to comply or risk major violations. I am a recreational flyer and currently I declare the AMA as the CBO that I follow. I never fly at AMA events but I feel I have to follow the AMA guidelines regardless where and when I fly recreationally. The FAA requires you to declare your allegiance to a CBO and follow their rules else the FAA will revoke your recreational exemption which will put you in serious jeopardy since you won't be able to follow part 107. Your friend is mostly right because many of the CBO has similar rules.

So what happens if your CBO says "No flying drones over 200 feet above the take off point" or "The speed limit for drone flight is 20mph maximum" or "No flying FPV without a spotter" or "Maximum distance from controller is limited to 500 feet due to enhanced VLOS rules".....then I believe you are stuck with that. It would not be unreasonable for a government entity to adopt those rules for their ordinances.

When I read this:

"Recreational drone flyers must use FAA-recognized CBO safety guidelines to meet the statutory requirement of Section 44809(a)(2)"

Without getting into the specific on what "use" means, to me this means the recreational flyer (who declares AMA) must follow AMA guidelines (in addition to any other applicable laws) else they cannot claim the recreational exception. If you fly your drone and you don't qualify for the exception, then you are flying under part 107 which could automatically put you into violation if you don't have a part 107 license. I would love to believe the AMA has little to not much to do with the hobby but unfortunately I'm not seeing this for recreational flyers. Not saying any of this is automatic but this is the risk. Clearly your friend and thousands like him believe it certainly applies to recreational drone flyers and clearly not all recreational drone flyers are aware of this so you can see the problem. Just so I am clear, I personally do not consider all AMA rules to be directed only towards their members only flying on AMA airfields or at AMA events (but I hope I am wrong about this).
 
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Unfortunately this is more confusion from the FAA where you probably need to comply or risk major violations.

What confusion? It's very plain and straightforward.

To fly recreationally you must abide by the rules of an approved community based organization. You take your choice from a list on the FAA website.

Where are you seeing confusion?
 
What confusion? It's very plain and straightforward.

To fly recreationally you must abide by the rules of an approved community based organization. You take your choice from a list on the FAA website.

Where are you seeing confusion?
I didn't say I was confused. I said there was confusion from the FAA. However, I will amend my previous post to more accurate represent what I was thinking and hopefully you stop talking about ME and focus on the topic. The way this is presented by the FAA overall is not entirely clear to others hence the various comments and posts and discussion that keep coming up.
 
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I didn't say I was confused. I said there was confusion from the FAA. However, I will amend my previous post to more accurate represent what I was thinking and hopefully you stop talking about ME and focus on the topic.
Not talking about you at all. CBO rules are the topic, not you. I'm disagreeing that the FAA regulation for CBO rule compliance is confusing.
 
The FAA requires you to declare your allegiance to a CBO and follow their rules else the FAA will revoke your recreational exemption which will put you in serious jeopardy since you won't be able to follow part 107.
I must have missed this when I registered my drones with the FAA!
Where, specifically, is the spot where I declare allegiance to a CBO?
Where does it say I am stuck with that CBO for the rest of my life?
How does the the FAA revoke my recreational exemption?
Citation or link to a pilot having his recreational exemption revoked please?
o what happens if your CBO says "No flying drones over 200 feet above the take off point" or "The speed limit for drone flight is 20mph maximum" or "No flying FPV without a spotter" or "Maximum distance from controller is limited to 500 feet due to enhanced VLOS rules".....then I believe you are stuck with that. It would not be unreasonable for a government entity to adopt those rules for their ordinances.
Hasn't happened has it? It does make for some worrisome fear-mongering as do most "what if-isms and whataboutisms."
In my decades of being an AMA member the most restrictive rules I've seen are along the lines of "No gas powered flights before 10 AM or after 5 PM".
Have you experienced any actual restrictions? Or is it just a fear of restrictions based on confusion of FAA rules?
 
I must have missed this when I registered my drones with the FAA!
Where, specifically, is the spot where I declare allegiance to a CBO?
Where does it say I am stuck with that CBO for the rest of my life?
How does the the FAA revoke my recreational exemption?
Citation or link to a pilot having his recreational exemption revoked please?
The FAA does not need to "revoke" a recreational exception. For any given flight, if you operate in a way that does not meet the terms of the recreational exception then you are subject to the full terms of part 107. I suppose they could revoke someone's trust certificate in the same way they can revoke any the authorization granted to any individual, but that isn't what we are talking about here.

From the FAA website:
The Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft (USC 44809) is the law that describes how, when, and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes.
 
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The FAA does not need to "revoke" a recreational exception. For any given flight, if you operate in a way that does not meet the terms of the recreational exception then you are subject to the full terms of part 107. I suppose they could revoke someone's trust certificate in the same way they can revoke any the authorization granted to any individual, but that isn't what we are talking about here.

From the FAA website:
The Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft (USC 44809) is the law that describes how, when, and where you can fly drones for recreational purposes.
When I registered my drones, both under 107 and a few under 44809, I was not requried to "declare allegiance" to any CBO for USC 44809. Did I miss something?


And I have never heard of anyone having their recreational exemption "revoked" - have you?
Fined yes, revoked, no...
 
Unfortunately this is more confusion BS from the FAA where you probably need to comply or risk major violations. I am a recreational flyer and currently I declare the AMA as the CBO that I follow. I never fly at AMA events but I feel I have to follow the AMA guidelines regardless where and when I fly recreationally. The FAA requires you to declare your allegiance to a CBO and follow their rules else the FAA will revoke your recreational exemption which will put you in serious jeopardy since you won't be able to follow part 107. Your friend is mostly right because many of the CBO has similar rules.

So what happens if your CBO says "No flying drones over 200 feet above the take off point" or "The speed limit for drone flight is 20mph maximum" or "No flying FPV without a spotter" or "Maximum distance from controller is limited to 500 feet due to enhanced VLOS rules".....then I believe you are stuck with that. It would not be unreasonable for a government entity to adopt those rules for their ordinances.

When I read this:

"Recreational drone flyers must use FAA-recognized CBO safety guidelines to meet the statutory requirement of Section 44809(a)(2)"

Without getting into the specific on what "use" means, to me this means the recreational flyer (who declares AMA) must follow AMA guidelines (in addition to any other applicable laws) else they cannot claim the recreational exception. If you fly your drone and you don't qualify for the exception, then you are flying under part 107 which could automatically put you into violation if you don't have a part 107 license. I would love to believe the AMA has little to not much to do with the hobby but unfortunately I'm not seeing this for recreational flyers. Not saying any of this is automatic but this is the risk. Clearly your friend and thousands like him believe it certainly applies to recreational drone flyers and clearly not all recreational drone flyers are aware of this so you can see the problem. Just so I am clear, I personally do not consider all AMA rules to be directed only towards their members only flying on AMA airfields or at AMA events (but I hope I am wrong about this).
You need to research other CBOs. The AMA is RIDICULOUS!!! Plus, you don't have to "declare" anything.
No, the AMA is a private association and has ZERO authority over non-members or anything not at one of their fields. They have ZERO authority even if you are following their guidelines!!
 
When I registered my drones, both under 107 and a few under 44809, I was not requried to "declare allegiance" to any CBO for USC 44809. Did I miss something?


And I have never heard of anyone having their recreational exemption "revoked" - have you?
Fined yes, revoked, no...
Like I said, the recreational exemption is not something that can be "revoked" for an individual any more than any law can be "revoked" for an individual. The question is whether the exemption applies to a particular flight. And if the FAA is investigating an issue and determines that a flight did not qualify for the recreational exemption then they look to see whether the pilot and the flight qualified under part 107. That's where the fines or other penalties potentially come in, if for example the pilot does not have a proper certificate for the flight.

I don't believe you have to "declare and allegiance" to any CBO. You just need to be able to show which CBO rules you are following if you are flying under 44809 and are challenged.
 
You need to research other CBOs. The AMA is RIDICULOUS!!! Plus, you don't have to "declare" anything.
No, the AMA is a private association and has ZERO authority over non-members or anything not at one of their fields. They have ZERO authority even if you are following their guidelines!!
This is my understanding. The TRUST tells the new recreational pilot the following:

cbo.png


Not only do you follow the guideline but you need to be able to provide details on which CBO you follow, I used the word "declare."

I agree with you, the AMA has no legal powers over the flyer, they have no arrest powers, and they have no authority over you. However, if you don't follow their rules (or the rules from the CBO you decided upon), this is what the TRUST tells you will happen:

rec.png

This is what I remember from the TRUST but it has been a couple of years and while I didn't go back and review the TRUST directly, I captured these screenshots from a tutorial on the TRUST and it pretty much lines up with what I remember. Not saying I agree or disagree with it but it is what I believe are the current rules so for now, it's what I follow when I fly. If I am approached by the FAA or a federal law enforcement officer and asked for my TRUST and which CBO I follow, I will display my TRUST certificate and presently I will tell them I follow the guidelines from the AMA; however, that CBO may be subject to change based on your comments and further research I'll do.

Unfortunately I don't think many recreational pilots know this. For the few that take the TRUST, even fewer recognize they need to immediately find a CBO and then follow those CBO guidelines. The CBO thing is pretty recent although it has been talked about for years. When taking your TRUST, it may not be apparent to most recreational-only flyers (who don't have a part 107) which I used to think was ok because enforcement was discretionary and administrative....but, apparently this is changing.
 
Sorry for my use of my words, they come from a different experience and likely a different generation than most of the posters here. I believe because I am passionate about the recreational drone community, my words probably come off a bit strong when it comes to the FAA so I apologize for that.

When I say "declare", I simply mean "state." The recreational flyer needs to think about which CBO to follow their guidelines and must choose one before taking off for the first flight. The flyer doesn't have to tell anyone else which one is chosen (not even the FAA in their database) but when asked by the FAA or federal law enforcement, they need to speak it or show it or "state" it or somehow "declare" which one has guidelines they are following. The word "declare" mostly indicates you need to do it at that time, not think about it later. Not saying it makes much of a difference either way or it has some legal implication (i.e. I don't believe there is a failure to declare) but you likely won't be able to get away with "I don't know right, I'll figure it out and let you know later" especially if what you are doing is contrary to one or more of the guidelines. When you pick an organization and follow their guidelines, I call it allegiance but again, that might be harsh. I guess you can change your CBO at will.

When I say "revoke" that is a harsh word too but only because the potential penalties could be harsh. Everyone who flies a drone must comply with part 107 unless you qualify for an exemption and in particular the recreational exception. When you are flying your drone under the exception, if you break any of the rules then you no longer qualify to fly under the exception and you will be held to part 107. Even after you land your drone, if you are found to be breaking the recreational rules, that flight could turn into an illegal recreational flight. For example, FAA law enforcement asks you to land your 249g drone and you tell them you are a recreational flyer just having fun. They ask for a TRUST certificate. If you cannot produce one (because you didn't take the TRUST or you don't have proof with you), you are potentially in violation and your ability to fly under the recreational exception could be "revoked." Which means you are now flying under part 107 and here are your immediate likely violations (and there could be more): Flying an unregistered drone (regardless of weight), fly a drone without the proper registration markings (regardless of weight), piloting a drone without a part 107 license. Does it happen this way, probably not often. It's educational, go get your TRUST, carry you cert, have a nice day. If you are asked and you say "What's a CBO" then you don't get to fly under the recreational exception. If it were me, I would hand you the AMA book, the CBO book, and ask you to come back tomorrow to fly after you've read these document.

If you purchase your drone at Best Buy and you go into the parking lot and fire up the props and go for a quick flight, you could be in serious trouble if you are not prepared. If you buy a drone on CL and you meet the seller and you want to fly it first before you part ways, be careful and be ready. These are outliers and probably not a big deal....today. Where this comes into play is when a recreational pilot is flying without LAANC. If you don't get a LAANC authorization in restricted airspace and you are caught, you could lose your ability to fly under the Recreational Exception and be held to all the part 107 rules. Same goes with "not following the guidelines from your chosen CBO." Think about that.

Botton line as a recreational flyer, trying to enjoy your hobby, know all the drone laws, understand the drone laws, obey all the drone laws the best you can. And then partner with people like me who advocate change.
 
You need to research other CBOs. The AMA is RIDICULOUS!!! Plus, you don't have to "declare" anything.
No, the AMA is a private association and has ZERO authority over non-members or anything not at one of their fields. They have ZERO authority even if you are following their guidelines!!
Whether you like it or not In the near future if you want to legally fly your over 250g Drone, YOU TOO will be an AMA Member.
They can't do that you say -I will just fly on my private property, they can't tell me what to do on my own property.- You are right BUT- Your homeowners insurance company sure can tell you what you can and can't do on your property, and your insurance company already has rules against your RC activities.
I myself never thought my RC airplane hobby would cost me hundreds of dollars a year in AMA Fees, plus the monthly field fee, plus the occasional care and cleaning days etc, but its what I have to do to fly my planes and soon My over 250g drones. CBO is just a substitute initial for AMA - They just haven't broken the news to you yet.
 
Whether you like it or not In the near future if you want to legally fly your over 250g Drone, YOU TOO will be an AMA Member.
They can't do that you say -I will just fly on my private property, they can't tell me what to do on my own property.- You are right BUT- Your homeowners insurance company sure can tell you what you can and can't do on your property, and your insurance company already has rules against your RC activities.
I myself never thought my RC airplane hobby would cost me hundreds of dollars a year in AMA Fees, plus the monthly field fee, plus the occasional care and cleaning days etc, but its what I have to do to fly my planes and soon My over 250g drones. CBO is just a substitute initial for AMA - They just haven't broken the news to you yet.
WRONGO!!! There are several CBOs to choose from.You stick with the AMA, I chose one of the others! AND you need not belong to the AMA to follow their guidelines!
 
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Citation for this, or are you simply sharing your opinion?
My opinion and I do not choose the AMA the Choice is Made for me. If you have a non AMA RC Flying field in your area The RC world would love to know how it was accomplished.
 
My opinion and I do not choose the AMA the Choice is Made for me. If you have a non AMA RC Flying field in your area The RC world would love to know how it was accomplished.
Sorry, we are talking drones here, not RC fixed wings. I used to be able to fly my RC fixed wings where ever I wanted, drone pilots ruined that for me...but I digress.

You said that in the near future we would all have to be AMA members to fly drones over 250 mg.
You have now stated that is simply your opinion and it is not based in fact. That is all the clarification I needed.
 

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