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FAA to Impose 400' Max for Rec Flyers NO EXCEPTIONS

JAW

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FAA to Impose Restrictions on the Hobby
AMA needs your assistance in an urgent matter. The FAA unexpectedly informed us that, contrary to earlier commitments to AMA, the agency plans to limit all recreational model aircraft operations to 400 feet in controlled airspace and there will be no exceptions. We urge you to send a letter to your elected representatives in Congress and ask them to contact the FAA concerning this critical issue. Please visit www.modelaircraft.org/higher-flight to contact your representative. You can learn more in this video and check out our podcast for more informatio
 
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Bill combs

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FAA to Impose Restrictions on the Hobby
AMA needs your assistance in an urgent matter. The FAA unexpectedly informed us that, contrary to earlier commitments to AMA, the agency plans to limit all recreational model aircraft operations to 400 feet in controlled airspace and there will be no exceptions. We urge you to send a letter to your elected representatives in Congress and ask them to contact the FAA concerning this critical issue. Please visit www.modelaircraft.org/higher-flight to contact your representative. You can learn more in this video and check out our podcast for more informatio
unfortunately the drone industry has been under represented and this is the result full on government intrusion,from the beginning lobbyists should have been hired to purchase politicians and bribe them into keeping the faa in check and now its to late,the government never releases its power it only grows and will continue until everyone must pay homage in the form of buying a licens.we have giving up our rights for safety and now we have to purchase them back.
 

sar104

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unfortunately the drone industry has been under represented and this is the result full on government intrusion,from the beginning lobbyists should have been hired to purchase politicians and bribe them into keeping the faa in check and now its to late,the government never releases its power it only grows and will continue until everyone must pay homage in the form of buying a licens.we have giving up our rights for safety and now we have to purchase them back.
Some model aircraft flying at AMA fields have long been argued to require more than 400 ft AGL for performance reasons, but I cannot think of a single legitimate reason to allow recreational drones to exceed 400 ft AGL in any situation, let alone in controlled airspace. These forums have long seen repeated (incorrect) arguments that since manned aircraft are not allowed below 500 ft AGL, except for takeoff and landing, drones should have the run of the lower 400 ft. Part 101 was previously prevented from formally restricting drones to 400 ft, but now you want recreational drones explicitly allowed above 400 ft?
 

Bill combs

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Some model aircraft flying at AMA fields have long been argued to require more than 400 ft AGL for performance reasons, but I cannot think of a single legitimate reason to allow recreational drones to exceed 400 ft AGL in any situation, let alone in controlled airspace. These forums have long seen repeated (incorrect) arguments that since manned aircraft are not allowed below 500 ft AGL, except for takeoff and landing, drones should have the run of the lower 400 ft. Part 101 was previously prevented from formally restricting drones to 400 ft, but now you want recreational drones explicitly allowed above 400 ft?
it's not so much an argument about 400' is it is about intrusion,most people will never fly a drone in restricted airspace without permission however some will and those people will never do the right thing ever,unfortunately people who play my the rules will always pay the freight for someone who doesn't,I fly for the photography and if I need a shot of something next to a mountain "where aircraft are not permitted I will do what I need to do to get that shot.
 
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sar104

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it's not so much an argument about 400' is it is about intrusion,most people will never fly a drone in restricted airspace without permission however some will and those people will never do the right thing ever,unfortunately people who play my the rules will always pay the freight for someone who doesn't,I fly for the photography and if I need a shot of something next to a mountain "where aircraft are not permitted I will do what I need to do to get that shot.
If you "need" a particular shot then presumably you are flying under Part 107. You are also restricted to 400 ft AGL under Part 107, in any kind of airspace. So what's the deal here - you just don't want to follow any of the laws, recreational or non-recreational?
 

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If someone can give me a compiling reason why a hobbyist for pleasure would want to fly above 400' in controlled airspace I'd like to hear it. The higher you go in controlled airspace the more likely you're going to interfere with manned aircraft.

I'm one that argues for keeping manned aircraft above 400' outside of controlled airspace accept in emergencies. The airspace above 400' in controlled airspace should be exclusive to manned aircraft.
 

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Sorry, I’m confused. I thought rec flyers were NEVER allowed to go over 400’AGL...? I know that 107 can go within 400’ of a structure. So currently, when can hobbyist fly over 400 feet?
 
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sar104

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Sorry, I’m confused. I thought rec flyers were NEVER allowed to go over 400’AGL...? I know that 107 can go within 400’ of a structure. So currently, when can hobbyist fly over 400 feet?
Under Part 101 there was no law regulating height AGL for hobbyists - Congress prohibited the FAA from imposing any such rules. Under the new law hobbyists are now limited to 400 ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace, and require LAANC authorization for any altitude in controlled airspace, and that will not exceed 400 ft.
 

JAW

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According to the AMA video, flights in uncontrolled airspace are limited to either 700' or 1200'. Those limitations, again according to the video, would include thermal soaring. Not good news for those guys.
 

sar104

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According to the AMA video, flights in uncontrolled airspace are limited to either 700' or 1200'. Those limitations, again according to the video, would include thermal soaring. Not good news for those guys.
That's because, for some reason, they are obviously assuming that they can fly as high as the floor of the Class E airspace. That might be defensible at designated, fixed sites known to other air traffic, but certainly not otherwise.
 
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For sUAS operations the 400’ AGL limit is acceptable...if you need higher, like operations in Class E overlying airspace that starts at 1200’ AGL or lower (as indicated on a sectional chart) that’s when you file for a waiver under Part 107. Same with other classes of airspace.

Part 107 ops can already fly higher within 400’ of an obstruction, but must be no more than 400’ above the obstruction.

For recreational sUAS flyers this makes it simple - 400’ max in Class G. LAANC for everything else.

I’m fine with that.

The rub with the AMA is that certain flying disciplines like thermal soaring is pretty much wiped out with this event, and it is understandable that they are upset that an activity allowed for decades would be prohibited.

There has to be some middle ground here...if you watch the podcast they place the blame on one office within the FAA...not the entire organization. The speakers make a reasonable argument for appealing to Congress for relief from these restrictions.

The balance may be allowing specific disciplines to operate at over 400’ in Class G and overlying Class E airspace at defined locations. Then there has to be a mechanism to enable this authorization.

The big rub is when Class D, C or B airspace is involved.

Another aspect is the volume of model aircraft involved (apart from drones); how many thermal soaring (or fixed-wing jet models) actually fly? Very few compared to the millions of drones.

The emphasis in the new rules was primarily centered around drones...not the other disciplines. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

I hope some accommodation can be made and the AMA appears to be doing what it should - acting as an advocate for their members and being a ‘community-based organization’.

The next hue and cry on the horizon is the upcoming aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone pilots...I have my popcorn ready for that one.
 

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The mere mindset that Hobby/Recreational "need" to fly over 400' in Controlled Airspace baffles me.

Even Part 107 operations have to adhere to 400' or the LAANC height in Controlled airspace (there are some grey areas but that's not relevant to this conversation). Why does a hobbyist "NEED" to fly any higher in CONTROLLED airspace? It was just a few weeks ago NO hobby flights in controlled airspace at all....

I think the FAA and Congress need to break R/C planes and Helo out into a separate category from MultiRotors but that would REALLY muddy the waters ...
 

JAW

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In the video at 4:08 Tyer Dobbs, Director of AMA Government Affairs, states:

".......in controlled airspace, they will not allow operations to go above above 400' and in uncontrolled airspace they will only allow flights up to 700' or 1200' and there's no exemption process for that and no waiver process for that."

Doesn't seem so bad for recreational pilots.
 
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sar104

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In the video at 4:08 Tyer Dobbs, Director of AMA Government Affairs, states:

".......in controlled airspace, they will not allow operations to go above above 400' and in uncontrolled airspace they will only allow flights up to 700' or 1200' and there's no exemption process for that and no waiver process for that."

Doesn't seem so bad for recreational pilots.
That's not consistent with 44809 (a) (6):

In Class G airspace, the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet above ground level and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.
 

rangemaster728

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The mere mindset that Hobby/Recreational "need" to fly over 400' in Controlled Airspace baffles me.

Even Part 107 operations have to adhere to 400' or the LAANC height in Controlled airspace (there are some grey areas but that's not relevant to this conversation). Why does a hobbyist "NEED" to fly any higher in CONTROLLED airspace? It was just a few weeks ago NO hobby flights in controlled airspace at all....

I think the FAA and Congress need to break R/C planes and Helo out into a separate category from MultiRotors but that would REALLY muddy the waters ...
Agreed... and how many of the 195,000 AMA members actually fly in those disciplines? This process could take years to resolve.

Aren’t model rockets are in the same boat? The NAR website maintains they are not affected by this action but has alerted its membership regarding the the AMA efforts.

On the other hand...model rockets don’t really meet the criteria of those regulations (44809) as they are not capable of ‘sustained flight’. Never mind...
 
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JAW

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That's not consistent with 44809 (a) (6):

In Class G airspace, the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet above ground level and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.
Since 44809(a)(6) pertains to recreational flights, could he be referring to Part 107 flights only (though not stating it?)
 

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If someone can give me a compiling reason why a hobbyist for pleasure would want to fly above 400' in controlled airspace I'd like to hear it. The higher you go in controlled airspace the more likely you're going to interfere with manned aircraft.

I'm one that argues for keeping manned aircraft above 400' outside of controlled airspace accept in emergencies. The airspace above 400' in controlled airspace should be exclusive to manned aircraft.
Not difficult. I'm above a canyon at 450 feet and I fly over the edge. I'm now 10 feet away from bit I'm now illegal. Nothing has changed when it comes to manned aircraft. I'm flying next to a canyon ledge and it's 500 feet tall. I'm 20 feet off the wall but at 401 feet I'm illegal. A manned aircraft it going to be flying 10 or 20 feet off a cliff wall? To go a bit further, why have a different altitude limit for hobby vs commercial flight? Is flying for a fee at 410 off a structure any less dangerous then flying in the same place and not charging for a photo? Nope.
 
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The mere mindset that Hobby/Recreational "need" to fly over 400' in Controlled Airspace baffles me.

Even Part 107 operations have to adhere to 400' or the LAANC height in Controlled airspace (there are some grey areas but that's not relevant to this conversation). Why does a hobbyist "NEED" to fly any higher in CONTROLLED airspace? It was just a few weeks ago NO hobby flights in controlled airspace at all....

I think the FAA and Congress need to break R/C planes and Helo out into a separate category from MultiRotors but that would REALLY muddy the waters ...
Why does anyone "need" to fly a drone at all? Were people dying before we had them? Truth is, that is not the question. The question is why do we "need" over baring laws against the enjoyment of life. Sounds dumb but it is what applies here.
 

sar104

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Since 44809(a)(6) pertains to recreational flights, could he be referring to Part 107 flights only (though not stating it?)
Actually his comment makes no sense to me as applied either to recreational or Part 107.
 

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