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cyber-flyer

Possible changes at AMA with respect to UAV

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I've heard couple of stories that AMA's attitude with respect to UAV/RPV models is changing for the better. It's more on a rumor level, so I can't say anything officialy has changed. Also it's possible to be my wishfull interpretation of the rumors. But I feel that it will be a good time for anybody interested in making this branch of hobby legal to express your desire/concerns to your local AMA reps.

For those who don't know AMA modified their safety code (namely paragraph #9) two years ago to exclude/forbid UAV/FPV/RPV models from AMA coverage. This effectively made it illegal to fly FPV or UAV at AMA fields/events. Last year modification of par. 9 was particularly bad wether it was intentional or not. From my own experience this modification created tensions at my field and at other fields and AMA was very stabborn/insensitive trying to enforce it. Now it seems that things are changing but I am sure it will help if people collectively will show AMA their support for this hobby.

Edited by cyber-flyer

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cyber-flyer

The following is paragraph #9 of the new 2005 Radio Control safety code.

9. The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot. No model aircraft shall be equipped with devices which allow it to be flown to a selected location which is beyond the visual range of the pilot.

The way I read it, now that the word autonomous has been removed we can fly aircraft that are equipped with devices that will allow for autonomous flight, we just can't allow the aircraft to fly beyond the visual range of the pilot.

We can however follow it in a car as long as it stays within the visual range of the pilot.

However this part of paragraph #9 is not good for you FPV flyers

( The operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft shall control it during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses that are prescribed for the pilot.)

I would like to see that changed and allow it to be done as long as you have a safety spotter / pilot on a buddy box where the safety spotter/ pilot could take over in the event that the FPV pilot became disoriented.

Dave Jones

AUAV.net

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Dave,

I remember the history behind par.9 and I believe you've made significant effort to make it friendly for us. Unfortunately my club interpretation is that PDC10 (or alike) + GPS combination is a violation of rule 9 because it can be reprogrammed to fly out of sight even though I only use it as a back up device to bring the aircraft home. AMA was a little too vague by putting this rule in.

Other group of people flying autonomous heli ran into a confrontation with the club that hosts a field where they fly. AMA categorically denied any GPS carrying model at the field when the club officers tried to contact AMA to qualify rule #9.

I believe, that this confrontation (and possibly others) put wheels in motion that changed the atittude towards UAV within upper echelons of AMA. In fact you can smell the change in recent Dave Browns editorials in AMA magazine.

I can be completely off but I'd like to get FPV acitivity legalized within AMA and I will be writing a proposal to AMA about possible way of doing it. The way I see it can be be adopted by AMA is by using group waver ( turbine like), pilot/equipment cerification and buddy box/buddy pilot requirement.

Edited by cyber-flyer

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Cyber-Flyer

I agree with you that there are some that will interpret the new rule #9 claming that the PDC10 or my Ezi-Nav system is a violation of rule 9 because it can be reprogrammed to fly out of sight even though it may only have one way point that is well within the visual range of the pilot.

Again Rule #9 states that No model aircraft shall be equipped with devices which allow it to be flown to a selected location which is beyond the visual range of the pilot.

The way that I and ALL (well most) of my fellow club members see it, is like this.

If I only have way points that are well within the visual range of the pilot then the aircraft is not equipped with a device that would allow it to fly to way points that is out of the visual range of the pilot.

If I was to input way points that are out of the visual range of the pilot I would then be in violation of rule # 9.

This would be the same as having a computer with DOS on it as the operating system and then trying to run a application written for Windows with out having windows installed on the computer it will not do it.

I would be happy to help you in any way that I can to get FPV activity legalized within AMA I would be happy to help you with the writing of the proposal to the AMA. I spoke with Dave Brown a few years back and he indicated to me that if we could get enough of us together to create a SIG under that AMA that would have to let us have one.

BTW you are welcome to come down here and fly at our field.

Dave.

AUAV.net

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