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Thread: OFFICIAL FAA/AMA DOCUMENTS - sUAV/RPV

  1. #11
    Bazinga! Maximus's Avatar
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    I'm guessing Traderdmb and CaliDave. And the Roswell guys.

  2. #12
    Instructor Pilot CaliDave's Avatar
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    I didn't see that article before it was published and agree some of it is a bit negatively toned, and a bit heavy on how the AMA is leading the way with FPV. I believe we're (FPVers who are involved in their discussions) actually helping them to better understand how to incorporate FPV working together to benefit each other (them with membership and maintaining a progressive stance on the technology, and us to have an organized membership and recognized historically positioned organization behind us). As we all know the FPV community started on it's own and quite able to stand on it's own feet for flying and building.

    On the other side I believe that's standing on it's own two feet doing just FPV and there is no organization from our community to actively move to help us avoid bigger legislation to come and my goal is to advocate for FPV with them as I know they will be the FAA's jump off model for "community based organization" when regulations come down. When that happens having a strong group of us able to help push for what we know is safe as members of the AMA will be very important to us maintaining freedoms we've enjoyed for a long time now. Same for lobbying against unreasonable legislation like we saw explode in 2013.

    How folks are defined as "recognized leaders in FPV" is up for debate I'm sure, but yes, I have been a part of the "working group" to help the AMA better understand what we do and advocate for what we can do safely and within reason.

    Recently for instance Vitamin C and I had our yearly heated discussion on the AMA and "guidelines" and all that fun stuff and the idea was proposed by VC that there could be some instances when an FPV craft was blocked out of sight on say a given course and it got me thinking that it was quite reasonable to suggest that there were some instances when it's totally reasonable for there to not have the need for complete line of sight within a given area like a specific course designed for an FPV event, or indoors for instance with little to no safety concerns. I brought up that at the recent meeting and the AMA folks who designed the FPV guidelines agreed that there was a reasonable argument for such easing of restrictions and that the comments were noted for a list of items to be considered for revision on their FPV guidelines.

    This type of discussion with VC brought up something totally reasonable and having those discussions is something our community benefits from when there is action taken on the matter, not just circulated amongst ourselves. I appreciate he brought it up with me even though we weren't having the friendliest discussion on the matter... the fact is it got to the right people and action is being taken on the matter to set more reasonable guidelines.

    If I had my way there would be little to no BVLOS restrictions. (period) I believe there are very safe methods and places to fly BVLOS... BUT, this isn't up to me or the AMA, it's up to the FAA from a technical standpoint.

    I'm not trying to be a fanbox of the AMA, I just believe in putting my money where my mouth is and after feeling we need some support to advocate for FPV I should step up to give feedback on the matter and help to inform them.

    As many of you know, I'm an FPVer, I've been hardcore FPV for years now and done almost everything I can think of in FPV short of watercraft (on the list). My love is for FPV and the freedoms we enjoy. My goals are to be strategic and take wins when we can get them and keep chipping away at the blocks in the system that are unreasonable and unhelpful to our community.

    In the time I've been in FPV the AMA had strict FPV rules like using a buddy box the whole time, I wrote them letters after seeing less than positive reports in the AMA magazine back in March and June of 2012 finally after feeling they weren't being just in their coverage of our facet of RC, I began to have critical dialog with their executive staff calling them out and getting direct contact with each I felt was off base, and each replied and listened to our side of things. I've attended the FAA meeting down in Ontario CA earlier in the year, and then saw the AMA folks again out in Toledo in the spring, as time has gone they've begun to open up and accept they haven't had a great track record with our community but those I've worked with are constantly looking to be open and hear reasonable dialogs on what we're doing, what our community wants and trying to find ways to bridge the gap. They are flying FPV too now, and of course they are liking it, and seeing it's safe and not the threat they might have thought it was when not doing it. The list goes on with things the AMA has modified and accepted up to today in our favor.

    What I hope to see is something from our side of the table in community support to rally together and see their comments aren't "bull shit" at this point. They are seeing the light and when we rally together our goals can be better streamlined and work to help us.

    We've tried to make our own FPV organization... no traction

    We've tried to lobby individually to the many legislators who were determined to pass countless massive restrictions across the 50 states... with little to no effect

    We've sat around bitching about this and that amongst ourselves on who's making rules and when those will come down... no ones listening but us... for years now

    The FAA is moving to make calls on this and if we don't get together then we are serving as the ostrich with its head in the sand.

    We are approaching the legislation season again for the new year and will go through more drama as state legislators push crap to scare average citizens that we're "spying" and "invading privacy" and anything scary you want to insert there


    As many know already, I feel we can band together to help our cause using the AMA as a conduit. Hence my role to give my input and time for our community.

    Here's a new one on the matter where the FAA is bending what's commercial (to me if they say farmers can use it for "personal use" obviously to benefit their farms which are likely engaged in some commercial aspect):
    http://www.news9.com/story/24067669/...r-crops-cattle

    Obviously the FAA knows who the AMA is.

    Stepping down off soapbox.
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  3. #13
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    sUAS News has posted the just-signed Memorandum of Understanding between the FAA and AMA.

    http://www.suasnews.com/2014/01/2691...e-faa-and-ama/

  4. #14
    Instructor Pilot CaliDave's Avatar
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    They had another meeting with the FAA at the Expo just before signing that linked by bmschulman. More focus on sUAS based stuff from all types, more people from the various sUAS communities (more commercial UAS folks). They'll post a video on it. Not sure if there was much gained from the meeting in my view. I asked again about BVLOS... they didn't seem very focused on entertaining options past that initially, but seemed to have the stance if they could have sense and avoid systems that could work. Those however don't exist and won't for a long time. The FAA definitely pulls the "safety" card as the end all be all and even though we've proven for years now we can govern ourselves, that will change. They seem to feel helicopters and crop dusters are the concern as well as people below... if you're in an area where those don't exist... well, they wrapped the meeting before I could get more out of them on that. :-/

    Anyway, as I've said before, the AMA will in the end be a mouthpiece of the rc/hobby side and I think it benefits us to be united to keep pushing the AMA to understand what we can do safely and start showing how that can be done before changes make it illegal to even try to show those examples. Being members will give us a direct route. I'm working with them to have an FPV based advisory board where we can work together from our community to address concerns and see if those can be addressed with them and pushed with the FAA.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliDave View Post
    I'm working with them to have an FPV based advisory board where we can work together from our community to address concerns and see if those can be addressed with them and pushed with the FAA.
    Actually, a couple months ago, Trappy and I had a telephone discussion with the top AMA guys about FPV safety. (Yes, you read that right.) We discussed a provision in the current AMA guidelines that we felt poses a threat to safe operations, and wrote up a suggested alternative for them. They were quite receptive to the feedback. Given all the history and drama, I'm sure no one on the forums would expect these people to be able to talk to each other, but on the contrary it was a very good, respectful discussion and likely not the last one we'll have. Those with expertise should step up and be heard. The advisory board is an excellent idea.

  6. #16
    Reckless Video Operator squishy's Avatar
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    I may be willing if they 1st recognize the need for and the presents of non-LOS flight, until then they can count me out...and I don't even fly beyond LOS...so smoke that one up hommie...but I do see a need for regulation due to the influx of noobs and ready to fly multis...it's obvious...
    Flight Club - "In thrust we trust"

  7. #17
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    FAA essentially just acknowledged AMA as a CBO. No surprise, but one thought they might announce the criteria first as suggested in the Roadmap.

    http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=75599
    The FAA-AMA pact is important because the 2012 FAA Reauthorization contained language specific to model aircraft. Congress mandated that the FAA cannot regulate model aircraft operated according to community-based standards developed by a national organization a designation that AMA satisfies.

  8. #18
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    I just wanted to ask.... I was told by some angry people on RC Groups that sUAS is NOW UASs, Is this correct or not?? The reason I ask is because of the thread title......

  9. #19
    No place like cloud base UAVT's Avatar
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    sUAS is small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAS is Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
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  10. #20
    No place like cloud base UAVT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derrick View Post
    The problem that I see with item (2)... The only one in the US is the AMA.

    There really needs to be a community/nationwide-based FPV specific organization. This will ensure that rules/guidelines are specific to the hobby that we all enjoy.
    I wonder if the Video Pilot's Association of America would count?
    Flying is the second greatest thrill to man. Flying inverted under a tree is the first.
    NEFPV^

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