July-Aug-Sept News

Welcome New Club Members – Rob Russo and Dylan Lundy

We have continued to attract new memberships in 2015.  The latest flyers to join the club are Rob Russo and Dylan Lundy.  Rob is from Lincoln City and has a custom surfboard business. He is an experienced pilot who flies pattern style electric airplanes as well as sophisticated FPV and UAV type multi rotor aircraft. Dylan is one of our younger members as he attends High School,  He is fairly new to the hobby but is catching on quickly as he is building his own RC model from a kit.  He attended our last club meeting and it was nice to see that is getting some assistance from other members such as Gary and Matt.

I do not yet have photos of either of the two new members to post here, but I did  get a photo of Steven Durham, a new member who joined the club a few months ago, with three of his aircraft, which by the way, are very well built and nice performing.

Steven Durham with three of his airplane. All are excellent performers and quality aircraft.
Steven Durham with three of his airplanes. All are quality aircraft and excellent performers .

We had inquiries from a couple of other potential new members during our last fun fly that hopefully will decide to take up the hobby and fly with us as well.

Astoria Club’s Fun Fly

Astoria club held their fun fly event Sept 12.  I went and discovered they have a very nice field.  It took no time at all to get used to flying there.  Their club flies mostly mid-sized nitro engines but the field works equally well for small electric, helicopter or quarter scale gas because of its combination of a moderate sized club dryer felt runway surface surrounded by good grass surface with plenty of unobstructed over-flight area.  The event was similar to ours with some decent flying weather, good food, a great bunch of guys and plenty of opportunity to share info, ogle cool models, and demonstrate flying skills.

IMG_46552015 NCRCM Fun Fly Event – enjoyed by all

More 2015 Fun Fly photos

We did our 2015 NCRCM Fun Fly event on August 8th.  The day started out a little cloudy with only a few minutes of very light drizzle mid-day, but was actually a very pleasant flying day, having perfect temperatures without wind.   Around 40 people attended, about half flyers and half visitors.  The format was like last year’s event with open flights, no entry fees, a free picnic lunch which included grilled burgers, hot dogs, drinks and snacks.  Pete did a good job of managing the event and grilling the meats. Flyers had a great time and we all got an abundance of flights throughout the day.  Spectators enjoyed watching a wide variety of model types and flying styles.  There were no serious crashes, as far as I can remember. We were treated to delicious food dishes and snack items that several people had brought along from home to share with the crowd.  A generous number of cash donations, as well as generous food and item contributions allowed us to completely offset the expenses of the event so there was no net cost to club finances for hosting it.  We might have actually even made a few bucks, depending on the cost of the newspaper ad which is currently unknown.  Also, Larry Oberholtzer donated three boxed kits and a set of air retracts to the club a few days before the event.  We sold one of the boxed kits during the fun fly for an additional $50.  Thank you Larry.   I will bring the remaining kits to the next meeting and we can decide what to do with them then.


April-May-June 2015 News

April 6, May 4, June 1 – Meeting Minutes

The April and May and June meetings were attended by Pete Owston, Gary Cox, Stuart Hoffman, Bill Meador,  Bob Munsell, Dennis Calkins, Matt Bingenheimer and Jack.  In April the room we usually use was already occupied by another group but we were able to “make-due” in a nearby structure.  The McMinnville RC Swap Meet was discussed.  Gary, Matt and Bill shared a table at the swap meet and sold quite a few of their items.  Stuart and Stan also were there. Matt and Stuart both bought models there.  Various RC models, radios and other equipment were discussed during the meeting.   We decided to hold the next (May 4th) meeting at the RC airfield provided that the weather forecast cooperates and predicts a dry evening.  It was noted that moss is getting quite thick on the North half of the runway. The club authorized the purchase of moss control chemicals.  In the May meeting at the airfield was aborted at the last minute and held at the normal location because of some last minute rain. We decided on August 8th for our NCRCM fun fly event date.  Pete talked about his experience with customer support at hobby king for replacement of a bait and switched folding prop. Matt showed us his fancy new FRSky R/C car transmitter. Dennis did a demonstration flight of his indoor capable model called the Crack Wing.  It looked very fun to fly  (addictive like crack?) We decided to hold a flying/working type meeting at the airfield on June 1st but that got rained out again so we will just try to do the work some unscheduled weekend when the opportunity arises.  Pete discussed the TBCC RC class and may follow up with more info and discussion in the future.

TBCC Course in RC flight a Possibility

Pete was contacted by Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) about the possibility of our club participating in a course on RC flight at the college. We will discuss this topic at the June meeting.  Contact Pete if this topic is something you want to get involved in (as instructor or as student).

Airfield Fertilized

I spread moss control chemicals on the runway in early April, nothing dangerous, just some soil nutrients.   It seems to be working, the moss and weeds are fading out and the grass looks better.

NCRCM.com Web Site Layout Changes

The style of the this web site was recently changed to larger fonts and a simple layout in order to make it easier to use with a mobile phone. Google recently began down-ranking search results of web sites that are not easy to view on small mobile phone screens.  This told me that the trend toward using mobile smart phones for web surfing has probably reached some critical tipping point and it was time to bite the bullet and make this change.

Welcome New Club Members

We have three new club members from the Lincoln City area; Steve Durham, Gary Stevens, and Wesley Brown.  Gary and Wesley are relatively new to RC. Both are very accomplished and have made a lot of progress with their equipment and with their flying skills in a short amount of time. They have a variety of multi-rotors and elevon / wing type planes.  Gary has sophisticated UAV, FPV and stabilization setups.  Steve Durham is a formerly RC flyer who just recently got back into the hobby again after not flying for quite a few years.  He has a variety of  nice planes and is a good flyer. He has been coming to the field quite often, mostly mid-week when the weather is nice.  I posted photos of Wesley and Gary below but haven’t taken one of Steve yet.  I also posted a photo of Walter Swanson.  He one of the new members that I introduced in the previous March Postbut didn’t have a photo at the time.

Welcome new members Gary Stevens (left) and Wesley Brown (right) from the Lincoln City area.
Welcome new members Gary Stevens (left) and Wesley Brown (right) from the Lincoln City area.


Welcome Walter Swanson, new member.
Welcome Walter Swanson, new member.Air


Video of guy saving his quad-rotor from drowning in the ocean.

Compilation video of quad-rotor crashes – First Person View

Jan-Feb-March 2015 News

Renew 2015
Join us for another fun year of RC flying in 2015











 February 2nd and March 2nd meeting minutes, plus other news

Congratulations to Robert Andrews, our club president, for obtained a new dream job working for Insitu Inc. making parts for their new UAV which is called the Flexrotor. Robert is doing composite work in carbon fiber for that UAV.  It has a very unique and interesting design which gives it the major advantage of having both a long range plus a vertical takeoff and landing without the need for any cumbersome launch or recovery equipment.  The company is based in White Salmon Washington so unfortunately Robert will be moving there soon and we won’t get to see him all that often anymore.  Robert said he is willing to continue serving as President for our club and the club decided that it’s OK and wants to keep him as our president so continue consulting him about club matters via phone or email.  He said a local club in the area has a very nice RC airfield very close to where he will be moving.

Dennis Wright is a new club member who joined our club in February.  Dennis is from the Portland area and is also a member and officer in the OMAS club in Banks, Oregon.  He came to fly with us and discovered that our field is a good place to fly his quarter scale planes. We had a good time flying with him and look forward to seeing him again.  Walter Swanson is another new club member who is in the process of joining.  Walter is a retired Navy veteran and is a long time RC flyer.  He offered to help us with some of the chores at the airfield which is very much appreciated. Steven Durham is our newest club member.  He joined in mid-March. Pete has met Steven but I have not talked with him yet so I can’t say much about him other than he lives in Lincoln City. Welcome to the club Dennis, Walter and Steven.

Matt Bingenheimer said he reserved a table at the McMinnville RC Swap Meet on March 14th and offered to let NCRCM club members sell their stuff at his table with him.   Matt say’s he still has room in his Excursion if anyone wants a ride. his number is  503-812-6238.

Several people renewed memberships in February so the club’s financial situation is starting to look fine again.  Wow, this spring has been yielding nice sunny flying days, one right after another, I hope it keeps up.

 January 5th meeting minutes

Click image for event poster and details.

The meeting started at 7:00 pm and was attended by seven members.  Several of us renewed our memberships for 2015 and paid dues at the start of the meeting.  Pete donated some money toward the cost of Christmas gifts.  Pete is sort of like our Santa, he bought some nice gifts and delivered them to the field owner and farm resident who graciously allow us to fly on their property.  Robert Munsell Sr. resigned his club presidency. He did a good job as President.  Hopefully he will continue doing a great job as our chief maintenance engineer keeping the mowers and everything in working order.  The club voted Rob Andrews to be our newest club president.  Welcome and thanks for taking on that role Rob.  If you want to talk to Rob about RC issues or about the club his phone number is 503-965-2233 . I described the new runway surface area (see details in previous post).  A financial report was given which revealed that (including recent 2015 dues) we will start out the new year with somewhat less money than we started last year, but we still should be able to cover our normal expenses in 2015 because expenses should be significantly lower in the coming year as well.  Members can view the details of the club’s finances by clicking on the CLUB DOCS icon at the top of this page. Your password is in the lower left corner of your membership card.  Rob brought in his new JR 450 3D helicopter for show-and-tell.  It was quite a well built machine. Rob said the model was a good price and it floats effortlessly with less cells that the Align version that he previously owned.   Rob talked about his amazing adventure while piloting an aerial camera platform over the Snake River in Eastern Oregon for the filming of a documentary being produced by a major film company. The scenes are focused on the bridge which stands high over the river. Steep canyon walls covered in snow and ice made access to the river difficult so they had to canoe up the river to get in position under the bridge. They also had to wait for just the right snow cover and sky conditions so that the scenes would match previously filmed scenes.  Hopefully Rob will play some of his footage for us at an upcoming club meeting.  Bill brought his new Cub for show-and-tell.  It was the one reviewed in an AMA article a couple months back and it has the electronic flight stabilization feature.  It looked very nice.  I don’t think he had flow it yet. Members shared stories of recent flying misfortunes, things we that we have all experienced that we could laugh over. The meeting was adjourned about 8:30 pm.


 Insitu Flexrotor test flight.

Best crash video ever.

British RC’ers don’t mess around, they go big

Oregonian news article about a few local drone businesses

Nov and Dec 2014 News

Robert's 35% Yak
Robert’s 35% gas powered Pilot-brand Yak _________________________ Click to expand photo

Nov 3rd Meeting Minutes

About seven members were present. Bill’s wife sent tasty donuts to the meeting.  We discussed plywood delamination on the two new table tops. It was noted that we no longer have a convenient place for dumping the toilet and the tail lights on the toilet trailer no longer work.  Matt contacted Eric who said he can arrange for dumping it at the city facility.  Gary offered to get a portable tail light kit for the trailer.  Bob talked about mower repairs and brought up that we need to check oil correctly on the mowers so we don’t overfill them. He was reimbursed $31 for mower parts.  We decided to discontinue holding the annual drawing for free dues because the drawing was not really bringing more members in to the meetings and the club’s revenues have declined somewhat over the last few years. We talked some more about making a runway surface for the smaller planes.  We did not yet have much info on costs, feasibility, materials, availability, installation methods, etc. so could not pursue that topic in much depth.  Pete said he would contact Ron and work with him on getting more project details. Ron had previously mentioned that he thought he might be able to get a leftover roll of dryer felt from the Astoria club.  Rob brought in his new scratch built flying wing for show and tell and it looked like a well thought-out design.

Dec 1st Meeting Minutes

Gary Cox RC planes
Gary has two new planes.

About 5 members were present. Bob said he and Rob have replaced the tension cables on the shed door. Bob brought his glider in for some help with arming the ESC.  We OK’d expenditures for Christmas gifts for Norm (site owner)and Greg ( farm resident).  Pete had offered to purchase the gifts and present them again this year.   Bob said he will resign the Presidency in January.  Side note:We should try to vote the new President into office prior to the renewal of the club’s charter with the AMA because they will ask for the names of club members and officers.  The AMA charter renewal form will arrive soon and is due by early March I believe.  Bill received a new miniature quad-copter from Gary at the meeting and it was flow about the room.  It was surprisingly fast, agile and stable for something that is only a couple inches wide. Matt brought in a giant servo motor to show us. It’s for his new milling machine. The felt like it weighed 15 lbs. and has something like 1100 inch lbs. of torque, definitely too much for a park flyer, maybe a 747.

New Planes

Eric's pattern RC plane
This is Eric’s new electric pattern plane. _________________________ click to expand photo

Rain and high priority chores tried to keep me at home over the last couple of months but I was able to go to the airfield a couple times and I saw several new planes that people brought out.   Rob now has Steve’s 35% Pilot-brand Yak which was originally Eric’s plane. He can fly it to its full potential.  Eric put together a high-end electric pattern plane. It flies very precise and contains nothing but top-shelf components of course. Gary brought out a couple new electrics that looked very fun to fly. The blue one is a small, fast, agile, and stabilized 3-D acrobat.  It flies like a larger plane.  His yellow plane is super light weight so it  flips, rolls, and spins while it is gently floating along a few feet off the ground.  Bob finished his Spirit 100 sailplane.  He has not flow it as of yet but it is a very nice looking build. You can click on the thumbnails of the photos in this post to expand the pictures to a larger size.


New Runway Surface

A small runway surface was added December 2014 for the takeoff of planes that can't roll easily on grass without nosing over.  It is 32 feet long by 6 feet wide.
New runway surface for small-wheel takeoffs

We installed a small takeoff runway with a smooth surface so that planes having small wheels can get moving without tipping forward onto the prop. The new runway surfacing is 6 feet wide by 32 feet long and is made out of 3/4 inch thick rubber mats.  The mats are identical to the one that we use for a helicopter pad.  Other than cost, the matting seems to make a perfect runway surface .  Normally 6’x4′ matts are $35 each but all seven of these only cost us $100, or about $14 each. I got them from a Craigslist ad.  I was afraid that this offer would no longer be available if I waited to discuss it at the next meeting, so I checked with Pete who was coordinating the runway surfacing project and learned that the plan for getting dryer felt from the Astoria club had fallen through and it was not available.  Pete said he thought the mats were a good buy, so I got them. Bob and I installed them the next day. The mats were simple to put down and will be easy to move or dispose if the need ever arises. I think this new runway is going to be good because the mat that we had used as a helicopter pad over the last few years has proven to be indestructible, could not blow away, didn’t rot from the sun or the moisture and retained its asphalt-like appearance.  It could be mowed over, elk stomped, driven over, rolled over.  It could handle violent prop strikes and maybe even a straight-in-smoking-hole plane crash. Most importantly, it did not cause any extra maintenance work or inconvenience mowing. The new runway surface shouldn’t interfere with grass landing of larger planes given its current location close to the pilot station.  The biggest drawback is it’s small length and width. Completing a full landing on it may not be in the cards all that often, but I did land on it on my very first attempt with my slow park flyer model, and I had a lot of fun doing multiple touch-N-goes on it. We should probably keep an eye out for more mats at bargain prices to make the area larger, or we could also continue to investigate the practicality of other runway options as well.

Upcoming vote for president.

We will be voting for a new club president during one of the next few meetings because Bob said he will resign in January. The vote is likely to be held on Jan 5th.  If you want to nominate yourself or someone else let us know.

Renew your 2015 club memberships starting in January, due by April

Don’t forget to renew your membership. Renewal starts January 1st.   We have had a slight drop in revenue over the last couple of years so the club really needs your dues payment to keep us going.  Please help us by mailing in your renewal or bringing it to a meeting.

Christmas lightshow – covering an entire neighborhood – filmed from an RC quad-copter.

Spacecraft launched by local villagers – I’m impressed.

Oct 2014 News

Stan and Pete ( left to right) showing their newest models. Oct. 4, 2014 (click photo to enlarge)

October 6th Meeting Minutes

Four members attended the meeting: Bob, Stuart, Matt, Bill and Pete as well as two new guests, Huston and Michael.

The minutes were read and the financial report was given. We expended funds in Sept for 5 gallons of mower gas and four gallons of RV toilet antifreeze. A bill for some mower parts was presented at the meeting.  No income was received last month.

New business topics included repair of a rip in the canopy and renewal of our web hosting service.   Matt said he can get patching material for the canopy.  Someone will need to sew the patch on prior to erection of the canopy next summer.  Members approved expending funds for three more years of web hosting fees.  We no longer get bonus signup rates so the fee is now the regular rate of $72 per year.

Two guests attended the meeting.  Huston and Michael, father and son, want to become members and fly with us.  Huston flew RC planes several years ago and might be a little rusty.  He still has an RC model.  Michael has a “drone” model that he currently flies.  Welcome to the club guys.

New planes

Gary’s grandson, Bailey, retrieves his slow stick while Rob assists with a tiger moth.

Robert, Stan, Pete and Gary all brought out new models last month.  Gary’s is a small stabilized 3D acrobatic flyer only about 10″ wingspan but it performs like a big one.  Pete’s is a stabilized mid-size Sukhoi that had an issue with the elevator so couldn’t be flown.  It looks like it will be a good performer.  Stan’s is a high performance biplane that he flew very well. Robert’s model is a custom scratch build flying wing built for stable user friendly flights, crashworthiness, and landing in adverse locations.

Winter is coming

Fall weather has arrived.  The grass greened up almost overnight after the fall rains arrived. It looks nice however it will  grow fast until the weather gets cold and it might occasionally get a little tall due to the limited number of days dry enough for mowing and the completion from other chores and activities demanding attention this time of year.   The toilet was winterized.  We will maintain only a couple gallons of the antifreeze solution in the water reservoir over winter so try to conserve antifreeze when flushing.

Sept News


Sept 7 meeting minutes

Bob, Matt, Bill, Gary, Rob, and Stuart attended.  No old business carried over.

Stuart gave the financial report which shows that we are holding steady with plenty of savings to cover operating expenses for the next season, assuming we don’t have some surprise abnormal expense.

Matt gave a safety report and mentioned that hot dry weather dry has created extreme wildfire danger conditions.  He said that a recent RC related fire in the valley burned a utility pole which was extinguished by their fire department.  Gary and Rob described how a helicopter they were working on started up unexpectedly at full speed due to accidentally reversing the wrong radio channel. Fortunately the model was running with negative pitch so it stayed pinned to the ground long enough for Rob to correct that channel so the motor could be stopped.

Matt talked about a pen plotter that he recently acquired and said he can print off vector file versions of downloaded airplane designs for us. He may mount a laser cutter or vinyl cutter to it someday as well.

Stuart brought up field maintenance issues.  There is a pack rat making a mess in the storage shed (update: He waged a tough and valiant battle but has finally been evicted).  The trailer lights on the portable outhouse stopped working, we talked about getting a set of detachable trailer lights for it.  One of the overhead door cables broke and will need to be repaired soon before the other one gives out.  Ron suggested (outside of the meeting) that we look into putting down some geotec fabric. He said he will gather some info on it and forward the details to me so we can discuss it at the upcoming Oct 6 club meeting.

Quadcopters are actors in a live performance.

August 2014 news

2014 Fun Fly Event


This year’s fun fly event was well attended by over thirty five people.  We were very lucky to get Brian and Patrick of Roswell Flight Test Crew to participate at this years event. They are busy with events all around the country this time of year and somehow we caught them with the single date that they had open on their calendar. If you look on page 97 of the most recent (Sept.) issue of AMA’s magazine, Model Aviation, you will see an article about the Roswell Flight Test Crew.  They gave us demonstrations of the capabilities of their drone equipment, answered lots of questions and gave assistance and advice about drone setup to the event’s drone enthusiast attendees.  We really appreciate their help making this an enjoyable event.

Civil Air Patrol Cadets from all over Western Oregon were in Tillamook on that weekend and they also came to the event.  They got a special presentation from Brian and Patrick.  We wanted to give the Cadets hands-on trainer flights with their own RC model that they brought to the event.  Unfortunately, a radio transmitter problem could not be ironed out in time to make that happen.

The weather was sunny and warm with calm wind and a perfect day for flying. Matt and Gary cooked up a bunch of bratwursts, hot dogs and hamburgers.  Everyone got an excellent lunch without it costing much thanks to people bringing potluck dishes, donating food items, and donating money.  Also, thanks to those who donated canopies, grills, and helped set things up.

We enjoyed lots of flights of a variety of aircraft, with no crashes this year, just a couple of “awkward” landings.

More event photos are in the photo gallery (here)

NCRCM Meeting Minutes August 4, 2014

The meeting was held at the airfield at 6:00 pm.   Pete, Stuart, Gary, Rob, Matt  and Bill were there.  We spent a couple hours repairing things and sprucing things up.  Gary replaced the door on our portable toilet.  The old chip-board door was barely hanging by a thread. The new door is very nice. It’s like a Cadillac of toilet doors.  We set up the shade canopy next to the storage shed with a couple tables under it.  A setup table was painted. We divvied up remaining tasks for the fun fly.  A couple people got in an evening flight after the meeting was adjourned.

Speculation on the FAA’s progress towards becoming RC overlord

The FAA has just granted the AMA a 60 day extension of time so we can do more writhing, gnashing of teeth, and waving of pitchforks.  We now have until Sept 23, 2014 before the comment period will close and the final rule is published. Don’t just wait to welcome them to the throne. Send them a thoughtful comment now while there is still time.

Most Federal rules are published with just minor changes resulting from the public comments. Hopefully that is not the case here. Federal rules generally won’t go into effect for at least 30 days following the closure of the comment period and the publishing. Most often the agency gives everyone plenty of additional time to come into compliance, however the FAA has already been accused of foot dragging on the integration of commercial UAV’s into the national airspace, so they may be under pressure to take the RC reigns fairly soon.  It is most likely too late for the AMA to ask Congress to rewrite the underlying law that this agency is clearly misinterpreting.  Congress could threaten the FAA’s budget to get it to stop over-reaching, provided lawmakers are sympathetic to the RC hobby. A more likely option is for the courts to over-rule the FAA’s erroneous interpretation of the law, and indeed the AMA filed for courts intervention at the end of August.  Hopefully judges will side with the AMA.

It’s hard to say if the FAA’s new RC rules would be strictly enforced. It seems to me that the FAA wants all RC activity to be potentially illegal by subjecting it to a catch-22 of general aviation rules, but then would only occasionally prosecute on a case-by-case basis after someone becomes alarmed or annoyed and complains or brings it to the attention of the FAA.  It’s an uncomfortable position for us to be in, but it is not an unusual way to regulate.  Almost everyone goes around inadvertently violating plenty of poorly-defined, vague, obscure, obsolete, or ignored rules that are still on the books, all the time, even though they may have never-ever dared to intentionally remove the warning tag off of a pillow or mattress.

Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program

Flight related videos

Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program (text and video)

Commercial manned hover bike –  Similar to a giant RC quad-copter that you will be able to ride like a motorcycle.

250 mph RC pulse jets – Fast

440 mph RC turbine jet  – Faster

468 mph RC slope soaring  –  Fastest

2014 Tillamook Fun Fly



Come to North Coast RC Modelers’ 2014 Tillamook Fun Fly event on Saturday August 16th.  Radio control flyers and spectators will get together for a full day of flying fun. All types of RC aircraft will be on-hand and everyone is invited, pilots, spouses, visitors and friends.   We have a special treat this year, the Roswell Flight Test Crew guys are coming.  They experiment with practical applications for small UAV drones.  They share their experiences online and have quite a large following on YouTube. This event is going to be similar to last year’s event with all day open-flight.  We expect lots of sport electric planes to be there, as well as multi-rotor, gas, nitro, aerobatic, scale, helicopter, FPV, and glider models.

There are no fees, the event is free. We will grill burgers and hotdogs for lunch.  People are welcome to bring a potluck to share, or make a donation for food and beverage if they wish.  The location is 7 miles south of Tillamook along Highway 101, street address 13990 Highway 101.  (map)

We hope you come.  It starts at 8:30 am but will likely be most active from about 9:30 am until about 2:30 pm.

Full size image PDF file

Full size image JPG file

July News

Minutes of the July club meeting

We reviewed plans for the August fun fly, discussed the FAA regulation controversy, talked about peoples progress and successes with new models, crashes and failures with old models.  We decided to hold the next August 4th meeting at the airfield at 6:00PM so that members can help prepare the airfield for the fun fly following the meeting.  Pete will email a reminder notice to everyone about the changed meeting location and time.


Some aviation related videos

Blue angels,,, wait for it ,,,,

An F16 gives haircuts 

A harrier lands on a stool

Firework fly-through (HD version downgraded  with crummy public domain music)

RC helicopters with serious power

Lady Gaga’s flying dress, do you suppose the FAA will exempt ladies dresses?

Shark bites RC airplane in mid-air



FAA decides to regulate RC models as real airplanes

[important]New FAA interpretation released – The AMA requests your help[/important]

The AMA is asking modelers to submit a comment protesting the FAA’s new interpretation of the laws regarding RC models.  Here is why: The FAA is authorized by old law to regulate all “flying contrivances used for navigating or flying”.  They are now claiming that includes model aircraft, even though model aircraft were not something congress would have considered at the time.  The FAA historically has not interpreted model aircraft to be the same thing as an actual aircraft until now, this month.  The agency also says a provision in the newest law which specifically prohibits them from regulating model aircraft does not prevent them from applying general aircraft rules to model aircraft, it only prevents them from creating new rules which solely and specifically address “Model Aircraft”. The FAA also seems to be interpreting a catch-all safety provision in the newest law as allowing them to enforce whatever safety rules on model aircraft they deem are necessary, despite a provision in the same law excluding model aircraft. The agency also said that a “flying contrivance” will not qualify as an exempted “model aircraft’ if its pilot is not personally looking directly at it, line of sight, with or without a spotter in an attempt to preclude FPV from “model aircraft”. Using such logic they could easily require everyone  to hold a pilot’s license before flying a kite or a paper airplane.

We have all heard of the atrocities that the TSA imposes on airline passengers.  Just imagine what crazy and goofy tortures they are thinking up for RC flyers. Do your part to help preserve the RC hobby. Use this link to submit a comment.  Most agencies probably don’t read or pay attention to such comments however if they see a large number of protest comments on a subject the agency might hold back out of fear that public backlash will stimulate Congress to side with voters.

Email message from AMA

Here is the first comment that I submitted:

“I want to protest FAA’s recent reinterpretation of the language of law regarding the meaning of the words “flying contrivance for navigating or flying” to include recreational model aircraft.  Congress clearly never intended the FAA to regulate model aircraft under the original FAA legal authority because at that time “navigating and flying” was understood as performed with manned aircraft, so Congress could not have considered that it had given the FAA authority to regulate model aircraft at that time.  Congress only considered the regulation of model aircraft in its most recent law, which is clearly worded to exclude the FAA from applying any new rules to model aircraft, including any rules formed by new interpretations.”

Please know that I support all of the comments and positions of the Academy of Model Aerodynamics (AMA) on this matter and I request the FAA change its interpretation to conform to all of the AMA’s positions.

Here is the second comment that I submitted:

“The FAA should not interpret the legal meaning of the words “contrivance used for flying or navigating” as having authorized the FAA to regulate RC models because those words are referring to flying in the sense of human guided transportation.  Indeed the word “transportation” is a common theme throughout the original law which adds context to the intended meaning of “contrivance used for flying”.  There was no pilotless flying at that time and there was no intent to regulate all man-made objects that might exist above ground level such as kites, golf balls, fireworks, towers or wires.  A toy aircraft model was considered to be just the same type of thing, a small object that happens to be suspended above ground for a few brief minutes. Toy model aircraft were not considered to be “flying” or “navigating”, they were just another object suspended above ground.

The subject of regulating a pilotless aircraft is entirely a modern concept.  It is the purpose of the newest law. The very fact that congress wrote the new law is evidence that the old law inadequately addressed the role of the old law in guiding FAA’s  regulation of pilotless aircraft such as RC models.”