Legislation Averted in Albany County NY

Proposed legislation making it illegal to fly model aircraft in Albany County, New York, is averted! The law would have banned all model aircraft from flying in Albany County including remote controlled airplanes and helicopters. Only government officials would be permitted use model aircraft if used to fulfill official duties. If a recreational hobbyist were to fly a model aircraft, he or she would be guilty of criminal violation. Depending on the violation, the pilot could be fined up to five thousand dollar ($5000) and/or up to one year in prison.

During the hearing on Tuesday, December 8, the AMA and AMA District II Vice President Eric Williams filled the courthouse with members who voiced their opposition to the proposed legislation. The courthouse room was standing room only and some modelers had to be redirected to a side room to watch the hearing on a closed circuit TV. Modelers traveled as far as 200 miles away.

Our voices were heard, thanks to all the modelers who helped! We really appreciate our members and clubs who participated in this legislative process.

We will continue to monitor legislation for Albany County and elsewhere. If there are pending regulations in your area, contact us at 1-800-435-9262 or comment below.

Read the Proposed Legislation


  1. Time for me to quit this hobby. I have 3 helicopters and 1 DJI phantom 3 pro that have to go.
    I refuse to participate with this nonsense. I can buy guns without registration here in Texass.
    But I hate guns since they kill people unlike any of my toys.

    1. Actually a drone striking a full sized Helicopter is one of the events that has spurred this outrage towards model aircraft.

      If you have been following this as long as I have then you would know there have been hundreds of near misses with full sized commercial aircraft. According to a story in the NY Times the FAA and law enforcement over just the last few years have received over 5 million complaints against drones from parents, Homeowners, commercial pilots as well business owners.

      What did you think was going to happen in a post 911 America when these idiot drone pilots started buzzing landmarks such as the statue of liberty or sky rises and bridges. How about the complaints from parents who’ve had drones hover over the backyards recording their young children swimming in their pool and then to their horror learned that those videos were uploaded to youtube or even kidi p@rn sites. Or how about all the complaints from homeowners about drones flying up to their widows and recording them in their own homes and then learning that those videos had been uploaded to youtube and p@rn sites as well.

      The writing was on the walls years ago. Us old timers knew better, For decades we did everything we could not to draw unnecessary negative attention to our hobby. We did this because we knew the FCC could regulate us if we gave them an excuse to so. As such we diligently remain self policing to prevent this.

      Unfortunately the dumbing down of the hobby with these RTF drones has resulted in a new generation of “dumbed down Consumer” who are neither hobbyists nor modelers in the traditional sense. They have proven themselves to be selfish, self centered, inconsiderate and have demonstrated a complete lack of concern for the safety of others. They are only interested in their rights no one else’s. The writing was on the wall and us old timers who have been flying for decades had warned them.

      The end result is people such as you and I who spent decaded doing our best to fly under the radar are paying the price for the actions of a group or dumbed down consumers who thought their rights to fly their toy drones was more important than someone’s right to privacy in their own home or the safety of millions of commercial airline passengers. As I said the writing was on the wall and people such as I had predicted this outcome over a decade ago.

      1. Dan, some of your comments are way over the top and totally misinformed. Also, your comments about drone video being uploaded to p0rn sites are reckless conjecture and are unfounded. According to you (and your mentioned NYT article) there has been over 5 million complaints about drones to the FAA and other law enforcement agencies. 5 million complaints over 5 years would mean that well over 2,700 complaints a day are received every single day of the year for 5 years. This statement of fact from you, again, is unfounded and is sensationalistic drivel. It sounds like you fell for some of the sensationalism yourself.

        In all fairness, the rest of your comments were a reasonable assessment of RC modelers behavior and thinking over the past decades. I am not making a personal attack on you or your character in my response. But I wanted to point out making up or qouting nonsensical unfounded statements like you have done above does no one any good, modeler or non-modeler.

        1. Wow, thanks Jerry for such a level headed replay to Dan Nelson and his words of nonsense.

      2. A drone hit a full sized Helicopter? Is there any proof of this? Was the full sized Helicopter in the air? Could you please supply this info to us?
        Then your comments “…drones hover over the backyards recording their young children swimming in their pool and then to their horror learned that those videos were uploaded to youtube or even kidi p@rn sites…”
        Any proof of this? Was it directly over the kids property? Or was it at an angle where anyone with a camera in his hands could take pictures, say a neighbor from his second floor window?
        Do you realize people with a camera on a broomstick over a fence can get a better picture of anyone than they can with the fish eye of a moving drone camera that loses any facial fidelity at 50 feet? Can you predict that there will be legislation against broomsticks like you did about drones? No time like the present to get out your crystal ball.
        Complaints… 5,000,000 really? Let’s just do the math on this one…
        5,000,000 divided by, let’s say 5 years = 1,000,000 per year divided by the number of FAA office working days (200) per year = 5,000 calls per day divided by an 8 hr shift = 625 toy drone calls per hour, While the White House for the whole United States, only gets 438 per 8 hour shift. does that sound right to anyone (other than Dan)?
        Statements like yours invite the modeler community’s skepticism, and fan the embers while adding fuel to the fire that blazes into a roaring inferno for the “Scare Media” to pick up on, thus making the problem much worse.


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