Update – UAS Registration Frequently Asked Questions

Please note this is changing daily. Last updated: February 4, 2016.

Download a PDF of the FAQs here. Please note, the PDF may not reflect all the changes and updates on this webpage.

Q: How do I register?

A: You can register at https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/.

Q: Do I have to register every aircraft?

A:  No, you only need to register your name, physical address, and email address.

Q: Do I need to list both my AMA number and my federal registration number on my aircraft?

A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft. We are advocating to allow members to use their AMA numbers. We believe an AMA membership already meets the intent of registration, but at this time place both numbers on your aircraft.

Q: How does UAS registration affect my membership?  

A: AMA club or member benefits are not contingent on UAS registration.  We encourage all members to follow Federal regulations, but we are not policing UAS registration.

Q: Is my club expected to police UAS registration?

A: We do not expect clubs to police UAS registration, that decision is left to each individual club and the clubs leadership.

Q: Am I required by law to comply with the guidelines listed on the UAS Registration site?

A:   The FAA acknowledged that AMA members should continue to follow AMA’s community-based safety code.  We also discussed and the FAA confirmed that the language on the FAA registration site is a guideline, not regulation.  This guideline is not directed at the AMA community but rather, it is a simplified set of safety guidelines geared to the general public.

Q: Why did AMA change its position on registration? Why are they telling members to register now?

A: AMA has not changed its position. We continue to be disappointed with the registration rule and believe it is contrary to Congress’s intent within the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. We have been working with our legal counsel and the FAA to find a solution for our members on the registration rule. To date, the FAA has agreed in principle to several items that will help ease this process for our members.

However, we want to emphasize that this is not the end of our efforts to protect AMA members from this overreaching regulation. We are continuing to explore all legal and political options available, but these conversations may take time and a definitive solution is unlikely before the February 19 registration deadline. For this reason, we are suggesting that AMA members may wish to take advantage of free registration period, which is available until January 21.

Q: Is the AMA giving up? Why doesn’t the AMA take this matter to court?

A: AMA is by no means giving up. We are resolute in our commitment and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members.. We are continuing to fight for the aeromodelling community and working to protect modelers from unnecessary and burdensome regulation. AMA is exploring several legal options that would address the registration rule as well. These legal strategies will take time to develop and pursue. We ask for your continued loyalty and patience as we work closely with our legal counsel to find the best path forward.

Q: I am already registered through the AMA, why do I have to register twice?

A: We understand the concern of our members and, while the FAA is open to streamlining the registration for our members, unfortunately the technical issues involved will not be resolved before February 19. Therefore, it will be necessary for current AMA members to register separately with the FAA. For future AMA members, we are working on an agreement with the FAA where for new members federal registration will automatically be fulfilled when they join the AMA, thereby creating one simple registration.

Q: Am I permitted to fly above 400 feet? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?

A: Yes. AMA members who abide by the AMA Safety Code, which permits flights above 400 feet under appropriate circumstances, and are protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft under the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Checking the box on the federal registration webpage signifies an understanding of the 400 foot guideline. This is an important safety principle that all UAS operators need to be aware of, and is the same guideline established in AC 91-57 published in 1981. However, the placement of this guideline on the FAA website is intended as an educational piece and more specifically intended for those operating outside of AMA’s safey program.  We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.


Q: Do only drones and multirotor operators need to register?

A: No. Everything that uses a ground-control system with a communications link, such as an RC transmitter that is over 0.55 lbs (or 250 grams) and under 55 lbs. is required to register. This includes operators who fly fixed-wing RC aircraft and helicopters, not just multirotors or drones.

Q: I am an Affiliate Member, do not live in the US, or I am not a US Citizen.  How do I register?

A:Everyone, including foreign nationals and tourists, who operate a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes outdoors in the U.S. must use the FAA’s online registration system. These non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents will receive the same registration certificate as U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. However, this certificate will function as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US.

In the near future, the https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/ website will begin allowing non-citizens and non-residents to register.  For now you can only use a computer with a United States IP address.

Q: I only fly CL or FF, do I need to register?

A: No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.

Q: Can I fly my large model aircraft? Turbine jets?

A: Yes. The Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allows AMA members to operate model aircraft over 55 lbs as long as they are operating in accordance with AMA’s Large Model Aircraft safety program. AMA members can also fly turbine jets provided the operator holds a current AMA Turbine Waiver.

Q: Does my large model aircraft require an N number?

A: AMA representatives, including AMA’s legal counsel, met with the FAA on January 15, 2016, and this was one of the many questions that were raised. The FAA representatives verbally indicated to our representatives that AMA member, operating models under the Large Model Airplane Program, should not have to apply for an N number, and that they would address/change their information accordingly.

At the end of the January meeting there was an understanding that FAA would provide written acknowledgement of the items discussed for AMA to share with its members. Although we have not yet received the document(s) from the FAA, we were told to advise AMA members in good faith that an N number registration is not required for their LMA models.

Q: Am I permitted to fly first person view (FPV)? Can I fly at night?

A: Yes. AMA members are still protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. As long as AMA members continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines for these activities, they can continue to fly. The guidelines listed on the FAA UAS website do not negate the modeling activities and related safety procedures established in AMA’s community-based safety program.

Q: Should clubs require all members to be registered?

A:  No, we are not asking our clubs to police UAS Registration.  That decision is up to each individual club and club leaders.

Q: What happens if I don’t register by February 19?

A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions.

Q: Can I register by paper?

A:  We understand there are AMA members who do not have a computer.  The FAA offers a paper application, which currently is only available at local FAA Flight Standards Ditrict Offices (FSDO).  Unlike the online application, the paper application requires pilots to register every single aircraft separately.  If a member does not have a computer, we encourage them to have a club member help create and email and register or visit a local library.

Q: I do not want to give my credit card information over the internet or have a computer?  What should I do?

A: As for members who cannot or do not want to submit credit card information online, the FAA has agreed to accept gift credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard.   You can purchase these gift cards, which closely resemble a credit card, through many retailers.


  1. I think the person who wrote this blog for the AMA must not have been in attendance today at the AMA Expo. Mr Gibson did not confirm many of these statements. When asked about 400ft limits he said he hoped we might see adjustments in the future. I heard nothing of concession from him on Free Flight. Mr Gibson was a brave man to stand before that crowd and I applauded him for what he did. I also believe in time under his leadership position with the FAA he may become a true friend of the model aircraft community. But at this time from him I did not hear these changes.

    1. We understand your concerns, but it is worth noting that Marke “Hoot” Gibson has only been in his position for a few months. He did not sit on the UAS Task Force and has not been in all of the conversations between the AMA and FAA. As he admitted on stage, he only registered for the first time the evening before on 1/09/2016.

      We are grateful that Gibson flew to the Expo to speak and answer questions. We allocated time for Q&A, but he was not expecting to answer detailed or specific questions on UAS Registration. His purpose in coming to the Expo to demonstrate that the FAA has an interest in the AMA and to hear our concerns.

      1. Where do we go to register? I haven’t found a link that takes me to the site.

        1. I wont register no matter what. Now the AMA in small print has backed down on saying Don’t Do It. Gotta love the no guts attitude. When you believe in something you take a stand not follow a squiggly line which the AMA has been doing for a long time. The Government is not going to over see my hobby. Good Luck to the rest of you who wimped out and registered. I will take my chances.

          1. Ive been an AMA member since I was 16,im with Joe!!! Im not going to renew if this crap from the government doesnt stop.Drones should be put in a class their own along with people who use onboard cameras to fly!!! AMA should be required for all Modelers for insurance reasons,anyone caught flying without should be fined,these models can cause damage of all sorts!!!I will be in Monroe to talk with AMA people to get another update.Government has been over stepping their boundries way TOO MUCH!!! This is a Hobby and if it doesnt stop soon people wont do it anymore then it will kill off Hobby shops,many companies and there will be no more anything!!!

      1. I have a question about your statement here:

        “We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.”

        Does this mean the FAA will reword the “Acknowledgement of Safety Guidance” during the registration process? If so is there a timeline for this to occur?


    2. Please provide a source for you statements:
      “You can also use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number”

      “No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.”

      Your FAQs are DIRECTLY counter to the guidance provided by the FAA to this point. (see questions 20 and 47)


    3. The AMA website says FREE REGISTRATION is until February 19th – but the FAA says January 21 ????

      1. I have noticed this also, Pete.I have also noticed, “only the pilot has to register and in another post from AMA ,” you must register Your Plane.”
        We modelers are really getting confused AMA. Get your act together and communicate to us with Accurate facts. PLEASE.

    4. As of 01-25-2016, the FAA UAS Registration site HAS NOT been updated to show an exception to the 400′ altitude limit for AMA members! The FAQ’s on the AMA web site specifically states that the FAA site WILL be updated to show the exception. The FAQ states, “We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.” I have no idea when this piece of information was placed on the AMA web site but clearly the FAA doesn’t show any exception! It appears that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing! Please get this matter straightened out and let us know what we’re held accountable for.

  2. I have a comment on the above and a question.

    1) “…failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result…”

    I’m not sure that reply is accurate. As far as I could deduce from the FAA Registration site and their FAQ, you only need to register before flying an unmanned aircraft in the US Airspace. If you don’t intend to fly any aircraft (such as if it is for static display only), you don’t need to register, even if it has the capability to fly. Furthermore in that same answer, as per the FAA and your previous answers, you are not registering the aircraft itself but the owner of the aircraft. It might make that answer a little clearer if it is reworded.

    2) “…continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines for these activities…”

    Are the AMA documents referenced only “guidelines,” or are they rules that AMA members must follow? There are some people I fly with in my club who say that everywhere the AMA says Guidelines, they are only suggested operating practices (my words) and not required operating procedures for AMA members.


    1. Hi Jerry,

      Let me address each question.

      #1 – Yes only pilots register not aircraft. The language of “registering aircraft” still sneaks into text from time to time because some of the original proposals required modelers to register each and every aircraft. We spearheaded that change to only allow pilots to register just once.

      #2 – The answer depends on the situation. Generally they are rules members must follow.

      1. I just reluctantly registered. The language on the FAA registration does say you will need to have your FAA Number marked on your aircraft if you fly it in US airspace. The FAA numbers are assigned to the person. But you need to have it affixed to your Model. I plan on just putting it on a small piece of paper and taping it near my AMA Number Name, Phone Number, and Address I already have on my flying models. I am presently building a giant Scale model, I intend to put my AMA Number on, in 2 1/4” numbers on the wings and much smaller on the tail. But I will never put the FAA number in large numbers AND letters – 10 more characters. That is overkill ! And if our AMA representatives can not get the FAA to allow members only to display the AMA number, then that would really be a shame.

        I probably should have waited until Feb 19. I am still hopeful that AMA registration will suffice.

        1. Why on Gods’ green earth did you register for? There is no LAW stating you must register. As a RC modeler who flies for hobby and recreational purposes only, you are EXEMPT from ANY RULES and/or regulations coming from the FAA! Do you earn money by flying your aircraft? If so, then you need to register. If your solely flying for hobby and recreational purposes only and your flying safely, then your EXEMPT from ANY rules and regulations, and yes, that includes not having to register with the FAA, according to Section 336 that is in fact, LAW!

          1. Is this true? I am not an AMA member, but I also do not fly at a club or anything. I have a lot of land in the country where I live and fly alone. Only fly for fun, not for income. I do not plan on registering because of that fact.

          2. Congress exempted this hobby from FAA over reach. Too many alphabet agencies, too many ‘rules and regulations’ made by appointees – and not elected officials. Enough is enough. If someone causes damage or injury, prosecute. Short of that – hands off, Feds!

  3. AMA proved me right in know they are full of bureaucratic bullshit.

    A year ago was the time to uh…. grow a …. uh get to COURT dammit.

    When my membership expires in 2017 I will not renew. Sad because until the last few years I was proud to be a member.

    Now I am glad I did NOT put their decal on my vehicle. Wish I hadn’t but their logo on my aircraft.

    I’ll make RCM decals and some will know what I am saying with that logo.

    I hope I mellow towards AMA but at the moment I feel betrayed.

    I did NOT expect that.


    1. Jim, we are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals. Many members suggest we file an injunction, but we have been advised that would be a poor use of resources, time, and money. This case does not meet the qualifications to be presented to a judge for an immediate injunction.

      We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, know that this is not over.

      We also have spearheaded many changes with registration. Many members have dozens of aircraft and now you only have to register once.

      Without the AMA, others in our hobby like jets and giant scale would be grounded. We spent months on Capital Hill drafting a law to allow members to fly FPV or over 400′. Locally we halted legislation in CA, NY, OH, and other states that would have grounded all aircraft.

      Your membership keeps these efforts going. I hope you continue your support of the AMA and keep flying!

      1. OK…
        Show me,
        I don’t need another helping of buloney that I have pay for.
        I await “further developments”…
        film at 11… right?

        1. I add this is AMA’s last chance to impress me that I haven’t just wasted my money over the years.

          Safety I support by habit. I was a Union Ironworker I know about betrayal/copout by turdbirds. I can keep safe without AMA.

          I hope AMA proves my view wrong, I really do for the sake of the hobby of R/C Aircraft and Sailplanes too.

          I await…..please show me to be wrong.

      2. If you guys at the AMA delete posts like the one I posted in regards to Jim’s comment, are you foolish enough to think a load of federal pencil pushing desk flyers aren’t doing the same thing with any comments they receive? That’s the acme of self delusion.

      3. Chad, can you please cite your source for the comment that “now” you ONLY need to use your AMA number INSTEAD of the Federal number AFTER registering? The only information I received from AMA was that the FAA agreed in principal to do this but nothing has yet been determined or published by the FAA and it would take several months before that happened. Please explain. Thanks for your help, Larry

        1. While the FAA indicated they would to allow AMA members to use their AMA number, we are meeting with the FAA on 1/15 and 1/16 and will seek clarification.

      4. Chad, is it a NEW statement from AMA that once a AMA member “registers” with the FAA that his/her AMA membership NUMBER on a model satisfies the FAA???

        1. We are meeting with the FAA this weekend and the use of your AMA number vs a Federal registration number is on our agenda.

          1. Have I missed it or has the AMA addressed whether clubs will be required to enforce the registration and/or numbering of aircraft regulation. Does the liability end with the modeler with no consequence to the club (charter), AMA or insurance?

          2. I’d like to know if they have clarified whether or not we can use our AMA# on our aircraft instead of the FAA#. It’s also my understanding that if you use your AMA#, you must have either your FAA registration available, either printed or electronic. Please tell the sheep which way to go the slaughter…

          3. Sheldon, the FAA agrees in spirit to this idea, but cannot commit their IT team to this project until the UAS recreational and commercial registration sites are completed.

          4. Currently, you MUST use your AMA number AND your FAA number on all aircraft under 55 pounds. The FAA registration process also states that you WILL not fly above 400 feet. Aircraft over 55 pounds will need an “N” number for each aircraft. This is my understanding of the wording printed on the FAA registration website. It seems to be “very clearly written” despite what AMA representatives are saying.

      5. Chad,

        It seems to me that your 3rd paragraph is inaccurate. It is my belief that planes over 55 lbs must have an individual N number. So in my case with 9 LM-2 aircraft I will need 9 N numbers. Each aircraft will also need form 8050-1 to be submitted. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      6. Chad,

        Really? What court decision is NRA appealing? First I’ve heard about it. Specifics please.

        1. Sorry, “… AMA appealing”. (I’m an NRA member, too, but the difference, sadly in the case, is NRA has 4.5 million members, to AMA’s 188,000.)

      7. The AMA has nothing but excuses including excepting bad advice from unknown sources!
        Stopping the government from taking over the rc flying hobby should be the greatest crusade the AMA has ever undertaken! The AMA should pull out all the stops, spend all the money available, use all resources available and raise more money if needed from members who are outraged by the heavy handed government!
        It is time for the AMA to step up or step down. This is no time to be a wimp, it is time for action! I don’t want to be a member of WIMPAMA.

    2. AMEN Jim! And another thing. Regardless of what anyone says, if you hold any kind of pilot license (like me) and you just happen to violate some overbearing or arcane FAR, the FAA will suspend or at worse revoke your ticket without a second thought and if you think that they will make some great distinction between what you do with your rc and what you do as a PIC you are fooling yourself.

      These are the very same regulators/unelected law makers who want their tentacles on the “drones” and they don’t know the difference and don’t want to learn. These silly “drones” that everyone thinks are so wonderful has gotten their attention and that has ruined the freedon that the responsible rc AIRPLANE hobby has enjoyed. Heck, I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk the other day with one of the things hovering in front of him as he casually walked along.

      Anyone naive enough to think that by sending an email or comment to them will have any effect has their head as deep in the sand as you can get it. These people are answerable to no one. Any pilot who values their ticket would never allow themselves that kind of exposure. The main difference between God and the FAA is that God knows he’s not the FAA…..

      1. Mike, I’m with you. As a commercial pilot who enjoys flying RC occasionally, I, too, am concerned with possible faa enforcement action against my ticket arising from avocation operations. And, it wouldn’t necessarily be restricted to airspace violations. This thing is a whole new can of federal worms!

    3. I am with Jim until I see some ACTION from the AMA!
      Membership is as high as ever and we get this!

      1. Thanks all.
        I await still, holding contempt at bay one-more-time.
        The subtle arm twist of ‘do-it-now, it is FREE’ stands muted.

        I keep hearing an old Mellencamp line about standing up for something
        or falling for anything.

        I’ll wait a little longer in the face of unlawful “fines” as a threat.


  4. What concessions? I have not seen any thing on the FAAs part that indicates any special treatment for AMA members? Unless you count the closure of all the clubs in the DC SFRA?

    Best Regards, Allen

    1. You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once.

        1. The FAA registration website still says you need to put their 10 character identifier on any aircraft you fly in US Airspace.

  5. Where are the lawsuits, where is the representation?! The AMA has done nothing to stop this govt infringement on modeler’s rights!

    Is the AMA going to force compliance to this unlawful FAA registration at their Chartered clubs? Are the clubs in need of new officers to make sure all members are compliant now that the AMA is telling their members to register.

    I haven’t heard one peep out of the AMA clubs around here? I would prefer to see the AMA, which has benefited greatly from the onslaught of new multicopter hobbyists in the form of membership dues (I am a member) take a firm stand and should have preempted this unlawful “regulation”.

    I will not register for the simple fact that there is no law saying I have to register. If the AMA and/or their clubs try to enforce this on their members, I will quit the AMA and fly elsewhere using my HOI.

    The AMA is all talk and no action. At this point, they are almost irrelevant.

    1. The AMA filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals. We consulted with legal counsel and determined an injunction is not an option. This case does not meet the qualifications to be presented to a judge for an immediate injunction.

      In the meantime we have spearheaded many changes with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but know this is not over.

      1. Since the interim final rule doesn’t explicitly state that I can write my AMA number in lieu of the FAA registration, is the ama encouraging me to break the law as it stands written?

      2. This exactly what the purpose of an injunction.
        The injunction can only be denied, trying to do nothing is much worse.

        The AMA caved, no reason to renew. I don’t see what the purpose of the AMA is if it doesn’t attempt to do what the members want.

  6. What about Canadians who may want to fly in the US?
    Do they need to register and how as the form only allows US citizens to register?

    1. We are receiving conflicting information and will find clarity soon. We know this affects our MAAC partners, FAI competitors, and our affiliate members.

    2. Only United States citizens are allowed to register, according to the published rule.

      1. That’s exactly what it says on the FAA site. USA has to register, foreigners just need a certificate and DONT have to prove ownership.
        I suppose our government trusts foreigners more than its own citizens!
        What a bunch of crock this LAW is.
        I’m still trying to figure out why the AMA is still trying to “streamline” the REGISTRATION process when it says specifically that an National Organization that promotes safety is EXEMPT from ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS by the FAA!!!!!??????
        This is really disgusting and disheartening hearing this and is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth to the point I’m just going to say the hell with it. AMA needs to majorly LAWYER up and stand its ground. You can’t serve two masters you know. Is the AMA for its members or is it for streamlining things with the FAA? I just don’t get it AMA, I really don’t. Your asking people now that they may as well just go ahead and register while its free while you and the FAA work thing out because its going to take longer than the deadline. I can assure you that once EVERYONE signs up with the FAA registration, the FAA will go south on your ass and go to Congress and nullify what Congress has already written into LAW. Don’t you get it yet? The FAA is in no position to making ANYONE register. What the LAW does say is, if one is a member of a national organization that promotes safety and operates under them guidelines, they are exempt from ANY RULES and regulation promulgated by the FAA. I repeat! FAA has absolutely no AUTHORITY to make rules,regulations and laws concerning rc model aircraft. All one really needs to do is just be a member of, yeah, the AMA! So tell me, why in the hell are you trying to streamline ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Actually FAA has conflicting information on their website. It says that “Only us citizens are allowed to register”, and right below it says “non citizens or permanent residents are required to register”
        From what I see so far, non residents/citizens are required to register but it should be done trough classic paper method, not trough website.

    3. I live in Australia and I was able to register. For Non US Citizens the certificate becomes a “recognition of ownership” document as per Q11 in the FAA FAQs

      Q11. Updated: Are non-U.S. citizens visiting the United States on vacation or for drone competitions required to register?

      A. Everyone, including foreign nationals and tourists, who operate a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes outdoors in the U.S. must use the FAA’s online registration system. These non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents will receive the same registration certificate as U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. However, this certificate will function as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US.

      1. Registration is not allowed from my country (Hungary). May I worried with my phantom 3 drone, that should register according to its weight. I will travel to Hawaii

        1. Tamas,

          “If you are a foreign national and you are not eligible to register your sUAS in the United States there are two ways for you to operate. If you want to operate your UAS exclusively as model aircraft you must complete the steps in the web-based registration process and obtain a “recognition of ownership.” This recognition of ownership is required by the Department of Transportation to operate a model aircraft in the United States. Alternatively, if you want to operate your UAS as a non-model aircraft you must register your UAS in the country in which you are eligible to register and obtain operating authority from the Department of Transportation.”

          NOTE: at this time, the FAA’s online registration website can only be accessed from a computer located in the United States or its territories or possessions. You will need to a friend or family member who lives in United States complete this for you, or wait until you reach the United States to complete your registration. https://registermyuas.faa.gov/

  7. This is an extremely disappointing response from the AMA to say the least. I am extremely surprised by the absolute lack of legal action taken against the FAA by the AMA. It is embarrassing and disappointing to that it is a solo hobbyist and not the AMA which has filed a lawsuit against the FAA to review the legality of the registration process. Shame on you AMA.

    As such, I will be re-considering my AMA renewal membership as it not longer provides any tangible function.

    1. We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but know this is not over. We are addressing this with the US Court of Appeals. We also have spearheaded many changes with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      Without the AMA, jets and giant scale would be grounded. We also helped draft Federal law that grants members the opportunity to fly FPV or over 400′. We also recently stopped legislation in NY, OH, PA, CA and other communities that would have grounded aircraft.

      In addition to all the member benefits such as insurance, your support keeps these efforts going.

      1. Where does the federal government prohibit turbine powered aircraft? I’d like to see that cited somewhere in either US Code or FAA regulation.


      2. Where can i find this law in writing and how do i know it is still valid after the FAA new rules.

      3. You too can control what the Federal government mandates. It’s mandated that one is already EXEMPT from ANY RULES and REGULATIONS if one operates under a national organization that promotes safety (aka AMA)
        Section 336-This is the LAW written by Congress, MANDATED by CONGRESS!
        Not by the FAA, the FAA doesn’t make the LAW, CONGRESS makes LAWS!!!
        I’m not registering and I’m not renewing my membership until AMA wakes up and realizes and respects what the LAW says. Meanwhile, I’m going to fly my aircraft, and the only number I’m putting on mine is 336. They come after me I’m filing a lawsuit!!!

    2. I agree. The “successes” the AMA talks about seem less like lobbying on our behalf and more like a membership drive for the AMA.

      1. Agree. Note below that Chad has not answered whether (1) AMA is working with FAA on language to make AMA membership required to fly above 400′, and (2) that AMA will not certify large aircraft of non-members, therefore making it mandatory to be a member to exercise that aspect of the law.

        1. Hi Frank, we are answering as many blog posts, social media questions, phone calls, and emails as possible. Thank you for your patience.

          1) No, we are not working with the Federal Government to boost AMA membership. The Federal Government would never consider that as an option. The laws do provide exemptions for Community Based Organizations. Congress for obvious safety reasons will not provide a blanket exemption for any hobbyist unless they are abiding by a clear set of safety standards.

          2) We will only certify those who are members abiding by our safety code.

          1. Chad, you answered it privately, but not in public.

            So fellow modelers, you can see from Chad’s comment above, that they are indeed using part of PL112-95 Section 336 to compel membership – you have to be an AMA member if you want to legally operate a “model aircraft” >= 55lbs.

            Now, one has to wonder if AMA will use language in the next transportation bill to compel membership to exercise even more privileges.

          2. Chad,

            I just got off the phone with my Senator’s Commerce Committee staffer and made them aware that per your comment above, AMA is refusing to certify non-member aircraft, thus using PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3) to require membership to exercise privileges in the PUBLIC airspace.

          3. Frank, we are not going to be productive if we keep throwing stones at each other. Let’s work cooperatively to get this resolved. Please re read my answer “We are not working with the Federal Government to boost AMA membership.” What you are suggesting would compromise the integrity of 336 and possibly revoke all the rights and privileges we fought hard to put into law.

          4. First I would like to say that the AMA and to an extent the FAA are operating in as much as possible the charter which they are formed. The real players in this decision are much higher up in the Fed Gov food chain.First – The FAA sits on some of the security committees for the Fed Gov but is not the big Gorilla in the room. If the national security agencies are uncomfortable with the current state of UAV, and they are, then the word comes down to the FAA to enforce whatever they decide. Keep in mind that the Fed Gov of which the FAA is a small part always has the legal power to enforce Eminent Domain over the land water and air space if they so desire. I would say that, we need to be somewhat supportive of our AMA as it represents us members in relationship with the FAA. I would also say our board members have done a commendable job in keeping the FAA dialogue open. Without this relationship there would be a big gov hammer coming down on our selves and our hobby. So as unsavory as our situation is, celebrate the fact, without the AMA, it could be much, much worse.

  8. What if I don’t fly my models weighing more than 250 grams after the 19th of February? Do I still have to register even though these models are grounded?

    1. You do not have to register if you only fly models under 250 grams. If you have models over 250 grams that you never intend to fly with a system like a transmitter, you do not have to register.


  9. It’s funny that we didn’t have these problems with the FAA until these manufactures started selling these quad copters a few years back! A very large percentage of the (drone) owners do not even belong to a RC clubs or know any of the guide lines for operating one! So let’s penalize the RC groups that are AMA members that fallow the AMA and FAA guide lines that have been in place!
    Gary Fisher
    President: Georgetown Aero Modelers Association, Inc. (GAMA)

    1. Its just like the gun grabbers.. Go after the CRIMINALS instead of the LEGAL GUN OWNERS!!!

      1. Exactly, do you think any criminal thinking of doing something stupid with any kind of RC aircraft is going to register? Do they use registered guns in their own names to commit crimes or use their own automobiles or leave their personal info. in a knapsack full of pipe bombs? I could go on and on, this registration process is ridiculous and serves no real purpose. Except to gather more information on law abiding citizens.

    2. Spot on Gary. The only really sensible response I have seen sofar. This blog is important to Aussies too, because if we are not careful we will suffer the same treatment our US cousins are enduring. After all, bureaucrats are same the world over. If they aren’t in control they have no purpose in life.

  10. So what, if anything, did we learn on Sunday from the FAA guy at the AMA expo? Are we going to update anyone on status?

  11. I have already paid my dues for 2016 but if I have to register with the FAA I will not continue to after this year. I feel AMA should already be in court fighting this.

  12. Q: Am I permitted to fly FPV? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?

    I assume the same answer applies to this as the 400ft question… Fair enough?

    1. If you are an AMA member you are protected by Sec 336 allowing you to fly FPV and over 400′ as long as you if you comply by our safety standards.

      1. do you really need to be a member? 336 just says you need to fly under the guidelines of a national group. can’t I just follow the AMA guidelines without joining?

        1. David,

          I just got off the phone with my Senator’s staffer handling these issues. They were most interested when they heard that AMA is interpreting parts of PL112-95 section 336 as requiring membership (section a3 specifically). They seemed very concerned about that.

        2. Exactly! What ALL of this boils down to is the damned insurance companies that went to Congress lobbying to make it LAW that ANYONE who wants and needs to fly RC aircraft must have insurance. All this really only benefits is the greedy big business insurance companies which in turn violates ones CIVIL RIGHTS and liberties, all in the name of GREED!!! Oh yeah, let’s not forget about “safety”……………….

      2. care to answer my question about if I really need to be a member? not answering seems to indicate that AMA wants our money and is not really interested in disseminating correct information.

  13. They stills seems to be a gray area regarding the temporary closure of AMA Club fields. Can model aircraft weighing less than 0.55 lbs fly within the Washington DC SFRA outside of the FRZ?

    1. No models can fly in the SFRA area at this time. The FAA confirmed at the AMA Expo this is being reviewed.

  14. Until this comes in official form from the FAA, I would not follow this document. The FAA has lied many times to the RC community and this could be another lie… one which you can be held accountable for and pay steep fines.

    1. the government lie?? Please.. We all know a bunch of towel heads from the sand dunes were able to hijack 3 planes using nothing but box cutters while 100 or so passengers sat picking they’re noses as the planes made turns incapable of being made by human piloted aircraft, directly into the world trade center. .., Then magically sell the steel from the blown (I mean collapsed) buildings to some chinese shipping company within weeks before a proper forensic investigation of the evidence could take place.. Then get us into a protracted war with said towel heads, killing thousands of US service men in the line of duty.. lie.?? You need to goto a re-education camp if you don’t believe these ‘truths’..

  15. what compromises were and what convictions were put aside to come to a consenus between the AMA and the FAA, since that meeting the new has carried that those who attend had to
    put their beliefs aside so a new rule for all could be made? Why were we not asked about all of this, what compeled you to enter into the Task Force Meeting and agree not to tell your members about it. Or as you have told us before not to register our planes
    now you say we might now register them. I am a union man for life and it sound like you sold us out behind closed doors or is that just a rumor as well. Please prove to your membership thats not what you did?

    1. If you review the task force team, you will see it was heavily weighted toward full scale and commercial UAS. We are were the only unbiased hobbyist voice https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=84125.

      During Marke Gibson’s visit at the AMA Expo, he mentioned a few times that the AMA is one of louder opposition voices.

      We will be sending an email communication today with more details. It may be in your inbox now.

    1. Understand that this is not over. We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but we can make our voices heard. We are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals. We also have advocated and made many victories with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft as originally proposed. I know many members have over a hundred aircraft and we spearheaded that change. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      In the past few years we have fought to keep jets and giant scale from being grounded. We also helped draft Federal law that grants members many extra freedoms such as flying over 400′. We also recently stopped legislation in NY, OH, PA, CA and other communities that would have grounded aircraft.

      In addition to all the member benefits such as insurance, your support keeps these efforts going.

      1. This issue is.. The Federal Aviation Administration, DOESN’T know the difference between an Airplane and a Model Airplane. Thats how sad things are. They want to regulate us as pilots/operators but we are more than that. We are HOBBYISTS!!! THE FAA has no business regulating this. This is EXTREME federal overeach and a breach of my tax dollars. I WILL NOT COMPLY with this. MY DAD went 3 tours in vietnam to preserve our FREEDOMS and I WILL NOT SEE HIS BEING CAPTURED BY THE VIETNAMESE AND SENT TO A PRISON CAMP AND ESCAPING BEING TURDED ON BY AN OUT OF CONTROL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT>!!!

        1. Correct, we and Congress do not believe model aircraft should be treated as regular aircraft. We have made this position into law in 2012, we are currently advocating this position to the FAA, and we are addressing this through the US Court of Appeals.

          1. AMA, please explain this terribly vague statement you keep repeating: “We are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals.”
            Give us details, timeline, etc.

          2. You can find more details in Model Aviation and our blogs.

            The Council is considering all legal and political remedies to address this issue. We believe that resolution to the unnecessary federal registration rule for our members rests with AMA’s petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This petition, filed in August 2014, asks the court to review the FAA’s interpretation of the “Special Rule for Model Aircraft.” The central issue is whether the FAA has the authority to expand the definition of aircraft to include model aircraft; thus, allowing the agency to establish new standards and operating criteria to which model aircraft operators have never been subject to in the past.

          3. So, if Congress understands this, and the AMA understands this, why is the AMA trying to streamline “registering” with the FAA? That to me is beyond CRIMINAL!!!!!!!

          4. Chad,
            Maybe I am the only member who understands your answers.
            May I state from my own UAV/UAS experience of 15 years, a “DRONE” is a vehicle, either air or land or water, that has AUTONOMOUS

      2. I absolutely oppose any language that makes AMA membership a requirement to operate in the public airspace. I’m happy to comply with AMA guidelines, but the moment you require me to be a member to exercise a privilege in the public airspace, you lose my support.

        I’ll so state that in my comments to FAA, to legislators, and transportation committee staff, to include your statement that under existing law, AMA views membership as a requirement to exercise privileges under PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3).

        1. We are not trying to position ourselves to require membership. The Federal government would not support that approach either.

          The laws we advocated and helped draft provide exemptions for any Community Based Organization.

          1. But you are. You stated specifically that AMA, currently the ONLY CBO for non-MRs, will NOT certify non-member aircraft under PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3). I just shared your quote with my Senator’s office, and they’re reaching out to both the Commerce Committee working the next FAA authorization and the FAA. They seemed particularly concerned to having a private dues collecting organization acting as a gate keeper over privileges in the PUBLIC airspace.

      3. I just checked the FAA registration faq @ https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs and they still use the term ‘drone’ and ‘UAS’ many times, but there is no reference to the term ‘fixed’ or ‘plane’ (except for the silly disclaimer for paper airplanes).

        I know this is a purely FAA issue, and getting updates/corrections through any large organization seems to require an act of Congress 😉 😉

        The point is, despite claims either way, their FAQ gives a very clear impression that only multi-rotors are covered here, and not fixed-wing aircraft. Their own faq is leading to significant confusion.

        The term ‘drone’ has been so mis-used as to not covey any useful meaning- It would be helpful if we/they avoided it. Those curious about what a real drone looks like may do a web-search for the MQM-107 or BQM-167. These are Air Force target UAS and are not multirotors…

      4. Where does US Code or the FARs prohibit turbine powered models? Would like to see the citation.

      5. It is over, the AMA gave in. Compliance is accepting the order as legal. I guess the founding fathers should have just payed their taxes.

  16. PL112-95 (a)(3) states that citizens of the US can operate UAS in excess of 55lbs if the aircraft “certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization”

    Will AMA require membership in order for citizens to exercise this privilege in the public’s airspace?

      1. Sorry I haven’t answered, I’m not clear on the question. I think you are asking if the AMA trying to position ourselves to force citizens to be members.

        The answer is NO. We cannot mandate nor is reasonable to expect the Federal government to support a mandate requiring citizens to join an association to comply with Federal legislation.

        1. Ok. PL112-95 Section 336 (a)(3) states that if it is >=55lbs, then it is not a “model aircraft” unless “otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization”

          Honestly, I don’t think Congress nor the Transportation Committee understood that you’d use this or any section of the law to mandate membership in any way.

          So, will AMA “certify” – as described above – for non-members? Keep in mind, if the answer is no, then that means AMA is using this section of the law to mandate membership to exercise privileges in the public’s airspace.

          1. You are correct, as I stated already in this post, the Federal government will not support what you are suggesting.

            The intent of Section 336 is to protect our hobby and promote safety. There are hobbyists who are not flying in a safe manner. Congress will not extend a blanket waver to those who do not abide by established safety codes.

  17. Question: Am I permitted to fly above 400′?

    AMA Answer: [quote] The federal registration box requiring agreement to only fly under 400 feet applies to individuals who are not operating within the safety guidelines of a community-based organization. We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude restriction does not apply to AMA members.

    please provide a link to this change in “interpretation” when it is posted by the FAA.

    I do not wish to start the registration process just to discover, on page 2 that I must acknowledge, and accept a 400′ ceiling for my RC flying.

    1. CBO protection is a law and can be found on the FAA site at https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Sec_331_336_UAS.pdf. We have verbal confirmation from the FAA of our protections as it relates to registration and have requested this in writing. We are told that the CBO protection as it relates to registration will appear on FAA’s site soon.

      1. Chad,
        Thank you for your reply.

        Please post the written FAA document on the AMA site, when available, that states,
        “As members of a CBO, AMA members are not subject to any 400′ altitude restriction.”

        Or however the FAA word it. I can live with the registration process, as long as this altitude restriction is clearly not applicable to AMA members.

        Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, may be the “law” but the FAA have ignored this legislation up until now.

        1. Understood. Your concern has been expressed by many members which is why we are advocating for a clearer public statement in writing.

          We are meeting with the FAA later this week and will raise this concern again.

      2. What determines whether or not I am “operating within the safety guidelines of a community-based organization”?

      3. So you are going to ask FAA add language to require membership in the CBO to fly above 400′ AGL?

        1. We are asking the FAA to state in writing that pilots who belong to a CBO can abide by their safety code.

          1. Again, there’s that “belong” requirement. You’re using the law to require membership.

  18. As an ancient RCer (76yrs old) I have 24 planes over 10 lbs each. Do I pay for each one when I register? How do I register?

    1. Originally the task force suggested all aircraft required registration. We argued that is not realistic since many pilots own dozens of aircraft. The task force and FAA agreed and changed their position so you only need to register once to cover all your current and future aircraft for the next three years.

  19. The FAA registration site still requires a credit card that they debit for $5. The FAA then credits the $5 back a week or so later. The FAA’s site is so poorly designed that one individual’s personal and credit card information was presented to another registrant when he went to verify his own information. This is outrageous. If the FAA is not going to charge us, then they should not require credit information on such a poorly designed site.

  20. several times in the answers above the AMA refers to registering aircraft, for example, …

    Q: What happens if I don’t register by February 19?

    A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions.

    could you please get this point correct? my understanding is aircraft are not registered, only pilots. you could save all sorts of hassle and uncertainty with your members and non-member pilots if you would just stick to what the requirements are. registering aircraft/models is not and has never been a requirement. am I correct?

      1. Originally the FAA and task force suggested all aircraft are to be registered, not pilots. We argued against that citing that many of our members have dozens or hundreds of aircraft. It is unrealistic to register every aircraft. The language of “registering aircraft” is still creeping into text, but it is no longer true. Only pilots register.

        1. Yup, Scratch building sorta segregates one to another level of airplane buildin’. IMHO.

          I don’t build drones either!

    1. You are correct and the question has been modified to reflect that pilots are to be registered, not aircraft.

  21. Where is the official email concerning this? This has created a mass amount of questions with club officers from its membership. I am a club officer and leader member, but have not received any official communication regarding this.

      1. Just checking if this email was sent. The last email I received from the AMA was on Nov 17, 2015.

  22. What do I do if I haven’t flown in 6 years and don’t have a current AMA ? Are the scratch built planes that have been sitting in my garage now subject to a $250,000 penalty if I DONT FLY and DONT RENEW with AMA this year?? If i choose NOT to renew and the planes sit there and I dont register with FAA, I feel they are MY personal property and the government has NO BUSINESS fining me for my personal property.??

    1. If you only have static aircraft, you do not need to register. The only reason you need to register is if you have an aircraft over 1/2 pound that you intent to fly with a communication system like a transmitter.

      1. So your saying, If I remove the reciever on the aircraft and the reciever is sitting in a box in a room in my house, the airplanes are STATIC right?? This over-reach is OUTRAGOUS! its going to RUIN the HOBBY!! since when does the government regulate oils in paiting? NEVER, though perhaps some of the oil paint chemicals could be used in terrorism. This is 1984 and ORWELLIAN.. and I”M SICK OF IT.

        1. There are many issues we have registration. We recognize there are uneducated pilots doing unsafe actions, but we do not believe registering our members resolves these concerns.

          You can leave the equipment fully in tact, the FAA will not allow you to fly it unless you are registered.

          1. The FAA has no business “ALLOWING” me to do ANYTHING!!! SCREW THE FAA!!! I’m NOT A FULL SCALE PILOT and I”M NOT GOING TO COMPLY!! I WILL GROUND MYSELF and leave the planes in the garage and bankrupt the AMA before I comply with this.

  23. I don’t want to register by web site. I want to register by paper application. Please post where to get the information. AMA should request all AMA members to flood the government with paper applications.

    1. That is addressed in the FAQs above.

      Q: I do not want to give my credit card information over the internet or have a computer? What should I do?

      A: Live phone support from the FAA is available from 7 am to 5 pm Eastern, seven days a week. Phone assistance is available at (844) 244-3565.

      1. After a number of calls. This is the better number for paper registration 1-866-762-9434

          1. No. You have to use originals provided by the FAA. They must be filled out in triplicate for each aircraft. A serial number is required for each aircraft, in the case of a kit or scratch-built, you must devise your own serial number. I found this out be calling the FAA in Oklahoma City. There is a $5.00 charge for each aircraft your register, and the delay is in the order of 6 weeks.

            Good luck.

          2. Mike, that is a completely different registration. You do not need to individually register each aircraft if used for Hobby and Recreation. You register once and use the same number on all of your aircraft. The process takes 5 minutes.

            The system you are talking about is this one.

            Owners must register their UAS by paper if it meets the following guidelines:
            Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes.
            Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation.
            Your aircraft is greater than 55 lbs.
            You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States.

    2. Taking that approach is like stabbing your own liver because it tried to make you sober and now you are hungover.

      The intent of the FAA is to control the public masses who can drop $200 for a RTF drone and then carelessly send a chunk of metal with 4 high speed blades into the space above where it first gets unboxed. These people vastly outnumber the readers of this forum and will forever be unaware of your valiant stand for freedom by trolling the interwebs and stressing out the poor people that are employed by our government offices, attacking them with angry phone calls and papercuts.

      Nobody is going to come for your RC models because there is no ROI in that. The regulation should follow a similar history of that of automobiles, which was also driven by new tech becoming easily attainable to the general public: 1) Registration 2) License to drive/pilot 3) Insurance requirement 4) DUI / reckless / safety enforcements. For rational, safe and insured pilots there should be little impact, especially if the registration process can be streamlined online and automated (which you are not helping by insisting on using paper and phone calls for the sake of being anti-whatever and difficult – all that time wasted could be spent doing something useful to the rest of us).

      It is unfortunate that the established members of the RC community have been impacted, but if you want to point blame, look to the manufacturing and marketing roles which have been massively successful recently:

      Dear XXX, I resent you for being successful and making piles of money while polluting the sanctity of my elite hobby. Your customers are idiots and have created a backlash of negative perception and a regulatory reaction that unfairly impact me.

  24. I wish for next year, the AMA would write register this silliness for us.

    The registration process “Agree” box seem to much like a government loyalty agreement.

    I don’t own a gun. It registering a gun anything like this?

    1. There is no federal registration of firearms. There is no state registration of firearms in the state I live (VA), and I don’t believe other states have registration either. The closest thing to registration for firearms is a concealed carry permit. There are background checks to purchase a firearm. The NRA has been successful where the AMA has failed.

      1. Mr. Darcy implies where public registration of a sUAS is involved, the the AMA has failed and yet the NRA has been successful preventing gun registration. He’s correct. What his post fails to make evident is that the NRA has had the bank to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in their efforts to prevent gun registration.
        And the AMA’s budget to fight sUAS registration by comparison is…bupkiss.
        And yet there are numerous posts in this thread proclaiming the writers’ intent to not renew for what appears to them as a massive fail on the part of the AMA. Those who do not renew their membership are only hurting our chances of fighting the registration overreach. I’m renewing and when/if the AMA calls for additional legal donations I will make one.

        1. And it is for the above reason that I just renewed my membership. AMA is the largest organization to advocate for us and I give my full support. I am also considering donating additional money to specifically support this cause – if AMA has a specific fund I can donate to, please post instructions.

    2. Funny you ask. There is no federal registration for firearms.

      Unless it’s fully automatic or a long gun with a barrel shorter than 18″.

      This goes for all citizens as well, not just those that are NRA members.

    3. Guns aren’t registered in the U.S. I’m a gun owner and I find it ridiculous that I have to register to fly my toy airplanes, but not to shoot my guns. I’m not for registration of either kind, just making a point of how absurd this entire thing is. I am thoroughly disappointed that the AMA and my fellow members seem willing to just roll over and ‘take it’.

  25. If an AMA member or club does not register with the FAA
    does this place that person or club in any jeopardy
    with regard to AMA insurance coverage or membership? At this point
    I am not concerned with the FAA “enforcement”

    Will the AMA act to enforce the FAA registration rule or
    will the AMA wisely keep out of it?

    Is there a prior lawsuit in the courts at present regarding

    the 2012 rule or not? I can’t get a straight story.

    Please present the documents regarding this lawsuit if it indeed does exist

    for members to review via this website. Rob Kurek says no your website say yes?

    The time to “explore” our options has passed. If your discussions at the AMA

    EXPO yielded little, the only option is to bring a lawsuit and do so quickly

    1. We will be updating our club officers and leader members soon with more details.

      The short answer is No. Clubs are not required to police Federal registration, that decision is up to each club. Registration compliance does not affect your membership or insurance.

      Yes there is a petition with the US Court of Appeals. In the past few weeks we have received over 5,000 phone calls. We are delegating out work to all of our staff and volunteers to answer. Sorry if there was any misinformation, but we the FAA is being addressed through the courts. We made an announcement about our legal options about a week before registration began at https://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2015/12/17/hold-off-on-registering-model-aircraft/.

      1. So Chad you are saying that ama will leave the decision to fly legal up to the chartered clubs. This will not affect membership nor our insurance coverage, Riddle me this, when a claim is made on the insurance, and your 3rd party insurance guy, reviews the claim, finds out the pilot is not registered, there fore not flying legal, they will still pay the claim?

        1. We will honor the claim. With that being said, we want to keep our track record of members flying safely and abiding by Federal regulations. We will be sending our clubs information and offering more clarity in the near future.

      2. This is the first I have heard of the appeal in the DCA, I was however disappointed in the comments of Hoot Gibson-I think most of us were as well as I have received a lot of emails-I have received no announcement from the FAA-I feel that their should have been a presentation by our legal team, it might have made everyone feel a little more assured!

  26. The AMA should take notes from the NRA. Fight this FAA registration tooth and nail on behalf of ALL hobbyists, not just finding a way to make it easier for your members. You should have already filed a lawsuit.

    1. Here here! My thoughts exactly. Received an email a few days ago from the NRA and GOA and they’re very vocal about the recent speech made by the President. AMA seems to have already resigned themselves to the FAA.

  27. When I was all of 10 years old or so (1958), my father (WWII Army Air Corps Vet) was trying to help me understand the difference between a totalitarian, communist government vs our democratic system. To put it in real terms understandable by a young person – he gave the example of how a totalitarian government might arbitrarily determine that they were not going to allow anyone to fly model airplanes whilst something akin to that could not occur with our democratic form of government!? Well, my dear father, it looks like the difference is blurring.

  28. I am an Introductory Pilot (IP) with the AMA. I am able to help individuals learn about RC models by helping them fly a new plane or having them fly my plane with a buddy box. Does any of this change with the new FAA requirements? Am I now required to ask for a copy of their FAA registration if they want me to fly their new model? If they have not registered, can I still fly their model under my FAA registration? It seems like these questions might discourage new pilots, especially if I can’t even help them get started without asking questions or possibly requiring that they complete an FAA registration. Has anyone pointed out that the FAA offers NO INSURANCE, but the AMA does.

  29. More limp wristed non-action from the AMA. You’ll never get another dollar of membership fees from me until you litigate. I’ll be supporting lone wolf John Taylor in his lawsuit against the FAA.

    1. Have it your way, Justin. You will get the benefit of the advocacy of the AMA regardless if you are a dues paying member or not.

  30. Will AMA Club Officers at Sanctioned fields now hove to police whether members are both AMA members and FAA Registered? Crazy and absurd but I know this question will now be coming up? Will a communication go out to club officers on how to handle these types of things? Thanks!

    1. We expect this answer to be asked. We will be sharing information directly to club officers and leaders soon. The short answer is no, you are not expected to police this, but ultimately that decision is up to each club.

      1. The answer to this question has me really concerned!

        If the local law enforcement decides to show up and check everyone’s registration and someone does not have a registration, I’m afraid the local law enforcement might shutdown the field. And, to make matters worse, if they shut it down enough times, they will force the field to be closed permanately.

        The problem that we are experiencing in Washington DC is that local law enforcement is taking a more active role in shutting down RC fields. That means that not only do we have FAA problems but now we have local law enforcement involved! Once the locals get involved, that puts a whole new layer in the mix of this mess!

  31. Could someone please point out the actual regulation that limits RC flight to below 400 ft AGL (AC91-57A is not regulation)

    1. There is about a zero chance that AMA will make sure that FAA clearly states that membership is not required to operate above 400′.

    2. Yes, AC 91-57A is advisory in nature, but during the FAA mandated registration process, you will be asked for
      “Acknowledgement of Safety Guidance” , line one
      “I will fly below 400′”

      To proceed to page 2 of the registration, you must check off a box, at the bottom of this page that says,
      “I have read, understand and intend to follow the safety guidance”.
      So while there is not an actual regulation, the FAA is expecting you to accept these Safety Guidelines (restrictions on Model Aircraft flight) as a condition to be issued a registration number.

  32. I just got the email. Assuming that OMB, who’s already told FAA they have to charge for registration, does not permit any negotiated lower price, then is AMA saying that they just decided to spend $5 x 180,000 of our money to pay for memberships? If there’s only 130,000 paying memberships, you just ate up a sizable chunk of the recent dues increase. 30,000 “free” memberships just became not so “free.”

  33. The problem is that ‘model aircraft’ have been categorized as UAS/UAV’s. What is the AMA doing to disambiguate these terms?

    While model aircraft are undeniably ‘unmanned’, there is a vast difference between a first-person perspective flight experience and that of a traditional RC experience. That difference being RC modelers retain situational awareness for stability of the model and peripheral vision of surrounding area, while ‘drone’ pilots simply do not as they are flying stabilized platforms with the explicit intent of remotely observing non-flight characteristics.

    For this reason, the FAA is way off the mark with this legislation. But the AMA should be challenging the very definition that is the cause of this issue.

    1. For the win…. This comment pretty much sums it up. The FAA should have never been allowed to classify an aircraft, fixed or rotary wing, that doesn’t have a camera on it to be classified as a drone or UAV. Any aircraft being flown in the traditional RC manner should not have to fall under this statute. The powers that be should have nipped this in the bud a long time ago.

    2. Scott, This is the critical point. A DRONE is a vehicle with autonomous operation CAPABILITY. A model airplane (or a quad without autonomous capability) is not a DRONE if it flown with fingers on the sticks.
      I have been involved with UAV/UAS systems for 15 years. Some of the UAV’s I fly are model airplanes fitted with autonomous flight systems. These are DRONES by definition. They will carry my AMA member number.

  34. I think some clarification could be used- when a community based organization(cbo) is mentioned, i would guess that is not exclusive to the AMA, i would think this would/could include local flying clubs(with established safety guidelines) not sanctioned by AMA. Remember the Sport Flyers Assn.? That said,again, most flying clubs and its membership are AMA sanctioned and our members are NOT the problem.

  35. Whenever you watch any news story regarding quads, model aircraft or “drones” on any news channel, the reports are always negative. When is AMA going to get themselves a good PR firm and educate CNN, Fox News, NBC etc., that there is a difference between sane people safely flying, model aircraft (including quads) and an idiot with a drone putting people and property in danger? Public perception is everything, just ask the NRA.

    Ron Landram, Secretary
    Nampa Model Aviators

  36. All of this gnashing of teeth about what the AMA has not done for me today is pitiful. Ignorance of the history or current activities of your organization is intolerable when you attempt to raise a lynch mob based on factually incorrect information. MANY of you should be ashamed of yourselfs. At best if you choose to remain ignorant do your future selves a favor and exercise your right to remain silent.

    I do want to ask the AMA to publicly request a correction to one of Marke Gibson’s comments. At 24:09 in the video Mr Gibson in response to a question about section 336 limitations on rulemaking states “336 says no new laws or regulations basically” Section 336 says no such thing. It says “no regulations” period. It is unclear whether Mr Gibson is ignorant of section 336’s language or simply chooses to obfuscate it. Allowing this to go unchallenged is akin to accepting that the FAA can indeed apply any or all of the present FAR’s to model aircraft.

    The fact that Mr Gibson spent much of his time addressing the needs of commercial operators for part 107 to be published indicates to me that he was less than aware that the group he stood in front of yesterday was first and foremost a group of hobbyists asking the FAA to acknowledge our past and present efforts to fly safely in the NAS. We also need to restate as often as it takes that congress intended the FAA not spend time and taxpayer dollars worrying about model aircraft flown by AMA members for the very reasons I just stated. The FAA is guilty of ignoring the congressional mandate through interpretation that remains under legal challenge.

    Mr Gibson also makes the mistake of telling us how the FAA is tasked with incorporating all this “new” technology into the NAS. I suggest that Mr Gibson is again confused about the difference between model and commercial aviation. I would tell the FAA that there is nothing new about model aviation, we predate the FAA by many years. They are coming very late to the party and would be well advised as civil servants to listen to the voice of experience before rushing headlong into things they clearly do not understand.

    Thanks to the efforts of the current AMA leadership in what must seem to be a thankless job at times. Your efforts do not go unnoticed by MANY in the hobby.

    I would like to see during this important time for our hobby a weekly email along the lines of what you sent this A.M.

    I also think future public meetings between the membership and the FAA would benefit from having questions submitted to the AMA in order to be vetted for quality then submitted to the FAA prior to the meeting. This will prevent us from wasting precious time with questions from the commercial sector and other irrelevant or otherwise rambling statements that don’t really contain a question. Most importantly it would prevent the FAA reps from claiming ignorance or inability to answer specifics without “looking into it further”

  37. It feels to me like the AMA told us to hold off on registration because they were working. As a result a lot of people renewed their AMA memberships thinking they had our best interests in mind. Now, 11 days past the day when most peoples 2015 membership expired, they drop this on us.

  38. Not to fuel the flames here, but the way I see this if:

    I take my 3 pound quadcopter that has the ability to automatically fly a preprogrammed course with no ground radio or telemetry support and:

    Set the flight controller to take off, fly to 300 feet altitude and return to land, all by means of an internal flight computer, or action other than pressing a button on the machine- no radio control – I am legal to fly without FAA registration.

    But; if I take my ½ pound quad that is radio controlled and fly it to 1 foot altitude I must register?

    Somethings wrong here.

  39. I think it’s plain to see that the AMA is no longer interested in protecting the rights and interests of hobbyists, so much as protecting and furthering their own authority in the community. The NRA may have their own issues and morally ambiguous practices, but at least they are principled and honest in protecting ALL firearms enthusiasts, not just the ones that pad their wallet.

    A press release could be released by the FAA tomorrow stating that all UAS pilots need to be a member of the AMA and I would bet money, good money, that we’d never hear a peep in opposition. That’s exactly what the AMA wants, to corner and become sole authority over the hobby. If the AMA had their way you’d need to pay yearly dues to fly a ‘Champ’ in your backyard.

    I want to support the organization, but this is manipulative and morally reprehensible. I will throw myself at the next organization to actually represent the hobby, and not just view their members as subjects, or a revenue stream.

    1. Adam, your suggestion that the AMA hopes to corner the market on membership as the only path to UAS use is specious at best. The NRA has successfully kept gun registration a non-issue because they have a member base in the millions and a steady reinforcement of both visible and dark money. 181,000 members is to us, a lot of people. But to fight against government overreach, to lobby for your interests, takes millions of people and their money. THIS the NRA has and the AMA does not.
      So rather than throw the AMA under the conspiracy theory bus, how about you make a monetary contribution to the AMA and our hobbies defense. That’s what the gun owners are doing….all the time.

  40. Chad, thank you for your patient and calm responses, and to the AMA for representing our interests. I know from experience how difficult Washington is. We have many examples these days of agencies exceeding their mandate or authority, and many more of slow and broken rule-making processes. “Stupid Drone tricks” finally forced the FAA to act, but they are not accustomed to speed and did not get it right. Legal pressure and reasonable positions from the AMA will see us through, with this Administration or the next. Quads and drones will bring more folks into the hobby, and we will look back on this as an unnecessary tempest in a teapot. I will continue to support the AMA and make my comments to the FAA, as my small contribution. Thanks again.

    1. Bill,
      Thank you for being a voice of reason. Hopefully most of the venting we’re seeing in previous posts is just that, and isn’t representative of AMA membership and the hobby overall.

      In the long run, I’d like to see AMA, as part of its court case, try to “peel back the onion” via discovery to see what organization(s) is(are) really driving the registration requirement, the SFRA expansion, and the larger attempt to redefine models clearly covered under 336 as “aircraft”. Is this being driven by someone in FAA, which should know better, or are they doing it at the behest of DHS or another agency? This is important to know so future attempts can be stopped or at least moderated before they become rules with force of law behind them.

  41. So … who’s going enforce this regulation ? Picture this … Im flying my R/C park flyer at a local public soccer field (no game or players present) and a local cop shows up…. my airplane comes in at 12 ounces. Is he going to have a gram scale / postal scale with him? will he have the slightest clue on the classification / requirement for AMA #s versus FAA registration numbers.

    1. “G”
      I’m surprised you can still fly out of a soccer field, school yard or park. Some Counties, around the DC area, have already closed those places as they are not considered “Public” property but County land.

      1. If the County owns it doesn’t it still belong to the Taxpayers? I’m in Minnesota and we have no shortage of citizens who love to remind the local authorities we the people, own these parks and fields …. some of them happen to be AMA members. DC is a whole different world. Good luck!

    2. You’re taken in for “routine questioning” while they bring in the local FAA FSDO to inspect your “drone.” While being questioned by one detective, another researches you online. They find a Facebook post complaining about your health insurance becoming more expensive. Several of your friends have left comments blaming President Obama. They’re already on a government watch list for their anti-government rhetoric and now you’re associated with them. A background check reveals that you have a registered handgun and a concealed carry weapon permit, although you were not carrying when you were detained. The FSDO reports that your “drone” is in violation of FAA regulations and you will be issued a fine. However, the NSA has already been alerted and shows up to take you into custody. You’re charged with domestic terrorism and placed into indefinite detention with no trial date, no access to a lawyer, and no contact with your family.

  42. It appears that the AMA is just preparing us for the eventually caving in to the FAA. I am in the DC SFRA area and my club is shut down. Just paid my 2016 dues before the shut down. My AMA membership expires Jan 31 and I will not be renewing if the FAA does not allow the DC fields to reopen soon. Just lost $100 for this club’s membership fee because of all this. I once thought that the AMA could help get the DC clubs back to flying but now I am not so sure about that.

    1. I was going to join one of the clubs that was shutdown in Washington DC (PGRC). I’m glad I haven’t paid for the membership, yet! And, I agree to your commments! I feel that the FAA now has control of the sandbox and they AINT going to let it go!

  43. I doubt that the FAA has adequate security to protect our credit card and other personal information. Their database will be low hanging fruit for hackers. The alternative recommended by the FAA is to buy a temporary debt card from someplace like Walmart(at my expense), and use that to pay the FAA $5 tax. To do that I must spread my SS number around to yet another risky money lender. Why can’t the AMA pay for our initial registration, and eventually get the $5 refunded by the FAA? At least that would give us some tangible benefit from our AMA membership.

  44. Why doesn’t the AMA simply instruct the ENTIRE membership to NOT register as an act of civil disobedience? If more than 185 thousand AMA members intentionally did not register, the FAA would have to take notice and drop the entire requirement.

  45. Still haven’t seen an answer from the FAA as to how I can pay for the refundable registration using cold hard cash. The Legal Tender in my pocket says that it is suitable for all debts, public and private.

  46. The FAA requirement to register model aircraft exposes innocent, law-abiding modelers to being framed for criminal activities.

    The FAA database of small unmanned aircraft registrations will be available to the public, allowing anyone to steal and misuse a registration number. In particular, those who wish to use small unmanned aircraft to commit criminal acts will be able to take registration numbers from individuals on the list and apply them to their own aircraft. This will mislead investigators and result in the prosecution of innocent, law-abiding modelers who registered with the FAA.

    How will the FAA prevent the use of registration numbers by individuals other than those to whom they are assigned?

  47. Chad, thank you and the AMA for your efforts! What the FAA is doing is wrong- we have established this! Folks need to recall that the AMA has been recognized,almost since its inception,as the governing body for model aeronautics in the US and for our participation in international events. Their tenure and safety record as an aviation based organization far outstrips the FAA. We have all expressed our feelings to the AMA, now lets bend our congressmen and senators ears! We have seen a little give, lets keep up the support.


    You say there was a suit in 2014 What was the results of the 2104 suit?

    If it is pending, is there any restrictions, or injunction on the FAA ?

    Did the 2014 suit address similar issues then?

    What is the AMA hoping to accomplish with

    further talks and actions with the FAA “by other means”?

    It is apparent that this 2014 lawsuit did not dissuade the FAA from further


    The DC club closings were done for safety and security reasons according to the FAA

    We all know the real reason for the closures is due to unregulated drone flights the
    field closures do not address that issue and neither does registration.

    Since the FAA has already proven by these closures, that their actions, are not to be trusted nor do they believe in following the Congressional intent of

    the 2012 law , the only remaining action by the AMA is to effectively take the FAA to

    district court,

    otherwise every field could be targeted for closure.

    If the AMA actions are ineffective as evidenced by their talks or legal actions, then we must confront the reality that we as a hobby must

    Consider doing WITHOUT the AMA!

  49. Not sure who or where to address this question….. but I happen to notice with B4Ufly app for IOS, on the map page it is showing every private airport,or full scale heli LZ, Hospitals with an LZ and rural EMS landing zone basically anyone who has registered a land zone with the FAA it shows up.I have a lot around me in the suburbs of Cleveland Ohio.
    Yes I am cognizant of my surroundings but this seems little extreme? I get Warning action required within 5 miles of an airport? which basically snuffs me from flying and of course this all dependent of my GPS location. I thought when this all started it was for metro airports not every private or public landing zones? Anyone seen this?
    Thank you,

    1. I am wondering this same thing because the app shows that the field I fly at is within 5 miles of several airports/flying communities and in the past I thought that obtaining the required COA with the airport operator/control tower was not required for those private airports, etc.

      I appreciate any clarification on this.

  50. If I am flying FPV and a police officer tells me due to FAA rules I shouldn’t be or can’t be wearing FPV goggles and I am subject to fines, were can I get a solid answer or Law proving that I am allowed to do so?

  51. I am an AMA member and a private pilot. I live 3.4 miles from class D airport. When I complete the sUAS registration, am I able to fly my small quads (<55 lbs) from my front yard, (per AMA safety code 2.c.) at or below 400', with notification to the airport managers or ATC, or am I (per FAA) restricted NEVER fly within 5 miles of an airport?

  52. I’d have to agree with the general consensus of disappointment.

    Chad, your remarks and replies are admirable, but quite disconcerting to most hobbyists who visit and fly at their local AMA sanctioned club field to fly. You people at AMA have not done a very good job in my opinion. Silly for me to be registering to do what I’ve been doing for many many years, considering like many have said that all these problems just started with the last few years with the quad copter. AMA has failed its membership by allowing new technology to infringe on the pure sport and hobby. You need to focus on your core, and represent.

    I won’t be complying with silly FAA registration, you people need to get it done that my AMA membership is good enough! And that seems to be a broad consensus you are failing to hear!

  53. If some of these people complaining and badmouthing the AMA and its efforts would expend the same energy making SANE and RATIONAL comments to the FAA, we might get somewhere. How many of you have read the FAA 200+ page document and saw how many reasonable task force recommendations were ignored or rationalized away by the FAA while coming up with their rule? I have, and find the FAA’s arrogant disregard of PL-112-95, Section 336 revolting.


  55. It seems the AMA has chosen to fight for scraps from the FAA’s table rather than take an abusive governmental action to the courts where it belongs. Glad I held off on an AMA membership (indefinitely at this point) and have contributed to those taking the FAA to court. Disappointing, I hoped this organization would do the right thing which in this case was the hard thing.

  56. So when will the registration site be updated so we can show our affiliation with the AMA and register our AMA number? I started to register and stopped before I got too far into it, not seeing what I was looking for. It accepted my registration but there is no personal information in it as of now.

  57. Lost cause guys., your thinking all logically. If Amazon and Google want thousands of their little delivery ships flyers all around, they don’t want joe blow out there flying around messing up radio waves and blocking where they want to go. My guess nothing the Ama does is going to help. They will just say we need to stop for the children and safety. Then they will point out some terrorist tried something. They might even claim temporary grounding but never good no back to undo it.


    Last time I checked FAA can only regulate such to which starts at 500ft.

    Any clarification on that?

  59. The way I understand it, the primary reason for this registration requirement is accountability; so that any captured UAV that has been, shall we say, ‘inappropriately operated’ can be traced back to it’s owner. Well this could be just as easily accomplished without the need for any registration, nor any of it’s inherent problems:

    Simply make it a requirement that every remotely controlled aircraft within the suggested weight parameters be ‘permanently’ labeled (someplace that is easily accessible) with the owner’s legal name and current address. No having to file with the FAA, no special numbers having to be filed, no having to contact the FAA, no having to look up those numbers, no having to relay the owner’s information back to the inquiring agency, as the owners name and address will be immediately available to the enforcement agency. Also there would be no worries about personal info being ‘leaked’ to some computer hacker. All the problems solved and of course at no costs to anyone.

    Most of us already have put our name and address somewhere on our models anyway simply so that they may be returned to is in case of a flyaway. I can’t have been the only person to have thought of this.

  60. this is crap, I just built my first 100cc plane and now I have to signup with FAA to fly it, I already have AMA membership, because I really want to fly the plane I sign up today with FAA, I hope it will not be a problem if my plane go over the 400 feet line, just another way for the government to make money, I guess you will soon need to register those toy plane and helicopter that toysrus sells

  61. What about the night flight prohibition? Does this apply to AMA members? If so, there are going to be a lot of Shiny and FlyBeam pilots who will be out of luck.

  62. Chad, you wrote the following…
    “You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once. You can also use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number. These are two examples that were a direct result of our advocacy.”
    First, “You no longer have to register every aircraft…” When the FAA first announced this registration, it was “Pilot” registration, never the planes, why are you saying this statement when registering planes was never a requirement?

    Second… In order to use my AMA number as registration, will the AMA be giving out my information to the FAA or Law Enforcement?

    1. Hi Alan. Sorry for the confusion, allow me to clarify. The AMA sat on the task force committee and during that time it was suggested all aircraft be registered.

      As to your second point, we would give out your information with your permission or if mandated by a court.

  63. Why has the AMA not addressed the principal issue? We either have a congress, whom we voted for, to PASS legislation- Not the FAA! I never remembered ever voting for any “FAA Member” There are rules, and there is law Very
    “awkwardly Mr.I don’t give a hoot Gibson” avoided the question like the black plague. What is his claim to fame? He was unfamiliar with almost all of the data and was “winging it on the fly” so to speak-We either have binding exemption 338 or the Works of Congress is meaningless. Moreover Once the FAA has the AMA DATA BASE the AMA is finished, period. Those of us who are “in the know are aware of the other agencies “drooling at their mouths for this information DHS, Interior
    Justice, Various departments that have incurred serious harm to the Constitutional rights of others. If the AMA does not order Denton &Co To Institute a DCA appeal, we are all finished as far as our privacy is concerned
    Perhaps we have to find our own way because the Video I watched was nuseating!
    We have no Friends at the FAA-Their very own members hold the entire organization in very low regard- As an 8000 Hr pilot having rebuilt my own Commanche 180, my experience with the ineptitude, arrogance, and ignorance of this organization is beyond then pale-Other than That it appears our entire Executive staff is worthless, and I hope their flying abilities are better than
    management ( there are job openings at Walmart)

  64. Prior comment stands I forgot to list my website- My conferences with the AMA were not very encouraging-The inferences was not good-I am sure that if so many legal minds have sponsored a battle if necessary- and if the FAA is in fear of its’ “priorities” then step down fellows I will get you that Wallmart application-
    You all ought to be ashamed of your cowardice!

  65. You FAQ indicates that AMA number on plane will suffice, that the huge number from FAA is not needed on the plane. Can you provide a link on the FAA website that confirms this? Also, for racing we have typically used a shortened AMA number. Specifically, “N” (for North America), last 2 digits of AMA, and first letter of last name. Will that display on the plane suffice, or is whole AMA number needed?

    1. YES !! Where is this on the FAA website??

      You FAQ indicates that AMA number on plane will suffice, that the huge number from FAA is not needed on the plane. Can you provide a link on the FAA website that confirms this? Also, for racing we have typically used a shortened AMA number.

    2. I still have not received any response on this. AMA says OK to use AMA number if you registered with FAA. However, FAA says you must use their number. Can you point to FAA website that indicates use of AMA number (after register with FAA) is acceptable?

  66. Why has the AMA executive staff given the appearance that it would indeed move forward with the Denton Law Firm in appealing this “contorted” illegal “rulemaking” which has over ridden a congressional exemption ?
    It was given to me in implicit understanding that ” these were the marching orders of the day” how can any member feel that the AMA did anything but cave in and not defend the modelers that pay its salaries? I was not impressed with Mr. Hoot Gibson!

  67. I would like to get clarification on your current legal happenings, because with all these emails, videos and conferences, it seems to be a very vague and uncoordinated response from AMA as to what is happening and what the plan is.

    Please clarify the below questions that I had to gather from multiple online sources:

    1) the AMA has NOT filed any lawsuit against the FAA interpretation on the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. True?

    2) the Petition that keeps getting mentioned by AMA as legal action is NOT a lawsuit. True?

    3) The aforementioned petition was actually put on hold by the court of appeals pending, letting the FAA complete the comment period (January 15th 2016) and subsequent implementation of the FAA interpretation on the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. True?

    4) Does the AMA intend to file a lawsuit AFTER the comment period deadline of January 15 2016 against the FAA Interpretation on the Special Rule for Model Aircraft? Yes, No?

    I don’t understand why all this information is being obfuscated and what the AMA plans to do, are not made clear to all the AMA members in a clear way.

    These questions and answers to such are what I would like to see answered in this FAQ.


  68. Is the AMA now suggesting we register through the FAA, instead of holding off on registration?

  69. Chad you state in this FAQ that as AMA members we fly according to the CBO Safety code. However, the FAA states “To operate as a hobbyist, you must operate according to the safety guidance you have acknowledged and in accordance with a community based set of safety guidance.” See below.

    Please remember the Safety Guidance:

    I will fly below 400 feet

    I will fly within visual line of sight

    I will be aware of FAA airspace requirements: faa.gov/go/uastfr

    I will not fly directly over people

    I will not fly over stadiums and sports events

    I will not fly near emergency response efforts such as fires

    I will not fly near aircraft, especially near airports

    I will not fly under the influence

    To operate as a hobbyist, you must operate according to the safety guidance you have acknowledged and in accordance with a community based set of safety guidance. For further information on the safety guidance visit faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft

  70. Here is a dumb question. Fine, AMA Members register and so forth. What about the Park Pilot membership, A friend of mine who is a park pilot member asked me, Will he still be able to fly in his local Public Park that he has always flown at with out any issues? Will the parks dept’s start to cause more problems with local law enforcement, because of this. I have seen quite a few states that they are ticketing people not only for quads also for small foamies on videos i have seen and they do not know the rules or law, they just want to ticket you. I fly too at that park with my small foamies, when i am not at an AMA field. They do not allow gas, but electrics are ok so far, will they make this an excuse to not fly electrics? And will local law enforcement be educated on this so they can follow proper procedures and not make you an outlaw even you are following the proper guide lines and you are an AMA\Park Pilot member registered through FAA as well.

  71. Does anyone out there know how to register for free? Is there a web site?


  72. Just registered. Took less than 5 minutes. A lot easier than when I got my Amateur Radio license. I really don’t see what the big deal is personally. Like I said, I need to have a Ham Radio License in order to transmit legally on the airwaves, not any different than having to register in order to fly in the airspace in my opinion.

    Doesn’t make any difference right now because I am in the DC SFRA so I cant even hover in my back yard 🙁 Hopefully that will be solved soon.

    For those that are “bashing” the AMA about a lack of action, you obviously have no idea as to how slow our Government works. Personally I am thankful for everything the AMA is doing and will continue to support them.

    1. Your absolutely right. It’s easy to do it’s five dollars that you get back. People are making such a big deal out of this like its some kind of conspiracy or something. Just pay your money and go fly your model what ever it is. The AMA is doing what they can but it’s highly unlikely that the FAA is going to just say lets just forget about it.

  73. Our club is in close proximity to an active heliport. We have been operating for seven years with without a problem. The owner of the heliport has been to our field a number of times and is familiar with our flightline and flight envelope. They have been the best neighbors that we could ask for. It’s understood by all parties that when a full scale helicopter approaches we land.

    Now the question is that I downloaded the B4UFLY app. and it lists the heliport as a no fly zone without consent. Is a heliport considered the same as an airport? Now that we are considered “drone clubs” I fear that more negative media attention could sound the death bell for our club.

  74. Chad, first of all I would like to thank you for answering these questions and withstanding the flak. You are a convenient target and sometimes it feels good to shoot the messenger, although it does no good.
    I have a question, will AMA hand over all membership data to the FAA should it be asked or will the AMA offer it up voluntarily? I have been a continuous member since 1983 and flew RC exclusively up till 10 years ago when I started to branch out into CL and FF. I will forgo all RC activity over 250g and fly CL and FF instead of registering with the FAA. I do not want my information shared with the feds as they have enough of my information and money (taxes) all ready.
    I have decided I will sell my larger RC planes and forward the funds to the NRA who is better suited to fight for citizens rights. Please do not take my or others comments personally, as I said you have a tough job.

    1. David, we will not hand over all of your membership data unless mandated by a court order, a warrant, or if you grant us permission.

  75. The FAA site states that registration is free BEFORE January 21, 2016, not the date specified above. Any comments?

  76. Have tried to get into the faa web-site only to get stuck half-way thru Iget my e-mail and pass word in but,the e-mail I get in return tells me to go to the LINKS to verify my info trouble is there are NO LINKS The page doesnot go up or down. Icant move forward or backward Called the faa@ 844-244-3565 and asked for help. Was told a rep. would get back to me [still waiting] Got new e-mail, SAME RESULTS. Typ GOV OPERATION.

  77. Is there any way to see the FAA web site registration form and it’s conditions without logging into the FAA site. I don’t want to even set up an account, fill-in all kind of personal data before I get to see what it is I am expected to agree to..
    Has anyone posted the site information?

  78. I was waiting to decide on whether to renew my AMA membership. I realize the AMA is being strong-armed by the Federal Government, as are its members, but from my point of view, this is intolerable, and a direct result of lumping so-called “drone” flyers into the same category as line-of-sight model flyers.

    The AMA decided early on to try to bring those people along as potential future members, just as the industry began catering to the FPV drones and their quad-copters. That effort has failed. Drones and their quad-copters have run wild in many instances, and the AMA doesn’t say much about it because hey, the big manufacturers and resellers are moving the quad-copters as fast as the drones will buy them, and while I have no opposition to making money, I do believe that the AMA being a proximal adjunct of “Big Hobby” is part of our problem.

    Rather than worrying solely about protecting the ability of traditional RC-ers to do what we’ve been doing for decades, mostly without incident or trouble, the AMA has tried to make this a “big tent” of fliers. Well, I’ve been told by a couple of drones that divided, we will fall. It seems we’ve fallen anyway, and the truth is that I was a good deal happier when the AMA wasn’t seeking to invite them into the tent.

    The truth that the AMA WILL NOT EVER ADMIT is that the idea to become a more generalized advocate for all fliers, irrespective their particular modalities, denied the organization the ability to make distinct the manner of operation of traditional RC from the activities of the drones and their drones.

    People may take issue with this, and that’s fine, but all I know is that before the advent and rampant proliferation of drones(both types,) this wasn’t a big issue. I know we have had our issues with the FAA before drones came along, always some little government vermin trying to extend their regulatory reach and imposition into the liberties of Americans, but honestly, it was the whole FPV aspect, and the ability to control beyond Line-of-Sight that created the issue.

    Equipped with a little video camera, the dolt next door who doesn’t have the manual dexterity to plug in a toaster without electrical burns can launch his little drone, fly it over my backyard, spying in through my daughter’s bedroom window, all from the comfort of his basement.

    That is why this became an issue. That is why we now read the surrender-gram from the AMA. That is why we’re losing the hobby, and indeed the country, and THAT is why I’ve made my decision about renewal. When the AMA wants to come back to looking out for traditional RC-ers, I might come back. I’m done dealing with Hobbico and Horizon and the rest of the “can’t wait to sell another drone to the drones crowd,”
    too. I like building kits. Give me a pile of balsa, and I’ll eventually get’er done. I don’t need the big manufacturers or resellers. I’ve got enough pieces and parts already, to last a lifetime. Apparently, since the AMA no longer offers anything of value to the traditional RC-er, not even a perfunctory acknowledgement of the difference, I’m done with the AMA, at least for now.

    ARF this!


    1. excellent synopsis. Ama have sold out long ago to ”big hobby”.. I couldnt hear anything about other aerobatic pilots, but just jesky and shulman. Turns out shulman was arrested but ama never published details of that affair.

    2. If you look at the IRS 990’s filed by AMA that are available 2011, 2012, and 2013 (https://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/ & use EIN 52-0799408), you will see they actually cover the periods from 2007 through 2013. One of the nice things is that you can go to schedule A, part III, section A, line 1, and see revenue from membership (and other sources) going all the way back to 2007. Now, if you take those numbers and put them in constant 2013 dollars (I used https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl), you will see that each year since 2007 the AMA revenue has dropped.

      You will see that over 93% of AMA’s revenue comes from membership (schedule A, section C, line 15). You can decide for yourself if that was the motivation for embracing MRs.

    3. You are completely ignorant regarding multirotors (“drones”), their capabilities, and their pilots. This very ignorance, and the views like yours based on that ignorance is the very thing the FAA is using to push it’s regulation.

      Inform yourself. Go to a multirotor meet. Go to a drone race. Try to fly one yourself. Meet the people and become familiar with the equipment. Do yourself and your hobby a favor and speak with knowledge instead of ignorance and fear and hatred.

      1. Ficus, I’m not ignorant. I’ve been to drone events. I’m familiar as I need to be. Do you deny that there is a difference in mode of operation between a Line-of-Sight RC airplane and an First-Person-View quadcopter?

        Yes or no?


        1. I’ve been flying LOS for 35 years. Fixed wing and heli. I’ve added multirotors in the past 6 years, including autonomous and FPV. It is extremely fun! Is there a difference between LOS and FPV? Yes, obviously. Is one safer or more responsible than the other? Not in my experience. Interestingly, I have easily had less incidents with multirotors, automation, and FPV relative to my LOS fixed-wing flying. In fact, of the half-dozen or so scratch-built multirotors with Ardupilot flight controllers that I’ve constructed and flown, I’ve only had one incident that resulted in a crash (failed prop), and it went harmlessly to the ground. One time my radio TX failed, and you know what happened? The flight controller returned the quadcopter to launch and landed it! In contrast, I can’t count the number of times I lost orientation of a LOS craft and went into the dirt (of course harmlessly). If anything, my automation-capable craft are more reliable and less prone to accidents.

          My point is – I’m an AMA member and fly all sorts of different model aircraft. It’s a mistake to stereotype “drone” pilots as outsiders. Most of the rc pilots I know are AMA members that have at least one multirotor in their hanger, many with automation capabilities.

  79. I have two grandsons that fly some of my planes, do they have to register with the FAA or just me since they are my planes. They are both under 18 years old.

  80. Here is what I submitted as comments to the FAA:

    “Background: I have been professionally engaged in technical standards & regulation in the telecommunications field for over 40 years, including representation of multiple companies on various national & global organizations, & the creation of responses to regulatory proposals such as these. I have been heavily involved with the creation of technical standards & regulations that allow consumer use of wireless systems (cordless, cellular, LAN). I have also designed, built & flown model aircraft & radio control systems for some 5 decades. Based on this experience, I provide the following comments on the docket.

    1. The principal issue with the current requirements for registration by UAS owners is that it is not part of some more comprehensive scheme for the control of UAS airspace, including the type certification of UAS & the licensing of UAS pilots. At very minimum there needs to be some simple type marking scheme that identifies UAS whose owners must register (currently based on UAS flying mass >250g).

    2. It is not appropriate to, & will not be effective in regulating, consumer level use of UAVs. Compare this with the use by the public of wireless transmitting equipment: in these cases (e.g. LAN, cordless, cellular, Bluetooth, FRS) the equipment that can be owned & operated by unlicensed users is certified & clearly marked as such. A scheme needs to be put in place to certify “safe” UAS, based on weight, performance, ability to operate outside LOS, etc. so as to encourage their development (i.e. consumer camera-bearing UAS are already available weighing well under 250g), and minimize the need for certification of “hobby” UAS & pilot registration & licensing.

    3.. The current scheme is likely to be totally ineffective in tracing the operators of “rogue” UAS. Why would anyone register & add their number to an aircraft which they intend to fly in a dangerous manner? Without some clear & effective (low-cost) enforcement scheme, registration will be totally ineffective in meeting the FAA’s aims.

    4. There must be a clear privacy statement added to the registration process: registrants names, addresses etc. MUST be only available on a “need to know” basis; i.e. by LEAs, & other parties with appropriate authority (e.g. a court order).

    5. There appears to be a major omission from the regulations, in that they do not appear to require registration for owners of totally autonomous UAVs, that do not require control from the ground. Such devices should be (at least) highly regulated in their supply & use, for obvious reasons.

    6. To minimize cost & effort, the FAA should make maximum use of existing community-based registration schemes, such as that operated by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Consideration should also be given to privatization of as much of the registration & other regulation of UAS as is practical, without compromising National Security.

    7. In addition to the questions arising from the apparent contradictions between these regulations & Public Law 112-95 Section 336, exempting model aircraft (as we have previously known them, being flown not for payload (e.g. camera) operation) from such regulation, it is not clear why registration is needed when the aircraft is flown over public or private property with the property owners permission at altitudes below those used by the NAS.

    8. Further, there is a requirement that paper registration be used when the UAS is to be flown outside of US territory; but, lacking reciprocal (e.g. with Canada) or regional/global agreements on UAS registration/regulation, it is not clear how this could be of use or enforced.

    I trust that the Administration will give due consideration to these comments.”

    But there is more to it than this. I think we need to look at this in context of some hidden/unspoken considerations.

    The reality is that outside commercial aviation, most other aspects of “things that fly” have been self-regulating. Private aviation is a battle between what you want to afford & how safe/adventurous you want to be: the FAA provides the frameworks (ATC, pilot licensing, regulation of aircraft inspection) to enable this. For model aviation, the limiting factors have been perseverance, patience & skill; & a willingness to fly safely, even if this means travelling to some distant location: think how many folks we have tried to introduce to the hobby, only to find that the lack of instant gratification & initial frequent setbacks provide sufficient discouragement for them not to pursue it further. For us in aeromodelling, the only real role the regulators have had is to define a reasonable “box of operation” (for airspace & radio spectrum) & then keep out of our way, let us self-regulate.

    Then along comes the era of consumer-level UAVs, ready to fly or assembled like adult Lego kit. All the above prohibitions disappear, & it is very difficult for those outside to see the differentiation between us (flying for flying’s sake at safe locations) & UAV pilots (flying to deliver some payload (camera, WHY) to any location), including flying in other people’s private space & with little regard for safety. All too easy then to lump us all together to simplify their processes.

    The big problem is now that the FAA (unlike, for example, FCC) have no experience of regulation in the real consumer space, & need help, but probably is not in a good position to take adequate account of either of these issues. Fundamentally, they have yet to establish an overall framework for UAV regulation, of which registration would be an obvious part.

    If, as I suspect it can/will, AMA succeed in becoming a “sub-agent” for UAS registration as applied to model aviation, then for us the status quo can be maintained. The trick here is for AMA to persuade FAA that by so doing, the FAA can save money & dump some uncomfortable issues onto another (non-government) organization. Frankly, if I were AMA, I would be organizing to make an offer to the FAA to subsume ALL UAS registration, which could easily be made (at least) self-financing very quickly. Otherwise it is likely to be taken over by some UAS trade association with big $$, & AMA would then be left to fight with them rather than negotiating with the FAA over registration etc.

    All the best to the AMA Regulatory Team to sort these issues.

  81. New first-time Member here. Just joined at Ontario. I joined AMA to show support for the organization’s politcal efforts on behalf of the flying-model community. I have models that I used to fly about 15 years ago. Most of these models are over the “limit” and would require regisration if flown. They are flyable or could be made so.

    My question is whether registration is required only for models that are being flown, or must one register simply to posess flyable models? Too much going on right now to (re)start another hobby. Since regisration must apparently be redone every three years, I would prefer to wait until I am ready to actually fly ( and then will probably join a local club and take some lessons to brush up on my flying skills, hoping to avoid practicing my crashing skills!)

    Thanks for your help

  82. This regulation is bad for our hobby. It will discourage some people from joining RC clubs and AMA. Some other people will cease their club and AMA memberships. I hope most will put up with beaurocracy and will not give up.

    There is a place for every kind of aircraft out there. But how is it possible that scale kit aircraft that requires thousands of hours to build,
    long nights of testing and preparation for safe operation, falls under same brackets as plastic toy quadrocopter that costs few hundred dollars, and takes maybe an hour to assemble and setup?

    Why am I treated the same way, if I am flying scale model in scale manner, in circular pattern at the flying field, all within eye sight, doing my best to do scale approach and landing, while
    someone else takes their expensive >>DRONE<>DRONES<< and will be highly concerned about following safety regulations and guidelines??
    Me neither……

    There is a clear difference, to us, hobbyist. To people that put their heart, sweat, blood and maybe tears into this hobby. People that take pride in their work.
    And as always, there are exceptions.
    But also there are trends, and some of them are alarming.

    I'm disappointed

  83. I am the IMAC Regional Director for the Northwest and I am getting questions from my Canadian pilots like; When can I register as a non US citizen? Will I be able to fly in the IMAC contests in the US?
    I would like to know what is being done to satisfy these questions so that I can let pilot in our region know.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Michael, AMA is in DC through the weekend and this question is on the agenda to discuss with the FAA. The FAA’s site now indicates non-citizens/residents are required to register, but we understand many are still have trouble completing the registration process when filing outside the US. We should have more clarity soon.

  84. The FAA registration website now says the free period ends on January 20th! Is it still free until February 19th?

  85. I found out today reading the FAA documents that we cannot fly close to a substation. How close is too “close”? Can someone answer this for us? We have a substation on our field that is in back of our flight line but it is only about 150 yards away. The first rule we made for our club was to not fly near or over the substation. We have been flying there for about 20 years with no problems. As far as I know we haven’t lost one plane in the substation.
    Also, we have some high voltage transmission lines at one end of our field but I don’t see that problem addressed by the FAA.

    I wish people would stop bashing the AMA. They are trying to help. It is possible that without them we may have been totally shut down. Place your anger where it belongs….with the FAA and the ones behind the scenes causing this.


  86. Looks like I just wasted $65 to renew with AMA. Seems to me they are no help. Just justifying their existence with empty promises. Looks like the model flyers are getting the same judgment as gun owners. Give honest people a hard time and the pirates go free.

  87. I have a plane over 55 pounds. It is a 1/4 scale Sea Fury that weighs in around 75 pounds. Do I really need to get an N number for this? I currently fly it on private property and have not gone to an AMA club with it yet so I do not have the “fat boy”waiver or whatever it is yet. I have to figure out how to get one.


  88. At my club, the AMA safety code and the club rules and regulations are pretty much the gospel. I think education is a major key. While I have some issues with the FAA registration, I did sign up on the first day. I don’t think that makes anybody a weakling. I think the AMA has done a good job trying to follow up with the FAA. I can see AMA membership dues going in part to the FAA registration. But let’s face it everyone, the FAA is now involved at a level never seen before. And I blame it on those who flew their UAS near commercial aircraft and put those planes and their passengers at risk. I know there have been incidents of bird strikes for years. Just ask the pilot who had to land his plane in the Hudson River. Now that was an awesome piece of flying – getting the plane down in a way that everyone was saved. But you put one of those UAS in that position, and there is no saving anyone or anything. The plane would blow up if it got caught in a jet engine. And the smaller private piloted planes would have it just as bad if not worse. That’s why the AMA safety code exists and why the Feds have now stepped in. Would I have liked the AMA and the Feds work out common sense rules? Yes. As I said on here before, I got to talking to a lady at my eye doctor, and when she asked me what I like to do, I told her I like to fly model aircraft. She immediately asked me if I was flying drones. I know some people get upset over the use of that name. But one has to understand that she and many other people do not understand the distinction between UAS and model aircraft. And I blame the media for part of this. Not only do model pilots of all kinds of aircraft need to be educated, but the general public needs to be educated as well. I just don’t see enough objectivity in these reports by journalists. I’m afraid Don Henley, the member of the Eagles and solo artist, got it all right in his solo hit “Dirty Laundry.” At least the AMA and FAA and various hobby companies and some of the big box stores are now getting involved in the Know Before You Fly program. And that’s a good thing. It’s my belief that this needs to go much further, and educate the public, like the lady at my eye doctor’s office. Even though I don’t totally agree with the FAA’s action, I say it’s high time for the FAA and AMA to walk the walk, and reach out the public at large. Are there going to be jerks who don’t care? Unfortunately. But I do endorse any effort that isolates them and exposes them for what they are. The public at large is only getting one side of the story.

    1. Larry, I have been following this subject since it began and your comment here is probably the most sensible thing I have heard anyone say since the beginning. Cool heads will prevail. Ultimately we want to fly our model planes and keep the sky safe for passenger travel. AMA members need to be the leaders in gaining the public’s trust in this area. We don’t need to be the renegades who create more widespread fear on the subject.

  89. There are raging debates going on on facebook. The biggest contention is that the FAA will require any aircraft over 55 lbs to get an N number, be subjected to FAA inspections, have to fill out “carbon copy” documents, etc.

    Yet, on the AMA Blog it says nothing of these requirements and goes on to say that so long as the aircraft follows the AMA guidelines that there are no restrictions on them.

    SO WHAT IS CORRECT? Members of the scale community are going berserk over this including manufacturers. I tried to enter the conversation by pointing to the AMA blog and was mercilessly shot down.

  90. Help us understand the “400 foot” rule. Per the last set of AMA Q&A’s about flying above 400 feet you have the following answer;

    “A: Yes. AMA members who abide by the AMA Safety Code, which permits flights above 400 feet under appropriate circumstances, and are protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft under the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Checking the box on the federal registration webpage signifies an understanding of the 400 foot guideline. This is an important safety principle that all UAS operators need to be aware of, and is the same guideline established in AC 91-57 published in 1981. However, the placement of this guideline on the FAA website is intended as an educational piece and more specifically intended for those operating outside of AMA’s safey program. We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.”

    All versions of AC 91-57 (6/9/1981), AC 91-57A ((9/2/2015) and AC 91-57A (1/11/2016) all call out a limit of 400 feet. Your answer seems to suggest that AC 91-57 of 1981 established something higher. The AMA Safety code wording seems to mean you can go above 400 feet within 3 miles of an airport, if you notify the airport. Outside of the 3 mile limit, your are not restricted to 400 feet. Correct?

    To me, there seems to be a conflict with the AMA safety code and the FAA advisories, dating back to 1981. We need a document where the FAA and AMA wording is the same to eliminate confusion. Help me understand.

  91. After registering, Is the FAA going to take our Private, Personal information and make it Public? This itself would seem to violate Federal Law that strictly regulates the personal information that the Federal Govt can release to the public.

  92. I have decided that I will not register until this becomes
    law! Not regulation! I will also wait until John Taylors law suit is complete.

    Now I’m quite certain that this is going to put my registration past the February 19 dead line.

    Will I be able to register after the dead line?

    What is the penalty if I choose not to register?

    What if someone decides to start flying after the deadline?

    Now I have read everything I could find on this subject and I have come to the conclusion that the FAA never really did care what the AMA or anyone else for that matter has had to say or recommended be done about the “drone” problem. They have only sought to further their own agenda. I am disgusted by by this whole dog and pony show meant to degrade this wonderful hobby.

    You the (FAA) need to go after those who have created this problem the quote “drone” pilots. You do not go after the AMA who for several decades has sponsored responsible flying!

    This hobby is a passion of mine and I will continue to do my part and pass on knowledge and responsibility to those who want to join me. Big government needs to but out and help sponsor education and solutions, not registration and legislation!

  93. Chad, with regards to the Jan 11 email, it doesn’t sound like putting my AMA number on my plane satisfies the FAA’s registration requirement. I still have to be registered with the FAA somehow.

    Will the AMA be sending my personal information to the FAA so that I am registered with them?

    Also, if the AMA gets a new member, will the AMA send their personal information to the FAA for registration purposes?

  94. Everyone, what you MUST do if you disagree with the FAA’s drone registration program is – write three letters to your US Congressional representatives, two to your Senators for your state and one to your US House of Representatives Congressman. Do it NOW! Don’t send an email and don’t call their office. Take the time to write a letter, stating in your own words why you feel that the FAA’s drone registration program is unfair/illogical/unworkable – and (VERY IMPORTANT) at the end of your letter state that you are awaiting a reply. If you don’t receive any reply in a reasonable time, or if you get a form letter stating that model airplanes/drones put the public’s safety at risk blah, blah, blah, then at the next election, vote that representative out!

    This is the ONLY way that individuals like yourself and myself have their voices heard by our federal government. Don’t waste time submitting your comments to the FAA – they are not bound by the volume of negative comments received and WILL trash your comments if they don’t endorse the FAA’s position.

    Don’t just sit back and let the AMA carry the ball – even though we have well over 175,000 members, our collective organizational voice is just one of many on this issue. As individual citizens our voices carry more weight when addressed to our elected representatives, whose jobs are on the line if their constituents are unhappy with their job performance.

    I’ve already sent my three letters – have you?

    1. Hi James,
      I just have to say this is among the best posts to date.
      Thank your for reminding us that we need to be involved!

      There was some good news in all this. Perhaps a small step, but at least something.

      This was one positive action from California which took place late in 2015:

      “Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed a trio of bills that would have prohibited civilians from flying aerial drones over wildfires, schools, prisons and jails, despite alarm over close calls with firefighting aircraft.”


  95. Is the AMA giving up? Why doesn’t the AMA take this matter to court?

    A: AMA is by no means giving up. We are resolute in our commitment and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members.. We are continuing to fight for the aeromodelling community and working to protect modelers from unnecessary and burdensome regulation. AMA is exploring several legal options that would address the registration rule as well. These legal strategies will take time to develop and pursue. We ask for your continued loyalty and patience as we work closely with our legal counsel to find the best path forward.

    More AMA BS! There have been private lawsuits by AMA members against the
    FAA. they moved quickly why isn’t the AMA? Is the AMA providing some support for these members or learning something from these members in how to get the job done? Don’t for a minute think that we believe
    your excuses, stop trying to pacify us with your embarrassing rhetoric. Stop facilitating the process you claim to be “resolute in our commitment” to oppose.
    This whole “exploring several legal options” tells me the AMA is not committed to taking the FAA to court, just a lot of double talk. Do you know that lawyers in more serious cases have no more than 1 or 2 weeks to prepare their cases for trial. What does this exploration take, weeks, months years? Come On! The members are getting fed up with you guys. Continue in your present course and we stand to lose the hobby and the AMA will disappear too!
    You have been placed, by us, to do something, stop the exploration nonsense.

  96. I registered the other day while it was still free to do so.Am I happy about it? No! But man you don’t need legal trouble with this type of thing over principal alone. All he “let them try to collect!” and I dont want to give them My CC… The Govt will make you life missrable of they catch you. Not worth the chance. An the CC…. Ya’ll give it to hobby king 3 times a week anyways so get of it.

    As for the AMA and all the I wont renew stuff… good luck if you have an incident, because they are the insurance provider. And for all of you they thinking the AMA isnt trying, you bet they are trying but they simply are not in any type of real position of power with the GVT at all and the FAA, while the act like the listen and then make a decision just doesn’t care at all about anything besides what they want to do.

    We all know the real issue is the “drones” quad copters and I wish the AMA distance them selves from them. But they didnt and now there is an entire industry build around them. So now this is all here to stay for the moment at the very least.

    I dont like what I am being forced to do but I will not stop building and flying and just sit back and whine. I will continue to enjoy this great hobby and write to congress and such. How many of you whiners, offered a real solution to congress?


    Are traditional model airplanes “drones”?

    In a word, no. Here’s why:

    Model airplanes have been around for well over a hundred years and actually predate manned flight. Models have been used for decades to test aircraft design theories and to validate full-scale performance. Some models are small-scale replicas of real airplanes; others are original designs intended for sport or competitive activities. In many cases, they are built to stunningly precise levels of detail. Most, though not all, model airplanes today are flown by radio remote control.

    Model aircraft are flown by thousands of enthusiasts with a common interest in aviation and a love for watching their aircraft fly and perform. For this reason, models are largely flown within visual line of sight and in the presence of an operator who watches and maintains control of the airplane during flight. That alone is enough to place model airplanes cleanly outside the boundaries of “drone.”

    Are Predators, Global Hawks and other military unmanned aircraft “drones”?

    Predators and Global Hawks are two of the many types of unmanned aircraft that have been used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and elsewhere. They are piloted by extremely skilled aviators who, thanks to a combination of technology advances, no longer need to be physically sitting in the airplane. However, that doesn’t make them any less skilled than traditional in-the-cockpit pilots.

    Sean McEntee, a lifelong model airplane hobbyist and current U.S. military UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) pilot who has flown surveillance missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, brings a unique perspective to the challenges of remote piloting. He explains that flying a UAV involves far more than “sitting in a box and watching it fly around.” Many UAVs, he says, are flown “stick and rudder,” with controls comparable to those found in the cockpit of a traditional airplane. U.S. military UAV pilots often go through a rigorous screening process followed by a year or more of intensive training.

    Largely for these reasons, many unmanned aircraft pilots take a very dim view of the term drone, as it fails to recognize the high levels of skill involved in real-world flight operations. They often prefer designations such as UAV or RPA (“remotely piloted aircraft”).

    What is a “first-person view” unmanned aircraft? Is it a drone?

    A first-person view (FPV) aircraft has a front-facing video camera and transmits real-time video to an operator on the ground. The operator looks at the image on a computer screen, sees the view as if he or she were sitting in the cockpit, and flies the plane accordingly.

    While “UAV” is a general term for (non model aircraft) unmanned aircraft, FPV refers to the subset of such aircraft that are flown by a remote pilot using the image transmitted from an on-board camera. Unmanned aircraft guided exclusively by GPS or on-board computer analysis of imagery are UAVs, but they aren’t first-person view UAVs.

    Until now, most FPV aircraft have been operated by the military, using technologies that make it possible to fly the aircraft beyond the line of sight of the pilot. However, use of FPV aircraft in non-military settings is certain to increase with the recent enactment of a new U.S. aviation law that will open U.S. airspace to many types of unmanned aircraft in the coming years. FPV aircraft are likely to be subject to very conservative FAA rules regarding domestic non-line-of-sight operation to minimize potential safety concerns. For example, if the communication link between the pilot and the aircraft fails, then there are obvious challenges involved in bringing the aircraft back to the ground without endangering other aircraft or people on the ground.

    Is an FPV aircraft a drone? Under the strictest definition of drone, it isn’t, since it is flown under the control of a human operator. However, when flown beyond the line of sight, an FPV aircraft would be characterized by many people as a drone, despite the significant skill that might be involved in flying it. This is because the definition of drone can be difficult or impossible for an observer to apply. After all, how can someone who sees an unmanned aircraft maneuvering without any evidence of a nearby pilot know whether it is autonomous or remotely piloted? From the observer’s standpoint, it’s not unreasonable to consider it a drone.

  98. I see where you state that we do not have to put our FAA number in the aircraft, only the AMA number; however, if so, then you must have ready access to your FAA registration info. How silly is that? Why not just go ahead and put your FAA number in your aircraft and be done with it! Also, I saw nothing in the FAA requirements that mentioned such an AMA member agreement. Is this agreement in effect now or as of a future date?

  99. Mixed emotions: this discussion still continues!

    Jan 15, Friday night, before midnight EST, I found the FAA site closed to further comment, and saw a note that it would be closed at least through Monday for maintenance.

    We ALL do sound selfish and petty at times. I am NOT an RC hobbyist.

    I’ve been AMA since about 1954, now 40 years a CD, more recently Admin and Scientific Leader and Museum Patron. I like most of what AMA tries to do for us. After FF and RC, a bit each, I returned to my first love – CL. How many times has CL been even mentioned in here? Five or six times? I did learn that a control handle = RC transmitter.

    In all my contacts with AMA HQ I’ve never met with an unpleasant, unhelpful or rude staffer. Example? Think of what Chad Budreau has been going through…

    I will contact at least my Representative in the US House – Martha McSally, COL, USAF, Retired – our first female combat fighter pilot AND unit commander…

    Since the essence of FAA’s overreach is its attempt to revoke a LAW by regulation, COL McSally may take interest. She did convince the Defense Department to stop requiring armed forces women to wear burkas in strict Islamic lands. She has guts, and may even have been a model flier at some time.

  100. I have read comments about the 400′ altitude rule. What about the 5 mile limit of an airport. having to notifying the airport every time I decide to run out to local RC field is a hassle. Especially when the local airport has no control tower or person on duty. Full size aircraft come and go at will. It seems wrong a RC hobbyist should be held to higher standard than full size aircraft. Who does one notify if no is there. I guess it means we just as well close our local RC field and quit flying. When I registered I had to agree to abide by the rule. A rule I can not comply with.

    AMA, any comments to that problem? Or is AMA going to pay for relocating RC airfields?

  101. Your AMA number should be perfect to register. They have your name, number and all info you would need………..

  102. First, I want to thank the AMA for their efforts in addressing concerns with UAV registration thus far.

    Second, I want to suggest that, though the FAA may have said that the guidelines presented during registration are not regulatory in nature, that is not the way that they are presented during the registration process. The registrant has to check a box stating that he/she “intend(s) to follow the safety guidance.”

    Further into the registration process the operator is told “You MUST (emphasis mine) operate in accordance to the safety guidance you have acknowledged AND (emphasis mine) in accordance with a community based set of safety guidance.”

    Clearly the FAA had CBO rules in mind when they put together the verbiage for the registration process. They intentionally stated that IN ADDITION to following CBO safety rules, the operator must ALSO follow the guidelines presented during the registration process. This was not a matter of oversight as the FAA seems to have suggested in subsequent meetings with the AMA.

    Until the FAA changes the verbiage on the registration site, it should be assumed that all registered operators will be held to the safety guidelines the registrant is currently forced to acknowledge, regardless of what the FAA has told the AMA verbally.

  103. According to the above “Q: Am I permitted to fly above 400 feet?”, “the [FAA] has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.” This was posted on January 11. It is now January 19th. I just checked and that update has not yet been made. Any updates on when the FAA Registration web site will be updated in this respect? In any case, it looks like you cannot register for free following this promised update.

  104. Well i look at it like this. If the FAA is going to charge us 5.00 and ama can not get it thrown out. Ama can cut our dues where we can afford to pay Faa. LOl Come on People i do not like what the gov is doing but it is not the AMA fault. If you do not like what faa is doing file a lawsuit if enough people file they will drop it. But it will take a LOT. Im glad i got AMA on my side they do a lot for this hobby but the gov does what they can get by with.

  105. Wait a minute! I’m convinced the FAA has lost its mind.

    Per FAA FAR part 103 you don’t need to register your manned ultralight aircraft under 254lbs?

    103.7 Certification and registration.

    (c) Notwithstanding any other section pertaining to registration and marking of aircraft, ultralight vehicles are not required to be registered or to bear markings of any type.


    But now we are required by the FAA to register “RC Toy” quad / coptor / plane under 55lbs?

    Take note AMA somehow the USUA (United States Ultralight Association) has avoided FAA registration for ultralight aircraft, maybe you should talk to them.

  106. Let’s get on thing clear. The FAA is leading you on. I just registered and had to indicate I would not fly over 400′, and I would not fly “especially near airports”. There were no caveats. I also had to agree I would put the FAA registration number on my drone – or in it if it can be accessed without tools. No mention of the AMA number or that of any other organization. I don’t fly drones. I have fixed wing and a couple helis and it is all line-of-site. A little education would be in order. At some point look the FAA people in the eye and tell them to stop using the word “drone” for a line of sight controlled model.

  107. AMA save our money and time….wait until someone is prosecuted by the FAA for Violating the regs. This will mandate the law be reviewed and ruled on without all the rear kissing and giving up. Use our money to represent an AMA member and let’s get this settled. And yeah I’ll take the hit because the law suit filed after words will be worth it.

  108. So I suppose that all of you who are going to register would submit to having this registration # tattooed on your foreheads?. I for one will not register with the faa.for any reason and will not be renewing my AMA membership. I have been building and flying models for over 60 years and have no problem with returning to C/L flying rather than submit to this B.S.

  109. From the FAA website:

    “You will be subject to civil and criminal penalties if you meet the criteria to register a drone and do not register.


    Does this imply that if I own a model aircraft, but do not fly them, I am subject to legal action by the FAA?

    Personally completely offended to have to click ‘REGISTER MY DRONE’. Anyone else?

    Anyone else find it completely inexcusable to have to create a Web account with the FAA to register? Why do I need an account with the FAA for this one-time task?

    This database of registrants will be PUBLIC information, ripe for abuse by criminals.

    This whole mess is wrong in so many ways. Someone posted it takes time to fix a slow moving government. Only partly right. As in this case, the government can move quickly when it wants to.

  110. If I choose to never register with an agency that is not by the constitution of the United States of America recognized as an agency that can writr an impose Laws, what then can I do? Will the FAA or some agency show up at my door and arrest me for “civil or criminal infractions” that THEY deemed approprite to suit “The Crime.”

  111. Missed registration, now they want $5.00. This is so B.S. Flying field dues increased, AMA dues increased, and now I Have to pay an extra $5. It’s bad enough we have to register with another government agency. You would think since the AMA raised our dues they could have at least gotten us free lifetime registration, or pay the dues for us. Whenever I got a raise I was always told “With more money comes more responsibility”.

  112. Got email about faa registration, ,So let down by Ama .

    Register with faa or never fly rc aircraft weighing over .55 Pounds again..
    Two choices neither I like..
    Im on fixed income ssi
    One more example of big brother dictating ,$5 per person over 100000 members thay saw a great way to get our money

  113. Last week, FAA proudly announced that over 300K drone registrations have been completed. AMA says nothing…

    AMA isn’t playing hard-ball. You cannot let a public announcement about this issue made by the FAA to go unanswered. Anything less and it appears the AMA agrees with and supports the FAA’s position.

  114. It seems that a 200-mph, 49-pound, recreational cruise missile, with 100% autonomous flight capability and no ground control link might be exempt, while a tiny a half pound sheet of styrofoam that can be remotely steered through the air for a few hundred feet at 5-mph is not. Interesting.

  115. I can fly an ultralight and get a lot of excitement without a pilots license. The ultralight weighs a lot more than 55 pounds with me in it. Having to register my model aircraft with the FAA is just plane stupid. I do not fly drones I fly model aircraft. I should not have to deal with the FAA for any reason. I am not a full scale pilot. The AMA better start caring about this FAA problem. If the AMA does not come up with a line of sight exemption for model aircraft I will quit flying. The AMA will go out of business from lack of interest due to to many rules. I will not care because they did not care enough to fix the problem when it started.

  116. I have a brief question. I was advised by a AMA District VP that we ( AMA Members ) are not required at this time to add the FAA numbers to our airplanes, however we are required to have a hard copy of our uas registration with us at all times while flying. True, or false? Thank you for a reply. Steve Pruitt

  117. Registered a few weeks ago,will put a sticker with FAA number on model and remove AMA number, will fly on private or state land in compliance with any FAA requirement and use common sense. Will contact insurance agent about liability rider, pay feds $5 a year for the “privilege” and drop my AMA membership.Planning on using the freed up dues money to buy four gallons of glow fuel.

  118. The question I have is if I were to run into an overly aggressive LEO and I was following AMA guidelines to a tee.

    Would the AMA legally represent me if I am a member?

  119. You know – it would be real nice to see a statement from AMA leadership that reflects what a lot (most?) of it’s membership is feeling/thinking. Instead of the bureaucratic soft-speak that you are pedaling, it would be nice to see “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it anymore!!” or something along those lines.

    Chad, et al, I appreciate the effort, but I (like others) am so tired of reading the same lines that really are beginning to sound like a lot of BS. Personally, I will limit my flying to aircraft under 250 grams until this is sorted out. If it doesn’t get sorted out to my satisfaction, I won’t be re-upping with the AMA (don’t suppose I could get a refund since I took advantage of the “buy two years at the old price” deal, huh?) I guess I’ll just rely on my personal/home liability insurance – which I won’t need, because I am a safe flyer!!!

    I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

  120. I personally find it unacceptable to be constantly hearing on the national news broadcasts that the FAA’s Mr. Huerta has been boasting to the press that he has “MORE DRONES (330,000) REGISTERED THAN THE AMA HAS MEMBERS.” He’s completely wrong on many levels. Those are pilots who registered –not drones. 75% of them (my guess) are actually model airplane AMA members who caved in out of fear or agreeableness early, but who do not own a multicopter (aka drone) and were never a threat to anyone. 25% of them (my guess) are multicopter owning law-abiding citizens who also would not have caused any serious disturbances without the registry, look in anyone’s bedroom windows, or crash on the white house lawn. With possibly millions of multicopters sold in the last few years, most of these multicopter owners obviously DID NOT REGISTER with the FAA (or the AMA)(these guys are the real drones) leaving Mr. Huerta with only 82 thousand drone-like multicopters registered and 275 thousand innocent model plane hobbiests in his boasted (but not drone) collection. By definition, he has not registered almost 100% of the present or future actual offenders that he was targeting making his whole problem solving enterprize a complete failure. However, he has distrupted, maybe beyond repair, our lovely hobby and its national CBO.

    This week the FBI was hacked and 20 thousand employees’ had their personal info published. Last year it was 20 million government id’s hacked. I have waited until the middle of Feb., but the AMA is still playing nice with the FAA instead of adversarily opposing this registration in court, the AMA is instead shamingly “streamlining” the unfortunate registration process for us (thanks), and nowhere I can find the AMA countering Mr. Huerta’s boasts that he has more drones than the AMA has members. The AMA should be in every newspaper, tv news, radio show, and street corner opposing this national disgrace with it’s attendant distortions. It’s taken 80 years, but this registration issue at this moment is what the AMA was created for–to address aggressively and effectively this problem or go out of existence.

    Because the AMA is not doing these things and because of my need to protect my identity from theft and my integrity from FAA threats of fines and prison for flying my airplanes, I am quitting the hobby, hanging up my beautiful planes, and letting the FAA, AMA, and my local club enjoy each other’s unprincipled existences without me. Thanks for all the good memories except for the ones I have of how this all ended.

    1. Maybe if the AMA would of concentrated its efforts in the media news stories, they would have gotten FREE advertising, which would have translated into THOUSANDS of new AMA memberships, which would have generated MILLIONS of dollars, which would in turn be utilized to BRIBE congressmen with that money like ALL the other corporations do, then maybe, just maybe, the AMA wouldn’t be in the precarious position it finds itself in today. But no, the greedy path they are on now will ultimately destroy them. They choose to pacify the devil(FAA) and instead go to Congress trying to FORCE and make it LAW that one has to be a member of a CBO in order to be exempt from FAA Interpretations, rules and regulations, which didn’t work because your still being told to register to comply with a ‘regulation’ your not even obligated to be bound to. Greed will get you no where……..
      I will not register with the FAA and I will not join the AMA until the AMA does the RIGHT thing and file some MAJOR lawsuits against the FAA.
      This is very disheartening to say the least. And to that I’m sorry AMA. I will stand with you through hell and high water if I felt you were in the right and doing the right thing. But on the contrary, I will depart from you if your not going to stand up for the LAW. Especially when the LAW is in your favor! Right is right and wrong is wrong. I don’t feel I should have to be a member of ANYTHING in order to fly. I will give this hobby up and pursue another interest instead. The AMA is only hurting themselves…THINK ABOUT IT!!!

  121. I can’t help but wonder if the FAA should have followed the FCC model for amateur radio licensing. The current system addresses NONE of the safety concerns. All they are doing is collecting names and fees. This is much like the CB radio operator licensing laws back in the 70’s, which were utter failures and were eventually abandoned.

    Amateur radio operators have a tiered licensing system which requires knowledge, studying and an examination to prove that the operator has a certain level of technical proficiency and knowledge of safe operating procedures. It has been, and continues to be incredibly successful. The greater the proven knowledge the operator has, the greater the operating privileges.

    While I’m sure there would be a LOT of push back on the implementation of such a system, it would at least address a lot of the concerns that the current system does not.

    The AMA and its clubs could be the focal point of training and testing. Just like the ARRL and the local amateur radio clubs around the country.

    Amateur drone operator volunteer search and rescue programs could be put into place, in much the same way that such programs exist for amateur radio operators.

    It all makes perfect sense to me. But as a licensed amateur operator, my viewpoint is admittedly a bit biased.

  122. This new requirement in the USA poses an insane burden on foreign flyers. I’m a Canada-USA dual citizen living permanently in Canada and from everything I have read, it looks like I am going to have to obtain an N-number for every Canadian foam airplane I want to bring to any USA fun flies this year. The expensive of doing this is immense, since without serial numbers and proofs of ownership I will need to hire a notary to notarize my statements to the effect of ownership. There is no way this is going to cost me less than the value of my airplanes. From a diplomatic standpoint, my feelings are that Canada should bar USA aircraft from Canadian airspace until Canadians are allowed back in to the USA. Tit for tat.

  123. As an executive of my flying site, what are we to do about if anything on enforcement or making sure club members are registered with the FAA before flying at this or any other AMA sanctioned/registered field?

  124. Lots of stuff on the above page. In addition, Too many and much of “Confuser” I have no time or desire to spend time redoing my AMA codes, etc.
    I sent an email to the FAA. Couple months ago, within a few minutes I received a full accounting of the FAA requirements.
    Using the printer I made a number of the “OK to Go” from FAA, and the numbers. Easy, Made a bunch on the printer. Can place one on every airplane. N-B-F-D !.
    Way too much B.S. from modelers and FROM AMA! Guess AMA has a reason for being, but since I have been an AMA member for some 68 +/- years, what the “L” do I know? I got my first AMA license when about 10 years old. Now just turned 80. Still making the grade. Give the AMA something to stir their red-beans with and go fly and enjoy. Got my AMA CD license while being a B-47 Navigator-Bombardier, Strategic Air Command, USAF. Then to Pilot Training and got my Leader-Administrative. That was soon followed by Life-Member and capped with Museum Patron. While living in As time went by, I became Museum Patron, IP Instructor, and others not on the annual AMA card such as Museum Patron. I finally left United as age 60 was then last of flying airline.
    Now they can go to 65. However I was ready to go play a bit so no problem!
    I had to stay out of modeling for the past year, but getting things ready to go soon.
    Playing Chase with 8+ year old grand-Daughter a year ago. Kind of rainy outside and I slipped into an Oak-Tree, creating 3 breaks in the skull. The “Man-Up-Stairs” thought the Doctors were aligned with “BIG PHARMA” and reversed the Doc’s comments that I was a “gonner”. 4 months I was driving again. Then I bumped into another person’s car door in Aug, had another operation, but made it to back-on-the road.
    I have financed numerous Competitions, been a President of several clubs, purchased land for a club, (www.jetero.com) assisted youngsters in CL, FF, and RC. While living in Ill (UAL) I owned a Hobby Shop in Mt prospect, flew 727, 737, DC-10 DC-8, and finished for some time as Captain 727. Could have done so on 767, but SENIORITY made life really good since I had returned to my BELOVED Texas, so born and raised. Commuting can be not-so-good!
    I contribute to the Museum each year. Hope to continue.
    One other thing, I lived in an apartment for some time while flying out of Chicago. When I left I was taking things down and I threw, 125 trophies and plaques, into a dumpster. CL, FF, and RC. Still have a bunch. A number of kids became real modelers as they climbed in and took them home. HA!
    Sitting here in front of my “Confuser” I see things like “Founding Member of The American Air Museum in Britain” with a number of cards from 1995 to current. There are other proud items such as The National Aviation and Space
    Exploration Wall of Honor, Aviation Smithsonian, Steven F-Udvar-Hazy Center.
    Lots of other memos, but AMA is screwing me over with change after change because I don’t give a damn about computers and the silliness that change everything every week or so, as it so seems to me.
    Come on AMA? Forget the cute ladies you picture.

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