Special Rule for Model Aircraft Remains Federal Law

We are happy to announce big news related to FAA authorization. As of today, both the Senate and House of Representatives have passed a 14-month FAA extension, and the President has signed the bill into law.

We are very pleased that the FAA extension affirms our right to continue to fly within AMA’s community-based safety program and free from additional government regulations. Congress continues to recognize the importance of AMA and our strong commitment to safety.

As you know, AMA aggressively engaged with Congress to achieve the best possible result for our members. It is through these advocacy efforts that we were able to achieve our goal of maintaining the Special Rule for Model Aircraft and protecting our hobby. This victory adds to AMA’s history of successfully advocating for our members at the federal level, including with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forrest Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the FAA and Congress.

There are two important things for all AMA members to know about the extension. The first, and most important for our hobby, is that the extension preserves the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act) through September 2017. And second, while this bill does not nullify FAA’s requirement to register, we are pleased to share that the problematic language that existed in earlier FAA bills has been removed.

Our advocacy efforts are not over – we continue to work with the FAA on reducing the burden of the registration requirement on AMA members. And, over the next 14 months, we will continue to work with Congress on a long-term reauthorization bill that will further strengthen the Special Rule for Model Aircraft and advance other protections of our longstanding hobby.

We want to extend our appreciation to all of our members for your support throughout this process.


  1. SO basically I am still banned from flying RC unless its under 250g ?

    1. Chris,
      You are not banned from flying a model aircraft. When flying for recreational purposes, RC pilots must meet all the criteria of part 336 of the 2012 Modernization and Reform Act, or operate under Part 107 of the FAA sUAS Final Rule that came out last month. If you are an AMA member, following our safety code, you can operate as you have since 2012. FAA still requires registration on aircraft between .55lbs – 55lbs, which is an issue the AMA is still working on.

      1. Isn’t the registration on the pilot kind of like a driver’s license or social security number, not the aircraft? With a requirement to place the pilots registration number on the aircraft.

        1. CRTSR,
          You are correct that only the model aircraft pilot receives a registration number. This number can then be used on all of the models that you own.

          1. Registration is not a license, it is aircraft registration. Read part 47 and 48. You can fly a model aircraft registered to someone else without owning a model aircraft yourself. No licence required. The FAA may say registration is required but I think if an RC pilot meets all the criteria of part 336 of the 2012 Modernization and Reform Act then requiring registration of a model aircraft is against federal law. When the FAA promulgated part 48 they violated section 336. Would the AMA please explain why they don’t agree?

            At least we have John A. Taylor and his case to have a court look at this matter and make a ruling. Again. Would the AMA pleas explain why they did not file such a suit or join Mr. Taylor?

            1. Jesse,
              AMA did file a petition with the US Court of Apeals, which the FAA has delayed numerous times. In addition to the court petition, talks resume between AMA and the FAA this September regarding the use of AMA numbers in place of FAA registration.

          2. Tyler,

            Mr. Taylor’s case is not stalled like the AMA petition filed in 2014. It has a current briefing schedule and his case directly addresses model aircraft registration. The AMA is not arguing against registration while they do argue against the FAA’s 2014 interpretation of 336. Why?

          3. Jesse,

            FAA’s Interpretation of the Special Rule is why the FAA believes registration is permitted. The FAA is not promulgating new rules, they are applying existing aviation rules. We believe addressing this is interpretation is best course of action.

          4. Thanks for the answer Chad. Part 48 did not exist until the FAA promulgated it 3 years after 336, that is a new rule. Also, section 336 says “may not promulgate any rule”. It does not say “new”. Either way, the FAA promulgated Part 48 in violation of 336 and the APA, IMO. Hopefully we’ll see a decision from the court regarding Mr. Taylor’s case while 336 still exists.

    2. YES…!! you are right flyer friend.!!! you still are under FAA, etc,etc control!.

  2. All this talk about “model aircraft” as opposed to “drones”… Can some one please explain in terms I can follow exactly what IS a “model aircraft” as opposed to a quad or drone… One falls under all sorts of new regulations, and the other seems to be not covered. I am having a huge amount of trouble understanding how do I tell the difference? If a “model” must be patterned after some full size aircraft to be a model, then how do the various stunt planes or many gliders or many helicopters fall under that classification?

    1. Hi Ted,

      I’m over simplifying here, but a model aircraft is any unmanned device that can sustain flight and stay in visual line of sight. Fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, 3D, multirotors, etc… are all model aircraft. The FAA and media will often refer to model aircraft as drones, which was a term borrowed from the military.

      The airport notification requirement applies to all model aircraft regardless of size or operation. The FAA registration requirement applies to models over .55lbs that can be remotely navigated outdoors in the airspace.

      1. And yet I can buy or build an ultralight aircraft that will carry 1 or 2 people with an empty weight of less than 254 lbs with no licensing or registration requirements at all. (OH Yea, then I could put 200lbs of C4 in the passenger seat and fly it into an FBI building or the FAA building) DUH…..If anyone thinks this is anything but an intentional attack on our HOBBY by the FAA and government they are deluding themselves. I will again stand behind what I said before that this Grandfather will not register nor allow his challenged grandson to register any of ouy “TOYS”. Thank you.

        1. Nope! ALL legal ultralights are single seat. There haven’t been any two seat training exemptions since sport pilot was passed years ago. And there are VERY few aircraft that meet the requirements. No sense in fearmongering. Most ultralights don’t have any kinetic energy to speak of, and would bounce off a garden shed. Have built and piloted several ultralights and homebuilts, I’m reasonably familiar with them. Now about the “drone” issue.

          For most RC pilots, it is simple over regulation. Where might regulations be needed? Well, an altitude and distance limitation might be a good place to start. I’ve had close calls in full scale aircraft flying at an airport next to an RC field. Ultralights are unregulated because the pilot has a VERY vested interest in it not crashing. In our neck of the woods, firefighting aircraft have been grounded ver irresponsible drone use. Another thing might be regulating craft that carry video or telemetry equipment. I’d say most of the drone ” problems” are cause by craft sporting those features…

    2. The FAA term is sUAS, Small Unmanned Aircraft system. Covers anything that flys and is unmanned, controlled remotely. The term drone is something left over from WW2 and is commonly used by the military.

    3. I think my question has been misunderstood- My point is according to many, the FAA can not make rules governing MODEL AIRCRAFT….. but then they make rules governing drone (more or less meaning things like quadcopters). If I were to grant the argument they can regulate ONE type and not the other- how can I tell the difference between them? To me it simply looks like ALL radio controlled aircraft are the same basically, just fly differently, like helicopters, gliders, sport planes, stunt planes, and real models of real full scale people carrying aircraft. I am confused HOW the FAA defines one group (or type) from the other. I see no definitive way to distinguish one type from the other.

      The question of IF the FAA has the right to regulate ALL radio controlled aircraft, or some, or only certain types is not even my question. I don’t see HOW they, or anyone can draw a distinction clear enough to make sense.

      1. Ted,
        Model aircraft is any unmanned device that can sustain flight and stay in visual line of sight. Fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, 3D, multirotors, etc… are all model aircraft. The FAA and media will often refer to model aircraft as drones, which was a term borrowed from the military. The FAA maintains that aircraft registration is an existing law, and therefore states unmanned aircraft registration is within the law. The AMA will resume talks with the FAA in the next few months in hopes of resolving this issue.

  3. Great job by our HQ Staff Chad and Tyler, and Rich Hanson and everyone else that had a hand in bringing this about!

    1. Thank you also to our members who engaged Congress in 2012 and again 2016 with our Congressional letter writing campaign.

  4. I may have missed a previous post addressing this but any word on confirmation of new requirements to fly sUAS commercially with regard to photo and video use? I last read about a new certification test at an FAA approved testing center….when will this be official and when will we be able to begin pursuing this commercial certification?

  5. This is no “victory”. As long as the FAA requires AMA members to register they are in violation of the law. Why can’t AMA see this? I have been a leader member in AMA for years and I question our leadership for continuing to cooperate with someone in violation of the law. We need to consider our level of cooperation in the future!

    1. Glenn,

      We have a petition with the US Court of Appeals. The court process will take years, so we are also actively working to resolve this through the FAA and Congress.

  6. thanks- some clarifications please as the pages of documents are not clear:
    1) if not an AMA member is one still covered with the model aircraft exception?-, or is it explicitly stated in the federal document one needs to be AMA? (I ask because of question 3 below)
    2) its not clear in the language of the exemption if one can fly over 400 feet. Please clarify . are drones distinct form gliders?
    3) you say follow the 2012 rules. But back then it was ok to fly FPV. It wasnt recommended then by AMA, but is it legal now if its recreational?

    1. Hi Bruce,

      1) The FAA requires modelers satisfy all of the criteria of 336 to earn the recreational/hobby exemption. To operate within AMA’s community-based organization, a pilot needs to be a member who signs off on our safety code, can receive continuing education/communication, and fosters responsible flying through benefits such as insurance.
      2) Yes you can fly over 400 feet if you are an AMA member, following our community based safety programs, keep your model within visual line of sight, and avoid manned aircraft.
      3) Yes you can fly FPV if you are an AMA member following our safety programming including document 550 which requires a spotter. You can also fly FPV under FAA’s Part 107 rule if you take a test, earn a FAA remote pilot certificate, and acquire an FAA/FPV waiver.

      1. Sounds like a win-almost win situation .We get to keep flying a little bit longer,and the AMA gets mandatory joining.”Almost soon to be 200,00 members”————————

        1. Hi David,

          Hobbyists are not required to join the AMA to fly model aircraft. Model pilots have the option to comply with Part 107. After August 29, the federal government will require all hobbyists to follow either the FAA rules in Part 107 or operate within a CBO. No longer can a hobbyist fly without learning and being held accountable to a set of rules.

          1. Not so, Chad. Any hobbyist can fly any time he wants to if he chooses to disregard the FAA ruling. The FAA is ridiculous in requiring registration for hobby models. It’s a joke. The FAA cannot enforce it and has enough trouble watching over the full scale fleet and pilots. I’m amused that modelers and you take the FAA ruling so seriously. If I fly on private property away from the public no one is going to challenge me. I’m a Life Member of the AMA, but I am not registering. I have faith the FAA will go along with the AMA member number scheme in lieu of FAA numbers. If the FAA doesn’t, I say sue them, and disregard their malarkey in the meantime. The AMA has been too weak during this whole fiasco. I would have sued the FAA the moment they stabbed us in the back. The present AMA leadership didn’t have the grit to do that. All AMA members have suffered because of this.

          2. Model pilots may act in civil disobedience and violate federal regulations, but AMA has a long history of safe and responsible flying and to maintain that track record we encourage our members to comply with federal regulations.

            We have a petition with the US Court of Appeals and continue to engage the FAA to allow members to use their AMA numbers in lieu of FAA numbers. We expect to make progress in the coming months.

  7. Here is a terrific example of how the AMA uses our dues to benefit us. Our yearly dues have been well spent above and beyond the great deal on insurance we enjoy. Thank You

    1. Thanks also needs to go to our members, donors, and others in the industry who helped with this extension.

  8. Food for thought ….Would the FAA have ever considered classifying Toy Model airplanes as DRONES if the AMA through Congress had not added Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. This basically as I see it just PISSED OFF the FAA to the point that they got Upset with congress telling them how to do their job. This caused them to compleatly “INTERPRET” #336 exactly opposite than the congress and the AMA intended. I also believe had this amendment #336 not happened the FAA would have Souley gone after the people flying Drones (QUADcopters) where and when it was considered a safety hazard to maned aircraft operations. Now this is just my humble opinion.

  9. Ok I myself have multiple large aircraft 50% on up and the ones requiring the LMAI I have those as well . Question is do we still half to register them being over the 55 pound criteria ? Also keeping this size of a plane under 400 feet is a struggle what can we do about that ?

    1. As an AMA member you are not capped at 400 feet if you follow our safety program, keep your model in visual line of sight, and avoid manned aircraft. As for registration, we were told by the FAA to advise our members in good faith that an N number registration is not required for their LMA models.

  10. Well since they didn’t get the registration issue changed I guess
    I will have to continue to not fly because I refuse to register
    under the current setup….bummer.

  11. I love being part of AMA , but what have we actually accomplished , I thought the
    premise was that registration of our craft was intrusive overstep, there have always
    been laws on the books to penalize offenders.
    Registration is not going to stop one Muslim Terrorist from doing what they do,
    it will not stop one crazed patsy from doing what they do.
    The Federal Government will never stop meddling in every aspect of our lives
    until we take legal action and a firm stance against them , lip service from
    the federal government about how they listen to us and are concerned is disingenuous.
    Can you remember the last time they repealed a law , or eliminated the
    income tax code that was supposed to be in place for a couple of short years?
    I support groups like Judicial Watch and GOA, legal action is the only peaceable
    way we are going to curb government overreach, “Voting Harder” has never worked,
    the government has absolutely no concern for you safety , their nature is ‘growth’
    and expansion, business it good……

    1. Hi Steve,

      We do have a petition with the US Court of Appeals and will continue to work on the registration issue.

      1. Thank you for the info Chad.
        I and others I believe would be happy
        to contribute specifically to any legal fund
        you have or will set up to challenge any
        unjust legislation , specifically to the
        challenges though , not into the
        ‘General AMA’ budget.

  12. What is the code you refer to (the under 400 feet, not around crowds, etc)?

    What is exempted as an AMA member that would not be if someone was not?

    1. Hi David,

      As of August 29, all pilots must either operate under Part 107 or fully satisfy all of the criteria of Section 336, the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.

      Part 107 has rules that do not allow for flight over 400′ or above people without waivers. AMA’s Safety Code does not permit flight over people and requires pilots to coordinate with airports if they plan to fly over 400′ within three miles of an airport. https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF

  13. Tyler Dobbs says above: “If you are an AMA member, following our safety code, you can operate as you have since 2012.”

    Back in 2012, I didn’t have to notify all airports within a 5-mile radius of my location that I was flying. Then the FAA came out with its “interpretations” and then we did have to notify.

    What is the status of that now?

    1. Hi Bill,

      Back in 2012 you were required to notify airports within five miles of your operations under public law 112-95. You are correct, registration was not mandated back then, but it is an issue we are still working to address.

      1. Is the three miles you stated above to David Blumberg a change from the five mile limit or a typo?

        1. The three mile vs five mile rules can be confusing.

          All hobbyists, including AMA members, must notify airports within five miles of their operations.

          All AMA members must also and coordinate with airports within three miles if they plan to go above 400-feet per our Safety Code https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF.

          1. Statute or nautical miles? In FAA lingo it is important as airspace is designated in nautical miles and visibility in statute. The average RC pilot would most likely not be aware and assume he is good to fly outside 3 or 5 statute miles when he may actually operating be within the lateral airspace limits.You might want to confirm this as all guidance is just “miles”.

          2. We have engaged the FAA with this same question. The airport notification requirements are based on statute miles, not nautical.

    1. Richard,

      Congress will either extend the law for another period of time or draft a new FAA authorization bill. Prior to the 2012 bill, Congress created 26 extensions. It is difficult to tell if Congress will extend the bill again in 2017, but it is likely a new bill we be proposed next year. Our advocacy efforts are not over.

    1. Yes, you can fly at night if you follow AMA’s Safety Code which requires adequate lighting giving the pilot a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times.

  14. Section 336:

    the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any
    rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft,

    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and
    within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design,
    construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a
    community-based organization;

    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned
    aircraft; and

    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport
    operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the
    airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent
    location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating
    procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic
    facility is located at the airport)).

    By claiming that an RC aircraft for hobby use has to be registered with the FAA is in direct violation of FEDERAL LAW, duly passed by Congress……period.

    Therefore, the FAA can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Any fine that the FAA attempts to impose won’t stand up in court. It wouldn’t even be heard in court. Any judge would throw it out….lock, stock, and barrel.

  15. The new regulations have nothing to do with “what” you fly, but rather the “purpose” of the flight. If flown strictly for recreation, the 336 “special rule” applies. If flown commercially, the new Part 107 rules apply.

  16. How do you register? I checked with my local hobby shop and they dud not know!
    CW Sees
    AMA # 866151

  17. I know there is a restriction within a certain miles (?13) around Washington DC that is restricted to model aircraft flying. Does this apply to micro sized planes like Hobbyzone Champ? Thanks

    1. The DC no fly zone is 15 miles and grounds all models, regardless of weight or size.

  18. Yeah!!!!!!! 16 x .55 = 8.8 oz. so HLG,P-30, 1/2A FF and back yard “flight Streaks” are exempt.

    1. That is correct. If you exclusively fly FF, CL, or indoors and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.

  19. Thanks from Canada for your tireless efforts in dealing with Congress. Much appreciated. Proud to be a member of AMA and looking forward to flying again this winter with my friends in Arizona.

  20. You cannot say that the extension “preserves part 336 of the 2012 Modernization and Reform Act ” if the FAA’s Registration is still required. 336 plainly says that ” no rules shall be made against Model Aircraft “.

    1. The FAA believes they are not introduce new rules, but are applying existing rules. We are still working on the registration issue.

    1. Thank you, and thanks to our members and other in the industry who helped.

  21. Why is this only an extension for only 14 months? Why isn’t it permanent?
    thank you for getting us at least to this point though! If not for the AMA, we would be under the thumb by now or not even able to fly! glad cool heads prevailed!

    1. Congress must periodically evaluate FAA’s authority and budget, which can affect model aviation. This Congress cycle will be part of our world for the immediate future.

  22. TO THE ENTIRE AMA STAFF, Thank you so very much for the constant hard work you have given the members of this great organization !! I know you have heard criticism from some of the members ,but the members that really count appreciate your hard work and results you have attained. I am proud to be a member,THANK YOU .
    Wayne Parrish
    Apex , NC

    1. Thank all of you for the huge efforts to direct controls toward abusers rather than all of us. The intent of any law controlling use of UAS, power tools, automobiles, ball bats, or knitting needles needs to address ABUSE and ABUSERS, not the devices and proper, safe users.

  23. Thanks AMA for being steadfast. Also the members should be congratulated too; for contacting their representatives in government to voice their concerns of the new FAA rules that impose upon the rights of the the model aircraft operator.

    1. Our members played a key role in getting the Special Rule passed in 2012 and again in 2016. Thanks.

    1. You do not need to register. Pilots who exclusively fly CL, FF, indoors, and/or aircraft under .55 lbs do not need to register.

  24. when are we going to find out one the restrictions for building and selling multi rotors or do you have to get some sort of license to do that ?

    1. Section 2124 has been excluded from this bill. There are no new regulations on hobbyists who build aircraft.

      Section 2203 does requires that sUAS manufacturers must provide safety literature to buyers. If you intend to build and sell aircraft as a business, then you will want to become familiar with 2203.

  25. I thought that it was decided that while we do have to register with the FAA that we done have to actually put our number one our aircraft, that we just have to have our FAA number either in our possession or be able to show it electronically. Can you clarify the ruling on this matter? Thank you.

    1. Perry,

      You must place your number inside or on your aircraft. The number must be accessible without tools. Some pilots place their number inside the battery hatch while others mark the exterior.

    2. In case of and incident, how would the authorities know who’s aircraft it was if the number was not on the plane?

  26. I have been trying to explain this to people, both in the hobby and not. Because most articles in the media show a multi-rotor aircraft when referring to drones, many people, including those that may be AMA members, use the word “drone” to refer to a multi-rotor as opposed to fixed wing model aircraft. Therefore, they see rules that apply to both the fixed wing and multi-rotor RC aircraft as applying to only the multi-rotor variety. I’m not sure we can change that unless it is continually pointed out.

    1. Correct, FAA and Congressional rules and regulations apply to all small unmanned aircraft systems including more traditional model aircraft, not just multirotors.

    2. I will continue to point it out with this:

      Definition of drone

      3: an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control or onboard computers

  27. Am I the only one that thinks the AMA continues to sugarcoat things to make it look like we won anything? Saying the special rule is preserved means nothing as long as the AMA does not stand up to the clear violation of the existing special rule. Part 336 banned the FAA from “promulgating new regulation”, yet they went ahead and did it anyway with the registration requirement, which was clearly new regulations. Now everyone is supposed to cheer the extension of the special rule, but we still have to abide by the new regulations (FAA registration) since it remains in effect. So can someone at AMA please clarify what exactly is going to keep the FAA from promulgating more new regulations whenever they feel like in the future, regardless of what the special rule states?

    1. We have a petition with the US Court of Appeals and are continuing our work to address the registration requirement.

    2. Daniel Miller, you are not the only one that thinks this way, I have not nor will I ever register this gov overreach. As far as myself I will remain an AMA member until my AMA registration runs out Dec. 2017. or the FAA reg is removed.

  28. Shame om you AMA for not posting my comment. It was nothing but facts. You guys fit right in with the Washington self serving types that promote their own agenda. Just one more reason to speak out against you and your failure to support the model airplane hobbiests at any opportunity I get.
    Stop spinning this extension as something it’s not. The FAA’s registration violates Section 336 and you know it.

  29. I have been flying model airplanes since 1952. I have been a member in good standing with the AMA since 1958. Now I am told that i am required to register with the FAA in order to do what I have been doing responsibly for 64 years?

    It will be a cold day in hell before this repressive governmental agency will see my name on a registration application. I’m almost 75 years old … guess I’m done flying model airplanes. If there’s anyone out there who wants to buy lots of great stuff, get in touch. A sad way to end a wonderful life-long relationship.

    Dave Gierke AMA 35977, HOF 2003

    1. Hello David. I have echoed your opinion several times myself. I have a challenged grandson that I raise and this “HOBBY” is a joy to him. I will however refuse not to fly. They can come to the park or field and arrest me and my autistic grandson anytime they want and I will be out there the following week flying again. I will not let them win.

    2. As an AMA member, I have been flying RC since 1969.

      As mentioned above, Section 336….duly passed into current FEDERAL law by Congress states in no uncertain terms….that as an RC hobbyist, I am EXEMPT from having to “register” my aircraft with the FAA…..period.

      The FAA’s requirement to register is an FAA “ruling” that is in direct violation of current FEDERAL law.

      And this FAA “ruling” was implemented AFTER Section 336 was passed into current FEDERAL law.

      If the AMA cannot understand this, then their current leadership is inept.

      As for the FAA, the FAA is in direct violation of current FEDERAL law. And the FAA’s registration requirement for registration of aircraft used solely for recreational/hobby use won’t….I REPEAT WON’T….stand up in ANY court of law.

      As such, ANY fine “levied” by the FAA on me will NOT be paid. And I WILL take any and all appropriate legal action against the FAA.

      The FAA should immediately remit any and all fees taken from all RC recreational hobbyists that have been ripped off by this FAA scam.

      1. Joe,

        If you plan to take on the FAA in court, I hope that you have deep pockets – unless, of course, you plan to handle the case yourself.

        Personally, I can’t understand all of the uproar about having to pay a fee of $5.00 every three years ($1.66 per year) and having to stick a little number on a model. There are more important things in life to take up my time and energy. Except for the registration part, there has been ZERO impact on our ability to fly our models in a lawful and safe manner – and we should be operating this way, FAA registration or not.

        1. Bob,

          The FAA has been taken to court by John A. Taylor and TechFreedom has filed an amicus brief in support of Mr. Taylor. This is not “uproar” and it’s not about the 5$. Some of us think the FAA has broken federal law and/or that model aircraft are exempt from registration. Thanks to Mr. Taylor and his supporters we have a current case in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and it will be interesting to read their decision.

        2. Wow, I am always surprised at how easily some folks just lay down and roll over. Its not about the 5 dollars friend its about law. It’s about a agency that was specifically told to leave us alone and laughed in the face of congress and every single one of us. The FAA was not told to make no new laws they were told they were not to make ANY rules period. (The FAA has no legal right to make law in the first place. That is the job of congress.) Then the ama gets involved and files lots of things just not the one thing they should have done instead of wasting now how many millions of dollars? The government has no right to force us to register for anything. It is going to be a disaster when this online registration gets hacked and a bunch of kids are put in jeopardy from online freaks. There are so many parts of this that is wrong and unlawful and friend…. if you roll over yet again, if you let the government take yet another freedom away… sooner or later (like if you voter hillary for president instead of hillary for prison) you will get exactly what you wanted. Regulation run amuck and no personal freedoms left. Then you will look around and ask….what happened, how did this happen??? The answer? You failed to see any importance in standing up for your rights and the rights of others. We did not win anything AMA. We still are stuck with a fraudulent FAA ruling that you should have stood against in the first place. Please do not tell us about the paperwork filed and file the right things this time.
          Just sayin….

        3. “you plan to handle the case yourself”

          Yes, I do.

          In addition, are you sure that the $5 will be permanent and not be increased in the future?

          And Bob, it won’t take much time or effort since the “rule” that the FAA made is in direct violation of CURRENT FEDERAL LAW.

          So any judge will rule in my favor…..before it even goes to court.

          And then the FAA will go forth to find another “sucker” to harass and leave me alone.

          Remember, the FAA has a budget, too. And they can’t be wasting money on obviously frivolous lawsuits…..instigated by the FAA themselves.

          This is yet another way to fight this “illegal” FAA ruling.

          All AMA members should file suit against the FAA and the FAA’s legal dept. will be overwhelmed.

        4. Guys,

          I suppose that this really boils down to whether “model aircraft” are “aircraft”. The way I see it (and apparently the way FAA sees it) is that a model plane is something that is made of plastic and sets on a stand on a desk. All craft that can fly are “aircraft” and the FAA feels that they have the right to make rules that affect these “aircraft” as long as the rule applies to ALL “aircraft”, regardless of size. Now, if a judge rules that “model aircraft” are not “aircraft”, then the FAA is clearly in the wrong. But if the judge rules that “model aircraft” are indeed “aircraft”, then the FAA is in the clear.

          It seems like AMA has all but put this whole issue to bed, at least until next year and AMA members can continue to fly like we always have. Could the situation change in the future? Sure, but I believe that AMA will be successful in ironing out all of the outstanding issues with the FAA as they continue to work together.

          And by the way, I’m not “rolling over”, I’m just trying to use some common sense and not make a mountain out of a mole-hill…at least until the moles get bigger.

  30. I am 72 years old and have been flying since I was 10 (control line at the local school yard). I have registered and am going to continue to fly! First, thank you very much to all the AMA staff and AMA members who worked on all our behalf to keep our hobby viable. Chad Budreau you’re are a very patient man… many thanks. It seems to me that we have vilified the FAA a bit. While I do not agree with their position, I can certainly see why they reacted as they did when faced with a UAS usage boom. They have good folks working there doing the best they can with the tools they have been given to keep the public safe. As AMA members and experienced flyers we believe that we can fly safely. We have demonstrated that for many years. But that was not the issue. It was all the new folks that had no experience. In a large part this is a political issue. The public became aware of the usage boom through the media and pressed for a solution to the perceived safety issue. In my opinion, the FAA did a hasty knee-jerk reaction to just do something but then continued to participate in a process to work out a better solution. Good for them working out a solution and all the rest of the organizations that had a part. Bottom line for me is that this is a give and take process. We all advocate for our position then compromise to reach an agreement. If we can’t agree, we have the courts to make judgements. That’s democracy… you seldom get your own way but in the end it’s OK. It’s not a perfect system but better that any other I’ve seen.

  31. so Drones are rightly banned from National Parks and Monuments
    But what about RC gliders?

    1. Hi Bruce,

      All model aircraft are banned from take offs and landing in National Parks and Monuments. Too often we find the media, government, and other agencies generically refer to all UAS or model aircraft as simply drones. We are in talks with the NPS to explore options to safely reintroduce modeling under certain conditions.

  32. Dear AMA,

    Just getting back into the hobby after a 15 year rest. I just finished dusting off six of my 20-year old glow planes and converting them all from FM. I also just re-applied for my AMA membership and club membership.

    Forgive me for my recent arrival to this issue, and this naive question (this post is the first that I ever encountered anything about FAA registration ..).

    If you could, please clarify:

    1. As of the rules that apply today, we have until the end of August 2016 to obtain a FAA registration number regardless of AMA membership or not (yes or no)?

    2. The extension granted until Sept. 2017 mentioned in the article is unrelated to this registration procedure (yes or no)?

    Thank you for bringing me up to speed!

    1. Hi Scott,

      Welcome back to the hobby! Much has remained the same, but there are a lot of new technologies and some rules that didn’t exist 15 years ago. To answer your questions:

      1) All modelers, including AMA members, must register with the FAA before flight at https://registermyuas.faa.gov. There is a $5 fee that covers your registration for three years. You immediately receive a number that must be placed inside or on your aircraft. You must also carry a copy of your certificate (either in print or digital form). The only exceptions are pilots who exclusively fly CL, FF, indoors, or models under .55 lbs. The August 29, 2016 date you reference is primarily related to commercial, civil, and non CBO/AMA members. No additional special action is needed from you in late August if you fly as an AMA member for recreation.

      2) The extension is unrelated to registration. You still are required to register, although we are still working on the issue.

      Happy flying!

      1. If we fly for recreation only do we have to…

        A. Register with the FAA.
        B. Become a member of the AMA.
        C. All of the Above.

        1. Eric,
          Registration is required for flying, but the AMA resumes talks with the FAA in September to address this issue. Hobbyists are not required to join the AMA to fly model aircraft. Model pilots also have the option to comply with Part 107. After August 29, the federal government will require all hobbyists to follow either the FAA rules in Part 107 or operate within the programing of a CBO. No longer can a hobbyist fly without learning and being held accountable to a set of rules.

          1. No longer can a hobbyist fly without learning and being held accountable to a set of rules.

            That token response from the AMA is doublespeak, as no one is unaccountable for their actions, either legally (for irresponsible or dangerous flying) or personally (crashing an expensive toy because you didn’t know how to use it). The truth, on the other hand, feels more like…

            No longer can someone enjoy their private property (aka, toys) without paying the AMA and nudging individual rights a little closer to the cliff.

            With all due respect, it would be easier to believe the AMA is on the hobby community’s side if (now having the sole monopoly on mandatory membership (complying with Part 107 is a joke for hobby fliers)) they would offer a free level of membership to the community, the sole reason for the AMA’s existence, and who’s same members are being steamrolled using the AMA’s proposed legislation (336). Offering this free tier to comply with the CBO portion of the guidelines, until mandatory FAA registration goes away, seems like it would be more motivating and less of a conflict of interest than sitting back and soaking up mandatory membership “in the meantime”.

      2. Not for recreational use.

        To say otherwise is in direct contradiction of current FEDERAL law.

        Recreational RC hobbyists are EXEMPT from any rulings by the FAA….according to Section 336.

        And NO FINES CAN BE LEVIED by the FAA with regards to Section 336….period.

  33. Please remind us Private or Light Sport pilots what training and forms/approvals might be required for UAS hobby or commercial operation. Thanks.

    1. NeonDon,
      Commercial operations almost always operate under Part 107 of the FAA sUAS Final Rule, which requires a remote pilot certificate. Since you fall under Part 61, we understand it to mean no testing is required to obtain the remote pilot certificate. Although no testing is required, you may have to go through additional training courses. If you’re operating for recreational purposes, you must following part 336 (The Special Rule for Model Aircraft) and within the programing of a CBO, or under Part 107 of the FAA sUAS Final Rule Part 107.

  34. Regarding the legal fight over registration, may I suggest that at the next judicial hearing the AMA file for a summary dismissal of this requirement, since the FAA doesn’t seem fit to actually show up in court?

    R Strowe

  35. I think it’s very wrong that i am now being forced to join an Organization i despise just to fly my model Airplanes. Thank you AMA for taking the joy out of building and flying rc airplanes. Because of the wording that was added to the new rules I am forced to join the AMA (since it’s the only organization the FAA recognizes) as acceptable. The Way the AMA manipulated the FAA and pulled the wool over everyones eyes was pretty slick. But the outcome means if you fly any model aircraft anywhere in the US without an AMA license you can get fined. Pretty slick. This is just like the National Hotrod Association tricking the Department of Transportation into forcing eveybody to join their association just to race a car. I think it’s pretty sad for sure. Some little kid can get a toy electric airplane for this christmas and a group of AMA Guru’s can call the law on him and have him fined for not being a member of the AMA.. The FAA sure got fooled. or perhaps we did by the officers and lawyers of the AMA since it’s a windfall money making scheme for them. I hope you guys choke on my $75 bucks a year.

  36. Has AMA promulgated an recommended form letter that is to be sent to airports and airport managers that lie within a 5 NM radius of the RC field? If so, where can I download it?

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