Utah to consider flights over 400 feet as a misdemeanor

UPDATE 3/2/2017:
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, an amendment was added to S.B. 111 clarifying that anyone who flies model aircraft for recreation must either comply with SB111 OR the Special Rule For Model Aircraft.

The Special Rule For Model Aircraft, sometimes referred to as Section 336 or 14 CFR 101 Subpart E, recognizes community-based safety programming and allows our members to operate under our programming which includes flight over 400 feet.

The Governor has not signed the amended bill into law yet, but we are cautiously optimistic. We will continue to provide updates online, in social media, and will email our members in Utah once the bill is signed.

Utah is pushing through legislation that is harmful to the operation of model aircraft and violates federal authority.

So far AMA’s government relations team was successful in removing language such as restrictions on nighttime operations, but now we need your help to stop other unjust restrictions.

The bill, S.B. 111 is currently under reveiw by the governor. The bill mandates that modelers must operate below 400 feet. While that altitude limit is appropriate for many modelers, this bill prohibits safe and federally-approved operations over 400 feet. AMA members could unjustly face misdemeanors for following AMA’s safety programming to operate sailplanes, turbine aircraft, large model aircraft, and other disciplines above 400 feet. S.B. 111 also penalizes model pilots with approval from the FAA from conducting commercial operations over 400 feet.

The bill’s airport notification requirement is not consistent with federal guidelines and could be problematic.

We have created a letter on your behalf at www.modelaircraft.org/gov/sb111.

Please act now to stop this problematic bill!