Here’s the Reason The FAA’s Drone Registration System Doesn’t Make Sense

Last week, the US Department of Transportation and FAA released their rules governing drones, model aircraft, unmanned aerial systems, and quadcopters – a rose by any other name will be regulated as such. Now that the online registration system is up and running.

The requirements for registering yourself under the FAA’s UAS registration system are simple: if you fly a model aircraft, drone, control line model, or unmanned aerial system weighing more than 250g (0.55 lb), you are compelled under threat of civil and criminal penalties to register.

This is, by far, one of the simplest rules ever promulgated by the FAA, and looking at the full text shows how complicated this rule could have been. Representatives from the Academy of Model Aircraft, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Consumer Electronics Association weighed in on what types of aircraft should be registered, how they should be registered, and even how registration should be displayed.

Considerable attention was given to the weight limit; bird strikes are an issue in aviation, and unlike drones, bird strikes have actually brought down airliners. The FAA’s own wildlife strike report says, “species with body masses < 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) are excluded from database,”. The Academy of Model Aircraft pushed to have the minimum weight requiring registration at two pounds, citing their Park Flyer program to define what a ‘toy’ is.

Rules considering the payload carrying ability of an unmanned aerial system were considered, the inherent difference between fixed wing and rotors or quadcopters was considered, and even the ability to drop toy bombs was used in the decision-making process that would eventually put all remotely piloted craft weighing over 250g under the FAA’s jurisdiction. We must at least give the FAA credit for doing what they said they would do: regulate drones in a way that anyone standing in line at a toy store could understand. While the FAA may have crafted one of the simplest rules in the history of the administration, this rule might not actually be legal.

The FAA gave us the easiest solution, but perhaps not a legal solution

A Piper Pawnee PA-25, an agricultural airplane also used for glider towing. Also, Dusty from Planes. Source
A Piper Pawnee PA-25, an agricultural airplane also used for glider towing. Also, Dusty from Planes. Source

To consider how bad the FAA rules for unmanned aerial systems could have been, we need only to look at current FAA rules. To the right is a Piper Pawnee PA-25 – a plane commonly used for ‘crop dusting’ and glider tows – with different rules for the operation of this aircraft depending on what it is doing.

When used as an agricultural aircraft, the pilot must obey a certain set of rules, in this case Part 137. These rules are extremely lax; the pilot does not need to observe normal airport traffic patterns, and when this plane is used for dusting crops, the pilot is basically free to do anything – fly within 500 feet of buildings, people, power lines, and property – so long as it doesn’t create a hazard.

These rules change if the aircraft is not being used to spray crops, and agricultural aircraft are commonly used to tow gliders up to altitude. There’s another rule for that buried in Part 91, and glider tow pilots are required to hold the proper endorsements. Since the PA-25 is a single-seat airplane, the pilot for this glider tow will be required to fly a glider towed up by another plane three times a year. Yes, in order to fly their airplane, glider tow pilots are required to fly another airplane to stay current.

This is just one example of how confusing FAA regulations can be, and there are thousands more like it. In creating the rules governing drones or unmanned aerial systems, the FAA displayed a tiny bit of wisdom and made a rule that anyone could understand. If it’s unmanned, controlled remotely, is flown outdoors, and weighs more than 250g, the pilot must be registered. There’s a problem with this rule, though: it may not be legal.

A few years ago, Congress passed the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, an immense 300-page tome that set directives to the FAA including how airports should be improved, what medical certificates apply to what type of pilot, and special rules for model aircraft.

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

In the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, ‘model aircraft’ are defined as, ‘an unmanned aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere, flown within visual line of sight, and flown for hobby or recreational purposes.’ If these qualifications are met, the FAA may not make a rule regarding these aircraft, so long as they are not flown within 5 miles of an airport.

Yet the requirements for the FAA’s UAS registration do just that. A month ago, 99% of the aircraft sold on HobbyKing were safe from FAA rules. By making a simple rule that anyone can understand, the FAA may have crossed a line, and overstepped the authority granted to it by Congress.

The Future of UAS Regulation

Understandably, there are more than a few people upset over the new regulation. [Bruce], a.k.a. [xjet] on YouTube has weighed in on the issue comparing the registration of model aircraft to the registration of sex offenders. While this is inflammatory, the sentiment is that the FAA is requiring the registration of aircraft that could never be a danger to national airspace remains.

There is perhaps a legal justification for requiring a registration number all model aircraft weighing more than 250g. In the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA is still allowed to, “pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system.” This means mid-air collisions, and the FAA itself has been propagandizing UAS and model aircraft sightings by pilots as ‘near misses’ with aircraft.

When (not if) the FAA registration system for UASs eventually goes to court, the legal justification will hinge on the safety of the national airspace system. Bird strikes, and ostensibly mid-air collisions with unmanned aircraft, can bring down airliners. Bird strikes are relatively common, though, and the weight limit for UAS isn’t based on empirical evidence. The FAA itself doesn’t think the risk of birds weighing less than 1kg (2.2lb) is very high, raising the question: is the limit of 250g on unmanned aircraft is too low?

For now, though, we’re stuck with the current system for registering unmanned drones, model aircraft, and quadcopters. It is not the best system possible, but for the general public it is very understandable. Even if the rule might be illegal and not based on empirical evidence, this is what the FAA was going for: a rule anyone could understand.

434 thoughts on “Here’s the Reason The FAA’s Drone Registration System Doesn’t Make Sense

  1. A bird weighing less than 2.2 lbs is probably not going to contain explosives, LOL. Birdflesh and man-made devices, weight and other things equal, pose a different set of risks. These concerns come a little late, IMO. It sounds to me like the FAA went above and beyond to give the folks a chance to weigh in on the lawmaking process.

      1. They ignored Congress completely!

        From the article: In the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA is still allowed to, “pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system.”

        To me that sounds like the FAA is authorized to go after the few people who endanger the safety of the national airspace system, not go after everybody including the 99% of us who do NOT endanger safety. New regulations is not “enforcement action”, and the law forbids regulation of model aircraft. I’m not registering until this has gone to court.

        1. I’m not registering at all even if it wins in the courts. This is just like the registration of guns. Law abiding gun owners who would have no intention of doing anything illegal with a firearm are being penalized because of a few outlaws. Insanity runs high when the pathological left wing democrats are in office.

      2. They ignored everyone and just pulled some random number out their collective butts.
        but the rule has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with regulating a mobile camera platform that can spy on the government.

      3. Actually they gave no chance for anyone to weigh in, the FAA forced its rule through as an “emergency action” to avoid scrutny, or comment. It also violated the exemption for model aircraft, whic stated that they could not make rules on model aircraft operated under the rules of a community based organization, (such as the AMA). Thankfully since this post was originated, a nnew round of actions in DC have enabled the protections and exemptions for model aircraft, and have ‘officially’ recognized the CBO status of AMA and it’s members. This happened due to the efforts of AMA and its members. Too bad that much money had to be spent to do this, funds that could have been used to aquire flying sights and do educational outreach as well.

    1. How is registration going to stop someone from strapping a bomb on something or flying in areas they aren’t supposed to??? Just like gun bans this is only going to limit the people who were already flying safely. The people who are flying unsafe wont register, wont care, and will still fly their “drones” just like they used to. The FAA is trying to create a rule without knowing anything about the hobby. If they actually listened to the council that they established this would have been much better for the hobby.

          1. Koplin – It appears you are correct. It is in fact in Carnesville Georgia (USA) – after me digging a little. However, that CGI remark needs confirmation. That thing looks real as heck to me. In any case WAY COOL! To bad his partner caught a golden BB in 2014. It appears the feds are STILL investigating this guy and his YouTube postings. There’s also this Connecticut kid that strapped a 9MM pistol to a quad and posted it firing on YouTube too. The recoil is minimal – but also fascinating to watch!

          2. Kyle Myers has a class 3 FFL with Type 7 License (dealers and manufacturer license) through FPS Industries, and is allowed to own and operate fully automatic weapons, short barreled shotgun, and other NFA weapons. He (FPS Industries) is licensed to sell them to other FFL holders, government agencies, and law enforcement.
            He can also mount weapons on quad-rotors if he likes, and sell them to law enforcement or other FFL holders.

            He is not licensed to manufacture explosives for commercial use (monetary gain) however, and this prompted an ATF raid on his property.

          3. OK you guys may be right about the special effects but it has me COMPLETELY fooled. His SLAVIC accent is right on too. Too bad the ATF and FBI are not done with him yet. This idea could be used by the CIA to replace the MQ1/RQ1 assassination drones in Yemen. Can you imagine NOT using a Hell Fire missile from a drone but this little monster flying up to Anwar al-Awlaki’s hut window and saying: “Say hello to my little friend…” 8-P

          4. This kid from Colchester Connecticut (USA) has no such FFL or any other kind of license or permit. His dad who is permit owner of gun helped him build it and they fly it in the woods. Kids says his college professor in New Britain CT helped him build it. The prof says he is lying… The local cops really hate this kid as he is an official P.I.T.A.

          5. daaa he is American the Russian is just the character of the channel
            and he is in America . and already the government tyranny try to shut up and close his channel but thank god the second protect him

          6. That guy is an American, he lives in Georgia. That was not filmed in Russia, it was filmed in Georgia, and the video is fake. It was designed to coincide worth the release of a call of duty video game because that drone was in the game. It is completely fake, and 100% American. Google FPSRussia, and see for yourself.

      1. It is probably ment to be enforced the same way hunting licences are or drivers licences. With your argument, there is no need for anyone to have a licence for anything att all.
        If you are flying your drone and someone from law enforcment asks to see your registration and you don’t have one, they fine you. If you are registered and fly wrecklesly and, for example, hit a person in a crowd (it has happened a few times att stadiums) then you can be held accountable for your wrecklesnes. Flying professionaly as an aerial cinematographer, all my machines are registered, not with numbers but with our company name, contact info etc. and that is a law i follow.
        I am trying to figure out what the whining is about. If you own an rc craft, the 5¤ fee isn’t going to be an issue. If you don’t intend to fly like an idiot and endanger people then it won’t make a difference.
        How does this law impeed on your hobby?

        1. I have a hunting license because I am making use of a shared and limited resource (e.g., game). For the record, many states don’t require a license for those hunting on their own property.

          My car and motorcycle are registered because I operate in an environment with other vehicular traffic. My ATV and lawn tractor are not registered because I don’t operate them in those places.

          Likewise, I fly my r/c aircraft in locations that do not interfere with aviation “traffic.” Were I to operate above 400′ or over cities and other places that could impact the general public, registration could be conceivably implemented.

          But I don’t do this. My radio controlled models are flown out in rural areas or in large open areas of parks far away from other activities. Or in my own yard below the tree-tops. If I am registered, I’m not going to be one of those nimrods who flies over crowds.

          “If you are flying your drone and someone from law enforcment [sic] asks to see your registration and you don’t have one, they fine you.”

          So, it’s OK for unelected bureaucrats to make a regulation (contrary to the laws passed by Congress, btw) requiring you to get permission to conduct an activity that the vast majority of people do without being a threat to anyone. In other words, flying a multi-rotor or small (9 ounce) foam r/c model my yard (below the treetops) without permission from the federal government is legal last month, but next month it’s illegal — with fines over a quarter million dollars and 3 years imprisonment? All for an activity that is just as harmless next month as it was last month?

          “If you are registered and fly wrecklesly and, for example, hit a person in a crowd….” Do you honestly believe that hobby fliers of r/c model airplanes are going to the the ones flying their DJI Phantoms into a crowd? No, we’re too busy having fun at our flying fields, local parks, or our own yards.

          We’re not upset about the $5 (although that is enough foam board for a couple of new planes). No, its the idea that an activity that most of us engage in without any impact to aviation or public safety has been vilified to the point where we have to receive permission from the federal government to engage in this activity.

          Please don’t equate idiot quad-copter users that you reference with the rest of the model aviation community. It’s insulting.

          1. “with fines over a quarter million dollars and 3 years imprisonment? All for an activity that is just as harmless next month as it was last month?” You obviously haven’t seen the War on Weed. XD

          2. Yeah but if you were to fly over a city, that would be other people’s business, and plenty of people do fly in cities. Laws have to cover everyone. They could theoretically make up special quad-zones where flying licenses don’t apply, but it’s much easier to just apply it to everyone, and arguably fairer.

            Because something was legal yesterday doesn’t mean it should be legal today. There weren’t any quadcopters a few years ago, so it’d have been pointless making the law. Laws change, just because they’re not eternal doesn’t make them wrong, it’s a practical thing.

            Not that I agree with this registration thing, just that your reasons aren’t logical arguments against it.

        2. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

        3. While your point is valid, insulting people can’t help wake them up. Those who choose to be blind, deaf, and short-sighted will continue to do so, no matter what anyone says, until they lose something that they way, then they will react, in their blind, deaf, and short-sighted (…and, ultimately, pointless) ways. The world is watching the degradation of North American society with fear, as a greater and greater percentage of those in power are more and more psychopathic and corrupt. This is nothing, when it comes to invasion of privacy, and even has some good in it. (Yes, I understand that, if a UAS is used for an ‘act of terror’, the people on the list will be the first ones investigated, as people generally will be learning on small ones before they move up to something capable of delivering a █████████████ to a █████████████.)

        4. keithfromcanada – Cool use of the No-Break space Alt+0160. And changing the HTML color to black. Very cool. i tried to send hidden text in a paragraph by cloaking it to HTML black. But WordPress converts it to white messing up the whole effect. You can also use the CODE tag to make some interesting text effects.

          Are you a HaD regular or irregular like Joey?

        5. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

      2. Someone’s showing their conservative colours. Most countries don’t have a complete gun ban. Most just require a license, just like driving a car. Some countries limit clip sizes, make it difficult to reload, and require a light background check / wait period so that you’re not a crazy or hyper-emotional (bad breakup > buy gun > murder). Most people who I see complaining about gun bans are the extreme conservatives who think certain US presidents are not Christian. LOL

        Seriously though… Taking your concern into consideration, if you need more than a few bullets to subdue a hostile or hunting an animal, then I completely understand the government concern: you’re probably hitting innocent bystanders and should leave it to the big boys (the cops).

        Making guns require a lot of effort to reload might stop or slow down mass murders who can’t source high mag assault rifles but won’t stop you from saving the day.

        The advantage for both the drone and gun rules would make it easy for them to confiscate them from the people who are using them dangerously without having to go through the courts. Using an unregistered drone to harass people to evade security? Easy peasy.

        Implementing, of course, is an entirely different matter.

      3. The safety Nazi have done it again. Just say its a safety issue and every gullible fool will think its a good thing and give up another piece of their freedom. If a law was passed that everyone must crawl to their car because they may fall down and hurt themselves, you would see thousands of fools crawling.

        1. Registration wont stop malefactors, but it will cause the ignorant to pause for thought and realise they have a deadly toy in their hands. RC modelling requires time, dedication and knowledge, and probably membership of a local RC club. Drones can be an impulse purchase given to ignorant cretins.

          Unfortunately the world’s supply of unthinking ignorant cretins appears unlimited, with consequences such as…

          Innocent bystanders are already being maimed for life by drones. See (ho ho) this picture
          http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/26bd77301877ecba3f35de08a8156d44
          from
          http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/i-saw-a-bit-of-his-eye-land-on-his-tshirt-toddlers-horror-drone-injury/news-story/

    2. How is registration going to stop someone from strapping a bomb on something or flying in areas they aren’t supposed to??? Just like gun bans this is only going to limit the people who were already flying safely. The people who are flying unsafe wont register, wont care, and will still fly their “drones” just like they used to. The FAA is trying to create a rule without knowing anything about the hobby. If they actually listened to the council that they established this would have been much better for the hobby.

      1. this is no different then gun laws. the idiots and non-law-abiding create the scenario’s that require new laws.

        up until recently, chicago had outright banned anyone from owning handguns, or concealed carry, and made other guns very difficult to legally own. yet chicago lead much of the country in shootings.

      2. Exactly. That is why murder shouldn’t be illegal. Bad guys are going to kill people anyway, and good guys don’t need the law to tell them not to. Do you buy my argument? How is it different from yours?

        1. Jim B: Sorry, but that’s a foolish counter-argument. Murder is illegal because you are harming another — whether that’s done with a firearm or a bomb-carrying radio-controlled model airplane.

          Making murder illegal provides a mechanism to dissuade people from killing and the means to punish them if they are not dissuaded.

          Registering the tools that an ill-intentioned person might use is silly because the ill-intentioned person isn’t going to engage in a process that will make it easier for him to be caught.

          Making model aviation illegal (without permission from the federal government) dissuades everyone from engaging in an activity that we’ve done for a long as their have been aircraft. As with all of the various gun registration schemes used (see the examples of Maryland and Canadian registration programs), there has never (I repeat, NEVER) been a criminal case solved by using any of these systems — at the cost of many hundreds of millions of dollars wasted only to create a database of people who don’t break the law in the first place.

          It’ll be the same with the FAA’s data base — it’ll be a listing of already responsible flyers… nothing more.

          1. Hey shouldn’t we be able to put these on top of our houses where they might be seen by any government surveillance drone then sue using a wiretapping law precedent if they are not heeded without court order. They’ve even got an official FAA logo on em. Just a random thought I had when I saw it.

        1. An incendiary device would make more effective use of their limited payload.
          100 grams of c4 going off on a roof wouldn’t do much more then make a few people wish they wore their brown pants that day.

    3. “It sounds to me like the FAA went above and beyond to give the folks a chance to weigh in its VIOLATION of the lawmaking process.”

      FTFY.. they have NO right to even make a rule on it. who cares if they went door to door, Congress specifically said they CAN NOT DO THIS. so it doesn’t matter what they say or do, the regulation is legally null and void.

      It’s also NOT a law so please stop calling it that. Laws are passed by congress and signed by the President. the FAA can not pass any laws no matter how badly they want to try.

      1. Just because you think things work a certain way, doesn’t mean they do. Any number of US government agencies have the scope and authority to create rules that are absolutely enforceable with the full force of law. You might wish they weren’t, but they are and there’s no gray area to play in.

          1. So after you’re arrested, thrown in jail, and spend 6 months in prison based on that belief while awaiting the court case that invalidates the law that the FAA decided on, come back and tell us how you feel.

        1. There are so many laws that have a section that just gives the organization, agency, committee etc permission to establish whatever rules and regulations are “necessary” to implement the law.

          Much of that free reign stems from the first part of the 16th Amendment. “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived,”

          “from whatever source derived” No specifics, call *anything* ‘income’ then demand a tax be paid on it in US legal funds. Traded a car worth $500 for a truck worth $1000? Well you ‘made a profit’ of $500 and unless your total income after deductions, including that $500 ‘profit’ on the swap, is below the level where you don’t have to pay Federal income tax, you owe tax on that barter. Not that many people actually report such deals, but if you get audited the IRS will dig up barter transactions and expect you to pay taxes in money. No, they don’t accept chickens and okra, or cash, despite “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private” printed on it. ‘Course they may take your $1000 truck.

    4. As I posted earlier the FAA pdf says:
      DATES: This rule is effective December 21, 2015. Comments must be received on or before
      [INSERT DATE 30 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL
      REGISTER].

      https://hackaday.com/2015/12/14/faa-releases-rules-governing-unmanned-aerial-systems/#comment-2838495

      Not sure what the ‘date of publication in federal register’ is, but I assume it’s on or after the 21th of December? Maybe much later if they are slow due to the holiday season. And you have to wonder if xmas counts with those 30 ddays.

      1. According to the legal commentary I saw posted yesterday, The FAA was supposed to have a public commenting period once the rule was announced, and before it could be put into effect. They sidestepped this by using the reason that this was an “emergency” and as such could bypass public comment or input. As described in the brief, their “emergency” excuse fails on many levels, and will be one of several issues that will be brought up when they are in court.

    5. Do you think anyone intending to pack any amount of explosives on their drone will stop and register? This is a deterrent to parents buying drones this Christmas for their kids, and later it will be a way to generate revenue from honest people. They explicitly pushed to get the registration system in place before christmas. This is a tax, plain and simple. What do they give you in exchange for $5? Oh, a get out of jail free card, as long as you continue following the rules. But now they have all your info too, so they can have a data breach and more hackers get your data. Me? Not registering. They are breaking the law, so I guess I will too.

      1. How much extra weight can a homing pigeon carry? Seagull, hawk, pelican?
        Even if you saw a package hanging off a bird, how do you differentiate it from the tracking devices placed on wildlife by environmentalists?

        1. The idiots from ISIL were trying to attack bombers by hanging explosives from condoms they filled with a gas then let go in the air.
          No idea how many of them found out that ‘what goes up must come down’ the hard way btw

          Anyway, please register every condom at the FAA, for the small introductory price of $5 per condom.

    6. Were smart people .

      The government should not under mine us.

      It takes knowledge to build these things.

      The thugs cannot FIX there quads. Who would register . When planning to break the law.

    7. Would someone share the accident data that explains why they government felt compelled to create this new law? I am supportive IF there is some sort of danger. I thought some of these lasers kids have are more dangerous to pilots and planes and yet they go unchecked and free to purchase. I smell some alterior motive here not being shared in a transparent manner.

      1. The main motivation for the FAA is to prevent cheap drones from eliminating work for helicopter pilots and for ag pilots. Why send a news copter out when a drone can do the same job for a whole lot less. Ag/Aerial survey is an even bigger target – the same drone can be used to map the exact places that need treatment and then deliver material from a few inches distance with less waste, and it can do so 24 hours a day.

        1. Seems likely as the mass limit of 250 grams seems mostly designed to limit use of high quality cameras and flight time vs safety.
          It also seems they didn’t even do their home work as many toy drones exceed that weight limit.

          1. Another issue I see is what happens if you have a swarm? 50 RC helicopters, each under half a pound. What about balloons which are technically 0 weight. I guess that’s why they list a mass. :/

      1. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

    8. So there is talk here is about drones being used to intentionally take down aircraft. Does anybody here have any experience with air defence systems? I’ll let you all in on a little secret, it would be very difficult to do succesfully.

      Lets examine the FIM 92 Stinger. This missile, designed from the start to bring down aircraft, had a 79% kill ratio against the Russians in Afganistan. The truth of this ratio is often debated, but if true makes this significantly more succesful than most weapons of it’s type.

      1) This weapon was mostly used against low, slow flying ground support aircraft and helicopters, not commercial aircraft flying at hundreds of miles an hour.
      2) This missile travels at over 1600 mph. Commercial drones fly at a fraction of that speed.
      3) The Stinger has a sophisticated guidance system that seeks out the aircraft from the point of view of the missile making lightning fast corrections, not remote guidance from manual inputs from an i-phone on the ground, with all of the problems that can arise from lag, parallax, slow reactions, interference and a multitude of other factors.
      4) The Stinger has a 6.6 pound warhead. 6.6 pounds! The explosive part of the Stinger is 12 times heavier that the total weight on some of these drones that are being regulated!

      I could go on with the comparison but I think the point is made. The odds of striking an aircraft is very, very low. The odds of a drone striking an aircraft and it’s explosive actually detonating are also very low. The odds of this explosive, if it got near enough to the aircraft and actually detonated, of inflicting enough damage to bring the plane down are extremly low. Add all of those together and I would be much more fearful of getting a brain tumor from a cell phone than being killed from a civilian drone rigged up as a surface to air missile.

      The problem is that this is a niche hobby. Since the amount of people who care are low, and most people, even those who support the hobby, are not familiar with the actual issues, certain unscroupulous individuals are exagerating the risks involved and placing the magic stamp of approval “public safety” on regulations that will do nothing to make anyone safer. The FAA understands all of this, but it is in their interests to get jurisdiction in this area established now before more people end up actually understanding the risk (what few there actually are) associated with this hobby.

      The FAA knows that this is an area of growth, and getting everyone who they possibly can registered will allow them excuses to ask for more funding later. Registration will do nothing to improve public safety, but that is not what this is about. In the end it is about control, and while some of you people fight with each other about how this ‘small’ infringment is wrong, or is not important enough to worry about, one more right has been chipped away.

      I am not a drone operator. I have a small RC helo which may actually be under the limit that I have not flown in years. If I never flew it again it would not bother me. Even so I will be sending in a letter to my Congressman, not because I care about this regulation but because if we only stand up for the right to do the things that we personally care about then we all will lose our rights one small group at a time. Think about it, if this sort of registration was used for alcohol consumers would it decrease the number of drunk driving deaths? No it would not. Drunk drivers do not think that they are going to get caught or into an accident. A drone operator doing something dangerous would not think about the consequences either. The reason that this is not done on alcohol is due to the very large percentage of the population that drinks responsibly and the backlash that would occur. That sort of backlash needs to happen every time a rediculous regulation is put in place no matter if it is a ban on drones, lasers, guns, religion, gay marrage or anything else. Quit fighting among each other about if this regulation is something you can live with or not and stand up for other peoples rights even if it does not hurt you personally. Stand together and do something about this regulation that so obviously dies nothing to promote safety and so obviously infringes on somebodys rights.

    9. Since this is the first that I am hearing about it and I happened to cross this article by accident I would have to say that no, the FAA did not go above and beyond to give the public a chance to discuss this relativly useless regulation.

    10. It’s not the people who are law abiding and use common sense (absent these days) that cause problems, it’s the ‘Idiots’ who won’t comply with any laws and will continue to cause accidents. No paper law will stop the ones who are just plain stupid and those who think the law doesn’t apply to them.

  2. Let’s think for a minute here.

    Someone wants to blow up X. Do you really think:

    1. They are going to register the drone?
    2. They are going to obey the law?
    3. They are going to care about some fussy weight limits?

    I mean, if the goal is to harm/kill people, breaking FAA dictates are the last concern.

    1. It’s really not designed to prevent terrorism. The goal is to ensure responsibility. If a drone is involved in an incident with a plane or at an airport, they want to be able to find the owner, and press criminal charges. That should discourage a lot of incidents, make people think twice about where they’re flying.

      That being said, it’s probably still a bad rule, and as said above, may not be enforceable… but it assumes someone takes the FAA to court to remove it. The bigger issue is probably the cost of maintaining (and protecting the security of) the drone registration database, money that should probably be used for something else.

      1. Yet, there’s no scourge of RC vehicles for the last 30 years. And they were reasonably priced, and had gas engines rather than batteries.

        Yet everything is “Drone drone drone”.It’s an overstep knee-jerk by an idiotic agency. They are the same that thinks that a calculator can jam an aircraft… and leaves essential aircraft telelocation systems unencrypted.

          1. Using the term “typically” implies that RC helicopters are decapitating people on a regular basis. Not so. There’s no more reason to regulate RC helicopters (of any size) than sailplanes. Yes, a man was killed by an RC sailplane. There’s some risk in almost any activity. Mountain climbers “typically” get stuck on some mountain (for no good reason) and freeze to death or have to be rescued and they are hailed as heroes. To pick RC helicopter flying in particular because someone was hurt or killed from basically a freak accident or from being careless (and being a freak accident it drew attention) is a bit insane. American people are regulated to the point they can barely scratch their ass without breaking some law, often as not in the name of safety. I don’t wish to get hurt but I don’t need a governmental safety Nazi regulation on model flying to keep me safe or harming someone. Agreeably, safety guidelines and common sense when flying models (or doing other activities) should be implemented. Key term “common sense”. BTW Vic Morrow was killed by a real full scale manned helicopter, NOT an RC model.

      2. Yes, the goal should have been accountability. But it isn’t. If a drone is involved in crashing an aircraft… how identifiable will that drone be?

        In other words… what is the actual point of the registration?

        Will people be required to update registrations to reflect loss of all drone systems, thus allowing a census of local drones every time there is an incident to ensure inventory, and if you happen to not be able to present your previously registered drone.. are you assumed guilty?

        In the end… if an event occurs… how does this help anything at all?

          1. They require the user’s registration number to be on the drone, so in practice you’re wrong, the drone is registered, even though the FAA has no knowledge of the drone specifics.

    2. But how will you pre-flight your little weapon of minor destruction in the park without some nosy citizen (do-gooder), cop, or security personnel questioning your lack of FAA compliance? What badguy doesn’t do trial runs before lethal execution of a plot? The chance of getting caught without the required reg is too high. Badguys ALWAYS try to fit in and blend with the populous. Flying an unreg’d quad is just you asking for someone to get suspicious and drop a dime as they say. Let’s just hope they don’t resort to netting quads like they are doing in Japan right now. You don’t get them back – at least in one piece that is.

        1. Excellent point JW but I’ve noticed a recent disturbing trend with local LEO’s checking databases now. They have access to DHS network. I’ve seen them checking the validity of HANDICAP PARKING PASSES at a local Walmart (private) parking lot. They don’t have their own database they must have access to the state’s database for that. So I know they have access to even federal databases like NCIC, etc. DHS has given them more access for pedophile sex-offender sting ops.

          BTW your example would get you busted PDQ: “FCC-D329MX”? I think you meant “FAA-D329MX” – :-)

          1. Simplest answer, “Oh hello officer!” jam the throttle stick to full and send the drone way the heck out of visual range..

            “I’m trying to find my tiny little palm RC toy… It’s the size of your hand and green…. yeah, I know it should be a color I can see, can you help me find it?”

            Copper cant get you for something he cant find or see.

          2. Just an FYI, the police have the right to check the validity of those parking passes. IIRC it’s a federal felony to be in possession of a fake one. Until the ex-wife of a friend was caught for using one for her non-custodial disabled daughter, I had no idea about this. I figured it was a fine at most but there’s apparently a lot of people doing it, enough to warrant a real sentence. And if Walmart asks the police to check them then it doesn’t matter if it’s private property. I get your point but you might want to learn some of the subtleties there.

          3. Just in FAA said quadcopter-drone-terrorist are exempt. No need to register! (half-ass joke but true) – This new regulation only applies to NON-MODEL-AIRCRAFT. The FAA’s definition of “model aircraft” is not the same as you guy’s definition. Unless a terrorist is into aerial-filming real estate properties for a realtor or something along those lines they are not required to register. I think that’s where they were going with the 250g weight limit. Anything that small would not be good for such work. So bad-guys can go ahead and use toys for their operation anonymously. I mean it’s not like toys were never used in warfare… right?

      1. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

      1. ejonesss – I just saw that movie. Great movie! However, it wasn’t the Germans doing that it was the Brits doing that. It has been a law on their books since 1800’s. I think they would have given Alan a break if only his war record were not classified. Little did they know his worked helped lessen WW2 by about 4 years. Little did anyone know he found a way to get around the top secret classification of the very 1st digital computer (Christopher AKA Colossus) And resurrected it as the ACE Computer. Without which we wouldn’t be able to be on HaD posting stuff right now (i.e. digital computers?)

        Just imagine if he didn’t bite into that cyanide-lace apple what technology we would have available to us much earlier in time. I personally think AI would be much further along than BINA48 or even George Hotz (26-year old Alan Turing-like kid) and his AI-based self-driving car.

    1. There’s a difference between “cannot be enforced” and “will not hold up in court”.

      The biggest difference is the months that you spend in jail/prison waiting for the latter to be resolved.

  3. Not to mention that the FAA recently said that their new drone database will include public access to your name and address…

    OPM has leaked enough of my data. No thank you.

    1. Well the FCC gives public access to HAM radio licenses right down to your name and address. Also all FCC licenses are like that. A drone database should not be classified as the FAA has a database open to the public for all plane numbers. If it weren’t someone would file a FOIA request to open it up. Maybe we could use P.O,.Boxes or vacant building addresses? I’ve seen that done to. Pick a very old vacant abandoned house or building and mount your own rural mailbox at the front entrance and put up the house number if it is missing. The USPS is required to deliver to it. You must check your mail daily though. Can’t let it pile up. Check with town assessor office to get building owner name and address if the nosy neighbors challenge you on “Who are you and wtf are you doing with that mailbox?” “Oh it’s OK I’m just picking up the mail for the building owner John Doe. He lives in Oshgosh Wisconsin and he wants me to be his gopher…”

      I just bought a quad at K-Mart for $79 bucks with wifi camera. I just hope its under 250 grams!!!

        1. Backwoods Engineer – No Brian’s article above does not say that. He said “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” That actually says NOTHING about requiring registration of certain types of model aircraft. I think it is just CONGRESS’ clumsy way of say FAA “THOU SHALL NOT INTERFERE WITH MODEL AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS”. They have not ignored that IMO.

          1. Galane – However, the FAA took exception to Congress’ definition of “model aircraft” and excluded themselves from this act as pertaining to this new rule started yesterday. Everybody here probably only has a toy or model aircraft. I’ll bet no one has one of these which would be regulated:

          1. It says “may not promulgate ANY RULE OR REGULATION regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft”

            Doesn’t matter if a registration or a license qualifies as a rule or a regulation, Congress expressly forbade the FAA from creating either.

          2. Just another example of government officials not knowing what they are doing (unless there’s an underlying agenda). If regulated at all, it should exclude models that has to be flown within line of sight. Yes, stupid people doing stupid shit, but how do you regulate stupidity?

      1. Australia is metric, but.. 1kg = about 2 pounds, 500 grams = 1 pound, and 250g = 1/2 pound.
        Assuming a McDonalds quarter pounder REALLY weighs 1/4 pound, your drone needs to weigh less than two of them.

  4. I generally agree that the weight limit is arbitrary, the idea that a small quad is less dangerous to a manned aircraft than a 2.2lb bird is hard to judge. Consider the 4 metal and magnet objects on the corners of the quad that may enter a turbine engine. Turbine blades are very fragile, cost thousands (to millions) of dollars to replace some. When (not if) one of the DJI Phantom quads gets sucked into a 737, Citation or helicopter turbine, the cost to the owner of that aircraft will be significant. True, it may be difficult to tell who owned the drone after that, so the registration will be of questionable use. The aircraft may not hurt anyone, but someone will still have to pay for the damage.

    Consider the quad copter that drops into a stadium. Birds have a better see and avoid capability than small quad copters. I’ve seen barn swallows fly near people at over 40 mph and still miss them and the structure around them. A small quad may not miss, and suddenly hits a spectator, causing injury.

    I’ve seen quad copters flying over hiways and wondered what kind of issues would come up if one of those dropped on a passing car. Maybe no injuries, but potentially an owner who wants his car repaired due to scratches and dents. Living near a golf course, I’ve seen the damage a 1.6 ounce golf ball can do to a car.

    I think the FAA’s interest is far broader than mid-air collisions. The FAA is in a tough spot, where if they don’t put some rules in and people get hurt, there will be questions “why didn’t they do something”, where with the rules, they are accused of going too far.

    1. The lower weight limit isn’t completely arbitrary, just a little hand-wavy.
      According to the IFR “by considering: the maximum free-fall kinetic energy of a small unmanned aircraft from 500 feet (ft) above ground level” they calculated “the likelihood of a fatal accident involving a small unmanned aircraft weighing 250g or less is 4.7×10-8, or less than 1 ground fatality for every 20 million flight hours”
      They note that “acceptable risk level for commercial air transportation is on the order of 1×10-9, and general aviation risk levels are on the order of 5×10-5”

        1. And you’d be very mistaken. 120-180mm racing FPV quads are the latest craze in RC, easily weighing in under 250g ready to fly with full FPV gear (camera, video transmitter, etc) and full range control receivers (no toy quality junk). You can even throw a full HD action camera on them and still stay blow 250g if you’re clever about it. For example, the RotorX RX122 is one of the more popular: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2391308 , but the Diatone 150 frame is common too, among dozens of others that have come on the scene in the last year.

          While typically flown fast (30+ mph) and very low to the ground (under 30 feet), flying to 500′ isn’t just doable they’ll reach that altitude in a few seconds if you just punch it out. The power system wouldn’t start giving out for quite a few thousand feet and even on a bad day the control and video links are good for about 3,000 feet line of sight. With a couple minor tweaks it’s trivial to take them out a few *miles* if that’s your desire (mostly just swapping to directional antennas).

          But…as capable as these little guys are, they aren’t the problem. Like I said, everyone building/flying them is interested in flying fast and low through thickets of trees or purpose built race courses, mostly staying within a couple hundred feet of the pilot. They aren’t so good for recon over sporting events or other stupid acts as they don’t like to hover steadily and have flight times of only about 5 minutes.

    2. I think everyone is worried about the wrong stuff. Sure, being close to an aircraft is bad for a drone. Being close to people is more common, and has caused real damage.

      http://mashable.com/2015/11/30/child-loses-eye-drone/#bieeswT5eqqb

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/drone-knocks-woman-unconscious-seattle-pride-parade-n384076

      http://www.fastcompany.com/3028781/what-happens-when-a-drone-crashes

      I didn’t mean golf balls are needing registration, I was just saying people get all wrapped up in cars, and will likely give the operator trouble if their car is hit by a half pound quad copter. (you got insurance for that thing?).

      Sure it seems like the landowners vs cattlemen war again. There are people who are irresponsible (and arrogant about it) that make life difficult for the rest of us.

  5. I guess if AMAZON is going to comply with he FAA new regs why shouldn’t we? This is right up there with numbnuts pointing lasers at pilots, They can’t regulate that except law enforcement, this they can with a simple $5 USD fee. And that’s waived for 30 days or more.

    For some reason I’m thinking the FAA MODERNIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2012 is not really trying to restrict the FAA from making rules about aerial hazards. I think the part you mention Brian is just pertaining to the R&D and manufacturing of model aircraft not it’s actual use in flight. I know the wording seems that it does but that is not the first time CONGRESS really screwed up a bill’s wording. I think the FAA will challenge this and have the wording modified as this “flies” in the face of the FAA’s mandate to keep our skies safe,

    And dynamodan is correct – If AMAZON can quad a heavy package to your driveway how much easier would it be for a badguy to strap some CL-20 to a quad and fly it into a plane? At least the wreckage will have your FAA registration written in sharpy (aka magic marker) on it. Or a passing local cop can question your lack of it while your pre-flight test flying it in the park. In some way this new rule will make it easier to keep an eye on you and your quad.

    1. “I guess if AMAZON is going to comply with he FAA new regs why shouldn’t we?” What kind of reasoning is that? The Constitution is the highest American law. If Congress has told the Executive Branch (FAA), “you can’t license and register model craft”, they can’t do it, because the Executive has no Constitutional authority to do so.

      Since when did we go by “some random company obeyed some unconstitutional edict, so we should, too”? That was tried back in the 90’s when the Clinton Administration browbeat Ruger and Smith and Wesson into only selling 10-round magazines. It’s nonsense. Why even have a government if it’s not going to obey its own Constitution?

      1. 1. I did not know the FAA was part of the Executive Branch.

        2. EVERYONE including corporations must obey the Constitution. But this is NOT a Constitutional issue. Congress was only trying to reign in the FAA on some policy issues.

        3. If you read Brian’s excerpt from the bill again it does not say that. I think it only applied to stopping FAA from trying to impact manufacturing of model aircraft NOT the flying of them. How can anyone try and hamstring the FAA from doing their job of keeping our air-space safe?

        4. If an aircraft flies over your property at 500 feet, they certainly don’t want to encounter your drone at above 400 feet. I know that AMAZON will have to get flight clearances and file flight paths for every package their drones deliver. They have to also register their drones and have the N-number on outside as they are commercial aircraft, What a fiasco it would be if you or your neighbor had a AMAZON drone delivery and you were playing with your unregistered drone right in it’s flight path. Someone ain’t getting a package that day. And the NTSB investigators won’t know who ONE of the downed drones belonged to either. Guess who’s?

          1. TheLaidBackGuy – Read my posting again for #1 – I said I did not know that. I wasn’t being glib or sarcastic, I really didn’t know that. I was surprised when I read it. And as to using CAPS LOCK, I do that for rhetorical reasons to emphasize a point. I guess I could use HTML tags but that involves more fingering than just hitting caps lock 8-P

        1. I have no problem reading this for *exactly* what it says. “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”

          That ANY RULE OR REGULATION is very damn clear to me, It means the FAA is barred from doing ANYTHING about model aircraft, period. Is a license or registration a rule or a regulation? Doesn’t matter which! The word ANY covers *all possibilities*.

          There’s no hidden meaning there. There’s no hidden ‘except for…’ or ‘unless the FAA really wants to’.

          1. Galane (et al) – I think everyone needs to read Brian Benchoff’s article about this subject matter a year ago. It puts things into perspective about how the FAA is trying to make an end-run* around CONGRESS and it’s 2012 Modernization Act.

            https://hackaday.com/2014/06/26/congress-destroys-a-hobby-faa-gets-the-blame/

            It’s clear that the FAA does not agree with our or Congress’ definition of “model aircraft”. This begs the question: Then why are some of us so worried about this new registration when it doesn’t even apply to us? My K-Mart toy with wi-fi camera PROBABLY won’t be eligible as it weighs about two sticks of butter (that’s from FAA!!!) or two McDonald’s Quarterpounders (or less). Even if it didn’t it’s not commercial-use, not non-line-of-sight, no FPV goggles, and certainly not capable of 400 foot elevation. Mine is only 200 foot. So I guess I am exempt. I think most of you would-be-scoff-laws are too. How’s your built-in paranoia alarm now. :-P

            * end-run – An American Football tactical euphemism for”evading or circumventing” a higher power.

          2. A lot of people aren’t doing their homework. sonofthunderboanerges certainly did his and I’ll also leave his passage of Docket No. FAA-2014-0396. “Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft”

            This directly involved PL 112-95 section 336(a).

            “Congress directed that the FAA may not “promulgate any rule or regulation
            regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft” if the
            aircraft is being operated, or being developed to be operated, pursuant to the five criteria
            enumerated in the statute as described above. P.L. 112-95, section 336(a). In other words,
            Congress has restricted the FAA from promulgating regulations, from the date when the
            statute was enacted, specifically regarding model aircraft that meet the terms of the
            statute.
            However, the prohibition against future rulemaking is not a complete bar on
            rulemaking that may have an effect on model aircraft. As noted above, the rulemaking
            limitation applies only to rulemaking actions specifically “regarding a model aircraft or
            an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(a). Thus, the
            rulemaking prohibition would not apply in the case of general rules that the FAA may
            issue or modify that apply to all aircraft, such as rules addressing the use of airspace (e.g.,
            the 2008 rule governing VFR operations in the Washington, DC area) for safety or
            security reasons.”

        2. joey – what would your “model” be at 500′ for? Most toys can’t get more than 200′ – the FAA regulation is 400′. Also I assure you there must be plenty of helos from LEO flying much lower than 500′ looking for whatever. Also if you have an active railroad going through or near your property they send in helos periodically to inspect track at very low altitudes. Can you imagine what your model could do to a rear stabilizer rotor? And what about aircraft that must make emergency landings in your field or adjacent highway for whatever reasons? Your model could impair the pilot in some way if not cause minor damage to his/her aircraft. But if it’s just a toy then no need to register. I guess this new reg thing is typically aimed a realtors (et al) who want aerial photos and that bunch. Toys are just that TOYS and I don’t think we toy-players need to register with FAA at all. Just be careful around people, homes & business structures, animals, and any low-flying aircraft! And leave them in the car at the local football game!!!

          1. I do not think the registration is aimed at us model aircraft flyers. I think it is aimed at commercial and any hobbyist rich enough to afford a commercial or military grade drone. The FAA is trying to say your aircraft is no longer a “model aircraft” if you exceed their definitions of same. A lot of people (including jerks) have a lot of money and can afford the really good stuff. They are NOT exempt even if they are not commercial. To FAA it’s not a model aircraft if so.

        3. joey – I think you totally misunderstand me. I did not read you said 5000 feet. Also I used to live near an active railroad track and they do that but rarely. I am not siding with the others you mention. I now believe the FAA regulation does not apply to “model aircraft” as Brian Benchoff has an excellent side article explaining that. They are not aiming this at me with my toy model aircraft. They are aiming this at AMAZON, ColdWell Bankers, Century 21, Hollywood filmmakers, or anyone else who can afford a heavy duty commercial grade drone to film aerial videos or use it to deliver cargo. You are right everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. Us hobbyists are EXEMPT! It’s not just the weight limit either. I now see that it does not apply to amateur hobbyists at all as we all have “model aircraft” modeled after the real life helicopter. So the 2012 Modernization Act protects us from prosecution.

    2. Worried about some bad guy using a drone to deliver a few pounds of CL-20 then you should be absolute terrified about self driving cars as one of those could in theory carry a half ton of the stuff hundreds of miles.
      Or some guy just hooking up a remote control to a regular car or truck.

    3. joey – Who cares Joey?! Again you misread our intent. We are NOT against model air-crafting. We are ALL PRO-quad-copters and such. We don’t think they are particularity dangerous in responsible hands – just like guns. We don’t feel that FAA is doing a good thing. We don’t really think Amazon has a good business model with this new idea as it is fraught with unseen obstacles they have not envisioned yet. But they will roll it out anyway and soon.

      We don’t really think a terrorist will ever use this method NOT because it’s impossible… as it is quite possible. However, we are not going to spell out here a How To Manual for all of the Timothy McViegh wannabes out there. It’s too expensive and too complex to implement when loading up a rental truck with ANFO is a lot easier and cheaper. Hell Walmart has enough tools for a terrorist to do some real damage and “Save Money. Live Better.”

      SQTB

      1. joey – Yup I guess that;s how you got here via Google. No I did not know that Google spider-ed HaD so fast. It is almost instantaneous as soon as I hit [POST COMMENT]. However, what we say doesn’t impact the industry in a negative way. It’s already a done deal with FAA. And no one uses our posts in Congress or the media and says “look what Hackaday said today!”

        A lot of federal people use HaD as a inspiration venue like a muse. Why? Because some of us are professionals, experts, and scientists. But mostly just hobbyists like me. A lot are HAMS too. Where just a fun place to hang out to brainstorm ideas on high technology. I’ve learned a lot here and took a lot of wind out of my sails thinking I knew something better than someone else. This can be a humbling place.

        I have that same Dunning-Kruger problem as you sometimes. That’s why I have to check my ego at the door or someone here will embarrass me and show I really don’t know sh** about a particular subject I thought I did. We don’t hate you or dislike the underlying content of your posts. It’s just your vulgarity and cyber-bullying mannerisms. We have emotions just like anyone else. We come here to share what we know in a polite forum not to be insulted like in high school by bullies. It has nothing to do with PC. It’s just common courtesy and respect.

        Also didn’t you say somewhere you were a HAM too? Imagine talking into your mic like that. You know how long they would tolerate that. A New York second! Evidently no one has hit the “flush” button yet. Must be that they are hoping you can clean up your act and just offer your comments without all the hurtful colorful metaphors. Thank God some of us have really thick skins like rhinos. But rhinos usually are that long suffering.

      2. “This is not mass media. Very few people will ever read what we have written here. The readers here are the ones that make all the fantastic things we read about on HaD.” Well, that’s kind of 20th-century thinking. To be honest, social/viral media is the new norm. We’re living in the age of the seed.

  6. So if I claim my quad is for crop dusting, then under those convoluted rules I have more freedom to fly while dusting than if I were to use it for aerial photography? But what if I have a camera to my crop dusting quad?

    Too convoluted and probably left open a few new loopholes.

    1. Ummm… I don’t think the FAA will fall for your quad being able to cargo that must dust, or not even the dispenser which probably weighs more than a 5-gallon jug of water (40 lbs). I think the FAA has even more rules regarding commercial aerial photography drones. Something about no higher than 400 feet within a mile of an commercial air strip. Also I think some people have property rights above their property now. They can legally shoot you down I THINK.

      I’d like to see HaD invent the next-generation quad – STEALTH QUADS! They would not only be painted black for night ops they also have noise cancelling electronics to suppress their rotor noise. They also need a diverged IR laser for invisible forward spotlight for the on-board IR camera.

      1. Hmm, that’s an idea. What is the smallest practical dosing mechanism? I bet you could make an atomizer small enough to be under a few ounces. Still, you’d need a craft much larger than “a few ounces” to lift it.

  7. Bruce doesn’t even live in this country and doesn’t follow the rules in his own country, so how is he an expert. In addition the AMA is just looking for a loophole so their rc airplanes don’t have to register, because they never do anything unsafe. Ha take a look on YouTube and you’ll find guys dropping pretend bombs from rc planes, flying a mile or more out and back and more. Anything that flies and is rc should have to register.

      1. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

      2. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

  8. So why do you want to anonymously fly a drone? They are just saying that they want to identify you easily if you crash the thing somewhere. The function of the rule is to save agency manpower (i.e. budget) if one shows up someplace it’s not supposed to be.

    RC planes are operating line of sight so it’s easy to identify the operator. At least if they don’t lose the plane. Given the difficulty of learning to fly one there aren’t that many flying or people flying them. GPS enabled drones are much easier to fly and can be a long way from the operator. Suddenly there are a lot of them.

    It seems pretty illogical to complain about the rule. But then logic has become unfashionable. What matters now is personal passion and micro-aggression

    1. Because if someone is flying one where they aren’t supposed to be, clearly they will have taken the required steps to make their drone identifiable at a glance. Or more than likely it simply won’t have a UAS registration number affixed to it. Regardless of the rules.

      1. Which demonstrates my point about logic. The most likely cause of someone flying where they shouldn’t is ignorance and ineptitude, not intent. The point of the law is to minimize the cost of investigating the majority of drone incidents. Very few people have malicious intentions.

        The FAA regulations are designed to protect the general public from irresponsible aviation operators. The goal is to do this with minimal inconvenience to the operators. Over the past 20-30 years the regulations have been made increasingly less restrictive, not more. Brian’s comments indicate a complete lack of comprehension about FAA rules. If someone is towing your sailplane you really need for them to know what they are doing. If they don’t know, it could get you killed. Requiring them to certify in a sailplane is just good sense.

        Flying a drone without the registration number will probably have consequences beyond just the fines. It will probably get you added to a list of people to be watched more closely. Just out of an abundance of caution of course.

        1. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

    2. If I crash it somewhere, where would that be? If it’s in the middle of a park I’ll happily report my name to the police/FAA so I can get my drone back. If it crashes in the middle of a football stadium (and not due to an ill purpose) well, don’t think I’m interested in reporting my name in any respect and I really doubt I’d get the drone back anyway. They can still fine me for having it unregistered but that fine will be minimal compared to the legal fees you would accrue due to an innocuous mistake.

      These scenarios only apply to someone with no criminal intent of course. Anyone with criminal intent wouldn’t register it anyway.

      1. chagrinnish – However, your football stadium during a game scenario is where MOST annoying UAS encounters happen. I would think the consequences would be far reaching like stadium security, management, LEO, and patrons all asking you would you like to join the Rodney King Club! (You have to think about that one,,,) ;->

        1. I think the wuss that gets hit by the darn thing or one that blocks someone’s view from the nose-bleed seats would complain. Football announcer: “Oh my god folks did you see that last play!” Uhhh no! Some idiot flying a quad in the stadium was blocking my view!

          Also what about rival team audience member(s) using the quad to interfere with players? Like diving on the QB just as he is preparing hit his open man? “Bzzzt… What the hell!!! Where’s dat’ soma’biotch?”

          http://jpst.it/E7KF

      2. Would you “happily report” it if it has hit an innocent passer-by in a park, and you suspected they might have been killed or, worse, maimed?

        I’m sure you will have appropriate public indemnity insurance, but what about everybody else?

          1. Precisely.

            The amount of wishful thinking in all these comments indicates why ignorant newbies need to get a clue. Since they aren’t going to get a clue if left to their own devices, it requires external “help”.

            Shame, but that’s the reality of the way people think and behave (and I use “think” in a loose sense).

        1. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU.

    3. Who said anything about “anonymously flying” a _model aircraft_ (I don’t fly drones)? If they want to identify me, why not just require me to put my name and address on my _model aircraft_? I do that anyway (with my cell phone number), so in case mine gets away from me, I have a chance of getting it back.

      Why do I require a permission slip from the FAA to engage in a hobby that doesn’t impact anyone else?

  9. dynamodan unless it’s gas powered, most drones don’t carry explosives, the rigid frame/metal content is more apt to be why they set the weight limit lower than birds.
    (even lithium batteries would be shredded too fast to explode)

      1. Not so fast. You obviously don’t know about the new CL-20:HMX mixture.It is stable and lightweight. And only 30 grams can penetrate 7-2″ steel bricks. However, it is expensive and unavailable to the public. China Lake 20 was unthinkable in a drone due to it’s highly unstable nature. But U-of-Mich figured out that by adding HMX it tamed the CL-20 down a lot. C-4 is too heavy for a small quad but not this stuff.

        1. That mixture has a brisance and density that is lower than the pure RDX, or PETN. There is no reason to use it.
          There is no reason to use a composition explosive in this application. It would only add unnecessary weight, and the mold-ability of a composition is not required here. The weight you save is needed for the detonator.

        2. Understood. The feasibility of quad copter delivery of explosives is low, and it would not be cost effective in most tactical applications. But considering I have RC planes that can carry 2 pound payloads, it is not beyond the realm of imagination for a large quad to carry a high explosive payload through a window, up stairs, or wherever it needs to go.

        3. Mark – CL-20 was originally synthesized in 1986 by Arnold Neilsen at the US Naval Surface Weapons Center at China Lake, California (hence the CL- designation), CL-20 is the highest energy compound as well as the highest density compound known among organic chemicals. However, it’s as sensitive as nitro was in the 19th century. One bad bump and BOOM! So they found a way to “tame” it by adding in HMX. Yes the weight goes up a bit but the power is still higher than PETN and RDX (etc.). And tell JOEY that he is wrong that our DoD has considered using it in drones recently. Not until this new mixture did they even want to try it. And the tangos (terrorists) are not stupid either. This stuff is being produced for sale in France and USA (Thiokol) for $1300 per Kg. It’s just a matter of time for someone to get it on the black market. The above picture is from India. They detonated 30 grams of this stuff and this was the result, A quad could easily carry 30g with an extra few grams for the remote detonator. Except with CL-20 you don’t need one as it goes BOOM on its own from just dropping it 38 cm from the ground! All been verified at University of Michigan (source: Dr. Adam Matzgar – UoM Chemistry Department)

          Tangos are used to blowing their fingers off handling dangerous stuff like this. That’s how you ID them in the field! :-)

        4. Joey – Just because no one has thought to try this doesn’t mean it’s not plausible. HaD is turning into another breeding ground of DARPA-like ideas. I can assure you all kinds of good guys and bad guys subscribe to HaD. The good guys probably say to one another: “Colonel? Did you see this on HaD today? What a good idea for our XYZ project!”

          I like to call HaD the citizen’s DARPA…

          *HaD = Hackaday
          *DARPA = US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

        5. sonofthunderboanerges- Yes, I understand the additional density that could be achieved by using CL-20, but the issue is the mixing required to stabilize it gives you a compound that is only slightly more brisant than using pure PETN. And the additional complexity of CL-20 manufacture will always make it more expensive than either RDX or PETN. So, you could use it, but there won’t be much advantage to it. And buying high explosives from a manufacturer leaves a long paper trail, so a non government group is more likely to manufacture their own energetic material.

          1. Mark – OK granted… However, that’s why I think the bad guys will wait until some Thiokol employee goes rouge and steals some to sell on black market. RDX and PETN is already there. Including HMX. $1300 per kilogram and the inevitable paper trail is what’s stopping the tangos from proceeding IMO. I can see the Israelis and our people in Langley VA thinking it’s time to “check it out”. I’m sure it has not escaped Putin, Hassan Rouhani, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un’s notice either. The French (i.e. Groupe SNPE ) are better at containing stolen technology unlike US. I don’t know how the Indians got it but I guess they bought straight up from Thiokol or SNPE. Now they need to stop Pakistan or Iran from stealing it from them.

            The Israelis already have that microdrone I think is called the HORNET. It can deliver a hypodermic needle dose of whatever from an on-board vial. Just think what they can come up with next. That FSRussia YouTube should give somebody some new ideas. That’s very do-able but only with the Textron CT machine gun available next fall. It only weighs 9 lbs! The Israelis already have the R/C sniper rifle WASP. All they need is a big drone or quad like FSRussia to pick up a Textron MG or CT and put on WASP R/C electronics.

        6. sonofthunderboanerges – Many, many years ago I was with a research group working on “structural explosives”. Essentially a high explosive mixed with a thermo-set resin (epoxy). It allowed us to manufacture solid structures of this explosive, and the material could be strengthened with fiberglass, carbon fiber, or metal fiber as needed to achieve the stiffness required for the application. A material like this would allow the structural components of the UAV to be made of explosive, thereby offsetting the weight of conventional structural materials. Then you retain the load carrying ability of the UAV, so additional high explosive can be carried.

        7. sonofthunderboanerges – As for mounting machine guns- You need to make note of the weight of the ammunition also. I just weighed 35 rounds of M855 steel core (5.56×45) and it comes to 15.3 ounces. I also weighed 35 rounds of M118 LR (7.62×51) and comes to 34.8 ounces.
          So, in this case, a careful decision would need to be made about the application. The smaller round, with sufficient lethality for soft targets, will allow more rounds to be carried on the craft. The larger round, with far more muzzle energy, poses a larger weight load to the craft (both weapon and ammunition), and considering the recoil forces, may not be suitable for selective fire rifles.
          Also, the UAV is not a stable enough platform for precision shooting at the greater than 200 yard range the 7.62 round is intended for.

          1. Mark – The Textron CT uses 5.65 rounds. So if you limit the mag load to just a few rounds, fly into a South Yemen hut window and light up every tango in the room with a 360° burst, and detonate your 30 grams of CL-20:HXM, you just saved the US Taxpayers $58,000 bucks on a AGM-114 Hellfire missile we wasted two on US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his other American friend back in 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/30/us-born-terror-boss-anwar-al-awlaki-killed.html

      2. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

      3. “Nobody is going to spend years preparing to go down in history as the stupidest most ineffective terrorist in history”

        There have been thousands of them, but no-one remembers their names. Modern hybrid UAV’s can have hour long flight times, and make for a far less expensive (and more versatile) weapon platform than guided munitions. It also allows a large standoff distance for greater safety for the pilot.

      4. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

  10. >So why do you want to anonymously fly a drone?

    That’s not the right question. I live in the middle of 100+ acres of private land. I fly my quad there for a lot of reasons including recreation. It’s not anonymous by definition since I live there and I’m flying it line-of-sight, but it’s my property and I see no reason to involve any US or local authority regarding that practice.

        1. Excellent link Jeff! It answers ALL questions posted here in this thread. So You DON’T have to write it on the outside of the UAS. I just bought an all white one and I did not want to ugly it up with a Sharpie. Not sure my battery compartment is easily accessible though. I have to figure out if it weighs over two-sticks of butter like your link says…8-)

      1. @sonof.. there are a lot of rational rebuttals to Joe’s argument, but that isn’t one. The FAA already requires a minimum altitude limit of 500ft over non-built-up areas. But rule, other aircraft should not be in your immediate air-space. There are exceptions, but none of them apply differently from UAV operation.

        1. Alan Hightower – Well I think Rural Joe was saying he feels exempt from the FAA UAS registration started TODAY. Solely because it’s on his own property. I can’t see how he is exempt when aircraft are allowed to fly over his property no lower than 500 feet just as you say. If he is flying over 400 feet then aircraft may be in jeopardy. Albeit, you are not required to put reg # on outside, however it would help NTSB in post crash scenario to know who the offending drone belonged to.

          1. You are an idiot. Here’s why: who gets in more trouble? The pilot who was flying too low and buzzed your property or the RC plane/quadcopter operator who was operating at the max ceiling of his hobby? If a private plane hits an RC plane, good chances are that the pilot was too low. There are a lot of assholes in the sky and they have been there a long time. They don’t like these new little drone things up there with them because now the FAA is paying more attention to the illegal BS they are pulling. That’s why pilots are bitching. I don’t want to hear about the possibility of an RC plane hitting a commercial air liner. That’s not going to happen. They cruise at over 35k feet. They are monsters compared to your little four pound phantom. There would be minimal damage. Like swatting a mesquito.

            Also, the FAA isn’t regulating the drones. They didn’t pass any new laws, they are asking for people to register. Which conveniently is right before Christmas and its free. After that you have to pay $5 to renew in three years. What for, who knows. They don’t have the right to prosecute anyone who doesn’t register. Congress made it clear that they can’t regulate you as long as you are following the rules. So if you do register or you don’t, it’s up to you. A judge isn’t going to lock up a mom and dad because their 10 year old kid was flying his bebop in the park and a young gun cop decided to stiff them. Could you imagine the reprocussions?

            Finally, you can’t not fire a weapon into the air at any aircraft. Period. That is a federal crime, regardless if it’s commercial, private, or hobby. He can press charges if he has video of you flying close to his property, but he/she can not discharge a firearm or risk life in prison. It’s not just the damage to the aircraft, it’s the potential to kill or injure other with the debris or impact, plus the rounds coming back down and lodging into people or property.

          2. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

      2. I live near a rather large lake. Every time there’s a substantial wild fire, some of the biggest water dropping planes hit up our puddle. I happen to live along the lake’s major axis so these planes approach and depart over my house at very low altitude- they clear the power poles along one edge of the lake by maybe 100 feet, and I’m only 1 block farther inland.

        1. That’s a stupid point to make. Like saying stay off the roads because sometimes a fire truck needs it. I’m sure that unmanned flyers will be moved out of the way when their operators hear a bigger aircraft coming. Perhaps the FAA should post a rule about keeping boats off of lakes to prevent them interfering with flight operations.

      3. I live near a small private airport and part of my property is directly in line with the landing strip. The planes are usually only about 75 feet off the ground at the end of my property when they come in for a landing. Luckily it doesn’t happen often enough to annoy me.

        1. Joey scribbles: “You are next to an airport. Already was somewhere off-limits to flying models, duh. What idiot would choose a place like that to fly their toys?” Wrong again. At the airport where I fly there are usually RC models flying around; I frequently have to double-check they aren’t light aircraft about to noodle across or along the runway at a dangerous height (which does happen and does cause airproxes). Folklore has it that a B52 once lined up to land before it realised its mistake and broke off the approach.

          Jooey scribbles: “Will regulations do anything to discourage that already stupid idea?”. In the short term it won’t stop stupidity, but, importantly, it will enable the idiots to be prosecuted and forced to make reparations. In the long term it might gradually instill the concept that people can be hurt by these things, and thereby indirectly reduce stupidity and the consequences thereof.

        2. It demonstrates two important points.

          Firstly it is a concrete demonstration that your (ridiculously emphatic) statements are false, and that you don’t know what you are talking about.

          Secondly it demonstrates that I am not anti-drone nor anti-RC nor many of the other things in your rants. The same is true of many other people on this forum.

          You are “stuck on transmit”, and it is just as much a pain on this forum as it is when it happens to a/c tx. The difference is that, when pilots are made aware of that, they readily admit their error, apologise, and try to find ways of not doing it in the future.

          1. Again, you demonstrate you are ignorant and clueless. The (Dunning-Kruger) Force is strong in you.

            We are on the runway (21), they are on the cross-runway (27).

            The separation is ~100m during launch, and 0-20m when landing. The RC modellers are required to have one person controlling the aircraft, and one person keeping lookout for landing aircraft – and they have to get out of the way when we are landing. That happens most days, and unexpectedly with typically 30s warning.

            See the RC club launchpoint here: http://www.crcs.org.uk/map.asp
            See the “landlords” airfield map here: http://www.cotswoldgliding.co.uk/airfield_map

          2. I suggest you learn to
            (1) not change the subject nor your contentions and expect nobody to notice
            (2) learn to think faster than you type
            (3) realise that you are a good example of “PBSK”
            You are a very bad proponent for the views you express, and will drive people to believe that they should seriously consider the opposite of what you espouse.

        3. Note: The 74HC595, as we mentioned, would be better replaced by a shift register without a latch enable – we always want outputs active, even though the most popular use case (output expansion) usually waits 8 cycles to expose data. Regardless, all we need to do it have the latach go active at a different time than the data shifts – so we just used the inverters to have a second phase of the 14.31818 MHz clock. If you buy the shift register through our affiliate account, we appreciate the support!

        4. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN.

        5. Are you now prepared to retract this statement of yours?:
          “Dude you are full of shit. You do not share a runway with models, You do not dodge them taking off, as you say, and I doubt you even fly at all. You are fucking lying, because that’s all you have, complete bullshit.” ( joey says: December 27, 2015 at 7:59 pm)

          To make it easier for you, you have also written:
          “Tom, there’s nothing like the ridge lift from an ocean breeze, is there? Nice video, and nice flying.” (joey says: December 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm)

          1. Again, you are simply and demonstrably wrong – more retractions are in order.

            Not busy? At peak times there are more movements off the single runway (3/minute, 150/hour) than at the busiest airport in Europe (Heathrow), and almost all in the USA. All these, and more, have to be tugged within 1 hour: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grid_AstonDown.jpg How busy does it have to be?

            It is a 6000ft runway; B52s have lined up to land on it (according to folklore!) How big does it have to be?

  11. Primarily, the lobbyists did not like having their corporate pollution secrets published, or protester civil rights abuses documented. Instead, a regime has chosen to target individuals for investigation, harassment, and exploitation.

    Did you know that when Laws become punitive it is the legal system that ceases to be a justice system, which loses credibility with voters, and ultimately undermines its own authority within a culture.

    I am amazed at how much US citizens talk about freedom, when they have so many people sitting in jail.

        1. Rihard Pryor once told a joke about visiting a California Penal Institution to visit all the “brothers down trodden by the man!” He asked one of them “Why you in here brother?” “Because I killed my entire family…” “Now why did you do that?” “‘cuz dey’ was home?” – after that Richard said keep them ALL locked up!!! :-)

  12. The requirement for glider-tow pilots is not crazy but reasonable given that the aerodynamic behaviors between each aircraft are very different. A pilot flying a powered place can’t expect a glider aircraft to behave the same way. They NEED to know INTIMATELY what a glider can and can’t do, so a glider-tow doesn’t snap the wings off a glider and kill both of them making a turn or going too fast. Physics is a pushy unforgiving character. ;)

    I also agree with above, as to what use a registration number will be with a chewed up drone having going through the environment inside a jet engine. You can figure out what bird went through from left-over DNA, but drone’s won’t have that. I have my doubt’s on how well a Sharpie stenciled registration will survive first being chewed up by jet engine blades and then melted by the combustion chamber or whether the drone will be found at all if it strikes the wing and tumbles into the sea or dense forest. Without registered flight plans or registration embedded in the radio signals, you stand a good chance of not being tracked anyway.

    1. Precisely; beat me to it!

      There’s another possible reason: the tow pilot is the pilot-in-charge of both aircraft, so they had better be able to demonstrate that they know how “both bits” of their aircraft will respond.

    2. Some part of the FAA reg MAY be extant even after a fatal collision. Even a partial will help NTSB figure out who “boned” a 777 over CONUS with a frickin’ quad. I also do not know in how many places on the quad you have to write your reg either. Their might even be a mfg serial number involved too. The FAA may require that as well. Who knows where it is stamped inside the quad. Of course it’s on the original box for you.

    3. Also who the heck flies their expensive quads over the ocean/sea or dense forest? Good way to loose a quad! The instructions in the box say to never do that. They also don’t float well without modification to the LG or struts. The only place you are liable to come in fatal contact with aircraft is take off and landing at an air strip. If you are playing around with your quad there then you are just asking for a mid-air collision no matter how careful you may think you are. And if the tower sees you expect a visit from Johnny Law. “Excuse me sir may I see your FAA registration on your toy?” “It’s not a toy officer!” “Exactly…” 8-)

  13. “FAA itself has been propagandizing UAS and model aircraft sightings by pilots as ‘near misses’ with aircraft.”

    This comment is completely uncalled for. As a private pilot, the actual near misses that have happened and the potential damage of a strike are scary. It is stupid for you to minimize the risk poised by some drones and their operators.

    That said, I really doubt this registration action will be effective for solving the problem. So much of the safety of operators in the NAS is based on the “big sky theory” and “see and avoid.” The big sky theory suggests that there is so much sky that the likely hood of a mid-air collision is very small or even insignificant. We already know this is a dubious theory when operating in densely populated areas and especially near airports.

    “See and avoid” is the part of a pilot’s duty to be vigilant on what is around them while flying. The ability to “see” has worked because other aircraft have always been a minimum size required to carry at least one human being.

    Drones affect both of these assumptions. The can and will affect the density of flight operations in some areas and they are usually way too small to be see by a pilot while flying.

    As I said above, I don’t know it what the FAA is doing is useful, but please don’t minimize the problem.

    1. Hey YOU!!!
      Brian is an expert pilot with literally years of flight time!! Probably Decades in the cockpit!! You probably only have hundreds of hours. Pfttttt…… If he says that no one is ever or will ever be stupid enough to fly a quad-copter around real planes and that you shouldn’t worry about it, then you better stop worrying about it.
      Quit treating Brian like he’s just some guy without an engineering degree that writes stuff on the internet and doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

      Brian,
      Keep up the good work, and keep flying!
      Love,
      AC

      1. Hey you back,
        After you get off your hero worship, maybe you should do some independent research. Drones have come close enough to Fire Service Air Tankers to cause the CalFire to ground them during active fire fighting operations. Earlier this month, a drone nearly collided with a CHP Helicopter. (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/12/17/drone-near-miss-chp-helicopter-martinez-owen-ouyang-apology-autopilot/) These are just a couple of many reported incidents where drones (or drone operators) are “mixing it up” with “real” airplanes.

        I don’t know Brian from Adam, but his writing doesn’t come across like he is an experienced pilot. For example, I can’t imagine why he would question why a glider tow pilot needs regular familiarization with the behavior of a glider being towed.

        So, to reiterate for this discussion, I question the usefulness of drone operator registration, but to minimize the real danger of drone sharing the same airspace with human-carrying aircraft is stupid and dangerous.

        1. Thousands of camera phones and there’s been no photos of drones being near forest fires, even though someone had to be there to report their presence. The FAA is highly motivated to prove their case, but so far, not a single shred.

          Does the CHP report every time they have to evade a bird? Does it make the local news or is that a non-story?

          Eventually the CHP will replace their helicopters with drones, but for now the pilots are trying to sand-bag the competition.

          Does a tow pilot have to pilot the exact model of glider they are towing? Unless that’s the case it’s like suggesting that pilots towing banners need to be on a banner so they know what it feels like. Seems to me the reg is there to cut competition for tow pilots. In fact, it seems more important for the glider pilot to have powered experience to understand how easily he could bring the tow plane down since the glider has the greater amount of leverage.

  14. Too many people, and perhaps the FAA themselves, get caught up with the idea that these devices can be used for terrorism. If that was the case require the manufacturer to put a unique serial number on each device. Tie that into a upc and I’d bet you could find the unlikely terrorist.

    Anyone actually flying any model aircraft would know it’s not easy to target something, yet alone a “something” flying at thousands of feet moving at hundreds of miles an hour.

    @Reg, it’s not about being anonymous it’s about useless registration on something that has not been proven particular dangerous. If this was a rule saying all fun owners must register it would never had passed.

    1. fr4nk1yn – https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/#mou

      Q50. A pilot cannot read a number on a drone so how will registering protect traditional aircraft?

      A. A registration requirement encourages a culture of accountability and responsibility. Much like registering a motor vehicle, registering a drone ties a specific person to a specific aircraft. Greater accountability will help protect innovation, which is in danger of being undermined by reckless behavior. This requirement mirrors the requirement for manned operations and commercial UAS operations.

      Q51. Someone intent on harm will not register a drone, so doesn’t this requirement just penalize responsible people who are excited about UAS?

      A. Although no system or requirement is 100 percent effective against people intent on doing harm, registration heightens public awareness about what safe UAS operations look like. In addition, registration establishes a shared understanding that operating this type of aircraft for business or pleasure comes with certain responsibilities and expectations and that the public will be watching for and reporting bad actors, just as they do today for other safety and security-related concerns. Registration also enables us to educate UAS owners on safe operations.

      1. Right, because every day I look up and notice suspicious aircraft flying with people who are supposed to be there. Yep, the day I see suspicious bad actors, I’ll get right on the phone and call my local law enforcement. I guess that moment happens right after the plane/drone makes contact with a building or populated area.

          1. Yes, lack of imagination is dangerous. Hence my comment that whether “Joey” might be exactly the kind of person that make these regulations necessary. Being a Dunning-Kruger examplar prevent him from understanding that.

        1. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

  15. “If it’s unmanned, controlled remotely, is flown outdoors, and weighs more than 250g, the pilot must be registered”

    So if it is unmanned and is not flown remotely but follows a preprogrammed path set before launch it isn’t regulated?

    1. If you read the FAA registration FAQ, hobbyist aircraft that don’t have a “control system” allowing them to be controlled from the ground DO NOT require registration of the pilot. So, considering that hobbyist R/C aircraft up to 55lbs (25kg) are allowed by the FAA, a powered free flight aircraft up to 55 lbs would NOT require the registration of the pilot. How would it be less dangerous to the public than a 251g guided craft that WOULD require pilot registration?

      Now, consider that the FAA over a year ago wanted to ban the use of FPV goggles even with a spotter aid as required by the AMA. Consider that goggles are the most accurate way to fly FPV.

      Put those two things together to know that actual reason for this BS move by the FAA.

      Oh, yeah, and there’s this:

      Military exercise Black Dart (July 26 through August 7, 2015) to tackle nightmare hobbyist drone scenario – July 25, 2015

      http://nypost.com/2015/07/25/military-operation-black-dart-to-tackle-nightmare-drone-scenario/

      Homeland Security warns drones could be used in attacks – Aug 1, 2015

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/homeland-security-warns-drones-could-be-used-in-attacks/

      Department of Homeland Security issues terror alert after three drones are spotted in three days above JFK – August 3, 2015

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3184023/Department-Homeland-Security-issues-terrorist-warning-three-drones-spotted-three-days-flying-dangerously-close-planes-landing-JFK-airport.html

      FAA Announces Emergency Unmanned Aircraft Registration Requirement Due to Large Holiday Drone Sales- October 19, 2015

      https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=19594

  16. Really, I’m seeing a storm in a teacup, here. Children’s toys don’t need to be registered, only ‘serious’ UAS’s do:

    Q10. Is there a weight limit on what requires registration?
    A. All owners of small UAS weighing more than 250 grams (0.55 lbs./8.8oz) and less than 25kg (55 lbs.) must register using this new system

    Q11. Do children’s toys need to be registered?
    A. Not if they weigh below 250 gm/0.55 lb./8.8oz or less. Most “toys” the FAA has identified at a purchase price of $100 or less have been determined to weigh less than 250g. You can find more information in this Recreational UAS Weights document (PDF).

    Q13. Where do I register if my unmanned aircraft weighs 55 pounds or more?
    A. UAS that are 55 pounds or more must be registered using the current paper based system at: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/

    Personally, if I lived in the US, I’d pick up a few dozen registrations now, while they are ‘free’, then pop them on whatever UAS’s I bought/built in the future.

    Better than just a visible sticker/etc., would be to have a unique ‘MAC address’ set in the firmware (connected to your registration account) that ‘pings’ every five seconds that it is in flight. Anyone concerned with running into a UAS could have a small radio that would pick up the pings. Put three antennas on the radio, and now you know exactly (for a given value of ‘exactly’) where the UAS is, and what direction and speed it is traveling compared to you. If the UAS gets too close, a collision warning can be broadcast back to it, and can include a vector to take it out of danger. That would not only protect aircraft, but could be placed around airports or on private property, to warn drones away.

    Sound reasonable?

    1. “Sound reasonable?” In a word: No.

      Registration includes things like this homemade r/c aircraft:

      made from a single sheet of Dollar Store foam board, a small motor and a 2 ounce battery. Its all-up weight is just above 9 ounces — meeting the minimum limit for registration. If you even tried to fly it above 400′, you wouldn’t be able to see it, much less guide it towards anything. Most flyers keep these below 50′ or so and cruise around in lazy circles.

      That hardly counts as a “serious” UAS.

      “… have a unique ‘MAC address’ set in the firmware (connected to your registration account) that ‘pings’ every five seconds that it is in flight.”

      Really? How would I get a unique identifying code for every aircraft I build, fly for a bit, then retire (or crash). Most model aviation enthusiasts don’t buy their aircraft off the shelf — they build them, tinker with them, improve them (ideally), and then fly them. Who is going to administer the radio frequencies needed for all these new transmitters flying around, spraying out RF every 5 seconds? And who’s going to pay for all this equipment that I have to put in my tiny plane to keep an aircraft from running into it while I fly in a park or my back yard?

  17. The current rule makes sense. If you cause an issue with your drone, you should identifiable as the person who caused it, and be held accountable for it. That’s fair.

    The real issue is trust. I don’t trust the FAA. Especially when it appears they’re creating laws that exceed their authority.

    Let’s say that in the future, a few accidents occur due to flying a drone equipped with GPS and autopilot beyond line-of-sight. Maybe a few more where the 55lb. limit was bypassed by registering a stripped-down weight, not the usual payload. Or flew higher than 400ft. The media sensationalizes it, the pressure is on the FAA to deal with it. And they decide to do so by changing the law – requiring a much more expensive registration, and possibly certified training, for anyone who owns a drone that *can* violate these limits; regardless of whether it is actually done.

    Assuming you have such a drone which is used responsibly and legally, the FAA would then be holding you accountable for the actions of others. Which is no longer fair. You may at that point feel civil disobedience is warranted, by refusing to register such a drone. But it’s too late for that if you’ve already registered. You’re in the FAA’s database, and you WILL be receiving a letter requiring you to pay up or prove that you no longer own the drone.

    To guard against that possibility, many people will engage in civil disobedience from the start, as there is no other defense.

    There’s only one sensible solution. Guarantee that all current registrations will be forever grandfathered, even if the laws change in the future. For me at least, that would remove apprehension, and even provide an incentive by allowing me to lock in my rights.

    1. “The current rule makes sense. If you cause an issue with your drone, you should identifiable as the person who caused it, and be held accountable for it. That’s fair.”

      No, it doesn’t make sense. Let’s assume my model airplane collides with a commercial airliner. Do you think there’s going to be anything of this model left but a pile of balsa splinters or shredded foam? Even if (being the sort of idiot that would fly my model airplane around an airport) bothered to put my FAA-issued registration number in it? Or maybe I put someone else’s number in it?

      Let’s assume I interfere with aviation traffic without a collision. Even if I posted a number on the outside of the model airplane (which is not required by the FAA), do you honestly think that an aircraft flying by at 100 mph would be able to read the number on my 3 or 4 foot wingspan model airplane (or 2 foot multi-rotor)?

      If you want to identify the flyer of a wayward model airplane, just require the pilot to put his name, address, and phone number in it (which I do, anyway, since I’d like someone to be able to return if it gets away from me).

      1. Mark – The new rule doesn’t apply to “model aircraft”. The FAA is just making an end-run around Congress with a new definition of the term. Even though they are saying 8.85376 ounces requires registration, if you have no FPV, no ability to exceed 400′, line of sight use, no commercial motive, then I think you can skate on by this regulation. The local cops are not going to be carrying a fish scale nor are they going to know what FPV means. However, a FAA security person at an airfield will probably grill the hell out of you and probably does have a scale. But in the long run if you stick to the definition of MODEL AIRCRAFT and the 2012 FAA MODERNIZATION ACT you could probably argue your way out of an arrest or aircraft confiscation. Make sure you have a copy of the act with you to wave in the Federal Prosecutor’s face.

        I found out my new recent Sears/K-Mart toy is only 4.9 ounces with FPV. It can only achieve 200 feet and only has a 7 minute range. So I am exempt even if I do use it for commercial purposes on the down low (i.e. examine roofs for insurance companies, photos of area for realtor, etc.).

        1. Yes, the new rule DOES apply to model aircraft. The FAA is requiring registration of ANY remotely-controlled aircraft above 250 grams, regardless of FPV.

          From the FAA’s web site:

          Which unmanned aircraft do I have to register?
          Owners must register their UAS online if it meets the following guidelines:
          Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.

          No mention of FPV, 400′ limit, line of site, etc.

          Now, if you want to argue the legality of whether the FAA CAN require this, I’d agree with you. However, that’s not the point. The simple fact is that I can now be heavily fined and imprisoned for not having FAA permission to engage in a hobby that has never been a threat to aviation.

          1. MarkC – All of my remarks regarding the FAA’s true intentions where based on Brian Benchoff’s article one year ago. If you search with CTRL-F on your keyboard you will find where I posted it. To summarize: The FAA is NOT requiring “model aircraft” to be registered as they are REDEFINING the meaning of the term “model aircraft” to circumvent the wording in the 2012 FAA Modernization Act. They are basically saying that if your UAS is over 8.85 ounces it is no longer a MODEL AIRCRAFT. That also includes whether or not it has FPV goggles (as that would mean LOS issues), and if the intent was commercial rather than hobby. But they focused on weight constraints in this latest ruling which pretty much is an end run around Congress. Do I agree with it? No. For all the same reasons you don’t like it either.

            So they are playing word games. I know you don’t feel WEIGHT should have anything to do with model aircraft definition but they do and it appears they’ve gotten away with it. Congress will need to go back an introduce bill to redefine the meaning to stop the FAA from this slick move, My model aircraft is NOT covered as it is only 4 ounces but yet it is a good sized one with FPV. %-/

          2. sonofthunderboanerges — Regardless of whether they call it a sUAS or a model airplane, it is still a model airplane. I don’t care if the federal government redefines my models as steamboats and requires Coast Guard registration. Calling it something else doesn’t change what it is — a model aircraft.

            This is by far a more frightening development than just giving Congress the finger and regulating model aircraft. If this precedent is allowed to stand, then what’s to stop other parts of the government from changing the definitions of thigns just to allow them more control? For example, what if BATFE redefines certain types of firearms as “artillery” or some other ridiculous change, and then claims they now have the right to restrict those?

            What we have, pure and simple, is an abuse of power by unelected bureaucrats in the Executive Branch, overruling the will of the people as put forth by our representatives in Congress. This is far more than the 5 dollar fee, or my personal objection of being treated like a potential criminal — this is a very violation of the Constitutional values that I swore an oath to support and defend many years ago. An oath I still take very seriously.

  18. > the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization

    The whole reason the regs were created was due to asshat operating outside of anything that’d approximate safety guidelines, so the FAA is free to regulate these ‘model aircraft’ as they see fit.

  19. Everyone seems to be giving the “worst case” scenarios as reasons for registering. Here’s a big list of reasons a regular person could cause a problem and thus a drone should be identifiable:

    Drone is lost, turned in to police department, can now be claimed or returned to rightful owner.
    Flying over a road and it hits a car.
    Flying into someone’s window and breaking it.
    Flying into a person at the beach/sidewalk/park/sporting event.
    Hitting those amazon drones mentioned earlier.
    Inadvertently flying in a restricted area.
    Or finally, in a mid-air collision with my open-canopy glider (I really don’t want to take one of these to the face, and I certainly would like to know whose it was if I do).

    The regulation is to solve the 99% of problems, not the 1% extreme problems. All arguments about “criminals will use them without registering” miss the point of registering (which are for my examples). Criminals could use cars to deliver bombs but we haven’t outlawed those, have we? And we register those, don’t we? The registration helps track the rightful owners in the event.

    (On that note, even if there is question about the rule being invalid for “model” aircraft, it still includes any professional/commercial drones, which by the definition above are not considered “model” aircraft as they are not operated by amateurs or for hobby purposes)

    1. In my state it is highly recommended to buy insurance to cover possible damages in the event of flying a radio controlled aircraft into a person, or doing property damage. Most flyers in my area have registered their aircraft with the AMA. The membership gives them insurance coverage up to $500,000.
      Having the insurance can help cover the cost of damages and lawsuits due to flying your craft into someones head, or damaging their property.

      As a side note- The AMA has recommended NOT registering with the FAA yet.
      http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2015/12/17/hold-off-on-registering-model-aircraft/

        1. It’s not the FAA’s responsibility to make sure I have insurance to cover my activities. Unless you are suggesting that the FAA should make insurance a requirement to register my 9 ounce foam model airplane to fly in my back yard.

          1. No, it is the responsibility of the operator to make sure they can cover the damages they incur on others or their property.
            If you are flying on your own property, and there is no chance of it leaving your property, then you are fine.
            If someone happens to be on your property and gets hit by your plane, then your property insurance should cover that.

        2. Before responding to this, people might like to look at “Joey’s” other postings. Then consider “feeding the troll”, “a Dunning-Kruger exemplar”, and whether “Joey” might be exactly the kind of person that make these regulations necessary.

    2. “Criminals could use cars to deliver bombs but we haven’t outlawed those, have we? And we register those, don’t we? The registration helps track the rightful owners in the event.”

      We register cars because they operate in the public domain — roads. My ATV, dirt bike, and lawn tractor are also motorized, wheeled vehicles, but registration is not required because I don’t operate them in the public domain. Likewise, most model aviation enthusiasts operate at club flying fields, local parks (where local regulations are created to protect other park users), or private property.

      As general aviation aircraft are supposed to stay above 500′, flying at 400′ or lower in any of these places certainly puts these activities out of the way of the aviation domain.

  20. >Yes, in order to fly their airplane, glider tow pilots are required to fly another airplane to stay current.

    I don’t see an issue with this. You either need to do a few *simulated* tows with someone once a year, or you need to have been flying a glider in the past year. Being pulled behind someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing is not any fun at all, and this encourages towpilots to break out a glider once in a while.

    The point isn’t to make sure you know how to work the airplane, it’s to make sure you understand the nuances of towing gliders!

    1. Whoa… Slow down there buddy. Brian said this is a very complex topic, so lets recap….

      “Yes, in order to fly their airplane, glider tow pilots are required to fly another airplane to stay current.”
      and
      “This is just one example of how confusing FAA regulations can be….”

      That sure is confusing… Too confusing for me… I just don’t understand those two simple concise sentences at all… I’m just getting lost at the part where there is a pilot in a plane.. ok.. and he wants to fly.. ok.. and… damn I lost it again…

      Maybe Brian can chime in and explain it in more detail since he’s an expert pilot and all…

      1. It’s really not that confusing. There is a whole section (FAR 61.69 I think?) that lays out all the requirements to be a tow pilot, including experience, training, endorsement, and currency.

        1. Wow. Two times in one article. Is this some kind of new counter-troll tactic where you pretend I’m being serious and answer me honestly?
          I guess I’ll have to be even more over the top from now on. And I thought I was doing a good job.
          (For the record record, There is nothing confusing at all about the tow pilot regulations)

    1. Doing my best to word this correctly. The radios didn’t need to be licensed, but a station or operators license was required to use them legally. Did not work well,l nearly impossible to investigate. prosecute hoard of idiots. The CB radio service a very usable resource was rendered unusable by that hoard. Sorry use CB as an analogy is a poor choice. Relatively in expensive RC models seem to be attracting a hoard of idiots.

      1. Actually, I think the analogy is excellent. The drone license is for the operator, just like the CB license. The existence of the operator’s license must is tied to the device by, in the case of drones, by a license number fixed to the device, and in the case of CB radio, by the requirement of the operator to periodically broadcast the license number over the air.

        The relatively inexpensive price and ease of use for both CB radios and drones did/have/will attract hoards of users, many of whom will be ignorant/inconsiderate/intentionally disruptive of other users who share the common operating environment.

        I predict that drone operator registration will be no more effective in dealing with the assholes than CB radio operator licensing did. Oh, and just like CB radio operation, drone operation problems will be trivial to nonexistent in rural areas and potentially debilitating in densely populated areas.

        As an aside, CB radios themselves are licensed: they could only be used if constructed and certified under FCC license (ie no legal homebuilt CB radios). This is a _difference_ from drones which can be constructed by anyone.

    2. They also tried to make it where you needed a license from the BATF to buy model rocket engines and reload powder.
      It didn’t work out.
      Then there was their attempt to out right ban strong encryption or require a back door which would completely defeat the purpose of having it.

  21. personally i feel like the new rules SHOULD read:
    “airborn devices employing explosives (EDIT: lithium (batteries)) are banned”

    and also should read:
    “under (whatever) altitude and away from airport need no registration regardless of weight”

    1. Before responding to this, people might like to look at “Joey’s” other postings. Then consider “feeding the troll”, “a Dunning-Kruger exemplar”, and whether “Joey” might be exactly the kind of person that make these regulations necessary.

        1. Joey scribbles “Yeah, figures you two pansies would have irrational fears of batteries too”. Lithium batteries have caused several commercial aircraft crashes, e.g. UPS Airlines Flight 6, Asiana Airlines Flight 991 (both 747s) and others. What’s irrational about “fearing batteries”?

  22. How many people have “drones” or RC pilots killed (not including the guy that killed himself). I can’t think of any. How many U.S. citizens are killed when some asshat gets in a car drunk (not including the asshat behind the wheel) answer… 3700 per year. Thats one “911” per year. That’s 3700 people that were walking across the road, driving home from a second shift job, or riding a bike… Even though the laws are clear, people still head out to the local watering hole then risk driving home after they’ve had a few and kill someone…. So… murder? My point? If you want to save ‘merican citizens lives, work out that problem first, then speculate about what else can kill us after. Same goes with the so called “terrorist threat.” Drunk driving numbers stack up against that too, but that’s not what you want to hear.

    The scary part about registration now is that they are planning to make the database public in the future. This defeats the purpose of registration. Some assclown gets your number, pastes in on his plane, has a flyaway and damages property. Your number is on it, and if you were home asleep, you have no alibi and become responsible for shit you didn’t do.

  23. I have a simple question- why not simply require that we put our personal information in/on the RC model? Makes it traceable without having to manage a database. Save me from paying to support a system used to translate a number into personal information. I have been doing this for almost 40 years, in hopes of getting my model back if a problem arises and the model stops being remotely piloted- although they usually head straight for the ground when that happens. (Never fly over people!)

  24. Innocent bystanders are already being maimed for life by drones. See (ho ho) this picture
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/26bd77301877ecba3f35de08a8156d44
    from
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/i-saw-a-bit-of-his-eye-land-on-his-tshirt-toddlers-horror-drone-injury/news-story/

    Registration wont stop malefactors, but it will cause the ignorant to pause for thought and realise they have a deadly toy in their hands.

    RC modelling requires time, dedication and knowledge, and probably membership of a local RC club.

    Drones can be an impulse purchase given to ignorant cretins.

  25. I maintain this has little to do with safety of any kind. It’s a money grab. A few million RC pilots (est. over 1 million drone sales this holiday) multiplied by $5 registration fee = major payday for no work. Let’s see how quick that fee doubles. Or triples.

  26. Many are making analogies to CB or ham radio operations. The idea is far broader than just one type of radio frequency (RF) operation… we should look at the way the FCC treats those using all types of RF systems.

    My ham radio is capable of emitting 100 watts of radio frequency (RF) power that is capable of traveling around the world, potentially interfering with other radio operators around the world. Thus, I hold an amateur radio license from the FCC.

    Yet, many millions of people use RF emitting devices — Cell phones, CB radios, FRS, GMRS, WiFi, bluetooth, microwave ovens, etc., without requiring registration of any type.

    Imagine requiring every cell phone or WiFi user having to register (i.e., get permission from the federal government) because some nimrods were playing with GPS jamming radios near an airport.

    In the RF world, there are various levels of licensing/registration based on the frequency on which you operate, as well as the power output used (e.g, the number of users and ranges over which you might have an impact). For the vast majority of RF users — cell phones, WiFi, FRS, etc. — operation is permitted without any license and registration (with a few notable restrictions about WHERE you may operate these devices, such as in hospitals, commercial airlines, in the vicinity of radio astronomy observatories, etc.). But, if I step up to power output and frequency ranges that might affect a broad area of users, then licensing is required.

    Accordingly, there are various levels of licensing for RF users — several levels of ham radio (hobby) licensing that grant different levels of frequency, mode, and power privileges, as well as marine, aviation, and commercial users, radar systems, etc. Most types of consumer-grade electronics require no FCC registration on the part of the users.

    If you want to use the RF systems analogy, there should be no registration for flyers (of any type of aircraft) as long as you meet certain operational requirements: Altitude, range, proximity to airfields, etc. For the vast majority of r/c flyers, this means that we can operate as before without the FAA having any interest in our activities.

    However, there could be levels of certification for those interested in long-range FPV, high altitude flying, commercial operations, etc. In other words, if your activities could conceivably impact other users of the National Airspace System (or the general public on the ground), then you would be required to prove some level of competence, safety, and awareness of appropriate regulations.

    And, of course, severe punishments should be meted out for those nimrods who fly their off-the-shelf toys in such a way as to endanger or impede the general public. But you can’t catch those guys by making everybody register — because the nimrods are NOT going to register.

      1. I’m in the same boat, so I went and read the detailed legislation. Since I’m an engineer not a lawyer, it was confusing, but the gist seemed to be that in our case it’s a certificate of ownership of the drone rather than a user registration, and it’s still required.

  27. I re-read the reform&modernization bit that forbids the FAA from regulating hobbyist models, and I was surprised to see that it only applies to people who are part of a club…the AMA paid for it, and mostly it looks like it only applies to AMA members. So for anyone who isn’t part of a club, or whose use is non-commercial, this registration program actually seems to enhance their legitimacy. I’m registering. *shrug* Hopefully this is step one on a path that legitimizes non-line-of-sight operation.

  28. I think its humorous to see the arguments in this blog. Call me crazy but the FAA regulation is requiring the “OPERATOR” of the flying device to register, not the the operator to register the “Unmanned Aerial Device” (I hate the word DRONE. THEY ARE NOT DRONES !!!!). Did I register with the FAA, YES !! I fly hobby nitro, gassers and electric fixed-wing, helicopters and quadcopters. The last time I looked only my fixed-wing aircraft looked like a drone. Being ex-Air Force, the first drone I saw was an oversized high wing trainer chainsaw motor with a big prop on the front. Only recently have I seen drones that look like helicopters and some newer ones have ducted-fan motors that basically resemble a quadcopter (barely). My fixed wing and helicopters are way more dangerous than my quadcopters. I would struggle to keep my 61 nitro pattern plane under 400ft height limit. I have friends with R/C Turbine Fighters that will past that 400 feet limit in 1/2 second and be traveling at +200mph, Now thats dangerous. Are the regulations overkill ? Yes. Will they help ? Possibly. Did it take the fun out of model flying ? Not really. We all can still fly. According to this new regulation, All of my big sailplanes are grounded. My quads will only hit a tree about 4 feet off the ground, because I fly them on courses through the woods, I don’t see any 737s or Airbuses 300s flying through the trees unless something bad happened and its coming down, but thats not my fault. If you choose not to register yourself as an operator, I bet “Barney Fife” will be sitting somewhere waiting to slap a ticket on you with a nice stiff fine that will be a heck of a lot worse than the $5 if cost you to register yourself. And no I don’t work for the FAA. I’m just a guy out to have some fun and not get shot in the process because some cop felt threatened by my plane seeming to close to him.
    Just my 2 cents

  29. This new rule doesn’t only apply to those horrible evil drone operators, but to all model aircraft weighing over 1/2 pound and flown outdoors.

    From http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/
    [NEW] Q19. I would like to fly my Radio/Remote Controlled (RC) aircraft outdoors, do I have to register it?
    Yes, RC aircraft are unmanned aircraft and must be registered online if they weigh more than 0.55 lbs. and less than 55 pounds

  30. Given that was a professional drone flown by a trained professional, it would be possible to calculate the probability that would happen and therefore the probability of injury.

    Now multiply that by the number of drones flown by untrained amateurs (catchphrase: “Problem, what problem? It will never happen to me”) and realise the probability of innocent bystanders being injured is non-trivial.

    Just as in other walks of life, far more deaths/maimings will occur due to careless/negligent accidents than due to terrorism. So how cares about terrorists when ignorant and cretinous neighbours are around!

      1. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN.

        1. ZFT, J UIJOL PUIFS JOUFMMJHFOU QFPQMF XJMM GJHVSF JU PVU FBTJMZ. UIF HPBM JT OPU UP MFU KPFZ GJHVSF JU PVU. IF XBOUT UP IBWF UIF MBTU XPSE PO FWFSZUIJOH. JG ZPV CPPLNBSL UIJT QBHF BOE DPNF CBDL B XFFL GSPN OPX, IF XJMM IBWF GJMMFE JO FWFSZUIJOH XJUI IJT PXO BSHVNFOUT.

    1. Before responding to this, people might like to look at “Joey’s” other postings. Then consider “feeding the troll”, “a Dunning-Kruger exemplar”, and whether “Joey” might be exactly the kind of person that make these regulations necessary.

      1. Wow, this joey guy is really stupid. Belligerent, profane, and a lack of intelligence unlike any seen before. What a special person.
        Thank you joey, for bringing trolls to a new level.

        1. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

    2. Really? a professional drone pilot? Who trained them? do they have a certificate or accreditation of some sort? and the comparison to terrorists is priceless. Let’s go with that… How many people were injured on 9-11? Recently in Paris and California? Now how many injuries and or deaths can you verify for AMA hobbyists? “other” users?
      I await your answer……

      1. AMA members aren’t the problem, they are merely caught up in this sad situation. The problems is/are/will be the type of cretins that drive cars while drunk, or without having demonstrated they are competent to drive cars. When, not if, such people from the shallow end of the gene pool cause injuries, they should be held to account – and the FAA moves are part of that. Imperfect, yes, but that’s life.

        Your question about terrorism indicates you have comprehension problems; a good start would be to read and understand what I actually wrote. Or maybe you are sufficiently innumerate that you can’t see the larger problem: 3k killed in 9/11, 30-40k killed in automobile accidents *every* year – and that’s just in the USA alone!

        1. Tom, I have no comprehension problem. You compare acts of terror to accidents. I guarantee if you want to match numbers look at worldwide terror deaths 100’s of people at a time, not by accident.

          But perhaps it is you who do not comprehend since you ignored the relevant part of my post..

          .”Really? a professional drone pilot? Who trained them? do they have a certificate or accreditation of some sort? ” and ” how many injuries and or deaths can you verify for AMA hobbyists? “other” users?” and none of those have been intentional. even the morons out there have caused none of the damage that the media and FAA seems to feel is so imminent that “emergency” action had to be taken.
          I await your answer……

          1. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU.

  31. TO ALL NEWCOMERS FROM GOOGLE SEARCHES – I just want to say some of you are easily identifiable as newbies to HaD (Hackaday) arena. I think your general “jumping to conclusions” about us regulars is telling.

    1. We are natural INFORMATION SHARERS. We like to post stuff for it’s information benefits NOT to make some sort of political argument or statement about things like anti-gun sentiment or anti-drone issues.

    2. Many of us LIKE guns!

    3. All of us LIKE drones and model aircraft. If we don’t have one we’ll either soon buy one or make it as we are basically all tinkerers. Or we’ll put an Arduino in one! Yah!

    4. We are not your common benighted dullards you will find on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. We hang out here because the audience is pretty much at the IQ level of people like Dr. Hawkin, Bill Gates, or somebody like that. All of this cussing, swearing, invectives, ad hominem personal attacks, straw man arguments, etc. is pretty much alien to us.We are all friendly and polite to one another. Making this a fun place to hang out!

    5. I would guess that many of us are not substance abusers of ethanol or any other controlled substance. That also goes for having all or most of our dentition (at least in the front). And we prefer not having coitus with our kindred. We tend to be peculiar that way…

    If any of this offends you then please feel free to avail yourself of the other Internet locales more suited to your nature. We HaD denizens would really appreciate it. Just saying… :-P

    SQTB

    1. Sorry Son,
      But you are wishing for somethings that doesn’t appear to be so. The volume of nastiness in this thread makes discussions on reddit seem tame.

      Worse, this site doesn’t seem to have an option to just Notify me about responses to just my comments, so I watched the vitriol in my inbox for a while.

      Good luck!

      1. bobcollins42 – Yeah Bob I do the same thing in my INBOX too. I can only guess that the Oak Ridge Boyz picked up on us due to Google’s spider program that INSTANTLY puts each and every of our postings on Google. They like to troll the pond as it were for topical stuff and ‘thangs that pique their collective backwoods curiosity. Dang’ it!!!

        Imagine a skinny (or portly) man in a red flannel shirt with a lit Marlboro dangling from his lip. A John Deere baseball cap. TV playing in background with NASCAR on it. Sitting at his brand-new Walmart PC or laptop he just bought from the revenue from his barely legal ethanol distillery business. Of course his little ranch style house up on a hill is loaded with the latest Sturm Ruger, Colt, S&W, Winchester, etc lethal paraphernalia. And enuf’ Walmart ammo to choke an equine.

        Larry the Cable Guy’s voice: “Whut’ the hell are dem’ sissies talking about? Let me set ’em straight! Dirty stinkin’ pinko rat bazturds!”

        OMFG is that a Marine fiddy’ cal in the back room??!! In Slim Picken’s voice: “Gul’ dang it how’d da’ hell he get that one without a FFL?” Oh I forgot “trade show” in town last week.

        OK enuf’ of my wry stereotypical humor. Don’t want to be accused of being a Jeff Foxworthjy hero worshiper… :-D

    1. Criminality is not necessary. Accidents and reckless stupidity are sufficient. And unfortunately the world’s supply of reckless stupidity appears to be limitless :(

      The use of cars and guns is regulated not because of criminality (nor terrorism), but to minimise “collateral damage” by idiots and to apportion blame where necessary. Unfortunately it looks like the same is necessary when drones get into the hands of those that are as sharp as a beachball.

      1. “The use of cars and guns is regulated not because of criminality (nor terrorism), but to minimise “collateral damage” by idiots and to apportion blame where necessary….”

        Exactly — the USE is regulated. I can ride my KLR-650 (hybrid trail/road motorcycle) all day long in off-road conditions without a license or registration. Registration is only required when I operate in the public domain — i.e., on roads.

        99% of all model aviation is conducted over private flying fields, parks (meeting park and local regulations for safety of other park users), or our own yards. As long as we stay below the altitudes at which aviation activities occur, we do not in the public space.

        Similarly, model aviation should be not be a registered activity as long as we continue to operate the way we’ve been for many decades. It’s a draconian (and illegal, IMHO) overreach by the FAA to require registration of my 9 ounce foam R/C model that I fly in my back yard, mostly below the tree-tops.

        Nimrods flying around airports or over crowds aren’t going to register with the FAA. The only names in that database will be those of people who already fly responsibly.

        It greatly annoys me that I have to have permission to conduct a hobby activity in a way that impacts nobody.

      1. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

  32. Unfortunately is is unnecessary to invoke aviation: drones have already injured people on the ground – and there will be many more injuries in the future.

    I presume you are registered to use one class of dangerous tools (i.e. cars) in public places. I see no reason why you can reasonably object to others (i.e. drones).

    Having said that, it is a great shame that ignorant and irresponsible people are having a detrimental effect on sensible and responsible people such as yourself. But ignorant and irresponsible people ARE causing problems, and this is one imperfect mechanism to start holding them to account for their actions.

    I fully appreciate that it hasn’t been necessary to register and/or be tested in the past. Neither was it in the early days of cars, but once anyone with money could simply purchase them, testing and registration was brought in to help ensure minimum standards. It didn’t prevent all problems, but it reduce them. (If you don’t believe that, then go and try driving in countries where testing and registration are effectively optional)

    1. I fail to understand how injuring people on the ground is in the realm of the FAA. There are plenty of ways to injure people on the ground through careless application of any hobby activity. Heck, even model aviation has not been without its share of accidents due to model airplane equipment failures or lapses in judgement. But the vast majority of these are already covered by existing local regulations. For example, I can’t practice golf shots or ride dirt bikes at the local park. And a local park would be well within its rights to say I can’t fly a model airplane over a soccer field while kids are playing there. These sorts of restrictions do not require the heavy hand of the Federal Government.

      Everyone keeps going back to the car registration. All motorized, wheeled vehicles do NOT need to be registered — only those that are operated in a public arena where others operate (i.e., roads). As long as I operate my ATV or dirt bike (or lawn tractor, for that matter) in a space that does not impact the public roadways, I can ride to my heart’s content without involving any Federal authorities (unless I need their permission to ride in a national park or other facility).

      Look at it this way… Imagine if the DOT required Federal registration on all motorized wheeled vehicles over 50 cc (engine displacement) because there was a sudden growth of people with 250 cc bikes riding carelessly on the interstates. And I mean every motorized vehicle — ATVs, dirtbikes, go-karts, riding mowers, etc.

      In much the same way, the FAA (an Executive Branch agency) has unilaterally altered a law passed by the Legislative Branch, requiring the registration of all model aircraft over 9 ounces* — which have been flying without impeding the public aviation “roadways” for many decades (and even those that can’t even REACH the public aviation “roadways”).

      I get that the FAA wants to be able to be able to stop or catch the nimrods who fly near airports — that’s well within their purview. Fine, make it a requirement that everyone should put their name and address on/in a model airplane (most of us do that anyway so we have a chance of recovering it should it get away from us).

      But I shouldn’t have to beg permission from the Federal Government to fly my 9 ounce foam airplane in my back yard.

      * Just so you realize what the FAA requires, this foamboard model airplane weighs in at 9.5 ounces (give or take).

      It typically flies at tree-top levels or lower. But if I fly this in my own back yard without permission from the FAA, I would be subject to over a quarter-million dollars in fines and penalties and 3 years imprisonment. Doesn’t this seem like a bit much????

        1. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF. KPFZ JT B USPMM.

    2. The comparison of hobby drones to cars is stupid and the reason why is basic physics.
      A 1/2lb drone travelling at 40mph is only going to have 40.2 joules of energy but a car travelling at 60mph is going to have 593000 joules of kinetic energy.
      A baseball can easily have over three times as much energy.
      The idiots who made this rule apparently failed basic high school math if this is even remotely about safety.
      In short the rule is just absurd.

  33. We don’t need to fantasize about how potentially deadly these things are: we have actual data from thousands and thousands of toy drones showing NOBODY has ever died by one. 32000 people are killed by guns in the US every year, yet there is no federal mandatory registration for most of them. Even in CA I can buy a handgun off the internet and not have to legally register it! Lawnmowers kill 75 people a year… is anyone rushing to ban them? Falling off your bed kills 450 a year. Clearly an epidemic vastly outweighing the danger of hobby drones. This is a money grab, plain and simple – right before Xmas.

    1. While the money grab is an obvious gov tactic, there are those who will argue that this is part of a larger picture. Amazon has been touting their plans for drone delivery systems, and bowing to the FAA to get permision to do so. Just as gov’t has been known to give away areas of the radio spectrum, and now that the FAA has proclaimed itself ruler of the sky, What users such as Amazon etc will pay for their use of the sky will make our registration look like pocket change. Just sayin….

    2. You can buy a complete, functioning handgun and have it delivered by mail directly to you in CA? Not likely. Not legally. You could purchase from a licensed dealer in one state and have it transferred to another licensed dealer in your state, and then you go pick it up, and that dealer will run a either a state or federal background check on you per federal law, and then you will wait the CA mandated 10 days to actually get the handgun.

      Or do you mean you can order an 80% frame for a handgun and all the parts required to construct your own handgun? That is common, and completely legal in most cases.

      In either case federal law does not require registration of the handgun as you said.

        1. READING LAST POSTINGS: Joey just spit his brown-saliva soaked “Skoal” all over his screen after reading this! “Dam’ idgets’! Don’t they know who I am! I ain’t no f***ing TROLL! Trolls have more teeth and smell better!” He sits back and lights up a Marloboro, coughs up some sputum, takes a swig of some Moonshine with a Budweiser chaser… And looks bemused at the PC screen… Then his XYL enters the room and says: “Gul’ dangit” Joey… I ain’t cleaning dat’ s**t off’in’ yer’ compewter’ any more!” She throws a used greasy red auto shop rag at him and storms out the room to get in her Ford F-150 with gun rack in front of the Rebel Flag to drive to the local honky-tonk for some real action…

          Dang it I miss ol’ Slim Pickens! Remember him as Taggart from Blazing Saddles? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDm3zCvN4ao

          1. Anyone whom finds one of his comments to be belligerent, profane, or lacking cogent, positive argument should simply click on the “Report Comment” at the bottom right of that comment.
            There is no reason to put up with being called names.

          2. joey – If there are more than five McDonald’s bags in your F-150… then you’re a rogue cou…

            Your problem Joe is you think we HaD-ers are anti-drone and anti-gun. The average HaD probably has more guns and quads then you’ll ever have or could afford to put on your over limit Sears card. We are NOT your enemies but you are acting like an ass when we are just info sharing with no political agenda like you. We are just having fun talking about technology – why can’t you?

            Sorry for the stereotypical rant. Feel free to attack me back. I got a million of them… :)

          3. What scares me Joe about you is that your the typical John Q. Public that will vote for the REAL fucktard Donald Trump for President. The Donald thinks just like you: 1) shoot from the hip no matter how “Dunning-Kruger” it is 2) thinks PC is some sort of Democrat conspiracy to take away your freedom to be a total jerk 3) doesn’t realize that foul language versus true intellectual debate is just not acceptable any where except maybe a honky-tonk bar 4) looses track of the many aphoristic comments here and comes away with diametrically opposed understandings of what was said… Yes you are a Donald Trump clone!

            And what you just replied to me?: QED

          4. He wants you to do that so he can go back to REDDIT to tell them what douches we are for banning him. He has an opinion and we do too. I just wish he’d play nicely in our sand box. Some of us bite back…

            WE ARE NOT ANTI-DRONE!!! Joey! We only offer the articles because we like sharing information with each other. We all check our egos at the door. We could all just insult one anther but what fun is that? And please remember we are HACKERS – hence the name Hackaday? So do you really think pissing us off is a good thing? I think you fell into the wrong hole buddy-roe,,, These guys are playing nice for now, I wouldn’t keep poking this hornets nest. But don’t let me stop you Jethro Bodine… Have fun with that pokin’ stick!

        2. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

    3. KPFZ JT B USPMM. KPFZ JT POF PG UIPTF QFPQMF XIPN CFMJFWFT IJT JEFBT BOE PQJOJPOT BSF UIF POMZ QPTTJCJMJUJFT, BOE JHOPSFT BMM JOQVU GSPN PUIFST. KPFZ MBDLT UIF JOUFMMJHFODF BOE CBDLHSPVOE SFRVJSFE UP VOEFSTUBOE PS FOWJTJPO PUIFS BQQMJDBUJPOT, QFSNVUBUJPOT, PS UIFPSFUJDBM JNQMJDBUJPOT PG DPODFQUT QSFTFOUFE UP IJN. KPFZ XJMM VTF CFMMJHFSFOU, QSPGBOF MBOHVBHF UP WFSCBMMZ BTTBVMU UIPTF UIBU EP OPU IBWF UIF TBNF JEFBT PS PQJOJPOT BT IF EPFT. KPFZ BUUFNQUT UP GPSDF PUIFST UP BDDFQU IJT PQJOJPO VTJOH IJT VOJRVF MBDL PG UBDU BOE MBDL PG HSBDFGVM BSHVNFOU. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF. KPFZ JT B USPMM.

  34. Please stop calling it registration. I did it yesterday and had to agree to several statements regarding their use (ie not flying out of eyesight). At that point it’s not registration, it’s regulation.

  35. Interesting the divergent direction the agency is taking.

    “Flying Under Ultralight Rules (FAR Part 103)

    Recreational flight limited to single seaters weighing less than 254 lbs
    Any category, class or type of vehicle permitted (i.e. airplane, trike, powered parachute)

    FAA has chosen not to promulgate Federal regulations regarding pilot certification, vehiclecertification, and vehicle registration, preferring that the ultralight community assume the initiative forthe development of these important safety programs. The ultralight community has taken positiveaction and developed programs almost two decades ago gaining FAA approval for their implementation.

    FAA further states, “…it should be emphasized that the individual ultralight operator’s support andcompliance with national self-regulation programs is essential to the FAA’s continued policy ofallowing industry self-regulation in these areas.”

    My feeling is that these toys are more like recreational craft (ultralights) than commercial craft (747’s). In my opinion they should have amended FAR part 103 to include toys – if they do not want to continue to respect the citizens rights.

    If you believe that government agencies should be under the control and direction of the government (and not just making up any old thing they want), I would strongly urge you to demonstrate those beliefs at the ballot box November. If you don’t show up, we will lose some very basic freedoms.

    We need a government that respects it’s people and the constitutional amendments – all of us, even the government should follow the law.

    1. Pretty much farther proves how ridiculous this law is esp when you decide to actually crunch the numbers of kinetic energy and how many actually accidents have happened which is something they apparently neglected to do.
      I would not be surprised in the least if the people who wrote the regulation got a F in math and science.

      1. KPFZ JT B USPMM. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

    2. joey – So you mean like this?

      You know birds were not programmed to have survival instincts outside their paradigms. However, being in the Corvid family they are as smart and adaptive as Crows (they are related). They seem to know how to have a symbiotic relationship with humans who would build the roof for them. It’s a win win relationship. Too bad some humans don’t appreciate the concept of working together with others and respecting civil boundaries.

      Robert said here: “We need a government that respects it’s people and the constitutional amendments – all of us, even the government should follow the law.”

      Yes Robert well said… respecting people and everyone following the rules is a good thing – not a misconception or misuse of the word “freedom” as some benighted ones have the custom to pervasively do.

  36. a BIG part of the “issue” is not being brought to the public, ALL QUAD COPTERS ARE NOT REPEAT NOT DRONES! The media aided by news of recent military advances blurs the lines between full auto pilot GPS Sensor rich programmable robotic aircraft that don’t require a pilot for most of their flights, and microprocessor assisted stability REMOTE CONTROLED TOYS / MODEL Aircraft that require a pilot to fly at all times and are not “programmable ” in any way comparable with true auto pilot robotic DRONES! Then add the subtle fact they also term military aircraft such as the PREDITOR or GLOBAL HAWK (which are flown by pilots not computers remotely) as DRONES there by linking civil and completely harmless aircraft with a military weapon system that uses deadly force ! Also I DO NOT WANT TO RIDE IN A COMMERCIAL PLANE that cannot handle being hit by a 250 gram object!! Which brings me to the fact exactly how threatening could a small RC quad copter with 10 to 15 minute MAXIMUM flight time , very limited radio rang with the control (some very much less than a few hundred yards some less than 500 ft. ). , and are not flyable in wind greater than slightest of a breeze ?? WOW but the FAA took that as not being relevant and if some one actually intended to use a quad copter in an attack do you think they will register the quad they plan to use?? I also would point out the registration, ID issue, record keeping ‘ management of and administration will COST SOME incredible amount no one has even mentioned as if the program will be free or without cost to run and maintain, and then how useful will it actually be? Catch a terrorist NOPE, prevent a moron from operating in a unsafe or dangerous way NOPE, and pray tell how exactly will they identify non compliant persons who fail to register?? psychics hot line?? who will be imposed on restricted tracked and harassed the law abiding hobby flyer who lets a registration lapse or fails to understand some fine point or small print of the actual POLICY (NOT A LAW< CONGRESS MAKES LAWS, !!!) Which apparently the FAA feels do not apply to them, and they ignore the fact, as pointed out in the article they have BEEN SPECIFICLY PROHIBITED BY CONGRESS FROM REGULATING THIS TYPE OF AIRCRAFT. The director and board of the FAA need to be removed from office by congress, prosecuted for violating the LAW congress passed, and the new FAA executives hired to replace the current personnel BE DIRECTLY WARNED AND ADMONISHED AS TO WHY THEY HAVE REPLACED the previous officials! Anything less sends the message congress can be ignored (which means no public voice as to how we are governed) by any AGENCY (not allowed to make policies in opposition to FEDERAL LAW!

    By the way my next project may be the application of the auto piloted aircraft tech to say LARGE OFF ROAD equipment (KILL DOZER IS BORN!) or a fleet of home built mini Tunnel boring machines say 1 to 3 inch Diameter and in 25 to 100 machines in the fleet. What?? t I need to automate the laying of my lawn irrigation system!

    1. You don’t seem to understand the definition of the word. From the dictionary:
      Drone:
      a) an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight:
      b) (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely:
      a radio-controlled drone.

      So yes, they are using the word correctly and these are drones. They self correct to level themselves, and can fly autonomously if equipped. Otherwise they require user input to change direction or altitude.

        1. J VSHF BOZPOF XIPN GJOET BOZ PG IJT QPTUT UP CF CFMMJHFSFOU PS QSPGBOF UP DMJDL PO UIF “SFQPSU DPNNFOU” PO UIF MPXFS SJHIU PG BOZ PG IJT DPNNFOUT. UIFSF JT OP OFFE GPS UIBU UZQF PG MBOHVBHF.

  37. “keithfromcanada says:
    December 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm
    :sigh: HaD, when are you going to join the 20th century and allow us to edit our posts? Time to get old school…

    s/that they way/that they want/”
    .
    s/20th century/21st century
    That makes HaD even further behind in “hi-tech” ;)

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