Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code
1327 25 2017-2-24
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2270924 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Aloha,

     Recently, the Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code has been brought to my attention.  I was concerned about the safety implications of Hobbyist Flight and how they compare to Part 107 certification.  (OK, it was an argument and I appear to have lost.)  But, I must say that I am impressed with the thorough level of the AMA code.  You may want to check it out below.  Joining fulfills your FAA requirements for Hobbyist Flight.

Aloha and Drone On!

Image and .pdf enclosed.
AMA Safety Code.jpg

AMA Safety Code 105.pdf

108.69 KB, Down times: 7

2017-2-24
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

Yes, many don't realize this, but in the US, hobbyists are required by federal law to follow AMA's Safety Code.  We don't have to join the AMA though.  Although it wouldn't hurt.

Thanks for posting.
2017-2-25
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

Cetacean:

B7 needs clarification, but I doubt the AMA will make adjustments here. I violated this one three times yesterday, hand landing my P4, in breezy conditions, to avoid having landing area debris possibly get into the motors. This regulation is fine for winged craft and helicopters (and some quads, for sure).

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-25
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

Brian - I agree with you 100%, that rule appears to be outdated and doesn't seem like it should apply to quads given certain conditions.  Nonetheless, that's how it's written right now and technically we have to live with it - at least for the time being.  Realistically though,, I seriously doubt it would ever be enforced unless some accident occurred.  MHO

The one that really bugs me is the one where it states we can't fly over structures and vehicles.  Not many pilots can say they've never flown over a structure or vehicle.  
2017-2-25
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner:

B1 actually leaves the door open to considerable interpretation, given the word usages of avoid and unprotected.

Avoid doesn't prohibit per se, and unprotected, as used, may be spread to cover the comma-separated words that follow, allowing the ruling to apply to motorcycles, convertibles and verandas, in other words, people.

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-25
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

Brian - I agree again.  Not many fully understand the intricacies of the English language.  I guess that's one of the reasons we have so many lawyers.  

2017-2-25
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner:

I'm pretty certain a lawyer or lawyers had a considerable hand in the drafting of these documents, and as such, knew what phrasing would be acceptable, for the various loopholes.

But sometimes even the best barristers may falter. That's why we have so, so Many of them.

Let's see: "...avoid endangerment of life [all forms, even TREE BRANCHES, bears, fish, attack eagles and Bengal tigers] and property of others[including your neighbor's cat/dog/ferret/parakeet/indentured servant, so, double coverage for those life forms]." So, assuming owned life forms aren't property(what?), inanimate objects can be exposed to destructive forces, but cannot be "endangered", pedanticly speaking.

So, yeah, lawyers...and loopholes (the size of sinkholes)...

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-25
Use props
jrm11
lvl.4
Flight distance : 224519 ft
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-25 03:31
Yes, many don't realize this, but in the US, hobbyists are required by federal law to follow AMA's Safety Code.  We don't have to join the AMA though.  Although it wouldn't hurt.

Thanks for posting.

I'm not arguing, but this doesn't sound right. Based on what you are saying, a civilian entity (AMA) is creating legislation enforceable by the government. Now, the AMA member rules may echo the law, but they cannot actually be the law. What happens if the AMA makes a change to their rules?

Do you have a reference to support your claim? Again, not looking to start an argument... I simply have an interest in the topic and would like to read the federal law myself.
2017-2-25
Use props
towheaded-pilot
Second Officer
Flight distance : 35112 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-25 03:31
Yes, many don't realize this, but in the US, hobbyists are required by federal law to follow AMA's Safety Code.  We don't have to join the AMA though.  Although it wouldn't hurt.

Thanks for posting.

Not entirely correct. Follow the safety code of a CBO. Not specifically AMA. AMA is not a government entity and is not enforceable.
2017-2-25
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

jrm11 Posted at 2017-2-25 09:07
I'm not arguing, but this doesn't sound right. Based on what you are saying, a civilian entity (AMA) is creating legislation enforceable by the government. Now, the AMA member rules may echo the law, but they cannot actually be the law. What happens if the AMA makes a change to their rules?

Do you have a reference to support your claim? Again, not looking to start an argument... I simply have an interest in the topic and would like to read the federal law myself.

Hey that's what these forums are for...

see PL 112-95, Sec 336, (2)

https://www.congress.gov/112/plaws/publ95/PLAW-112publ95.pdf


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

That statement is in respect of the AMA.  They didn't want to specify AMA specifically in the law, since theoretically there may someday be another nationwide CBO, but right now there's only one.

Hope this helps.


2017-2-25
Use props
Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388542 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

Clearly these rules where written for fixed wing aircraft operating from a runway and probably performing aerobatic stunts at significant speeds without any FPV display or telemetry, it is silly to try and apply them to regulate use of a photography quadcopter that does not need a runway, can safely land almost anywhere and will spend most of its time hovering under GPS/VPS control with FPV or making low speed flypasts while filming and that can't perform aerobatic stunts even if it tries.

A Phantom is not a model, it shouldn't be operated using rules created for model aeroplanes and which may not be appropriate or adequate.
2017-2-25
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

The thing is, we as hobbyists may not agree with some of the wording within the AMA Safety code, but we should be happy the AMA exists.  Without their diligence, the rules would likely be much more strict.  The argument the AMA made is that they've existed for decades and have an outstanding safety record, and therefore, they argue, their members should not be limited by more strict rules without reason.  Hence, Congress made the law in the language that it is.  This gives us as hobbyists certain advantages such as the lack of a height limitation, flying at night, flying FPV (open to interpretation), etc.  
2017-2-25
Use props
EdM
First Officer
Flight distance : 1298634 ft
  • >>>
United States
Online

AlecW Posted at 2017-2-25 10:40
I think quads have just blown everything up faster than anyone could have predicted and now everyone is scrambling to know what to do about them including the AMA.  AMA have been around for decades I guess but what really changed in those decades tech wise and use wise, seems like a club for a bunch of guys flying model planes around in fields to me.   Suddenly anyone with a about a grand can buy something they can fly from their backyard a mile or whatever in any direction, I doubt anyone saw this coming a few years ago.  I suspect the AMA only got involved because they are more worried about the fix wing / big helicopter AC side of the hobby and know they will be dragged into any new UAV laws.  

I've said this before, I'd donate to an AMA quadcopter fund used to fight the .gov when it comes to quadcopter use.  I don't want to become a member of a model aircraft club because I have no interest that.

Then you might want to join the AMA.   They do play an active part in opposing local, state and federal regs that are overly burdensome.   Think of where the federal regs would be if they had not fought for a CBO exemption years ago.
2017-2-25
Use props
jrm11
lvl.4
Flight distance : 224519 ft
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-25 09:47
Hey that's what these forums are for...

see PL 112-95, Sec 336, (2)

I'm not sure if you realize that you are taking that section out of context.

The section you reference only applies to the inability of the FAA to create rules affecting such aircraft. There is nothing there that specifically state guidelines of a CBO are enforceable. It certainly does not give those guideline the weight of law. It actually prohibits the FAA from adopting such guidelines as law.

I'm not claiming the guidelines are necessarily wrong. I am certainly not promoting unsafe flying. Simply stating that it is incorrect to claim the AMA guidelines are enforceable federal law.
2017-2-25
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

AlecW Posted at 2017-2-25 12:35
I'd donate like I said, but don't do clubs, never have never will.

AlecW:

You mean to tell me that you aren't saving money at Sam's or Costco's?
You weren't in the Boy's Club? The YMCA Youth Club?
You hated the first part of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-25
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

If you mean the police can't show up at your house and put you in handcuffs because you flew over your neighbor's shed, I agree with you.  There's no law on the books that they can say you violated.  But how do you figure the Safety Code of the AMA does not hold the weight of law?  

If you look at this Public law, which is further emphasized as FAR Part 101, we must follow all the criteria.  

If you look at Part 107, which everybody knows is for commercial drone flying, note the heading:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text ... pt14.2.107&rgn=div5

PART 107—SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS


You can see the title seems to include all drones, not just commercial drones.  But then in the first section, you can see drones flying under Part 101 are excluded.

So next you read FAR Part 101:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5&node=14:2.0.1.3.15

An important word is the word "all" in the first sentence.  When flying for recreation, we have to meet all of the requirements for flying under Part 101.  If we don't, then it's not a Part 101 flight.  And if it's not a Part 101 flight, what is it?  It's a Part 107 flight.  This is why you'll often read in threads like this one that if you make an error during a hobbyist flight, and you do something that isn't within the rules of Part 101, your flight "defaults" to Part 107.  

BTW, this is not my interpretation.  This is the interpretation that has been explained and is understood within the US drone community, UAS community, whatever you want to call us.  
2017-2-25
Use props
Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2270924 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Augustus Brian Posted at 2017-2-25 05:08
Cetacean:

B7 needs clarification, but I doubt the AMA will make adjustments here. I violated this one three times yesterday, hand landing my P4, in breezy conditions, to avoid having landing area debris possibly get into the motors. This regulation is fine for winged craft and helicopters (and some quads, for sure).

Aloha Augustus,

     I wonder if that is for "Park" flying?  Hmm.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-25
Use props
Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2270924 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-25 05:36
Brian - I agree with you 100%, that rule appears to be outdated and doesn't seem like it should apply to quads given certain conditions.  Nonetheless, that's how it's written right now and technically we have to live with it - at least for the time being.  Realistically though,, I seriously doubt it would ever be enforced unless some accident occurred.  MHO

The one that really bugs me is the one where it states we can't fly over structures and vehicles.  Not many pilots can say they've never flown over a structure or vehicle.

Aloha Mark,

     The critical term is "avoid".  The translation is hover over.  Transiting is a different story.  It is not wise to hover over vehicles, vessels or structures.  The FAA considers hills and mountains structures, but I do not think that the AMA is using the same interpretation since it would negate most of its membership.

     The date is January 1, 2014, so, yes it is a little out of date.  Enough complaints will cause it to be updated.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-25
Use props
Odan
Second Officer
Flight distance : 182867 ft
United States
Offline

Well....The fact is,  How will you be prosecuted.   I'm asking King County for transcripts of  the trial here where a man was given 1 month in jail for hurting someone
with their drone ( UAS _)  
I'm waiting to see if  the AMA and their guidelines are used in court.
Local laws were used to convict this individual.   Reckless endangerment was the main charge. Flying UAS in a public park was another.  
AMA rules don't just come about for fixed wing A/C    Their rules apply to lighter then air craft,  Rocket powered A/C  as well as the fixed wing crafts.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
It doesn't matter how "WE" read the law....what matters is how the courts use the law.
What's the old saying....Give hem enough rope to hang himself.    Even worse if you are using your own rope,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Anything over .5lbs  and fly's......you are expected to be familiar with AMA rules,  FAA rules.
With out the AMA we probably wouldn't be flying at all.
I'll post what I find when I get the court transcripts and well see what they use and don't use to hang a piolet out to dry.
In the mean time I would avoid sounding like a teenager trying to talk his way out of trouble by giving their innutrition of the laws.
                                                                                                                                     Straighten up and fly right   
2017-2-26
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

AlecW Posted at 2017-2-25 14:14
Not a member of Sams or Costco, I've been to those stores as a guest and was not impressed.  You can find cheaper prices elsewhere and we actually do 80% of all our shopping online now.  If you count Amazon prime as a club I guess I am in one.
Never was a boy scout and never been to a YMCA (but I do know that stupid village people song which is now in my head thank you very much).
Don't like that movie, the whole thing puts me to sleep.  What's the first part relevance?

AlecW:

Thought it might be a stretch: The 2001 cavemen use a club.

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-26
Use props
Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2270924 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Odan Posted at 2017-2-26 06:34
Well....The fact is,  How will you be prosecuted.   I'm asking King County for transcripts of  the trial here where a man was given 1 month in jail for hurting someone
with their drone ( UAS _)  
I'm waiting to see if  the AMA and their guidelines are used in court.

Aloha Odan,

     Good points, Mahalo!  Keep us posted.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-26
Use props
JBinFla
lvl.2
United States
Offline

Back before drones, we all flew within the AMA.  They had the fields, and it wasn't just planes (heli's have been around a while).  There was/is a great training that happens at local flying fields.  Not just how to fly but how to fly safely.  Flying planes isn't as easy as it looks, though not hard it's just not something most people can just take off, hot dog around, and land with their plane in one piece.  With a little training it's not hard, but most people that can fly learned from an instructor with a buddy box.  Well, perhaps with the new flight sims you can learn without, but going back 10+ years this was the only way we flew.  Drones have made it quite literally so an idiot can fly without any training.  Flying over structures and people is certainly a safety issue.  

Our equipment doesn't have the safety features and redundancy of a full blown aircraft.  When an ESC craps out, your quad falls out of the sky and lands on whatever is below it.  And airplanes and helis can do the same though they do have the glide factor in the case of propulsion failure (glide slope for planes, and autorotations for helis).  However, when your radio glitches none of that matters.  Our stuff isn't robust enough to safely fly over people.  As a drone pilot I am glad we're not allowed to just fly however we want.  It's certainly a long shot, but I don't want a drone falling out of the sky on to me, or crashing through my window, or whatever.   Be smart, be safe...  And... Did you notice A.2.c????  The 400 feet rule is within 3 miles of an airport, though of course you must yield to manned air traffic (if there's any, just don't go high at all) and of course line of sight still applies so whether you can see your drone at 5,000 feet or not is your calls.  I've flown around 1,500 feet away and the drone was a blip.  I imagine if I was also 1,500 feet high it would have been impossible for me to see (at 42, some of the younger guys may have superior vision so you may be able to see it).  Anyway, one more plus.  When you are a member of the AMA and are flying in accordance to their regulations you have $2m of liability insurance.  No it doesn't replace your drone, but should something unthinkable happen and you hurt someone or damage property this can help pay for that.
2017-2-26
Use props
Augustus Brian
Second Officer
Flight distance : 397490 ft
United States
Offline

JBinFla Posted at 2017-2-26 15:54
Back before drones, we all flew within the AMA.  They had the fields, and it wasn't just planes (heli's have been around a while).  There was/is a great training that happens at local flying fields.  Not just how to fly but how to fly safely.  Flying planes isn't as easy as it looks, though not hard it's just not something most people can just take off, hot dog around, and land with their plane in one piece.  With a little training it's not hard, but most people that can fly learned from an instructor with a buddy box.  Well, perhaps with the new flight sims you can learn without, but going back 10+ years this was the only way we flew.  Drones have made it quite literally so an idiot can fly without any training.  Flying over structures and people is certainly a safety issue.  

Our equipment doesn't have the safety features and redundancy of a full blown aircraft.  When an ESC craps out, your quad falls out of the sky and lands on whatever is below it.  And airplanes and helis can do the same though they do have the glide factor in the case of propulsion failure (glide slope for planes, and autorotations for helis).  However, when your radio glitches none of that matters.  Our stuff isn't robust enough to safely fly over people.  As a drone pilot I am glad we're not allowed to just fly however we want.  It's certainly a long shot, but I don't want a drone falling out of the sky on to me, or crashing through my window, or whatever.   Be smart, be safe...  And... Did you notice A.2.c????  The 400 feet rule is within 3 miles of an airport, though of course you must yield to manned air traffic (if there's any, just don't go high at all) and of course line of sight still applies so whether you can see your drone at 5,000 feet or not is your calls.  I've flown around 1,500 feet away and the drone was a blip.  I imagine if I was also 1,500 feet high it would have been impossible for me to see (at 42, some of the younger guys may have superior vision so you may be able to see it).  Anyway, one more plus.  When you are a member of the AMA and are flying in accordance to their regulations you have $2m of liability insurance.  No it doesn't replace your drone, but should something unthinkable happen and you hurt someone or damage property this can help pay for that.

JBinFla:

Thank you for providing this information.

Keep Smiling,

Augustus
2017-2-26
Use props
Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2916 ft
United States
Offline

JBinFla Posted at 2017-2-26 15:54
Back before drones, we all flew within the AMA.  They had the fields, and it wasn't just planes (heli's have been around a while).  There was/is a great training that happens at local flying fields.  Not just how to fly but how to fly safely.  Flying planes isn't as easy as it looks, though not hard it's just not something most people can just take off, hot dog around, and land with their plane in one piece.  With a little training it's not hard, but most people that can fly learned from an instructor with a buddy box.  Well, perhaps with the new flight sims you can learn without, but going back 10+ years this was the only way we flew.  Drones have made it quite literally so an idiot can fly without any training.  Flying over structures and people is certainly a safety issue.  

Our equipment doesn't have the safety features and redundancy of a full blown aircraft.  When an ESC craps out, your quad falls out of the sky and lands on whatever is below it.  And airplanes and helis can do the same though they do have the glide factor in the case of propulsion failure (glide slope for planes, and autorotations for helis).  However, when your radio glitches none of that matters.  Our stuff isn't robust enough to safely fly over people.  As a drone pilot I am glad we're not allowed to just fly however we want.  It's certainly a long shot, but I don't want a drone falling out of the sky on to me, or crashing through my window, or whatever.   Be smart, be safe...  And... Did you notice A.2.c????  The 400 feet rule is within 3 miles of an airport, though of course you must yield to manned air traffic (if there's any, just don't go high at all) and of course line of sight still applies so whether you can see your drone at 5,000 feet or not is your calls.  I've flown around 1,500 feet away and the drone was a blip.  I imagine if I was also 1,500 feet high it would have been impossible for me to see (at 42, some of the younger guys may have superior vision so you may be able to see it).  Anyway, one more plus.  When you are a member of the AMA and are flying in accordance to their regulations you have $2m of liability insurance.  No it doesn't replace your drone, but should something unthinkable happen and you hurt someone or damage property this can help pay for that.

What if a AMA pilot does something which is in violation of AMA's Safety Code which results in a problem.  Does the $ 2 million dollar liability insurance still apply?  
2017-2-26
Use props
Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2270924 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

JBinFla Posted at 2017-2-26 15:54
Back before drones, we all flew within the AMA.  They had the fields, and it wasn't just planes (heli's have been around a while).  There was/is a great training that happens at local flying fields.  Not just how to fly but how to fly safely.  Flying planes isn't as easy as it looks, though not hard it's just not something most people can just take off, hot dog around, and land with their plane in one piece.  With a little training it's not hard, but most people that can fly learned from an instructor with a buddy box.  Well, perhaps with the new flight sims you can learn without, but going back 10+ years this was the only way we flew.  Drones have made it quite literally so an idiot can fly without any training.  Flying over structures and people is certainly a safety issue.  

Our equipment doesn't have the safety features and redundancy of a full blown aircraft.  When an ESC craps out, your quad falls out of the sky and lands on whatever is below it.  And airplanes and helis can do the same though they do have the glide factor in the case of propulsion failure (glide slope for planes, and autorotations for helis).  However, when your radio glitches none of that matters.  Our stuff isn't robust enough to safely fly over people.  As a drone pilot I am glad we're not allowed to just fly however we want.  It's certainly a long shot, but I don't want a drone falling out of the sky on to me, or crashing through my window, or whatever.   Be smart, be safe...  And... Did you notice A.2.c????  The 400 feet rule is within 3 miles of an airport, though of course you must yield to manned air traffic (if there's any, just don't go high at all) and of course line of sight still applies so whether you can see your drone at 5,000 feet or not is your calls.  I've flown around 1,500 feet away and the drone was a blip.  I imagine if I was also 1,500 feet high it would have been impossible for me to see (at 42, some of the younger guys may have superior vision so you may be able to see it).  Anyway, one more plus.  When you are a member of the AMA and are flying in accordance to their regulations you have $2m of liability insurance.  No it doesn't replace your drone, but should something unthinkable happen and you hurt someone or damage property this can help pay for that.

Aloha JBin,

     Mahalo for the input.  Things will get tighter and tighter as more drones get in the air.  Comments like your add some depth to the issue.

     Mahalo again!

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-2-26
Use props
JBinFla
lvl.2
United States
Offline

Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-2-26 19:37
What if a AMA pilot does something which is in violation of AMA's Safety Code which results in a problem.  Does the $ 2 million dollar liability insurance still apply?

I don't know the answer to this question.  Accidents happen.  The point of the insurance was to protect you when you're doing right by their rules and something happen, I'm not really sure if you're blatantly disregarding them if they'll cover you or not.  I am also pretty sure it only covers hobbyist, but if you're really interested I'm sure the AMA would answer specifics.
2017-3-1
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules