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Author Topic: Local FF site closed by the FAA  (Read 896 times)
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steveneill
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« on: June 15, 2019, 12:37:55 AM »

The city has been trying to shut down the RC filed for years now but with the FAA's 366 ruling they managed to shut it down last month. I have been a member of the Valley Flyers for years and the city and local environmental groups been trying without success to shut it down. But with the new rules they did. The Apollo Field is inside the 5 mile limit and that was it. They are fighting back trying to reopen but the weeks keep passing with no progress.

But it gets worse, they shut down the FF field and the U Control field in the same park. The Grassy Knoll group has been flying there fro years.

I read the rules and found it all confusing. But they did say "all model aircraft". I guess the fact that FF planes are mostly under that half pound didn't matter to them either.

I have also been told Glider Hill in Yorba Linda was closed recently and I keep hearing that more have been as well. They threatened fines.

As you all know the AMA is trying to fix some of this but from what I'm seeing we the guys who build and fly our planes responsibly are taking it in the shorts.


I have taken to sloping on the beach on the dunes and flying RC where I can.

It won't be long until the FAA shuts over events down that are being held at airports with the airports support.

I'm a AMA member, FAC member, NFFS, and FAA. I'm hoping something is done to fix all this.

Reading the rules again if you fly freeflight or Ucontrol you do not have to register or place FAA numbers on your models. Why then did they shut the fields down?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 12:49:08 AM by steveneill » Logged

DerekMc
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2019, 01:44:13 AM »

That stinks. Brings back memories of losing Mile Square Park many years ago.
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2019, 04:26:32 AM »

Why then did they shut the fields down?

By the sound of it, because they could!!  But I wonder what is at the bottom fit all?  Amazon with their drone delivery?  Overkill - the threat of drones for terrorism?  I don't know.
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2019, 06:40:32 AM »

Quote
But I wonder what is at the bottom fit all?  Amazon with their drone delivery?
I think there is a widespread push to eventually stop any models being flown and services such as those proposed by Amazon and Google are part of this.
Uber also seems to be leading the way to gain flying space for their unmanned Taxis. Here in Australia they have already approached one city - Melbourne with proposals. Amazon and Google and no doubt many others are lining up as well. These so called unmanned - fully autonomous aerial taxi operators will no doubt wish to fly below commercial airspace where presently miniature aircraft fly.
The bad publicity raised by irresponsible multi rotor pilots has supplied the authorities with the bullets they need. First they applied the derogatory title of drone to these multi rotors and then extended it to cover all facets of model flying.
At present here in Australia all model flyers registered with our National Body are able to fly on registered flying fields and can apply for a height clearance(if required over 400') which requires a risk assessment and some minor operating rule changes.
Looking at the current situation in Britain and the US - I'm afraid our situation will be eroded as well in the near future.
How the authorities intend to monitor the situation is still up in the air(sorry).  I feel if it comes to pass without common sense being applied and a bit of respect for the rights of others than they will raise a hornet's nest which they will well deserve!

John
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flydean1
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2019, 08:42:13 AM »

I've been warning about this for some time but have been shouted down with the usual "it can't happen here, this is America" blanket statement.  It was originally a power grab by the FAA to extend their "control" in the name of "safety".  The multi-rotor idiots haven't helped us a bit.  Neither the "park flyers" who feel they can throw something in the air wherever and whenever they want.  AMA is trying to corral their burgeoning numbers.

I have a UAV license myself but I don't own one.  Most of the "operators" I know of are unlicensed and take great pride in going well above the 400 ft. level to do their "work".  We are well inside the Ft. Rucker MOA and have 2 Class D airports/airspaces within a few miles of each other.

I realize in Alabama we still have some practical sense that is rapidly disappearing in the California Greater Prosperity Sphere and has evaporated at the FAA for a long time.

The edge of Muncie Class D airspace nearly clips the corner of the AMA field and it is practically in the traffic pattern of a very small airport called Reese.  Evidently there is a long-term agreement with the owner of Reese.

AMA is working really, really hard and has had some success.  The other "public interest" groups that covet our airspace have vast sums of cash and shiney-shoe lawyers from K Street.  It behooves us to make as much noise to our elected officials as possible to stay the tide.  AMA is attempting to direct this effort and when they send an email asking the members for action we all need to get off our backsides and write letters and visit local offices.  Hand-written letters and personal visits count the most, followed by personal phone calls.  Mass replies to email solicitations go straight to the trash can.

We will be all driven indoors, and I can't handle the small sticks anymore.

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DavidJP
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2019, 09:55:38 AM »

You may have heard of the drone at Gatwick  - resulting in the airport being closed and all flights suspended, causing disruption.  But was there really a drone?  Frankly I am not sure - even some authorities weren't sure!  We could not detect it apparently to be sure.  Really?  I recall many many years previously we could and did - so what has happened to all that "kit"?  There is supposed to be an investigation - the Chief Constable may be in trouble  even........ was this then just a con. to get things moving .......sorry boys and girls , can't let you play with those things anymore. So if the authorities are so worried about say an airliner being downed accidentally would they permit any drones at all??   But then I remember the UK Government saying  a while back they would embrace drone technology.

It suddenly seems too be happening all rather quickly as well doesn't it.  Well certainly for the UK.
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steveneill
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2019, 11:09:19 AM »

Some disgruntled degenerate on RC Groups said that it was about time the FAA did something about us and got our toys out of the way of real airplanes. There are so many things wrong with that statement where do I begin?

First they are real airplanes. Last time I checked they look like a airplane and fly in the air like a airplane. So they are a real airplane. I could go on but I won't bore you.

I found this month's issue of Model Aviation Magazine to be most effective against the "Toy Airplanes" morons and I use it every chance I get because it is the best example ever to why our hobby is so important and why young people should be taught and mentored about the hobby. I need not say more.

If you want to read the whole article it's on my photobucket account. I used it to interest the local school district about our FAC group and how we can get the local kids interested in the hobby. We were ignored. Maybe I should show them "Flight of the Phoenix" another best case scenario.

Lastly trying to police this is a joke. I am laughing at the authorities who can't police the use of texting and driving which is killing more people than drinking and driving. Just fly smart and off their radar. As for the contests the people running them will have diplomatic and creative.

Someone here asked when this happened. It took place at LA jets last month around the 20th. LA jets is a large AMA event for RC jets which the FAA should up at and lowered the boom on them. They let them finish the event and afterwards locked the place up. There's a sign posted with "Absolutely no flying"

https://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/U-812/ama%20article/IMG_0404.jpg

https://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l114/U-812/ama%20article/IMG_0405.jpg
Local FF site closed by the FAA
Local FF site closed by the FAA
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 11:26:10 AM »

Maybe we could create "waivered airspace" for our flying sites. The Feds do that for the aerobatic folks (full scale acft). The people who use the "practice box" get to say who is authorized to fly in their "box."

A club or even an individual makes the application for the airspace; terms and conditions  are in writing , and a list of  approved users is on file.

A quick Google search on the various "alphabet groups", number of members, etc shows just who has the lobbying leverage. AMA is just a blip in the overall scheme of things, 3rd smallest when compared to AOPA, EAA, etc. Dues for AMA membership are quite a bit higher than for EAA. Anybody feel they're getting their money's worth in representation?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 11:42:16 AM by Indoorflyer » Logged

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DerekMc
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 11:40:46 AM »

Maybe we could create "waivered airspace" for our flying sites. The Feds do that for the aerobatic folks (full scale acft). The people who use the "practice box" get to say who is authorized to fly in the "box."

We get FAA waivers all the time for high powered rocketry. It's not the end of the world if it comes to that.  Hopefully it will never come to that.
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steveneill
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2019, 11:51:51 AM »

Derek I know that's true. I'm a rocketeer also. However there's a huge difference between flying rockets at Lucerne Dry lake bed and having an event within 5 miles of an airport. The laws are clearly written by the FAA. Some of our event and flying fields have always been either on the airport itself (such as Geneseo) or at our RC field 1.6 miles from Van Nuys.

As it is in CA we can't fly rockets anywhere except Lucerne. But it's been that way for awhile. This business with the FAA shutting down fields and events is new.
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lincoln
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 01:09:05 PM »

If it was really about safety, they would start by shooting all the birds.

Eventually, anyone who doesn't watch the Superbowl live will be rounded up and imprisoned.
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steveneill
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2019, 01:33:21 PM »

True enough. It's always about money and control. Just fly smart. For RC I use undisclosed locations. Wink
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 02:57:58 PM »

It's patently ridiculous that the government can't just put up virtual geofence bubbles around all of our flying sites and let us continue with business as usual. There's plenty of room for everyone. All those who are flying places other than AMA sanctioned fields(or otherwise approved/waivered events) should be the ones taking the heat from the feds. Just leave us responsible modelers and pilots alone!!! It so easy in this day and age that there is no excuse to even bother with us. Sadly, the commercial drone industry, and almost everyone heavily involved in it, doesn't want to share airspace with hobbyists. They are the ones who have been directly fighting the AMA and trying to kill off the ability for anyone to fly models over a min weight without having to go through the same licensing, training and equipment regulations as those drones that will be flying over cities and populated areas to deliver commercial services of all kinds. They believe that for tracking regulations to be successful, ALL but the smallest aircraft should fall under the same strict guidelines. If you want to see who is responsible, go to the Commercial Done Alliance website and scroll down to see who the members are. I bet you support at least a few of them in some way shape or form. It would be hard not to.

But as far as the AMA being worth what we pay for, I'd say absolutely. Completely ignoring the huge insurance coverage, look what they have done to keep us flying this long after nearly a decade of one group or another trying to make it hard or impossible. Just ask the giants of industry how much of a thorn we've been in their side. https://www.ft.com/content/2574825c-6794-11e9-a79d-04f350474d62?fbclid=IwAR0sQr0lpxFWrGPHhIt2KBEdFftvOaOOzaGTh2F2GdWj4zXuy4EucelB1zc
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2019, 03:52:21 PM »

If AMA is doing such a great job, why are we in this mess now? FF has always been sucking hind *** when it comes to AMA.
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lincoln
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 05:52:26 PM »

I suspect that widespread commercial use of multi copters will become very unpopular with people in densely populated areas. The commercial ones may be even noisier since they'll carry loads. I anticipate many party balloons left on remarkably long lines outside. Are they going to ban kite flying?  What happens when someone in a city is killed by a crashing UAV?

What's wrong with robot delivery vehicles?

However, even if they get around to restricting commercial delivery at low altitudes, that may not help us.

If any airlines or airplane manufacturers are prone to long term thinking, maybe we can get them to help promote model aviation as a way to help with future pilot shortages. I suppose that's probably naive.....
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VictorY
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 08:06:26 PM »

If AMA is doing such a great job, why are we in this mess now? FF has always been sucking hind *** when it comes to AMA.

Because we are fighting against the government and some of the most powerful corporations on the planet. It's as if a high school varsity football team is playing against a Super Bowl winning team, are only one TD behind at the half, and you are asking, "If they are such a good HS team, why aren't they winning?". They have literally been fighting a war against very influential international industry lobbyists, while providing a million dollars of insurance for under $100 a year, and holding their own. You couldn't possibly ask for more bang for your buck?

As for the FF crowd, I tried to post up the AMA's requests to send letters and make calls to Congress on Facebook, maybe even here, and was scolded by some of the community leaders for even bringing  it up. It's as if they are unaware of what's coming or think that if they close their eyes and stand still, they won't become a target. I even called the AMA help desk and confirmed that FF was on the radar of those who are trying to shut down the airspace, but was pretty much told to leave the topic alone when reporting that back to the hobby community.

This isn't a fight that's going to end any time soon, probably never by the looks of it. Even if we win this second round, like we did the first a few years back, the enemy of model aircraft flight will certainly be back for more down the road.
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Howie911
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2019, 12:44:17 PM »

Some of the sites are prime real estate for development.  Under the guise of FAA restrictions the sites are closed and then opened for development.  Houses etc. increase residency thus increase the tax base equaling more funds in the municipal coffer.  No density residency at a flying site. Just a thought.
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2019, 01:30:49 PM »

When it comes down to it it is always about money
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2019, 10:11:53 PM »

I have been saying this for over 30 yrs!, you need to buy some land and then you won't have the problems of today.  It may be too late for some clubs due to the increased price of land in their area, but back in the 1980's, in the North shore of Massachusetts,  one could have bought 4 acres in unbuildable land for $30K.  We had enough members (100+) that it could have been done without too much effort, but they wouldn't listen to me and kept losing their fields to house building. Now, very few people with land for flying will rent to RC clubs due to the liability (even after telling them about AMA insurance). They just don't want the hassle and the clubs have not become a part of the community such as ours in NJ where we support the Cub Scouts wholeheartedly.  Without community support or ownership of the land, we will be hearing more of these stories.
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2019, 10:24:03 PM »

It's not possible to buy the airspace, though. Or, at least, not with our kind of dough.
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2019, 10:48:31 PM »

It's not possible to buy the airspace, though. Or, at least, not with our kind of dough.

That, and owning the land is no guarantee you'll be able to do what you want to on it. I've seen more than one legacy field shut down due to housing projects being built around them. You never truly own anything. If the city or state wants to control your activities, they will.

I've even heard of home builders targeting land next to noisy facilities/businesses because it was cheap, knowing that they could have the noisy activity shut down after buidling enough homes there, all with the idea that the land will increase in value once the offending activity has ceased. It's all about the money!
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2019, 11:58:48 PM »

If AMA is doing such a great job, why are we in this mess now? FF has always been sucking hind *** when it comes to AMA.

Because we are fighting against the government and some of the most powerful corporations on the planet. It's as if a high school varsity football team is playing against a Super Bowl winning team, are only one TD behind at the half, and you are asking, "If they are such a good HS team, why aren't they winning?". They have literally been fighting a war against very influential international industry lobbyists, while providing a million dollars of insurance for under $100 a year, and holding their own. You couldn't possibly ask for more bang for your buck?

As for the FF crowd, I tried to post up the AMA's requests to send letters and make calls to Congress on Facebook, maybe even here, and was scolded by some of the community leaders for even bringing  it up. It's as if they are unaware of what's coming or think that if they close their eyes and stand still, they won't become a target. I even called the AMA help desk and confirmed that FF was on the radar of those who are trying to shut down the airspace, but was pretty much told to leave the topic alone when reporting that back to the hobby community.

This isn't a fight that's going to end any time soon, probably never by the looks of it. Even if we win this second round, like we did the first a few years back, the enemy of model aircraft flight will certainly be back for more down the road.
Well said! I keep hearing Deep Throat (Mark Felts) from the Watergate scandal "Follow the money".  It has been the case since the beginning of time.
 
How much money have you all given your elected official with a note on how to vote on FAA and FCC issues? The powers that be are manipulating the discussion to make a need to control all in the national airspace. Wether this need is real or just perceived it will (has) restrict our access to the airspace.  Time to start reading the regs and taking the test. Also need to look for suitable transponders.

The days of just throwing a Cox powered model into the blue yonder are long gone.
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2019, 05:15:05 PM »

Can you still fly U-control at Apollo Field? Or do they just want only golfers in the basin?
Need to get R/C cars.

jbfly
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steveneill
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2019, 05:24:11 PM »

Here's the latest from the Valley Flyers website and it's not good.

Letter from the FAA

to Jason Masfield-President of the Valley Flyers



Jason, thank you for talking with me.

We are diligently working on the Letter of Agreement (LOA) between you and VNY ATCT.

(Van Nuys Air Traffic Control Tower)

  This is a process that traditionally can take as long as 6 months to complete.  We are expediting your LOA and hope to have it completed soon. 

 Until an LOA is signed and in place, no person(s) have authorization to fly at that location.  It is inside of Controlled Airspace, and according to the laws and regulations, an airspace authorization is required to operate an sUAS aircraft including RC Model Aircraft.

 

I hope this helps and I will keep you updated on the status of the LOA.

FAA
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2019, 01:58:02 PM »

And just to show that anything the FAA can do badly the CAA can do equally poorly or possibly even worse...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/06/19/uk_drone_database_crazy_cost/

Can't say I'm surprised. All branches of the Civil Service have form for paying well over the odds for {insert offensive adjective here} software.
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