April 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/287214

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Page 31 of 38

32 Vol.3 No.4 / April 2014 LIGHT PL ANE WORLD WHEN THE FAA MODERNIZATION and Reform Act of 2012 became law two years ago, it included a special provision for model air- planes. Prior to that, model airplane operations were covered by Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57, published 1981. The rapidly changing technology of radio-controlled (RC) aircraft and the tremendous interest in domestic drones are pushing the FAA to deal with the dif cult questions of who can fl y dronelike aircraft and where. It was important that hobby model fl ying not be swept up into new regulations. The special provision for the fi rst time recognizes there is a place for model aviation in our airspace system, provides a defi nition for model aircraft (includ- ing a weight limit of 55 pounds), and specifi cally prevents the FAA administrator from promulgating regulations covering air- craft models, if they meet the defi nition. The new law includes language requiring model airplanes to be operated according to community-based standards and "within the program of a nationwide community-based orga- nization." The FAA retains the ability to conduct enforcement actions against model fl iers who do not adhere to the require- ments of the law. This January, the FAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) signed an agreement , moving one step closer to formalizing the role of the AMA in establishing safety guidelines and overseeing the operation of recreational unmanned aircraft. We have long recognized that the way to get youngsters interested in aviation is to provide them exposure to airplanes; in a time when airports are all protected by steel fences, that's not easy to do. The EAA Young Eagles program, giving millions of kids an airplane ride, has been going long enough to produce results as these Young Eagles reach college age and consider aviation as a career. However, the kids can't do much with real airplanes until they are 14 years of age, and that's where model aviation can help. EAA recognized the importance of models to bring youngsters into aviation when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the AMA in 2010. The AMA is the world's largest model aviation associa- tion, with a membership of more than 164,000 and more than 2,400 model airplane clubs in the United States. The agreement included the provision that each new EAA Young Eagle would receive a youth membership in the AMA. Two years later, in 2012, the AMA exceeded 25,000 youth memberships with 10,000 of those coming from its partnership with EAA and the Civil Air Patrol . Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of Government and Industry Relations, is an avid aero modeling enthusiast. He Kids, Airplanes, and Drones… A look at model aviation BY DAN GRUNLOH Vendors along the south wall showcase the latest model products. E A A E X P _ A p r 1 4 . i n d d 3 2 EAAEXP_Apr14.indd 32 3 / 3 1 / 1 4 9 : 4 5 A M 3/31/14 9:45 AM

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