New FAA rule affects all Model Aircraft pilots

Alan Friedman

Effective December 21, 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration, (the FAA) requires anyone 13 years of age or older who owns a small unmanned aircraft over .55 pounds (250 grams) to register with the Federal Aviation Administration before flying outdoors. Registration must take place before February 19, 2016 or the people who do not register could face both civil and criminal penalties. This regulation affects all model aircraft pilots, not just those who are members of clubs such as The Casa Grande RC Flyers and Robson Ranch RC Flyers. After registration the pilots must place their FAA registration number on all their aircraft before flight. It is not clear as yet if the owner of the property used by unregistered pilots could face penalties for allowing their land to be used for flying. A $5 registration fee is required. The Casa Grande RC Flyers, an Academy Of Model Aeronautics (AMA) club, is in compliance with the regulations. The Robson Ranch RC Flyers is not an AMA sanctioned club, and the status of their membership is unknown.