Last year, I was confident that the next shoe will drop on hobby pilots

It took a it longer than I thought it would, but Congress is getting some push from airline and helicopter associations to drop PUBLIC LAW 112–95 SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.  Then the FAA would be free to make and enforce new rules for model aircraft.  The video on YouTube of the drone over a 737 landing at Las Vegas may be the final straw.

So, real soon after that, the FAA will, I predict, make some slight- very slight modifications to Part 107 rules to make them apply to hobby operators as well as commercial operators.  (Note that nowhere in Part 107 rules will you find the word “commercial”).  My guess is that hobby operators will be required to pass a test, probably online or with a volunteer examiner (like at a model aircraft club), and apply for a Pilot Certificate.

The FAA likes certificates- they certificate everything.  A pilot’s worst nightmare is the letter from the FAA notifying you to a pending “Certificate Action”.  In the case of a regulatory action (whether it’s the FAA, FCC, EPA or any other regulatory office), you are presumed guilty and must prove your innocence.  Do nothing and you will receive a “notice of the civil penalty” and if your offence is especially egregious, a notice of certificate action.  You can see ow the FAA handles these things here.

 

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