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From: Bren Bailey
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2015 1:06 PM
To: jaymarsh@ama-d4.org
Subject: Drone article


This article appeared on the top of the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal this morning: http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/crowded-skies-officials-keep-alert-on-drone-issue-above-winston/article_3ab96bf4-0194-56a6-9264-366425bbe491.html

Please note that nowhere in the article is the Academy of Model Aeronautics mentioned.  It refers only to “hobbyists,” mostly as the bad guys.

From: Bren Bailey
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2015 4:50 PM
To: letters@wsjournal.com
Cc: jaymarsh@ama-d4.org
Subject: Drone article

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article concerning drones (“Working to keep the friendly skies safe,” August 20), I agree that there is a potential for significant problems, not the least of which is a catastrophic collision between a drone and an airliner. However, the article contains one error that I would like to correct.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 did not establish rules for hobbyists.  Instead, it relieved hobbyists from regulation by the FAA. Section 336 states “[T]he Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft” as long as “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 nationwide community-based organization is the Academy of Model Aeronautics and it has established extensive safety protocols to which its members strictly adhere.  Among the rules in the AMA Safety Code are the mandatory 400-foot ceiling, the restriction from flying closer than 5 miles to an airport, and keeping aircraft within line-of-sight.  These are AMA guidelines, not FAA.

There are 13 AMA-sanctioned clubs within a 50-mile radius of Winston-Salem, including one right here at Hobby Park.  All are dedicated to the pursuit of our hobby in a responsible, safe manner.  After all, we wish to preserve the AMA’s unrivaled 79-year safety record.

My fellow AMA members and I do not fly over commercial airports or forest fires and don’t snoop in private backyards.  And I, for one, condemn those who do.

Bren Bailey

President, Hobby Park Radio Control Club

Here is the follow up article in the Winston-Salem Journal: http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/assistant-city-attorney-local-police-can-bust-bad-drone-operators/article_411ad3da-ec9a-54d6-ade2-1f6edadd9838.html

Good Job Bren!