back to article FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a new rule that will require the owners of almost every drone in the United States to register it with the federal government – and pay $5 for the pleasure of doing so. Concerned with the booming number of flying toys, especially the 25 reports a month being filed with …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. NoneSuch
    Go

    The FAA also stops plucky UK webzines from flying to meteoric heights. :)

    Actually, there's the loop hole you've been looking for. Classify LOHAN as a drone, pay $5, stick your name and address on the side and launch!

    You'll need to practise your "What do you mean that's not a drone?" look.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Interesting

    The reality is that below 83 feet, the airspace is under the control of the person who owns the land directly underneath it (thanks to a 1946 Supreme Court ruling).

    If that is the case, why this was not applied in the case of the bloke who shot down a drone above his back garden. Under that statute he was entitled to blow the thing out of the sky period. So he had no case to answer in the first place.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Interesting

      Well, you can't just fire shells into the air, even birdshot, at least not in a city or suburb. That stuff pretty quickly leaves the 83 feet of airspace above your castle and comes down in unexpected places.

      (Icon depicts neighbor who got a piece of birdshot in the peeper!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        Not to mention, there's that pesky federal law that prohibits shooting at any aircraft - manned or unmanned.

        1. Suricou Raven

          Re: Interesting

          Just declare it was an advanced form of clay pigeon.

        2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Interesting

          Actually AC, that law doesn't prohibit shooting at any aircraft. The relevant statement would be (a)(1)

          (a) Whoever willfully—

          (1) sets fire to, damages, destroys, disables, or wrecks any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated, or employed in interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce;

          Inasmuch as the drone was civilly employed it wouldn't fall under the special jurisdiction of the U.S. and likewise it wasn't involved in commerce at all, much less interstate or otherwise, so it would appear to be fair game. Being unmanned the other sections of the law are inapplicable.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Interesting

            > Inasmuch as the drone was civilly employed it wouldn't fall under the special jurisdiction of the U.S.

            Wrong. If you read there definitions for "aircraft" and "special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States" you'll find that the scope of the law is all-encompassing.

            Even if there were a loophole that made the shooting down of a certain class of aircraft legal, how would you determine if that unknown drone hovering overhead fell into that class? Would you be willing to wager your snap judgement against a 20 year prison term?

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              Re: Interesting

              Well AC, you've got me. I did go read the definitions that you couldn't be bothered supplying links to so I've provided them here.

              (2) “special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States” includes any of the following aircraft in flight:

              (A) a civil aircraft of the United States.

              (B) an aircraft of the armed forces of the United States.

              (C) another aircraft in the United States.

              (D)...

              So the drone doesn't fall into either A nor B but would appear to be scooped up in C. But don't sprain yourself patting yourself on the back so fast there AC. If you read that first part carefully you'll see it only applies to "aircraft in flight". Naturally you're thinking a flying drone is obviously an "aircraft in flight" but let's check the law on the matter. It reads:

              (1) “aircraft in flight” means an aircraft from the moment all external doors are closed following boarding—

              (A) through the moment when one external door is opened to allow passengers to leave the aircraft; or

              (B) until, if a forced landing, competent authorities take over responsibility for the aircraft and individuals and property on the aircraft.

              Huh, drones don't typically have external doors and aren't typically boarded so there is no way for it to become, legally, an "aircraft in flight". Let's see where we stand, since it's not legally an "aircraft in flight" it isn't in the "special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States". Therefore said law doesn't apply and it's no different from the same drone sitting on the ground, a bucket or a clay pigeon.

              1. Fink-Nottle

                Re: Interesting

                @ Eddy ito

                I am aware of those definitions.

                Remind me again. Why can't an unmanned aircraft be a 'civil aircraft of the U.S.'? Really?

                Also, if you continue to read the definitions you will find the term "in flight" is followed on by, and contrasted to "in service" the definition of which starts "any time from the beginning of preflight preparation of an aircraft by ground personnel or by the crew for a specific flight until 24 hours after any landing".

                Clearly the intention of the law is not to enumerate the steps in a preflight checklist, but to indicate that when control of the aircraft passes from ground personnel to the pilot, the legal status of the aircraft changes from "in service" to "in flight".

                The law considers boarding to be the last possible step of the preflight preparation process carried out by ground personnel. Hence upon completion of this step, an aircraft is considered 'in flight' and therefore under the 'special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States'. If the preflight preparation of a particular aircraft does not include boarding, it is a trivial matter to determine where the transition from "in service" to "in flight" takes place.

                > Therefore said law doesn't apply and it's no different from the same drone sitting on the ground, a bucket or a clay pigeon.

                Does the law allow you to take pot-shots at a drone sitting on the ground, a bucket or a clay pigeon?

                1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                  Re: Interesting

                  Why can't an unmanned aircraft be a 'civil aircraft of the U.S.'?

                  It could be but it would also mean it was the property of the United States and I'm sure entities like the State Department and DOJ have their own civil aircraft. Just as an aircraft 'of the armed forces of the United States' means it is the property of the armed forces and not just any armed forces but only those armed forces which belong to the United States. Furthermore the "aircraft of the armed forces of the United States" covers all aircraft not just civil aircraft.

                  Does the law allow you to take pot-shots at a drone sitting on the ground, a bucket or a clay pigeon?

                  Actually the law doesn't typically address such things. The law is much better at addressing things that aren't allowed. But the short answer is yes, skeet, trap and sporting clays are perfectly legal sports as is plinking which is typically done with tin cans rather than buckets or drones. Please note that buckets and drones have no more legal protections than a tin can or a clay pigeon even if the any of the above are 'in flight' as clay pigeons often are. Granted, you can't just shoot trap in the middle of a busy freeway but that's addressed with something like a law limiting the discharge of a firearm in a populated area or some such.

                  1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                    Re: Interesting

                    Before you answer, are you willing to tell me that the trigger happy shotgun hero who downs the drone targeting the President while he's on a Nantucket golf course is going to jail for shooting an aircraft in the special bullshit of the US?

                    1. Fink-Nottle
                      Stop

                      Re: Interesting

                      > Before you answer, are you willing to tell me that the trigger happy shotgun hero who downs the drone targeting the President while he's on a Nantucket golf course is going to jail for shooting an aircraft in the special bullshit of the US?

                      Define 'targeting'.

                      If the drone has opened fire on the president, blaze away! However, you can't shoot paparazzi and you can't shoot drones nosing around capturing video. The correct response in that case is to call the police.

                      This is basic gun law; you can only legally shoot at stuff/people to save yourself from deadly force or to prevent imminent bodily harm.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Interesting

                    @Eddy

                    > It could be but it would also mean it was the property of the United States

                    No, once again you're just making up stuff as you go along.

                    An aircraft that's US government property is a public aircraft., whereas a “civil aircraft of the United States” is any aircraft registered under US law that isn't a public aircraft.

                    Although you're loathe to admit it, the fact of the matter is now that drones are FAA registered it's illegal to shoot at them. Not only that ... by virtue of the Special Aircraft Jurisdiction of the United States clause, the US claims it's illegal to shoot at an FAA registered drone in flight anywhere in the world.

                    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
                      Trollface

                      Re: Interesting

                      OMG, AC managed to figure out how to post an actual link. Good for you AC! I knew you could do it.

                      And kudos on partially proving me wrong but thanks for proving that an unregistered drone is still nothing more than a flying paint can and as the rule doesn't start until next Monday, most will still be unregistered and legally equal to a clay pigeon.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Interesting

                        > OMG, AC managed to figure out how to post an actual link. Good for you AC! I knew you could do it.

                        Good lord, you're annoying. What does it take to shut you up?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Interesting

      It was in the "gray (grey) area" of 83 to 400 feet. No one decided to take it to the Supremes for clarification.

      Icon ---------> Drone crashing and burning but just a small one about 300 grams.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      Big problem with discharging a gun in a neighborhood not dropping peeping drone.

  4. sjsmoto

    Bet you read this with FAA's voice of faux authority in your head.

    "Based on SCIIII-en-TIFIC CAAAL-cu-LAAAA-tions"

    1. 404 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Bill Nye the Science Guy...

      ... the administration's Go-To Guy, Expert in Everything Sciency, Proud owner of a BA in Mechanical Drawing, will be by shortly with a presentation...

      Dr. Nye will not be accepting questions, the science is settled.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bill Nye the Science Guy...

        >Dr. Nye will not be accepting questions, the science is settled.

        Those who would quote the Bible instead are so much less likely to be dogmatic.

        1. maffski

          Re: Bill Nye the Science Guy...

          'Those who would quote the Bible instead are so much less likely to be dogmatic.'

          I read the dog bible once. Well, it was more of a ruff draft.

          1. Fink-Nottle

            Re: Bill Nye the Science Guy...

            God will punish the sinful Canineites.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: Bill Nye the Science Guy...

        He's never claimed to be a real scientist. Only a science educator and entertainer. He was an engineer before that.

        Not all scientists are capable of presenting their field in a way laypeople can understand. Few are, fewer want to. People like Nye work in the media as go-betweens, presenting science in a manner that people can not only understand, but enjoy too.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Bill Nye the Science Guy...

          Personally I find Neil deGrasse Tyson to be even better (both science and communicator) but he tends to be even more confrontational towards silly fairy bullshit which I love.

  5. SkippyBing Silver badge

    500' Rule

    I'm not 100% up to speed on FAA Regulations, but when I learnt to fly there over a decade ago I think you had to be more than 500' from any person, object or structure, not the ground.

    A quick google came up with

    FAR 91.119 - Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

    Which does raise the issue of drones being flown in sparsely populated areas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 500' Rule

      lol, drones. I've seen a few military aircraft breaking that rule... and it was pretty awesome.

      Now if they would ban noisy-ass helicopters from flying over my neighborhood, that'd be great, m'kay...

  6. asdf Silver badge

    give me give me

    This is an obvious case where the bureaucrats (bureaucracy the game where the first one to do anything loses) ran out of time due to the market finally making drones available for the prole but in desperation are still trying to get their cut. The rules are just a distraction.

  7. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Wait a second...

    "In fact, it is hard to find a drone that weighs less than 250 grams."

    While true, my 11.5g quadcopter is easily under that limit, and thankfully a whole other pond away.

    1. Alan Edwards

      Re: Wait a second...

      The Syma X5 is about 100g, including the battery. I would think all of the kind of quadcopters given as presents to kids will be less than 250g.

  8. Someone Else Silver badge
    Stop

    Kieran-

    Do you remember the CB craze of the middle 70's? (From reading your writings, I surmise that you might well be too young to remember.) Well, to refresh your memory, the FCC charged, IIRC, $10 for a 5-year license to operate that shiny new CB rig in your car, pick-up, 18-wheeler, or desktop in your bedroom. Back then, that was a decent amount of money; not a King's ransom, to be sure, but you could fill up your gas-guzzler for far less than that. Adjusting for inflation, that's somewhere around $40 to $50 nowadays.

    So pardon me If I don't share your misplaced sense of outrage at the FAA charging a mere pittance for the requirement for drone owners to register. As was the case with the FCC and CB radio operators, it might just have the (intended?) side-effect of making drone owners think before doing something butt-stupid with their new shiny toys.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Kieran-

      Like state firearm registration fees? Government fees can often have benefit to the common good (hunting licenses for conservation for example) but simply having fees to alter behavior might go a long way to explaining things like the Trump phenomenon.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Kieran-

        > "...fees to alter behavior..."

        AKA 'Sin Taxes.' Hmmm, is it a sin to want a drone?

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Coat

          @ Big John -- Re: Kieran-

          The trouble with Sin Taxes is that I keep making errors, and the compiler bitches at me.

          1. Big John Silver badge

            Re: @ Big John -- Kieran-

            I know, I know...

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      @someone else -- Re: Kieran-

      Back then, I knew a lot of folks that never bothered with the license for their CB as who was going to go to the trouble to arrest them.

      I predict this will end the same way. Why bother to register it? If it crashes, no one will come to your door since your name isn't on it. The FAA isn't come down your street and check your house, etc. for a drone. Why bother?

      This whole thing smells of theater... and maybe a power grab for some value of "power".

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: @someone else -- Kieran-

        Presumably you would happily get a HAM radio licence and pay a the FCC a licence fee for all those Bluetooth/Wifi/Zigbee transmitters around your house?

  9. GBE

    For what definition of "workable"?

    For one to define "workable", one must understand the goals to be acheived.

    The goals in this care are _not_

    1) To get anybody to register their RC aircraft.

    2) To get anybody to stop doing stupid things with RC aircraft.

    3) To prevent accidents or damage when people do stupid things with RC aircraft.

    The cry has gone up in Washington D.C. that "Something Must Be Done!".

    And the goal is to have "Done Something".

    Something has now been Done.

    I'm sure Sir Humphrey could explain it better...

    There is a slight possibility that purely by chance the "Something" might provide a new club with which to hit people who do something particularly stupid with an RC aircraft, but in most cases existing tort law probably provides a better one.

  10. Old Used Programmer

    What really matters

    I think the truly critical part of the proposed regs are the part about sticking your name and address on the damned things.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    And another one

    Is Drone Racing Legal?

    The FAA’s justification for prohibiting FPV is that the pilot’s eyes are not on the aircraft, which in its view is contrary to the part of the 2012 law that says that for a flying device to be considered a model aircraft, it must be flown “within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft.” Traditionally, modelers have taken “visual line of sight” to mean that the model must be close enough that the pilot can see it if he looks in the right direction. But with its 2014 interpretation, the FAA redefined this phrase to mean that the pilot needs to keep the model in sight at all times, and it very specifically prohibited the use of video goggles.

  12. Mark 65 Silver badge

    Shivers

    Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users

    There's a phrase that should send a shiver down the spine of any citizen when uttered by a Government entity.

    1. Dadmin

      Re: Shivers

      Tell that to the DMV and see if they register your stupid monster truck next season? As with guns or monster trucks, or the bigger drones; they are NOT toys and stupid assholes should be tested before they are provided with the remote, or the keys, or the 69-round magazines for their jollies to begin. When your "freedom" starts landing in my fucking yard, or crashing though crowds of people because someone can't control their anger or stupidity, then you need to be registered and educated. End of story, idiot.

      Personally, I say take all the guns away from the uneducated, civilian idiots and replace them with explosive drones and let them all fly them into each other and upgrade the gene pool. Besides, if you think you need a gun for protection and you're not at least military or police level trained, then I have a word for your type; pussy. End of another story. Go tell it to your parole officer, dickheads. I piss on gun-nut fucks.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Police level trained

        There is a wide range of police training. This is not the link I was looking for. The one I wanted was much clearer. For example, the link I could find says thirteen officers get shot but does not say if that includes the 8 that shot themselves, or how many of those 8 were accidental shootings. At first sight, it looks like the police shot more suspects than bystanders but the link I wanted split the 24 dog shootings into suspects and bystanders. I do remember that according to the statistics the safest thing for the bystanders to do was to reach for a concealed weapon and look threatening - if the police aimed for you, they were more likely to hit someone else. The safest thing for the actual suspect to do was to stand next to a dog. Innocent dogs caught more gunfire than suspects.

        Many police forces train their officers until they pass a test, then practice stops for lack of time and money. As a result, gun nuts who practice regularly are often better shots than an average policeman. I am all in favour proficiency tests for people who want to own dangerous tools. 'Police level training' is not a clear standard, and in some states it is dangerously poor.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Police level trained

          Although to be fair, the Police investigation into the cases where the policeman shot himself did conclude that the officer acted in self defense and the victim was a possible threat to the public.

      2. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: Shivers

        @Dadmin: Dude, what the fuck are you on? You rant on about cars and guns and shit which has fuck all to do with the story. Calm down, take your meds, and read what I put. I'm commenting on the way Government tends to believe that if your viewpoint differs from theirs then you need "educating". As the article states, it is dubious as to whether the FAA even has the authority to undertake what they are up to.

      3. Dan Paul

        Re: Shivers (@ Dadmin)

        I really wish that people like you that can't have any civil discourse would do exactly what you advise others to do.

        I piss on you and your wimpy, timid anti-gun friends too! Like deserves kind "Dadmin"!

        You have no rights to tell me what to do.

  13. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Quick, start a KickStarter whip-round for $27,500 and then let Lohan soar.

  14. moiety

    "it's not clear why the FAA would try to force every drone owner across the country to register their device in an effort to catch the few people that break these rules."

    Lots of $5s. Seems clear enough to me.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Lots of $5s.

      ... but it surely costs more than $5 to collect each of those $5?

      I don't see a clear profit motive here (unless the cost of collection is borne by a different department?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There are several preconditions, including operator training, certification, and TSA pre-screening, which are not included in the $5 fee. Plus, you would likely need to get an attorney specializing in aeronautic regulation (and who understands the legal difference between total takeoff weight and payload weight) to file your paperwork. Plus there will probably be periodic inspections, although they did say they won't require takeoff checklists like on regular aircraft. Plus, if you make any changes to the drone (such as adding anything like a battery which changes the weight) you may have to do the whole process over again. All of that stuff costs money.

        It was a huge mistake to set the threshold weight at 250 grams. It's like asking people to get a radio operator license to carry a cell phone.

    2. NotBob

      It's also a power grab. If you have to register it with us, we must have jurisdiction. This gives them a greater theoretical claim to that lower airspace and to any other regulating they want to do concerning drones.

  15. mtp
    Holmes

    Lohan loophole

    Do they actually say weigh? If so then Lohan has a great loophole here because when in initial balloon mode it has -ve weight so is clearly below any threshold that the all powerful FAA deems to set.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Lohan loophole

      Nice try. Weight could be said to be the force produced on a mass due to gravity. Whilst LOHAN's measured weight might be negative, it's only due to the counter force produced by the balloon. The downward component of the resultant remains the same.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Lohan loophole

      It's weight is still positive, it's just lower than the weight of the air it has displaced... it has bouyancy, but it still has weight.

      Sorry...

      1. mtp

        Re: Lohan loophole

        It still has mass but I stick with the -ve weight

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Lohan loophole

          "It still has mass but I stick with the -ve weight"

          It has positive weight, but the air it displaced has a greater positive weight. With most objects you don't need to consider the mass of the displaced fluid.

          Take a supertanker - does it become weightless when placed on water?

          No, it still weighs alot, but it is supported by the water around it.

          LOHAN still weighs what it did before, but it's supported by the air around it.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Land of free speech?

    People should be able to drone on and on as much as they like.

  17. heyrick Silver badge

    Excuse me...

    Height in feet, weight in grams?

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: Excuse me...

      We don't need no steenking consistency (or silly SI rules)

    2. cortland
      Headmaster

      Re: Excuse me...

      Uh-huh. And whoever would cast the first stone is one really strong hurler.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

    Drones don't kill people, rappers do...

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

      Drones might kill people so have to be regulated just in case

      Guns definitely kill people so their owners are too scary to regulate

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

        Steve, You are mixing two unrelated arguments deliberately to bring up the subject of guns which are NOT part of the FAA's bailiwick and are not part of this article. Since you don't know your ass from your elbow, I will try to explain so you might comprehend the difference

        Tools can not kill people by themselves, only humans can show an "intent" to kill; not tools such as guns or drones. They have no ability to aim and fire or fly themselves under normal circumstances.

        They REQUIRE a human to make them operate and that is what the issue really is. A human must decide to pull the trigger in order for guns to fire; making the human the only responsible party in a crime.

        Guns cannot be jailed for a crime, only humans can.

        In the same way, a human must pilot the drone and direct it's flight path, making that human responsible for the drone and where it goes.

        .

  19. TRT Silver badge

    Anyway, I have a R/C plane...

    so that's not a drone, is it?

    1. cortland
      Unhappy

      Re: Anyway, I have a R/C plane...

      The rules also hit "model airplanes"and that's one.

  20. The March Hare
    Joke

    Drones

    I have a set of bagpipes and that has 3 drones :)

    but I'm not paying $15 for the privilege of throwing it in the air

  21. M7S

    "Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

    OK, that's paraphrasing one of the criticisms, but there may be another view to be had of this particular item. Here in the UK at least, it is pointed out that legislation does not keep up with technology, whether that be computers, social media or even motor vehicles (ordinary ones for the road), although with autonomous vehicles the are trying to finally break that habit.

    Perhaps the FAA are simply anticipating that these products will become even better (as in longer range/altitude, low mass etc) in a short while and are sensibly forestalling the criticism that would be levelled then that "they didn't think far enough ahead".

    It is possible that there was a reasonably prescient engineer involved in the discussion somewhere.

    1. IglooDude

      Re: "Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

      But is the problem to be solved really that of drones crashing into people on the ground? From watching the news, they're mostly upset pilots that are having near-misses with drones, there's a bit of a privacy issue in the airborne camera around one's neighbors bit, and a vibe (or maybe it's just me and my own anarchist cookbook mentality) of fitting a drone with some explosive and turning it into a guided missile (albeit a rather slow one).

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

        Presumably you can't then ship drones by airfreight?

  22. User McUser

    In other words, the FAA took a worst-case scenario [...]

    Isn't that what they're *supposed* to do? I don't want my pilot to be prepared for the "reasonably unlikely scenario" I want her/him to be ready for the worst-case scenario.

    I don't really see what the big deal is - just pay the $5, put the damn sticker on there, and then don't be a fucking asshole with your quad-copter. Problem solved.

    I wonder if people bitched about having to register their cars and/or get driver's licenses when those first started.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's very unfortunate...

    ...that the U.S. has so many incompetent government agencies who are not held accountable for their actions by anyone. The FCC, FTC, FAA, EPA and many other agencies routinely waste tens of millions of tax payer dollars only to demonstrate their gross incompetence and inability to properly regulate their area of expertise. The criminals are laughing all the way to the bank and many are very large corporate criminals with great influence over these government agencies via PAC financial contributions. So we have the criminal and unscrupulous controlling the incompetent and apathetic government agencies. What a system...

  24. steward
    Joke

    FAA to regulate bullets?

    "The FAA claims that the 400-foot rule is a "misperception that may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground," and claims it has authority over all airspace from the ground up."

    So if a bullet is fired outdoors, it travels through airspace from the ground up. Maybe gun violence in the US could be cut down if all bullets had to be registered with the FAA.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: FAA to regulate bullets?

      I have a few friends who have "flown" "bullets" with more than 250 grams mass (I agree with the earlier poster who distinguishes weight from mass, but then we'd have to get into grams versus Newtons, or pounds versus slugs, and I would love to have about a 2meter long RC dirigible. But I digress), but they were doing so under Naval auspices, and I believe the FAA would not have had jurisdiction.

  25. cortland

    Radio controlled airplane modelers

    ... are disgusted. Heck. I've glued together free-flight balsa gliders heavy enough to require registration*, and I suspect this will result in a temporary injunction until all the conflicting regulations (say, tethered flight - there's already an FAA exemption for that) and law sorted out, IDEALLY, common sense can take over. Good luck.

    *Give or sell any heavy enough "model airplane" capable of sustained flight and that that transaction has to be reported as well.

    Oh, that kinetic-energy-derived standard? What about the traditional "half brick inna sock?" Or a ladies handbag?

    Fun.

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