The FAA has released updated model aircraft guidance in the form of Advisory Circular 91-57A Model Aircraft Operation Standards, which includes information for those operating unmanned aircraft. For those persons operating aircraft that meets the definition of model aircraft contained in Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, they can be operated safely in national aerospace. The AC contains guidance on determining on whether an unmanned aircraft is considered a model aircraft or not. For example, if it is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use, operates in accordance with a community based set of safety standards, limited to less than 55 pounds, operated in a manner that does not interfere with manned aircraft and not flown within five miles of an airport unless the model aircraft operator provides the airport operator with prior notice and establishes mutually agreed upon procedures. There are additional items in the AC, such as being aware of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), compliance with temporary flight restrictions (TFR’s), and an operator should always keep in mind that even a model hobby unmanned aircraft could pose an endangerment to safety of the nation’s aerospace, and if so, that person could then be charged with careless or reckless operations. For more updates from time to time please do not hesitate to check back with this webpage. For specific information or to seek an exemption for commercial operations please do not hesitate to contact Michael J. Schofield or (850) 434-9200.
September 18, 2015