July 24, 2018
Recently there was a video released from outside the US stating that it was the “The end of recreational drone and RC model flying in the USA”. For many years we have been monitoring various attempts by government agencies and legislators to restrict the use of model aircraft and drones for hobbyists. Many times over the years we have sent messages to our customers both via our website and through direct messages asking for calls to action during various times there were attempts to take away our freedoms. Although this is a serious issue, this is NOT the time to panic, and it is not the time to abandon those organizations that have been working so hard over the years to protect us.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has dedicated countless hours and resources lobbying on our behalf. Meetings similar to the recent committee meeting discussion about Section 336, although a bit disturbing, have been occurring for some time. Large organizations backed by commercial ventures seem to want to block hobbyists, therefore protecting their own business interests. Although meetings like this have been going for years, the AMA has still managed to get language inserted into both the house and senate bills protecting the key parts of Section 336. The particular committee meeting being mentioned was not supposed to have discussions regarding Section 336, so the AMA was not invited to talk. Please see this statement from the AMA
In the clickbait and occasionally toxic atmosphere that can sometimes envelope this hobby, there are some who may be trying to turn this into an incredible advertising opportunity by offering “alternatives” to the AMA. This has already occurred in the past and failed, and we believe this is a horrible waste of money and resources. The AMA is our best chance at having the lobbying strength to continue to help protect our hobby. Self-serving attempts by organizations and individual that have already done more harm than good for the hobby will only profit a few while hurting the rest of us. Even if we all wish the AMA would do some things differently, there’s no denying that we wouldn’t be flying at all if they didn’t exist and if they weren’t already fighting hard for us.
When there is time for a vote or an event that we feel requires a true and effective call to action, we will let all of you know via all the methods we have at our disposal. There will be votes and more critical committee meetings soon.
We do recommend that you contact companies involved in those organizations that are fighting to repeal Section 336 and tell them that you, as their customer, will not stand for this. The Commercial Drone Alliance, who has specifically been lobbying for the repeal of Section 336, according to this article is supported by companies such as Ford, Project Wing owned by Alphabet, Inc (who owns Google), CNN, and other companies that are attempting to commercialize drones and who appear to be afraid of the comparably low-cost products produced for the hobby industry. Currently our energy should be spent messaging these companies regarding their support of this and similar anti-hobbyist organizations.
We would like to reiterate our support of the AMA, and encourage the AMA to continue to support all hobbyists, both current members and potential future members of the AMA itself. Now is not the time to fragment our lobbying power. Now is the time for hobbyists to stand together unified and push back on unreasonable attacks on our hobby.
President, Ready Made RC, LLC