Thanks for the thread and link, @befreestudios! I was wondering if somebody was going to bring up today’s court ruling against the FAA’s registration of recreational RC pilots here in the MMW Community.
This is a major victory! I actually went down to the courthouse when John Taylor and a DOJ attorney (on behalf of the FAA) presented their oral arguments in this case. From a legal perspective, this was a clear cut case. The judges made this clear in their questioning during oral arguments. And today’s final ruling confirms that the FAA violated Section 336 when it required hobby pilots to register.
@Bobnova: Technically, you’re still required to register. However, if the FAA tried to go after you for not registering, they wouldn’t stand a chance. You are definitely right that requirements for FPV flight and FCC licensing for use of HAM frequencies still applies.
The ball is now in Congress’ court. In the coming months, they will have two options. Congress can leave things as they are, i.e. keep Section 336 that prohibits the FAA from making any new rules about recreational model aircraft. However, Congress also has the option to pass new laws (that’s what they do, after all), which could specifically allow the FAA to enact new rules, incl. a new round of regulations.
In other words, Congress could still undo this court victory. Given the current administration’s focus on commercial interests and strengthening the economy, us hobby fliers are not home free just yet. For now, I went outside and smoked a cigar to celebrate.