Friday, April 14, 2017

Our Stance on Responsible Aircraft Operation

The Urbana RC Flying Association is a community-based organization of remote-controlled aircraft hobbyists. We enjoy building and flying model aircraft and sharing our interest with the wider community of the greater Urbana region. Our Association is committed to the safe and lawful operation of model aircraft of all types at our flying field, adhering to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved guidelines for model aircraft operation devised by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).

Over the past few years, multi-rotor aircraft or “drones” have become widely available in the consumer electronics market. Irresponsible and even dangerous operation of these aircraft by reckless individuals has been a topic of national concern- and particularly of the model aircraft hobbyist community. 

Recently, a multi-rotor aircraft operated remotely via video camera was spotted flying over our flying field, the nearby neighborhood, and local park at dusk. This sort of “drone” aircraft can be piloted from thousands of feet away, so it isn’t known where the craft originated from. It was an unlawful act that violated FAA rules and threatened public safety.

The Urbana RC Flying Association would like to state our position on the operation of “drones” and model aircraft in general, and assure the surrounding community of our commitment to their safe and lawful operation:

Our members only operate aircraft within the limits of our flying field. Flying any model aircraft over people, public venues, roads, or buildings is unsafe, unlawful, and strictly prohibited by our association. We also do not operate any aircraft using First-Person-View goggles (FPV)-- all of our flights are within the primary operator’s line-of-sight. FPV is also not permitted within a five-mile radius of an airport (Grimes Field) without prior notification.

Our association has operated model aircraft safely in cooperation with local authorities and the FAA for 15 years. We greatly value the relationship we have with the Urbana community and respect the rights of safety and privacy of our friends and neighbors.

Drones or other remotely-piloted aircraft flying over people, city streets, or neighborhoods should be reported to the Urbana Police Department at 937-652-4350.  Unsafe and unlawful operation of remote-control aircraft jeopardizes the continuation of the hobby for everyone.

For information on safe and lawful drone operation, please visit:

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