Did you know that RC model aircraft pilots must keep their instruction manuals with them while flying? I didn’t.

FAA regulations require that operating instruction manuals be kept on board aircraft when the aircraft is in operation. Pilots can refer to manuals in the event a problem develops during flight.

Because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are defined as aircraft, legally speaking, the FAA rules require that the operating manuals for drones be kept on board the drone. This is a problem when the manual is larger than the drone! 🙂

The FAA has, for practical reasons, decided to interpret the rule as requiring the pilot of a UAV to keep the manuals at the point where the flight controls (Remote control unit) is located, rather than on board the aircraft.

Source: See – Rupprecht Law P.A.

(This is my go to source for legal and often other information, regarding aviation and RC model aircraft rules and regulations).

This FAA interpretation interesting for two reasons:

1. I did not know that the operating instructions are supposed to be kept at hand while flying my RC model aircraft. I do keep my own check lists with me, which I have distilled from the instruction sheets, but I have not kept the instruction sheets with me. I think I will put all of them in a manila filing folder now.

2. This illustrates the problem of turning over everything in life to bureaucrats who cannot foresee future changes in technology – and who fail to go back and review all existing rules to detect such conflicts.