FAA Legal Battle to Save FPV

RaceDayQuads is preparing to challenge the NPRM in court, as the NPRM (which the FAA plans to make official in December 2020) could have widespread and devastating effects on our hobby and on all of RC flight. 

Donate: Donations are being collected to assist in the fight. These are hugely helpful and very appreciated!

Watch: Below is video which elaborates more on the issue/fight

Learn: Below is an article published by the RDQ legal team, and here is a link to some of the FOIA's gathered by RDQ and its team


1/10/21 Update:

We would like to thank Auline, BetaFPV, CNHL, GNB, HappyModel, HQProp, MultiGP, PandaRC & Vifly for joining us in our fight against Remote ID. We encourage you to support these manufacturers as they support FPV in this important time.

- Tyler Brennan
Owner / CEO, RaceDayQuads 

12/31/20 Update:

After careful review of the Remote ID rule, our team has determined that, despite the FAA’s removal of the network requirement, there remains overwhelming legal justification and precedent that will allow us to file a strong suit against Remote ID.

I will not make any promises about the outcomes of our effort, nor give any hard timelines (other than our complaint will be filed within the 60 day period following the publishing of the rule), but I will say that based on our counsel’s experience and the preparations we have made during 2020, we are confident and will have our heads held high as we walk into the court room.

Once the rule is officially published, our team will put together a review/summary/legal opinion and release what we feel comfortable releasing - the rest will be available for your reading pleasure when our complaint is filed.
While there are many issues with the Remote ID rule and many benefits of having it struck down, put simply our goal is to preserve freedoms, maintain privacy, and eliminate unnecessary financial burden through the removal of the Remote ID requirement for FPV and Model Aviation Pilots.

The more help we have, the better! When the results of this affect millions of people and multiple generations to come, RDQ is much too small to go this alone. We need and want help on this case, especially when the stakes are so high. This is a call for assistance from everyone who will be negatively impacted by Remote ID or by the gross government overstep this rule will give precedent to. If you or an organization you are a part of want to help, we can certainly use it. Please message me!

If you’re a hobbyist or modeler who is against this rule, I hope this news brings a good start to your New Year. We will do everything we can.
Please spread the word, donate, and help us to bring FPV and Model Aviation together as much as possible so we can be one concentrated effort. Our GoFundMe is active here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/savefpv

Lastly, Happy New Year from my home to yours! We wish you all the very best.

-Tyler Brennan
Owner / CEO, RaceDayQuads

12/10/20 Update:

Today the FAA deleted model aircraft language that had existed in Part 101. This means two things.

First, the FAA has “Model Aircraft”, which in most every case an FPV drone would be classified as, top of mind. There is no guarantee what this means, but my personal opinion is that this implies the FAA will have “Model Aircraft” specific guidance in the upcoming rule, and that in preparation for that they are making a couple regulatory moves. Hopefully, this is something to the effect of “Model Aircraft can continue operating as we have been below X AGL altitude”, and obviously NOT something like “Model Aircraft can only operate in a FRIA”. We have not seen anything definitive enough to make us think one is more likely than the other... one is how we’ve been operating for a hundred years and what common sense and most of the 50,000+ comments asked for, and the other is how it is written in the NPRM.

Second, legally it means that 49 USC 44809 is the law which currently applies to us, and not Part 101.

This was published today at 8:45am, so kudos to the legal team for being on top of it, translating their summary a couple times to something I could understand (lol), and making us all immediately aware.

-Tyler Brennan
Owner / CEO, RaceDayQuads

 Originally published by Rupprecht Law

Massive Data Collection and Surveillance

Remote ID is part of the Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management System (UTM).  FAA, NASA, DHS, DOD have been working on this.  FAA, DHS, and DOD have a teaming agreement. DHS is going to be a federal Unmanned Aircraft Service Supplier (USS). While the FAA may be collecting alot of the data, DHS could query things in the system. The FAA in explaining their Concept of Operations (CONOPs) regarding UTM, they said the following:

  • “Flight Information Management System/FIMS  FIMS is an interface for data exchange between FAA systems and UTM participants. FIMS enables exchange of airspace constraint data between the FAA and the USS Network. The FAA also uses this interface as an access point for information on active UTM operations. FIMS also provides a means for approved FAA stakeholders to query and receive post-hoc/archived data on UTM operations for the purposes of compliance audits and/or incident or accident investigation. FIMS is managed by the FAA and is a part of the UTM ecosystem.”
    • DHS’s Air Domain Awareness Program is somehow connected to FIMS as a USS. See this Powerpoint presentation.
      • “Air Domain Awareness is understanding everything that is in the air around you . . . Includes all manned and unmanned aircraft”
      • “DHS is teaming with FAA and DOD to evaluate air domain awareness and counter UAS systems in real world situations”
      • The UTM CONOPS says, “The FAA provides services to certain federal public entities in support of public safety and security needs; services may include provision of portals designed to facilitate automated information exchanges and queries to the USS Network for authorized data. Local, state, tribal and federal public entities may have dedicated portals external to the FAA by which they can request and receive authorized information; USSs meet applicable security requirements and protocols when collecting and provisioning data to such entities. Authorization and authentication between entities, using IATF compliant identities, ensure data is provisioned to those permitted to obtain it. Authorized entities utilize USS Network discovery services to identify individual USSsfrom which to request and receive data commensurate with access credentials. USSs must be (1) discoverable to the requesting agency, (2) available and capable to comply with issue request, and (3) a trusted source as mitigation/enforcement actions may be taken as a result of the information provided.
  • “The FAA establishes requirements and response protocols to guard NAS systems and the public against associated security threats. The FAA uses UTM data (e.g., intent, RID messages) as a means of traceability to (1) ensure Operators are complying and conforming to regulatory standards, (2) identify and hold accountable those who are responsible during accident/incident investigations, and (3) inform other NAS users, if needed, of UAS activity in the vicinity of the airspace in which they are operating. The FAA can use near-real time data from UTM to address security needs with respect to operations conducted under ATM, including managing off-nominal and exigent circumstances. They use archived data as a means to analyze UTM operations and ensure NAS needs and safety objectives are being met. The FAA can also use UTM data to notify federal entities of security threats. The FAA leverages the GRAIN and the IATF policies to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the information received from all UTM stakeholders. “
  • “Local, state, tribal and federal entities (e.g., state police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, DHS) require access to UTM data to inform responses to local or federal complaints and safety/security incidents, and the conduct of investigations. Appropriate data access limitations are set by the FAA for individual federal and public/public safety entities (e.g., public information, classified information). Depending on the nature of the safety or security situation, historical or near-real time information may be needed. UTM data deemed publicly-accessible (e.g., RID messages) may be obtained by the general public through thirdparty services/applications and/or the government. UTM data that is not publicly-accessible (e.g., Operator contact information) is managed and provided based on the need to know, the credentials, and the level of access-to-information authorized for the requestor using identities issued compliant to the IATF policies.”
  • “Operators must satisfy FAA-stipulated data archiving and sharing requirements to support safety and security. Stakeholders may need information on active UTM operations for the purposes of aircraft separation and identification of UAS affecting air/ground activities, among other things, such that Operators respond to requests from authorized entities in near-real time; an example of such information is RID messages. Operators are required to archive certain data to support post-flight requests by authorized entities with a need to know (e.g., FAA, public entities), as previously noted; examples of such data may include operation intent, 4D position tracks, reroute changes to intent, and off-nominal event records (e.g., rogue UAS).”


Remote Identification Documents/Info Obtained

If you notice anything interesting below in the FOIA responses, please send me an email so we can use it in the litigation. :)

You’ll see a ton of ex parte going on below between law enforcement, DHS, FBI, and FAA. The FAA also did all sorts of stuff with 8 companies on working with RID. This was all done privately.

  • Invite Only Remote ID Demo at FBI Academy (The Public Was Not Invited and FAA Forced Them to Sign a Form Promising to Not Tell You).We found about this because the FAA published a comment here disclosing the existence of this secret demo. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2019-1100-53261
  • Remote ID Cohort Memorandums of Understand. The FAA picked 8 companies to enter into agreements with to work on remote ID AFTER the remote ID NPRM was published.
  • FAA Risk Assessment for Remote ID(I redacted the names and addresses)
  • FAA sent out a request for information (RFI) on in March 17, 2020 (NPRM on remote ID closed March 2) to try and obtain answers on how “low altitude manned aviators. . . could participate in Remote ID, access data from the Remote ID USSs, or otherwise benefit from the Remote ID information being transmitted from UAS.” Multiple groups responded but none of those comments have been disclosed. The RFI said, “Responses to this RFI will not be included in the official docket of the NPRM.” On October 22, 2020, Jay Merkle did a presentation to the Drone Advisory Committee which said that they had 30 responses to this RFI. The FAA thought they “missed the mark when communicating what [they] were looking for in the RFI so they wanted to take a second chance at this and asked the Drone Advisory Committee explore this opportunity and make some recommendations. In the 30 responses, the pilot organizations said they see “dubious benefits:
    • UASs have primary responsibility to avoid manned-aircraft.
    • RID is security-centric; it may be inadequate to affect safety.
    • Adding RID receiving capability would be an additional expense burden to low-level aircraft pilots.
    • Low-level pilots are especially concerned with task saturation (e.g., avoiding obstructions & being distracted from the mission).
    • Any solutions should integrate with current avionics (EFB, ADS-B).”

Ways to Send Me Remote ID Info

If you want to send me a tip to assist with the litigation, we have multiple options below. Please note no attorney client-privilege will be afforded our communication so if I’m compelled by court order or subpoena to testify, I will. I’ll try to keep everything confidential but if a court order/subpoena comes, I’ll comply. If you want to remain anonymous, PLEASE do not give me anything that could identify you.

  • Physically mail me at 800 Village Square Crossing, 331, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.
  • You can send me an email at jon@jrupprechtlaw.com
  • Anonymously
    • You can email me with the subject line of “Remote ID” using the following anonymous email services. I tested both of these and they work. Keep in mind that when connecting to these websites you should do it over TOR or a VPN so as to not leave an identifying IP on their website’s server logs of IP addresses. Just copy and paste these into a new browser.
      • https://anonymousemail.me/
      • https://www.5ymail.com/

To verify I received the information you sent, you could check back to this page and I’ll post below here a brief description of what I received unless you tell me in the email to put a certain phrase (example: “Taco55”). If it doesn’t show up, keep on trying to get it to me.