All this "FAA" stuff has all been very confusing to me. Hard for me to know "just the facts, M'am, just the facts". SO... in recap in simple terms: DO we control liners have to register our airplanes or not? Thanks
Andre, what I found so far:https://www.faa.gov/uas/faqs/
1. What is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS)? The law defines an unmanned aircraft as "an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft" (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(8)) Also called drones, these unmanned aircraft do not have a human pilot onboard. UAS range from radio-controlled, fixed-wing aircraft to helicopters or rotorcraft models sometimes called quadcopters, and can be flown for fun or for work.http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2015/12/17/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-drone-registration-process/
Q: Is Control Line Exempt? A: Control line models are not controlled by a ground-control station, are not part of an unmanned aircraft system and as such are not required to be registered.http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/2016/01/11/update-uas-registration-frequently-asked-questions/
Q: Is Free Flight exempt? A: Similarly, free flight models are not controlled by a ground-control station, are not part of an unmanned aircraft system and as such are not required to be registered.
Q: Do only drones and multirotor operators need to register? A: No. Everything that uses a ground-control system with a communications link, such as an RC transmitter that is over 0.55 lbs (or 250 grams) and under 55 lbs. is required to register. This includes operators who fly fixed-wing RC aircraft and helicopters, not just multirotors or drones.
Q: I only fly CL or FF, do I need to register? A: No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.
As Tim alluded to, it appears at this point if you do not use an RC transmitter to control additional functions on a CL aircraft (throttle, carrier hook drop, landing flaps, special features, etc.), that the FAA is not requiring registration. At this point, they are interpreting that a UAS is one that uses radio control. There is some concern that with FAA regulations as written, interpretation could change due to some vagueness in wording.(Comment: IMO, it makes sense to retain the old Robart 3 line system, or electronics that transmit control signals through the control line wires from handle directly to model without using radio frequencies for control for those who prefer not to register.)
That said, here is another thing to watch for.http://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/clubs/notams.aspx
Posted 7/19/16: A FAA NOTAM/TFR has been issued for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area (....) Posted 7/14/16: (...) CLEVELAND, Ohio and the surrounding area (...) Control Line and Free Flight modelers should use discretion when operating within the TFR.
Posted 2/17/09 (Indefinite) A NOTAM has been issued in regards to the Washington DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). (...) The rules and restrictions remain in effect until further notice. Outdoor model aircraft operations are prohibited within the inner portion of the SFRA known as the Washington Metropolitan Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ).
Model aircraft flight ban in Washington DC includes CL aircraft. Anyway, YMMV (your mileage may vary)