Remember in late 2015 when the FAA announced drone operators would need to register their aircraft, and there would be a $5 registration fee? Well, a recent court finding has led the FAA to go "Whoops, our bad," and offer refunds to drone owners who operate only as hobbyists.
AINonline reports that the FAA is now reversing it's position on mandatory registration for hobbyist drone operators, after having already "collected names, addresses, and other information from 763,678 drone hobbyists."
"the D.C. Circuit Court, in the case of Taylor v. Huerta, determined that the registry violated a provision of 2012 FAA reauthorization legislation—Section 336—that prevents the agency from regulating model aircraft as long as they are flown safely."
If you want to have your registration expunged from the FAA's records, even if you were like me and registered during the 30 no-fee "grace period," you need to fill out this form and send it in to the agency. Of course, if you want that sweet, sweet, $5 refund, you'll need to give the FAA your bank account information so they can send it to you. So to recap: to get your refund for the fee they were not legally allowed to charge you in the first place, and to have your information expunged from their records, you need to send them your personal information including your bank account information so that they can delete your information. Got it?
This video from reader Jay Malone does a good job of breaking down the different aspects of the refund process (and some of the screwyness involved!)
This is just another development in the craziness that is the consumer aircraft space. Drones have gone from super-expensive tools that few had access to, to widespread consumer toys in just a matter of years and the government is scrambling to figure out the best way to manage all of these new aircraft taking to the skies.