Enthusiasts who fly model airplanes and small drones are being asked to fight a state bill that could subject weekend hobbyists to lawsuits and civil actions.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics, a 79-year-old organization with 176,000 members nationwide, is urging its California members to ask Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Senate Bill 142.

“While originally intended to address privacy concerns, the bill was amended in late June and, as such, now potentially subjects model aviation enthusiasts to possible law suits and civil sanctions for even an inadvertent excursion over the property of a neighbor that borders their flying field, schoolyard, park, or even their backyard,” the organization said in an urgent email Wednesday to members.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson from Santa Barbara, was sent to the governor last week. Brown has until Sept. 12 to either sign or veto it.

Jackson says the intent of her bill is to “prohibit remotely operated aerial vehicles known as drones from trespassing on private property without permission.”

Hobbyists can can us an online form at http://amagov.modelaircraft.org/18534/californiasb142/ to send a letter to Brown.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.