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Operating radio controlled models in Canada questions (ham radio)

Wondering about these radio controlled model questions on the Canadian amateur radio basic qualifications test (screenshot from

From what I understand, licensed operators can operate radio controlled models above 30 MHz, and I think you don’t need to transmit your call sign even.

Not super sure how this works, but I found this interesting forum conversation about RC aircraft flying vs. drones.

There are different criteria, as I understand it, for operating drones in Canada than for what a licensed ham can do above 30 MHz. That said, I’m not at all clear on the distinctions myself. A user of that forum writes:

“I do not fly Drones, doing so would imply that I am breaking Transport Canada’s rules of operating a remotely piloted model aircraft. I fly radio controlled airplanes, I follow TC’s rules and regulations and those of MAAC’s”

Drones are kind of interesting, I guess, though I’m a little over it — mainly because it’s like another goddamned thing to have to buy. But I’m wondering what the legal definition of “remote control models” is in Canadian regulations…

More specifically, what about radio-controlled virtual models?

eg, models that only exist in a computer which is linked to a radio receiver, and do not physically fly around in space.

It seems like these have less risk of real-world damage, for one. Like Transport Canada rules such as the below would have no bearing:

“Transport Canada’s announcement of interim regulations for drone use will impact model aviation enthusiasts across the country that are flying any model aircraft between 250g and 35kg. The regulations place restrictions on how high model aircraft can be flown, and minimum distances from people and buildings when flying that will severely limit how and where people can enjoy the hobby. The announcement states that not only must recreational users put their contact information on drones, but also that they may not fly higher than 90 metres, within 150 metres of buildings, vehicles or people, or within 9 kilometres of the centre of any aerodrome.”

Further, if RF control of virtual models is allowed, perhaps there is room also for abstracting what those models are exactly. eg, models which are not representations of aircraft, but which are behavioral models or assignable/mapped function sets. eg, triggering macros on my networked computer over RF.

Maybe I’m making this too hard though, and there is already an appropriate band allocated for transmitting short distance control data (over a home or farm-based network)… I’m not sure how to begin looking this up…

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  1. So I wrote to a model aircraft club in Canada to find the legal definition of remote control model, which he sent a couple Transport Canada links, but he was not able to give me any answers on my “weird” use case of virtual models. Wah wah. I should know by now nobody else but me will ever be able to answer my weird questions.