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Called Tower - was not given permission to fly

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JKDSensei, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. JKDSensei

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    So I called one of the towers at one of the local airports and spoke with the Tower Manager.
    Frank Ambrisco. In my opinion he seemed a bit pre-disposed against drones from his tone but perhaps that was just the way it sounded.

    His was reply was.....

    I cannot authorize any drone flights within 5 miles of the airport without FAA authorization and the appropriate forms filled. He further stated that no drones would be authorized to fly within 5 miles of the airport without Pilot certification from the FAA.
    Those two documents would have to be submitted before consideration to fly in the area.
    He also said that "ONE" person had been authorized to fly in the area by the FAA but that was a licensed pilot and had all the proper forms filled.

    He further stated that the tower was a "contract" tower operated under contract and suggested I contact the FAA. No contact information was offered.

    I then called the Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO), Hollywood FL and went to voice mail..message left, waiting for return call.

    So far it seems that some getting permission to fly in the 5 mile zone around at least one airport in South Florida may be a challenge.
     
  2. passive jay

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    Unless there is a recent change I am not aware of you are not calling the airport to get permission, you are calling them to let them know what you are doing. you dont need permission from them.
     
  3. LUISMARTINEZ

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    EXACTLY. Mr. Ambrisco is clueless...There are no "forms" to be filled out and no pilot license is required. Whoever "contracts" with this clown should insist the tower be run by educated staff.
     
  4. johan

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    And there's your problem. Way back in 1981 air traffic controllers went on strike. The president ordered them back to work and most refused. The ones that refused were fired a few days later.

    Most 'contract towers' have been staffed by those who were fired ever since. I suppose its possible in theory that there could be a contract tower employee out there somewhere who isn't still bitter and angry about being fired. But its also possible in theory that the moon is made of blue cheese.
     
  5. JKDSensei

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    I'm on your side. I want to fly my drone everywhere. But I'm also a pilot and I understand the need for rules for all objects in the air.

    I think the problem is that people flying drones aren't "aware" that real rules exist and the FAA does have authority to impose civil fines and seek other administrative relief through the court system.

    The entire drone revolution is causing a lot of discussion and re-writing laws and it is an evolving process.

    I did contact the FAA today. The representative I spoke with was surprisingly friendly towards drones and very helpful.

    According to the FAA spokesperson.....generally, not quoting...

    FAA control towers and most airports with control towers do legally have jurisdiction over the airspace within their designated and charted areas as depicted on aeronautical charts. From the ground to the designated altitude. Usually, at about 4 miles the floor may be lifted to 400 or 500 feet.
    ----------------------------

    Reading up on FAA law and civil action. FAA actions are typically taken against FAA certified pilots and other licensed aviation support personnel. This surge in drone usage has cause a great deal of confusion and uncertainty, even at the FAA. However, the crux of the confusion is not whether or not the airspace is controlled by the FAA, but rather to what extent drones will be "allowed" to share that airspace.

    There are a lot of rumors of what's legal and not and most drone pilots probably have no idea of the airspace rules in effect over US skies. But at this time, drones are considered model aircraft and thus fall under the jurisdiction of FAA regulation.

    It is not elective whether to fly within their "controlled" airspace without some form of contact or communications. By law, if you fail to notify the control tower the punishments can range from fines to jail time. So it actually is permission. INSIDE CONTROLLED AIRSPACE. Which includes Class C and Class D airspace around most secondary airports with control towers.

    I am mostly concerned with class D and class C airspace since most of south Florida is under these or class B airspace.

    If everyone were allowed to decide their own rules of flight in controlled airspace it would be a disaster. I personally think airspace below 400 feet should be available to we drone flyers, except within about 2 miles of an airport. 5 miles is a bit much imo.

    The CURRENT Statutes provide for enforcement.....Read Section 5 carefully and notice the requirement for mutual agreement...(not just notification) and the part in blue very carefully...the law is a beast.

    SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.
    (a) IN GENERAL
    .—Notwithstanding any other provision of law
    relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into
    Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this
    subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model
    aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—
    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
    use;
    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-
    based set of safety guidelines and within the programming
    of a nationwide community-based organization;
    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds
    unless otherwise certified through a design, construction,
    inspection, flight test, and operational safety program adminis-
    tered by a community-based organization;
    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not
    interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator
    of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport
    air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located
    at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft
    operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of
    an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating
    procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic
    control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the
    airport)).
    (b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION
    .—Nothing in this section shall
    be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue
    enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who
    endanger the safety of the national airspace system.

    (c) MODEL AIRCRAFT DEFINED
    .—In this section, the term ‘‘model
    aircraft’’ means an unmanned aircraft that is—
    (1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;
    H. R. 658—68
    (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating
    the aircraft; and
    (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.
     
    JTC, Sagebrush and GoodnNuff like this.
  6. JKDSensei

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    All that said.....

    I don't see the FAA going after people unless they do something really stupid like fly over O'Hare or Miami International or something like that.

    It might be more relevant to FAA certified pilots who have their licenses to lose more so than the average hobbyist.
     
  7. DarylV

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    I just want to take pics of farms out in BFE at 200 or 300', for a small fee. Why on earth do I need a frigging pilot's license? Insanity.
     
    JKDSensei likes this.
  8. SteveMann

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    First, the fired controllers would be in their 70's now. None were hired for the contract towers. Tower personnel are licensed by the FAA and have to pass the same exams, written and practical, as FAA tower employees.

    I would call the FSDO and tell them that you tried and failed to inform them of a model aircraft operation near the airport pursuant to AD 91-57 which only requires the tower be notified in advance of the flight.

    If the FSDO personnel tell you that the rule requires obtaining permission, ask "Which rule"? Which paragraph in Part 91 or Part 61 rules require that the model aircraft operator is required to obtain permission.

    I would like to know the response.
     
  9. Magestri

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    I noticed the FAA site stating that we have to "Notify" too:

    "when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower "

    The "Mutually-agreed upon" also seems like a stopper as well. Frustrating...
     
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  10. brianrmartin

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    Send a UNODIR fax. UNless Otherwise DIRected I will be flying ................ I will assume that this is a mutually agreed upon operating procedure UNODIR. Put your mailing address on it not your phone number.
     
  11. tcope

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    Because _everyone_ needed a pilots license to operate aircraft. _Then_ an exception was made for hobbyist. You are just looking at it incorrectly.
     
  12. BDHX2

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    Reading these posts there obviously is much confusion among control towers across the country regarding our UAVs and the FAA regulations. I called my control tower today for the first time and the gentleman I spoke to was very pleasant and just said, "No problem, just call us when you are going fly and let us know where and approximately for how long." He agreed that my role was to simply notify them, not ask for permission. He also seemed to have a personal interest in what I was flying. I wish everyone had this experience and I hope to continue to have this experience with the control tower near me.

    I understand the need for some control, but changes need to continue. I understand the airport airspace jurisdiction issue, but if there is ever an airplane 400 ft or less above my house, which is 4.5 miles away from the airport, there is a serious problem! I agree with JKDsensei that maybe 400 ft AGL and below could be a new designated airspace for us outside of at least 2 miles from the airport.
     
  13. buzo831

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    I think the feeling is that for small non commercial airports, you can get away with this. For others, not so much. I'm trapped in SD between large airports and military bases airports leaving little room to fly.
     
  14. BDHX2

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    Yes, I suppose that will make things difficult!
     
  15. buzo831

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    I look at a map and I'm blanketed. I'm just annoyed that I can't get permission the one place I want to fly which is out of the flight path of SD international.
     
  16. BDHX2

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    I have not even flown mine yet, just got it a couple weeks ago and it has been below freezing with wind chill, so I am holding off for now. However, I think it is ridiculous that if I want to take it out in my backyard to at least do a short test flight I am legally required to call the tower to notify them because I am 4.47 miles away from the airport.
     
  17. JTC

    JTC

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    I agree! I have never had any problems with the F.A.A. during my aviation career. They are not trying to give anyone a hard time. The rules are in place because of the need to insure flight safety for all including those on the ground. It is much better for the UAS Community to be pro active and govern themselves responsibly than to act rebelliously and irresponsibly. To act in an other than responsible manner would only invite more stringent rules to be put in place.
     
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  18. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Well said JTC. Unfortunately not everyone agrees with your/our sentiment and many feel above/outside the regs as a whole.

    Enjoy it while we can because over-regulation is just around the corner I'm afraid. The first UAS to manned aircraft incident will create enough fear/paranoia and knee jerk reactions that we will see a huge amount of restrictions coming down the pike. Like it or not when John Q. Public states they are afraid to take to the air because of "fear" of a UAS incident the $$ behind the airlines will talk and our industry/hobby will take the brunt of the abuse. It's just a fact that the #'s are already stacked against us and I don't see it improving any time soon. John Q. Public "regulates" with their wallet.
     
  19. JKDSensei

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    I think all these regs are going to create a lot of "criminals" out of fine people who aren't, but just wanna have fun without harming others.

    I guess America is Criminal Central and Regulation Nation at the end of the day. What a shame. Used to be so nice here.

    Where in the world did all these rotten people who wanna do bad things come from and also the ones who are too busy knee jerkin to use common sense to deal with it all?

    Even if common sense came back in fashion, rolling back all these rules and regs is probably like taxes...once done, never undone.
     
    #19 JKDSensei, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016