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Clarification on flying near crowds

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by itrends, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. itrends

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    So I'm not currently doing any commercial work. It's all hobby stuff and I am following the CAA rules.

    When I go and get my CAA approval (and do the costly £1300 course) I am trying to clarify one of the points
    So with this in mind, if say, a street food market organiser wanted to pay me to take some pictures of the market, would I be able to do so? Obviously having liability insurance etc in case of accidents - but would I technically be allowed to film the public attending the organisers market even though they are not technically under my control?

    Indeed, would I need to seek CAA permission once (so that I can always do this) or is it on a case by case basis for each flight? If the latter, what is the process for that?

    I am getting mixed answers from my searching and trying to get a feel for the latest stance.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. dlps73

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    As long as you maintain 30m/100' from the crowd.
     
  3. itrends

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    But their wording suggests you can get permission to alter that. That's what I'm asking about. :)
     
  4. harbourside

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    From my understanding of the rules, CAA permission lasts for 12 months and covers the "pilot", so once you have it you only need to renew it every year.
    After that you can do what you like within reason, as you have proved to the CAA that you are a capable pilot and understand risk assessment.
     
  5. dlps73

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    Have not seen anything in Australia that allows a commercial operator to fly any closer. The only thing CASA will let you apply for is flights in CTA.
     
  6. itrends

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    To note - this is UK specific :) But can't hurt to have the question answered for different countries :)
     
  7. noiseboy72

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    In the UK, you have a 150m clearance over "Congested Areas" - so that means towns, not 30m as otherwise suggested.

    When you are qualified, you can either file specific flight plans, or gain exemption from certain regulations - provided you have submitted a flight manual that details how you will fly and what you will do to avoid an incident.

    It is unlikely that a Vision or V+ would gain this exemption due to the use of 5.8GHz for control, which is not a recognised control frequency. A P2 MIGHT... but the CAA may require you to fly a Hex or other multirotor that can fly with a motor failure.

    There are few hard and fast rules at present, so it would come down to how your flight manual was written and what level of risk was attached. Flying over a busy street market is very high risk, as would be a festival or football match, as you would not be able to communicate with the public either beforehand or in the event of an emergency.

    Your qualification will allow you to fly any multirotor in the same weight category as the one you qualified on, but your manual must be specific to the type of aircraft, including the control system etc.
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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    That right there is "the question answered for different countries" ;)

    And why you're getting mixed information from your Google searches. Everything is in flux right now.
    It does seem that the CAA is already fairly ahead of the FAA in the US.
     
  9. itrends

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    I read that it was 50m with Congested Areas - can you point me at the 150m?

    The issue I have is that local events are asking for photos of everything going on from an elevated height. My plan was to fly way off to the side over clear ground space (so not directly above the crowds etc) in order to capture the photos from a distance then crop up the RAW photo in post-processing. I am doing this as a hobby / to support charities (so not for commercial gain) but obviously don't want to put myself in hot water.

    I have taken out insurance and joined the model club too for extra support and information.

    I have also emailed the CAA for further clarification and specifics beyond the terms. However with these limitations that people are noting it makes me think that aerial event photography is pretty much a no go unless you get a full size copter and an incredibly long camera lens?
     
  10. itrends

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    All I am really trying to avoid is 1) Making sure I DON'T hurt / endanger anyone. 2) Make sure I don't get into any legal trouble that would ruin my life or indeed someone elses.
     
  11. HarryT

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    I'm pretty sure it is 50m. I suspect that someone's confused metres with feet.
     
  12. RikTheManc

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    According to this document i found on the caa website, it's "over or within 150 metres of any congested area"

    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP658%204 ... 202013.pdf

    Article 167 – Small unmanned surveillance aircraft
    ‘(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the
    aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in
    accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
    (2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are:
    (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area;
    (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than
    1,000 persons;
    (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the
    control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or
    (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.
    (3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance
    aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.
    (4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small
    unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in
    charge of the aircraft.
     
  13. itrends

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    And there we see the

    " except inaccordance with a permission issued by the CAA." which is the bit I am still unclear on :) But hopefully clarification coming from CAA soon :)
     
  14. noiseboy72

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    It is 50M until you put a camera with recording facility on board, then it becomes 150M, as stated above.

    The permission will only be issued to licenced pilots, whether they are operating commercially or not.

    You can however, be licenced and insured NON-Commercially for charity work however, so you don't need to pay the massive commercial premiums for unpaid work.
     
  15. zenoshrdlu

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    Have a look at this CAA document list - it tells you all the rules you need to be aware of.

    http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?c ... 20aircraft

    Document SRG1320 is the form you have to fill in to get permission to go outside the rules and contains some useful info. Note that it specifically asks you for you remote pilots qualification (BNUC). I suspect if you haven't got one you won't get permission.