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Classifications and Enforcement of Professional UAV operators

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Utah Drone Imaging, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Utah Drone Imaging

    Aug 21, 2015
    Likes Received:
    West Jordan, Utah
    So the question has come up in my business of where the UAV industry stands in the eyes of the FAA. A couple questions arose this morning and I am wondering what everyone's take is on them?

    1. If the UAV is being classified as an aircraft by the FAA, what does this mean for the interference of a professional UAV flight. If I interfere with a helo I could get in real big trouble and in a lot of cases it is a felony.

    2. There seems to be this "Sink the Drone" game I keep hearing about when helo pilots see a drone they want to wash it and cause it to crash. Does the same rules that apply to me (like shining a laser at an airplane or helo, not that I would) apply to the pilot and where is the accountability?

    Seems to me that the FAA is a little reluctant to deal with this yet. Interfering with a UAV can be dangerous as it could cause it to crash and hurt people or worse. Hmmmmmm! Thoughts?
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Western North Carolina
    As you've already noticed the FAA only calls these "Aircraft" when it benefits the FAA. Even though the NTSB officially classified them as Aircraft last November the FAA only uses that when "enforcement" is needed and not when "protection" is needed.

    I would imagine that true "commercial" operations (when carried out under Section 333 Exemption) would be able to get more "protection" than the hobbyist although it shouldn't make any difference. I'm afraid at the end of the day they are consider to be "noisy toys" by John Q. Public and "sink the drone" will be common until more clarification comes down from the FAA.
  3. SteveMann

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Westford, MA
    The problem the FAA has is that unless the 14 CFR 91.13 - 'Careless or reckless operation' violation can be verified, they can't do much. Get a video of a helicopter intentionally trying to down a drone, and the tail number, and you would probably see some action.

    Since you have a Section 333 exemption, go to this Lockheed site: https://www.1800wxbrief.com/Website/home and file flight plans for your 333 jobs. This way they will be NOTAMED for you. If a manned aircraft tries to interfere, then ignoring the NOTAMS would be yet another violation.


    According to Lockheed: "This feature is coming in a future release. As it sits right now, the system will not issue a NOTAM when that form is filled out. If you are required to issue a NOTAM per FAA requirements, you will need to contact an AFSS specialist at 1-800-992-7433."
    #3 SteveMann, Aug 25, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015