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Commercial Flying Without a 333

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Eric Ferraro, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. Eric Ferraro

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    Alright guys, so this is the deal. I work in commercial video production and recently discovered the joy of the P3P. Every one of my competitors is flying drones, 95% of them do NOT have a 333 exemption. I am currently in the process of applying for my 333, but being that this can take months, I don't want to miss out on work in the meantime. If I keep things very safe, don't market the service and don't draw a lot of attention to myself, would I be fine? Also, kind of personal, but how many of you are flying for commercial use without a 333? Thanks for the input, I really appreciate the help.
     
  2. 847guy

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    I'm sure the FAA is reviewing these forums
     
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  3. Flyer91

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    Well ... in the season of "he's making a list, and checking it twice" by a dude that needs a cooperative relationship with the FAA ..... er ... um ....... certainly not me!! o_O ;)
     
    #3 Flyer91, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
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  4. Volantis

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    If you are not going to sell P3P derived footage, there is nothing to worry about. Take all the footage you want.

    As far as the 333 goes, at this time you need a pilot's license before you can get it. If you don't have a pilot's license, and you don't hire a pilot to be on hand when you operate the drone, then forget about the 333.

    I'm banking on the FAA creating a new rule for drone operators to sell their footage, and so I am building up a library of files for use later.
     
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  5. msinger

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    They are working on new rules. They will require that you have an "operator license" instead of a recreational or sport pilot license (or any of the other manned aircraft licenses).
     
  6. Eric Ferraro

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    We currently have a pilot that can fly our drone, we can also meet all of the other requirements. We just haven't received our finalized exemption yet...

    You guys are probably right and it isn't worth the risk. It just seems crazy when ALL of my competitors are doing it without exemption at all or pilot. Following the rules in this case is actually doing massive damage to my business.
     
  7. msinger

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    Well, if you decide to do what the all of your competitors are doing, it would be best not to let your pilot fly. The FAA issued his license -- and, they can take it away if they find out he's doing something illegal.
     
  8. Eric Ferraro

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    msinger, good advice. Thanks for that. We just want to do everything as much by the book as we can. Its just really hard in this situation.
     
  9. Oso

    Oso

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    It's a tough spot. Your competitors are skirting the rules but growing a customer base and portfolio. Once the new rules are in place, they get an operators license and are instantly legit with an established track record and an in place clientele. It's quite a shame that "by the book" businesses are put in such a position in part by the very long delay with establishing rules in the U.S. Even so, if it were me I would probably not risk it and in the mean time would stay pro all the way.
     
    #9 Oso, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  10. Recce2

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    Getting a 333 is not the end of the requirements. There is still state licensing, insurance, flight ops manuals that include checklists, maintenance procedures, and record keeping.
    Focus on building up a complete program and operating in the most professional manner that you can.
    Once you step into the professional realm, it is no longer a hobby.
    Forget making money for now and focus on operating professionally so that when you do get all the paperwork lined up, you will be way ahead of where you would be otherwise.
    Once the FAA starts issuing hefty fines to those operating outside the requirements, you will find yourself out in front of the competition.
    You can't go wrong by doing it the right way, and you won't have the fear the FAA.
     
  11. Noodle

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    May be if you have proof those competitors are operating illegally, you can send notice to FAA to investigate them? That may eliminate your competition in the future too :cool:
     
  12. Indrid Cold

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    A lot of people have challenged the legality of the FAA enforcing anything below 400 feet for small drones. Some lawsuits have successfully ruled in the favor, although not all. With litigation on going.

    The FAA is supposed to encourage safety. You can fly the exact same way/path as a hobby, but as soon as you decide to sell some pictures you're out of bounds. What exactly does this have to do with safety?

    What are the odds you will actually get caught and receive a cease and desist letter? How many thousands of small companies are ignoring their ridiculous rules?
     
  13. msinger

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    The odds are extremely low -- unless you cause an accident or are reported to the FAA by a bystander.
     
  14. ParsnipHysorter

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    Not really true. They issue the 333, then as a condition demand a licensed pilot fly it. But they do not demand a pilots license in order to get it.
     
  15. Bryce

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    It's fine to fly without it.
     
  16. kphantom

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    What is an operator license? Are there specific rules for this license like a sport license?
     
  17. Meta4

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    It's something new - it hasn't been worked out yet.
    But it's generally expected to to be pretty simple and replace the ridiculous requirement to have an airplane licence to use a toy drone to photograph.
     
  18. msinger

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    Nobody really knows yet since the FAA is still working on it. I'm thinking it's going to come packed with requirements similar to what the FAA has been including in approved 333 exemptions.
     
  19. kphantom

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    I hope it does fix the requirement to have a pilot license. I would think a compromise might be a course to understand safety rules, or maybe a free online flight simulator like a video game flight. If completed and competent enough to complete this, grant an operator license.
     
  20. iSkyShots

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    Operator License coming soon.
     
    #20 iSkyShots, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015