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Does FAR 119.1 Provide Relief To Commercial Pilots Operating Drones?

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by SweatpantsDroner, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. SweatpantsDroner

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    I was asked a question by a colleague of mine. We were discussing the topics of a 333 Exemption and a Commercial Pilot's Privileges and Limitations. FAR 119.1 specifically says that a Commercial Pilot can operate an aircraft for hire as long as "common carriage" is not involved, and of those privileges "aerial photography" is listed. Does this allow a Commercial Pilot to operate a UAV/UAS/Drone without having to apply for 333 Exemption? Thanks for your help resolving this topic.
     
  2. Gary M

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    Unfortunately, no. Flying drones commercially must have 333. BUT... Even with 333, the drone operator must be a licensed pilot, so your commercial pilots license does cover you for that. Another BUT...under current rules, even though you are a licensed pilot, you still will need an "observer" with you to hold your hand while you fly. Since you're a pilot, I have to ask,,, has the FAA always been this ignorant or did they somehow catch the stupid but when drones came about?
     
  3. SweatpantsDroner

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    Thanks for the response. I just found out that what you have stated is correct. I emailed the FAA last night and they did confirm this. Unfortunately, yes the FAA is very scrutinizing towards anyone operating and aircraft. The FAA, I feel, is protecting the safety of the public, and also ensuring that people KNOW and UNDERSTAND aviation regulations before you just go and fly an amazing piece of technology, that has great capabilities. I side with the FAA in this ever since I almost sucked a Phantom 3 into my left engine at 500', risking my life and everyone on board my 737. As a professional pilot I see violators of these "UAV" rules all the time. These are the acts of wreckless people, and unfortunately the chain breaks with the weakest link. If you require an education for an activity, the activity is taken in a much greater regard. Just think how much safer this operation would be every drone operator knew airspace requirements, could talk in the appropriate phraseology to ATC when operating in controlled airspace, and truly knew right of way rules. Then test on it, and viola! Now you have a certified drone pilot, who shows their certificate to a licensed retailer. I know that is complete and utter nonsense utopia, but just imagine how much greater public safety would be. Welcome to our world!

    FAA- Friends Against Aviation
     
    #3 SweatpantsDroner, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  4. Gary M

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    What you say does make sense, until it gets to the part that hobbyists, even kids, flying the same drones doing the same exact thing aren't bound by these regulations. Requiring drone operators to take some kind of course so they know what the hell they're doing?? Makes sense. Requiring a pilots license to fly a 2-55 pound quadcopter is absolute lunacy.
     
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  5. SweatpantsDroner

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    ...Or until an airliner hits a hobbyist drone.
     
  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I honestly feel like anyone operating a modern GPS guided, gyro stabilized aircraft needs to pass a knowledge and operational test regardless of their intentions of the flight.
     
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  7. Gary M

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    Yes, but isn't requiring a pilots license extreme? But keep in mind, under the new rules they have proposed that will no longer be required.
     
  8. SweatpantsDroner

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    I don't think we're saying an actual certificate, just some additional training.
     
  9. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Honestly, no. If you go back and read the regulations and do some research the "Pilot Certification" is mandated by Congress. Until the FAA creates a new "UAS Operator Certification" then the min rating should be Sport Pilot.

    The reason I say this is because so many Many MANY times we hear people saying, "I was just flying my drone and didn't realize I was so close to an airport".

    Or "I don't understand why a crop duster was flying in my area at what appeared to be 100' above the ground".

    Or "I don't understand why the medical helicopter can fly so low in my area...."

    There are so many things that we need to know in order to "operate" within the National Airspace System safely and until something new comes along (which it possibly it with Part 107) we should be required to take the needed steps to learn, understand, and prove our proficiency in operating within the NAS.

    One thing that has long struck me funny is how when we are talking amongst ourselves or showing our aircraft off to others we want to be taken seriously as serious aviators. On the flip side when it comes to rules & regulations we are the first to shout "These are just toys and should be exempt from regulations". We can't have it both ways. Like it or not these aircraft can fly autonomously, at insane heights, and self stabilize without pilot/operator input and because of this anyone flying one should be required to take the training, testing and proficiency rating needed for operating in NAS.
     
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  10. captainmilehigh

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    As a corporate pilot I understand the need for some regulations and rules governing drones in our crowded airspace. But even a Sport Pilot rating goes way beyond the scope of drone operations in the airspace we all share. Sure, I agree training is key, rules and regulations must be established to keep us all safe. But, going to extremes concerning drone flying licensing will only force many to ignore regulations, disregard the rules of common sense, and put us all at risk. Sure, the FAA can be difficult sometimes. But let's not overthink this issue. The outcome may create more problems than it solves. BLUE SKIES and CALM WINDS to ALL.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  11. Gary M

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    OK, again, I'm not completely disputing that we drone operators may need some training to operate in the NAS. But why don't these requirements apply to the 14 year old " hobbyist" who got a Phantom 3 for Christmas? And there are thousands of fixed wing RC pilots who haven't had these tight restrictions placed on them. And I'm not a pilot but no stranger to the aviation world. I know enough to know that having a pilots license to operate a quadcopter is extreme. With the exception of knowing how you should operate in the NAS, there is NOTHING similar whatsoever to piloting a drone vs a real plane. Everyone keeps talking about how the FAA "has been so taken surprise by the sudden rise of UAV's." Another huge falsehood. I have been reading for months about how the FAA was instructed by Congress in 2008 to find a safe way to integrate UAV's into the NAS. We're going on a decade since that order, and we're still waiting. Billions in potential dollars are on the back burner waiting for typical Washington bureaucrats to get off their rear ends and do something. They came out with the new NPRM on this in January 2015. Had a comment period that ended almost exactly a year ago. Annnnnnd...... We're still waiting. I'm not trying to belittle anyone's opinion or tell them how to think. I just think that more people should quit believing that everything an obviously inept government agency does is in their best interests. This has been an obvious FUBAR.