Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

FAA Losing the Drone War? (Politico article)

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by coloradosky, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. coloradosky

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a pretty good piece. Seems like it describes the situation pretty well! Enthusiasts are not interested in waiting for the FAA to get their ducks in a row, and are moving forward 'into the gray area' en masse!

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/f ... 03800.html


    :cool:
     
  2. Visioneer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky, USA
    Nice article ... mostly "just the facts" without a lot of ranting and raving.

    I understand the FAA wants to "get it right" (at least that's their story), but by the end of 2015 (which they now suggest they aren't going to meet) the cats will not only be out of the bag, but they'll be having great-grandchildren. Even if the FAA had already gone through the full process and could issue enforceable regulations today, there'd probably be some push back. If two years (or more) pass and folks are then told they can't do things they've already been doing in that time, it'll be more than push back. At that point the FAA's only hope (not that it's something to hope for) is that enough "incidents" will have occurred and gotten notoriety so that whatever rules they come up with are seen as necessary.
     
  3. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    910
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I would like to agree with you but when someone loses their house due to not paying a healthy fine, I'm sure the word will get out and most will follow.
     
  4. Visioneer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky, USA
    I totally agree that "most" will follow common sense now ... and they will do so without there having been some incident - but some will not (ever). Regardless of rules, all need to keep in mind that, in most countries, you are still responsible for the consequences of your actions.

    When rules are broken, there can be consequences (e.g., fines) even though no real harm was done. At the point when rules are broken and there is harm done, rules help sort out who is responsible, and to what extent. When there are no rules in the latter case, it can be a crap shoot as to how things turn out in the courts.

    Personally, I believe we'd be better off with reasonable guidance crafted with the input of folks knowledgeable about our hobby before some incident drives knee jerk legislation assembled by folks whose primary concern is getting votes in the next election. We're already seeing that happen in various state and local jurisdictions. Of course the courts will determine if these jurisdictions really have the power to do so (so we needn't go there in this topic), but resolution will take time, lawyers, and money. I'd rather spend my time and money on enjoying the hobby rather than on defending it.
     
  5. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    910
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I agree on not having to pay to defend it.

    Last year in April my cousin's quadcopter was destroyed in a collision with small 4 person aircraft. This happened at 275ft. Luckily his friend was with him taking video of each others flights. When they got home they were able to clearly see the numbers on the plane and after some research were able to contact the owner of the plane. Once the plane owner learned they had video of the crash he asked what amount my cousin had invested in his loss and ended up paying double to forget anything happened. Apparently the was afraid he was going to get in trouble for flying at the height he was at in the location the crash took place.

    I asked my cousin to send me the video last year and he said he couldn't. He said he and the guy agreed for him to not share the video, but told me he would let me see it I just had to come to his house would be his only option. I never did see it cause my cousin passed away a few weeks later.
     
  6. Visioneer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky, USA
    I'm not a (full scale) pilot but from articles I've read elsewhere that pilot would've been subject to major fines (think thousands of dollars) and possible license suspension for flying at that altitude other than on approach or take-off. And paying to make the video go away was probably another offense, perhaps criminal. Of course, your cousin going along might've been problematic for him. Quite a story in any event.
     
  7. dkatz42

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Mexico, USA
    It may well have been legal, depending on location and circumstances. There is no fundamental minimum altitude for full-scale aircraft, contrary to commonly-held belief. On the other hand, if the airplane pilot was concerned, he was probably performing a Stupid Pilot Trick.
     
  8. Erroneous007

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read that article and it was pretty good. This one was somewhat disheartening though. I hope this attitude from the Feds doesn't persist. (although in doing work as a consultant to the Feds they are usually 25 years behind the private sector (except in military technology of course). Falcon is already accepted by the Sheriff's department there, they we re doing the flying for free and they have a FAA Certificate of Airworthiness there and still the Feds (FEMA) shut them down and threatened arrests (even with no alternative to gather the data).

    http://www.falcon-uav.com/falcon-uav-ne ... y-fem.html

    (apparently I haven't figured out how to get the link to come in as a link, so you'll have to cut and paste if interested...)
     
  9. Visioneer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky, USA
    Hmmm ... I've been given to believe only the FAA has jurisdiction in US airspace. FEMA probably had "ground control" but if they could've taken off from outside of the disaster area one has to wonder if FEMA would have had a leg to stand on. Would've been interesting to see FEMA and FAA in a public pissing contest.
     
  10. Visioneer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky, USA
    I'm guessing SPT is standard pilot terminology. I like it!
     
  11. dkatz42

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Mexico, USA
    One of the monthly crash-and-burn aviation publications (hopefully we can learn from the mistakes of others) has this as an annual feature, apologies to Letterman. It usually takes several mistakes to crash an airplane, and it is amazing how many pilots will make them on purpose.
     
  12. Erroneous007

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is my understanding as well. I guess they could have tried to use something like interfering with disaster operations or flying recklessly (like the FAA is trying with Pirker). They probably couldn't make it stand up in court, but they could probably detain you for a while under "arrest" to make it not worth doing. I notice that the guy (Pedro Rivera) in Connecticut is suing the police for harassing him at the car crash scene (they let him go because he wasn't actually breaking any laws). That one will be interesting as well.
     
  13. petersachs

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Branford, CT
    No, they didn't arrest him. But they did complain to his employer for him having done nothing wrong. They claimed he "compromised the integrity of the scene" (from 150' in the air), and that they were "concerned about officer safety" (yet they never have that fear when a full-size JetRanger flies over an incident).

    It's a 4th and 1st Amendment case, and, perhaps most importantly, a request for a declaratory judgment that his operation of a remote-controlled model aircraft is not a violation of any federal, local or state law or regulation.

    Yes, it will be quite interesting. :)
     
  14. Elginet

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Illinois
    FAA has bigger fish to fry. As long as you're not being stupid and fly into controlled airspace, I don't think they can do anything. There are NO Federal Rules and Regs concerning drones and it would be waaaasy to much of a pain in the *** to write em, put put a NPRM and follow it through. No way.
     
  15. hotstink626

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    And I wish we could go on line to get a licence for commercial use but the article is miss informed our laws are the same in Australia as they are in the U.S. I think only Canada has online registration.
     
  16. Erroneous007

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes my undertaking from talking to their COO is that Precision Hawk has been flying commercially in Canada (mostly with farmers) for the past 8 years through the Canadian certification program. You can fly in the US if working for a public entity such as the DOD if they get a Certificate of Authority. (They can apparently self-certify their UAVs)