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Flying as Hobbyist after getting Part 107 certificate

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Robert Smith jr, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. Robert Smith jr

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    Hi,

    I am studying to get my Part 107 certificate for commercial operations.

    Will I still be able to fly under Hobbyist rules when not receiving compensation? I would think that the answer would be yes.

    Bob


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  2. Nickster

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    Good question Bob. I would like to know that too since I am like you in this.


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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Absolutely you can. But keep in mind that IF you were to have some type of aerial "incident" that ends up with enforcement/penalties of some kind while flying as a hobbyist (not likely to ever happen) it would potentially impact your "Commercial" endorsement.

    Very much like if you have CDL for driving an 18-wheeler and you get caught for DUI/DWI while in your family sedan you lose your CDL's. One can affect the other but you can fly as a hobbyist even after you've jumped through the hoops for Part 107.
     
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  4. Nickster

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    Great way to put it Allen. Thanks for that. One other thing I am wondering. On our UAS, are we going to have to have both a hobby registration number and commercial? It was fuzzing on the website since it only talks about using it for one or the other, not both.


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  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    No one or the other. If you fly commercially you'll register the AIRCRAFT (each aircraft will get a unique #) but as a hobbyist you the OPERATOR is registered. My commercial aircraft have N# on them while my hobby aircraft have an FAA Operator # (same on all of them). But I sometimes fly my Commercial for fun/hobby.
     
  6. Robert Smith jr

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    Allen,

    Thank you, that really helps clarify things.

    Bob


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  7. Nickster

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    Gotcha, makes sense. That is what I figured.


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  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    One thing to keep in mind is that "commercial" is more than just compensation. In most basic terms if the flight is not 100% just for pleasure then it falls under "Commercial" operations. With the FAA you are either flying as a hobbyist or as a Commercial Operator. There is no "Grey" area. "Intent of Flight" is the determining factor.

    As an example... if you are out flying your UAS for fun you are hobbyist. But let's say someone sees you while you're flying and says, "Hey you have a drone... can you come fly over here and look for this missing person?" The moment you accept and fly to help them you are now flying within a "Commercial" endeavor and no longer hobbyist. At that point you must follow all rules & regulations that are within your Part 107 and any associated "Waivers" you have been granted that are "active".

    I say this to stress that flying outside of the hobby classification does not always mean compensation/$$. When I fly for Search & Rescue we are 100% volunteering ourselves and our equipment but it's still 100% Commercial and as such requires (as of 8/29) Part 107 and the associated WAIVER for SAR work.
     
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  9. 42FrankZ

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    I suspect that the line between hobby and commercial will also move depending on the quality of the attorney after an incident.
     
  10. Robert Smith jr

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    Al, great point(s). My intent is to get the certificate in order to possibly make a few bucks doing photography, inspection, etc.

    Bob


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  11. Enrico Schaefer

    Approved Vendor

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    Absolutely. And you should make it clear when you post videos which ones are recreational, and which ones are commercial. You do not want the FAA or commercial operators in your area to mistake a recreational shoot (which has far fewer restrictions on flight and compliance and commercial flights which need to comply with Part 107 or potentially Section 333 if you received that exemption and ELECT to fly under it as opposed to part 107. Here are some tips we provide our clients to reduce risk:

    1. Label the video, or the video description, as recreational if it is not commercial.
    2. Do not mix apples and oranges. Post recreational videos on personal youtube/vimeo, etc accounts rather than under your commercial or business account. While your 'intent' at the time of the flight is the test, intent is subjective and thus subject to attack.
    3. From the FAA's point of view, it it quacks like a duck, it is likely a duck. If you video appears commercial, they will assume it is commercial.
    4. Remember that commercial means more than charging money. If there is any commercial benefit or purpose the FAA will argue it is commercial.
    5. Remember that recreational drone use still require FAA registration of you as the pilot, and placing your pilot registration number on the UAV. Learn more here How do I register my drone with the FAA? Let a drone lawyer show you how. - Hire a Drone Law Attorney - Fly Under FAA Part 107
    Scroll down for the training video. Its easy to register ..
    Here is the video link

    The videos themselves rarely reveal the pilot's intent (recreational or commercial). You would rather not receive a notice letter from the FAA. An ounce of prevention ....
     
  12. terry_g_c

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    Correct me if I'm wrong here. As everyone knows there are hundreds of "drone" videos on Youtube.
    If your Youtube channel " or website or whatever" is making money then any drone video you post is considered by the FAA to be "commercial".
    Even if you did it just for fun, As soon as you post it to the channel you're making money on it becomes a commercial video.
    So be careful what you post.
     
  13. Enrico Schaefer

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    There was a suggestion of this at one point by the FAA. However, the argument would not hold up well since your intent at he moment of flight is all that counts. And the FAA seems to have changed its policy. Here is an article. Drone Home Videos No Longer Provoke FAA Wrath
     
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  14. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    To add some substance to my post up there about "yes you can":

    This is directly from our sUAS Rep from the FAA:
    So basically if you take off flying recreationally you fly the entire flight that way. You can't "change your objective" while in flight because your rules, regulations, and possible notifications have changed.

    Our sUAS Rep is having a Webinar next week and this is one of the topics he is going to discuss if anyone is interested.
    Commercial UAS Operations under Part 107
     
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