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Flying for compensation or hire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by birdheezy, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. birdheezy

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    I've been interested in these copters for a while and when my brother (a film maker) said he wanted to start using them for filming, i bought one to learn on. (pretty good excuse right?) I'm a pilot and familiar with the FAA's view on model aircraft/drones and know they don't allow the use for compensation or hire unless you have a certificate of authorization (COA).

    You must apply for an account (https://ioeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/Welcome.jsp) on that website. You need to email/call the helpdesk and tell them you'd like an account. They'll review some information... not sure what, and then hopefully grant you an account. I'm currently waiting on my account to be created so i can then apply for the COA.

    Has anyone else gone through this process? Any pointers? I called the helpdesk and the guy on the phone said he has seen universities, corporations and individuals both get denied and granted a COA. He said the FAA is looking for what purpose and where you'll be flying. That says to me that if you're not a total idiot, you should be granted a COA. Reference the Title 14 code of federal regulations (part 91 to be exact) and show the FAA you know what you're talking about.

    Like I said, I'm still waiting to get my account created so i can apply for the COA. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on what happens.
     
  2. Catalina36

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    Subscribed. I am interested in how this plays out. From what I have heard, the FAA hasn't issued too many COAs to individuals.
     
  3. birdheezy

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    I'm going to take my time with the application/request for a COA. I plan on being very thorough.

    I'm wondering how the FAA would respond if I didn't have a COA but asked for a special fight permit on a closed set. My goal is to use this for film making and so any location that it would be flow at would be closed off to the public and only authorized personnel would be in the area. Just thought of that right now. Guess we'll see!
     
  4. dollerprod

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    also subscribed.
     
  5. knuckles

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    I'm also watching and interested in what anyone's results are with this..
     
  6. birdheezy

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    I'm really glad people are curious about this and not just saying that the FAA can't catch them and "who cares". If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right!

    Something to watch while we wait...
    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2itwFJCgFQ[/youtube]
     
  7. ProfessorStein

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    Already posted several times. Not sure what it has to do with flying for compensation (if anything it's saying the drones don't need us... compensated or not), but it IS fun to watch.
     
  8. birdheezy

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    I just ran across it so sorry for the repost. Just thought it was cool
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The FAA have had a long time to assess aplications and grant approvals but in all this time they have only given one approval.
    That was for a company working on an oil pipeline in the Alaskan Arctic and brings the FAA total to just one more than zero.
    You'd have to be very optimistic to think they are likely to be handing out more and you'll be the lucky recipient.
     
  10. birdheezy

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    Not quite what I heard but thanks for the heads up!
     
  11. OI Photography

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    birdheezy, I think the issue is that COA's are issued for individual aircraft (yes?), and as of right now Phantoms and other drones don't fall under that legal definition. That's kind of the crux of the whole drone brewhaha with the FAA right now...they say they have laws in place, but it's been ruled that currently no existing laws address these unmanned craft. It's definitely still a very grey area.
     
  12. birdheezy

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    The information I got over the phone from the help desk was that they don't necessarily look at the make and model of the aircraft. He made it sound like the FAA mostly looks at what the drone is used for and where. I'm very very new to this so I'm going off of what I've been told and wouldn't be surprised if I get denied.

    It is most certainly a gray area. Some of the stuff I've read from the FAA makes it sound like you need to apply for an experimental certificate to fly one of these things in the national aerospace system. The closest reason I found to get an experimental cert for a drone would be for "testing purposes". And we're not testing anything... Just wanna get paid! Haha

    I'm going through this formal process as a learning experience if nothing else. I know the FAA doesn't like these things but figured I'd give it a try. We'll see!
     
  13. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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  14. Suwaneeguy

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    Can someone please post or point to the precise law where it says flying a drone for hire is illegal without permission?
     
  15. Catalina36

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    There isn't a law. The FAA prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft systems for business purposes.

    Below is an excerpt from the January 6, 2014 FAA Fact Sheet.

    Model Aircraft
    Recreational use of airspace by model aircraft is covered by FAA Advisory Circular 91-57, which generally limits operations to below 400 feet above ground level and away from airports and air traffic. In 2007, the FAA clarified that AC 91-57 only applies to modelers, and specifically excludes individuals or companies flying model aircraft for business purposes.

    The FAA guidance is available at: http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/medi ... /91-57.pdf

    However, the Texas Privacy Act specifically allows Real Estate Agents to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to photograph properties. (There are some stipulations though)
     
  16. birdheezy

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    FAA notice 8900.268 that i received from the flight district office states:
    So if you're getting paid, it's no longer a hobby and the title 14 code of federal regulations part 91 now applies to you. According to 14 CFR part 91 you must hold a commercial pilots certificate to fly as pilot in command of an aircraft for compensation or hire. The FAA also sees our copters as experimental (if they were to be put in a category) and you can't use an experimental aircraft for compensation or hire unless authorized by the FAA.
     
  17. cubdriver

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    I'm a commercial pilot and instructor, and own my own airplane, and I still would not try to use it for hire (other than instructing, which is OK by the FAA). The FAA is very clear about these things, and very serious. As all of you know, flying drones is easy as pie, as is flying a real airplane (maybe not a real helicopter) it is all of the other stuff you learn about judgement, safety, airspace, etc that are more important than your stick and rudder skills.

    Also, be aware that just like the IRS, the FAA can see right though schemes to make you appear to not being compensated for what you are doing. i.e. "donations", bartering, etc.

    People often say "there are no rules for drones", and of course as pointed out above, there have been for a long time and that is the category we fall under. Because people want to do it for hire, I suspect that there will be some clarification of the regulations, but all of the people I know going to school right now to fly UAV's are getting Commercial pilot licenses in the process.

    sj
     
  18. birdheezy

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    I absolutely agree cubdriver. (i'm a husky guy myself ;) ) But we can still be friends.

    I always tell people "learning to fly is the easiest part of learning to fly, the regulations are the hard part". And i think that applies here. Doing it right and doing it safely is how we can make these things accepted and not feared. I'm very conscious of where other people are when i'm flying because some people really hate these things, and they're allowed to. It only takes one guy doing something annoying or dumb to give us all a bad reputation.
     
  19. Michigan_PI

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  20. Meta4

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    Last time I checked you don't need FAA approval to fly anything at all in Syria.