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Flying within 5 miles of an airport

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Discoverydave, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Discoverydave

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    I am in Tucson AZ and with in 5 miles of the Tucson International airport. Yesterday I called the control tower to notify them of my intention to fly, as per the FAA rules.
    I talked to a wonderful and helpful lady,who said I was the first caller. She had to grab a book to find the procedure! Here are the questions:
    1. Are you a modeler or commercial drone
    2. Are you registered and what is your number
    3. Where are you located (street address works)
    4. phone #
    I also informed her I would be flying at 100 feet or less, for 1 hour or less and would be VLOS the whole time.
    She brought it up on a map and said can not approve or disapprove your flight but we have noted your intention to fly.
    That is all there was to it. She did not sound thrilled that she may be having to field these calls, so I have a feeling they are going to automate the process at some point.
     
  2. MapMaker53

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    Well, I emailed my local airport inquiring what the proper tower phone number would be for informing them of an intended drone flight in the area. The location where I occasionally practice is about 2.5 miles out from the airport and I generally keep it under 200 ft while practicing. The airport manager wrote back with the phone number and informed me that they request 72 hr. notification and drone flight approvals are limited to only Monday thru Friday. I'm guessing each airport might have their own policy regarding how they apply the new rules to their airport. I've only seen the rule that you need to "notify" the airport of your intended flight. Seems like quite a bit of grey area remains with the new FAA requirements for hobbyists.
     
    Rotofan likes this.
  3. Mark The Droner

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    It seems to me the FAA has recently sent something to the towers regarding drones because these responses we've been hearing about lately are quite different than the responses we were getting from the towers just a few weeks ago.
     
  4. PJ Orlando

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    That's awesome news for me...I live in Tucson as well. My daughter who ive been teaching to fly lives just on the edge of the nofly zone of TIA. Thx for the info.
     
  5. Dan Fullenwider

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    Oahu has many airports, heliports, Restricted Areas, Special Use Areas, paradrop zones, tour helicopters, etc. all over it which makes flying a drone somewhat of a challenge. I live on the top of Makakilo, Hawaii at 1,000' MSL. I am just about 4 miles from Kalaeloa (formerly NAS Barbers Point) airport. I drove down to the airport and spoke with the local controller in the tower and asked if it were OK for me to fly from the Makakilo Community Park which is 2 blocks from my house. They said "no problem."

    For newcomers I recommend the following: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is offering a FREE course on "Unmanned Aerospace Systems" that is tailored to new drone users. I completed the course on line in just a few short hours and found it interesting and informative. A few good resources I learned about from this course are SkyVector which provides aeronautical maps and info on all airports in the US and B4UFLY.
     
  6. Sinisalo

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    I am thinking about buying a used handheld radio that can communicate with the airport towers directly.
     
  7. N017RW

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    Oh no.

    You can't do that (in the U.S.).
     
    Jeff48920 likes this.
  8. Sinisalo

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    Why not? Just curious. I have heard of other that do that and it makes sense to me, we are after all considered to be flying an "aircraft" by the FAA
     
  9. N017RW

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    It's astonishing how people take everything to the extremes.

    It's been discussed here before.
     
  10. Sinisalo

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    This is taken directly from the FAA document "Law Enforcement Guidance For Suspected Unauthorized UAS Operations"
    (1) The aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;
    (2) The aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;
    (3) The aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization; (4) The aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
    (5) When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).

    So if you look at number 5, why would we phone the air traffic control tower when we can radio them? It seems like if the "mutually agreed upon procedure" is to radio, that would be the fastest and best way to contact them.
     
  11. Sinisalo

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    Can you link to the thread? I cannot seem to find it by searching.
     
  12. N017RW

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    Nope.

    Located within a thread just like this time.

    If you do research beyond this site you'll find out you are not licensed or authorized to communicate with the tower on ATC channels/frequencies, period. EOD.
     
    stoneyb245 likes this.
  13. dixter

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    you can use a radio... some small airports don't have anyone manning them... you use the radio to alert other pilots in the area that you are flying... but.... if you don't know the lingo for using the radio your not going to be effective in that approach...
    I bet some of you guys stop at stop signs on private property too... ;-)
     
  14. N017RW

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    Your full of cow waste.

    You may listen all you want but transmitting is a no-no.

    Please link to your supporting facts.
     
  15. Sinisalo

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    I would love it if everyone would link their supporting facts as I have, I am just trying to educate myself on the topic not pick a fight with anyone.
     
    stoneyb245 likes this.
  16. Sinisalo

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    from what I have been able to find so far, tower can talk over you to other pilots and I haven't found a shred of evidence saying you need to be licensed to operate a radio and transmit on air traffic control frequencies for the purpose of communicating with the air traffic control tower using an approved radio that was built for that purpose.
     
  17. generaltso

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    Does this mean that if you regularly fly from your house that's within 5 miles of an airport, you can agree on an operating procedure with ATC and then you wouldn't have to call them every time you fly? Or does this just mean that you can agree on a specific method for notifying them each time you fly?
     
  18. Sinisalo

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    I think that really depends on their discretion. If it is a small airport and you are not in the flight path they may tell you an altitude limit to stay below or they might want you to contact them every time you fly but at least you would know the exact procedure and not get bounced around between people that had no clue.
     
  19. normr

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    If you are using iOS devices, look for a free app in the App Store called Hover, it's an iPhone app so if you look on the iPad for it, make sure you set the type of app (iPhone) at the top of the screen, the app is great, gives you all types of info and a map that shows your location and all the restricted areas and if you press the circle of the airport, it will show you the phone number.
     
    #19 normr, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  20. kphantom

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    We should all call or fax them. When they are bogged down either the rule will change or it will be automated.