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Got a call from the FAA today

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stevenas, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Stevenas

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    A few days ago I posted video of the 4th of July fireworks in my community as shot from my P2V+.
    Well today I get a call from my local FAA official warning me of possible federal violations from my posted flights. For example, flying over crowds, flying at night, flying for commercial purposes and flying out of visual line of sight of the aircraft.
    I asked him how he discovered my "possible violations" and I got this reply in an e-mail:
    "Steven,
    As the UAS Focal Point for all of Arkansas I receive links, phone calls, letters, emails, etc daily regarding various UAS/Drone ops in the state. Your video was just one of many."

    Do these people search You Tube or FB for this sort of thing or do you think the actually received a complaint?

    Anyone else have a similar experience?
     
    #1 Stevenas, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  2. N017RW

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    Hold On... Prepare for the 'third degree' to substantiate this.



    In April the FAA lowered the standard sort-of-speak on what they would investigate regarding UAS videos.

    However Bloomberg reported that same month:

    "Any incident with a drone that imperils safety in U.S. airspace or creates a hazard for bystanders on the ground is still almost certain to receive an rapid response from regulators. "
     
  3. Stevenas

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    After reviewing my videos it is a far stretch to come to a conclusion that I presented a hazard to bystanders but, after all, that's my opinion.
    One lesson I have learned.....I won't be posting my Phantom videos to the public anymore.
     
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  4. YiNYaNg

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    Haters will get their karma soon!
     
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  5. Bryce

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    FAA is going to have to hire a lot of people soon.
     
    Stevenas likes this.
  6. Stevenas

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  7. johan

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    This. If the really want to police every little drone action, they're going to need a boatload more people.

    And I suggest we help them along with that. Stevenas, I suggest you search youtube for 'experimental airplane' and then report any video posted which was shot from inside the cockpit of an experimental aircraft. Experimental aircraft are strictly prohibited from engaging in commercial operations. If you posting your clip on youtube is a commercial operation, then so is theirs. And if they want to prosecute every drone pilot who posts a video, then we should make **** sure they also prosecute every single experimental aircraft owner who engages in an illegal commercial operation by posting a video on youtube.

    If they want a fight, we should bring them a fight IMO.
     
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  8. 750r

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    Don't let them scare ya :D
    If you get another call tell them you are recording the conversation & have them state their name and badge number which videos they're referring to :)
     
  9. Stevenas

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    Initially I thought he was calling about the altitude of the Phantom. I told him I felt it wasn't over 400 feet but he didn't seemed concerned and stated that actually you shouldn't go over 500.
    But the ******* called me at work, that surprised me and pissed me off.
     
    Options likes this.
  10. PaganLinuxGeek

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    +1 the experimental aircraft idea.

    It seems likely to me at least that someone saw the footage and reported it out of drone fear that seems to becoming more and more evident...
     
  11. barefootbeachcombing

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    How did he get your phone number?
     
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  12. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Sure this isn't a buddy pulling an elaborate trick on you? o_O
     
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  13. Clipper707

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    - 1 the experimental aircraft idea. Why would you do to other people what you don't want done to you?
     
  14. snerd

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    Using real, personal information on the Internet has never been a very good idea. Anywhere you find me on the web, you'll find Mortimer Snerd. :cool:
     
  15. johan

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    If I were a betting man, I'd say no one complained at all. Given the number of phantoms alone that have been sold in the last year much less other drone brands, it would be like searching for hay in a hay stack to go to youtube and find footage of people who flew their drones in and around fireworks last week. Kind of a no-brainer then for any low level FAA type wanting to make a name for himself to simply spend a few hours with youtube and google and boom, look what I did boss, 25-50 violators tracked down and issued warnings in one afternoon, corner office here I come.
     
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  16. Stevenas

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    My work number is difficult to get that's why I think this was a legit call from the FAA.
    It may have been reported by city officials sponsoring the fireworks show.
    They saw the Phantom at night, reported it to the FAA and after a simple search on YouTube found me.
    But like I mentioned, finding me at work would take some digging.
    That's why I think it was big brother.
     
  17. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Well I hope it all works out Stevenas but I am thinking like TJ as I've had it done to me and have done it to others .
    Not as the FAA but with other stuff !
     
  18. johan

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    Here's why. Because they aren't going to bother tracking down the experimental aircraft pilots and issue any warnings to them. The FAA could give a rat's *** if any experimental aircraft owner posts a video of his or her flight on youtube. They don't consider that a commercial operation.

    But they're trying to use selective interpretation of their own regulations as a way to go after drone pilots and, for lack of a better word, keep them in line so as to make the general public think they're doing something about the scary drones.

    But regs say what they say, so if they're going to decide that any amateur posting a video shot from a drone on youtube is a commercial operation of said drone, then they will be forced to also go after every pilot who ever posted footage shot while flying an experimental aircraft. But only if drone operators are smart enough to hold the FAA's feet to fire on it and flood every FSDO with 100's of complaints about experimental aircraft footage anytime someone in that office decides to go after a drone pilot for doing the same.

    Like I said, they don't give a rats *** about the experimental guys posting on youtube. But if they know that we know they're playing footsie with their interpretation of the regs in order to back us into a corner, they'll be forced to put up or shut up.

    Believe me when I tell you that no one at any FAA regional counsel office wants a bunch of drone operators going to the press and asking why the FAA is going after them for posting on youtube in violation of the regs while they routinely allow pilots of much larger and heavier aircraft to violate the very same regs even though they've received 100's of complaints about said experimental aircraft videos.

    And since they lack the budget, man power and desire to go after every experimental aircraft pilot posting on youtube, they will then be forced to officially decide that if posting on youtube isn't a commercial operation for experimental aircraft pilots, it also isn't a commercial operation for drone pilots.

    I hold a commercial pilot certificate and have made a living with it in the past. I'm also someone who very much wants to build, own and fly an experimental aircraft before I die. I do not want to see the FAA go after any of my own. Especially for a bullshit reg like this. But I know the FAA and I know the regs. They are trying to apply the regs one way for us and another way for everyone else and if we do nothing, they will get away with it. We MUST force their hand on this. If we let them know that we as a community are savvy enough to know when they're trying to pull a fast one, they will stop trying to pull a fast one. And we can only do that if we flood their offices with complaints.
     
  19. Clipper707

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    @johan

    It's not about them (the FAA,) it's about myself. I wouldn't want this done to me so I wouldn't do it to someone else.
     
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  20. tcope

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    According to the FAA, most (all?) are from complaints. They are then required to follow up on these complaints. I can't see them actively looking for possible violations... especially when they are just going to send a warning letter anyway.

    So I say that there is a _good_ possibility that someone reported your video to the FAA. Consider it a badge of honor. Someone liked your video so much that they thought the FAA should watch is as well. You may want to add a note to the video to this affect (piss the person off that reported it).
     
    Stevenas likes this.