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Had my first sUAS "Ramp Check" today . . . sort of

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by BigAl07, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Let me preface by saying I've been flying R/C aircraft for 4 decades now. I've been a manned aircraft pilot for almost 2 decades and I hold every license/certification available for sUAS/Drones in the US and North Carolina to do this commercially including Section 333 and Part 107. I've had a sUAS company for a few years now doing Aerial Imaging for builders, architects, Realtors, and even flown for The Travel Channel shooting for Andrew Zimmern earlier this year.

    I got a phone call today from an area code that I recognized from my state (NC) but not local. It was from much East of here but I had just gotten off the phone with the American Red Cross and it was from the same area code so I assumed it was them again. I answered and on the other end was a gentleman stating he was from the FAA and their had been a complaint recorded that I was flying sUAS commercially without the correct credentials to do so.

    I explained to him that I did have the credentials (and more), my sUAS was registered with an N# and $1M in insurance (which has nothing to do with the FAA LOL). I also told him I found it curious that someone had turned me in for NOT having credentials. He told me that once there is a complaint filed they are required to follow up and determine what additional actions need to be taken. He couldn't/wouldn't tell me any more than that. He asked for me to confirm my full name and when I did he then read me back my mailing address and asked if he had the correct "Pilot's License #" which he read off to me (I didn't give him that). He said that my Section 333 was still valid and my Part 107 was pending (which it is LOL). He then stated that apparently the person reporting my actions was incorrect and he thanked me for my time and cooperation and said this was a closed case.

    It was a very nice conversation and he was easy going and very kind on the phone.

    I hung up the phone and immediately contacted my FAA sUAS friend to merely ask if this was "standard" and if it sounded legit. He said it sounds text book perfect and also thought it was comical that someone reported me for not having the correct credentials. He said if they had not been satisfied with my answers they would have asked for a face to face meeting for "educational" purposes and that I would also get a registered/certified letter in the mail from the FAA with "educational" materials in it. He said since the guy said it was a closed case I would most likely not hear any more from them unless there is another complaint.

    So there you have it. Someone reported me to the FAA and told them I didn't have the correct credentials for Commercial sUAS work. Most likely it's someone new to the area and/or starting up a new business and wanting to "root out" local competition.

    So if you're in Western NC and trying to cut into my business you're going to have to dig a LOT deeper than that and you'd better bring your A-game and pack a lunch.
     
    Rasit, kennedye, turbulence and 2 others like this.
  2. Sagebrush

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    Definitely a cheap shot but it's good to know they'll follow up on these so-called tips and they are interested in guys that are flying commercially that aren't certificated.

    I'm wondering how he got your phone number. You figure that out?

    SB
     
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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Our company name/logo is on all of our pictures and brochures. So it's pretty easy to find our business name and phone #. We are fortunate to be in the news paper almost every week and in the local travel and Real Estate magazines every issue in full color.
     
  4. GMack

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    I worked in a camera store and it was well known that pros did not like other pros. Local competition. They often ratted others out for sundry things like zoning, or working out of their residence rather than in a commercial or business zoned area of town, etc. It was pretty ugly at times and got to the point anyone not working in a commercial zone with a storefront soon were once they were targeted by another pro. Newbies were afraid to post their addresses on their business cards if they were doing the home residence thing.
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  5. beamerbuilder1

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    There's always "haters" out there trying to bring down your accomplishments! The FAA should "fine" people like that for filing false reports! Smh


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I agree with that.

    But when I talked with my FAA sUAS guy he said that it's likely the complaint was submitted "Anonymously". Most people don't have the balls to submit their contact information to lodge a complaint.

    Oh well live and learn :)
     
    beamerbuilder1 likes this.
  7. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Hey BA, Was this the guy :eek: My personal rant . . .
     
  8. Dacon Productions

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    You talked too much. As I remember is "innocent till proven guilty", you FAA charge and bring evidences to me and AFTER that I will show you proof of credentials.
    Who, when, where filled a complain against me? As the law states, I have the right to face my accuser and no charges can/will be made verbatim.
    P.S. there is standing complaint against you for stealing a chicken.
     
  9. Dacon Productions

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    ...................................
    Smells like BS. To get the phone number FAA had to look in the application, which in turn proves the credentials are OK , which in turn negated the need to call to check for credentials...unless somebody that knows you called them. Time to return the favor...(find out who and call for stolen car...)
     
  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    It's very possible they saw my "Rant" on here and think I complained to the FAA about them (but I didn't). Silly really but then again this is the world we now live in I guess. Live and learn :)

    We are required to provide proof of credentials when requested by any LE which is part of your "Agreement" with the FAA upon getting a Pilot's License. It's not uncommon to get a Ramp Check at any time when flying full sized aircraft and we must show our credentials upon request.

    Keep in mind that had I not given him my name for verification I would have had more interaction with them only face to face which would take me away from work and cost me actual $$$ due to lost work. This way the whole process was nipped in the bud clean and efficient.

    It could have been anonymous because when you do it through the web portal you are not required to identify yourself to lodge a complaint and it's been this way for years.

    That chicken was mine to begin with and she's free to go anytime she wants to LOL

    No my company name and logo are on all of our production works and as mentioned above we are very "Visible" in our area through the newspaper and local Realty magazines. We are in this to make it easy for clients to get our phone # so they don't have to look hard to find us. All someone would have to do is send in a link to one of my pics with a logo or one of our print ads which also has our phone # clearly on them.

    We go out of our way to make it easy to contact us because truth of the matter is we have nothing to hide. We are very open and public about our work (on purpose) and it's simple to get the phone number locally. Plus the person who lodged the complaint could have given the phone # as well. That's only a wild guess though.

    Either way it's a done deal and I only posted this here to let others know this can and DOES happen and how I handled it. Maybe someone will get some incite from it and it will help them on down the road.
     
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  11. 42FrankZ

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    If you love something set it free.... :D
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  12. Buk

    Buk

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    "Most likely it's someone new to the area and/or starting up a new business and wanting to "root out" local competition."

    Sometimes it's the well established company that insures their own success and position by bad mouthing or attempting to get their competition in trouble.
     
  13. Sagebrush

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    Can't two people have a conversation and get things settled the easy way? BigA107 handled this thing in a professional professional manner.

    When you get pulled over by a cop and he asks for your driver's license are you really going to wait until trial? Really?

    SB
     
    BigAl07 likes this.