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Hobby flier take footage of a charity race ??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dixie3bass, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. dixie3bass

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    Could I take arial footage at a benefit 5k as long as I didn't accept any payment?

    Eventually like to get the 107 so I could possibly make a little money but thought It might be good for portfolio and experience...


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  2. qrandle

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    My opinion is You can shoot anything as a hobby pretty much. Your hobby is making video.

    If you are somehow involved with the organization and are doing it to farther their aims then that might be a n issue.

    Hobby doesn't mean it has to be inanimate objects you are shooting.
     
  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    It's 100% about the "intent" of the flight.

    If you just want to capture images/video from the air (and you do so safely) no harm so long as you don't do anything to interfere with the event.

    But. . . If your intent is to take the footage/pics to give to them to use to promote the event (and really why else would you give it to them) them your "intent" is to provide for a commercial purpose.

    That's my personal opinion and NOT legal advice what so ever.
     
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  4. dixie3bass

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    No interference but it would be the intent to let them use. I was asked by a friend to do it. Basically just have a highlight video with a different angle.
    I see where it could be commercial even if I was not compensated any.


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  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    If you shot it for yourself and later "gave" it to them that would be one thing but that's rarely the case. Even though the odds are in your favor you don't want to risk any "negative attention" brought your way if you're wanting to pursue the Part 107 in a few weeks.
     
  6. theTastyCat

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    Hmm...don't see how it would be commercial if you don't get paid. Seems that a hobby flier has the freedom to photo/video whatever they want (of course within the obvious limits) and share it whoever they want to.
     
  7. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Keep in mind that commercial doesn't simply mean you get paid. This topic has long been debated and regardless of how we feel about it on a forum it's black & white. The FAA it very clear that you are either a hobby/recreational flyer or your a commercial operation. It's obvious that hobby/recreational would not be taking video/images for a company. You fit into one area or another and in this instance the "intent" has nothing to do with hobby/recreational flight what so ever.

    And trust me when I say all the "loop holes" have been long since closed (paying for editing but not flying etc).
     
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  8. theTastyCat

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    OP, I wouldn't have any qualms at all about doing this. I don't believe the FAA would seriously go after someone who filmed a charity race and shared the footage...it's clear that there are several things that only Part 107 droners can do, but I don't buy that this is one of them.
     
  9. RussOnTheRoad

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    I don't pretend to have any information or knowledge about that which the FAA considers commercial use and others would know better than I. That said, "commercial use" may have very broad meanings. For example, were you to donate the footage which is later used to promote the event, even though you make no profit the footage may be seen as being used in a commercial manner and therefore that you created it for commercial use. Being a cautious type myself, I would want to have some certainty before shooting footage of the event and then donating it to the event sponsors.


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  10. brothers

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    Dunno how parallel the situations are, but another three-letter federal agency, the FCC, has for many decades been death on any sniff of commercial operations on the ham bands. However, hams traditionally support things like charity races, other fundraising events, and the Boston Marathon (my wife and I were supervising Marathon net control when the bombs went off, and hams on the course played a significant role in dealing with the aftermath). The FCC is fine with that, even encouraging it - they allow us to select distinctive call signs for such operations. Perhaps someday the FAA will be as enlightened.
     
  11. Banderboy

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    With any given video on line, I really don't see how the FAA can prove who took it.
     
  12. Sagebrush

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  13. theTastyCat

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    Well, I've done a lot of reading today, and it does appear the FAA would consider this "commercial" flight, which frankly I find ridiculous. But how low a score I would rate this on the freedom index doesn't really have any bearing. My apologies to those here who obviously did the research and actually know what they're talking about.

    So, might I recommend what I've also decided to do: just get the stupid 107. It used to be ridiculous (get a private pilot's license and then some) but the 107 is essentially just a written exam that you've got to study for and pass. Cost is around $150. I think I'm going to just do it so that I can shoot video for my church or for friends with businesses. I bought this drone to be able to use it, and as out of line as it seems to me for things like a charity race to be considered "commercial use", the hoop is now sufficiently low that jumping through it to be able to do what I wanted to originally doesn't seem out of the question. In fact, from what I've seen, a lot of what's on the test is stuff that would actually be helpful for drone pilots to know - unlike much of the stuff I learned in ground school for private pilot.
     
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  14. Hojo70

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    I'm no lawyer, I'll state that up front (but I did stay at a Holiday Express once). My take on this is that the FAA commercial fine is probably the least of your worries. After all 5k's are full of lots of people, the exact thing you are strictly forbidden to fly above and around by FAA. Not to say that it can't be done safely from a distance, but be careful. There are personal injury lawyers out there that specialize in drone injuries and trained to fetch top dollar.

    A plaintiff just needs to prove that you've acted negligently by failing to act with "reasonable care" (aka: flying over a crowd) and proving that your negligence actually caused the accident, and lastly that the injuries were caused as a result. They can recover for both economic and non-economic losses, including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost work time, legal expenses, incidental expenses and punitive damages. You can also be liable for criminal negligence if the incident is serious enough. We're talking jail time and massive amounts of money.

    Drones and people don't mix.
     
  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    What the OP is asking about is clearly not commercial.
    It's puzzling how far some will stretch to say that something is commercial.
    They obviously take this more seriously than The FAA does.
    And for all the fuss, and all the people doing actual real commercial use without a 333 the FAA still hasn't charged anyone for selling photos without an exemption.