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Interesting topic, Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Acill, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Acill

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  2. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    More baseless noise from the FAA. I think they push such stories to keep the pilots fearful until they get actual laws with penalties in place.
     
  3. HarryT

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    Seems pretty flipping obvious that if you're taking pictures of a property in order to sell it, it's commercial use, not a hobby.
     
  4. N017RW

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    I'll go only as far as Realtor use is non-hobby use regardless of payment 'laundering' schemes.
     
  5. ProfessorStein

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    I'm not sure that's the point. At least in my head. Yes, it's obvious that it's commercial use. What's less obvious (or, rather, completely without basis) is why commercial vs. non-commercial is even the differentiating line.

    As someone said on another thread... if I go out, as a home-owner, and take a photo of my house with my Phantom, just to have, that's non-commercial and legal. But if I, as a realtor, take a photo from that exact same spot in order to add to a listing or flyer, that's commercial and illegal. At that point, we're not talking about safety (presumably it didn't somehow suddenly become less safe to take the photo just because I'm now using it to market the property for sale, as it was when I was taking it just for my own photo gallery). And... what happens if I later decide to sell my home, and use one of the drone photos that I took long before I even had any intention of selling my house in an ad or flyer... does that suddenly make it commercial and illegal?? It's the same photo?!?

    The whole dividing line between commercial and non-commercial just doesn't make any sense.
     
  6. HarryT

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    There's all sorts of examples of situations where doing something for a hobby is legal, but doing the same things commercially isn't. Eg in some parts of the world it's illegal to charge someone for sexual services, but absolutely fine to do those same things as a hobby :).
     
  7. ProfessorStein

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    Lol! Point taken.
     
  8. HarryT

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    On a more serious note, I think the point is that if you're doing something commercially, it's very common for there to be training or licensing requirements above and beyond what would be required from a hobbyist.
     
  9. OI Photography

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    To you and me maybe, but I think the FAA's intention with that was to address the many statements of "I'm not selling the picutres, I'm just ___________, which makes it noncommercial use"

    The current absence of laws notwithstanding of course.
     
  10. Acill

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    Some good points. I have started doing this actually for a couple friends that sell property. I dont charge them a set fee and I dont edit any of the video. I give them the raw footage back on the SD card they gave me to use.

    As far as I see it, I get more practice on steady flights and make my personal shots all that much better.

    Also, here is the kind of response peole get from the FAA http://api.ning.com/files/mhrng7eeJ...A-IzoJ8e1r/20135943McKayResponsiveRecords.pdf
     
  11. ProfessorStein

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    Which makes sense in the purview of other FAA regulations. If you're flying a commercial plane, it is likely that you're transporting passengers or other valuable property... or flying in an inherently more dangerous situation (like crop dusting, etc). They want to make sure you are trained to perform under those circumstances, and have the liability to do so.

    It makes less sense in this situation, where a realtor taking photos is no more or less dangerous than an average hobbyist using the same equipment to take those same pictures. And that is why the FAA says they're trying to implement these rules. To "ensure the public safety". Very disingenuous.

    EDIT: removed the part about no path to licensing. Seems the FAA now has a path to certifying a UAS operation for commercial purposes. Whether they'll ever do so is another question.
     
  12. HarryT

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    Are there no rules in the US dictating how close to people or property you're allowed to fly? In the UK, for example, flying within 50 metres of buildings is illegal. If you're taking pictures or video commercially, perhaps there would be need to fly closer, for which some form of certification would be required to ensure that the operator has received adequate safety training? Just a thought.
     
  13. CaptMike

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    I'd considered shooting Real Estate for FREE. We (HVAC Bus) do work for numerous Real Estate Companies in NMB, SC. I've spent some time digging in the News and people still don't know. Some are saying "Yes, It's Legal" then you read where FAA says they have Contacted some companies. At this point, I almost think it's too wide spread to start going after everyone.

    As usual... Tax and Control.

    "We're Here From The Government To Help You". NOT.
     
  14. Acill

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    I have done it for free a couple times now. I had a real estate agent come up to me when I first started messing with my F550 and asked if I was interested in filming some shots. I did it for the thrill and the practice. All I have ever asked for is a tip, lunch whatever. I had a couple buy me lipo packs after telling them I couldnt do more that 6-7 minutes. I now have 4 6600 4S packs and can do 15 minutes a pop.
     
  15. 750r

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    Spot on ! :twisted:
     
  16. ProfessorStein

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    Not yet, no. That's probably coming.

    And, you're right, then we could be talking about a differentiation that would make sense. "You can't fly within 150ft of people or buildings as a hobbyist... if you need to fly closer, then you need to get a commercial UAV pilots license with such-and-such training and licensing". That would far more meaningful than "nope, you were paid for those pictures, so you are in violation".
     
  17. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Another aspect is that while a hobbyist flying irresponsibly or going for altitude records may be an aviation safety issue, real estate photography is at the other end of the spectrum. The quad is not going to have any interaction with other air traffic flying at the heights real estate photographers do. Most shots would be taken at 100 feet or less. How is that an aviation safety issue? Why is that something the Federal Aviation Administration feels they need to be involved in?
     
  18. Acill

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    They dont need to be, thats just it. Its got to be all about the money. I also would like to see a training path to get a certified license if I had to, but for now you cant even do that.

    On a side note, the real estate agents office just told them all yesterday they are no longer allowed to use me for these shots while they wait for a decision from the FAA on this, how sad. I was doing it for free too just because its a lot of fun.
     
  19. dragonash

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    It makes perfect sense if you think about it in a certain way.

    ......

    The FAA want's a cut of the profit.
    The end result seems all too obvious.
     
  20. Timtro

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    Regardless of who takes the aerial picture/video or how it gets connected to the real estate property in question, unless the house is being given away for free, the picture/video is being used for a "commercial" purpose as the end result. The picture isn't the point; the end use purpose is.

    Those who push the envelope enough to come to the attention of the FAA may find themselves at a disadvantage when the long-awaited rule making and licensing finally get here. Better to build your demo album, log your flight time, study for an FAA pilot test, and look for a reasonable insurance policy. If you think you are covered, check the small print again for the "commercial use" exemptions.