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Interpretation of Article 166

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by blackd1964, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. blackd1964

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    there have been some really good threads on this, can somebody please clarify one area:

    The CAA states in Article 166 paragraph (4)

    The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7 kg excluding its fuel but including any articles installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly such an aircraft:
    (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained;
    (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or
    (c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) above and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
    (5) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly such an aircraft for the purposes of aerial work except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.


    Does this mean a Phantom (<7kg) can fly up to 400 feet within an ATZ without the permission of ATC?
     
  2. Pull_Up

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    Actually it can fly at any height if it's less than 7kg provided "[t]he person in charge... must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions." That could be 900ft or it could be 300ft depending on the weather and lighting conditions. There is no requirement for any permission to be gained.

    However, Article 138 states "A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property." And for this purpose that includes RC aircraft. So even if you're legal under 166 you might fall foul of 138 by flying in an ATZ above 400ft - or lower if you are close and under the final approach path, for example. I think common sense should prevail on that one.

    (Also don't forget if you strap a camera on your aircraft then you need to take heed of the additional prohibitions in Article 167 - a lot of YouTube videos with Phantom footage in the UK flying over their home towns or cities are probably in breach of this one).
     
  3. blackd1964

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    Thanks,

    That was along the same lines as my interpretation too; I am doing the RPC course next week but somebody wants to link to one of my photos (under common creatives) which was taken at 200 feet within a 2.5 mile ATZ (at 90 degrees to the ILS) and I needed to ensure I wasn't incriminating myself.

    The 150 metre data capture/congested area rule seems to be the strangest, apparently its for safety not privacy reasons , however the same rule doesn't appear to apply if you don't have a camera taking video/film. During the previous CAA consultations somebody suggested this rule should be tapered based upon mass and height - so for a craft <7kg at 400 feet it might still be 150 metres (based upon glide free calcs and poss speed thrown in for good measure) and maybe if you are 100 feet up the distance decreases to say 50 metres. Then you can fly at 6 feet in your back garden and not technically be breaking the rules. This should have been raised again at the latest negotiations with the CAA.

    No doubt it will all become clear next week

    regards

    /DB
     
  4. Pull_Up

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    Yes, if you are using the camera solely for piloting, with no recording going on, it's not classed as an unmanned surveillance aircraft for the purposes of 167 (see CAP722). But then if you are flying solely by reference to FPV you need to follow the rules in the exemption (have a spotter, etc).

    Lots of crossover!