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Just contacted the local tower

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jonesg11, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. jonesg11

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    Just spoke to the local tower about a flight near the airport. The guy I spoke with was extremely friendly and said as long as they know the day and time that's all that is needed. He told me that they cannot enforce or tell us where and when to fly as long as we give notification.

    We went on to talk about different "internet arguments" and it really appears to me that at least this local tower is very reasonable and most drone pilots have been respectful of their job as well.

    Great experience and I'm sure this can continue if we all do our part to be mindful of shared airspace.
     
  2. kevinm

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    Really happy to hear you had a positive experience! I think if you respect ATC personnel, more often than not (there are of course bad apples) they are willing to help you out as best they can.
     
  3. Imabiggles

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    Its nice to know that the system works as designed and at least some folks at airports are reasonable and informed. I have a municipal airport by me with no tower, the operator (one guy) tells me that he forbids my flights (4.7 miles away - **** you 0.3 miles!) and that he has the authority to do so from the FAA. I engaged him a the first couple of times with reason and cited the FAA reg, gave him copies of the FAA guidance to airport operators, and other stuff in hopes to educate him. No luck, but I meet my obligation to inform so screw it and him. The "reason" he "forbids" my flights is that (paraphrasing) 'we have too many flight schools and student fliers in the area'. I respectfully suggested that if there are too many student fliers to properly train and communicate the necessities to (like dont fly under 400' in populated areas, dont fly in formation over densely populated areas at AGL <1000') - perhaps the issue is too many flight schools and student pilots. He was having none of that. Oh well, I do hope they never change the regs to require permission instead of just a duty to inform.
     
  4. Robert Smith jr

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    Hi, I have contacted between 10-15 airports (mostly heliports) in my area to give notification of my flights. All of them have been very pleasant and easy to work with. They are grateful that they were called and notified.

    Rob
     
    BigAl07 and captainmilehigh like this.
  5. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    They can deny you if there is a good reason, like a NOTAM, but it sounds like he just doesn't like drones. You could call the FAA and ask them for assistance.
     
  6. Imabiggles

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    Yeah I thought about that, however since I dont need the dudes approval (and I dont think he can deny me for cause either, he can inform me that the FAA is denying everything, like a NOTAM notice, but I dont think he has the authority to regulate the NAS around 'his' airport - I would like the reference to that if that is what you are saying), I dont want to go through the FAA and deal with that mess either. When it first happened, I called the FAA guy at one of the larger county airports around here and he did confirm what I thought - duty to inform, not duty to get permission. That was good enough for me. Im not going to knock an airplane out, I dont fly beyond LOS, and Ill shut down the bird with CTC command before I would ever come close to endangering a manned craft. So I think Im good.
     
  7. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    I hear ya but the tower can stop you or another AC if there is a safety reason for it like a NOTAM for the area. So it wouldn't be just you and your drone but other AC traffic too. By what you said this is not the case. Seems like he just doesn't want to deal with it. If other AC are good to fly near the student flyers than you should be able to also.
     
  8. Imabiggles

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    NOT a tower, the airport operator that is not even located at the airport. This airport doesnt have any ATC or tower. Yeah, I get a tower can do that under the authority of ATC and FAA. But a dude behind a desk miles away sipping coffee can not. Thats my point.
     
  9. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Ahhh, yeah, pencil pushing, paper shuffler. Not really qualified is he. :D
     
  10. jonesg11

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    It was very interesting to me that the flight I was asking about was within 1.5 miles and directly in line with the runway. I told him that I personally thought that may be unsafe and I would be flying just above the treetops because of that. His response was as long as I was below 400' there was no issue and they would just put it on the system so incoming pilots would be aware.... still nervous about that and will call back in a few days to get another opinion before I fly.
     
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  11. Wolfiesden

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    Exactly. They have enough on their plates as it is. Good rule of thumb: Don't poke the bear. Especially if there is no door on the cage.

    If you make their life hard, trust me, they carry a much bigger stick and they can whomp you with it right over the phone to the regional office.

    The more positive contacts they have with reasonable drone owners, the less likely they are to pee in our soup.

    I have been in contact with 2 towers. Both very reasonable. On one occasion they informed me that clearance had been scheduled for regular flights by a local news chopper for traffic video for the news and gave me the times. I agreed to avoid those times (its only in the area for about 15-20min so no skin off my behind to wait for that short time) and it all went well after that. Come to think of it, I don't actually recall the second tower even asking me my name nor any detail info other than the location where I would be flying to make sure he was clear as to the area I was describing. I gave him range and bearing and a major landmark there and he basically told me he got it and have a nice flight. Short and sweet.
     
    jonesg11 likes this.