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Legal/safety question

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by dkyacht, May 27, 2014.

  1. dkyacht

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    Hi guys, I live I Fort Lauderdale Fl. I'm in a pretty busy area for air traffic. I always watch out for anything coming close to my P2V+ but I was wondering if when I do a flight should I call the local tower and let them know I'm going up?

    Dave
     
  2. EMCSQUAR

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    If anything avoid being near airport when you fly. If you must fly near airport stay below 200ft and watch all directions... you are a guest in their airspace.
     
  3. dkyacht

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    Oh I totally get that yes. See I live along the intercoastal waterway. A lot of small planes and helicopters use the ICW to fly up and down.

    I actually have a call in now to a local airport tower to ask their advice or suggestions. I'll let you all know what they say.

    Dave
     
  4. dkyacht

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    Wow, ok so I just got off the phone with a senior guy at the local FAA office and I'm quite shocked at his response. I was calling to find out if as a courtesy I could call the local tower or some other person to let them know I'm going to be in a certain area and altitude. He basically told me not necessary, just don't fly withing 3 miles of a airport and stay below 400' in populated areas, along with a few other obvious things.

    I mean here I am trying to do the right thing and be overly cautious and they basically say no thanks.... wow...

    Dave
     
  5. kgarrison

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    That should be the typical response you will get. Now, if you are doing a flying day at a local park or something you can sometimes call in and get altitude waivers. This may or not be possible in different areas. When we did high power rockets they would give us an all day 5,000 foot limit and we could call in and they would give us 10,000' waivers. The way that worked is we would call in and ask and they would usually give us a 15-30 minute window either immediately or tell us when it would start, almost always within an hour. We were really out in the toolies on a dry lake bed, inside of a city they may not grant you anything over 400'. But you never know until you ask.
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Over cautious is the keyword. The FAA and the local air traffic control tower don't want to know what every Phantom owner is doing and they are too busy with real issues to do anything with flight plans for everyone's toy planes.

    Just stay safe and out of the way of real air traffic and have fun.
     
  7. SilentAV8R

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    I can tell you that this essentially does not exist for flying an RC model. I was involved in several RC airplane events at an established flying site near an airport with a control tower. It is not a simple matter off calling them up to get a "waiver". In 2000 we actually got a a COA, but those are no longer available for this type of thing. Rockets have an established protocol for altitude waivers that are not available to flying RC models. We tried that one too. ;-)
     
  8. dkyacht

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    The FAA guy did say there was a lot of stuff in the works for these type drones that should take affect later in the year. Not sure what that could be but I guess we will see.

    Dave
     
  9. SilentAV8R

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    I suspect he was referring to the coming sUAS NPRM the FAA has said will be published later this year.
     
  10. jimdenburg

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  11. CRankin

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    Should be interesting to see how much of what will come out will be unnecessary nonsense, and how much will constitute something useful that's worth paying attention to and obeying... ;)

    The more they try to legislate and regulate, the more they just irritate. Enforcement of all this stuff should be real fun. Wonder if they're planning to purchase a bunch of UAVs to monitor people flying UAVs.... (They're government, so I wouldn't be surprised if their solution actually made them part of the problem.)

    Yeah, I don't like overbearing self-important rule-makers very much. Somehow we've managed to "survive" all this time without flying RC craft into planes and killing people left and right... Why does government feel the need to "save us from ourselves" for a "problem" that doesn't yet exist?
     
  12. SilentAV8R

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    Very little os the sUAS Rule will pertain to hobby uses. It will mostly be directed at commercial/public agency uses. Section 336 of the FMRA carved out a nice exemption for model operations and those will proceed largely how they have for a long, and very safe, time.

    But one thing I can almost guarantee we will see for most commercial use is nothing BLOS and or above 400 feet agl. So the days of long distance/high altitude flying are coming to an end, hobby or not.
     
  13. CRankin

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    I'm not suggesting that I'd be in favor or opposed to this, as most of the flying I do is well within LOS and below 400' AGL. However, I do have to wonder how the FAA will go about regulating this.

    Suppose that someone decides to take their bird 2000' AGL (or even 1000') just for the heck of it. Unless each of these is equipped with a transponder and the FAA is actively monitoring this stuff in many areas it's practically impossible to catch a person and fine or otherwise admonish them.

    Let's say someone had a large parcel of land they were shooting for a real estate listing. They take the quad 500' AGL (or maybe even higher) to get some good pictures that meet their needs. Now let's say that the FAA was actively monitoring the area for some random odd reason (not likely, but let's say it happens). Even if they detect someone above 400' it's not likely they can follow it back to the pilot in time to catch the person and fine him/her. So anything they do around this type of stuff creates another "big bad wolf" scenario where the agency "huffs and puffs" but is ultimately unable to blow anything down.

    So for practical purposes for most of us it will most likely be "business as usual" since it would be a toothless regulation.
     
  14. SilentAV8R

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    The same way they do most all regulation/enforcement, by exception. So until an incident occurs, or a competitor rats you out, the FAA is likely not going to come knocking. Just like the only time you get a speeding ticket is when a cop catches you speeding.

    Oh, and people forget that the FAA has Internet access and they know how to do Google searches and log onto YouTube.
     
  15. Dirty Bird

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    Guess that means we have yet another group of Federal employees sitting around watching porn on the job....
     
  16. CarlJ

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    But what if I'm giving my goldfish a bath, what then? I'd think they'd want to know about that. Conversely I like to call 911 for any cable television disruptions during Game of Thrones.
     
  17. dkyacht

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    Crankin, that's what I was thinking all along. I don't think it's possible to monitor and fine people. I just don't want to be the 1 in a million person that has a small plane or chopper hit my drone and crash. That's why my thinking was to just call up and say I'm gonna be here below this altitude from this time to this time.

    I fly in choppers alot for work, I don't know what the technical name is but before every flight the pilots listen to a bunch of info. It says wind direction and speed, visibility, and also notes and tall construction equipment on or near the airport along with any big flock of birds. I thought, hey maybe just add in there "drone activity east of federal hwy between Oakland park Blvd and commercial Blvd below 400 feet from 2:30- 3:00...

    Now obviously as more and more drones are flying in a specific area that method would get to long, but for now I was hoping it would work. I already had a not so close call with a chopper. I was way way out of the way by the time he flew over but he was directly in my flight path at the same altitude. That is why I started trying to do something proactive.

    Dave
     
  18. SilentAV8R

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    While it seems trivial that you should be able to call up the tower and let them know that you are there, it takes quite a lot of paperwork on their part to authorize putting anything in the ATIS info (what the pilots listen to before takeoff or landing). In essence you are asking for a temporary Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which the FAA personnel just are not equipped to do for you flying your quad.

    For now I would steer clear of all airports, giving them a wide berth, and limit your altitude the closer to an airport you get. Also keep and eye and ear out for full scale traffic and get low if you detect anything until you know where it is and if it is a conflict. It is entirely our responsibility to stay out of their way.
     
  19. golgotha

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    That's the behavior I would expect. People on this forum are making too big a deal about sharing airspace with aircraft over 50 pounds. It's not that big of deal folks. The most important thing is having line of sight and respecting airport distance. Other than that, go as high as you want but be vigilant of other aircraft.

    I also live in an area with heavy light aircraft traffic, but I still go up to several thousand feet when I want. Keep in mind that I'm aware of all aircraft entering and leaving my vicinity and can make rough estimates of their altitude and bearing. I also fly at dusk so our lights are more visible. Often, planes see my phantom from miles away and fly towards me on purpose for a better look. I have had light aircraft fly underneath me many times.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  20. N017RW

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    " I have had light aircraft fly underneath me many times."

    Yikes!!!!