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Legal & Standardization Time to Start

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Voyager11, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Voyager11

    Joined:
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    Dear Fellow UAV Pilots,

    I've been reading posts, news articles and reports pertaining to UAV use by my fellow citizens of the United States. I propose it is time to unite all of us along with the companies that provide both UAV and or parts.

    We all know that the media is missrepresenting the UAV and it's function. Not to mention our rights as citzens to own and operate them lawfully. They seem to focus on the bad things as that's what sells and makes money for the share holders. In turn politicians are reacting to citizens whom have less then the facts based on the media and they intern make decisions without the full spectrum of facts.

    So what is my point and where am I going with this. Well here it is my fellow pilots.

    NATIONAL CIVILIAN UAV OPERATION AND STANDARDIZATION

    Goal:
    Promote the safe and knowledgeable use of UAV's for UAV pilots.
    Protect the rights of UAV pilots.
    Inform the public in regards to the facts and positive uses of UAV

    This is just a quick thought I put down but I have a good size professional outline in the works. Think of it as the NRA for UAV's. A good possitive acronym would be needed as we all know the media loves that kind of thing. Make no mistake fellow UAV pilots, we are about to get the breaks put on all of us really bad. Civilian UAV use is in it's infancy and about to explode like the cell phone itself. It's much easier to fix a problem if you know it's coming and are prepared for it.

    This can be done with the thousands of pilots out there. All you engineers, real pilots, doctors, lawyers, computer users, graphics arts people, camera professionals. Doesn't matter what your job is in real life, you probably have something to bring to the table. You work for National Geographic or Discovery Channel? guess what, this is going hit you too and companies like DSLR whom provide equipment for great institutions like Nat Geo and Discovery.

    Look at the town of Deer Trail, Colorado. There actually voting on a UAV hunting permit. But who is there to speak for us? Who is there to talk about the how civilian owned UAVs can assist in search and rescue or go places that would put humans in harms way. This could all be nothing but it is a though that has been with me since I got into using UAV's. But I am also a FAA Licensed Rotorcraft aviator, instructor, former police officer of seven years and prior service U.S. Army of six years. I'm looking for your "UAV Fellow Pilots" thoughts on what I have written. What do you think, pros, cons…..

    Thank You For Your Time
    Michael J. Buckley
     
  2. DeweyAXD

    Joined:
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    Hi Michael

    I commend you for your will to do something here and your credentials are clearly worthy of respect. I am in the UK so I am subject to maybe a differing media view on the matter and certainly on the laws itself. I would still be happy to comment if you feel it helpful.

    There is indeed a lot of media hype on UAVs. There is plenty of terminology that can be used in the media for scaremongering and incidents involving a 'Drone' (whether it be Government, military or hobbyist owned) will always make the news.

    In regards to government action I find it unlikely that they will ban such things outright in the U.S. It would be counterproductive and hypocritical for a government to ban the use of hobby spec lightweight drones when they are lobbying to use their bigger brothers for 'Homeland' protection. There is an argument on safety. Trained military pilots in high spec machines are MUCH less likely to cause injury to people but then if their kit comes down it is more like a plane disaster than a pile of broken plastic.

    From what I have seen from the U.S media the main concern from 'the un-educated' jo public is privacy. "Who are using these 'drones' and what are they filming?" being an understandable question. Education, as your rightly state, would work here but therein lies another problem. You can talk positively till you are blue in the face about the HUGE population of flyers that fly for all the right reasons but you could never convince a person that there aren't some people out there using it for the wrong reasons (negligence for one but invasion of privacy, perversion and basic criminal activity in some cases). These worries will always remain in the publics eye and will always be highlighted and played on by the media.

    So what about the laws? Well generally governments won't make rash decisions on laws they cannot easily enforce (ok that is B.S they do, and they do it plenty). If there was a federal law making any flight of a home owned UAV illegal, they would have to spend millions clamping down on the importation and sale of such devices. They would then have to clamp down on the component elements of them too (lets face it you can build a Phantom equiv out of wood and an Arduino board). Banning all of this will cost a fortune due to enforcement issues. It will also decrease the country’s GDP from the reduction of a very popular hobby. I am sure if you researched how much is spent on the RC hobby in the U.S alone it would be a staggering figure. China sure as hell won't stop making for other countries too.

    So where does that leave things in terms of enforceable options... licensing? This has its merits (It generates income for one) but is again very hard to enforce as the owner/flyer is not easily identified by the authorities unless they have some fairly high cost equipment. I for one would welcome a sensible, affordable license that governs me to flying safely and sensibly. One that is subject to revoke if i breach the guidelines and even one that subjects me to fines.

    Your comment on Dear Trail, Colorado is interesting too. As a previous law enforcer yourself, I am sure you agree that allowing people a permit to shoot down Government (or civilian) drones does not give a person any immunity to be prosecuted federally for destruction of government property. If this is so (and please correct me if wrong there) it is a prime example of media exaggeration again coming into play because it simply cannot be passed.

    So that is my take on all of this. Maybe a step in the right direction would be to create a global organisation that flyers can volunteer to join. One that has its own guidelines and rules based on safe flight (taken from a variety of aviation guidelines across the globe). A person serious about flying signs up to register and is then subject to following the guidelines. If the community finds evidence of abuse (say a youtube video of negligent behaviour) the organisation has the right to cancel their membership and place them on ban.
    This would be a massive task of course but if the organisation became large enough it could gain a media voice condoning negligent flyers and inviting respectable ones to join. Basically the honour system.... food for thought. I will hold my hand up and confess I am new to the RC scene this year so I am sorry if such an organisation is out there.

    Hope that is of help in some way. All the best with your work.