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NASA weighs in on UAS Technology

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Volantis, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Volantis

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    Here's where the real action governing UAS technology is happening...

    "To address the growth of this quickly evolving technology, NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognize that a UAS traffic management (UTM) system for low-altitude airspace is needed. Last year, NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley released an open a call to invite government, industry and academic partners to collaborate with NASA to conduct and identify research needs and to accelerate the development of such a system.

    "This week, July 28-30, NASA is hosting a three-day UTM Convention to bring together a broad domestic and international audience of government and civilian representatives, industry and academia, aviation, agriculture, film and other industries, to understand and define the UAS impact and challenges ahead.

    "Follow the conversation online with #UTM2015."

    NASA Link
     
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  2. cleaner1369

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    Get ready for firmware updates that include 400 ft max height and 500 ft max range. Can't have those danged drones stealing any of OUR aerial photo money.

    My Piper Cub is TOO a legitimate business expense, dang-it!...and it makes me just as much a pilot as the guys flying 757's and the space shuttles. [rolleyes]
     
  3. SteveMann

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    If I still lived in San Jose, I would be there. Ames is an interesting place and a pilot's group I was a member of in San Jose had a one-day tour of the Ames facility including a walk through the giant wind tunnel, a tour inside the SOFIA aircraft (a 747-based telescope) and a ride on a STS vertical motion simulator. (Better than any roller coaster).

    Our type of flying is likely not on their scope since we almost always take off and land at the same point. NASA Ames and Amazon are neighbors and Amazon Air really wants to get into the delivery business. Fed Ex is also interested in using drones between their distribution facilities. These are the kinds of drone users that the NASA Drone ATC plan is targeting. Verizon is involved because the NASA plan uses the cellphone SMTS network. (Large government contract??)
     
  4. SteveMann

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    What's that got to do with the topic??
     
  5. Volantis

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    My recent communications with the FAA tell me different. They recognize the current FAA licensing requirements are outdated. I have a severe hearing loss and could not obtain a small craft pilots license, which automatically prevents me from getting an exclusion for selling my aerial photographs as a professional service. However, the hobby rules allow me to fly the drone and obtain any footage within the 400 feet height restrictions just the same as any licensed pilot. The current FAA rules are simply discriminatory in that they prevent people unable to obtain a pilots license from professionally selling artwork they can otherwise legally produce.

    These new rules will cover many of the cracks in the current regulatory system in addition to providing commercial rules for delivering goods and producing imagery.
     
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  6. damitjim01

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    Until they can track a small quad, there's really nothing they can do. The only conceivable way at this point is requiring the manufacturer to install a tracking device and require it be registered to the user, when sold. I don't see that happening given the vast quantity of them.
     
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  7. cleaner1369

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    Sorry, I was referring to the general "fly-boy" attitude toward UAV's. We generally get a lot of UAV hate from the local "crop dusters" around here who like to fly around in their private planes, take aerial photos for profit, and generally jerk themselves off under the assumption that they're REAL pilots.

    Seems they consider us a threat to their status as "pilots" and most of them around here will do anything to try to write off their expensive personal hobbies as "legitimate business tax deductions".

    I'm NOT a phantom "pilot"...I'm an old, white haired retired guy who likes to take pictures and fly my R/C toys. I don't try to delude myself into thinking i'm any sort of "space shuttle door gunner" or a real pilot.
     
    #7 cleaner1369, Jul 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  8. Volantis

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    Do not underestimate the power of the government. NASA is involved not because they are afraid of drones entering the Van Allen Belt, but because they have the technology to track things like little probes on the edge of the solar system. No doubt, Homeland Security is also involved in the background. It is reasonable to expect that they want the technology to exist, but that they want to remain in control, too.
     
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  9. SteveMann

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    You misunderstand when I say we're not on their scope. The NASA Drone ATC will be needed for Amazon to program a drone delivery miles away, beyond LOS. For Fed Ex to fly a 747 Drone across the country. For other services yet unanticipated, such as replacing the bicycle couriers in large cities with a rooftop to rooftop drone delivery service.

    Part 107 licensing may come next year and it would completely remove obstacles in your way to fly commercially.

    That noted - the FAA says you can't fly your drone for commercial purposes and some operators have received instructional letters from non-lawyers in the FAA, but no drone operator has been sent a notice of violation letter for operating a personal drone commercially.

    Deafness is not an obstacle to getting a pilot's license. See the Deaf Pilots Association.
     
  10. SteveMann

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    It has nothing to do with control but to integrate all potential drone operations into the NAS. In 20 years I predict that Fedex 747's will be drones. Passenger aircraft will only have a single safety pilot to assume control if the airplane goes off-program. (They are almost there now as in the en-route phase of flight two pilots are mostly busy keeping each other awake.) In 30 years your grandchildren will ask "what's a pilot"?

    NASA is involved because they are the only organization that can look ahead by decades. Amazon, Verizon and the other commercial entities involved are only looking at next year and in their view long term is two years.
     
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  11. Volantis

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    It was in 1980. I was told I could not pass the medical examination because of my hearing loss.

    Thanks for the information about the FAA not sending out letters to drone operators for commercial photography. After trying to get through the system using the standard channels, I finally opted to use the cracks in the system to my advantage. I will operate the drone as a hobbyist. As a hobbyist, I am allowed to record video and take photos. I can sell my hobby produced photos as long as I'm not hiring labor and operating a store front.
     
  12. SteveMann

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    The FAA is sending educational letters to operators, but to my knowledge no one has ever received a letter of violation for commercial drone operations. (If there is one out there I would love to see the letter).

    When the FAA Enforcement and Compliance division sends a civil penalty letter to a person charged with a violation, the civil penalty letter will contain a statement of the charges, the applicable law, rule, regulation, or order. No one has been able to tell me what law, rule, regulation or order would be indicated on the letter for commercial flight. Maybe that's why none have been sent.

    Your last statement is incorrect. The FAA views any furtherance of anyone related to the flight as the definition of commercial flight. Pilots have been using this ruse ever since George Eastman made the Brownie camera, and the FAA sees right through it.
    Ironically having an FAA issued private pilot certificate does open you to a violation of 41 CFR §61.113 for flying your drone for commercial purposes. But here's the loophole - §61.113 lists the limitations of what the private pilot license allows.

    I have a database of more than 100 websites of US businesses offering aerial photography from drones, so you won't be the first.
     
  13. damitjim01

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    What they want and what they have the technology to do, are 2 different things. Can't tell a quad from a bird on radar... even if they could, you'll be gone by the time anyone gets there to investigate it.
     
  14. Volantis

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    As far as the FAA is concerned, I am incorrect. However, there are many laws at play here. The FAA has already granted drone operators the ability to fly their drones within certain parameters and the produce video for hobby purposes. So there is nothing illegal by FAA standards for producing the aerial photography as a hobbiest.

    The IRS determines whether hobbiests can operate financially outside of commercial restrictions, not the FAA. One could question the FAA's authority to regulate commerce as this falls under IRS and FCC authority.

    That would be the argument I would use, although I am not saying I would necessarily be successful at winning my case.
     
  15. SteveMann

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    You can rationalize it all you want, but many private pilots have been busted for violating 41 CFR §61.113 which prohibits them from undertaking a commercial flight. As I said, many claim that selling the aerial photos was incidental and not the purpose of the flight, or that photography is just a hobby, but few have beaten the charge. the FAA could care less about your relationship with the IRS. Commercial flight is any flight where anyone may profit as a result of the flight.

    The problem the FAA has is that §61.113 only applies to Private Pilots.

    And you are wrong about the IRS. They don't care what the source of your income is as long as you report it. It can be hobby income, it can be a full-time job, it can be drug sales - they don't care. As long as it's declared.
     
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  16. Volantis

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    I guess that is the advantage of not being a private pilot. As I pointed out, the FAA has created a distinct class of pilots called hobbyists, which are explicitly allowed to record aerial video and stills.

    No, I am not wrong about the IRS. I fully agree with you that all income has to be reported. The IRS recognizes hobby income as being treated different from commercial income. There are even special forms for filing it. As long as the money being made equals or is less than the expenses incurred, no taxes have to be paid on hobby income and it is not a commercial enterprise.
     
  17. duse500

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    Is this a fact?
     
  18. SteveMann

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    Not at all. Show me the AC or order or rule that says this. The word "pilot" has statutory meanings and in the Part 107 NPRM the FAA was very explicit that Drone Operators will not be called "pilots". See . 49 U.S.C. 44711(a)(2)(A)
    §44711. Prohibitions and exemption
    (a) Prohibitions.—A person may not—
    (2) serve in any capacity as an airman with respect to a civil aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance used, or intended for use, in air commerce—
    (A) without an airman certificate authorizing the airman to serve in the capacity for which the certificate was issued;​

    By the way, even though the term "license" is widely used, the FAA issues Airman Certificates, not licenses.

    LOL - You make a million dollars and try to tell the IRS that it's only a hobby and not taxable.
    Special form? What is the form number because I've been reporting hobby income for decades on my Schedule A under miscellaneous income. My tax preparer hasn't said anything about a special form for hobby income. Hobby income is income and taxed as regular income. If you have legitimate expenses related to the hobby income venture you may deduct them and possibly reduce or eliminate the taxes due, but the IRS treats hobby income just like regular income. My business income is reported on Schedule C and about a half dozen other schedules which is why my tax preparer makes the big bucks.

    For more information, read http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Five-Basic-Tax-Tips-about-Hobbies
     
  19. Volantis

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    No, this is an interpretation.
     
  20. Volantis

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    If I could make a million dollars this wouldn't be an issue.:)

    Let's keep the hypotheticals related to real world P3P operation.