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New UK CAA Information Notice

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

  1. blackd1964

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    UK remote pilots might want to familiarise themselves with the following document released yesterday by the Civil Aviation Authority - http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2014081.pdf

    Whilst some of the document refers to CAA permissions the document as a whole is a useful summary on the restrictions and risk mitigation strategies one should adopt. Section 7 is a reminder that the ANO (CAP 393) is based around Criminal Law and the CAA will enforce it:

    7 Regulatory Enforcement

    7.1 The CAA takes breaches of aviation seriously and will seek to prosecute in cases where
    dangerous and illegal flying has taken place. The first such prosecution in the UK took place in
    April 2014 when an individual was convicted of two offences including flying a small
    unmanned surveillance aircraft within 50 metres of a structure (bridge with traffic) (Article 167
    of the Air Navigation Order 2009). The individual was fined £800 at a District Magistrate Court,
    plus costs of £3,500.

    7.2 This conviction followed the case of a photographer accepting a caution for using a SUA for
    commercial gain without permission. The photographer had sold footage from his quadcopter
    to media organisations.
     
  2. rilot

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    CAA are really cracking down. We will see loads more prosecutions this year I think.
     
  3. The Editor

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    Hmmmm.... can't see anything new in there really other than trying to clarify some of the language in the CAP documents so that an Orangutan can understand it.

    Interestingly all CAA's wind and ranting is about 'Surveillance' They use that word constantly in there rules and regulations.

    The Oxford English Dictionary and Websters defines 'Surveillance as :
    sur·veil·lance
    noun \sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s also -ˈvāl-yən(t)s or -ˈvā-ən(t)s\

    : the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime
    Full Definition of SURVEILLANCE
    : close watch kept over someone or something (as by a detective); also : supervision


    So on the basis we are all amateur photographers/videographers and not spies/private detectives etc - were're OK :lol: - Very strange choice of word on behalf of the CAA.

    With regards to the poor chap who was prosecuted recently - I really think they have gone overboard there. The guy clearly had a malfunction in his equipment and the aircraft flew unaided and 'out of control' supposedly over a top secret base (which everyone knew was there anyway).
    Anybody at anytime can have a malfunction of equipment but are people prosecuted for that? - NO.
    Bear in mind the gentlemen concerned, caused no damage and no injury to any third party property or person - his equipment simply malfunctioned.

    So - If a civilian or commercial helicopter went faulty and the pilot was unable to gain control and the aircraft flew for a couple of miles down a river and ultimately ended up in the water BUT no damage was done to property or people and the helicopter had been serviced in accordance with the manufacturers guidlelines etc etc..... would the CAA be prosecuting the poor pilot for 'Flying dangerously and recklessly? - I think not. Yes there would be an investigation, yes there would be an inquiry but ultimately it would be a verdict of 'Accident' and that would be the end of it.
     
  4. IrishSights

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    What seems to my recreational flying brain as being a little clearer is that a SUAS (in other words, with a camera) under 7kg, a stack of things no longer apply compared with what I thought before did apply. i.e. this bit...
    --------------

    166(4) The person in charge of a SUA which has a mass of more than 7 kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the 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 control 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) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
    --------------

    As the column for an SUA AND SUAS <7kg is unticked. Can't get any clearer than no tick in the column!

    The VLOS definition (4.1.1 ) is still not that clear as specific height and distances are mentioned in the paragraph but with a reference to Aerial Work. So as long as I am recreational flying a visible ( speck on the horizon) its OK and to go up as far as I can see and as far away as I can see...yes? Irrespective of airspace categories and aerodrome traffic zones. But DJI's arbitrary firmware no flyzone will block me anyway.

    This also seems to exclude Ground Station flights beyond sight and also beyond transmitter control as I seem to have to be able to grab control at any point and if its out of radio range then all I can do is wait for it to return which I say would fall foul of the CAA's 'being in control at all times' thing.

    So still a bit of clarification needed for us who are not familiar with CAA document language nuances.

    Also they are still using feet and metres in the same document - both in reference to height.
     
  5. IrishSights

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    6.1.2 is also interesting. Maybe it was the same before and I didn't realise it.

    ------------------
    The standard CAA permission for SUA in the 7 kg or less category allows flight within congested areas to within 50 metres of persons, structures etc. (or within 30 metres if the persons are under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft). This category cannot fly within 150 m of open-air assemblies of 1,000 people or more.

    ---------------------------------

    I thought it was 150m but its really 50m.

    Also I understood FPV flying that is 'with a camera' for flight purposes without recording to the microSD card was not regarded as surveillance yet that distinction is not clear in this document where it could have been.

    Ah well at least there is a little more clarification in there.
     
  6. BMEWS

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    so the actual document referenced is an information notice. Whilst it's very official looking, it serves no other purpose than to inform. It is neither a legal or lawful document. It references acts and orders etc. which, may carry the force of law. Just my humble opinion :)

    bmews
     
  7. IrishSights

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    You are right, however it does offer some clarification. The table with tick boxes I find easier to get my head round. Much of it is to do with flying in and around London. I have emailed them with a few questions regarding FPV and Ground Station flying. We'll see if I get a reply.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8
     
  8. BMEWS

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    Couple of things to consider.

    CAP393 is the official document the CAA would use. First place to look at is their interpretation for the word surveillance. You'll find they don't actually explain what they mean by the use of that word. Therefore if you went to court they'd use a legal dictionary such as black's. The OED would be totally irrelevant. Black's definition of surveillance is " Oversight, superintendence, supervision. People v. Howard, 120 Cal.App. 45, 8 P.2d 176, 179." The funny thing is the language you and I would have a conversation in has a totally different meaning when in court.

    you should have a look at the legal definition of a person ;)

    bmews
     
  9. BMEWS

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    :) it may offer some clarification, it may endeavour to "slip" some other stuff in there and because it looks official there's an implied legality. It's all down to the perception of the reader at the time of reading. Ultimately, it comes down to the courts if it ever gets that far and then it goes back to CAP 393 and the above referenced document is just a notice. Agreed, that a well structured list makes for easier reading.

    The interesting thing about GS etc is that is the pilot in command still actually in command? If it's flying autonomously based on a pre-planned flight profile? Sure, the pilot may be able to regain manual control but what if it's out of sight? or for whatever reason the pilot can't regain control? Can throw up all sorts of interesting scenarios. Just sayin :)

    it's good to get some of the ever dying grey cells firing off the odd electron or two (at my age it's about all I can manage now :) )

    Bmews