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Night Flight: Please re-open the discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by David Tolsky, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. David Tolsky

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    Hey everyone in the drone community:
    I am writing a review of 3 different light units to be flown on the Phantom series and Solo.It is for RotorDrone magazine. I know night time flying is controversial so if anyone knows the current official FAA rules concerning night time flying I'd like to hear about them. I'd also like to know your views or if you fly at night and for what reasons. Please keep it clean and discuss away. Feel free to include links if you like.
     
  2. Helihover

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    I'll start:)

    Night flying as a hobby is 100% legal in the USA under FAA regulations.

    Commercial flight at night under the new, part 107, is not legal unless a waiver is obtained and your craft is visible from three miles.

    I fly at night all the time and love long exposure night shots. Most of my night flying is over water (the Willamete River to be exact) and is focused on bridges.

    I'm very interested in your review as I am close to purchasing a lighting system that would cover the 3 mile rule.
     
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  3. msinger

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    Assuming you're referring to the official FAA rules for hobbyists, you can find them on the FAA's website here. Keep in mind they are guidelines and not rules (more commonly known as "laws").

    The FAA would like pilots to "keep [their] UAS within sight". Unless the area is lit at night, you technically would not be able to see your UAS (other than the onboard lights). If a pilot were to cause an accident that's reported to the FAA, I'm sure the FAA would come back at them with some type of law regarding flying safely.
     
  4. David Tolsky

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    There is someone on Twitter, a drone instructor at many trade shows, who is currently saying night time flying is currently not allowed, even just for recreation. Which laws or rules are up to date?
     
  5. David Tolsky

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    You can follow me on Twitter as I've been posting updates and photos of light testing. Pro-Drone-O @dontcenterpunch
     
  6. msinger

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    You should ask that drone instructor to reference the specific rule. Just because he's an instructor doesn't make it so ;)
     
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  7. flpholt

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    night flying is the best can see bird much better than during the day never had problem with anyone at night
     
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  8. Helihover

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    This link clearly list all the current guidelines for hobby flight from the FAA. These are guidelines, not necessarily laws. This is what the FAA wants us to practice. IF night flight was even a lil bit of a concern, like the controversy over flying over "crowds" was, it would be listed. These are guidelines that I follow as a hobbiest. These pretty much match what is on my registration card.

    Fly for Fun

    I heard,.......(this is not a fact, but most likely a rumor), that no night flying WAS on the list along with flying only at AMA sites, but dismissed.
     
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  9. David Tolsky

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    for the sake of discussion if there is a rule stating recreational night flying is legal show me where it is.
     
  10. BigAl07

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    It doesn't say it IS legal it just doesn't state it's NOT legal.
     
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  11. msinger

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    Precisely. That's what I'm asking you to tell the instructor to do. It sounds like he/she is claiming it's a rule without referencing the FAA rule.

    But, there is no question that flying dangerously is illegal. And, if the darkness causes you to fly dangerously, then it's probably something you don't want to do. I'm sure it can be done safely in certain locations (e.g. sans a bunch of houses, trees, and other obstacles that cannot be clearly seen in the dark).
     
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  12. David Tolsky

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  13. msinger

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    Part 107 is for commercial pilots.
     
  14. ROD PAINTER

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    I have been doing a lot of night flying recently. I have Polar Pro led lights set on flashing and am flying out to about 1 mile at 400 ft. entirely over residential area with complete line of sight. I must say that my phantom looks like any other aircraft flying at night even at 1 mile. Wish I could put a strobe light on it but cant find any to buy that would be a easy install. P3P, MINI PAD2, SKYREAT WIND SURFERS.
     
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  15. David Tolsky

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    I believe it also covers recreational flying as well
     
  16. Mark The Droner

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    My understanding is the FAA doesn't want hobbyists to fly at night, but they have no law to enforce such a rule, so they are quiet for the time being. However, if you happen to want to fly in the DC SFRA, you may not do so at night. That's a hard rule.
     
  17. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    As stated Part 107 is specifically for COMMERCIAL operations only. Night Operations are NOT allowed under Part 107 but there is a process where you can apply and possibly be granted a waiver for the mission but that's down the road.
     
  18. msinger

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    It does not. See more here.
     
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  19. Helihover

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    Part 107 and 336 (hobby guidelines) have no relation.
     
  20. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Incorrect. Here's a quote taken directly from the FAA website for the Part 107:

    "WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules (PDF) for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace. These new regulations work to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research and save lives."

    Press Release – DOT and FAA Finalize Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems


    Note is states "commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”)"