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Phantom for commercial use ok or not?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tvleaker, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. tvleaker

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    I have a small videography company and clients have found out that I have a drone. Can I use this in future video productions? I know there is a seldom enforced FAA rule of no use of RC aircraft for commercial use. I have read that if you don't charge for actual flying and just for editing it is okay.
    The FAA rule is old and not really meant for the newer technology, but I guess it still applies.
    Amazon is going to use drones for delivery, how would this be okay. Obviously they have done their due diligence on this. Before I offer any services, I want to understand the rules. Any thought?
     
  2. tvleaker

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    That makes a lot of sense, thank you
    I didn't the FAA would come after me for a couple of subdivision flyovers at 100 feet. They probably will have to reevaluate that rule due to the blossoming technology
     
  3. N017RW

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    FAA rule evaluation and definition is well underway regarding UAS integration into the Federal Air-Space and has been going on since 2006. They will publish their regualtions by 2015 or be in contempt of the U.S. Congress.

    FAA or not, you will always be at least civily liable ($$$) for any injury or damage no matter where you fly.

    Many new r/c pilots have not experienced the result of a flight gone bad resulting in damage or injury to others or thier property.

    AMA insurance is not going to help either when flown in violation of their safety guidelines and codes.
     
  4. Monte55

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    I see new videos posted every day and some are very good. BUT, they are breaking so many rules and not using common sense when it comes to safety. They know they are breaking the rules but do it anyway...so when they crash or get into trouble...doesn't bother me at all. It's like driving to work in heavy traffic and there will be some that will drive on the shoulder to get around...speed and weave throughout traffic....and then maybe end up in a ditch or a fender bender. I pass by with a smile. I don't care....you deserve what you get. The thing that bothers me is that these idiots have children in the car at times. I just wanna slap them..
     
  5. doug86

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    This is the second time you have mentioned Amazon's use on this forum. All I have ever seen from them is an announcement that someday, they would like to do that; it is probably years off, not imminent by any means, so it's really not an argument that helps you here.

    Look at it this way: in the eyes of the FAA, you will be in violation of their rules if you use your drone for profitable videography. I don't think you will find anyone who thinks that the FAA will say that your idea is OK with them. The idea that charging for editing only is pretty laughable, and I can't see it holding up in their eyes. So, do you want to follow what they are saying, or ....
    many folks believe that at this point in time, the FAA has no jurisdiction of drones. So, you're faced with the problem that even if you understand the rules, you don't know if those rules really apply. The courts and Congress will have to decide, not our internet forum. In the mean time, you'll have to use your best judgment.

    Here is one guy's opinion that gives some good back ground: dronelawjournal.com

    Fly safe.
     
  6. N017RW

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    Court or other future legal challenges not withstanding, I think if you look to date, the seven 333 exemptions (COA) that have been granted to the 7 MPA petitioners require(d) a Pilot's license for the operator because they are operating in the NAS (this is required by statute).
    The FAA in these cases not only waived or otherwise suspended the additional two requirements that the aircraft be certified and registered (i.e. airworthyness certificate) but also reduced the requirement for a Commercial Pilot's license to that of [just] a Private Pilot.
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    IF you come to the attention of the FAA, you would quickly find that what you have read is no defence. They have a very broad definition of commercial use and aren't that dumb that they would buy the often mentioned 'only charging for editing" excuse. That's just not going to fly.

    WRONG .. Amazon came up with a viral publicity stunt a year ago suggesting they would do drone delivery. They are years away from doing this, if it is possible at all. And they have had no luck dealing with the FAA and getting any sort of approval.
     
  8. tvleaker

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    I don't think they are years away, they have been testing many drones around the Austin Texas area. I see them flying all the time
     
  9. GoodnNuff

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    Same thing here in Seattle, I know some people who know some people (Amazon is based here) that claim that they are actively developing delivery quads. I've seen some drones flying both in the Kent Valley (just south of Seattle) and northeast of Kirkland (east of Seattle) that I've not been able to identify. The rumor among some of my flying club members is they are either Google or Amazon drones in development stages.
    Currently there are multi-rotor drones that can carry 50 lb payloads, I don't know why Amazon's goal of 5 lb payloads seem so impossible to some. It is not the technology that is the holdup, it is the FAA.
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Amazon have failed in their application to the FAA for exemption.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcne ... ns-drones/
    Given the very high profile of the Amazon case it is extremely unlikely that Amazon have been testing anywhere in the open in the USA.
     
  11. GoodnNuff

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    Interesting article. The fact it talks about how serious Amazon is about development pretty much contradicts your previous post claiming the drones were/are just a viral publicity stunt.

    Can you explain why you don't think Amazon is testing their drones anywhere in the open in the US.
    The Kent Valley location where I've seen "someone" flying drones is Amazon property. They are currently building a 3 story building about the size of two footballs fields in length on that property as well.

    But I'm curious why you don't think they'd test fly during the development stages "out in the open."
     
  12. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    At the time it was a publicity stunt. They implied they were ready to launch and they were nowhere near.
    It worked - they got all the publicity they hoped for and cost them very little.

    I don't think Amazon would test in the open because they are very keen to stay within the law and eventually gain FAA approval. Like the article states they have been testing their drones inside their research and development lab in Seattle. That's inside - not out in the open. Maybe the three storey building you mention would be for further testing - inside, where the FAA has no jurisdiction. To be flying out in the open in a visible US location would put their whole program at risk.
     
  13. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Amazon already had a pretty sizable R&D staff and budget for developing drone delivery capabilities when they made the promotional video. I thought, like most people, it was just a publicity stunt.
     
  14. GoodnNuff

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    There is nothing illegal about flying drones under development. The only restriction is for commercial use. R&D is not commercial use and is not illegal. The FAA has no jurisdiction over test flying - exactly what law do you think they are in conflict with.
    And really, you think they are just flying in a wind tunnel? The building I spoke of is a new warehouse/fulfillment center
    First it was nothing but a publicity stunt, and now they are constructing a multi-million dollar hanger for indoor testing so they can hide from the FAA?
     
  15. N017RW

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    Not sure your on solid footing with some of those comments regarding your interpretation on what is legal or not.

    Here you can find Amamzon asking for permission to conduct outdoor testing.

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDe ... -0474-0001

    They since tried to move to India but I believe they have clamped down too.

    BS? Sure but that's the way it is
     
  16. GoodnNuff

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    My understanding is the application was to start testing deliveries with payloads, covering long distance (relative - 5 miles?) routes?

    I can cobble together a frame, a CPU, some ESCs, motors and props and test fly my prototype all day long without breaking any laws. If I work for Amazon does some celestial alarm go off if I fly the prototype around a field outdoors? What identifies me as testing this drone for commercial use vs hobbyist use?
    Yes, I'm quite sure that this is happening in our area at some of the rural locations.
    No, I don't think Amazon is conducting payload test flights with deliveries - but flying their prototypes outdoors...mmmhmm.

    I quess what I take exception to is Meta4's resounding "Wrong...Amazon came up with a viral publicity stunt a year ado suggesting they would do drone delivery. They are years away from doing this, if it is possible at all. And they have had no luck dealing with the FAA and getting any sort of approval."

    All indications are that Amazon does indeed have working prototypes ready and are simply awaiting either the FAA to give them exemption or for the FAA to rule next year. FAA is going to have to make a ruling by 2015, we all know that.
     
  17. N017RW

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    With regards to your first sentence, you should read the request.

    Publishing FAA guidelines, rulings, etc. and meeting those guidelines and challenges will be two vastly separated occurances in time.

    Radio spectrum is just one of those challenges. They will not be using the ISM or WiFi bands for this control.

    As it stands now Amazon will be hiring pilots then instead of drivers as the current seven Section 333 COA grantees (the Motion Picture Assn.) must utilize operators with Private Pilot's licenses.
     
  18. GoodnNuff

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    I did read the request.
     
  19. tvleaker

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    The drones seen flying around Lake Austin have Amazon Prime on the side of them, so unless someone is talking the time to paint this on them, I believe that they are flying them around Austin. That being said. I am still curious to what extent the FAA pursues aerial videographers. I have not heard of any mass crackdown on small businesses. And as for just charging for the editing. If I give the footage to the client and there is no contract or agreement for flying it. I don't see how that is using it for commercial purposes. And what about news agencies. Can a television station or network use a drone for capturing images. It's all a gray area right now.
     
  20. N017RW

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    Interesting.

    Texas A&M is one of the six FAA test sites but that seems a bit too far from Lake Austin to be related.