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Pilots license for commercial use

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Derekdrone, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Derekdrone

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    Hey guys,

    I am a licensed private pilot who was rather enjoying section 333 and the monopoly the FAA was providing me. I want to start a drone videography business in the next 1-2 years.

    What is the current legislation climate looking like, is the FAA likely going to drop the pilots license for the aeronautical written test?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. jryser

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    There will eventually be a certificate for commercial UAV I would suspect. I'm also a PPSEL and I'm registered as a UAV pilot now too. I'm glad to follow suggestions and avoid the fines.


    Sent from my PT beating heart
     
  3. Derekdrone

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    Do you think the barriers to entry will remain high? They are making it sound rather easy to obtain the cert.
     
  4. WetDog

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    Ah, who can see into the dark heart of the FAA? If ** I ** were in charge of the FAA (what a nightmare job) I would make the presumptive UAV pilot go through ground and navigational school and test them on flight regs. That's going to be the big thing - can you think and act like EVERYONE ELSE IN THE AIRSPACE. Actually piloting not so much (although you'd have to do something, I suppose).

    The challenge is going to be to get the UAV driver to understand the limitations on their craft, the rules of road and how to at least not act like a Compleat Idiot in the airspace. You're going to have to swat down the ever recurrent idea here that "I can do whatever the hell I'm thinking to do because I'm AMERICAN*" really hard. You have to obey the rules.

    If you're a pilot, that's been wallopped into your skull since day one. Screw up and at best the FAA will have an nice, long discussion about your license status. At worst, you're dead. For the UAV driver, well, I suppose you could trip over the power cord and break your neck but otherwise it's pretty safe. And since you have no license at present, they can't pull it. The FAA isn't going to chase every idiot with a Phantom around whether or not they think they're pros or not. Even for a commercial cert, they don't have a whole lot of threat besides some godawful fine they ** could ** throw at you if they were arsed enough to.

    May you live in interesting times.

    * non Americans may be more inherently comfortable actually following regulations instead of blindly threatening to shoot anyone who wants to take our precious UAVs, err, guns, err phallic symbols, away from them. On behalf on at least some of us, we apologize for our behavior and hope to hell that Trump doesn't get elected President.
     
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  5. DAP-UAV

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    From what I have been reading from the FAA is that there will be a UAS Airman Cert added to the list. A practical isn't really practical but there will be an exam that covers ground school and self medical issues. Instead of a 3rd Class Medical they will require a Drivers License as described in the Medical Reform Act we are all waiting for. The exam must be repeated every two years. I have no idea what else they may require for currency. The date they are shooting for I think is June 2016. The sooner the better. I. as a PP/Instrument ASEL. I welcome all the future certified UAS pilots to come. Both for commercial use and for recreational use too. I am not so sure SOME of these UAS user's are going to welcome us. Be careful what you say about being a pilot. There are some touchy people out there with some very strong opinions who refuse to recognize the issues and dangers at stake. Some see them ALL as toys and therefore they can do whatever they want. I think once the UAS cert. becomes available and it's not too expensive to complete, most will go through the effort of learning about the NAS and get their "license". Many will be turned on to the fun and thrill of flying even if they are not on-board. I am also starting up a business for both real estate and agriculture.
     
  6. WetDog

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    The problem with making 'everyone' get a real pilot's license is that it forces a mindset on people. That mindset has served aviation pretty well over the past hundred years or so but it is a model that not everyone is going to like. Basically, you have to obey the rules. Even if they seem pretty dumb at the moment.

    For UAV folks, it is going to mean obeying the NOTAMs and flight restrictions. Probably no night flying and no flying out of LOS. That isn't going to fly, so to speak, for a lot of people around here, much less the hoi polli opening that just finished opening their Christmas presents.

    Interesting times.
     
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  7. Meta4

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    The vast majority of commercial photographic use of small drones is going to be things like real estate photography.
    And it's mostly done at heights of 20-100 feet where the chance of interaction with manned air traffic is non-existent.
    When no licence is required to fly and photograph recreationally, requiring a pilot's licence for commercial photography makes as much sense as requiring a medical degree to apply a bandaid.
     
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  8. cactusfrog

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    Careful that last bit almost sounds like common sense and we have no use for that here in America.
     
  9. WetDog

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    Sure, if DJI made a Phantom 3 - Real Estate Edition that was height limited to 100 feet, perhaps that could fall under a license that needed less studying (not that a private pilot's license is hard). But it is capable of much more. A car analogy (sorry) - you don't get a 'less than 35 mph' license (unless your are Google). You get a mostly unrestricted operators license that allows you to go to the corner store or cross county. It might make a lot of sense to have graded responsibilities both on the ground. Won't happen at the DMV. It could possibly be what is taking the FAA so long. It's not an easy task.

    But it isn't necessarily what you are planning on doing with it, it's what your aircraft is capable of doing.
     
  10. shipdriver

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    A UAV operator cert makes sense, esp. if it is for everyone and not just commercial types. Although I will say, that enhanced requirements for commercial operators (whether they be training or equipment-related) make sense only if they are given enhanced "privileges" like beyond LOS, night or over people. But a full pilot's license is simply asking too much: too much time and money that will never be utilized. The ground school classes that pertain to drones (specifically those relating to airspace and possibly comms) are one thing, but the vast majority of a PPL is absolutely wasted money and irrelevant. There are numerous possibilities to make things safer (so that we can cut the numbers of UAV-related deaths down from 0 to 0) like requiring comms IVO a controlled airfield, etc. but paying gas and rent to maintain currency in a far more dangerous manned aircraft on top of the flight training is pretty ludicrous and while some may have a philosophical reason for wishing everyone gets a PPL, it is not a practical one and is unduly burdensome. After all, the rise of drones in the commercial sphere is and will be because they are cheaper and patently safer than manned aircraft (i.e. that is the whole point) and to chain them to outdated and overpriced requirements defeats the entire enterprise. The evolution of guidelines about LOS, night ops and autonomous flight will further challenge that paradigm, and evolve they must in the commercial realm.
     
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  11. WetDog

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    This is the problem that the FAA has. A private pilots license has lots of the important ideas and skills needed to safely pilot a UAV in the national air space. It also has a lot of stuff you don't need including actually flying a fixed wing plane. Not being a giant, lumbering bureaucracy, I (or pretty much any pilot and UAV driver) could chop out the important bits, add some new ones and figure out some sort of testing program (can you fly the thing in ATTI mode without crashing) in a couple of hours.

    Given that the FAA is a giant, lumbering bureaucracy it will take them several years to do the same thing and they'll screw it up anyway..
     
  12. Daddy

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    I will sign up for this in a heartbeat. I just hope they figure out a way for people to fly higher than 400 feet..
     
  13. DAP-UAV

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    I believe that the "form letter" granted Section 333's say 500ft AGL. My understanding of the way things are set up is that you are given a set of standard boundaries. When and if you need to exceed those boundaries you can. It's like filing a flight plan. You have a planned flight and you notify your local FSDO of what your intentions are. Then you fly where you need to. Unless your planning to fly in the middle of the ILS approach to JFK, I don't see a problem. Just like we need permission to enter class D, C, B or A airspace, the FAA just wants to know your there so it can work WITH you and keep everyone safe. If I wanted to shoot an aerial video of my local airport, it's just a matter of coordination and notification.
     
  14. Daddy

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    I want to go higher..
     
  15. DAP-UAV

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    Stay out of clouds. Remember they are made of water. I watched a YouTube vid that's showed a quad ascending up through the clouds. Over 4,000 ft. Made it ok on top. Then had to descend back through the clouds. Less than a minute into the moisture the quad went haywaire and crashed. Another expensive flight experiment.
     
  16. Daddy

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    Ah thats a good one!
     
  17. shipdriver

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    One of the stupider episodes in drone history- the climb combined with a limited descent rate (which increased any icing effects) made him run out of battery before getting back to earth. Actually, that experience is why I am somewhat skeptical of a majority of the drone sightings over 5000 ft and definitely over 10000 ft. Most of our drones don't have the battery power (which will drain more rapidly in very cold conditions) to effectively get that high and they certainly can't sustain flight up there for long.
    There does seem to be a rather large portion of drone flyers who fly them as a substitute for flying a real airplane...whether it is pilot envy or just living vicariously. They seem to be the ones who mess with the airspace system the most. I mean what is so great about an airport when you have a flying machine that can operate anywhere? What added value is there for a small drone flying in the clouds? For those people, I suggest getting a real pilot's license or attaching a Go Pro to a manned aircraft (with the owner's permission of course). The real benefits of drones are at altitudes where manned aircraft aren't, i.e. below 500 ft and at extreme high altitudes above say 50,000 ft (where not having build a pressurized structure dramatically lowers costs).
     
  18. DAP-UAV

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    I agree with just about everything you said. The end game is not for everyone to have a PPL. I think they know that's a bit too much. But that is all they have at the moment. There will be a UAS airman cert with a driver's license requirement that I think will become the norm. The FAA is playing catch up so to speak. The commercial photography issue makes no sense to me either. I do not understand why taking pics has anything to do with it. I do understand that 100,000's UAS's flying is the NAS has to be addressed. Lest not forget, once the rules have been complied and published, they can still be changed. The General Aviation community (AOPA and the like) are actively working with congress right now to change the requirements to our benefit and liking with the Medical Reform Act. They have enacted numerous changes to the rules just in the last 10 years. The FAA asked everyone involved to put their two cents in while forming the rules. They are trying to figure it out and we should let them know with our huge numbers what we want. They work for US.
     
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  19. DAP-UAV

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    EXACTLY!