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Quick question about "TINY" camera drone requirements

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by Phil Tuggle, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Phil Tuggle

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    Forgive the following question, since this is after all the Phantom Pilots forum...and this does not regard Phantoms but does regard Rules and Regulations...

    Okay, talking commercial use here. It is clear that aircraft with a takeoff weight between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds has to be registered. It is also clear that the Part 107 rules regard remote aircraft under 55 pounds (nothing about 0.55 pound lower limit there...that I can find?). So, say you have an "all up" 8-ounce camera drone to supplement your very nice Phantom, do all the 107 rules still apply? Just checking.

    As background, I do have my "107" and have been doing real estate photography and videos for several years. I have long been equipped to do what used to be called "elevated photography," and still have some really expensive telescoping masts with remote view cameras. Except for one 35-footer in a PVC tube I carry on top of my little SUV at all times, I don't use that stuff anymore. Got my P3A and my older DJI F550 and a homebuilt drone, too - all registered now of course.

    BUT, now - just for "quick" spur of the moment shots, I bought a tiny 125 dollar HD Video 16MB still camera quad to create decent photos (read editable and clean, not National Geographic) which weighs only 245 grams or about 0.54 pounds. To clarify, this would be for shooting things like low-to-middle priced properties as a free add-on for client good will - that extra 5% effort - (so I can get a great listing assignment later on). It is cool, has the RTH feature, etc ...but it is a feather.

    Part 107 still applies in every way? Kinda nutty to ask for authorization. Really?

    Again, please forgive the non-Phantom and probably silly question, but this IS the Gold Standard drone forum after all.
     
    #1 Phil Tuggle, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  2. flyboy73

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    I'm afraid I can't answer that question with 100% certainty. Safest to assume Part 107 does apply, of course. But let me ask you, what 8oz drone do you have with a 16mb camera?
     
  3. Phil Tuggle

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    Yeah, that is my situation too - not sure at all.

    Oh, sorry, it is called the Elanview Cicada. Even though it has only silicone grommets for stabilization, it does do alright (enough pictures to choose from), has the phone remote view app, GPS, and 12-15 minutes battery life. The range is not much, but all I need it for is to shoot a quick pic over a lawn or a pool or boat dock. One thing I do love is that the tough box and form-fitting foam it comes in is absolutely perfect to keep in the car. It is nothing fancy but I like it.

    ***Update: Now it is 99 dollars from the manufacturer. Started out at 399 - Yipes! ***
     
    #3 Phil Tuggle, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  4. Phil Tuggle

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    Does ANYBODY (including FAA) know if micro-drones under the the registration weight fall under Part 107 if definitely used to earn a dollar? I cannot find this anywhere.

    Opinions welcome.
     
  5. Richard R

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    Part 107 requires registration for sUAS under 55 lbs, no minimum weight.
     
  6. Phil Tuggle

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    Now I'm REALLY curious. In the full text of Part 107 in the Federal Register (eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations), 107.13 says only to be registered in accordance with another section under Chapter 1 of the Code. That only refers to whatever rules govern registration, which in turn leads us the familiar over 0.55 to under 55 pound requirement.

    That said - NO registration for little stuff - it still looks like you must comply with ALL other Part 107 requirements. Really? So, if you have something the size of a parakeet ...or a mosquito ... and make money from it, you must still follow all the safety rules, get all of the same authorizations, etc. Wow. I think maybe something small may have been overlooked here. Interesting.

    Even the Registration Task Force (advisory panel) for the UAS rules determined the following:

    ...To determine the probability of an accident, the Task Force provided an estimate of the mean time between failure (MTBF) for small unmanned aircraft. Mathematically, the Task Force predicts that the likelihood of a fatal accident involving a small unmanned aircraft weighing 250g or less is 4.7 × 10−8, or less than 1 ground fatality for every 20 million flight hours of small unmanned aircraft 250g or less. The Task Force noted that the acceptable risk level for commercial air transportation is on the order of 1 × 10−9, and general aviation risk levels are on the order of 5 × 0−0.

    I know the original question must sound very silly, but miniature flying technology under 250 grams is becoming better all the time. Even the military have little flying "spy insects," yes?

    So much for my quick question - Ha! Even the Airspace Authorization form asks for your aircraft registration. Hmmmm. Maybe I should just do my best to fly safely and follow the common sense of Part 107 and not worry about it.
     
    #6 Phil Tuggle, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  7. Richard R

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    From "Summary of Small Unmanned Rule", 21 July, 2016, "Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs (25 kg). Again, no minimum weight.
     
  8. Phil Tuggle

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    Got that. So, as a test I have just filled out the online airspace authorization request and entered "None; Under 0.55 pounds total weight" in the Aircraft Registration Number field, to see what happens.