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Sheriffs department search and rescue

Discussion in 'Public Safety' started by Colbycheese08, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Colbycheese08

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    I am preparing to file for my exemption and would like you're opinion. I work for the local Sheriffs department and have been asked on multiple occasions in my county and surrounding counties to help with missing people. (We live in a rural area in Mississippi) I want to be able to help more and have been asked can the emergency management put my number on the roster for cases like that.
    Would this be a suitable case for exemption. The FAA says that I need to put why it would better the public and I can not think of a better cause than that. No it will not be used for surveillance and gathering evidence. ( that can be used by has to be signed by a judge prior) but that is absolutely not the direction that I would go. Just for missing people. Thanks.
     
  2. Colbycheese08

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    Sorry if any spelling may be of or my grammar is off. My phone is dying and was trying to hurry and post. Thanks in advance.
    -Colby
     
  3. ParsnipHysorter

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    Exemption? Is this the 333 commercial exemption? I'm no expert on the subject but I know a little bit about the 333, and what you are engaging is hardly commercial -- I don't see you would need an exemption at all.
     
  4. Colbycheese08

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    I would agree. But I'm like anyone else out there I would love to have the opportunity to make money using my drone. And of course these local agencies have agreed to pay a call out fee and fuel for my time. So that's technically making money. I really would like to do what I need to to be as legal as possible.
     
  5. 0DRK3RT

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    A 333 exemption requires a pilots license.
     
  6. ParsnipHysorter

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    Oh that makes sense. Yes your cause, searching for missing persons, is probably better then most for how it could better the public. Private companies get the exemption with reasoning such as "improved, efficient aerial mapping" so your reason is as good or better!

    Agree with careful clarification... You DO NOT need a pilots license to get the 333. BUT when you get the 333 it will most likely stipulate that licensed pilot needs to be flying it. Lots of threads on this topic already.
     
  7. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    The FAA does state that (as of this writing but it may change) that all SAR is well outside of "Hobby" status so Section 333 Exemption is required. Along with that you will need a Pilot's License (or at least the person operating the aircraft will) and will need to get a COA (or e-COA) for each mission.

    I fly SAR locally with our IMT and it's a GREAT use for UAS. There are several things in terms of SAR that are being worked out right now and from I understand they will make it easier to use UAS for SAR work but right now it's not easy.

    With all this being said it's very possible that the Commercial Rules will change before a Section 333 Exemption Submission is processed and granted. Mine took 170 days from start to finish and that is with no addendum or requests for additional information. It won't hurt to apply for it now and if things don't change you're already in the system. If they do change (and I think they will) you can just get your submission cancelled.
     
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  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Good clarification but it needs one touch more... There's not a "most likely" because the Section 333 Exemption will require a Pilot Certification in order to operate. This isn't an FAA requirement but a requirement set for by Congress and one that the FAA can't budge on one way or the other.

    Anyone can be granted a Section 333 Exemption (or company) but the person flying the UAS must hold a "current" Pilot Certification and a Medical Rating in accordance with that certification. A good thing is the Sport Pilot rating only requires a state issued driver's license and it runs about 1/2 what the Private Pilot ticket costs. If you are a Private Pilot and you wish to use that to exercise your Section 333 Exemption you will have to get your 3rd Class Medical because without that your PPL is not current.
     
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  9. Colbycheese08

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    I'm aware of what the FAA says the requirements are. If having a license or any other stuff that would have been in my question I would have expected a answer for that, thank you for that information though.
    -Colby
     
  10. Helijoc

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    IIRC. You can receive compensation to cover expenses. I would think you donating your flight time would not require a 333 exemption. If you are being paid by the sheriff department it could be argued that this compensation is for your regular duties.
     
  11. ParsnipHysorter

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    Great points. Wow that really seems ridiculous that SAR, even unpaid/volunteer SAR, would require a 333. I did not know that. SAR, especially in the back country, seems like a natural fit for these drones. A couple folks have went missing lately in my neck of the woods (a skier and then a snowmachiner, both in separate avalanche incidents) and I wondered why the search teams did not employ any drones to help look. Can cover so much area so thoroughly and efficiently, but this makes sense to me if FAA regulations don't permit it. Real shame, but hopefully bound to change soon as you mentioned.
     
  12. Colbycheese08

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    Yes, tons of threads on section 333 exemption. That's why I wanted to ask about how I will be using my drone. It wouldn't make a lot of money but money is money and it clearly states that I must have it.

    So that being said will the FAA be okay with my reason of my request (you're opinion) I know they review it, and it's up to them. Before someone says that obvious answer.
     
  13. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    SAR is a PERFECT time for UAS but you have to remember we are dealing with GVT who has made some rules that don't really make sense. Then you add Policy & Procedures into the mess and you can see why many SAR won't let you be a part without all the required (I say required with tongue in cheek) credentials.

    This video is slightly outdated but it demonstrates exactly how important UAS can be to SAR work.

    The good news is it will get better and hopefully sooner than later. Just make sure you go the right routes if you want to do SAR and never... EVER under any conditions should you "Self Dispatch" for any SAR work. Be a part of the team or you become a part of the problem. :)
     
  14. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    When you apply for your Section 333 you want to include anything you might be doing with your UAS including SAR. Add anything that you even remotely might do so that it's included in your submission and subsequent approval. This doesn't mean you HAVE to do Aerial Imaging for Real Estate or Agriculture but this way you're approved for it.

    Also you can probably find some existing 333 Exemptions that were granted that fit your needs and you can just use that as a template to creating your own submission. Just make sure you remove EVERYTHING that pertained to the original submitter or you'll have to resubmit a corrected version. There's nothing wrong with using and existing and copying it but you need to make sure it's accurate and pertains to you and what you plan to do AND each aircraft you plan to use.
     
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  15. 0DRK3RT

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    BTW, 333 for a Law Enforcement Agency requires the PIC be a certified pilot AND that the UAS is operated by no less than 2 people (pilot and spotter) never outside of line of sight. Which means its use will be limited in SAR ops.

    The Michigan State Police was the first police agency in the nation to get an FAA exemption and set the precedent for all LE Agencies applying for a 333. I'm sure you already knew this too though....
     
  16. richardseguro

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    It's not a matter of making $$ or not. It is the use that you make of it. Simply put, if it's not for hobby purposes, it's commercial. If it's commercial, you need FAA exemption from 333. Pilot in command must posses at least sports pilot certificate and active state's drivers license. No medical needed.

    I submitted my 333 exemption on july 24 2015. It was posted for comments on 10/21/15 on regulations.gov
    Have'nt heard anything yet. Still waiting here. Let's see...time will tell.
     
  17. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    No medical needed ONLY if the pilot certification doesn't require it. You can't fly under a PPL (or higher) with just a drivers license because at that point without a current medical rating your pilot certification isn't "current". You have to have the medical rating that coincides with your pilot certification or you are not technically current. That came from our local FSDO here about 3 months ago. Being "current" is the key factor. I was trying to avoid the flight medical and thought I could use the "drivers license" portion of a SPL and then utilize my PPL certification to satisfy the Section 333 requirements. Got a big NEGATIVE on that because the medical aspect is an integral part of "currency".

    Keep an eye on your USPS mail. While there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to their schedule you could be seeing something in the mail any time. For instance here is my time frame:

    Submitted to FAA electronically and received my FAA tracking # on July 10th, 2015
    No activity until it was "posted to public docket" on November 4th.
    No additional activity "online" but got my packet in the mail from USPS on Dec 30th. The "Grant" was completed on Dec 23rd (per the paperwork) yet none of this updated status has yet to be posted to the public docket. I have my grant in hand yet if you go online it doesn't show in their "system" as granted until the confirmation is posted to the public docket.

    Watch your mail for a large yellow envelope of FAA and good luck :)
     
  18. ScatSpeak

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    Wow...

    I am so much more disgusted with the FAA after watching that video... there really is no reasonable justification for their "rulings", "denials" and "requirements" in the case of SAR...
     
  19. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Keep in mind that was 2013 and a whole LOT has changed since that video was made. On a more positive note there are "meetings" happening right now to improve the UAS/SAR concept and hopefully make it a bit easier to integrate UAS into the whole SAR sector. I predict that within 6 - 12 months the whole UAS use in SAR will be a completely different picture if current talks continue as they are now. As things progress I'll "try" to update this thread accordingly.
     
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  20. ScatSpeak

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    It's good to hear that things have improved... I realized that the video was a few years old but the behavior of FAA officials at the time is still disgusting. Unreasonable reactions to demonstrably responsible sUAS pilots for situations like SAR is inexcusable. FAA officials chose the least burdensome path for themselves instead of one sensitive to the needs of the situation, especially when the took action to monitor LEO radio transmissions in order to detect sUAS usage for SAR and aggresively shut it down...