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Small Town Airport

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by Voyager42, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Voyager42

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    The day I got my new P4 I called the local airport and asked about flying my drone. The lady I talked to said something about the fact they don't have a tower that it's not restricted. That if I am just careful and mindful of where I am and stay below 400 ft I'm good. Didn't sound like I needed to call every time.

    Fast forward to today. There is a strip of land that forms a harbor in my home town that you can drive along. At the end is the Coast Guard base. I called to see if I could get my P4 in the air and the guy asked a pilot. They said that FAA law says no drone flights within 5 miles of an airport. 100%. No questions asked. That was different than what I gathered from airport.

    So what's the correct answer? Do I need to call the airport each time I fly? Despite the fact they said there was no reason to? Am I screwed since I live within 5 miles?


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  2. cfd701

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    I believe the rules to be that you are supposed to call each time your gonna fly inside the 5 mile radius. Unless you and the airport come to some sort of "agreement" but I'd get it in writing. As far as the coast guard saying its a law that you can't fly within 5 miles of an airport they are just wrong. Remember when you call an airport your not asking permission you just notifying them that you will be flying.


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  3. WV_Owl

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    Where do you live? USA, if so Read FAA regulations. You can fly within the mile radius. Just have to notify them. They should ask some questions like location, your FAA reg #, a number you can be reached, and usually tell you direction plans are taking off or landing or know helos in area. You don't have to ask for permission. You have right to the air too.
     
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  4. Jrods

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    According to part 107 you are required to get permission from ATC if you are not in class e airspace. In practice at small airport you should just let the fix base operator know the area you will be operating in generally.
    Pattern altitude is some where between 800 ft and 1000 agl except off the end where final aproach would occurs personally I would not fly any where near the ends of any run way or heliport.
    My p4 would really mess up a turbine if it was sucked in it. And I don't carry enough to insurance to fix one of them.
     
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  5. Voyager42

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    I don't go particularly close to the airport but the way my town is setup its really impossible to get outside that 5 mile radius. When I talked to the lady at the airport she said it was no problem and explained the fact there was no tower (not sure how this changes things) meant I didn't need to let them know. The only people at the airport are those in the offices. Admin types. At the moment there is no commercial airline that goes in and out but private planes do fly in and out regularly.

    Yes, I do live in the US.
     
  6. cfd701

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    Part 107 is commercial drone pilots. If your flying for compensation. You can find a summary of the rules for commercial and hobby flying here.

    Getting Started


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  7. Voyager42

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    So since there is no ATC I still have to notify the airport itself. But the lady I talked to said that wasn't necessary. I feel like I should be good but I want to make sure there are no issues down the road.
     
  8. cfd701

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    I'm sorry I don't want to give you wrong info but I believe you still need to make an effort to contact someone at the airport. If you live within 5 miles of this airport and think you'll be flying there a lot I would take a ride down there and try to get something in writing. Like I said I'm not 100% sure about airports with no tower. The FAA website I'm sure would have info on this. Good luck.


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  9. Voyager42

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    Thank you. I emailed the company that does most of the charter flights in and out of the airport to see if maybe I just need to get their permission since I believe they are the only ones using the airport.
     
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  10. cfd701

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    Let us know.


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  11. Voyager42

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    I shall.

    I also emailed the guy who manages the airport. Wrote out an email explaining what I do with my drone and even sent a link to my YouTube channel. Hopefully he realizes how amazing this hobby is and how safe it can be.
     
  12. cfd701

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    I live about 3 miles from Teterboro airport in NJ. I call them every time I fly. They know me by name and are always polite and helpful. The first time I called I don't think they knew what to do. I talked to 3 different people. Ha. Guess I'm the only one in my area that has one. Or maybe just the only one that calls! Enjoy flying.


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  13. Voyager42

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    Lol that's awesome.

    The only problem with our airport is that it closes around the time I get off work. That's about the time I decide if I am going to go flying that day. I guess I could decide earlier but....I'm indecisive like that lol.
     
  14. Richard R

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    When I call my local airport, I get a live person about 1 in 5 times. The rest of the time, I leave a voicemail with name location , estimated flying times and altitude and a phone number. I haven't gotten any blowback about it. If there was a tower, it would be at a minimum Class D airspace and you would have to have atc permission to enter it.
     
  15. Jrods

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    Most small airports have someone listening to the radio, they call that the unicom. This frequency is going to be 122.8, 122.7 or 123.0 Mhz. It is used by pilots and ground crew to get information about the active runway, services, and generally let other planes in the area know who is there and what their intentions are. If there is some one monitoring the radio, this is the person that needs to be aware that you are in the area. This person should advise pilots of suas activity in the area that you are operating.
    But then there are some airports where there is no one there, and if they not in class E space then you need to call the regional ATC and let them know according to the regulations if you are flying commercially. I am not sure the FAA covers the case where you are flying as a hobby and there is no one at the airport.

    Part 101 applies to Model Aircraft. Section 336a5
    " when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport))."

    I have flown into Clarksville TN. Outlaw field (no control tower) and have been advised of suas activity NW of the airport by the guys at Fort Campbell. I don't know if that was military or civilian, Fort Campbell is just a couple of miles away. Again if you are not on the ends of the runway and less than 400 ft agl you will be fine.
     
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  16. Voyager42

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    "The Port approves your request to operate an unmanned aerial system (UAS) or “drone” per the conditions and locations you mention below and grants an exemption to the associated FAA UAS regulations."

    Got this back from the person managing the local airport. Says I don't need to notify them each time.
     
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  17. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    While you're "technically" correct it needs to be stated that the airport operation CAN deny you from flying if they have a valid reason. If you call to "notify" and they say "No can do" then you are denied access period. Our "right" to fly our toys (and I despise calling it a right) does not over ride manned aircraft's rights to safe flights and everyone going home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day.
     
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  18. cfd701

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    Yes you are Correct. But I've never been told no!!


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    #18 cfd701, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  19. cfd701

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    Your good to go!! Enjoy.


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  20. Voyager42

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    Now there is some talk on FB about some disturbing footage near our active airport from some of the pilots. Well, one of them. Trying to get ahold of the guy on FB to have a discussion. I haven't been all that close but want to make sure he isn't talk about me.