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Statement from FAA Administrator Michael Huerta 11/23/15

Discussion in 'News' started by LuvMyTJ, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    At the direction of the Secretary, the FAA announced the formation of a task force to develop a process for owners of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to register their aircraft. This group of experts embraced the challenge with the energy and creativity we expected and delivered its report to me today as scheduled. We thank them for their excellent and expeditious work.

    I will work with my team at the FAA to review their recommendations, as well as public comments we received, as we present the recommendations to Secretary Foxx. We will work quickly and flexibly to move toward the next steps for registration

    November 23,2015
     
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  2. RoyVa

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    Don't really understand why our government is going to spend millions to try to control a few non compliant Drones an yet they can't control illegal use of guns. Am I reading something wrong into this. There are more senators and congressmen in Washington screwing up more than any of these uneducated drone users.they can't even control drugs either. Given us a break.
     
  3. Beario

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    I could not agree more but at the same time I'm holding out some hope that something sensible comes out of all of this.
     
  4. tcope

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    It's to give people the impression that they are in control, pure and simple. If the FAA really wanted to do something they would put their time and effort into forming the regulations that they were charged with creating. We DO need some regulation to stop these local idiots from thinking they can and should outlaw drones. The longer they take, the worse it will get.
     
  5. snerd

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    The scariest words in the world.............................. we're from the government and we're here to help!
     
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  6. jason

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  7. SteveMann

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    Here is a quote from "United States Early Radio History" by Thomas H. White:

    "Radio captured the imagination of thousands of ordinary persons who wanted to experiment with this amazing new technology. Until late 1912 there was no licencing or regulation of radio transmitters in the United States, so amateurs -- known informally as 'hams' -- were free to set up stations wherever they wished. There were no laws or regulations restricting amateur radio transmitters in the United States. The industrialized northeast quickly became congested with a mixture of competing amateur and commercial stations, and it was the amateur operators who sometimes dominated the airwaves."​

    Does this sound like where we are with personal drones?

    I think that the logical outcome from this will be a sUAS Operator Certificate that anyone who flys any model aircraft including personal drones, will be required to possess.

    The Part 107 rules being processed right now for commercial sUAS operations, but it would take little modification to add the definition of Model Aircraft to the new rule. All the FAA needs is Congress' permission. I think that licensing operators of hobby aircraft of any type is inevitable. As a commercial pilot and a personal drone owner, I advocate a proactive approach before the lawmakers do it for us.

    The AMA, of course, would be vehemently opposed to any kind of licensing. There could be a blanket exception for flights at an established model aircraft field. This alone could exempt the vast majority of AMA membership from licensing since most of them only fly at AMA fields. There could be an exemption for flights below 100 ft from property the operator controls (own or rent). Possibly even a blanket exemption for toy drones weighing less than 1 pound. Using these exceptions people could still buy and fly without licensing.

    Licensing could be quite simple - just look at the overwhelming success of the way Amateur Radio operators are licensed. There are no FCC fees and the examinations are performed by Volunteer Examiners. (The FCC develops the question pool). No practical (I.E. Flight) test would be required or even feasible considering the huge array of aircraft configurations. But this kind of licensing would require at least a reading of the rules and guidelines that personal drone operators should know anyway. The AMA could benefit as well as the source of the Volunteer Examiners to administer the testing.

    Too much common sense - my head hurts.
     
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  8. GoodnNuff

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    Interesting report from the FAA. Their calculations determine that a 0.55 lb/250 gram drone would be lethal falling at terminal velocity and striking someone in the head.
    I guess it makes more sense to me now how the P3 punched a hole through a plastic dining table near the Great Wheel here in Seattle a few weeks ago.
    Surprising.
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Interesting that what started as an urgent call for a solution to the perceived serious problem of recreational drones flying close to airliners seems to have come down to sorting out the risk of people on the ground being injured by falling drones and this is the reason they have decided that drones weighing more than 250g must be registered.

    btw .. they didn't say that a 0.55 lb/250 gram drone would be lethal falling at terminal velocity and striking someone in the head.
    They say:
    an object with a kinetic energy level of 80 Joules (or approximately 59 foot-pounds) has a 30% probability of being lethal when striking a person in the head.

    So now the DOT/FAA would require owners of drones >250g to get a number and put it on their toy aircraft. But what does this do to solve the original "problem"?

    Incidentally they calculate the probability of a fatal event caused by a falling drone >250g to be less than 1 ground fatality for every 20,000,000 flight hours (that's 2283 flight years!)
    So far there have been no fatalities caused by falling drones.
    Perhaps they should look at something really dangerous .... like baseball.

    Here are some actual recorded fatality statistics for baseball since 1862
    Beanings288 (includes one in a major league game and 11 in minor league games)
    Other pitched ball fatalities109 (includes one in a minor league game)
    Thrown ball fatalities127 (includes one in a minor league game)
    Bat fatalities83
    Batted ball fatalities
    189 (includes one in a minor league game)
    Collision fatalities101 (includes four in minor league games)
    Weather-related fatalities80 (includes one in a minor league game)
    Fatalities due to field conditions87
     
  10. shipdriver

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    The 250g limit was based on a 0.3 probability of lethality. Interestingly, they used an urban environment for their risk assessment of a 250g drone, an environment where drones are not even supposed to be flying. Based on their math, a Phantom 3 would have a 1.0 probability of lethality at terminal velocity, so the risk for a P3-size/weight drone is 3.33 times that of a 250g drone, plus another factor for a somewhat higher frontal area, however, the risk probability is still far below a GA aircraft (using their methodology- and to reiterate, this is for an urban environment). Of course, I've never heard of a drone falling straight down onto anyone. The few cases of injuries I've read about are usually a case of losing control and careening into people and thus not at terminal velocity, with cuts from blades being the main injury rather than skull collapse.
    They didn't end up addressing risk to aircraft because, of the three main fatality risks (fatality in the aircraft, fatality in another aircraft and fatality on the ground), the fatality on the ground risk was the only one they could even theorize about. There can't by nature be a fatality in the drone itself and the data on drone-aircraft collisions is astoundingly absent with the only known or even suspected cases (including large military drone collisions) not having caused catastrophic damage to the manned aircraft. This absence of data should be taken as a data point in and of itself for risk assessment.

    Since this was very hurried task force (it's an emergency after all! lol), several of the findings have implications that may not be what the FAA (or anti-drone types) wanted. As far as the registration piece itself goes, I actually think they came up with the most workable and reasonable outcome given their constraints.

    Now to get rid of the LOS requirement and the 333 pilot's license requirement and we will be getting somewhere.
     
  11. GoodnNuff

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    Sorry, yes, you are right. A half pound drone has a 30% chance of killing someone if falling at terminal velocity. My point was that I'm very surprised 8.82 ounces could be lethal at all. That just surprises me.

    "...Of course, I've never heard of a drone falling straight down onto anyone. The few cases of injuries I've read about are usually a case of losing control and careening into people and thus not at terminal velocity, with cuts from blades being the main injury rather than skull collapse."
    The majority of head injuries are CHI (closed head injuries) where there is no skull collapse.
     
  12. shipdriver

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    I was being somewhat facetious with the skull collapse thing because I haven't heard any reports of a drone falling directly on someone's head in any manner. I have seen a few reports of injuries but they weren't from falling drones, just out of control ones. I personally see falling debris as the primary threat from drone-aircraft collisions, since any impact with aircraft will result in drone pieces being spread around like fertilizer. A separated battery will have a higher terminal velocity than a complete drone, as well as a goodly part of its mass, and velocity counts for more in kinetic energy (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it was an ejected battery that punched the hole in the plastic at the Great Wheel).
     
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  13. tcope

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    We are expecting the FAA to put out correct and clear information? Fat chance.
     
  14. SteveMann

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    I've seen the photos. It was a cheap resin table and I can state from experience that a beer bottle dropped from just a couple of feet will do similar damage.
    Leave the sensationalism to the irresponsible reporters. They do it so well.
     
  15. SteveMann

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    The Task Force summary was released today [link]

    [COMMENT]How long have the file and comment tools been here?[/COMMENT]
     
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  16. GoodnNuff

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    Yeah Steve, I've actually dined on that patio, perhaps on the very table. These aren't the Walmart patio furniture one buys at a discount for home use. These are commercial grade restaurant furniture. Not a big difference, but they are a heavy enough gauge that a large waterfront restaurant doesn't have to worry about liability because they've loaded a "cheap resin" table up with a hot crab boil, drinks, etc.
    There are times where reality doesn't need to be sensationalized. Or denied.
     
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  17. damitjim01

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    3 questions,
    What crime will this PREVENT, not solve, prevent?
    How do you enforce it?
    What are the consequences if you don't do as they 'suggest'?
     
  18. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I'm not saying it's a huge risk but there was a case of a drone falling directly onto a lady I believe in NYC earlier this year at a parade of some sort. She "reportedly" was knocked out but I tend to think that was more for "drama sake" than reality. I don't recall any further injuries in fact the whole thing just simply got silent or I just never read any more about it.

    Also wasn't there also a report of a falling drone that bounced and hit a baby earlier? The child had slight lacerations but I don't think it was fatal (sarcasm).
     
  19. Fourprops

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    Yeah help screw WE THE PEOPLE.
     
  20. Fourprops

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    Maybe another BS story