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To Drone Or Not To Drone...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JetDoc, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. JetDoc

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    Hey all, new to the site and considering the purchase of a Phantom 2 Vision Plus V3. HELL NO, there won't be any ESC or missing mod scares that can dissuade me from that decision! However I'm very confused when it comes to the FAA's restriction on 'payment or commercial purposes.' And I was curious if one of you may be able to guide me in the right direction in the LATEST interpretation of the FAA's rule. I came across a court case back in March, where the judge ruled against the FAA's restriction, setting precedence for all users to get paid commercially, is this correct or not?

    I've got a phenomenal idea for a business venture, and it's basically what my purchase hinges on... Some would perhaps say,,, 'SCREW THE MAN,' FLY HIGH AND PROUD BROTHER!!!' Which is an awesome mantra, but I'm a FAA licensed A&P and I/A, and really don't want my *** under their microscope.

    THANKS in advance!
    Chop

    And if the subject is a touchy one for some here in the states, please shoot me an email; aircharterdom@gmail.com
     
  2. QYV

    QYV

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    UAS are only allowed for personal, recreational purposes without an FAA / COA exemption, of which there are about 5 or 6 if I'm not mistaken.... the point is there are VERY few being issued.

    What that means is, if you use your drone and receive payment for that service, video, picture, whatever... that's NOT legal.

    right now the only legal use of drone photos or video is posting cool videos online on youtube or vimeo or whatever.
    if anybody hires you for a business purpose... whether it's filming a wedding, movie, taking aerial photos of property to be used be a realtor, ANYTHING like that (package delivery, amazon) ... not legal. basically if you get paid for it or use it for any business purpose, it isn't allowed. technically.

    There have been plenty of people here talking about flaunting the guideline, like photographers who "give the photos as a bonus" and only bill for their time or whatever, but they're pressing their luck and deal mostly under the table.

    just within the last 2 weeks the FAA issued the first exemption to a guy to do real estate photos, and another to do aerial surveying for crops
    http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=81164
     
  3. Buckaye

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    There are a bunch of threads about this on this forum. And you're right... it's a touchy subject - insofar as there are a bunch of interpretations and opinions. Not a whole lot has changed recently - but from what I can tell...

    The FAA wants to restrict commercial use...

    They have some rules

    They have tried to enforce those rules (with big fines, threats etc).

    Some people have fought those cases... and won...

    Others have paid the fine

    Some will say screw the man and see if they come after you

    some don't want to take that risk

    In short (too late) - it's a mess, and full of gray areas... and the topic of much debate.

    My OPINION? Before I invested a lot of money in something that could eventually be outlawed (meaning... actual laws written... not just rules) - I would want to see how that plays out. However, I have not been known for being a super high risk investment guy... so... I also have not won big :) LOL

    anyway... search around this board... you'll find a pretty wide variety of interpretations.
     
  4. JetDoc

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    THANKS to you both! Love the concept of the machines and WOW!!!, talk about a hell of a vid clip some of these rigs deliver!

    Chop
     
  5. QYV

    QYV

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    it's a really fun and engaging hobby, with a lot of commercial potential there just isn't any solid regulation yet.

    the videos are indeed amazing, especially if you go with the model that has you filming with a gopro... the hero 4 black delivers some absolutely stunning videos... 1080p @ 120fps so you can get killer slow-mo, or 2.7k @ 48fps for crazy good resolution.
    (I don't bother filming in 4K because I have no 4K displays heh)
     
  6. TimmyG94

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    FAA is creating a real quagmire with regard to these silly rules about "no commercial drone use" without a permit.

    Did anyone see the "60 Minutes" segment last night on Colorado's pot industry? The federal govt. still sees that industry as illegal, and so banks can't do business with the growers because they have to adhere to federal banking laws and it would be considered money laundering for drug dealers if they handled the transactions. So the Colorado growers have to use cash for everything, such as buying supplies, paying maintenance services, etc.

    Why couldnt a potential commercial drone operator do the same thing? A customer walks up to you and says I want you to take aerial video of my wedding and I will give you cash payment. Since there is no financial documentation (ie, credit card charges, cleared checks, etc.), then how could the FAA ever prove you charged money for commercial drone use? You just complete the transaction with a wink and a smile and cold cash is exchanged under the table. There is no documented proof money was ever exchanged. You are doing the assigned task on your own time as a "recreational hobby". Easy peezy!

    :p
     
  7. Buckaye

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    Chris Hanson from 20/20 will come out with "to catch a predator...drone" and he'll pop out of the bushes and ask you why you're accepting cash as a drone operator :) :lol:
     
  8. TimmyG94

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    I sure wish Chris Hanson was on the business end of a Predator Hellfire missile strike.

    :p :p :p
     
  9. Ideager

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    Our CAA concluded there was no reason to distinguish between commercial and recreational use of UAVs

    " This is on the basis that these classifications do not best address the risks of unmanned aircraft operation."
     
  10. sdtrojan

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    Exactly! And the FAA needs to use the CAA as a resource on how to do this, don't reinvent the wheel here!

    I am not as knowledgable on FAA guidelines as some, but a drone flight is a drone flight, whether you are being paid for it or not. I think the reason the FAA is holding commercial use over everyone's heads is because they know the skies will see an exponential number of A/C in them with the cost of entry being so low. But the one thing I think needs to be brought to their attention, and I am sure it has, is that Joe Schmuckatelli does not have the kind of budget to allow for anything much more than LOS operations. I mean, you can argue that you can lose LOS when flying FPV, and that is true, however the "pilot" also has to consider staying within radio range and battery .

    Does that mean hill-top property is going to be 2015's equivalent of ocean-front property? I wish!!! But high ground is your friend in radio controlled flight if range is your goal (satellite linked-navigation is where we need to be looking, boys and girls).
     
  11. QYV

    QYV

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    completely agree with this. There's a gold rush poised to happen and if the the FAA hadn't put the commercial ban in place, I bet the skies would be literally swarming with UAS.
     
  12. TimmyG94

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    Why do you think it took the FCC more than 10 years to approve HDTV transmission after Japan already had it up and running in the late 80's?

    Because the U.S. government is anti-innovation and pro-paranoia !!

    If you want to see the true innovation in the commercial and private drone industry, look elsewhere besides the USA.
     
  13. TimmyG94

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    GPS-guided navigation will be the backbone of commercial drones since autonomous flight makes so much economical sense, as opposed to paying high wages for a human to pilot a UAV for delivery of a $10.00 Amazon item to it's destination and back.

    However, there will be also need to be a system in place for when humans do need to take control of a UAV during an autonomous mission, and that's where "flying-by-cell-tower" would most likely have to be developed before mass adoption of commercial drones takes place. Good news is that the technology already exists to make this happen. Just put a 4G LTE radio inside a drone and write the appropriate code to control everything through it.

    I don't think "flying-by-satellite" will ever be an economical option for commercial drones because of the high cost involved. The **** airline companies can't even justify spending money on satellite-tracking for $300 million jets even though we seem to be losing a lot of them over open ocean lately! Military drones fly by satellite control but I doubt civilian drones ever will.
     
  14. SteveMann

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    Not quite.
    You are correct when you say "threats". Everything else.... well.
    Only Raphael Pirker has been charged with violating FAA rules with a $10,000 fine for flying commercially and most notably, FAR 91.13, the ace up their sleeve- "Careless and Reckless operation of an aircraft". The first, flying commercially never made it out of the FAA enforcement office because there was no specific rule they could refer to in the charges. The second, Careless and Reckless, is one the FAA rarely loses in front of the Administrative Law Judge, and even if they do, the full NTSB has never, ever, to the best of my knowledge, not found a way to uphold the FAA's enforcement of 91.13 on appeal. Ever. So it was no surprise that the NTSB reversed the ALJ, allowing the $10,000 fine to be assessed. Pirker doesn't live in the USA, so collecting it may be a challenge. I am not sure about the timeline, but I recall that the 91.13 charge didn't materialize until after the first case was tossed.

    No other drone pilot has been assessed a fine by the FAA. If anyone knows of a case, please tell me.
     
  15. Buckaye

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    I stand corrected... I thought he had paid it in the end.

    Doesn't change my point though... if you're going to build a business based on Drones being a key element... I would want to see how creation of applicable laws seems to net out. It would suck to build a thriving business only to have a law passed that snuffs it out.

    The problem with this, of course, is that our government getting it together enough to pass a law.... well.... I can't even imagine how long it will take.
     
  16. SteveMann

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    The last I heard, his lawyer was considering an appeal. If I hear anything else, I'll share it.