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Want to Fly in a National Wildlife Refuge?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gringorio, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. gringorio

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    I've been working (for free), capturing aerial video for a National Wildlife Refuge on an irregular basis for a couple years now. They recently sent me this (attached) "UAS Flow Chart", though it has not stopped me from helping them, nor them for asking for help ...

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 gringorio, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  2. jpd

    jpd

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    Are you in the states? If so do you have your 333? If so its a bit of a red flag for me


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  3. gringorio

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    Well, I was not paid and if they use the video it will be for educational purposes. So I don't think the 333 exemption applies.
     
  4. Air Ontario

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    I haven't looked at the FAA however there is usually a catch all, Governmental "for work or research" statement in order to cover all bases for any possible use other than hobby.

    Here in Cana duh you are prohibited from UAS use "For work or research" without hoops(SOFC filing/paperwork) and up to $25,000 in fines for use other than recreational.

    It is so easy to get an SOFC here that companies have sprung up(charging $1300 loonies just to help you navigate the governmental septic tank.
     
  5. jpd

    jpd

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    Actually after rereading all of the boxes and following the arrows again lol I think your safe first box says follow all of the recreational hobby rules and I'm sure you do and then for box two which is being on the refuge it says if your a hobbyist flying you need to comply with all FAA rules for hobby operators and that is all!


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  6. jpd

    jpd

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    The only fine line is if you are providing them something paid or not (like a service) then it might be consider commercial unfortunately I think because I was going t tag onto my wife's business and just give her the videos I make so I didnt have to go get a 12000 dollar pilots license for filming weddings I was told even if I do it for free it's still commercial


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  7. jpd

    jpd

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    [​IMG]if your not commercial I think your fine. Boy I over think things sometimes lol sorry I'll just go back to lurking in the forums.


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  8. gringorio

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    Thanks for all the responses! It still seems hard to define in this case in that my contact at the refuge does not think it is commercial, but purely educational - they won't make money from it. Maybe one of the FAA lurkers can chime in? o_O
     
  9. Sagebrush

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    I applaud your volunteerism, but if you are not doing this flight for recreation (you're doing it for the refuge, for a project), the FAA would define it as a commercial operation even though you are not getting a nickel.

    You're refuge employee and I agree, this isn't commercial. He and I agree by the definition in Webster's But it's the FAA's definition that you need to heed by, not the USFWS's.

    And after looking at the flowchart, I think even the USFWS would conclude you need the (333) waiver.

    S
     
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  10. Air Ontario

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    In reality, you will likely be fine as long as nothing happens, nobody complains, no money changes hands and the findings aren't published.

    You are helping a cause so I am not sure I'd even worry too much.
     
    #10 Air Ontario, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  11. gringorio

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    Thanks for the reply Sage... This is sounding more depressing. I'll talk with the Refuge management and present the points and info you and others have brought up. Looks like they will have to find another way to get the video they wanted.

    Hope the FAA eventually allows non-pilots to operate small 'drones' like the Phantom commercially or as a volunteer, with a reasonable test and operators license requirement.
     
  12. Sagebrush

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    I (seriously) hope you find a way to pull this off.

    'Luck,

    S
     
  13. gringorio

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    Thanks! Coincidentally, This afternoon I was contacted via a comment on on of my hobby aerial videos on YouTube. The person is a teacher in the TUSD and wants to use part of that video in a video they are producing on Biodiversity.

    So, I'm assuming that the above discussion also applies to this situation, despite being free and for education, still commercial and not allowed?
     
  14. byrne68

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    I'm not in the US and puzzled by this entire 333 thing ... What's the government's logic behind why you need legal status (333) to sell an image from a drone, while without one you can still hang out of a helicopter, plane, ultralight, hot air balloon, parachute, whatever... take an image and make a profit from it? It seems almost unbelievable to be true... that an organization responsible for the safety of the air can actually impose such a rule and be so involved in the economics of aerial imagery. Don't get me wrong... I totally understand the need for basic drone guidelines that are issued in the interest of public safety by the FAA. It's the part about telling someone what they can and can't do with the images that I find rather unbelievable.



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  15. Sagebrush

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    Any commercialization using aircraft in the U.S. is highly regulated. Skydiving and selling pics? I don't know.

    Sagebrush
     
  16. MajObvious

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    Can i get a tl;dr of this? Can we fly in/over refuge or not?
     
  17. Sagebrush

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  18. MajObvious

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