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What is the latest FAA laws?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Larry9901, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. Larry9901

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    Hello folks,
    What is the latest FAA laws regarding filming or taking pictures for realestate commercial purposes?
    I've read that there could be a 10,000 fine if caught? I've also read that a judge overturned that and all that could happen now is a letter to cease and desist.

    Does anyone have links to the latest of exactly where we are regarding the law?

    Thanks
    Larry
     
  2. DBeard

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    I haven't heard of it being overturned.
    Link?

    I can tell you NAR (National Association of Realtors) has taken a seat in FAA drone talks. I can tell you that they support regulations allowing members to use drones "safely".
    But in my estimation the FAA is cracking down on it right now, having issued subpoenas to a handful of the largest NYC brokerages.

    This news was given to me on Sept 17
     
  3. Larry9901

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  4. DBeard

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  5. Larry9901

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    By non-binding, what exactly does that mean as it pertains to this case?

    I'm asking because an agent wants me to take pictures of one of his listings but is afraid (rightfully so) of possibly being fined 10000 dollars.

    Is it illegal for me to do it and him use the pictures? Or, can I send him these links to inform him.

    Not sure exactly how I should approach this.
     
  6. Koz

    Koz

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    Pirker got in trouble with the FAA prior to the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act and the case was based upon laws in place prior to Obama signing that Act. The FAA is now making their judgments based upon the Act and prior laws involving model and commercial aircraft.

    The problem right now is that if you take existing law as verbatim, it is not entirely clear what constitutes an "aircraft". For example, paper airplanes meet the literal definition of an "aircraft", but it's not like you call the NTSB if you crash one in your back yard.

    As technology has improved and model aircraft have become more sophisticated existing laws on model aircraft have become outdated. When the laws were written I'm sure no one imaged video enabled FPV aircraft like we have now. When the laws were written model aircraft were for recreation. No on imagined strapping a camera to one and using it for business purposes.

    So UAV operators are caught between outdated laws regarding model aircraft and commercial operation of aircraft, and we wait for Congress to provide us with new laws and guidelines. They way it looks we won't see any new laws for at least a few years. So in the meantime the FAA takes bits and pieces of older laws and the 2012 Act to try and keep commercial UAV out of the skies.

    My guess is that not only will we see strict laws and licensing requirements to operate UAV's, but some Congress will try and outlaw cameras on all hobby aircraft.
     
  7. doug86

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    http://dronelawjournal.com/

    and, of course your very best bet is to seek free legal advice from total strangers on an internet forum about toy radio control copters...
     
  8. Larry9901

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    Lol, now that's funny.
    I'm not seeking legal advise.

    Although I was seeking information as to where the law stands.

    Thanks for the link. Has any laws been written since this article that your aware of?
     
  9. Suwaneeguy

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    http://dronelawjournal.com/

    This is the guy who was the attorney in the Pirker case.
    Write to him and ask him, he will reply.
    He is also on this forum some times.

    Regardless of what the FAA has been touting, NO laws exist yet that totally forbid flying for commercial purposes.
    The FAA is in charge of regulating "commercial aircraft", NOT businesses.
    Congress has forbidden the FAA from regulating model aircraft, specially for hobby purposes.

    And oh yeah, the FAA has no authority under 400 feet!
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    That's the kind of free legal advice you get on forums.
    The FAA obviously has a lot of say on a lot of issues below 400 ft.
     
  11. DBeard

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    something to say != authority
    Precedence is what is important here, because the actual law is broad and vague.

    I'm not a lawyer but I play one on tv.
     
  12. Larry9901

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    I spoke with and emailed a FAA personal today and this is what his reply to me was.
    My email is in blue and his response in black.

    To: Hanes, Steven A (FAA)
    Subject: Re: FAA UAS Policy / Regulations

    Hello Mr. Hanes,

    I wanted to take the time to thank you for your quick telephone response this morning. It was greatly appreciated. As mentioned, I currently hold my AMA and am very active within the radio control community and have been flying all variations of model aircraft safely and respectfully for approximately 15 + years now.

    In addition, I am also currently flying quadcopters weighing less than 5 pounds under 400 feet altitude away from airports per FAA guidelines that carry a camera. Lately I have been requested to take aerial photographs for realtors to use in their listings.

    After our conversation, I took out of it that the FAA is currently not searching or seeking out people who are doing this. Although if someone has a credible complaint, then will the FAA contact the person who is flying the UAS and ask for them to stop.

    Also mentioned, I have a link I am forwarding to you of an attorney who closely follows UAS's as it regards to what is actually written in law.
    As I have read the link several times, it appears that there is no law that forbids the use of quadcopters or UAS's for use of commercial purposes.

    Could you be so kind to fact check this as it pertains to the actual law?

    http://dronelawjournal.com

    Thanks again for your time Mr. Hanes.
    Respectfully yours,


    An interesting interpretation from his perspective however despite his argument that there is no public law establishing regulations pertaining to UAS / Droned /Radio control model aircraft he also does not make mention that On February 14, 2012 the President signed into law the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (PL 112-95), which established in Section 336 a “special rule for model aircraft.” This provision defines model aircraft as aircraft. Commercial UAS operations are prohibited without FAA authorization. The statute requires model aircraft to be flown strictly for hobby or recreational purposes and within the operator’s Visual Line of Sight (VLOS).

    PL 112-95 Section 336:

    SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.

    (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law
    relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into
    Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this
    subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model
    aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—
    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
    use;
    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community based
    set of safety guidelines and within the programming
    of a nationwide community-based organization;
    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds
    unless otherwise certified through a design, construction,
    inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered
    by a community-based organization;
    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not
    interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
    (5) 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)).
    (b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall
    be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue
    enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who
    endanger the safety of the national airspace system.

    Therefore, if flown in accordance with the conditions of 1 thru 5 the FAA does not get involved. Outside of conditions 1 thru 5 a UAS / Drone would be considered a Drone.

    And in the end, the FAA’s current policy regarding interpretation of the term “for hobby or recreational use” means no operations for hire or in the promotion of or furtherance of a business.


    Steve Hanes
    Supervisory Inspector
     
  13. doug86

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    .... interesting ... lets see. LAX runways are at about 60' above sea level, so I'm guessing you think that the FAA has no authority if I fly my drone down runway 25R....

    Please don't make dumb blanket statements like "no authority" .... of course they have "authority" for all kinds of things that happen below 400', including, in some cases, radio control aircraft.
     
  14. DrD

    DrD

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    The second condition is curious. I wonder if the absence of a community guideline completely prohibits flying model aircraft?

    (Those rascal ET's better start flying their saucers in another country)!
     
  15. DBeard

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    Uncle Sam does cover of Led Zeppelin 'Under my Thumb...'

    I have no idea how one can justify restricting commerce when the pilot is following the initial regulatory guidelines.
    If we follow the rules for personal or professional use it shouldn't matter which it is. Fascists!
     
  16. dtviewer

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    Mr Hanes is playing word games in an attempt to confuse the subject.
    He never actually answers the posted question of 'is there a law prohibiting the use of drones for commercial purposes', nor does he link to factual information about any law that may be relevent.

    Instead, he references the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
    If you read the act carefully you will see that all the act is are guidelines and deadlines given to the FAA asking them to submit recommendations on a bunch of aircraft related subjects. The Act gives very pointed guidelines for the FAA to follow on a variety of issues...including topics covering Unmanned model aircraft.

    No where in the act does it say that using a model aircraft for commercial purposes is illegal. Nowhere.
    It does say:
    "the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model
    aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—
    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
    use;"

    That is MUCH different than saying it is illegal to use a model craft for commercial purposes.

    BTW, Sections 331-336 are relevant to drones and hobby craft.
     
  17. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    I know it's off topic but that would be the Rolling Stones, not Led Zeppelin.
     
  18. Koz

    Koz

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    Right now it all comes down to the current definition and interpretation of "hobby aircraft". The FAA is applying a broad interpretation to the definition while opponents counter with the FAA's interpretation could in fact regulate paper airplanes and the like. So unless any lawsuits make there way through the courts before Congress takes action we're all essentially in limbo.

    What muddies the situation right now is companies like Amazon and Google that want to do a heck of a lot more with drones than take pictures of houses and landscapes. So in order for the FAA to curb Amazon they try and apply the existing rules and laws to everyone. I don't like it, but they have to apply the rules that way because the existing laws and rules never foresaw the technology we have today. I blame companies like Amazon and Google right now more than I blame the FAA.

    What I would like to see the FAA do is come out with a special exemption for aircraft under 5 pounds (with payload). This would allow us to fly our Phantoms and Tali's and take photos for Realtors, videos for Convention and Visitor's Bureaus, and farmers to check their crops and irrigation. The problem is that the 2012 FAA Modernization Act prohibits any new rules or regulations from being established until Congress addresses the issue. That's supposed to be done by September 2015, but with the economy still sputtering and World War III breaking out my guess is that it will get pushed back another year.

    What I plan to do is write my members of Congress and ask them to look at passing a special exemption for aircraft under 5 pounds. I will also point out the hypocrisy of the current statutes on being able to take pictures of somewhere for my own use but be penalized if I sell those same pictures.
     
  19. Larry9901

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    When you do write your members of congress could you send me a copy? D like to use it as a template to do the same here in michigan.
     
  20. FASTFJR

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    And PA