Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

You Gotta Comment on This!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Birdman, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Birdman

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    FFA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft is open for comments at http://www.regulations.gov.
    So far they've only gotten 4,000 comments. The final day to comment is 7/25. Do consider filing a comment via their website. Maybe we can get them to make some changes to FPV regs.
     
  2. CRankin

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    17
    Here's my input thus far. I'll address other issues in another submission to them.

    ------

    First off, let's get back to the basics of government. The FAA is part of the Executive Branch. The last time I checked, it is the Legislative Branch's (Congress) job to make the laws, the Executive Branch's (FAA) job to enforce them, and the Judicial Branch's (court system) job to interpret them. The FAA is clearly operating outside of this basic defined authority when it takes interpretation of laws into its own hands - particularly when it sorely lacks the understanding, perspective, and expertise required to make informed decisions on a subject.

    Now let's discuss the particulars of what the FAA proposes. In its interpretation, the FAA implies that all model aircraft flown for any commercial purpose present a clear risk and danger to the public yet offers no evidence to this affect. The FAA's meddling in commerce might be tolerated by some if they could prove a clear and present danger to the public, but since the agency cannot their activity should not be welcome on any level. The FAA is not Henny Penny, and it does not have the responsibility of "protecting" us from theoretical events whose probability of occurrence is unsubstantiated.

    While one can agree that some degree of oversight would be prudent in a society where UAVs become as prevalent as automobiles, one must also agree that this is not likely to occur in any society in the foreseeable future. The FAA's actions assume the former scenario while ignoring the reality of the latter.

    In the example allowable and prohibited activities cited in the proposed rule, the FAA states that photography for personal use is permitted while prohibiting photography for commercial use. While it is convenient for the agency to make this determination, they do so without providing substantive justification for an apparently arbitrary and capricious delineation. From a public safety perspective, no differentiation can exist based solely upon intended use of photographic material. No additional danger is created when a photographer engages in commercial activity after photographs are taken.

    Moreover, photographers engaging in commercial activity are likely to present a lower risk to the public than the average hobbyist aerial photographer. It is a well-known fact that skills are developed through repetition and practice; one can reasonably anticipate that individuals incorporating UAV-based aerial photography would log more flight time than hobbyists, thus having better-developed skill sets. Through its proposed interpretation and enforcement procedure, the FAA would actually create an environment that favors aviators with less experience in the air.

    Additionally, there is a considerable financial incentive for those engaging in commercial activity to maintain good track records of responsible flight. Businesses - especially small businesses - thrive on repeat customers. In markets such as real estate, word travels quickly. Operating irresponsibly will cause a quick loss of clients - even if no physical damage to person or property is caused by said behavior. (In the event that damage is caused, means already exist to appropriately address this through the court system, with no FAA involvement needed.) Through its proposed interpretation and enforcement procedure, the FAA appears to indicate that it prefers an environment where UAV operators are not incentivized to behave responsibly.

    As we can see, the FAA's ban on activities like commercial photography just doesn't make sense. A safer airspace with better trained and more responsible UAV pilots is not achieved through its proposed interpretation.

    Now let's address other areas of the proposed interpretation. While it does make sense to place minimal requirements for operation such as maximum altitude and minimum distance from major airports, it does not make any sense whatsoever to propose that any UAV used for a commercial purpose be regulated identically to manned aircraft. There is a substantial difference between a aircraft designed to transport passengers and cargo and a small quadcopter designed to lift a maximum of a few pounds. While safety must be a concern in either instance, requiring ground school and training or certification of any kind for a small UAV operator is onerous and unnecessary. It does nothing to create a safer environment, and only stifles economic growth in a sector poised to generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income.

    In many respects, the current proposal ventures into territory where the FAA is a fish-out-of-water. The agency lacks the appropriate experience, expertise, and authority to provide a fair and adequate interpretation that fairly treats everyone and protects individual rights without stifling business.

    It's time for the agency to remove the blind man from the pilot's seat and bring some sanity into allowing commercial use of UAVs before our technology third-world nations begin to surpass us here.
     
  3. EMCSQUAR

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    N 44.895 W 93.354 Minnesota
    That response was almost biblical. Spot On!
     
  4. kymedic121

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arlington, Ky.

    AMEN, We need to send you to Washington and let you sit across the table from the FAA and Legislators. We need people like this to speak on our behalf. This is 100% spot on!
     
  5. kymedic121

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arlington, Ky.

    Just voiced my opinion. Tactfully of course. LOL
     
  6. jspradling7

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    @CRankin

    Nicely written and I can agree with the intent. I'm conservative by nature, and as the builder of an Ultralight Gyroplane and also a target shooting enthusiast, I have a tendency to view any government intervention into my personal hobbies with a steely glare. Heck, I don't think government has a right to make seatbelt and helmet laws. However, I'd like to play devils advocate a little bit for discussion's sake. Not because I disagree with you but because I see a huge potential for abuse of our toys by idiots and criminals alike. If I understand part of your meaning, it is "just because there is potential for abuse it doesn't mean that we need to start making up laws to restrict models before any occurrence happens" Normally I would readily agree but I don't think so in this case.

    Our models have no means of collision avoidance or even a transponder to warn a manned aircraft of their presence. These models are going to get very cheap and there are going to be ALOT of them. If ANY government agency has a clue of the dynamics of the (excuse the term) explosion of the personal drone market and the potential dangers, it's the FAA. They may be as slow, stubborn, and as fierce as the IRS, but I would much rather they handle this than a court with no experience at all with aviation. I think there may be some common sense rules that need to be in place. Staying clear of airports is a good example. And I don't know, but even the non-commercial use may be appropriate. Can you imagine 200 paparazzi with drones showing up at some wedding or a school playground trying video some famous person's child so they can sell them? How about seeing a UAV taking video from a couple of feet outside an office building or hospital window? With FPV these models instantly give anyone with $1500.00 the near equivalent of owning a helicopter. How do you allow Amazon to use them and not the bad guys?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can understand people wanting some rules to reasonably protect personal safety and privacy. I don't like government intervention, almost everything they do is an inept bloated disaster. Let's hope the laws are few and logical. The FAA is a better lot than most of the other government agencies. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. cahutch

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    The paparazzi aspect is a good example of why they want to restrict commercial use.
    When commercial use becomes commonplace for Real Estate, Farming or other purposes, there will be alot more in the air.
    To be fair, Real Estate and Farming are not going to put a bunch of these in the air. A few flights a day over some for sale property or farm isn't going to be a danger to anyone under any foreseeable conditions.

    What the public is mostly concerned about is invasion of privacy. But there are already laws in place for that. Flying over private property under 80 feet or as high as 500 feet can get you charged with trespassing. You may even be within your rights to shoot it down if it's unmanned and over your property. Something to think about before you fly over private property.
    Another concern the public has is the use of these as weapons. Which again there are already laws in place to guard against. It's just as illegal to deliver a bomb by UAV as it is to deliver by FedEx.
    Lastly people are concerned about safety and again there are already laws that would allow law enforcement to prosecute anyone who is using a drone in a way that endangers anyone on the ground or in the air.

    So why would we need any new laws?
     
  8. Hovtech

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    151
    I am truly amazed the paparazzi are not already using drones for celebrity weddings and like events. I agree with everything said in these posts.
     
  9. jspradling7

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with shooting them down is that all those bullets that miss come down too... somewhere.
     
  10. jspradling7

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. cahutch

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    Bird shot drops harmlessly like a gentle rain.
     
  12. jspradling7

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    lol Yeah, I've had it "rain" on me while hunting. No harm no foul. But, I was thinking more about gangsta pulling out his fo-tay or hillbilly grabbing his deer rifle and blasting away.