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You need a permit to operate the Phantom in Canada!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FrankB, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. FrankB

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    In Canada, the Phantom quadcopter is classified as an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) and, theoretically, you must have a Special Flight Operation Certificate (SFOC) to operate it.

    Here is the link to the Transport Canada site that describes what you need to do to get a SFOC: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/general-recavi-brochures-uav-2270.htm

    If you are planning on using the Phantom for commercial or professional work, Transport Canada requires that you have a detailed plan of what you are going to do, as well as meeting other requirements, such as having at least $100,000 in 3rd Party Liability Insurance.

    I'm sure that a Driver's exam and test is just around the corner.
     
  2. Buk

    Buk

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    Perhaps I'm confused it says, "...other than a model aircraft...". Model aircraft is less than 77.7 lbs. Wouldn't that leave out the Phantom?

    Please clarify for me, thanks.
     
  3. Driffill

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    I'm pretty sure the phantom comes in under 35kgs, you should be alright ;)


    . . . If your a photographer or film maker, and your shooting in a public area, you should already have public liability insurance etc. I have read that the FAA will not issue any permits for UAV until 2015 (in America), I'm from Australia, I'm not 100% on the laws here, but when I spoke to a local police officer, he said he couldn't think of any offence I would be committing by flying my phantom (I did not have any FPV systems on at the time, or camera).

    I also recently got the ok from a famous Australian race track to use my phantom when the car club I'm in has our annual track day in August this year :) that was actually the reason I bought my phantom, to get footage when we go :)
     
  4. FrankB

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    Nope, I talked directly with Jason Rule, the Transport Canada administrator in British Columbia responsible for licensing and he definitely confirmed that the Phantom is considered a UAV and requires a permit.

    I just submitted my application.
     
  5. Buk

    Buk

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    Just curious what did you use as the dates of your flying and will you submit updates as you plan more flights?

    Please keep us posted as the application process proceeds.

    Thanks,
     
  6. ogmios

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    FrankB is right in regards to the commercial aspect of it. The section referring to model aircraft considers 2 criteria. Weight and flight purpose. Weight specs are superseded by the nature/purpose. If endeavor is of commercial purpose, the weight of the aircraft is the irrelevant.

    So basically, Canada is ahead of the US by at least allowing for application for commercial purpose, while we need to wait for the 3rd quarter of 2015.
     
  7. FrankB

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    Since my work is usually conducted at remote wilderness sites, I have applied for a more general permit that covers these wilderness work sites where I plan to use the Phantom.

    Yes, I will keep you posted.

    I suspect that we are going to see a huge increase in legislation and restrictions with regard to the flying of UAV's.
     
  8. ShotBy.CA

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    Hey Frank,

    How did the application process go? Any hangups? I just submitted an application today and am looking forward to the results.
     
  9. troutfishing

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    Frank,

    I'm really interested how you found an insurance broker. I'm preparing to apply for an SFOC also, but before you can start the process, you have to have proof of insurance (or at least proof of a *quote* for insurance).

    Any info will be appreciated.

    Tim
     
  10. ericdes

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    From the definition of Transport Canada, very clearly indicated here, the Phantom IS NOT a UAV, but a model aircraft, and if not intended for commercial use, doesn't require a permit. If you use it commercially, you need a permit, and to obtain a permit, one of the requirement is to have liability insurance of 100,000$ of more for the Phantom.

    Definition of Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)
    Section 101.01 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) states, "Unmanned Air Vehicle" means a power driven aircraft, other than a model aircraft, that is operated without a flight crew member on board.

    Unmanned air vehicles have been given many names, but are most commonly referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unmanned air vehicles, remotely operated aircraft or remotely piloted vehicles. Unmanned air vehicles may take the form of airships, aeroplanes or rotorcraft. Basically, they could be considered to be any unmanned aircraft that performs a useful mission and can be remotely controlled or has autonomous flight capability.

    How unmanned air vehicles are different from model aircraft
    "Model aircraft" means an aircraft, the total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures. Although some micro unmanned air vehicles may weigh less than 35 kg, they are operated by research institutions and other organizations for non-recreational purposes.
     
  11. ericdes

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    Further information from transport Canada.
    PS: I wonder what you said for him to respond you needed a permit. Either misscommuncation or something you said.

    2.It is important to note that what is often considered a “model aircraft” by an operator is in fact an “unmanned air vehicle” by definition. Subsection 101.01(1) of the CARs defines model aircraft as:


    a.“model aircraft”- means an aircraft, the total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures.
    3.Confusion may exist because the unmanned air vehicle weighs less than 35 kg, however, this does not make it a “model aircraft”. To be considered a “model aircraft”, three conditions must be met. Every condition is necessary but none is sufficient. Model aircraft weigh 35 kg. (77.2 lbs) or less, are mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes, and are not designed to carry persons or other living creatures.
    4.While the CARs do not define “recreational purposes” a dictionary definition of recreation is “not for work – done for pleasure or relaxation”. Model aircraft enthusiasts fly their aircraft as a pastime, an unpaid diversion, as an activity that “diverts, amuses, or stimulates”. Section 602.45 of the CARs was put in place to allow sporting enthusiasts to operate model aircraft for personal enjoyment but not for monetary gain or other form of hire and reward. The Aeronautics Act defines hire and reward as:


    a.“any payment, consideration, gratuity or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received or collected by any person for the use of an aircraft”.
    b.Equipping model aircraft with a payload does not, in itself, make the model a UAV, however, once the model aircraft is launched for any reason other than recreational purposes, it is an unmanned air vehicle.
     
  12. ShotBy.CA

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    Troutfishing, what province are you in?
     
  13. ShotBy.CA

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    Ericdes, you are correct. If you're flying it recreationally you don't need a SFOC, though you still need to adhere to certain regulations such as not flying within 3 miles of an airport, etc.

    Once you make the jump to commercial, you need that SFOC. Your definition above covers it off nicely.
     
  14. ericdes

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    In case you are wondering, if you are not using your Phantom commercially, your house insurance covers liability in the event of an accident to what ever the amount you are presently covered for.

    You need a seperate commercial insurance for commercial use.
     
  15. ShotBy.CA

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    Are you sure? Aviation insurance seems to be very different from residential, and from what I've heard there are some aviation policies being written that shockingly don't cover off airborne accidents.
     
  16. Magnumb

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    I can confirm that what others have said is correct.

    The phantom is no different than any other RC aircraft flown for recreational purposes. It's design does not dictate it's purpose, unless it weighs a certain amount. This means you can go the way of SFOC or just fly for fun.

    I've said it many times, I think transport Canada is missing a great opportunity. Draconian paperwork etc, is a sure way to keep people from being legit. If their mandate is safety in Canadian airspace, then scaring people away so they just do their commercial stuff "under the radar" isn't keeping anyone safe.

    As a commercial pilot....I require far less paperwork to fly my real airplane around.

    Transport canada needs to stop making it about stupid paperwork, and start making the process of "going commercial" with an embarrassingly light RC aircraft more about education. A 20 hr ground course culminating in the completion of your flight ops manual would be perfect, and a graduated system allowing more perivalages depending on the redundancy/capability of your machines mechanical bits.

    3 inches of paperwork certainly doesn't make anyone safe. They are trying to mandate safety, not educate for safety.

    Transport Canada has, in my opinion, lost it's way.
     
  17. mcmax20

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    I own & operate a tree farm and tree moving business in Alberta. As part of this business I'm planning to offer clients aerial surveys for yard site planning purposes as well as agricultural land assessments since I'm from a rural area. From what I see here I'll need an SFOC, but how do I go about doing so? Is there an actual application form or just send all the "requirements" to transport Canada and wait for approval? I haven't been able to find anything yet.
     
  18. ShotBy.CA

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    Send me a private message and I'll help you out.
     
  19. peterlindsay

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    Why do you not just provide the video for free separate from business and avoid all the issues associated with the commercial use.
     
  20. mcmax20

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    Because that's still technically not legal. The P2 is still being used for commercial purposes and so requires a SFOC in Canada. If its just a bit of extra paperwork to do yearly I don't mind. I'd rather be able to offer an aerial service and charge for it rather than always looking for a workaround, this may open up other doors too!