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Old January 4th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #31
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

As for whether shooting video from RC helicopters are illegal, here's the straight dope:

===============

Contrary to the blog posted to the Mi6 Film's website that you so kindly provided, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not stopped the use of all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) being used for a commercial purpose (i.e. other than for pleasure, recreation or sport use by an individual.)

Any person or company wishing to obtain FAA authorization to operate a UAS in the U.S. airspace for a commercial purpose may do so.

For more information: Unmanned Aircraft (UAS) - Questions and Answers

Of course, the use of a small radio-controlled model aircraft by an individual for pleasure, recreation or sport does not require FAA approval, provided there is no compensation to the individual for its use.

Kind regards,

R. Lance Nuckolls
Aviation Safety Inspector - Flight Operations
FAA Office of Aviation Safety
Unmanned Aircraft Program Office (AFS-407)
Washington, DC Headquarters
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Old January 4th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #32
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
Any person or company wishing to obtain FAA authorization to operate a UAS in the U.S. airspace for a commercial purpose may do so.
That's contradicted by this statement in the Unmanned Aircraft (UAS) FAQ Unmanned Aircraft (UAS) - Questions and Answers
Quote:
Can I fly a UAS under a COA or experimental certificate for commercial purposes?
No. Currently, there are no means to obtain an authorization for commercial UAS operations in the NAS. However, manufacturers may apply for an experimental certificate for the purposes of R&D, market survey and crew training.
Translations of the alphabet soup:-
UAS - Unmanned Aircraft System
COA - Certificate of airworthiness
NAS - National air space
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Old January 4th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #33
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

Here's more information about this subject:

http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives...notice_uas.pdf
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Old January 4th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #34
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

Here is an email from Lance I got just yesterday, 1/3/2012. "Public use" is hobby flying only, without compensation. They are trying to allow commercial use in the future, but as of now in 2012, flying for video purposes other than research and development (with license) is illegal in all US airspace.

Hi Warren:

Given the overwhelming number of requests my office receives concerning
this type of request, I need to direct you to the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft
FAQ website-

Unmanned Aircraft (UAS) - Questions and Answers

Bottomline- the FAA is currently only authorizing "public use" (as defined
by United States Code) unmanned aircraft operations and other civil use
unmanned aircraft operations involved in research and development.
Unauthorized use of any aircraft (including unmanned) in the National
Airspace System is subject to U.S. civil penalty.

That said, there is a FAA rulemaking effort underway that is intended to
allow for the use of small unmanned aircraft to be operated commercially,
such as for video shoots, etc. However, that effort may not culminate into
a formal regulation until sometime in 2013. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking for public comment is expected to be published in the Federal
Register in April 2012.

R. Lance Nuckolls
Aviation Safety Inspector - Flight Operations
FAA Office of Aviation Safety
Unmanned Aircraft Program Office (AFS-407)
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Old January 5th, 2012, 12:18 AM   #35
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

it's a little on the old side

....Issued in Washington, DC on February 6, 2007....

oops - didn't see the last post
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Old January 10th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #36
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

Hmmm. How many of the numerous UAS websites offering airborne video abide by these regulations?

I did see one site where the actual "shooting" was essentially free. One suspects the money is made on the site survey and planning part, in an attempt to get around the "operation of the aircraft for money" part.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:24 AM   #37
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

"How many of the numerous UAS websites offering airborne video abide by these regulations?"

As defined by the FAA: none.

There is also a bunch of people operating small video transmitters without HAM radio licenses. Even the FRS radios sold by Costco violate FCC rules if purchasers don't have the proper licenses to operate them at higher power levels.

The intent of FAA and FCC regulations is to ensure safety and the coordinated use of a shared resource, whether it's the airwaves or airspace.

If an operation keeps a low profile and doesn't do anything that might endanger people or put property at risk, it's not likely to draw the attention of the authorities.

No harm, no foul.

There was a time when freedom was paramount in our society. "Free for all" litigation and an increasingly irrational sense of fear has pretty much reined it in.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #38
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

The problem is the impossibility of obtaining insurance to cover an illegal commercial activity. If an Ar.Drone plus GoPro plummets out of the sky then it's unlikely to do any major damage but anything larger would be a real danger. Couple that with the difficulty of flying & the problems with reliability of a model helicopter & there is a real recipe for disaster.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #39
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Re: R/C Helicopter + GoPro or POV camera

Dean and Nigel, you're both right.

As Dean implied, most of us are sick of the Government nit picking every aspect of life and a VERY LARGE percentage will simply ignore this idiotic rule.

The chances of being prosecuted are somewhere between slim and none unless you do something really stupid.

Nigel, as with many things, it's impossible to insure against every issue. You simply have to make a choice, be as responsible in handling it as possible, and take your chances.

In the US it's not so much the illegality of the action that opens you up to litigation, it's the way it's handled.
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