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Old February 27th, 2014, 08:10 PM   #1
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Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Interesting article from the USA's Federal Aviation Administration:

Quote:
"There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about unmanned aircraft system (UAS) regulations. Here are some common myths and the corresponding facts."
Read it in full at Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft
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Old February 28th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #2
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

The bulletin makes it crystal clear...no commercial flying of cameras is allowed in the U.S. I wonder what happens to those who already made money shooting illegally? Can the FAA do something? Just the other day, I saw aerial footage at Sunvalley Mall in California, they flew outside and INSIDE the mall, with customers below them! The footage was a promo for the mall in its courtyard, edited to music. I'm quite sure the shooter did not have insurance for that kind of feat had something happened.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Well, one thing is for sure, You can fly INSIDE the mall all you want and charge as much as you feel like for it with NO fear of the FAA. ;)
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Old February 28th, 2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

I find the part humerous where they insist that, despite rumors to the contrary, they are perfectly capable of enforcing their rules! And the defensive part where they say that they're not that far behind the rest of the world, really. It reminds me of The Big Lebowski: "there are a lot of ins and outs, moving parts, what have yous."

By the sheer volume of unmanned areal footage that can be found online and VP houses advertising their aerial services, it's pretty clear that they lack the resources to really crack down unless, like they mentioned, a pubic complaint is filed.

But yeah, they do put that debate to rest regardless: it's against the rules.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 12:46 AM   #5
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Regardless of whether I agree with the FAA position, it IS their position and since they're the ones with authority to regulate such things I think it would be better not to permit posts on this forum from persons or companies knowingly violating these (unfortunate) rules. I'm concerned that the forum might get in trouble for seeming to encourage such activities, or conversely provide a means by which the FAA could take action against such posters.

I don't think it's wise to have the appearance of condoning or encouraging this kind of rule breaking, no matter how much we think the rules need to be changed.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 06:13 AM   #6
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

reminds me of how people always tell me, when i express concerns about shooting the outside of a building or business, "oh its totally legal as long as youre on a public street". yeah, well then YOU deal with the cops or business owners when thry come asking questions cause im tired of it, legal or not (and apparently it may well not be cause im told many times the building/business/property owner also owns the parking lot and street in front of them so its NOT public after all!). anyway what i was getting at in that long ramble was that i like to be in the clear when i shoot things, know everyone has permission to do whatever theyre doing. just makes life so much easier.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 01:41 PM   #7
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Jim,

I hear what you're saying and it could come across as condoning the rule breakers by posting content created by them. However, posting here on these boards is a form of free speech and therefore it is protected under the First Amendment.

The site itself could not be shut down for an individual posting about an illegal activity. The site would have some protection because they don't approve each post being made. While there are moderators, the moderators don't ok every post going up like an editor of a newspaper would for their site. So an individual might be banned or have legal action taken against them, but the site would be less likely to see legal repercussions.

Having said all of that, if you are the individual making the post and showing off your illegal content here then your post and the content your link to could be used against you in a court of law. Talking about others activities is ok, posting your own incriminating evidence, not smart.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Drone Law Journal | Legal News & Info About Drones, UAVs and Remote-Controlled Model Aircraft by Peter Sachs, Esq.

'The Drone Lawyer' Explains What's Legal: Video - Bloomberg
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Old March 1st, 2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn Yarbrough View Post
But yeah, they do put that debate to rest regardless: it's against the rules.
Gosh, sometimes I almost forget that even the federal government makes assertions and goes to court! In light of Wendell's post, I guess I should retract my statement.

It might be more accurate to say that the debate lives on, but the FAA can still make your life miserable if they decide to take you to court between now and when they finish their regulations.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 06:06 PM   #10
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

The FCC said that the 700Mhz band is illegal in the U.S, but there is no specific law that says you can't use your wireless microphone on that frequency band. So why doesn't everyone go ahead and use it and take the FCC to court because they believe they have the right to use that band because there is no specific law that says you can't? Likewise, the FAA has guidelines about aircraft certification, and pilot requirements, but they are not law. Do you see my point?

The Federal Government has guidelines in order to maintain order in the system. The FCC regulates what goes on the airwaves, and the FAA is trying to maintain order with all aircraft. Right now, every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants their hands on a drone and get into aerial photography as a business. I also would love to, but if the FAA says don't do it now, why not listen? Ultimately, it's all about public safety and maintaining order. There are so many people breaking the rules of common sense by flying cameras over people that it's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt or killed, at which point the FAA may say no flying cameras will be allowed, PERIOD. Those who break the rules now are ultimately hurting everyone's chances of becoming a certified video drone operator in the future.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 06:36 PM   #11
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

I see what you mean, Warren, and you have a good point. But the same logic could be (and often is, unfortunately) applied to everything. See growing and producing food as a small farmer under the new farm bill (FSIS and the USDA).

I'm not saying that UAV rules are the same, in fact I think a lot less is at stake here than with our food rights, but the point is that some rules are made to be broken. Sometimes it takes people breaking the rules in order for them to be redrafted properly.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 06:51 PM   #12
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

It may come down to a test case because lawyers claiming its legal doesn't make it so, they're presenting an argument that needs to be tested in a court. Possibly, if you have an insurance claim at the moment concerning drones, I suspect the insurers could easily refuse to pay because the FAA says commercial use is illegal.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 07:10 PM   #13
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

With regards to the FAA and lawyers, I am reminded of an exchange that took place in the mid-1980s.
A representative of a large university threatened to sue the FAA over an issue.
To which the FAA Regional Chief Council responded, "Then we shall see you in court. And just remember, we have more lawyers than you do."
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Old March 1st, 2014, 08:38 PM   #14
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

The bit that caught my eye was :
Quote:
Myth #6: The FAA is lagging behind other countries in approving commercial drones.

Fact
– This comparison is flawed. The United States has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world, including .........

Developing all the rules and standards we need is a very complex task, and we want to make sure we get it right the first time.
Surely European airspace must rival that of the US, if only due to population densities?

I can't agree with a free for all use policy, but a simple "no commercial drone use" policy seems unduly restrictive.

Wouldn't a sensible solution be interim legislation and licensing - certain minimum standard of authorised training, specific third party insurance, etc - whilst the longer term regulations get developed? And the interim usage could give valuable experience as to what should go into the longer term legislation?

"Getting it right the first time" is a great theory in principle, but surely the legislation is likely to have to evolve as the technologies evolve anyway?
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 04:54 AM   #15
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Re: Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post

Wouldn't a sensible solution be interim legislation and licensing - certain minimum standard of authorised training, specific third party insurance, etc - whilst the longer term regulations get developed? And the interim usage could give valuable experience as to what should go into the longer term legislation?
That's how it's done here in NZ. The criteria is strict, but we can gain a license to operate a UAV commercially by completing some fixed-wing flight training, passing a couple of PPL exams and drawing up safety documents and risk assessments.

So while it's not easy to get licensed, at least the CAA is open to the idea of controlled legal use of drones.
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