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Old June 8th, 2015, 09:05 PM   #1
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Are you certified to fly commercially?

I am not, but here is Hawaii's first company that received their section 333 exemption from the FAA. Congrats!! Who on this forum is approved to fly commercially?
Joint venture becomes first in Hawaii to receive FAA commercial drone certification | More Local News - KITV Home
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Old June 8th, 2015, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

Aren't there only 7 or 8 companies with approval?

The extra trick is, you have to file for permission with each individual project, which is absurd.

I can't wait until the new rules make this possible for more of us.
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Old June 9th, 2015, 12:37 AM   #3
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

7 companies were the first original batch to be approved, I believe the count as of today is in the hundreds. I also believe the requirement that you must be a private pilot has been relaxed; a sport pilot cert is the minimum prerequisite now. Every project's flight plan also needs to be registered and approved by the FAA at least 72 hours ahead of time.
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Old June 9th, 2015, 05:32 AM   #4
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

Just saw this NOTAM filed a couple of days ago here in ATL:

ATL 06/038 ATL AIRSPACE UNMANNED AIRCRAFT WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 1NM
RADIUS OF ATL256022 SFC-400FT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL THURSDAY 1300-2100
1506041300-1506252100
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Old June 10th, 2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
Aren't there only 7 or 8 companies with approval?

The extra trick is, you have to file for permission with each individual project, which is absurd.

I can't wait until the new rules make this possible for more of us.
Lots of companies 'approved' now and awhile back, the FAA streamlined things a bit by allowing a blanket COA for ops at 200 feet AGL and below. No need to file a separate request for each op below that altitude.

-gb-
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Old June 10th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

I see that in the past 3 months since I last checked the number of approved companies jumped from 7 or 8 to over 500.
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Old June 13th, 2015, 03:25 PM   #7
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

We are. It's sort of a mixed blessing at this stage of the game. It's very difficult to fly in a feature film without it. Also difficult to get hull insurance with no 333 too. On the other side of the coin, many smaller productions don't want to deal with all the restrictions and opt to go with an unauthorized crew instead. Crazy times.
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Old June 16th, 2015, 05:01 AM   #8
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

We are - but in the UK.

As said above, it's a bit of a mixed blessing since a lot of people are doing it illegally and getting some great (illegal) shots that we have to turn down.

Of course I'd rather be legal than not ;)
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Old June 19th, 2015, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

The problem, as Wendell alluded to, is that once you have the waiver and COA, the restrictions placed upon your small UAS are the same as those that apply to manned aircraft, resulting in needless separation distances from people and structures. 500' is a great rule for a manned aircraft, but not so great when you want to fly in front of a residence for aerial real estate work using a 2 to 5 lb. aerial platform.

-gb-.
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Old June 19th, 2015, 11:23 AM   #10
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

My understanding is that it's a maximum of 500 ft above ground level or that least that's what proposed in the Small UAS NPRM.

Although, flying below 200ft seems to be the COA restriction .https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=82245

Not below 500 ft would get drones flying with manned aircraft.
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Old June 21st, 2015, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: Are you certified to fly commercially?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
My understanding is that it's a maximum of 500 ft above ground level or that least that's what proposed in the Small UAS NPRM.

Although, flying below 200ft seems to be the COA restriction .https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=82245

Not below 500 ft would get drones flying with manned aircraft.
Yes, the NPRM proposes a 500 AGL max altitude restriction.However, the NPRM isn't a current regulation so it does not apply as of yet.

Recently, the FAA relaxed the requirement to get a separate COA for EACH operation if you are going to operate at or below 200 AGL. It's basically a blanket COA for the first 200 feet up.

But they are still applying the normal separation distance of 500 ft. that has been applicable to manned aircraft.

Quote:
§91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
The notion of whether you currently even need an exemption to fly commercially is the subject of legal debate. As such, there are many sUAS commercial operations being conducted without an exemption and the FAA stance at this point is that they will only pursue operators who engage in wreckless or careless operations. Ironically, it's the commercial operators who are the least likely to be engaging in such behavior because they have a lot more discipline in the way they operate.

It's a mess, and they are way behind the curve as opposed to other countries.

-gb-
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