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Old May 27, 2011, 06:09 AM
Advocating for RC Aviation
USA, NJ, Phillipsburg
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
For those into sUAVs. Check it out.

http://www.uavforge.net/

Frank
The terms of use language is impressive. The project and sponsor have accorded themselves all the protections while the participant will assume all the liability and consent to full compliance. The compliance section itself is impressive. Lots of leagalese protecting the government. Buyer beware.

So leave your business cards at home, this project is building a database! Interesting technology no doubt. HK profits up?
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Old May 27, 2011, 08:38 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
Indeed.

As I said earlier, some regulation is required. The key is to develop sensible, appropriate and enforceable rules/procedures. This is where the discussion should lie.

Scapegoating a particular segment is unproductive and simply ignorant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
The issue is not how or what...but rather WHERE hobbyists fly.

Following only applies to rules regarding the NAS. The choice of flying site should be based upon factors which minimize the risk to persons and properties and not be limited to the following critera:

No flights above 400' AGL with following exceptions:
- Notice to and permission from ATC
- In an established flying field with a defined airspace recognized by ATC

No flights within controlled airspace without notice to and permission granted by ATC

All flights should occur with 1000' from clouds

...And no other....


Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
I agree.

Think of it. If you fly in a club field or a park below 400' agl (and most park flyers fly below 400' primarily limited by the operator's eyeballs), you're in already accordance with the proposed rules.

Now if you are to go BLOS, you need to understand the airspace and have the equipment required to do so. Thus a "community based" requirement of some understanding of the NAS structure should be mandated. To possess the equipment required to go BLOS, you need a HAM license. These IMHO are minimum requirements.

The requirement to maintain visual separation still stands no matter how you fly. Thus one must clear the airspace his plane occupies using all available means (typically visual and aural). Again I do not think maintaining visual contact of your plane is mandatory. You simply have to keep it within the airspace cleared.

Again, I think the trick is to understand the intent, which is to keep our models from becoming hazards to full scale MANNED aircraft. The best way to do this is through airspace separation. We'll figure out the details of how we'll comply with them within the community. So long as we stay out of their way and behave in a predictable manner, should any party deviate, everyone will be happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
WWC,

Firstly, I would say that the vast majority of FPV flying occurs within VLOS. Frankly, after a couple of times, the novelty wears out. The fun is in take off and landing, as you know and not in the transit. As well, the experience and equipment required to do so without quickly loosing your plane assures that.

Unless I am within earshot of my airplane, I have a spotter. My spotter clears the airspace that I operate in. Which before I go will be pre-defined. I plan a flight and fly the plan. My plane stays in that box.

Indeed maximum ranges vary based on the operating area.

Say for example I'm flying off to sea from the cliffs, my spotter can see all the way out to the horizon. Given the 400' AGL altitude ceiling, The spotter need only scan close the horizon to clear the airspace. With this arrangement, one can easily go out to 5 miles. Which is more than enough, in my opinion. That's about a 20 minute outbound transit.

In contrast, if you're operating in a park, surrounded by trees, one would not get out too far given the 400' AGL altitude ceiling and the obstructed horizon.

If as you suggest, spotters can be posted "downrange", the range could further be extended. That said, good luck on finding someone to do that...lols.

With regards to the physical limits of the links, My RC gear has been proven out to 20 miles. My Video Link is good to 10 miles. My plane has a return to Home function which returns the plane HOME at an altitude of 200' AGL should either link fails. If RTH fails, the plane is set to go cold and glide to the ground. While operating at 5 miles, I think chances of a "fly away" is remote. In Five years of FPV flying, I've had only 2 FPV planes, both of which are still sitting in my living room right now.

My understanding is that the AMA has given its proposal. Attempting to modify it now is already too late.

Again, I think the key is separation scheme that all NAS users know and understand.

As a fellow aviator, and one who operates closer to these hazards, I am keenly aware of the hazards posed by a foamy making contact with my helicopter. That said, given the proper rules, procedures and equipment, FS and model aircraft can co-exist in the NAS in a more permissive arrangement than most are willing to consider.

I hope that makes sense.



JBB
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
I think that all hobby/amateur RC flying should occur within LOS. Strictly speaking, without LOS, you do not have control or video from your plane anyway. What I am asking you to understand is that the definition of maintaining LOS does not necessarily require maintaining visual contact of YOUR model aircraft. For those of us who have not experienced FPV, I know it is hard to fathom. However, if you are to argue that the video link exposes the modeler to more risk, I must ask you to accept that so does large scale, jet, helicopter model aircraft.




Well articulated thoughts from another user:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
Care to provide the actual odds of collision between a full scale aircraft, and a small
model aircraft operating at random altitudes and courses in class E or G airspace?
The odds can and *have* been calculated.
Once known, compare that with the odds of above mentioned life threatening
engine failures, hydraulic failures, electrical failures, control system failures,
instrument failures, ATC mistakes, lightning, icing, clear air turbulence, heart attack..
etc.. If it were 1,000 times less likely than any of those, or 10k or a million, would
it matter to you? Where would you draw the line? Somewhere between
being struck by lightning in clear air and struck by a meteorite (both have non-zero odds).
To talk rationally about this subject, you have to start with the true odds of
occurrence and work with the industry standard benchmarks of failure and risk analysis.
Otherwise, we're basing our decisions, as I contended earlier, on either no science or
bad science.. + fear.

Part of this is a matter of perspective. To a full scale pilot the sky is full of aircraft.
But keep in mind full scale aircraft are forced to fly from the same fixed locations, to the
same fixed locations, usually following either narrowly defined, or at least relatively
predictable flight corridors and often holding standard flight levels. All of which
ultimately concentrates them in specific parts of the sky and *increases* the odds
of close encounters and potential collisions significantly. Full scale aircraft see
each other a lot, because of that. The relative randomness of FPV flights, free to
launch and fly far from airports and known flight corridors and altitudes (which many
of us make a very conscious effort to do when flying beyond VLOS), makes them
much less likely to encounter full scale aircraft, by literally several orders of magnitude.
This takes a potential collision event that already has minuscule odds of occurrence and
makes it virtually impossible (statistically speaking).

Somewhere in this discussion someone will inevitably bring up bird strikes as an
example of something small which collides with full scale aircraft, and which
do occur fairly regularly. But let's start with the fact that
there's an estimated 60 billion birds in the US, a large percentage of them are on the
wing some part of every single day, they are concentrated near water, which also happens to
be where humans choose to build cities and airports, and we find that the vast majority of bird
strikes occur relatively close to airports where the aircraft traffic is concentrated, and
generally at low altitudes where the birds are concentrated. Even when occasionally
encountered during cruise phase we're usually talking about flying into flocks of hundreds of migrating
birds at a time before a collision occurs. Yes it's a real risk that has to be taken seriously, but a
few hundred amateur FPV aircraft in the US, flying once or twice a week usually in class G airspace,
usually far from airports, and only very rarely high up, is not at all comparable to dealing with
60 billion birds all over the sky and all the other compounding factors that bring planes
and birds into the same airspace.

Another way to frame this discussion to see why we're upset at what is happening to us
is to turn the tables.
Let's say I was the FAA crafting regulations for full scale aircraft and my concern
was the safety of people on the ground. I know that there's a non-zero chance
of a full scale aircraft crashing into a populated area. In fact, I know that
it has already happened. It happens every year or two, and people are killed.
Do I outlaw full scale aircraft flying over populated areas entirely? It hasn't happened, and won't ever.
Do I outlaw full scale aircraft flying over unpopulated areas? Obviously ridiculous.
Do I outlaw operation of any specific class of full scale aircraft if an accident occurs? No.
Do I make different rules and licensing requirements for big heavy commercial aircraft, and smaller
lighter ones like sport class, ultralights, paragliders, and hang gliders and take into account
where in the sky it's safe to operate? Of course. The regulations should adapt to the
realities of the situation and there are places where it's considered safe to operate
lightweight aircraft with minimal or no licensing requirements. That's a reasonable approach.
That's not what amateur FPV is facing. We fly 2-3 lb chunks of foam, usually in lightly or
unpopulated areas and the new sUAS regulations could make amateur FPV in uncontrolled airspace
almost totally illegal as we know it, and the remaining operating requirements more onerous than
those needed to operate a sport class plane, ultralight, HG or PG.
That's irrational, and "unnecessary regulation".

I fully understand the need to regulate commercial operators. They *want*
to operate over heavily populated areas. They *want* to share the NAS with
full scale aircraft in the airspace they currently operate. The vast majority of amateur FPV pilots
are not going out of their way to do either one, and they don't represent
a credible danger to you, for the reasons outlined above.

ian
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Old May 27, 2011, 09:04 AM
DX5e fatal flaw- PM me!!!!
United States, NY, Cortland
Joined Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsabird View Post
Why not, NorfolkSouthern? No identification, I mean.
Because he refuses to take responsibility for his actions in case something goes wrong?

So if his plane is lost (or intercepted, any volunteers for the unauthorized operation RC capture squad?) while flying outside the accepted methods he can not be held accountable?


Personally, breaking stupid rules (general philosophy here, not specifically this case) and taking steps to not get caught doing so is acceptable.

I ride my dual-sport bike places I should not be, and I take steps to not be caught. I do no harm/damage when I do so, and I do not interfere with other peoples enjoyment of the areas.


Taking steps to be sure you cannot be held accountable if you cause injury/damage? Unacceptable.


Dave
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Old May 27, 2011, 09:24 AM
Advocating for RC Aviation
USA, NJ, Phillipsburg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
Well articulated thoughts from another user:
Nice recap. Please may I suggest that someone may want to formulate an alternative set of guidelines if the ones out there are not acceptable to those with a keen interest in this activity? Succinct and feasible guidelines may be helpful to the regulator if offered during the public comment period for the NPRM for sUAS. May also be useful to suggest to update anything out there, if someone chooses to go that route? Could also serve as a start for a new kind of CBO to serve unmet needs? Anything of merit here? Any other constructive suggestions?
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Old May 27, 2011, 10:21 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danamania View Post
Nice recap. Please may I suggest that someone may want to formulate an alternative set of guidelines if the ones out there are not acceptable to those with a keen interest in this activity? Succinct and feasible guidelines may be helpful to the regulator if offered during the public comment period for the NPRM for sUAS. May also be useful to suggest to update anything out there, if someone chooses to go that route? Could also serve as a start for a new kind of CBO to serve unmet needs? Anything of merit here? Any other constructive suggestions?
Make and publish to all NAS stakeholders following rules applying to Model Aviation:

1. No flights above 400' AGL with following exceptions:
- Notice to and permission from ATC
- In an established flying field with a defined airspace recognized by ATC

2. No flights within controlled airspace or within 3 miles of an airfield without notice to and permission granted by ATC.

3. All flights should occur with at least 1000' clearance from clouds

4. Depict all accepted RC fields in VFR Charts and note: Beware of model airplcraft within .3 nm of a depicted RC field and that model aircraft usually operate below 400 AGL but some as high as 1000' AGL.

Note these imply an understanding of the NAS structure and that the equipment posessed to do so is "legal" based on already existing regulation. (Think FCC regs)

Hope this helps in an intelligent conversation.
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Old May 27, 2011, 10:36 AM
Advocating for RC Aviation
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Anything specific to FPV? BLOS? Seems to be where there has been lot of discussion and dissatisfaction with existing guidelines. Alternatives specific to FPV?
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Old May 27, 2011, 11:39 AM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danamania View Post
Anything specific to FPV? BLOS? Seems to be where there has been lot of discussion and dissatisfaction with existing guidelines. Alternatives specific to FPV?
No distinctions required for FPV...same for gliders, jets, large planes. Why complicate things. Other than modelers, no one cares about the flavor of model plane so long as model and FS aircraft stay out of eachother's way.
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:33 PM
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United States, TX, Fort Worth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
No distinctions required for FPV...same for gliders, jets, large planes. Why complicate things. Other than modelers, no one cares about the flavor of model plane so long as model and FS aircraft stay out of eachother's way.
Not a bad effort, but lacking one thing. A way to positively seperate FS and model aircraft when the model aircraft are out of visual range. "See and avoid" is the cornerstone safety rule of VFR flight for small aircraft and R/C models operating in the same airspace as full scale aircraft.

While the odds are very highly against a BVR FPV encounter with a full scale aircraft, they are not zero and need to be addressed in some way. The odds are even less at less at 400 feet...but again, not zero.

If an FPV modeler made a BVR flight on a heading of about 170 from my home RC field, a few miles down the road they would be flying through the traffic pattern of a small uncontrolled non private airport. At 400 feet, they would be right in pattern altitude. I have no doubt that technology will enable a good TX signal that far out and that low, one of these days.

While I think that most FPV pilots are safety minded, there is ample evidence posted on Youtube that a significant number seem to think they are exempt from any practical safety considerations. I am not happy with the idea that some of these people will be flying out of sight, without positive visual seperation.
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl View Post
No distinctions required for FPV...
I'm sure FPV pilots see it that way. But to me it sounds like FPV attempting to save itself by dragging the RC modeling hobby under the FAA bus with it.

I thought this was about making sure 'model aviation' didn't get caught in overly broad regulations written for commercial/governmental sUAS, or as I prefer to call them, RPSDs (remote piloted surveillance drones).

I'm against the idea of RPSDs on philosophical grounds. They are a military battlefield weapon and are no more appropriate for general domestic use, than Abrams tanks are. Civilian deployment should be restricted to rescue/emergency use only. They should not become standard issue for every podunk PD and cable news outlet.

But back to amateur FPV...I get the appeal, I do, I just don't share the enthusiasm. IMO it's a glorified video game. It's only connection to traditional RC modeling is the use of hardware-in-common for very different purposes.

I see no reason to offer up further restrictions on ALL RC modeling to save FPV from new sUAV rules. Especially given that amateur FPV are basically RPSDs operated by private citizens. And are probably the ONLY reason these new FAA regs have anything to do with 'us' at all.

Indiscriminate, or targeted, aerial photography of people and property without express permission is an invasion of privacy.

........Mike
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Technically, the very fast majority of modern sUAS aircraft cannot be classified as RPSDs, since they are flown autonomously by the on board computers the vast majority of the time. Even commanded course and destination changes are often done via a mouse click on a computer screen and not with a joystick. Ergo, not really remotely piloted. Larger UAS aircraft, ala Predator, may or may not be under control of the pilot in the control station, at any given time.

Overall, I agree with a good bit of your post, except for the aerial photograhy issue. There has never been any issue with full scale aircraft being used to photograph just about anything on the ground and I see no need for that to change.
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Old May 27, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS_in_NY View Post
Indiscriminate, or targeted, aerial photography of people and property without express permission is an invasion of privacy.
How so? The existence of airplanes doesn't make anything any less private than it always was. I'm confused about all this recent 'privacy backlash' and people complaining about their privacy in matters that were never private in the first place. You have no expectation of privacy, unless you are actually in a private place, and your backyard isn't a private place - never has been.
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Old May 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas B View Post
Technically, the very fast majority of modern sUAS aircraft cannot be classified as RPSDs, since they are flown autonomously by the on board computers the vast majority of the time.

Overall, I agree with a good bit of your post, except for the aerial photograhy issue.
Well, ok, but for the point I was making that's really a distinction without a difference.

The aerial photography/privacy issue I mentioned may well be moot, what with nearly 24/7 real time full coverage of the planet from orbit, but it doesn't mitigate the Orwellian nature of government surveillance. As this type of surveillance becomes available to lower and lower levels of bureaucracy the potential for abuse skyrockets.

.....Mike
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Old May 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
How so? The existence of airplanes doesn't make anything any less private than it always was. I'm confused about all this recent 'privacy backlash' and people complaining about their privacy in matters that were never private in the first place. You have no expectation of privacy, unless you are actually in a private place, and your backyard isn't a private place - never has been.
Not taking a side on this specific matter, but I believe the idea is... Fishing expeditions used to be cost prohibitive. With sUAS it is now possible for the local PD to fly around checking in everyone's back yards for code violations.

I'm not real excited about that prospect. I'd rather see the police use their resources to go after real criminals rather than catch people on technicalities, but really, that is a much deeper issue than sUAS.

-Jay
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Old May 27, 2011, 02:58 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
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United States, VA, McLean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas B View Post
Not a bad effort, but lacking one thing. A way to positively seperate FS and model aircraft when the model aircraft are out of visual range. "See and avoid" is the cornerstone safety rule of VFR flight for small aircraft and R/C models operating in the same airspace as full scale aircraft.

While the odds are very highly against a BVR FPV encounter with a full scale aircraft, they are not zero and need to be addressed in some way. The odds are even less at less at 400 feet...but again, not zero.

If an FPV modeler made a BVR flight on a heading of about 170 from my home RC field, a few miles down the road they would be flying through the traffic pattern of a small uncontrolled non private airport. At 400 feet, they would be right in pattern altitude. I have no doubt that technology will enable a good TX signal that far out and that low, one of these days.

While I think that most FPV pilots are safety minded, there is ample evidence posted on Youtube that a significant number seem to think they are exempt from any practical safety considerations. I am not happy with the idea that some of these people will be flying out of sight, without positive visual seperation.
Thomas,

Thanks for the thoughtful and calm response.

The goal is to separate FS and model aviation.

Fact is, you can never reduce the risk to zero. Even the see and avoid doctrine fails.

No matter what the rules, there's always a bad apple who will choose to violate them.

And yes that Tx technology is here now.

Again, thanks.
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Old May 27, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Back in the 60s around here, the revenoors used to fly back seat in NAVY SNJs at daybreak to see the still plumes out in the backwoods. The SNJs were just putting in training time anyway, so the cost was free. Then they would find the closest way in. Surveillance has been going on for a long time. It is just a lot more visible now.....
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