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Old Sep 06, 2011, 09:02 PM
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Actually, for analog transmissions it closer to 1mW, not 10, or 100 or 200.. etc..

ian
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Old Sep 07, 2011, 07:22 AM
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the cheap wireless security cams, 2.4 ghz where the vtx is built into the little camera and the whole setup + rx costs $99 is 10mw and doesn't require a license right? bought one from hobbypeople.net
it could be vastly overrated in power and then legal from that perspective?
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Boca Raton FL
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Gotta notify airport manager if near an airport?

Well since I live across the street from one and our coast is covered with D class airports, that's like saying I can't fly within 3 miles of the coast. Umm ok.

And the 400 feet rule... Is that even I. Unpopulated areas, or everywhere.
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 01:52 PM
OSUFPV - KF7VFT
Corvallis, OR
Joined Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorseal View Post
Gotta notify airport manager if near an airport?

Well since I live across the street from one and our coast is covered with D class airports, that's like saying I can't fly within 3 miles of the coast. Umm ok.

And the 400 feet rule... Is that even I. Unpopulated areas, or everywhere.
Not a law. A rule of thumb maybe. Not a rule. But if you live across the street from the airport notifying them should be easy...

(And that's much more important than flying always under 400 ft.)
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 02:29 PM
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Not a law. A rule of thumb maybe. Not a rule. But if you live across the street from the airport notifying them should be easy...

(And that's much more important than flying always under 400 ft.)
Ah ok. Lol
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 02:36 PM
FPV Desert Beta Test Center
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Joined Nov 2006
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Since you ask about altitude and airports this is the situation. FAA issued advisory AC91-57 in 1981 for model aircraft. The following portion defined maximum altitude and airport requirements. Note it states 400 ft above the surface period and airport notification when within 3 miles of an airport.

Do not fly model aircraft higher than 400 feet above the surface. When flying aircraft within 3 miles of an airport, notify the airport operator, or when an air traffic facility is located at the airport, notify the control tower, or flight service station.

AMA responded with the following rule. Note that a period is missing so now the two separate FAA requirements become one and the altitude limit only applies within 3 miles of an airport and you only have to advise the airport authority and then you can fly as high as you wish.

Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport, without notifying the airport operator.

So which is a regulation. Neither.
So which one should you follow if you so desire. Either.

They got away with this since 1981 but times have changed. The new regulations currently expected early 2012 will not be so vague so enjoy it while you can
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 07:28 PM
OSUFPV - KF7VFT
Corvallis, OR
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They got away with this since 1981 but times have changed. The new regulations currently expected early 2012 will not be so vague so enjoy it while you can
I heard they were getting pushed back to 2012-13 because of budget concerns.
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Old Sep 08, 2011, 09:54 PM
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The NPRM is expected to be out January 6, 2012. Then there's the comment period yada, yada, yada... The sources I have say that it has problems. Check out the suasnews.com we give updates as things change.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 08:30 AM
FPV Desert Beta Test Center
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FAA's NPRM estimate has moved out again to February 2012.
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Old Nov 06, 2011, 08:28 AM
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Any FPVers working with AMA on community based standards?
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 01:54 PM
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New draft

I've taken the liberty of re-drafting the Safety Code with an eye to updating parts of it where I saw missing information. I've also made some changes to terminology to bring it in line with AMA and FAA terms, and added some supporting references.

I freely admit that I expanded it quite a bit beyond the original document...blame it on my experience of writing documents and manuals to conform to government standards (never say in ten words what you can say in a thousand). But in this case, I think the expansion was needed, mostly to add some "CYA" functions.

Look it over at leisure, and let me know if I've gone way off the deep end with this. Personally, I'd rather have something like this firmly in place and being complied with before the FAA decides on its NPRM language and completely slams the door on the whole of the FPV hobby.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by n5iln View Post
I've taken the liberty of re-drafting the Safety Code with an eye to updating parts of it where I saw missing information. I've also made some changes to terminology to bring it in line with AMA and FAA terms, and added some supporting references.

I freely admit that I expanded it quite a bit beyond the original document...blame it on my experience of writing documents and manuals to conform to government standards (never say in ten words what you can say in a thousand). But in this case, I think the expansion was needed, mostly to add some "CYA" functions.

Look it over at leisure, and let me know if I've gone way off the deep end with this. Personally, I'd rather have something like this firmly in place and being complied with before the FAA decides on its NPRM language and completely slams the door on the whole of the FPV hobby.
If you are requesting feedback, here you go.....by the way, thank you for your work on this document....

I think a big issue is people flying in proximity to airport traffic areas. If you look at large major airports, you will see that the TCA extends quite a distance from the airport. If you want the FAA to buy off on self imposed regulations, we should have some kind of way of convincing them that we will honor their airport traffic areas and not fly anywhere near them. This includes smaller airports with a control tower in addition to what you have proposed.

I think if we don't convince the FAA that we will educate the FPV pilots of airspace regulations as well as which airspace is to be avoided, I think they will just shut the whole thing down.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:59 PM
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Very interesting. I like the idea of this. If I understand your purpose right, you are basically proposing to come up with a community drafted set of best practices/safety guidelines that we can then point to in order to demonstrate that we are a safe and self-regulating community. That sounds like a great idea to me, and is one that has worked in other contexts. For example, I read a book this summer talking about how community drafted codes of best practices greatly helped clarify policies in the documentary film making community regarding use of copyrighted material under the fair use exception to copyright.

I have a few concerns with the way you've written it though. For one thing, on several key points of contention, this document passes the buck by referring to AMA rules and FAA guidelines which either don't exist yet or are not really applicable. For example, one part says, "Maximum operating range shall be limited by AMA safety rules and FAA guidelines." There are no FAA rules on that yet, and later you list the specific rules for operation at AMA fields, which restrict FPV flying to VLOS. It was my impression that no FPVer wants to be restricted to VLOS, and other parts of the document clearly imply flying beyond VLOS, like the part restricting test flights of new configurations to VLOS, implying that after a new system is tested it's okay to fly beyond VLOS. But by incorporating the AMA rule in the earlier provision, you basically prohibit that. This seems a bit contradictory.

At any rate, I think if we want to defend our right to fly beyond VLOS, we have to be more proactive about it. I'd recommend explicitly stating that flight beyond visual line of site is allowed, but include a special section for that with extra precautions that should be taken in that case. This could include specific distance based recommendations, or things like Trappy's idea of having a spotter watching the general airspace you're flying in for air traffic, and planning long range flights to have a safe location to "land out" if you are unable to make it back to your starting point for some reason.

The altitude restriction also seems unnecessary, as the 400 feet thing was just a guideline, and pretty much nobody currently follows that anyway. 400 feet also makes long range flying pretty much impossible, as the common wisdom seems to be you need quite a bit of altitude to fly further out. Every long range video I've seen is typically at least 1,000 feet up. Why include a limit in our own code that nobody really intends to follow? And doesn't the AMA itself word that only to require less than 400 feet within 3 miles of airports? I'd propose making it more like 1,000 feet if we must have an altitude limit.

Those were my only major critiques. One other thought though regarding night flight. This code requires lights on the plane, while I've heard that actually can cause more harm than good because real planes mistake it for a full scale plane that can't be contacted by ATC and have to re-route around it. I've always read that it's best not to have running lights to avoid disrupting air traffic.

Oh and one other question. Some parts were a bit vague, like prohibiting flight over "densely populated" areas. What exactly does that mean? Many of us typically fly at suburban parks where it is impossible to go very far without flying over typical suburban neighborhoods. For those of us in cities, it usually isn't practical to drive hours out into the country to fly. That part of the code needs to be clearly, preferably defining densely populated more in terms of highly built up urban cores (skyscrapers, etc.), and still leaving room to fly from typical suburban parks.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 03:06 PM
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United States, CA, Salinas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekubiaks View Post
If you are requesting feedback, here you go.....by the way, thank you for your work on this document....

I think a big issue is people flying in proximity to airport traffic areas. If you look at large major airports, you will see that the TCA extends quite a distance from the airport. If you want the FAA to buy off on self imposed regulations, we should have some kind of way of convincing them that we will honor their airport traffic areas and not fly anywhere near them. This includes smaller airports with a control tower in addition to what you have proposed.

I think if we don't convince the FAA that we will educate the FPV pilots of airspace regulations as well as which airspace is to be avoided, I think they will just shut the whole thing down.
Yep, feedback is what I was asking for, and you're the first, so you win...the world-famous FPV No-Prize!

One of the things we have to learn is to be very careful with terminology. A TCA (Terminal Control Area) is a very specific section of airspace, and is associated with Class B airports...it's the "upside down wedding cake". Don't confuse it with the Airport Traffic Area, which is the airspace around ANY airport, and extends from the surface to 3,000 feet AGL in a five-mile radius. Now, with that said, everyone flying RC (not just FPV flyers) inside the ATA needs to remember the requirement for contacting airport operators, and following the See and Avoid rule (AMA Document 540-D). That's why I made sure to call that out specifically in my rewrite.

Anyone else? Operators are standing by, this is a free call...
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Here's the strange thing about that. I know of several (at least 3 off the top of my
head) local AMA insured RC fields that are relatively close to active airports.
Two of them within spitting distance (3.4-5 miles) of the largest airport (area-wise) in the US.
AMA sanctioned thermal duration contests are held at one regularly throughout the
year, and they fly 3+meter planes to the limits of visibility (over a mile). Airport
knows they're there and they work around each other although direct
communication between RC fields and airport is rare. While I'm obviously
not advocating flying FPV planes into full-scale traffic patterns, one has to be
careful saying FPV planes can't be flown near full scale airports, because it's
already common practice for many others in the RC world to do it, and it would
not surprise me if AMA insured RC fields end up being the only place FPV piloting
is still legal after the new sUAS regs come out.

I suppose one way to structure the self rules would be.. If you're *not* at an AMA
field operating under their specific guidelines then don't fly within X miles of an airport
without the permission of the tower (there is precedent for that).

ian
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