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Old Feb 18, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Joined Apr 2007
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No more UAV's in WA state?

If you live in WA have you read this bill?

Looks like it will pretty much shutdown and FPV or any UAV with a camera. bill is pretty vague in how its written. Just curious if anyone knows about this or if they contacted their reps?

read section 4a. concerning sensing devices, says you cant have any sensing devices but then in the next section says you can have only equipment for safe flight? so that includes a camera which already said you cant have. confusing.

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Old Feb 18, 2014, 11:39 AM
Inherent Tinkerer
Wichita, Kansas, USA
Joined Jul 2003
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So much for using them for vertical photography for AG use...
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 09:43 PM
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Near Austin
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Bear in mind, this is "feel good" legislation that the elected officials can point to as being "proactive" on the subject without really legislating anything.

Like the Texas UA law, there are so many holes and so much ambiguity it is floated up there so that it can be tested through the court of jurisprudence. It just means that the lawyers win over the common man because the common man will have to pay to prove that it was indeed legal or conversely, a violation of a constitutional right.
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 02:11 PM
Mike Freas's Avatar
United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Aug 2005
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Any amount of altitude make the identification of any individual fairly difficult even with a GP black. If you are hovering over someone you have an issue with safety.

I don't see how this will shut down the FPV guys doing it for fun.

"Sensing device" does not include equipment, the sole function
of which is to provide information directly necessary for safe air
navigation or piloting of an unmanned aircraft.
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 06:07 PM
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vitik's Avatar
United States, NJ, East Brunswick
Joined Sep 2004
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in section 4 says : "unmanned aircraft does not have an active sensing device onboard that collects personal information", but it doesn't stop you having a recording device on ground. So, FPV is fine.
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 07:09 PM
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Near Austin
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C'mon guys..... you're smarter than that. A video camera is a "collector".....doesn't matter where (or whether) it's stored at all.
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 07:40 PM
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United States, WA, White Salmon
Joined Nov 2005
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The only real question, when it comes to laws, is who is going to enforce them? If the law has no budget in place to hire, train, and outfit an enforcement arm, who is going to catch a FPV'er, or hobbyist UAV operator, when he is out flying (providing he isn't flying in downtown Seattle or some stupid location like that)
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 11:05 PM
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It seems that, as time goes by, laws are made to restrict out freedoms, rather than protect our freedoms. Jus' sayin'.
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Old Feb 22, 2014, 01:07 PM
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Provision for a five thousand fine. Newspapers etc pay ten or more times that for certain types of "celebrity" pics.
Note also that so far the FAA has failed to get any legislation approved by Congress (and thus a proper legally approved system of definitions etc relating to aUAS) so it is problematical whether any State sponsored action could be legally upheld. (Lets see what happens to Trappy!)
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 02:40 PM
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A ruling by an administrative law judge on Thursday held that the Federal Aviation Administration lacks clear-cut authority to ban the commercial use of drones in the continental U.S. The decision, which can be appealed to the full National Transportation Safety Board as well as a federal judge, is bound to complicate the FAA's already challenging job of crafting policies and regulations to oversee the nascent industry.

Separately, escalating industry demands for action have prompted FAA officials in recent weeks to begin looking for ways to authorize expedited but limited commercial uses of small drones in U.S. airspace.
Further Reading

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The FAA effectively has banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over the U.S. airspace until it develops rules to integrate them into the national airspace—a process that is expected to take until 2015 even for the smallest unmanned vehicles operating in isolated areas. More comprehensive rules covering larger models are likely to take years longer to complete.

Commercial-drone use has been taking off abroad and many U.S. companies and drone manufacturers have been frustrated with the FAA's stance.

Recently, however, the FAA's hard line on commercial drones appears to be eroding. The agency is considering case-by-case approvals or waivers for certain commercial uses of drones, including in the agriculture and film industries, before it completes broader rules for small unmanned systems, according to government and industry officials and lawyers involved in the discussions.

Thursday's ruling threatens to toss a wild card into that process, and could upend the FAA's current plans. In 2012, the FAA fined a pilot $10,000 for remotely operating a roughly five-pound drone to film the University of Virginia campus, saying he operated it recklessly. The subsequent challenge raised a host of questions about legal distinctions between model aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. Some of those unresolved questions are likely to be debated further by lawyers, federal regulators and state officials.

Administrative law judge Patrick Geraghty struck down the fine, ruling in part that the FAA's de facto ban on commercial use of drones, based on a 2007 policy statement, "cannot be considered as establishing a rule or enforceable regulation." He determined that "policy statements are not binding on the general public."

A spokeswoman for the FAA, which has widely used "policy statements" and "advisory circulars" over the years to enforce important aircraft safety requirements, said agency officials were reviewing the ruling.

Some lawyers and drone users have argued for months that the FAA has no statutory power to enforce its prohibition of commercial-drone use. At the very least, the ruling is likely to provide an immediate boost to manufacturers and would-be commercial operators seeking to introduce small unmanned aircraft flying at low altitudes.

Brendan Schulman, the lead attorney on the appeal of the FAA's fine, said if the ruling stands it would preclude the agency from enforcing its current prohibition.

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"I view the decision as a victory for technology," said Mr. Schulman, a New York-based attorney with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and a recreational drone user. "For seven years our federal government has told business people and entrepreneurs that they must stop using drones for commercial purposes, and I think that's had a very negative effect on this really exciting emerging high-tech industry."

Leading up to Thursday's ruling, industry officials believed they were making slow but steady progress persuading the FAA to be more flexible.

"The tone has shifted," and the issue "is finally starting to get the attention it deserves at the highest levels of the FAA," said Ben Gielow, general counsel of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group. Allowing small drones in some industries "would release a pressure valve" for pent-up industry frustrations, he said.

The FAA, which began working on rules for drones in 2009, had taken a firm stand against allowing any interim commercial operations in the mainland U.S., reflecting opposition to waivers or case-by-case exemptions before initial formal regulations were in place.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told Congress in January that the agency's current regulatory structure for drones—which already permits uses of drones in strictly defined airspace by an array of government and academic operators—"is not sustainable long term." He indicated that the FAA is weighing whether to allow some commercial drones soon through case-by-case approvals similar to those granted to governmental entities, or through comprehensive regulation. "Finding that right balance," he said, "is a key part."

Yamaha Corp. 7951.TO -0.28% is in discussions with the FAA to certify its RMAX drone, which rice farmers in Japan use to spray pesticides. Because the FAA lacks standards to certify an unmanned aircraft for commercial use, "they're looking for a pathfinder so the standards can be set," said Steve Markofski, a lead planner on Yamaha's unmanned-aircraft team.

The FAA has certified two unmanned aircraft but restricted their operations to the Arctic. The Yamaha RMAX would be the first drone approved for commercial use in the continental U.S.

In a meeting with members of Congress on Wednesday, a lawmaker asked James Williams, head of the FAA's drone-integration office, if the Yamaha-certification process suggests that the agency is moving toward allowing small commercial drones in the near term. Mr. Williams responded, "Absolutely," according to an official at the meeting.

The FAA Thursday declined to comment further.

Mr. Markofski said Yamaha expects the RMAX would go through a similar FAA certification path as a manned aircraft, including tests of its "airworthiness" and production process. "We have confidence that it can meet any standards…as long as they're reasonable," he said. "But that's the question: What's reasonable for an unmanned aircraft?"

The FAA would approve the RMAX only for specific operations, he said, likely limiting it to airspace over farmland, below 400 feet and away from airports and populated areas.

Instead of the certification process, which is often timely and costly, the drone industry has leaned on the FAA to use its authority under a 2012 law to issue case-by-case waivers for the commercial use of drones.

Michael Toscano, chief executive of the unmanned-aircraft trade group, asked the FAA in a January letter to allow some limited commercial drone operations before it completes its rules, "especially in areas where there is little risk to manned aircraft or people on the ground, such as around power lines, pipelines and rural farms." Drones are seen as an effective way to monitor infrastructure.

The FAA responded that it "is committed to exploring all available options for safe integration of" drones in the national airspace, including those in the 2012 law. The agency also said it is working on proposed rules to integrate drones weighing less than 55 pounds into the airspace, which it plans to release by the end of 2014.

In the month since the letter, the agency has tempered its opposition to interim approvals, industry officials and lawyers said. "What the FAA is saying is more hopeful than it was" barely a few weeks ago, said Greg Cirillo of Wiley Rein LLP, a Washington-based law firm that is gearing up to help clients with unmanned-aircraft issues.

Proponents of speedy approvals want the FAA to act before government-wide privacy protections for drones are put in place.

Ted Ellett, a former FAA chief counsel who is now a partner in the Washington office of the law firm Hogan Lovells US LLP, said the latest signals from senior FAA officials suggest "they are considering allowing some commercial uses" sooner than had been expected. He attributed the apparent increased flexibility to "a confluence of congressional and industry pressure," adding that the status quo "has really infuriated a lot of people."
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 05:26 PM
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
Nottingham Road South Africa/Bedford UK
Joined Feb 2007
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The RMAX was not made in the USA so must be unsafe
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 06:10 PM
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brakar's Avatar
Asker, Oslo, Norway
Joined Feb 2009
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Well, it is known to be huge and not to mistaken for a toy. Several injuries have been reported, e.g. here; http://heli.brixtonjunkies.com/2009/...s-south-korea/
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Old Mar 08, 2014, 02:21 AM
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
Nottingham Road South Africa/Bedford UK
Joined Feb 2007
4,057 Posts
It has killed a couple of folks but so have RC Heli's
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