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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:26 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
Canada, BC, Smithers
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In Canada there is a hierarchy of UAV users, and they all have different regulations, and the regulations are changing every day. At the top is the military and law enforcement, and at the bottom is real estate photography. In between are many other applications such as wildlife surveys and power line monitoring.

Here is an excerpt from a Jan 8 news cast about a Calgary real estate photographer...
"But because Wood flies his small aircraft for money in Canadian airspace, he needs to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate each time.
"It's for that particular job and it's for that particular location," he said. "If I deviate from that the certificate it is void."

I met a fellow at an air show this summer who basically said the same thing. Just to take one picture of a house requires days of planning and a crew of 6 people. Here is a link to a page that gives you some idea of what it takes to get one of those certificates.

http://www.draganfly.com/news/2012/0...-need-to-know/
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:46 PM
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I'm of two minds on this topic, I think that the reality should be that commerical flying should be allowed with nothing more than bonding/insurance based on weight and other risk factors. The problem is that it's not just the FAA, but also the FCC that needs to adjust. If Commericial/AP ever does take off it may be a victim of it's own success as downlink channels could quickly become a problem.
There are plenty of commercial bands available as well as freq hopping technology once everything gets legally defined and allocated accordingly.

The question I have is what is commercial RC ?

How is an indy photog lifting a gopro for a small fee 'commercial' , BUT 'FUNFLY' team XXXXX, flying in from 4 different countries with paid, sponsored, contracted 3D pilots flying corporate banners IS NOT??

Basically, is it legal for a 3D RC pilot to sell his services to events & sponsors ?
If yes, then is that not commercial RC ??

Has someone decided to enforce RC rules only when a camera is involved ?

Lets discuss with clarity, not vague threats of knocks on doors...
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Harry,
You are correct... another double standard. Not only is that example commercial, but by the same example laid out by the FAA so is flight instruction for LSA.

One other question posed to the FAA was... If I take photographs for a hobby post them on a website for fun and someone decides they want to buy one, then what? At what point does it become stock photography.

I keep hearing the DoD vendors want to help us get in the NAS. I say BS, if that were the case they could have funded multiple third party lawsuits and we'd already be in the NAS.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:42 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
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I could be wrong about this, but I believe if you took some pictures for fun and then later somebody wanted to buy them from you, there would be nothing illegal about that transaction. While you took those pictures you were acting in good faith and doing it for your own entertainment. However, if you start to advertise your service, or somebody comes to you and solicits your service and offers to pay for some pictures you have not taken yet, then it becomes a commercial activity.

Here is another scenario. If a power company hired a UAV company to monitor their power lines, that would clearly be commercial activity. On the other hand, the power company could simply buy their own UAV and have it operated by their own employees. They could argue that there was no profit being made, but it was an expense instead and was being done in the name of safety and fire prevention.

This is a fast growing and exciting field of activity. The risks to manufacturers and their customers are great due to changing laws and next week's technology. If you want to be guaranteed to make money in the UAV business, you would probably be better off being a lawyer.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Is this person flying RC commercially ?
http://model.hirobo.co.jp/03-img/53-...XFC/10-800.jpg
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:37 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
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Originally Posted by harryarnold View Post
Is this person flying RC commercially ?
For the purposes of this discussion...no he is not flying commercially. He is making money but he is making it in the RC version of "controlled airspace". There is no difference between that and a ski racer or car racer who is wearing labels at sanctioned events. He is being sponsored to entertain people and sell products, but that is all being done in a place that is designated as a flying area, and everybody who goes there knows they have to keep their heads up.

If you are being hired to take photographs from your UAV, it probably will not be in such controlled airspace, and that is why it needs to be regulated. It will probably be over buildings and roads and vehicles and people walking their dogs. Now it is up to you and the regulations to "control" that airspace, so as not to put those unaware people in danger.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:57 PM
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For the purposes of this discussion...no he is not flying commercially. He is making money but he is making it in the RC version of "controlled airspace". There is no difference between that and a ski racer or car racer who is wearing labels at sanctioned events. He is being sponsored to entertain people and sell products, but that is all being done in a place that is designated as a flying area, and everybody who goes there knows they have to keep their heads up.

If you are being hired to take photographs from your UAV, it probably will not be in such controlled airspace, and that is why it needs to be regulated. It will probably be over buildings and roads and vehicles and people walking their dogs. Now it is up to you and the regulations to "control" that airspace, so as not to put those unaware people in danger.
whats the rulling from the FAA on say full scale aerobatic comps
do they have to have a commercial ticket to compete?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:19 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
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Again, these competitions are taking place in controlled airspace. No commercial airliners are going to stumble into it because it has all been set up in advance. Everybody who attends knows that spectators sometimes get killed at these events. Everybody knows that there are fast and powerful airplanes flying over their heads and that there is no guarantee something can't go wrong.

The demands of taking pictures for money takes operators out of that controlled airspace, and over the heads of unknowing bystanders.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by harryarnold View Post
Is this person flying RC commercially ?
http://model.hirobo.co.jp/03-img/53-...XFC/10-800.jpg
Yes!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:39 PM
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The FAA contends that activities turn commercial with the exchange of a dollar.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jovanx View Post
The demands of taking pictures for money takes operators out of that controlled airspace, and over the heads of unknowing bystanders.
Not always. In real estate and construction AP, you are mostly flying over 'client property' and no 'bystanders'.

Also, I know an awful lot of 3D pilots who fly in non-regulated airspace all the time for practice etc. Their flying isn't only done at AMA controlled airspace...

It is NOT more dangerous for me to fly over a lake to shoot a home than someone to do 3D with a .90 helicopter over a crowd (even with signed waivers).

I guess my point is- if it is ok to be paid for 3D, then why not AP?
BOTH can be safe or dangerous depending on who does what.

But that is rhetorical because i havent seen that delineation in any other argument or federal regulation. 3D and AP are only subgroups to 'RC UAV'. And that is split into hobbyist & commercial only.

sooo... all that said, i feel that a person that calls themselves a professional RC pilot and is flying for compensation, IS a 'commercial RC' pilot. And when they fly under corporate banners for that compensation, it's 'commercial RC'
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:55 PM
Tossing planes into the snow
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We are gradually getting there. The next step is to determine if the FAA makes any distinction between making money in controlled airspace as opposed to urban neighborhoods. I don't have the answer to that one.

In Canada the details are complicated but the basic concept is simple. If you can present them with a plan that looks safe, they will probably go for it.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jovanx View Post
We are gradually getting there. The next step is to determine if the FAA makes any distinction between making money in controlled airspace as opposed to urban neighborhoods. I don't have the answer to that one.

In Canada the details are complicated but the basic concept is simple. If you can present them with a plan that looks safe, they will probably go for it.
Part of which is having the proper liability insurance which is needed to get an SFOC.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:02 PM
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Regarding commercial vs non-commercial, here is how it is defined in Canada:

Quote:
While the CARs do not define “recreational purposes” a dictionary definition of recreation is “not for work – done for pleasure or relaxation”. Model aircraft enthusiasts fly their aircraft as a pastime, an unpaid diversion, as an activity that “diverts, amuses, or stimulates”. Section 602.45 of the CARs was put in place to allow sporting enthusiasts to operate model aircraft for personal enjoyment but not for monetary gain or other form of hire and reward. The Aeronautics Act defines hire and reward as:

“any payment, consideration, gratuity or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received or collected by any person for the use of an aircraft”.
Equipping model aircraft with a payload does not, in itself, make the model a UAV, however, once the model aircraft is launched for any reason other than recreational purposes, it is an unmanned air vehicle.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:55 PM
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In Canada the details are complicated but the basic concept is simple. If you can present them with a plan that looks safe, they will probably go for it.
notwithstanding naysayers, thats the response i'm getting stateside as well.
I think we need a common certification process that will cause people to relax.

The crowd is relaxed at a 3D show because they know a lot of safety measures are in place. They're willing accept remaining risk.

You dont panic when a 18-wheeler passes you on the road because you have a reasonable expectation that it's not being driven by an 16yr old with nothing to lose, but a trained driver at risk of losing career/certification.

Anyone aware of any guidelines for safe UAV AP ? That would seem to be a good place to start developing the trust of those with safety concerns. It just can't be a situation where anyone with a couple of hundred bucks to spend can fly a public event after figuring how to take off...
With a set of standard 'rules', will come the ability to insure, and then anything will be posible for UAV AP within that framework.
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