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Old May 30, 2012, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Evans View Post
When defending FPV safety the argument seems to always be how could a little foam plane drifting around at a couple of hundred feet be of any risk. When I hear this story I am reminded of a fairytale with pretty harmless butterflies floating aimlessly along. Itís such a beautiful story but it must make a lot of pilots feel alienated since it doesn't really describe their plane or how they fly. Perhaps it could pass the sniff test for the masses if there were not message boards like this one with tons of posts and videos about long range high altitude flights with relatively high speed planes weighing closer to 10 lbs or multi-rotors with enough blades and power to slice beef for Carl Junior just waiting for the gift of a hand or face.
Guys this one isn't going to get past first base anymore with the authorities but if you think otherwise knock yourself out or maybe instead push for only allowing little foam planes with windup rubber band power.
I would say that the view that FPV is more dangerous than flying things like Trex550, large scale, or 200Mph craft without similar controls. Especially when there is significantly more damage that can be done my either of them then say a quad, ZII, or easystar. Yet one is treated worse than a new pilot training on a slowstick while the other is largely given carte blanche by the AMA.

Complete reform based on new technology might be in order for the AMA before trying to shoehorn FPV under it all.


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Originally Posted by CNY_Dave View Post
I suspect that's a doppler radar, which presents some problems for airborne use.

Now, if you are suggesting personal GBSAA systems for FPV fliers (or one for the club) that's another thing...
One for the club, then again I see FPV as less dangerous as some of the... interesting maneuvering of "experienced" pilots flying LOS.

Radar is an issue for most RC craft just because of their size and makeup. Most won't reflect enough RF. Transponder/collision avoidance technology wouldn't work because ATC would freak out or flying fields would need to be expanded to avoided onboard warning systems frequently going off.

Though if a collision avoidance device were miniaturized enough to be put on a ZII or similar that would be a great thing for long rangers. That tech might not even be that far off either, but FAA certification would be the biggest hurdle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
A high visibility coloring scheme on a plane like the Skywalker makes it visible at ranges
well over a mile.
This I like, smells of common sense though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMatCat View Post
They must have the regulations in place by October 30th, 2015, which means it COULD be there sooner, but it MUST be there by then.
It will be late. The FAA is about 20 years behind on some of its time compliance technical orders.
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Old May 30, 2012, 04:04 AM
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They have already been told to slow down we have heard, its not election friendly stuff Patrick will talk about it today with Gene on the sUAS News podcast 0800 Pacific today Wednesday 30th if you want to comment or listen live http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suasnew...current-events

The rest of the podcasts so far are here
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Old May 30, 2012, 11:00 AM
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So the NPRM has been out there in the works since '09 and been delayed regularly. But I saw in the funding bill for the FAA passed in February of this year, that the director of the FAA was to address the issue within 180 days of whether or not there was a way to proceed with allowing commercial applications of sUAVs in limited ways prior to the expected regulations coming in a year or three. It was described as if were a stop-gap, in-the-meantime measure...... I was just curious if anyone thought it would really happen or if they'd just blow that part of the legislation off. I can't find the link to the bill now, but that's where I was reading it....
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Old May 30, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Credible sources have indicated that the Obama administration has told the FAA to slow down on UAS airspace integration until after the election... they don't want the privacy thing to become a bigger issue than it is.

Someone reported me for the aforementioned information... I don't get it?? Are we in full reality suppression mode?
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Old May 30, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by patrickegan View Post
The Obama administration has told the FAA to slow down till after the election... they don't want the privacy thing to become a bigger issue.
That's the best reason I've seen for getting it done quickly.
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:30 AM
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Here's a question.... If I were to shoot arial videos and pics of a business as a hobby.... Truly without pay..... No value exchanged of any kind. Just to learn the best techniques, etc, and gave the vid and pics to the property owner..... Have any rules been violated? What if that propty owner then used that pic or video in an advertisement? Just thinking about learning and building a reputation / portfolio before the rules come out...
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikeamondo View Post
Here's a question.... If I were to shoot arial videos and pics of a business as a hobby.... Truly without pay..... No value exchanged of any kind. Just to learn the best techniques, etc, and gave the vid and pics to the property owner..... Have any rules been violated? What if that propty owner then used that pic or video in an advertisement? Just thinking about learning and building a reputation / portfolio before the rules come out...
If you are not paid for the service I would think your ok but realize any legal advice you get here is worth exactly what you paid for it.
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Old May 31, 2012, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikeamondo View Post
Here's a question.... If I were to shoot arial videos and pics of a business as a hobby.... Truly without pay..... No value exchanged of any kind. Just to learn the best techniques, etc, and gave the vid and pics to the property owner..... Have any rules been violated? What if that propty owner then used that pic or video in an advertisement? Just thinking about learning and building a reputation / portfolio before the rules come out...
The only reputation you will get doing free AP for Real Estate people is that you do it for free. It would be hard to then charge for it.
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Old May 31, 2012, 08:23 AM
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The only reputation you will get doing free AP for Real Estate people is that you do it for free. It would be hard to then charge for it.
Granted.... but I'm not thinking real estate. We don't have enough big dollar properties to get much of that here. I'm not looking to start a big business really.... just maybe pay for a few upgrades. Really, I'm more interested in nature photography and video from interesting perspectives... which of course I do as much of as I like! I wonder if they will allow the sale of footage / pics that were shot BEFORE the regs were inacted after they are put in place? Could a person be building a library of clips and pics, ready to go when it's finally allowed?
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikeamondo View Post
Granted.... but I'm not thinking real estate. We don't have enough big dollar properties to get much of that here. I'm not looking to start a big business really.... just maybe pay for a few upgrades. Really, I'm more interested in nature photography and video from interesting perspectives... which of course I do as much of as I like! I wonder if they will allow the sale of footage / pics that were shot BEFORE the regs were inacted after they are put in place? Could a person be building a library of clips and pics, ready to go when it's finally allowed?
Is it any different then those of us that turn on Adsense on our youtube videos even?
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Old May 31, 2012, 03:49 PM
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So today I was contacted by the FAA

This morning I awoke to find an email from an FAA safety officer in Richmond, VA asking me to call him about a complaint they had received about some YouTube videos I had supposedly posted. After a few minutes of freaking out, I calmed down and called them. Turns out somebody filed a complaint, apparently against me by name, and the FAA found my email address through my website, http://fairusetube.org (a side project of mine about copyright disputes on YouTube).

However, early on in the conversation I realized the videos in question were not actually mine. The FAA man was describing some video filmed in Fairfax, VA, where I had never flown my plane, and some videos zooming around a neighborhood that didn't seem to describe anything I had done. I told him as much, and after the conversation he sent me a link to the videos the complaint was about, from this YouTube user: https://www.youtube.com/user/IloveSPIDERZ

These are the three videos he was talking about:

Flying in Fairfax Virginia (6 min 12 sec)


Virginia Beach Neighborhood Flying HD #3 (12 min 2 sec)


Virginia Beach Neighborhood Flying HD #4 (2 min 26 sec)


That is definitely not my YouTube channel and those are not my videos, but some other RC flyer in Virginia Beach (where I lived until a few weeks ago) by the name of Joe Hollner (as it says on his channel page if anyone had bothered to check). While the FAA administrator seemed to think they were FPV, to me at least they don't even look like FPV at all, but a regular LOS RC plane with an HD camera attached to record only. They don't even appear to show anything particularly dangerous, though one of them was flown from a fairly tight urban location. I can only guess how the FAA came to learn of these videos or to think they were mine (the FAA person wouldn't say who reported me of course--the wonder of anonymous tips). But it seems like an awfully big coincidence that this occurred at the same time I am running an online petition asking the AMA to relax its rules on FPV. My guess is someone who doesn't like FPV saw the petition with my name attached to it, Googled my name and saw my website, which still says I live in Virginia Beach because I haven't updated it yet, did a quick YouTube search for RC videos from Virginia Beach and filed a complaint over the first videos he found that looked even remotely risky. Rather ironic that people always say crazy FPV flyers are going to ruin it for LOS flyers because they will get blamed for what we do. Seems to me this time things happened the other way around.

At any rate, once I made it clear to the FAA administrator that the videos he was talking about were not mine, I had a very interesting conversation with him about the legalities of FPV. I admitted early on that even though these specific videos were made by someone else, I do fly FPV. He started off trying to pretend my plane is an unauthorized UAS, but when I pointed out that as a hobbyist I am covered by AC 91-57, he admitted that's true, that it's only advisory and not a binding regulation you can be cited for violating, and that the only potential action the FAA could take against an FPVer is if their flights rose to the level of carelessness or recklessness. Then he hemmed and hawed a bunch about how since FPV goes beyond line of sight and sometimes above 400 feet it goes beyond AC 91-57, which he tried to pretend made it unauthorized and therefore not allowed, but he didn't have any response to my reply that something can't be not allowed unless it's actually prohibited, and AC 91-57 applies to all modelers and doesn't actually prohibit anything. I asked him if it was his contention that regular RC flyers like AMA glider pilots who routinely fly above 400 feet were then flying unauthorized SUAS's, and he didn't have a response to that either. Again he admitted that while FPV is a gray area, there's nothing the FAA could do to actually stop it unless they could prove you violated the FAR about careless or reckless operation of an aircraft.

I also discussed the upcoming SUAS rules with him, and he wouldn't really tell me anything new except that commercial SUAS pilots will likely be required to have a full pilots license and comply with all requirements for full size aircraft, and that the FAA will probably re-write AC 91-57 at some point because it is outdated and "poorly drafted." He kept saying line-of-site is a critical litmus test for RC flight, and when I asked him why that is given that it doesn't really matter if you can see your model as long as you can see the airspace around it to verify there are no planes in the area, he just said, "that's just the way it is." He also pretty much admitted that the FAA is playing catch up here and has no clue what to do with RC technology like FPV. He said something along the lines of, "We're trying to keep up with technology, but our usual position is, 'where did it go?'"

I think that pretty much sums it up.
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:23 PM
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Full pilots license for a sUAS would be absurd.

Line of site is critical to making sure the airspace around your plane is clear, and if you can't see your plane, you cannot see if there are other aircraft near your plane.

I wouldn't bank on what this guy says, I don't think they have the policy guys and the guys that attend the RTCA meetings calling up RCers...

Did he say what branch/division he's from?

Some guys in the FAA do know what's up with RC, and some of 'em are in the UAPO- one of 'em, anyway.
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Yeah I don't know if I put a lot of stock in what he said about the coming regulations either.

For what it's worth, this is the guy who contacted me:

Morley B. English
Aviation Safety Inspector, Operations
Flight Standards District Office
5707 Huntsman Road, Suite 100
Richmond, Virginia 23250
804-222-7494 ext. 254
morley.english@faa.gov

And I actually had a really interesting discussion about LOS with him. I tried explaining to him what FPVers have been saying all along, that in terms of clearing the airspace, it doesn't really matter if you can see your plane or not, you just need to be able to see the airspace around it to make sure there are no planes nearby. His only response to that was, "well you shouldn't be above 400 feet anyway so you shouldn't even need to worry about whether there are full scale planes nearby because there shouldn't be any there." To which I replied, why then is it so important to be able to see your plane? And his only response was, "that's just the way it is." Then he gave me this analogy about how you still have to follow the speed limit even if it's 3AM on an empty highway in the middle of Wyoming and it would otherwise be safe to drive faster. Which didn't make any sense because he had just told me at least twice in the conversation that the advisory circular is only advisory and you can't "violate" it the way you could violate a clearly mandatory speed limit. At that point I was running late for my bar exam prep class and just let it go rather than continuing to argue in circles with him.
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:43 PM
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What kind of full pilots license? PPL, Commercial, Instrument Rating? That is pure sillyness, espially if they require you to get commerical.
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:53 PM
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The guy didn't say, but I'd take that with a grain of salt. Who knows what the rules will really be.
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