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Jan 24, 2012, 02:45 PM
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llbr22's Avatar


Since we're on these hot topics. Look what rolled in from C.A.R. via email. Btw, no such warnings are in affect in Northern California yet, but my real estate buddy who is a Director at CAR is looking out for it.


LAPD Warning Against Hiring Unmanned Aircraft Operators for Aerial Photos
Los Angeles authorities have asked C.A.R. to communicate this warning to REALTORS® who hire unmanned aircraft operators to take aerial photographs for marketing high-end properties. Using these devices (also known as drones) for flight in the air with no onboard pilot may violate, among other things, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) policy on unmanned aircrafts, and Los Angeles's local ordinance requiring permits for filming commercial motion pictures and still photographs.

The Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) investigation has apparently revealed that aerial photos where unmanned aircraft were observed have appeared on certain real estate sales websites. According to FilmL.A., the LAPD Air Division has issued this warning as it intends to prosecute violators in the near future. FilmL.A. is a public benefit company created by the City and County of Los Angeles to manage film permit activity and related issues.

Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s current policy, no one can operate an unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System without specific authority. Operators who wish to fly an unmanned aircraft for civil use must obtain an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate, which will not be issued to an unmanned aircraft used for compensation or hire. Although the FAA allows hobbyists to fly model airplanes for recreational purposes under specific guidelines, that authority does not extend to operators flying unmanned aircraft for business purposes. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice on Unmanned Aircraft Operations and the FAA's policy.
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Jan 24, 2012, 03:00 PM
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qreacher's Avatar
wow..I hope that doesn't happen in San Diego too.. blah. I will have to ask my real estate friend about this.
Jan 24, 2012, 03:12 PM
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GGoodrum's Avatar
Yes, this sucks. I'm in Orange County, but this is too much visibility, too close.

-- Gary
Jan 24, 2012, 03:15 PM
saabguyspg's Avatar
well in canada you need an SFOC to operate legally... so we get them... considering that pretty much anyone can build these things now and fly them over and near my kids I have to say I am inagreement that there should be laws that keep people from doing so.

My .02c
Jan 24, 2012, 03:54 PM
Do a Barrel Roll!
rcbif's Avatar
Kinda confused.

What does the "National Airspace system" consist of? Ignoring LA's filming laws (also ignoring the exchange of money too) , what if a "drone" never even exceeds the height of a building on private property? Filming from 20ft would be illegal? Does the FAA govern paper airplane flights in LA too?

But people can still do favors for receiving a donation to their hobby, right?
Jan 24, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Since when did LAPD become the enforcement arm of the FAA and aviation law? Didn't know they specialized in that.....
Jan 24, 2012, 04:39 PM
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rpmlog09's Avatar
It seems that the catch word for this is hired. I fly for the forestry dept on forest fires and the way we get around it is the is a TFR around the fire. So we control waht goes in and what stays in. The FAA says you can not charge for RC A/P or A/V so what you do is while your on the ground you take 2 pics of the house and get permission to test fly your UAV off the property. At the end you give them a receipt for 2 pics you took before the flight and o by the way I am going to throw in this video I took on my test flight.
Jan 24, 2012, 05:00 PM
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llbr22's Avatar
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
Since when did LAPD become the enforcement arm of the FAA and aviation law? Didn't know they specialized in that.....
I think this has a lot to do with FilmLA basically calling the cops on people taking jobs from jib and crane operators.
Jan 24, 2012, 06:07 PM
isaacintheclouds's Avatar


I wonder if you were to tether the helicopter to an anvil with lightweight wire, like cable fishing line, say 100ft long, would it be considered a free flying uav?
Jan 24, 2012, 06:11 PM
saabguyspg's Avatar
it can still come down and hurt someone, TC would still require a SFOC for each flight and all pertinant rules would apply including insurance.

Jan 24, 2012, 06:18 PM
isaacintheclouds's Avatar
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
The Remote Control Aerial Photography Association (RCAPA) has struggled against this situation for the last six years. Patrick Egan is the point man leading the charge for the little guys in the FAA. We need people to rally around him and give him support both moral and monetarily. He was on the original ARC and is now trying to get on the ARC 2.0. It takes alot of time, effort, and money to keep up with the big boys, and he has paid our way out of his own pocket. You have a ton of catching up to do, but you can start with the latest here:


Everyone should do what they can to help.
I was ranting about this in December and centexflyer posted this. Figured I would pass it on...
Jan 24, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Zirt57's Avatar
Originally Posted by CenTexFlyer
Since when did LAPD become the enforcement arm of the FAA and aviation law? Didn't know they specialized in that.....
I was wondering the same thing. I thought the FAA did the enforcement themselves. Seems the LAPD are stepping on the FAA's toes (I could be wrong). Didn't the FAA issue a cease and desist to the LAPD a few years ago when they tried to use UAVs without permits. Something smells about this news.

- Jeff
Jan 24, 2012, 06:36 PM
saabguyspg's Avatar
well other law agencies in Canada have to get SFOC's to fly their units.

we have had RCMP in alberta have to go through this already... TC had to have thier say before anything happened... and also as you know the Ontario Police are using dragonflyer but still need TC approval...

Jan 24, 2012, 06:46 PM
Registered User
Well here in australia... it gets quite crazy. We are allowed to fly anywhere under 400ft, 5km from an airport and 30m away from people as a hobby (sport and recreation).

As soon as you do footage for a company or look to sell it or get hired to do footage for 'Reward and Gain', you need the following:

A UAV Controller Certificate
A UAV Operators Certificate

This dosnt sound too bad, untill you find out what you need for the Controllers Certificate:

101.295 Eligibility for certification as UAV controller
(1) Only an individual is eligible to be certificated as a UAV controller.
(2) A person is eligible to be certificated as a UAV controller if he or she:
(a) qualifies for the issue of a radio operator’s certificate of proficiency; and
(b) has been awarded a pass in an aviation licence theory examination (other than a flight radio operator’s examination); and
(c) has been awarded a pass in an instrument rating theory examination; and
(d) has completed a training course in the operation of the type of UAV that he or she proposes to operate, conducted by the UAV’s manufacturer; and
(e) has at least 5 hours experience in operating UAVs outside controlled airspace.
(3) A person who holds or has held:
(a) a flight crew licence with a command instrument rating; or
(b) a military qualification equivalent to a licence and rating mentioned in paragraph (a); or
(c) an air traffic control licence, or a military qualification equivalent to an air traffic control licence;
is taken to satisfy the conditions in paragraphs (2) (a), (b) and (c).

This is about $7000 - $8000 worth of training to do the same thing you dont need all this training for as long as its classed as sport and recreation.

The sill thing about this also is you need to do Air Traffic Radio Operators licence theory exam and pass, Aviation License theory exam and pass and an Instrument Rating theory exam and pass. All these 3 exams are for full scale Helicopters and Aircraft. All of which have nothing to do with flying a small model multirotor with a camera.

So costs involved are :

• UAV Controllers certification = $160 (in effect your UA pilot's licence)
• OC approval process = $7000-$8000
• plus renewals at the 1, 4, 7 etc anniversary points = $480 (without additional vehicles or information) - we issue initial licences for 1 year; our plan is then to have 3 yearly renewals.

Put me off the idea entirely. I've had plenty of requests to get me to video footage for them, but now have to point this out when ever I get asked.

Of course I will still do this for fun :-)

End of rant. :-)
Jan 24, 2012, 06:58 PM
I think my wheels fell off.
Thumb_number's Avatar

We walk down the street with zero safety equipment, less than 2 meters from a car weighting 1500kgs doing 60Kph. The driver of that car is 100% responsible for the maintenance of that car, and their conduct whilst driving that car including current mental and physical ability to drive aforementioned car.

Less than 1% of us would even give that a single thought.

How much money do insurance companies and governments gain from our "right" to use our own car, drive it and also use it for our own financial gain?

What is the 'acceptable loss of life' agreed to by governments and companies before they are considered criminal for not banning the use of cars because someone might get hurt or killed?

IMHO this whole subject is scaremongering and 'profit legislation' incited by those with the most to gain.

Apologies if anyone is upset by my comments.

Rant over.

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