Now illegal to Fly RC planes for Commercial Purposes - Page 20 - RC Groups
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Aug 24, 2012, 04:43 PM
Grrr :-)
nerys's Avatar
depends on your deed rights. in a city you don't own the airspace out in tim buck too you DO own the airspace "immediately" above your home.

flying below 500 feet is INSANELY dangerous. NO they don't typically fly that low DEFINITELY now over homes.

at 500 feet you have ZERO time to react/respond to an incident. I am pretty sure flying that low without exigent circumstances is both against policy and illegal to the best of my knowledge.

I plan to live in texas and where I plan to live IIRC I own the airspace to 500ft over my land.

I never checked PA law. I live in suburbia kind of area (levittown) I doubt I own any airspace over my roofline.

plus there is a DIFFERENCE in legal terms from flying over my home in pursuit of a criminal or to an accident or emergency AND just Droning around without cause or warrant.

a police officer may NOT enter my home without probable cause or a warrant.

I am within my rights to shoot him dead if he tries to illegal force his way into my home outside the law.

if a criminal enters my home HE IS permitted to lawfully enter in pursuit. same would apply to a helicopter.

there must be probable cause, warrant, or exigent circumstances.
Last edited by nerys; Aug 24, 2012 at 04:51 PM.
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Aug 24, 2012, 06:08 PM
Originally Posted by Adidas4275
i dont think it is a states right issue, but i could be wrong.

I am fairly sure that no one can own airspace just like you do not have rights to what is below ground.

but i could be wrong, I would be interested to see the law in PA that super seeds the FAA.

so Police helicopters never fly under 500' when looking for a fugitive in PA?
In many areas you do own mineral rights below the ground actually. I am in the part of new York that is part of the big fracking debate, so I actually do know a little bit about this.
Aug 24, 2012, 06:11 PM
manual flying apologist
Adidas4275's Avatar
interesting, does it correlate to zoning? like residential does not and Industrial does?

i know i dont own mineral rights on my residential city limits home
Aug 24, 2012, 06:28 PM
Registered User
Deadstick 8409's Avatar
Nobody (except the govt.) "owns" the airspace above their property.

There are rules on minimum altitudes, 1000 feet from any person, structure, etc. 500' minimum over unpopulated areas. Over open water, as low as you got the guts.

It is a federal thing, has nothing to do with laws within a state.

U.S. v. Causby (1946)
Aug 24, 2012, 07:17 PM
Grrr :-)
nerys's Avatar
this is not quite correct. in some states by court decision you own the immediate airspace over your home.

in places you don't its not because you can't its because SOMEONE ELSE already does so when you bought your home those ownership rights where not available with your purchase.

The government technically owns nothing. they are given privilege of control over. Semantic yes but it is a critical distinction.

the very case you site is ALSO the case "I" site deadstick.

note it does NOT say the air is public domain. it says the NAVIGABLE air is public domain.

The land owner RETAINS rights to the "reasonable" airspace over their home this is typically recognized in law as 500ft.

this is why purchasers of property around airports are many times required (sometimes requested) to "give up" this 500ft ceiling (for landing takeoff pattern etc..)
Aug 24, 2012, 07:21 PM
Registered User
Deadstick 8409's Avatar
Well, see what would happen if you try and put up a 300' tower. It would have to be signed off on by numerous authorities, including the FAA.

This has been discussed on this forum (I think it was here?) on another thread which I can not find now. Legally you have a right to not be harassed by ac below 500'. But no one is allowed to fly that low near a house anyway. And I would think that is true of a model too. If you were on a ranch, and someone was FPV'ing over it, might be good fun to blow it out of the sky. Legal too, as far as I'm concerned.
Aug 24, 2012, 07:40 PM
AutoQuad OS developer
maximal's Avatar

Short version: you're supposed to notify the FAA if building something taller than 199ft and it's considered an "obstruction" to air traffic if it's > 499ft. There are a ton of caveats if you're near an airport or some other areas like interstates. For obstructions you might need to obtain a permit or whatever (and have markers), but for non-obstructions then it's purely a notification process, as I understand it, although they might request "additional info" from you, whatever that means. Of course this has nothing to do with local zoning rules which may preclude one from building all sorts of things.

Aug 24, 2012, 07:45 PM
Grrr :-)
nerys's Avatar
The purpose of which is to make sure your over 199ft tower is NOT going to be an obstruction. IE that you are not on an approach path etc.. since you can be MILES from an airport and be on a corridor.

and notification makes perfect sense i mean many vehicles "share" the airspace.

not so much "signed off" by the FAA but simply to make sure its not going to create a problem. if it does create a problem they simply need to be aware of it and you might need to "mark" it (lighting) etc.. so as to not pose an aircraft danger.

this is all part of being in a society not a "limitation" of your rights.

I think you both got it now.

so if they hover their police or home land security fpv less than 500ft over my place its target practice :-)
Aug 24, 2012, 09:26 PM
manual flying apologist
Adidas4275's Avatar
interesting.... nerys what do you do for a living?
Aug 24, 2012, 09:28 PM
Grrr :-)
nerys's Avatar
Fix computers and take pictures of rockets :-)

I wonder if pointing a laser at an aircraft is still a felony if it is an unmanned aircraft

2w laser with the right optics should fry its imager rather nicely
Aug 25, 2012, 03:41 AM
FPV Crash Test Dummy
vewdew1's Avatar
The part that confuses me the most about all this is legal vs. illegal argument is wether or not they (the FAA) have jurisdiction. Specifically, what is considered national air space? Every law that I've seen cited here, exemptions included, appears to only be applicable in this context. This seems like an important distinction, as it would mean they have no legal authority over you conducting aerial photography outside of that space (commercial or recreational).

Has anyone actually ever been arrested or charged specifically for "commercial" use of an RC model (and not some other unrelated offense)? What were the charges and/or what law was cited? Has the FAA ever actually taken any legal action, or has it just been limited to intimidating letters of self-declared authority?
Last edited by vewdew1; Aug 25, 2012 at 03:50 AM.
Aug 25, 2012, 05:25 AM
AutoQuad OS developer
maximal's Avatar

There's very little evidence of actual C&D letters to be found online. This is pretty much the only thing I've found:

They claim to be grounded although you couldn't tell by looking at their site. I know Russ Freeman has been very vocal on the issue, which I can respect.

Another interesting point to consider is that a lot of people fly RC for profit/compensation. For example there are company reps at shows that demo airplanes, as well as professional competition pilots. Somehow they're still doing their thing.

Aug 25, 2012, 06:13 AM
Suspended Account
Regarding the recreational vs commercial aspect, this is how it is defined in Canada:

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”.
Aug 25, 2012, 02:04 PM
Grrr :-)
nerys's Avatar
if the aircraft is not a obstruction to full size aircraft and not a serious threat to people or property I do not recognize the authority of the FAA to decree anything.

its that simple. I will deal with the consequences of that as they come but those terms are non negotiable.
Aug 25, 2012, 02:07 PM
manual flying apologist
Adidas4275's Avatar
That's nice for you to say, but I don't think that changes the reality that the FAA has been clear that anything but hobby use of a sUAS requires a CoA.

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