Got a call from the FAA - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Dec 04, 2012, 09:39 AM
Registered User
ashdec87's Avatar
Originally Posted by kov16
I thought that the FAA only regulates airspace above 500' AGL? If not, would taping a keychain cam to a paper airplane and uploading it to youtube be illegal? Actually any aerial video that is put on youtube would be illegal if you get money from ads (even though it's only a few cents).

Talk about WAY too much government regulation.
No because someone has to be buying the footage/pictures. The folks in the AP forum have been dealing with this for a while now.
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Dec 04, 2012, 09:57 AM
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branflakes's Avatar
If you are generating per click revenue it could be.

We would have to read if non rc control makes a difference
I believe the wording included balloons too will have to see.

Its not the craft, its the nas + profit

Model Estes rocket...same
Dec 04, 2012, 10:17 AM
Registered User
jforkner's Avatar
Kinda interesting the FAA singled you out. How do you think they found you? Do you have a website promoting your activity? Can't imagine they just called a number at random. Somehow you or someone must have brought attention to yourself.

Dec 04, 2012, 11:03 AM
Registered User
EddieWeeks's Avatar
I got the same call about a year ago from our FAA guy... He could not have been nicer...
They are advising against flying for money, but its not illegal.
Been taking pictures for money every week since..
The motivation behind all this is the FAA does not want to be responsible if there is a problem…
If there is a problem, FAA will say," we have been advising against it for years but they did it anyway… we are not liable. "
FAA is not involved with flying RC for sport… But they have to be for commercial use.

This country is going to chit… No one is or want to be responsible for anything…

Eddie Weeks
Dec 04, 2012, 11:05 AM
Registered User
EddieWeeks's Avatar
oh.. if an FAA guys calls you... its most likely because your taking away bis from full size
airplanes... like was my case... Our local full size guy / guys are not happy with us and told the FAA guy about us.... LOL..
Dec 04, 2012, 12:08 PM
Your customer
Silverexpress's Avatar
So it begins....
Dec 04, 2012, 12:09 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Not even close to the beginning. This sort of thing has been going on for years.
As mentioned above those in the A/P A/V forum are quite familiar with this.
Dec 04, 2012, 12:34 PM
DX5e fatal flaw- PM me!!!!
Is flying out of the guidelines actually breaking a law?

Which law?

Is a tethered air vehicle a UAS?
Dec 04, 2012, 01:10 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
AC 91-57 is a set of guidelines but what the FAA is saying is that it simply
doesn't apply if you're flying commercially. Their contention is that all the rest of their
regulations (which are not guidelines) become applicable if you choose to fly commercially.

Nobody has quite figured out what law is actually broken.
FAA seems to be making the case that they have exclusive jurisdiction over all airspace
and that the absence of a regulation specifically allowing what you're doing in their airspace
is the same as a regulation prohibiting what you're doing in their airspace.
I have no idea how that would play out in court.
I also have been wondering about the definition of "Navigable airspace", as their
stated jurisdiction applies only to it, and I think I could make the case
that where we often fly (below treetop level) is not navigable airspace as the FAA knows
it, and is quite simply outside of their jurisdiction. New sUAS regs may clarify this.

FAA Regs covering tethered balloons and kites (among others)
101.13 (b) is interesting as it introduces the concept of "shielded operation" which
exempts you from all the rules in subsection (a). It's equivalent to what I'm talking about
with regard to flying below the tops of trees and structures, being outside of their

Dec 04, 2012, 02:33 PM
FPV Desert Beta Test Center
This should come as no news to those involved but the FAA policy for UAS operations is that no person may operate an aircraft in the National Airspace System without specific authority. For UAS operating, as public aircraft the authority is the COA, for UAS operating as civil aircraft the authority is special airworthiness certificates, and for model aircraft the authority is AC
91-57. Even through AC 91-57 is a guideline it is the only FAA authorization for model flight. Without that there is no authorization period zip nada.
FAA has long since explained the AC 91-57 does not apply to commercial UAV's which means that commercial UAV's require special approval.
If a violation occurs the law/s being broken would be the Federal Aviation Regulations and IMO it would not be prudent to test them in court but hay what’s the worse that could happen?
Dec 04, 2012, 02:53 PM
gooby's Avatar
Originally Posted by CNY_Dave

Is a tethered air vehicle a UAS?
If they aren't then he could possibly tie a long piece of thread to the quad and the other end to a pebble.
Dec 04, 2012, 02:58 PM
Registered User
EddieWeeks's Avatar
You want to hear what’s really stupid... For years I would fly my 40 lb RC jet at 200 mph at active airports and perform loops and split S maneuvers up to 1000 feet measured, 200 pilots did it all week… no problem…
It’s called Florida Jets, Superman, Afterburner... … ect.. And that was fine.

Now I am doing Flare stack inspection, flying a Hex FPV 350 feet up near an burning flare, doing a job that cannot be Done with a full size aircraft, and would be very dangerous for a full size heli… And only now am I doing something Questionable…

LOL… give me a break..

Eddie Weeks
Dec 04, 2012, 03:35 PM
Registered User
BushmanLA's Avatar
Ignore them and keep quiet until you get a real cease and desist or threat of fines along with some kind of notion of what law you are breaking exactly.

The major problem here is that the airspace above private property SHOULD be private airspace as well at least up to a thousand feet or so.
Dec 04, 2012, 03:56 PM
FPV Racer - N4FPV
Eddie James's Avatar
Originally Posted by Daemon
...I also have been wondering about the definition of "Navigable airspace", as their stated jurisdiction applies only to it, and I think I could make the case that where we often fly (below treetop level) is not navigable airspace as the FAA knows it, and is quite simply outside of their jurisdiction.... ian
Great, great point here ian.....And it is like I responded to the FAA rep - If there is an occupied airplane anywhere near this quadcopter, the last thing in the world you are going to be worried about is my little quadcopter...

Dec 04, 2012, 04:43 PM
FPVpilots do it remotely
Eddie, thank you for posting the FAA reply. I did not really realize the connection is the fars and the experimental rules, but that actually kind of makes a wicked sense.

Historical aviation have been governed by a couple of factors.
1. airplane capability
2. airplane complexity
3. pilots rating level. (student, private, commercial, instructor)
oh and 4. if the maker of the plane have certified the plane.
If not it is a non-commercial use experimental aircraft - and it seems that is how FAA think about UAV's...

Currently our aircrafts is not type approved and covered by the typical red-tape for a aircraft.
The operators are generally not "licensed pilots" as a group.
The FAR's do not permit commercial operation of experimental aircrafts without a waiver.. etc etc. BUT there are some loops for charity if I recall correctly as long as the money do not go to you but to the church etc.?

The FAA is interestingly and maybe appropriately, lumping for the sake a making a point, UAV's into the same pool as all other flying hardware, manned or not. (Im saying appropriately because we are today seeing computer controlled FPV planes flying in manners that definitely is pushing controlled airspace.)

Like everybody else I want the right to fly my multirotor with a broadcast camera and get paid for it. and intend to do so until told otherwise. But I suspect as the capabilities continue to expand, we should expect those in power to think of the devise in terms of what it potentially "can" do in terms of flying, rather than in terms of what we actually do, such as below tree-top flying for a video pull or crane shot.

Chances are the future might hold a "toy rated" UAV.. with limited range / altitude.. tape a camera to it and do under 300 feet all day long outside of build up areas. and a commercially rated UAV which may be flown by a certified operator / pilot over build up areas in the same way as a single engine certified airplane used commercially.

In the long term, I can not image a un-regulated commercial UAV camera or not, capable of entering commercial air-space (regardless of the operators intentions.. except maybe for a certified and therefore regulated operator)

Sooo. guessing FAA is doing due-diligence, whenever they learn of a operator, they make a note and officially inform the operator that this do not comply with their rules.. they have to do that, otherwise they would condone and that would form precedence.. but that they have no regulatory framework for fining you for using the "toy" under the airspace floor.

Sorry for the rant, just thinking out loud.


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