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Dec 28, 2019, 12:35 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
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Why the FAA is really doing this to us , and it is not about commercial drones


We happen to have an FAA manager in this area's FAA regional office as a member of our local RC club, who happens to be a very active R/C pilot. I will not offer this persons name or position at this time. He has been carefully observing this entire process internally in the FAA over the last few years and has offered our club some insight into what is really happening.

He is as upset abut this as anyone in the hobby.

The proposed rules in the new NPRM are only peripherally about commercial drone operations and drone deliveries, other than there has to be some cohesive rules for those operations, which have already been established with previous rule publications.

Needlessly restricting our type of recreational flying activity with this NPRM is all about two objective things:

1. Making the National Airspace as safe as possible for manned flight, in a way that the FAA feels it needs to be done.
2. To supply law enforcement with an easy means of tracking illegal and unsafe drone activities. We all get rolled up into this need.

The feeling that this is all due to big money and Amazon and commercial drone delivery is simply not true, except for one aspect. The Commercial Drone Alliance and associated entities were very ticked and green with jealousy that we were getting exceptions (to the rules they were being required to follow) for our historically safe type of recreational model flying and they have been complaining loudly and at length about it. However, the commercial drone operations by large companies is not nearly as dominating a factor as some conspiracy types think it is. Think of it as background noise.

We need to give up this particular red herring and focus on reality to do our best to fight for our right to fly.

Our guy mentioned that the law enforcement community is pressing very, very hard and very, very deeply for the remote ID requirement. Unfortunately, they have a lot of our national representatives on their side as it is presented as a real danger to our national security. Yes, they are worried about terrorist activities, even though we all know that what is being suggested will never prevent bad actors from doing what they want to do, if they want to do it bad enough.

Our FAA contact feels we must write loudly, respectfully and often to our congress critters and really make ourselves heard.

He also has stated on more than one occasion that the AMA is in there fighting the good fight as hard as possible and is doing some amazing work for us. However, our position, represented by the AMA, of working to preserve our historical flying freedoms, is pretty much a lone voice supporting us against multiple "well intentioned" government and political forces.

The only reason that we have gotten the proposed fairly limited exclusion for remote ID at certain recognized flying sites is because of the AMA's efforts.

It is time to gear up to fight for our rights, when the comments are opened for this NPRM.

Remember: well reasoned and well written arguments with supporting facts and visible logic is all that will get any worthwhile attention. Mindless rants and threats and declarations of personal intent to ignore the proposals will simply be ignored.
Last edited by Thomas B; Dec 28, 2019 at 12:52 PM.
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Dec 28, 2019, 01:44 PM
Registered User
It's over. Write all you want, the FAA is not listening, and they were never listening to us. They and the entire legitimate aerospace community -- from general aviation pilots reporting drone sightings to the FAA to the engineers at Boeing who think if the FAA is hard on them they should be hard on us, and of course ALPA which thinks only airliners should be in the air -- think we need to go away. There's no fighting that sort of consensus.
Dec 28, 2019, 01:46 PM
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freddy_fo's Avatar
I suspect with the CDA it was more concern that non-regulated recreational flying will result in incidents that will make news and commercial operators will get lumped in with the negative stigma resulting from said incidents. It's only a guess but that is my take.

Problem is (has been pointed out many times already) RID will only work on law abiding pilots. Parts and pieces to build non-compliant UAS will be around for a long time and may never go away albeit harder to acquire and/ or require more skills to assemble. I can legally make a lower without serial number for my AR15 using slugs and do it for less than what it would cost to buy one that has a serial number. With all the focus on guns as of late you would think this could no longer happen or at least be illegal which where I live it is not.

My first take-away after reading the NPRM was exactly what the FAA manager said which was a method for law enforcement to track and punish recreational pilots who break the law. Well if you intend to break the law are you going fly something that is going to tattle on you? LOL.

So in the future when drones are flying all over downtown dropping off packages and a scofflaw puts their drone up without RID will the general observing public know the difference much less the legit autonomous drones? I suppose if the drones have radar and see a contact that is not on the grid they could tattle that way but then the pilot need only walk away never to be discovered.
Dec 28, 2019, 04:01 PM
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aymodeler's Avatar
I don't disagree that form the FAA's perspective this is about safety. I also understand that law enforcement is a lobbying influence on this as well. But the commercial drone industry absolutely needs a defined and stable regulatory environment in order to succeed. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is simple business lobbying. The fact that the industry needs coincide with the FAA's existing prevlactions is what makes this so daunting.

If establishing a uniform regulatory framework was not in the industries best interest, you can bet they would be lobbying hard against it. In the end, money talks and regulators listen (just ask the net neutrality guys). Again, no conspiracy, just business.
Dec 28, 2019, 07:17 PM
Airplane and Heli Flyer
V-Man's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddy_fo
Problem is (has been pointed out many times already) RID will only work on law abiding pilots.
There's an old joke that goes a little something like this:

A policeman comes across a drunken man looking at the ground under a streetlight. The drunk says he lost his house keys and they both canvas the area under the streetlight together.

After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, I lost them in the park -- pointing to a dark area beyond. The policeman asks why search here then, and the drunk replies, "... this is where the light is."
Dec 28, 2019, 08:46 PM
Registered User
smithdoor's Avatar
It is simple they trying clear the air of hobby flying for Commercial Drones.

Large companies need clear air space to fly there Drones.

The safety of fix wing model is one best in the world. The plastic drones I do not know about.

Dave
Dec 28, 2019, 11:04 PM
Registered User
aymodeler's Avatar
BTW, if there is anyone thinking that the commercial drone industry is not solidly behind this, just read the "Commercial Drone Alliance responds to the FAA’s Remote ID proposal":

“The Commercial Drone Alliance was thrilled to see the FAA’s proposed remote ID rule today – the federal government’s holiday gift to the commercial drone industry. We are still reviewing the details, but offhand the FAA’s proposal appears to open the door for expansion of the billion-dollar commercial drone economy here in the U.S.” ...

The full text is here: https://ww.dronedj.com/2019/12/26/co...e-id-proposal/
Dec 29, 2019, 12:48 AM
Registered User
smithdoor's Avatar
They to put a beacon in ever drone so the Commercial drones do not run into the next drone.
We do not need that as we watch ower planes. But the FAA wants us to pay for this part on model planes for the Commercial drones
Honeywell back 1970's for full size aircraft but ever aircraft had have a beacon. At that time the FAA turn it down.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by aymodeler
BTW, if there is anyone thinking that the commercial drone industry is not solidly behind this, just read the "Commercial Drone Alliance responds to the FAA’s Remote ID proposal":

“The Commercial Drone Alliance was thrilled to see the FAA’s proposed remote ID rule today – the federal government’s holiday gift to the commercial drone industry. We are still reviewing the details, but offhand the FAA’s proposal appears to open the door for expansion of the billion-dollar commercial drone economy here in the U.S.” ...

The full text is here: https://ww.dronedj.com/2019/12/26/co...e-id-proposal/
Dec 29, 2019, 01:15 AM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
They primarily want to know the position of all the drone air traffic so they can make sure it's not interfering with man carrying aircraft. Of secondary benefit, they can track drones suspected of doing something wrong. And provided they have effective drone-detection systems (which already exist), any drone that's not squawking an ID can be considered hostile and treated accordingly. Is it needed now? No. But if commercial drone traffic actually turns in to the large scale enterprise members of the drone alliance hope, it will be needed. Just as private plane pilots can't just take off and fly around wherever they want, because they could interfere with commercial traffic, hobby drone pilots will suffer the same kinds of restrictions.

The fact is, the capabilities of a hobbyist drone and a commercial drone aren't that far apart. They all use basically the same technology and can be flown FPV and autonomous. And while they're not "hardened" like a military drone, some of the larger hobbyist drones are easily capable of carrying larger payloads over long distances (especially if it's a one-way trip). You can even get scale military drones. If you want to be a terrorist, you're not going to have to work very hard to build something effective.

The 250g weight limit is at least an attempt on the part of the FAA to acknowledge that below some size the potential for harm is limited enough not to matter.

Yeah, it sucks that responsible fliers will be burdened by rules that don't really apply to what we do. But it's only a matter of time, IMO, before someone starts using hobby stuff for nefarious purposes (they already do, actually. Just not where the American public really cares. Yet. Plenty of cases of drones dropping stuff in prison yards or flying stuff across borders, and spying on and dropping hand grenades on military posts). If the worst comes to pass and hobby stuff starts causing problems people see as a threat to them, the public will be screaming for more burdensome rules. Better to have some rules in place already, it limits the knee-jerk response that'd result in even worse overcompensation.
Dec 29, 2019, 11:03 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketsled666
Better to have some rules in place already, it limits the knee-jerk response that'd result in even worse overcompensation.
They're forbidding flying unless you livestream the telemetry to the FAA. And requiring that future models have tamper-proof devices to prevent flying unless this requirement is met. And requiring us to pay subscription fees for the privileged of reporting ourselves to them. You don't think that's "overcompensation" enough?
Dec 29, 2019, 11:09 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler
They're forbidding flying unless you livestream the telemetry to the FAA. And requiring that future models have tamper-proof devices to prevent flying unless this requirement is met. And requiring us to pay subscription fees for the privileged of reporting ourselves to them. You don't think that's "overcompensation" enough?
But only if you use the first method of compliance. The third method, flying at a FRIA requires no equipment and no reporting. It is the method intended for model airplanes. It needs a tweak or two regarding how a FRIA is recognized and the ability to add new sites included, but it gives a clear path to compliance without equipment, without worry about amateur built rules, etc.

I keep seeing posts where people wrap all 3 methods into one and act as if we are being required to meet all the conditions of all 3 methods. And one more time, this is at least 5 years out from reality and there is a lot that can happen in that time.
Dec 29, 2019, 11:15 AM
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aymodeler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R
But only if you use the first method of compliance. The third method, flying at a FRIA requires no equipment and no reporting. It is the method intended for model airplanes. It needs a tweak or two regarding how a FRIA is recognized and the ability to add new sites included, but it gives a clear path to compliance without equipment, without worry about amateur built rules, etc.

I keep seeing posts where people wrap all 3 methods into one and act as if we are being required to meet all the conditions of all 3 methods. And one more time, this is at least 5 years out from reality and there is a lot that can happen in that time.
Agree completely. But we need to take collective action to keep shaping this to allow our continued existence.
Dec 29, 2019, 11:17 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R
But only if you use the first method of compliance. The third method, flying at a FRIA requires no equipment and no reporting. It is the method intended for model airplanes. It needs a tweak or two regarding how a FRIA is recognized and the ability to add new sites included, but it gives a clear path to compliance without equipment, without worry about amateur built rules, etc.

I keep seeing posts where people wrap all 3 methods into one and act as if we are being required to meet all the conditions of all 3 methods. And one more time, this is at least 5 years out from reality and there is a lot that can happen in that time.
I agree on the tweaks needed for the FRIAs but also, there will be a substantial number of folks who may not be close enough to fly at a FRIA site. There are many out in the country, away from any danger of being an impediment to commercial drone delivery who shjould be allowed to fly under 400 feet on their own property regardless of it being a FRIA or not. Flying my model over a farmer's field at under 400 feet should not be an issue for anyone. As an individual, I should be able to manage a waiver or authorization to operate under 400 feet, away from airports and out in an area that will not interfere with commercial drone deliveries.
Dec 29, 2019, 11:17 AM
Team Futaba
Silent-AV8R's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aymodeler
Agree completely. But we need to take collective action to keep shaping this to allow our continued existence.
Absolutely. But I see literally hundreds of posts that are based on a mixmaster of information thrown together to write a panicked and purely speculative post not based on actually understanding what the NPRM says.
Dec 29, 2019, 11:53 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent-AV8R
But only if you use the first method of compliance. The third method, flying at a FRIA requires no equipment and no reporting. It is the method intended for model airplanes. It needs a tweak or two regarding how a FRIA is recognized and the ability to add new sites included, but it gives a clear path to compliance without equipment, without worry about amateur built rules, etc.
FRIAs are clearly intended to be phased out over a fairly short timescale (I wouldn't be surprised to see a follow-up rulemaking phasing them out 3-5 years after this one takes effect, the way the FAA changed the rules on external marking right after the registration rulemaking was re-approved). They're only available to CBO members whose CBO gets the FRIA approved, and it's not clear what criteria the FAA will use (my prediction is that very few fixed sites in controlled airspace will qualify, for instance). Furthermore, there are no recognized CBOs at this time. As a non-CBO member, FRIAs do me no good at all.

Furthermore, it is not true that amateur-built rules do not apply. The design rules apply to all aircraft produced after the effective date of the rules, even those intended to be flown only within FRIAs. You may not build an aircraft from a kit (or buy an ARF, BNF, or RTF aircraft) without remote ID after the effective date of this regulation. If you build an aircraft with remote ID, you are required to use that remote ID even within an FRIA.


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