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Gillvane
03-09-2014, 07:43 AM
So this doesn't mean that the issue is settled. Of course the FAA could make more regulations any time they want to, but it is a victory for one young student just trying to fly his drone and have a good time.


http://blog.newegg.com/federal-judge-rules-commercial-drones-are-100-completely-legal/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

David Saraceno
03-09-2014, 10:06 AM
Raphael Pirker wasn't a student, nor was he affiliated with UofV. He was a member of Team Black Sheep, based in Europe, and was hired to record aerial video for the University. It was a paid gig, and Pirker is well known in international circles involving aerial videography for commercial uses.

The decision didn't consider the substantive allegations of the complaint, which included claims that Pirker operated his UAS in a dangerous and irresponsible matter. The decision was purely jurisdictional, and did not address the substantive merits of the claims. The judge was an Administrative Law Judge. While a federal judge, it was an administrative determination, and can be appealed to Federal District Court, and eventually to a Federal Circuit Court.

Essentially, Judge Geraghty ruled that the FAA “has not issued an enforceable Federal Acquisition Regulation [FAR] regulatory rule governing model aircraft operation; has historically exempted model aircraft from the statutory FAR definitions of ‘aircraft’ by relegating model aircraft operations to voluntary compliance with the guidance expressed in [the 2007 policy notice], Respondent’s model aircraft operation was not subject to FAR regulation and enforcement.”

Gillvane
03-09-2014, 10:21 AM
Thanks for the info David.

paulears
03-09-2014, 10:33 AM
Could somebody translate that into english - I can't understand the US legal speak at all. So ARE they legal to use commercially or not?

Finn Yarbrough
03-09-2014, 10:55 AM
Could somebody translate that into english - I can't understand the US legal speak at all. So ARE they legal to use commercially or not?

Based on this lawsuit, the answer is that commercial R/C flights are "not currently illegal."

This doesn't mean that you can't be sued for damage or reckless operation by a third party, it just means that the FAA cannot YET restrict R/C flights on principle, since that would go against the principle they have already established.

Until they re-write and publish new regulations, which they are currently doing. Nobody knows exactly when they will finish, what they will say, or if they will be tested once again in court and what the outcome will be.

groveChuck
03-09-2014, 08:34 PM
The FAA Tweeted Thursday linking to a post titled “Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft.” No mention of the judge's ruling.
Perhaps more intelligible to Paul and the rest of us non-legal types (and even clearer for legal types such as David)...
Though it llloks like Congress writes the laws as much as the FAA.

http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=76240

Myth #1: The FAA doesn't control airspace below 400 feet
Fact—The FAA is responsible for the safety of U.S. airspace from the ground up.
This misperception may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground.


Myth #2: Commercial UAS flights are OK if I'm over private property and stay below 400 feet.
Fact—The FAA published a Federal Register notice (http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/media/frnotice_uas.pdf) in 2007 that clarified the agency’s policy: You may not fly a UAS for commercial purposes by claiming that you’re operating according to the Model Aircraft guidelines (below 400 feet, 3 miles from an airport, away from populated areas.) Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis.
A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria, using Insitu's ScanEagle, and authorization was limited to the Arctic.( http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=73981)


Myth #3: Commercial UAS operations are a “gray area” in FAA regulations.
Fact—There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft—manned or unmanned—in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval. Private sector (civil) users can obtain an experimental airworthiness certificate to conduct research and development, training and flight demonstrations. Commercial UAS operations are limited and require the operator to have certified aircraft and pilots, as well as operating approval. To date, only two UAS models (the Scan Eagle and Aerovironment’s Puma) have been certified, and they can only fly in the Arctic.

*** Public entities (federal, state and local governments, and public universities) may apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) ***

The FAA reviews and approves UAS operations over densely-populated areas on a case-by-case basis.

Flying model aircraft solely for hobby or recreational reasons does not require FAA approval. However, hobbyists are advised to operate their aircraft in accordance with the agency's model aircraft guidelines (see Advisory Circular 91-57).

*** In the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95, Sec 336), Congress exempted model aircraft from new rules or regulations provided the aircraft are operated "in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization."***

The FAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics recently signed a first-ever agreement that formalizes a working relationship and establishes a partnership for advancing safe model UAS operations. This agreement also lays the ground work for enacting the model aircraft provisions of Public Law 112-95, Sec 336.
Modelers operating under the provisions of P.L. 112-95, Sec 336 must comply with the safety guidelines of a nationwide community-based organization.

Myth #4: There are too many commercial UAS operations for the FAA to stop.
Fact—The FAA has to prioritize its safety responsibilities, but the agency is monitoring UAS operations closely. Many times, the FAA learns about suspected commercial UAS operations via a complaint from the public or other businesses. The agency occasionally discovers such operations through the news media or postings on internet sites. When the FAA discovers apparent unauthorized UAS operations, the agency has a number of enforcement tools available to address these operations, including a verbal warning, a warning letter, and an order to stop the operation.


Myth #5: Commercial UAS operations will be OK after September 30, 2015.
Fact—In the 2012 FAA reauthorization legislation, Congress told the FAA to come up with a plan for “safe integration” of UAS by September 30, 2015. Safe integration will be incremental. The agency is still developing regulations, policies and standards that will cover a wide variety of UAS users, and expects to publish a proposed rule for small UAS – under about 55 pounds – later this year.
That proposed rule will likely include provisions for commercial operations.


Myth #6: The FAA is lagging behind other countries in approving commercial drones.
Fact – This comparison is flawed. The United States has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world, including many general aviation aircraft that we must consider when planning UAS integration, because those same airplanes and small UAS may occupy the same airspace.
Developing all the rules and standards we need is a very complex task, and we want to make sure we get it right the first time.
We want to strike the right balance of requirements for UAS to help foster growth in an emerging industry with a wide range of potential uses, but also keep all airspace users and people on the ground safe.


Myth #7: The FAA predicts as many as 30,000 drones by 2030.
Fact—That figure is outdated. It was an estimate in the FAA’s 2011 Aerospace Forecast. Since then, the agency has refined its prediction to focus on the area of greatest expected growth. The FAA currently estimates as many as 7,500 small commercial UAS may be in use by 2018, assuming the necessary regulations are in place. The number may be updated when the agency publishes the proposed rule on small UAS later this year.



http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=76240

Gillvane
03-10-2014, 05:51 AM
Very informative groveChuck. I don't understand the reasoning exactly in the model plane vs commercial UAS rules. The only difference seems to be making money. I mean, the same problems and safety concerns exist whether you are making a profit or just doing it for fun, since you're doing the exact same activity. Someone giving you a dollar doesn't suddenly make it less safe.

P13
03-10-2014, 06:00 AM
Very informative groveChuck. I don't understand the reasoning exactly in the model plane vs commercial UAS rules. The only difference seems to be making money. I mean, the same problems and safety concerns exist whether you are making a profit or just doing it for fun, since you're doing the exact same activity. Someone giving you a dollar doesn't suddenly make it less safe.

This is a fair point, one that never gets addressed the world over, YouTube shows there are people flying dangerous, often repeatedly without any action, but the moment you accept money then safety rules are applied. You'd imagine there would be at least a basic set of safety rules that would be enforced regardless of whether the use was hobby only or commercial, I guess the truth is the aviation authorities simply don't have the manpower to police all the potential users of aerial gear so have chosen to focus on the commercial operators alone.

Finn Yarbrough
03-10-2014, 09:23 AM
groveChuck,

It's funny that the FAA tweeted this on Thursday, obviously in a futile attempt at re-mis-information. This has been posted on their website, word-for-word, since before this most recent ruling was served on March 6th. Here's a link to it from February:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/flying-cameras/521909-busting-myths-about-faa-unmanned-aircraft.html

jagraphics
03-10-2014, 10:35 AM
Looks to me like battle lines being drawn and I would stay well out of it for the next year whilst $omeone $leses laywer$ $orth it out at their expen$e. Not yours.

In truth it looks like you had *model* R/C toys, Real Aircraft and a very few [very expensive military/Police] drones owned by the government (or their close friends) that fitted the well understood model in the USA. Now all of a sudden (as far as the regulators are concerned) you get LOTS of drones capable of doing a variety of real (commercial) work with various payloads at the cost of an R/C "model" or toy. This has confused the situation and all sides are trying to make sense of it. You will get some test cases.

I agree the case above seemed to be about jurisdiction. It does not mean some other authority and law is not going to be used re the alleged dangerous flight patterns. We could see something similar to the Al Capone case where tax/postal law was used to stop a gangster until the laws are amended to correctly apply to the now continuous spectrum of airborne systems from children's toys though conventional R/C model aircraft though to the new breed of drones and on the the conventional military drones.

Lines will have to be drawn somewhere and some how. Especially as there are very many of these new breed of drones out here and flying. Differentiating between one that is just an R/C model with a video camera and surveillance drone is going to be all but impossible.

I am not sure the US is any further forward or behind any other country on this. I don't think many countries have the proper legislation for this sort of equipment it has sort of exploded onto the market under the radar.

Buy the drones now whilst they are still inexpensive and you don't have to fill out lots of registration and legal paper work for them. Then wait to see what happens. I know for model R/C the US has restrictions that are not in the rest of the world. Apparently power of engines and payload capacity due to 9/11 they don't want people making their own cruise missiles!


BTW Re The United States has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world, that is a myth.... The USA is one country and borders two other friendly nations . On the other hand Europe (over 35 countries) which borders what was the USSR, Middle East and N. Africa. Europe is not all one place... Europe, the EU, NATO and EFTA are all disjoint. In the USA all the non civil aircraft belong to the same government in Europe you have multiple militaries who are not always the best of friends. Ask the Greeks and the Turks, also the Russians and Ukrainians... (the Serbs and Bosnians are relatively quiet now.)

groveChuck
03-10-2014, 08:21 PM
I was shooting a reality show at a Greek/American diner yesterday.
When wrapped, I was speaking with the owner. She doesn't have a liquor license, so on Friday nights (all Greek night), she walks around the diner pouring shots of ouzo. For free.

I'm left wondering if those who shoot aerials for free and charge for the land-based footage successfully pull off this sleight of hand trick... (separate companies- ie Bird's Eye Aerial Model Club?)

And after reading the FAA post I too wondered about European airspace- smaller, denser areas, more languages, etc.

At least I know where I'll be Friday night... :beer:

jagraphics
03-11-2014, 01:38 AM
I was shooting a reality show at a Greek/American diner yesterday.
When wrapped, I was speaking with the owner. She doesn't have a liquor license, so on Friday nights (all Greek night), she walks around the diner pouring shots of ouzo. For free.

I'm left wondering if those who shoot aerials for free and charge for the land-based footage successfully pull off this sleight of hand trick... (separate companies- ie Bird's Eye Aerial Model Club?)

Sounds like a good idea BUT I bet that then they will do you under the laws for noise nuisance or being a peeping tom* or , if the drone has a makers logo on it, for illegal advertising hoarding or some similar contrived infringement.... The Government (any and all governments) like to be In Control. They are going to get you one way or the other.



*this law at least in New York got a bit of a dent with a recent photographic exhibition but other local laws may take a different view.

David Saraceno
03-11-2014, 07:44 AM
My understanding is that the FAA cannot use a policy statement to regulate UAV (unmanned aerial vechicle) for commercial or non commercial purposes. It must hold hearings, take testimony, and issue regulations as a byproduct of that process.

Those regulations, once enacted, will be codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), and will have full force of law.

To date, the policy statement prohibiting commercial use of UAVs was insufficient in law and the administrative law judge struck it down.

It has been appealed to the full board for another hearing, and then that decision can be appealed to Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.

The process for securing clear rules and regulations has just commenced.

Anthem
03-11-2014, 10:54 AM
My understanding is that the FAA cannot use a policy statement to regulate UAV (unmanned aerial bechicle) for commercial or non commercial purposes. It must hold hearings, take testimony, and issue regulations as a byproduct of that process.

Those regulations, once enacted, will codified and the Code of Federal Regulations, and will have full force of law.

To date, the policy statement prohibiting commercial use of UAVs was insufficient in law and the administrative law judge struck it down.

It has been appealed to the full board for another hearing, and then that decision can be appeal to Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.

The process for securing clear rules and regulations has just commenced.

And thats where the confusion starts, FAA creating "policies" at anytime, and "regulate". I agree the FAA cannot create any "policies" without assembly, BUT they can "regulate" airspace at anytime if it feels an aircraft is flown irresponsibly, risking harm to the public.

Gillvane
03-11-2014, 12:36 PM
I was shooting a reality show at a Greek/American diner yesterday.
When wrapped, I was speaking with the owner. She doesn't have a liquor license, so on Friday nights (all Greek night), she walks around the diner pouring shots of ouzo. For free.

I'm left wondering if those who shoot aerials for free and charge for the land-based footage successfully pull off this sleight of hand trick... (separate companies- ie Bird's Eye Aerial Model Club?)

And after reading the FAA post I too wondered about European airspace- smaller, denser areas, more languages, etc.

At least I know where I'll be Friday night... :beer:

That would be what they call a "test case". Generally, you always want someone else to be the test case. It can be very expensive, even if you win.

nosys70
03-11-2014, 01:02 PM
currently, french authority banned drones from airspace using a simple regulation.
If there is a camera on board , you then must comply to rules that are almost impossible to get.
They are actively scanning the internet to discover shots made with drones and to catch people.

Andrius Simutis
03-11-2014, 01:08 PM
A couple things. First, the headline of this post really needs to be changed because it is misleading and some people might not read the whole thread.
Second, using legal loopholes to avoid breaking the letter of the law while flouting the clear intent of the law is a recipe for disaster. It might work sometimes in court, but usually not. Depending on the authority involved, the mood of the agent, what you ate for breakfast, you might get away with it in court but it won't stop you from being cited or arrested. The law books are really thick for a reason…there's all sorts of ways to try to get out of stuff but there's even more ways to get you busted. Depending on state and local liquor laws, the owner of that restaurant might be in the clear or might be an ABC visit away from having the restaurant shut down. Would you take that risk without really knowing what the outcome can be? The FAA, and local agencies too, are pretty clear that they're not too happy with the commercial use of drones. I wouldn't want to be the one getting dragged into court to try to prove them wrong.

Andrius Simutis
03-11-2014, 01:11 PM
I'm left wondering if those who shoot aerials for free and charge for the land-based footage successfully pull off this sleight of hand trick... (separate companies- ie Bird's Eye Aerial Model Club?)
I'm not a lawyer, but I think they'd be able to prove commercial use easily, especially if you put that aerial footage into a paid project.

Gillvane
03-11-2014, 05:48 PM
A couple things. First, the headline of this post really needs to be changed because it is misleading and some people might not read the whole thread.



You'll have to take that up with Newegg.

http://blog.newegg.com/federal-judge-rules-commercial-drones-are-100-completely-legal/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

rsbush
03-12-2014, 03:55 AM
You mean that bastion of journalistic standards "Newegg"?

Gillvane
03-12-2014, 07:48 AM
You mean that bastion of journalistic standards "Newegg"?

I mean I didn't make up the title. the topic of this thread is the title of the article, word for word. It's just a thread about the article. If you don't like the title of the article, well I didn't write it.

Andrius Simutis
03-12-2014, 11:16 AM
I mean I didn't make up the title. the topic of this thread is the title of the article, word for word. It's just a thread about the article. If you don't like the title of the article, well I didn't write it.
There's no requirement for you to post their title. If you really wanted to you could put in a qualifier like Newegg claims "insert hyperbolic title here". There's no reason to spread their misinformation that was most likely worded that way as click bait or to move sales of drones.

Finn Yarbrough
03-12-2014, 01:08 PM
I'm afraid I have to agree with Andrius here (did anybody ask my opinion?)

A more accurate headline would be: "Federal Judge Rules Current FAA Regulations Lack Wording to Regulate Commercial Use of R/C Craft"

Gillvane
03-12-2014, 03:41 PM
There's no requirement for you to post their title. If you really wanted to you could put in a qualifier like Newegg claims "insert hyperbolic title here". There's no reason to spread their misinformation that was most likely worded that way as click bait or to move sales of drones.

When I discuss an article, I generally post the title of the article. Same as in the film forum, when you post the title of the film.

Andrius Simutis
03-12-2014, 04:26 PM
When I discuss an article, I generally post the title of the article. Same as in the film forum, when you post the title of the film.
Nobody is challenging your ethics or questioning your style here. It's just that the title of the article is misleading and you're continuing that misinformation by using it verbatim without any qualifiers.

Finn Yarbrough
03-12-2014, 06:39 PM
...and you're continuing that misinformation by using it verbatim without any qualifiers.

...and every time we comment anew on the misleading nature of the title, we bump it back to the top so more people can be mislead by it! The irony!

David Saraceno
04-14-2014, 03:15 PM
Interestingly, I watched the Masters Golf Tournament held in Augusta, Georgia on Sunday, April 13th.

There must have been at least a half dozen aerial shots that were obtained with a multi rotor.

I don't believe a GoPro was used due to the quality of the shots, but several of the views clearly showed the shadow of the multi rotor in the shot.