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FAA rules concerning Drones


maddmaxx
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The FAA has changed one of it's drone laws.  A pilots registration number for all RC flying craft above the 250 gram weight limit must now be displayed in a well maintained form on the outside of the craft.  Previously an exemption was made to allow it to be written on an easily accessible surface inside the vehicle.  This is the result of feedback from law enforcement agencies to the FAA.

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1 minute ago, Road Runner said:

So if a drone is flying low over my property and I feel it may be a threat to my property or person, do I have the right to shoot it down or swat it with my broom?   ?

Personally I don't think that's a good idea.  Situations in the past have demonstrated that the shooter is a poor judge of height and intent, usually simply pre-disposed to shoot at something.  In at least one court case the judge ruled in the shooters favor in spite of the video from the drone showing that it was pleanty high, proceeding in a straight line to someplace else and not taking video of the shooters property.  IMO the court was wrong but drone law is a thing in progress.

Most other shooting incidents seem to be an enraged shooter damaging the personal property of someone else.  Again, IMO it should be handled like any other shooting incident.  You need to feel your life or the lives of others are threatened.

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6 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

The FAA has changed one of it's drone laws.  A pilots registration number for all RC flying craft above the 250 gram weight limit must now be displayed in a well maintained form on the outside of the craft.  Previously an exemption was made to allow it to be written on an easily accessible surface inside the vehicle.  This is the result of feedback from law enforcement agencies to the FAA.

Seems a reasonable rule - simply identify your drone in a way folks can readily crosscheck it versus a number registry. 

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1 hour ago, Road Runner said:

So if a drone is flying low over my property and I feel it may be a threat to my property or person, do I have the right to shoot it down or swat it with my broom?   ?

Can you shoot down planes or helicopters that fly over your property?  Hot air balloons? Weather balloons? Hang gliders? Kites? 

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45 minutes ago, Chris... said:

Hmm, anyone need any vinyl number decals?

:lol:  No.  I solved the problem a different way.  I no longer fly anything that weighs more than 250 grams.  If I did I might contact you for my numbers as I do have a registration.  A lot of people simply don't however.  That will make having an accident and damaging something bring on some secondary charges when you are caught.  Then you have to explain to the court that you damaged your neighbors car while illegally operating a drone.  Uh oh.

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1 minute ago, maddmaxx said:

Then you have to explain to the court that you damaged your neighbors car while illegally operating a drone

Proximity sensors.  I have a friend that flies drones.  He also owns a tattoo shop.  He put a drone on the floor in the middle of his lobby area and fired it up.  He lifted off and when it got about 4 feet off the floor it wouldn’t move- not up down, forward or back or right or left.  It’s sensors just froze it there.

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13 minutes ago, Chris... said:

phantom 4 pro V 2.0. Is this a good one? It would have to have a 2 axis gimbal and at least 20 megapixels on a 1 inch sensor

I think the cameras are mostly all 4G now on a quality drone.  Many simply carry one of the Hero models.  Most important is some good realtime video back to your receiver so that you know what you are aiming at.

Now if you get into serious photography beyond that level you will probably need some sort of industrial level drone with more than 4 motors.  When a 4 motor drone loses an engine it loses it's ability to fly right and crashes along with expensive camera equipment.  Film studios usually use at least 8 motors with expensive cameras so that the loss of control is minimized and the drone can be soft landed immediately.  

Also, the first time you sell a picture you change your status and license from amateur to professional and now you have to go to school to fly your drone and pay a larger fee.

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1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

Can you shoot down planes or helicopters that fly over your property?  Hot air balloons? Weather balloons? Hang gliders? Kites? 

Sure but you might get in a little trouble.

Evidently peeping toms have been using drones to video inside of bedrooms and such. In that case I think disabling the drone is well within the resident's rights.

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2 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

Personally I don't think that's a good idea.  Situations in the past have demonstrated that the shooter is a poor judge of height and intent, usually simply pre-disposed to shoot at something.  In at least one court case the judge ruled in the shooters favor in spite of the video from the drone showing that it was pleanty high, proceeding in a straight line to someplace else and not taking video of the shooters property.  IMO the court was wrong but drone law is a thing in progress.

Most other shooting incidents seem to be an enraged shooter damaging the personal property of someone else.  Again, IMO it should be handled like any other shooting incident.  You need to feel your life or the lives of others are threatened.

And then there is the issue of discharging a firearm in a residential or otherwise populated area. Plus, lack of control of a firearm as there is no back backstop like a legitimate shooting range when shooting in the air and don't know where is going to come down. The judge could care less if the target was a drone or anything else. That also varies by area as is typically a local/city/county/state ordinance not Federal like FAA Regulations.

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8 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

The FAA has changed one of it's drone laws.  A pilots registration number for all RC flying craft above the 250 gram weight limit must now be displayed in a well maintained form on the outside of the craft.  Previously an exemption was made to allow it to be written on an easily accessible surface inside the vehicle.  This is the result of feedback from law enforcement agencies to the FAA.

Is that universal including hobbyist as the only pilot with a registration number - in addition to the drone registration number - are those pilots of commercial flight who are required to pass the Part 107 license. Interestingly, the FAA has a broad definition of commercial to include those YouTube videos that are monetized. 

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10 minutes ago, Tizeye said:

Is that universal including hobbyist as the only pilot with a registration number - in addition to the drone registration number - are those pilots of commercial flight who are required to pass the Part 107 license. Interestingly, the FAA has a broad definition of commercial to include those YouTube videos that are monetized. 

Any RC pilot flying a craft in excess of 250 grams is required to obtain a registration number from the FAA.  That number is for the pilot and applies to any and all RC craft he owns.  It is similar but not the same as the tail number on a full sized aircraft although those are different for each aircraft.  The number is so that the FAA knows who to contact in case of a problem.  When I got mine the fee was $5 but as an early adopter they refunded mine.

Of course, someone flying over the crowd at a football game is probably not going to prominently display a registration number..........ok, that just keeps honest people honest and adds multiple other charges on to someone who does something stupid enough to get caught.  Commercial pilots need a different license only obtained after mandatory attendance to a school concerning rules regulations and other need to know stuff for professionals.

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22 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

Any RC pilot flying a craft in excess of 250 grams is required to obtain a registration number from the FAA.  That number is for the pilot and applies to any and all RC craft he owns.  

That makes sense, a single number applying to all drones they own. However, wouldn't want to make the number permanent on the outside. Upgrading and selling an existing drone, borrowing a friend's, and there is an active rental market.

I thought about the commercial license, but until video business picks up may hire a licensed person and specify the drone sequences I would want - no concentration on the roofline with continual flyovers like you usually see, by classic video moves like horizonal sliders and vertical crane effects. I had one that had a long covered area over a circular drive at the front entrance that began the flight at the house, flying backwards away from the house about 4' high. Used that footage twice - one at the end (obviously) as leaving the interior of the house. However, I also reversed the footage where flying in transitioning footage to my handheld gimbal (Ronin M) walking into the home with the doors spontaneously opening (owners pulled fishing line out of sight) as I walked in.

Looked at the school for the Part 107 commercial drone pilot license and had to laugh. Virtually nothing on the drone operations itself other than complying. As a former private pilot was essentially a refresher with most of the exams concentrating on reading sectional maps, NOTAMS, and filings. 

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4 hours ago, Chris... said:

phantom 4 pro V 2.0. Is this a good one? It would have to have a 2 axis gimbal and at least 20 megapixels on a 1 inch sensor

YES! Also, it has trickled down a little as the smaller Mavic 2 Pro also has the 1" sensor 20mp camera with a f2.8-11 lens. Not that much difference in price, but a tradeoff. The 907g Mavic 2 is more compact for portability, where the 1388g Phantom 4 Pro is a more stable platform with wind (within reason/limitation). Virtually all other drones, including competitors and the prior generation Mavic and Phantom 3 which are still sold, use the basic 1/2.3" sensor 12mp typically found in entry level point and shoot cameras. They also have a basic fixed aperture lens.

The 250g is really light weight. Even DJI's small Spark drone comes in at 300g.

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1 hour ago, Tizeye said:

YES! Also, it has trickled down a little as the smaller Mavic 2 Pro also has the 1" sensor 20mp camera with a f2.8-11 lens. Not that much difference in price, but a tradeoff. The 907g Mavic 2 is more compact for portability, where the 1388g Phantom 4 Pro is a more stable platform with wind (within reason/limitation). Virtually all other drones, including competitors and the prior generation Mavic and Phantom 3 which are still sold, use the basic 1/2.3" sensor 12mp typically found in entry level point and shoot cameras. They also have a basic fixed aperture lens.

The 250g is really light weight. Even DJI's small Spark drone comes in at 300g.

I've had RC planes I've built in the past that weigh less than 30 grams.  :nodhead:  My current favorite sport FPV drone weighs 52 grams and is a bit larger than the previous generation of tiny whoops that came in at 25 grams.

https://www.amainhobbies.com/blade-inductrix-fpv-bnf-ultra-micro-electric-quadcopter-drone-blh9680/p699038

Of course you don't take serious pictures with this.  These are for indoor fun with goggles on.

If your flush with money this is the brushless version

https://www.amainhobbies.com/blade-inductrix-fpv-bl-bnf-ultra-micro-brushless-electric-quadcopter-drone-blh8850/p800166

These require a Spektrum transmitter that's not part of the advertised package.

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There was a Fox sports drone at Daytona this year.  It appeared that the pictures were confined to the back straight where the drone didn't have to fly over the crowd.  In years past the networks have used the cable suspended moving cameras like they use at football games to take these sorts of pics.

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2 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

There was a Fox sports drone at Daytona this year.  It appeared that the pictures were confined to the back straight where the drone didn't have to fly over the crowd.  In years past the networks have used the cable suspended moving cameras like they use at football games to take these sorts of pics.

And at one race a cable broke and took out Jeff Gordon as I recall. 

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On 2/16/2019 at 10:18 AM, Razors Edge said:

Seems a reasonable rule - simply identify your drone in a way folks can readily crosscheck it versus a number registry. 

Too bad they can't do the same with Internet originations and too bad Congress now allows scam artists to disguise caller phone numbers.  They worry about a handful of drones but the avg. phone allegedly gets 14 scam calls/month. I think it's more like 2-3 per day.

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14 minutes ago, MickinMD said:

Too bad they can't do the same with Internet originations and too bad Congress now allows scam artists to disguise caller phone numbers.  They worry about a handful of drones but the avg. phone allegedly gets 14 scam calls/month. I think it's more like 2-3 per day.

True, but a scam call can't take down an airliner.

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1 hour ago, maddmaxx said:

This is true.  I'm waiting for one of those cameras to fall on a quarterback.

YES! Have to add some excitement to the NFL now that we have gotten past the kneeling and streaking and cheerleaders becoming carbon copies of sameness. What better than a camera taking out a quarterback other than perhaps Las Vegas odds. Bonus points for certain quarterbacks?

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