Another court case favors "Drones", says FAA has no legal authority to restrict UAVs.

Comments

  • JonnyMacJonnyMac Posts: 6,292
    edited 2014-07-20 - 11:18:54
    I never understood why the FAA would try to stop S&R personnel from flying small UAVs -- the insanity of our present government is astounding.
    Jon McPhalen
    Hollywood, CA
    It's Jon or JonnyMac -- please do not call me Jonny.
  • 4x5n4x5n Posts: 716
    edited 2014-07-21 - 07:23:31
    JonnyMac wrote: »
    I never understood why the FAA would try to stop S&R personnel from flying small UAVs -- the insanity of our present government is astounding.

    Most things that "fly" are controlled and regulated by the FAA in the urban areas at least. That includes fly RC planes and helicopters. I still remember when my niece and nephew were young we went to a nearby park to fly kites and managed to get a kite high up enough that one of the kites got into the airspace of O'hare. The local police were contact and I was ordered to get the kite out of their airspace!!
  • trookstrooks Posts: 212
    edited 2014-07-21 - 07:53:10
    We have governments and thereby government agencies because some people believe that just because they can do something they have a right to do it.

    End of debate.
  • lardomlardom Posts: 1,563
    edited 2014-07-21 - 09:10:18
    4x5n wrote: »
    Most things that "fly" are controlled and regulated by the FAA in the urban areas at least. That includes fly RC planes and helicopters. I still remember when my niece and nephew were young we went to a nearby park to fly kites and managed to get a kite high up enough that one of the kites got into the airspace of O'hare. The local police were contact and I was ordered to get the kite out of their airspace!!
    The EPA prohibits drones in national parks. If you want to take an aerial photo, say, Mt Rushmore, you can't. That looks like govt. overreach to me.
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-21 - 11:01:01
    4x5n wrote: »
    Most things that "fly" are controlled and regulated by the FAA in the urban areas at least. That includes fly RC planes and helicopters.

    Can you point me to where it says that in the FARs?
  • 4x5n4x5n Posts: 716
    edited 2014-07-21 - 13:11:07
    W9GFO wrote: »
    Can you point me to where it says that in the FARs?

    No.

    I know that I got into trouble for flying a kite and a friend of a co-worker got into trouble years ago for flying an RC plane in an empty park in Chicago with a rather field away from buildings, power lines, etc. It may be an Illinois or Crook-county thing but the cop that came by to make me take down the kites was nice enough but made it clear that I was in violation of federal regulations/laws ( it was close to 20 years ago and I don't remember exactly) and my choices were to get the kites down or go to jail!
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-21 - 13:48:32
    Obviously I cannot speak to your situation but I think we all know that law enforcement sometimes gets things wrong when it comes to what is illegal and what is not. I know I have been told things by law enforcement that were not true, even got a written apology from the California Highway Patrol in one incident. They told me I had to do something, I said "show me where it says that in the CFRs and I'll do it". Three officers searched for about an hour for a regulation to support their claim but came up with nothing.

    A friend of mine had several FAA people arrested by the FBI when they illegally searched his helicopter. Jobs at the FAA were lost over that one.

    Too often what is illegal is passed around by word of mouth rather than by reference to the actual law. It gets misinterpreted or misunderstood. I also think that law enforcement individuals build up a mental pattern of what is legal and what is not, then when something comes along that looks like it ought to be illegal they proceed as if it is.

    Knowing the law is a good thing. If you are told that you are in violation of a federal regulation, by all means comply, but then ask what regulation you were violating. If they can't tell you, well that should tell you something.
  • NWCCTVNWCCTV Posts: 3,629
    edited 2014-07-21 - 20:53:09
    law enforcement sometimes gets things wrong when it comes to what is illegal and what is not.
    I agree. Did you know that in New Orleans it is against the law to "Throw" beads???? Try to argue that one with the NO Police Department!!!!
    Andy North

    My Index Page:
  • trookstrooks Posts: 212
    edited 2014-07-22 - 03:53:13
    NWCCTV wrote: »
    I agree. Did you know that in New Orleans it is against the law to "Throw" beads???? Try to argue that one with the NO Police Department!!!!


    In Mobile, AL(where the original Mardi gras started) there is a tradition of a large crowd of loud drunks to parade down the street to the cemetery and "Raise Bob Cain" in spite of local laws against public drunkenness and jaywalking.
  • 4x5n4x5n Posts: 716
    edited 2014-07-22 - 07:30:55
    This conversation is interesting to me since I used to live very near O'hare and have long wondered what the laws were involving flying kites, shooting model rockets, etc. That interest faded a lot when my niece and nephew grew up and lost all interest in doing both.

    I did a little (very little) looking on google and found this:
    http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/uham/part101.html

    It is vague but there are very real restrictions about sending things up in the air (especially around airports). I was well withing 5 miles from O'hare when I was ordered to pull down the kite.
  • trookstrooks Posts: 212
    edited 2014-07-22 - 11:43:08
    4x5n wrote: »
    This conversation is interesting to me since I used to live very near O'hare and have long wondered what the laws were involving flying kites, shooting model rockets, etc. That interest faded a lot when my niece and nephew grew up and lost all interest in doing both.

    I did a little (very little) looking on google and found this:
    http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/uham/part101.html

    It is vague but there are very real restrictions about sending things up in the air (especially around airports). I was well withing 5 miles from O'hare when I was ordered to pull down the kite.


    Years ago I attended a weekend convention. It was at a hotel located next to the airport entrance.

    The closing event took place around the rooftop pool. We were given a balloon, a USPS post card, a length of cord and provided helium.

    The card that came back from the furthest post office won free registration to next year's convention. Most of us were on our way home by the time the authorities showed up.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-22 - 12:08:12
    If you look up the FARs (Part 101) concerning free balloons you might be surprised at how lenient and permissive they are. Take note of the first part which states what the law applies to, it does not apply to small balloons and kites. However, a large group release of balloons may fall under part 101.7 which is a catch-all for stupid behavior.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-22 - 12:25:43
    4x5n wrote: »
    http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/uham/part101.html

    It is vague but there are very real restrictions about sending things up in the air (especially around airports). I was well withing 5 miles from O'hare when I was ordered to pull down the kite.

    The only vague part is 101.7, which is intentionally vague. Unless you were flying extremely high, or flying a very large kite (over 5lbs) then I don't believe that you could be in violation of any federal regulation. It sounds like a case of someone misinterpreting the law. I am often surprised at how frequently people have trouble understanding the applicability part, law enforcement especially since it pertains directly to their job.
  • lardomlardom Posts: 1,563
    edited 2014-07-22 - 14:16:26
    Just yesterday I was watching videos and wishing I had a powered paraglider. I would imagine that NY laws are pretty restrictive.
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-22 - 14:24:03
    lardom wrote: »
    Just yesterday I was watching videos and wishing I had a powered paraglider. I would imagine that NY laws are pretty restrictive.

    There is a great Hang Gliding site just an hour away from you; http://ellenvilleflightpark.com

    A powered paraglider (an ultralight vehicle) would fall under part 103. Pretty much any uncontrolled airspace, class G and E. Here is an excellent tutorial that my HG instructor made;

    http://www.flytandem.com/airspace.htm
  • lardomlardom Posts: 1,563
    edited 2014-07-22 - 14:52:52
    W9GFO, thanks. I saved the link. I've been to Ellenville. I remember when my kids were young my wife was vehemently opposed to me hang gliding. I still want to do it after all these years. (I also want a drone so I can take aerial pictures. It's in my blood.)
    Larry

    If the grass is greener on the other side...it's time to water your lawn.
  • 4x5n4x5n Posts: 716
    edited 2014-07-22 - 15:42:27
    trooks wrote: »
    Years ago I attended a weekend convention. It was at a hotel located next to the airport entrance.

    The closing event took place around the rooftop pool. We were given a balloon, a USPS post card, a length of cord and provided helium.

    The card that came back from the furthest post office won free registration to next year's convention. Most of us were on our way home by the time the authorities showed up.

    Before going any further I feel that in the interests of full disclosure I should mention that I absolutely feel that the reason that we as American citizens are losing most of the rights that we took for granted just a couple of decades ago isn't that they're being forcefully taken away but that we are to quick to give them up and aren't willing to fight for them. As a large format photographer I constantly being told that I can't photograph what I have a legal right to do by "rent-a-cops" and often the police. On a regular basis I stand up for my rights, argue with the police, etc. I even keep copies of a document with me describing the rights photographers have and more then once have handed it to a police officer. I've also written down their names and badge numbers so I could escalate the situation.

    That said there are aspects of the FAA regulations that are vague enough that reasonable people can interpret them very differently and there are other in which they are very clear. As innocent as what you want to send up into the air may seem it's best to check with the FAA because they have a lot of control of just about anything that flies and a lot depends on how far from an airport you are. I do like the ruling that in most cases drones are legal.

    If you think this decision means that you can fly your drone anywhere or any way you want try going to your local airport and buzz the runways with it or go to an outdoor sporting even land it on the field of play and then take off again!! You could also try buzzing the crowd as they're waiting to get into the stadium. The FAA will make sure that you regret it for I'm sure you'll agree a good reason.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2014-07-22 - 16:14:13
    I agree almost completely. However, I doubt the FAA need get involved when it comes to harassing people with a quadcopter. There are already laws in place that can be applied even though they don't specifically mention "drones".
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,884
    edited 2014-09-17 - 17:10:04
    Just stumbled across a well put together and informative video on the website of FliteTest regarding the lawsuit filed against FAA regarding FPV flight of AMA governed aircraft: http://flitetest.com/ Direct link to YouTube video: http://youtu.be/ZtFJjWt_hH8
  • trookstrooks Posts: 212
    edited 2014-09-18 - 08:22:39
    W9GFO wrote: »
    I agree almost completely. However, I doubt the FAA need get involved when it comes to harassing people with a quadcopter. There are already laws in place that can be applied even though they don't specifically mention "drones".

    IMO the FAA definitely needs to stay involved when it comes to these noisy flying menaces to public health and safety.

    AISI commercialism will eventually produce places for enthusiast to go play with their toys. If a UAV is not a toy it will be operated by trained licensed individuals working within licensed and supervised entities. Anything else is subject to being shot out of the sky over my property.

    Without FAA involvement a whole new industry of individual and/or community wide air defense systems will evolve.

    Tim
  • Little-endianLittle-endian Posts: 85
    edited 2014-09-24 - 11:17:41
    German tourist banned from Yellowstone National Park and placed on probation after crashing his drone into lake

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/article-2766620/German-tourist-banned-Yellowstone-National-Park-placed-probation-crashing-drone-lake-one-month-aircrafts-outlawed.html
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,213
    edited 2014-09-24 - 13:37:55
    When us people outside the USA read such stories we seriously believe the USA has gone insane...
    Andreas Meissner pleaded guilty to three federal charges last week following the incident on July 18 and narrowly avoided a jail sentence in Germany.
    How on Earth can you get a jail sentence in your home country for crashing a model plane into a lake in the USA?
    Meissner told officials he was shooting video for a German nonprofit called and Run and Ride for Reading as part of a push to organize a charity bicycle ride across America.
    However prosecutors claimed Meissner did not disclose his intentions when he entered the park.
    Do what? Am I supposed to give notice of every move I want to make to some official in the USA?


    And so on.


    Having said that, I don't think that everyone should have free reign to fly dangerous toys everywhere. This has been respected for decades in the model aircraft world. But this all sounds totally over the top.

    How do you guys put up with these straight jackets?
  • ADS-B on any airborne craft that can potentially interfere with other airborne craft would be an excellent start towards accountability and far more palatable than draconian laws. I believe there are a couple of companies that are actively working on providing affordable transmitters/transceivers. However, even the requirement for mandatory ADS-B on conventional aircraft has been pushed back numerous times. $0.02....
    The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.
  • Laws always lag, particularly with fast-paced technology. Combine that with disagreements on where the line is drawn (where existing​ statute applies to new circumstances), and you will always get situations like Heater referenced. It will take time, but a new balance (however imperfect) will be struck. I'm just glad that we are still in a society where that's possible.
  • There's plenty of mass hysteria around recreational drone use. It's stoked by sensationalist newspapers that love to push the 'Commercial Jet Endangered by Drone' stories.

    Most of the drones flown by amateurs pose much less threat to an aircraft than a large bird. There has not yet been one verified case of a full size aircraft striking a drone: if and when such a collision does occur it's likely just to cause some scratches and/or dents on the plane - the chances of a plane being bought down by a drone strike are vanishingly unlikely.

    That said, it's still obvious that drones should be operated in a safe and sensible manner. They shouldn't be flown over people nor anywhere near a full size airport, nor at a height greater than 500ft above ground without special arrangements being made (it is illegal for most full size aircraft to operate below 500ft unless they are taking off or landing).

    Registration isn't the answer as criminals wanting to use drones to carry drugs into prisons and such won't register anyway, and those idiots who are stupid enough to fly their drones near an airport are probably also too stupid to know that they are required to register.

    Education is the answer. Drone buyers should be encouraged to join some local group where they can learn to operate their drones safely - and meet up with other people with similar interests. Rather than threaten them with draconian laws it would be better to just tell them the truth that they're very likely to damage or lose their expensive new toys unless they get some instruction for their first few flights.

    New drone laws are not needed. Those drone flyers that have been successfully prosecuted for operating in a dangerous or intrusive ways have so far been prosecuted under long-existing laws concerning safety/secrecy and privacy. There are already plenty of laws that protect you if I crash my drone into you, or your car or house, or use it to spy on you.
  • I'm in favor of registration. It encourages some accountability, of course it does not eliminate devious behavior.

    I see many arguments about how a drone cannot bring down an airliner. I agree. However, bringing down an airliner is not where the line is crossed. Any collision with an aircraft is going to cause problems. The flight will have to be diverted, passengers delayed and booked onto different flights, equipment inspected - lots of dollars wasted and undoubtedly, many peoples lives negatively affected.

    Each time I see someone arguing that their drone isn't going to kill anyone it frustrates me to no end, that is not the point where a drone can cause a (real) problem.
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,915
    edited 2017-05-28 - 21:18:34
    ceptimus wrote: »
    ...it is illegal for most full size aircraft to operate below 500ft unless they are taking off or landing

    Not true. You can fly as low as you like as long as it is an unpopulated area. See FAR 91.119 for exact rule;

    Sec. 91.119

    Minimum safe altitudes: General.

    Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
    (a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
    (b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
    (c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
    [ (d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface--
    (1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and
    (2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.]

  • Also note that with regard to most regulations there is also the case where it is legal to deviate from the rules in the case of an emergency. In aviation there are limitless ways that this could happen.

    For example, a few weeks ago a small plane landed on a street in Mukilteo, hitting a light pole and bursting into flames before crash landing in the street. No one was hurt. That was completely legal.

    Not all deviations from the rules require a crash, obviously. The whole point is that the deviation is the safer option. So you may see an aircraft flying low over a populated area, it may still be legal - even if against the rules.
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