Altitude restrictions for Hobbyist?

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Is there an altitude restriction for Hobbyist?
I know for part 107 FAA states:
Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a structure.

And under part 107 if I want to fly higher than 400 ft. I need to get a waiver through the FAA portal.

But I can not find where on the FAA website it states that I can not fly over 400ft. as a Hobbyist. I see it states "safety guidelines" and not flying over 400 ft. But we know that is a guideline, not law or rule.

If I was in the middle of nowhere and not in controlled airspace and not airports around and no other aircraft traffic... I can fly as high as I want on a "Hobbyist ticket" correct?

Thoughts? or documentation to say otherwise also helps.
 

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It depends on how closely you are following the law.

A) Hobby is "Suggested" 400' AGL.
B) FAA states hobbyist "follow" Community Based Guidelines" which is 400' AGL

Remember than General Aviation "can" be as low as 500'AGL (and lower in many instances) so you're opening yourself up to a lot of liability busting 400'AGL.

As a side note... if you were to have an "incident" as a hobbyist it's not unrealistic to think you could lose your Part 107 Certification as well. Much like a CDL driver losing his CDL for a safety violation driving his own personal vehicle for pleasure. Once you're "in the bed" with the FAA you're really "In There".
 

Mark The Droner

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You might carefully read over this drone attorney's assessment of Part 101 - especially regarding community based guidelines, the AMA, the contradictions he points out, and his concluding paragraph.

Model Aircraft Operations
 
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It depends on how closely you are following the law.

A) Hobby is "Suggested" 400' AGL.
B) FAA states hobbyist "follow" Community Based Guidelines" which is 400' AGL

Remember than General Aviation "can" be as low as 500'AGL (and lower in many instances) so you're opening yourself up to a lot of liability busting 400'AGL.

As a side note... if you were to have an "incident" as a hobbyist it's not unrealistic to think you could lose your Part 107 Certification as well. Much like a CDL driver losing his CDL for a safety violation driving his own personal vehicle for pleasure. Once you're "in the bed" with the FAA you're really "In There".

I knew you would have some input.

Totally agree.

Ironic that hobbyist that have less training/requirements than a Part 107 operator can do more things... FAA for ya!
 

BigAl07

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I knew you would have some input.

Totally agree.

Ironic that hobbyist that have less training/requirements than a Part 107 operator can do more things... FAA for ya!

The reason the "hobbyist" gets a free pass is because Congress tied the FAA's hands in terms of hobby/recreational aircraft in 2012 before anyone really realized how big and crazy this was going to get. It was in an attempt to protect those of us flying at a designated flying field following Community Based Guidelines. While I appreciate and fully understand the "intent" of Congress I think they were very short sighted and jumped the gun significantly in this respect. But that's my 2 cents.
 
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The 400' limit, per AMA document #560 is only within 5SM of an airport. It is silent about outside the 5SM limit. https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/560.pdf

You can read more about what the FAA says in a letter to the AMA at http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/files/2016/07/FAA-400feet.pdf

But I can not find where on the FAA website it states that I can not fly over 400ft. as a Hobbyist. I see it states "safety guidelines" and not flying over 400 ft. But we know that is a guideline, not law or rule.
And I don't think you will find it.
 
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Is there any provision that allows a UAS pilot to be in radio contact with ATC or Unicom while operating near an airport? One could wear a BT set linked to a portable comm device on the belt. I didn't see anything about that so far.
 
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Is there any provision that allows a UAS pilot to be in radio contact with ATC or Unicom while operating near an airport?
No there is not.You would also need to have an FCC Ground Station license which is not easy to get.

One requirement of being a Private Pilot is training operation in an area with a control tower. That gives the pilot knowledge on radio communication procedures. There is no such training requirement for Part 107.

That said, I do carry a hand held air band transceiver, tuned the CTAF / Tower / Approach frequency to hear other traffic in the area. Knowing the common local flight patterns routes is also good.
 
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No there is not.You would also need to have an FCC Ground Station license which is not easy to get.
My thought was to carry a hand held NavComm like you could get from Sporty's. Since you are piloting an aircraft, you would essentially be talking for the aircraft remotely, thereby not a Ground Station. The fact that the TxRx is portable and approved for use in an aircraft would lend extra cred to it being a virtual NavComm for the AC.

I agree, knowing the traffic pattern for the runways at your field is essential, and operation anywhere near them would be stupid. My local field also has Helo Ops which would further complicate the matter. It is a non-towered facility which would add another layer to this, but I'm hoping the FAA will be considering this as the rules evolve.

I apologize for the thread hijack. I have found the following site useful for questions about what's legally required and what's "recommended."

https://jrupprechtlaw.com/drone-laws
 
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My thought was to carry a hand held NavComm like you could get from Sporty's. Since you are piloting an aircraft, you would essentially be talking for the aircraft remotely, thereby not a Ground Station. The fact that the TxRx is portable and approved for use in an aircraft would lend extra cred to it being a virtual NavComm for the AC.

I agree, knowing the traffic pattern for the runways at your field is essential, and operation anywhere near them would be stupid. My local field also has Helo Ops which would further complicate the matter. It is a non-towered facility which would add another layer to this, but I'm hoping the FAA will be considering this as the rules evolve.

I apologize for the thread hijack. I have found the following site useful for questions about what's legally required and what's "recommended."

https://jrupprechtlaw.com/drone-laws
I seriously doubt the FCC will interpret it the way you have. The reason a handheld is authorized for use in an aircraft as a backup is because you are using the radio station license that is issued to the aircraft itself. Since UAVs have no such license from the FCC, you would need a ground station license to transmit on aviation frequencies. Also, since you have no tail number, there would be no way to identify yourself. Furthermore, in any of the waiver or authorization forms you fill out, the FAA asks for your phone number so they can reach you. They never put in the authorization/waiver that you should contact ATC by radio. NEVER.
 
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Back in the day, pilots were issued a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit. This allowed a pilot to use any radio whether it was mounted in the aircraft or used during operation of the aircraft. Is this no longer the case? I'm sure things have changed over the years. I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I think a case could be made to the FAA and FCC that would allow Ops on or near the airport with proper training.

Again, I apologize for the hijack. I'll consider starting a new one.
 
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Back in the day, pilots were issued a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit. This allowed a pilot to use any radio whether it was mounted in the aircraft or used during operation of the aircraft. Is this no longer the case? I'm sure things have changed over the years. I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I think a case could be made to the FAA and FCC that would allow Ops on or near the airport with proper training.

Again, I apologize for the hijack. I'll consider starting a new one.
Restricted Radiotelephone licenses are only required for pilots that fly internationally. They haven't been required domestically for a very long time. The aircraft has a radio station license, which your hand-held is "using" so you can transmit while you are piloting the airplane/helicopter. FBOs and other airport operators have ground station licenses so they can talk to aircraft or ATC.

UAVs have no such radio station license...nor do I see the FCC requiring one. So, having a RRT license does you absolutely no good at all. I also don't see the FCC being amicable to issuing ground station licenses to UAV pilots.
 

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No there is not.You would also need to have an FCC Ground Station license which is not easy to get.

One requirement of being a Private Pilot is training operation in an area with a control tower. That gives the pilot knowledge on radio communication procedures. There is no such training requirement for Part 107.

That said, I do carry a hand held air band transceiver, tuned the CTAF / Tower / Approach frequency to hear other traffic in the area. Knowing the common local flight patterns routes is also good.

^^^^^ Nailed it!

Unless it's an Emergency don't even think about cluttering up the airwaves talking to the tower because you could cause issues by keeping the line tied up if you aren't "speaking the lingo". It's not an elitist thing it's for clarity and brevity to keep things flowing smoothly and most of all SAFELY.

Now listening and being aware is a VERY good idea but don't try to interact.
 
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