Canadian Drone Pilot Voices need to be Heard........

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Very early in 2019, Transport Canada intends to take another look at current drone regulations and it is hoped that some of the rules will be relaxed or changed to reflect the current capabilities of drones.

Right now, there is a 300 foot altitude ceiling restriction in place as well as no flying after sundown and no flying beyond visual range.
Those rules, in particular, need to be brought into line to reflect the current capabilities of aircraft such as the Phantom 4 Pro.
A P4P has full navigational ability to operate at night and can easily be controlled through ranges of 2 or 3 kilometres.
Further, drones today can fly much higher than the present 300 foot ceiling limit.

Canadian drone pilots should keep an eye on the news in the New Year and when you hear that Transport Canada is revisiting its current regulations, you should contact your local Member of Parliament to voice your support for the modification of these rules.


If Transport Canada hears from responsible drone pilots who would like to see some changes made, then I'm sure the current regulations will be modified.
I really do not want to be in violation of the rules to get a nice photo from 450 feet up 30 minutes after sunset.

Make sure your voice is heard when the time comes.
 
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I doubt very much they will loosen regs. I'm surprised that TC is reopening the consultation process since it had ended and the regulations were written but have not yet been published in the Canada Gazette to start the process of proclaiming them into law.

Unless there is an active collision avoidance system present in the P4 I don't know about, removing BVLOS is a bad idea in my opinion.

Interesting times.
 
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If every drone pilot flew responsibly there would be no need for most of the rules we have now. Clearly, avoiding any interaction with manned aircraft must always be a priority no matter when or where you are flying (anywhere in the world) but other than that most of the rules exist because of irresponsible pilots that just don't care about public safety or those that think "they will never catch me". Those pilots will always exist and so will the rules unfortunately.
 
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The same thing would be true with people on the highways or any other aspect of life. I don't believe the human race will ever get to that point. So, rules rule!
 
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You know where your drone is on the screen. Do you know where the other aircrafts are with people in them?
Actually, I do know where any aircraft may be whenever I fly my drone.
I have the FlightRadar24 app on my iPhone and I always take a look before I start my flight from anywhere.
Further, I never fly anywhere near any airport, so that's never an issue.

If I were flying anywhere-given the relatively low altitude our drones fly, it is highly doubtful I would come anywhere near a manned aircraft.
 
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I would like to see night flying be allowed. Correct me if im wrong, but surely it must be easier to keep the AC within VLOS when u can see it's lights against a dark background as opposed to a white AC in the sky during daylight. I'd also think the chances of mixing it up with any other AC would be lower as well at night.
 
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Actually, I do know where any aircraft may be whenever I fly my drone.
I have the FlightRadar24 app on my iPhone and I always take a look before I start my flight from anywhere.
Further, I never fly anywhere near any airport, so that's never an issue.

If I were flying anywhere-given the relatively low altitude our drones fly, it is highly doubtful I would come anywhere near a manned aircraft.

Thanks for pointing out the FlightRader24 app.
I checked it out and it seems to work. My concern here in my part of the world..upstate New York.. is with helicopters of the medivac kind and the military choppers that are outfitted with latest technology at a major defense corp. and then flight tested.

So in the next few days we’ll see if that app. gives me fair warning when helicopters are airborne...
Thanks again
Don
 
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Yeah, I was talking to an LE friend the other day, and he was saying that they were having a devil of a time getting their thermal drone off the ground - legally - with all the certifications and fiery hoop jumping that they've had to do. They were already 2 months behind their scheduled liftoff date. So, more pressure for less restrictions, rules indeed …. nobody wants an imposed "police state" on these things that is so over the top that even the police themselves are losing precious air time.
 
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Thanks for pointing out the FlightRader24 app.
I checked it out and it seems to work. My concern here in my part of the world..upstate New York.. is with helicopters of the medivac kind and the military choppers that are outfitted with latest technology at a major defense corp. and then flight tested.

So in the next few days we’ll see if that app. gives me fair warning when helicopters are airborne...
Thanks again
Don
Enjoy the FlightRadar24 app.
I find it works just fine and tracks all types of aircraft here in New Brunswick.
We have a major flight school in Moncton and student light aircraft, Coast Guard helos, as well as military helos from CFB Gagetown flying.....

FlightRadar24 tracks everything.
 
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Not every aircraft shows on FR24. A lot of the light aircraft that I worry about when I fly are not equipped with ADS-B transponders and won't show up in many cases. Additionally, the medevacs are always a concern to me.

I stand with Timinator in regard to not seeing every other aircraft. In my area, there are a bunch of bush planes, helicopters and ultralights or homebuilts not using a transponder and flying below a thousand feet all over the place. That's why I use a portable VHF on the appropriate frequancy and report my activity when a potential conflict takes place. The app will show mostly high-flying IFR trafic which are not conflicting with our drone operational range. Us, holders of an SFOC (Part 107 à la Canadian), are allowed to operate up to 400 ft AGL, day or night in VFR conditions. So BVLOS is a no-no in my books because there is no longer a visual contact with the aircraft and its surroundings, unless there is a second spotter further away, along with some means of bi-lateral communication with the UAS pilot. My two cents...
 
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Actually, I do know where any aircraft may be whenever I fly my drone.
I have the FlightRadar24 app on my iPhone and I always take a look before I start my flight from anywhere.
Further, I never fly anywhere near any airport, so that's never an issue.

If I were flying anywhere-given the relatively low altitude our drones fly, it is highly doubtful I would come anywhere near a manned aircraft.

Not true! I just called a pilot/collegue friend to comfirm the following: The only way an aircraft will be seen on the app is if it is transponder equipped (and turned On of course) + having filed a VFR or IFR flight plan. Those are flying much higher than our 400 feet AGL. This means that any other light low-flying manned aircraft won't appear. My area is surrounded with seaplane/ski plane bases, a busy flying school and a couple helipads. The only way to be aware of that traffic is my VHF radio, my ears and my eyes. BVLOS is obviously out of question. Sorry to rain on your parade! Cheers, Gilles
 
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Hopefully, in a few years, all new UAVs will come equipped with transponders and a TCAS type system. I think if this becomes the case, the fear mongering/paranoia relating to mid-air collisions by the public will subside and restore some of the joy to flying UAVs.
 
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Hopefully, in a few years, all new UAVs will come equipped with transponders and a TCAS type system. I think if this becomes the case, the fear mongering/paranoia relating to mid-air collisions by the public will subside and restore some of the joy to flying UAVs.
Absolutely!
 
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Not true! I just called a pilot/collegue friend to comfirm the following: The only way an aircraft will be seen on the app is if it is transponder equipped (and turned On of course) + having filed a VFR or IFR flight plan. Those are flying much higher than our 400 feet AGL. This means that any other light low-flying manned aircraft won't appear. My area is surrounded with seaplane/ski plane bases, a busy flying school and a couple helipads. The only way to be aware of that traffic is my VHF radio, my ears and my eyes. BVLOS is obviously out of question. Sorry to rain on your parade! Cheers, Gilles
It is highly unlikely that any manned aircraft will be anywhere close to your drone provided you are flying less than 500 feet.
If you are away from any airport, helipad, or seaplane base, you should be OK.

Common sense should prevail.
 
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It is highly unlikely that any manned aircraft will be anywhere close to your drone provided you are flying less than 500 feet.
If you are away from any airport, helipad, or seaplane base, you should be OK.

Common sense should prevail.
There really are a lot of helicopters flying lower then 500 ft. We have had a lot of discussion on it in this forum. I live on the top of a ridge and I have helicopters crossing over 300 ft. or less. One time I was shook, because he was under me and about 500 ft away. He flies fast and I don't hear it till he is on top of me. One time the house shook and I ran outside to see what was going on.
 
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It is highly unlikely that any manned aircraft will be anywhere close to your drone provided you are flying less than 500 feet.
If you are away from any airport, helipad, or seaplane base, you should be OK.

Common sense should prevail.

That's true for a lot of people but not in my part of the world. For instance, there is a survey aircraft (Beech King Air) flying low-level grid lines for a mining project in my area. Its flights are conducted a couple hundred feet AGL at around 140 kts. We don't hear them much on the radio because all their electrical equipment, including the radios must be turned off in order to prevent interference with the survey equipment. I flew electromagnetic surveys for a few years and indeed, everything must be turned off when flying a line. A line can be anything between 5 and 100 miles long and they are a few hundred feet apart. Some missions require flying as low as 180 ft AGL and most are done around 300. The air survey operator is doing it legally under an exemption. The survey pilot broadcasts its intentions and turns the radio off. Deaf-mute for most of the flight, and not expecting to impact a drone...yet. There is an active NOTAM in the area, hence the importance of checking them before droning in a remote area. There are also a couple private helicopters flying well below 500 ft around here. Nobody deals with the same situation. As you say, it's a matter of common sense.
 
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I stand with Timinator in regard to not seeing every other aircraft. In my area, there are a bunch of bush planes, helicopters and ultralights or homebuilts not using a transponder and flying below a thousand feet all over the place. That's why I use a portable VHF on the appropriate frequancy and report my activity when a potential conflict takes place. The app will show mostly high-flying IFR trafic which are not conflicting with our drone operational range. Us, holders of an SFOC (Part 107 à la Canadian), are allowed to operate up to 400 ft AGL, day or night in VFR conditions. So BVLOS is a no-no in my books because there is no longer a visual contact with the aircraft and its surroundings, unless there is a second spotter further away, along with some means of bi-lateral communication with the UAS pilot. My two cents...
I like your thoughts Rudderbug . . here is mine. If you have to stay 400ft/VLOS and you can only see small drones out to about 1400ft under normal conditions . . then why do we have to fly VFR WX only. If it's IFR at 500 and 1/4 then planes have no business being in the airspace where you are flying . . you can still see your drone and the airspace around it. I'm still waiting to hear back from Transport Canada on that. . PS here's a solution for VLOS at a mile.
 
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I like your thoughts Rudderbug . . here is mine. If you have to stay 400ft/VLOS and you can only see small drones out to about 1400ft under normal conditions . . then why do we have to fly VFR WX only. If it's IFR at 500 and 1/4 then planes have no business being in the airspace where you are flying . . you can still see your drone and the airspace around it. I'm still waiting to hear back from Transport Canada on that. . PS here's a solution for VLOS at a mile.

Hello David, well, In summer I fly for a seaplane operator and our minimum VFR weather is one mile, clear of clouds. The 1000/3 only applies in controlled airspace and most of our routes are in non-controlled airspace, way up north. A few years ago, there was a sliding rule for Special VFR when the ceiling was below 1,000 ft. It went like this: 500/3, 600/2 and 800/1. This has been abolished many moons ago and there is no longer a ceiling limit. But the 500 ft vertical separation and the lateral distance from clouds still applies.

In my drone Ops manual, I have set the minimum weather at 2 miles/clear of clouds/no precipitation. In regard to the strobe you refer to, it is truly amazing, I definitely want to fit my machines with the device. And yes indeed, TC will have to revise the rules.

Please excuse my English, I'm a francophone from Québec ( the Other Canada, lol ).
 

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