Define "over" (§107.39 Operation over human beings.)

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§107.39 Operation over human beings.
No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft over a human being unless that human being is:
(a) Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft; or
(b) Located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft.

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For the sake of debate, define "over". If there is 3-foot wide path through a crowd of 1,000 people (assume the people remained stationary), could the operator legally navigate his drone "over" the clear path if he stayed precisely over the open ground of that path?? I've often wondered about this. Tell me about "best practices".

fd9ce709f0c8344efec5ebb1ca42f2c4.png
 
C

Crack The Sky

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§107.39 Operation over human beings.
No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft over a human being unless that human being is:
(a) Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft; or
(b) Located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the sake of debate, define "over". If there is 3-foot wide path through a crowd of 1,000 people (assume the people remained stationary), could the operator legally navigate his drone "over" the clear path if he stayed precisely over the open ground of that path?? I've often wondered about this. Tell me about "best practices".

fd9ce709f0c8344efec5ebb1ca42f2c4.png
If you are interested in "best practices", the best practice is to always understand that all FAA rules are based on safety. Flying down a (3) foot wide corridor between people may legally satisfy the "Never operate over human beings", rule in your mind, but I seriously doubt the FAA would agree. Flying in that manner could easily enter the realm of the FAA's Careless/Reckless Operation rule.
 
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BigAl07

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The FAA and only the FAA can actually define this and they have no intentionally. It gives them more leeway in the future should something arise.

Your best practice is to (A) have a solid understanding of how the aircraft "could" behave in an emergency situation (they don't always fall straight down) and (B) fly in a manner to where if such emergency happened no one on the ground would be impacted. If there is an incident and a person is struck (barring and outside force striking the aircraft and knocking it this way) then you were flying "Over" people.

Keep in mind that the fine for an infraction of the rules is probably insignificant as to what will happen should you allow your UAS to come into contact with a person on the ground. You'll probably be sued (hope you have a secure LLC and Liability Account) and you'll potentially lose the ability to fly a UAS commercially ever again should you be found at fault. Is it really worth that in the BIG picture?
 

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