Do I need a licence if...

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Here's one for the chaps in the UK to weigh in on...

I got myself a P3A a few months ago so that I could compile some awesome videos of my mates when we go for mountain bike rides and so far, so good. Last month we entered a race and I took my phantom, I managed to get a good handful of shots both in the air and on the ground. It looked amazing but when the race organizer saw it, he went ape. Claiming that because the footage is of HIS race, he owns the footage (which we all know is BS) and because I'm not commercially licenced, that puts him in jeopardy (again, BS).

In the end he calmed down but he did explain that certain bodies that he works with (Forestry Commission, insurance company, British Cycling ect...) when arranging a race haven't drafted the use of drones into the terms of the event and so can not allow me to fly it. I've asked him (and a representative from FC) if we could work out a way to include the use of drones for the next race in Apr and where as the chap from FC is happy to give permission, the race organiser is insisting that I get CAA permission if he's going to be willing to involve my use of a drone at his race event.

I'd be recording footage purely for my own enjoyment, not to make a promotional video for the race, not to supply a video to NDH (Northern Downhill) and not for any profitable gain whatsoever, just a video to keep and play at home as a treasured memory and to share with my friends. Does this mean I need CAA permission?

As far as I'm concerned, I'm still just an amateur photographer with a drone in non restricted airspace recording videos for personal enjoyment, everyone on the ground is in the race and aware of my equipment and I can therefore claim that they are under my control. The way I see it, it's not the race organiser's equipment, he's not the one operating it and therefore is not responsible for it's use, both in terms of insurance or to make any claim that the video is of commercial purpose.

Thoughts?
 
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1) The race organizer sounds like he's a lot of fun to hang out with

2) I know you're in the UK, but sometimes, the man, big brother, whatever you want to call him, sees things differently than you do. Consider this: Minnesota Man Faces $55K in Fines After Flying Drone
Ahh, see there are number of things he did wrong their, it's an interesting read.

First of all someone asked him to take the photo and this is important as he's fulfilling a contract. A description of the photo, a date & time of production and a fitness for purpose was described by the "friend of a friend" who asked him to take the photo (the product). Even though no money was involved, a product was defined and later supplied, making his flight of a commercial purpose.

If that wasn't enough, he also supplied the local media with photos and with knowledge of their intention to publish/print them.

I'd say that his flight was definitely for a commercial purpose as he would not have done it if he wasn't asked and as someone did ask him to do it, he obliged.

My situation is different, no one's asked me to take videos and no one's going to receive them after the race.
 
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Ahh, see there are number of things he did wrong their, it's an interesting read.

First of all someone asked him to take the photo and this is important as he's fulfilling a contract. A description of the photo, a date & time of production and a fitness for purpose was described by the "friend of a friend" who asked him to take the photo (the product). Even though no money was involved, a product was defined and later supplied, making his flight of a commercial purpose.

If that wasn't enough, he also supplied the local media with photos and with knowledge of their intention to publish/print them.

I'd say that his flight was definitely for a commercial purpose as he would not have done it if he wasn't asked and as someone did ask him to do it, he obliged.

My situation is different, no one's asked me to take videos and no one's going to receive them after the race.
And from what I understand, if you are, say, a professional photographer, you are de-facto a commercial operator.
 
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And from what I understand, if you are, say, a professional photographer, you are de-facto a commercial operator.
I'm not a professional photographer.

...even If I was, my flight would still be considered a recreational/hobby flight because a) I'm flying it in my spare time and b) I'm not doing it for someone else
 
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I'm not a professional photographer.

...even If I was, my flight would still be considered a recreational/hobby flight because a) I'm flying it in my spare time and b) I'm not doing it for someone else
That's cool - wasn't casting aspersions. Just know that the FAA takes a very wide view on what is a commercial operation.
 

BigAl07

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I fully see your point but you have to understand the organizer of the event should have the final say. Although I think it's not really justified (fair?) at the end of the day you need to respect his position.

Do you carry liability insurance just in case something happens? I don't know how it is on your side of the pond but over here in US of A the vultures are just looking for an excuse to sue and if you attach the word drone to it they start drooling immediately. Better safe than sorry in my books.
 
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You will need a CAA permission for aerial work. You will be flying at a public event with people that are not under your control and will therefore not a be able to fly within 50m of any person or vehicle. You will need risk assessments, public liability and third party insurance.



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You will need a CAA exemption for aerial work.
I'm not sure what you mean by that, your use of the word "exemption" in that sentence doesn't make sense. Unless you mean (for some reason) that the CAA will need to conduct some sort of demonstration for me.


You will be flying at a public event with people that are not under your control
Not true, I'm not sure how much of the thread you've already read but this event is private. The race is conducted by a private company, on FC land (FC have permitted my use of a drone) and the event is not open to the public, only entrants who have paid their fee in advance. Like I've said, everyone at the race will be aware of my drone's presence and so I can therefore make reasonable claim that they are under my control.


You will need risk assessments, public liability and third party insurance.
As an amateur pilot and photographer, I won't need anything. A risk assessment would indeed be required but only with respect to the safety of the riders and it will be carried out by the race organiser to suite his insurance company and BC.
 
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I fully see your point but you have to understand the organizer of the event should have the final say. Although I think it's not really justified (fair?) at the end of the day you need to respect his position.
I respect your standpoint but I'm debating and challenging his authority on said "final say". Why should I jump through all the hoops and obtain a licence just because he wants me too but when I may not actually need too. My debate here (and my game of devil's advocate) is whether or not I need too. It may be his race but I'm not confident that his "final say" has jurisdiction on the matter.


I don't know how it is on your side of the pond but over here in US of A the vultures are just looking for an excuse to sue and if you attach the word drone to it they start drooling immediately.
I'm glad to say that we don't have the same lawsuit culture over here that you chaps do, however the word "drone" does have a great deal of stigma attached to it.
 
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When you fly a drone in the UK it is your responsibility to be aware of the rules that are in place to keep everyone safe.

Follow these simple steps to make sure you are flying safely and legally.
•Make sure you can see your drone at all times and don't fly higher than 400 feet
•Always keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields
•Use your common sense and fly safely; you could be prosecuted if you don't.

Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown:
•within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures
•over congested areas or large gatherings such as concerts and sports events


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Mr Kingfisher, I suspect that you're merely trying to increase your post count.

Your advice is extremely generic and since all you've done is copy and past the CAA guidelines (and they are just guidelines, not rules), it barely even counts as advice.
 
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Not sure what a post count is or what difference this makes to life. The section of the CAA rules saying Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown within 50m of people is possibly relevant to your event. Just trying to help.


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The section of the CAA rules saying Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown within 50m of people is possibly relevant to your event. Just trying to help.
The article you refer to are merely guidelines for those who are new to flying model aircraft. If you look at the rules more closely, the CAA advise that pilots do not fly within 50m or above people who are not under the control of the UAV pilot.

It's all about not flying in a dangerous manner, the CAA rules/guidelines are not actually law, they're just underpinned by law.

If none of us in the UK are allowed to fly within 50m of an individual full-stop, then how do you explain the many legal videos that exist with people in them?
 

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