I'm a little confused.......Question about a part of 107

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Hey guys, I have been reading a lot in an attempt to get my Part 107 maybe down the road. I am a little confused about a few things but I will start here.
Hypothetically speaking, I start my business and it is successful. I am scheduled to do a wedding, sounds awesome. However, can I legally do this? As far as the FAA is concerned, lets say I have insurance, a business license, etc. I ask this because:

107.39 Operation over human beings

No person shall operate a small unmanned air craft 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.

So, do I take this literally? Meaning that I just cant fly directly over someone? Can you fly over someone as long as you don't hover there? Im just thinking, how do you get any shots of the wedding, bride and groom, and whatever else if this is the case? Do you just try to navigate and stay away? Do I ask for a waiver and then I can do it?

Sorry for what is probably a stupid question for you guys but I really want to do this the right way and be a responsible pilot. Even if a business never comes and I have a nice toy, I don't want to be that guy. I want to be the guy that sets the example. Any thoughts here or maybe experience? Thanks in advance.

 
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Thanks Mark. So 15 feet away and 30 foot up from the bride and groom while snapping a picture is ok as long as nobody is directly under the aircraft. Thanks again Mark.
 
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Agreed but be careful. I think the "directly" is the key part there.

If you're flying in a position that if you lose power and the wind blows your drone into the bride and groom or something similar happens, then the FAA very likely would find you careless and reckless. That's sort of their catch all when bad things happen and there isn't a direct reg(or sometimes when there is). You're responsible for operating safely.

Dave

HTTPS://Www.buildadronebiz.com
 
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I assume you have the 107 then I would get a release from everyone in case something happened. I have seen at least one message that said money had to change hands to require a 107 and that is not true. If the product is used in any commercial way, even for free, you need a 107 or a 331 exemption.
 
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Absolutely correct and I recently listened to an interview with an aviation attorney that seemed to indicate that if you were flying 101 but not in accordance with community standards the FAA could see that as a 107 operation because you weren't complying with the applicability paragraph. Always safest to follow the rules.
 

BigAl07

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I assume you have the 107 then I would get a release from everyone in case something happened. I have seen at least one message that said money had to change hands to require a 107 and that is not true. If the product is used in any commercial way, even for free, you need a 107 or a 331 exemption.


While getting a release may be a good idea it will not help you in the eyes of the FAA. The rules are pretty straight forward and a "release" from the people does not allow you to violate the law.

You are correct in assuming money changing hands is NOT what requires Part 107. If the flight (any portion of it) is not 100% hobby then it defaults to Commercial and would require Part 107.

Basically as the law stands right now if at any portion of the flight a failure/mistake could take the aircraft to where it could make contact with people then you're in violation of the law. Regardless what happens if there is an incident and someone is struck by the aircraft proper safe distance was not maintained.
 

Mark The Droner

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I keep hearing this - if you fly and the flight doesn't qualify as recreational, then it is considered commercial (even before Aug 29). And I posted this because I've heard it before and I've even read about it in the media. But then somebody piped up on this site that I was wrong. So I waited for somebody else to chime in and nobody ever did, so I assumed I was wrong. But it seems I was right all along.

So, in summary:

If a flight, even a so-called recreational flight, breaks one of the rules for Part 101, then it is not a Part 101 flight, and therefore becomes a commercial flight, or put another way, a Part 107 flight.

Right?

Thank-you
 
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Sort of.

(I'm not an attorney so consult one before acting on this)

We tend to equate FAR 107 ops with sUAS commercial ops, but technically it applies to any sUAS ops that doesn't fall under part 101. (That's in 107.1)

If you look at 101.41 which tells us the kind of ops that fall under there for UAS it includes
(a) The aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;
(b) The aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;
(c) The aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;
(d) The aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
(e) When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation.
If you, for example,don't give way to manned aircraft, don't operate under a community set of guidelines, etc (the sort of behavior being called out here) then you don't fall under part 101 and therefore FAA can go after you under part 107 requirements because that's what you're technically operating under. (Uh-oh).

Does that help at all?
 

Mark The Droner

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Yes. That's the way I understood it too. Thank-you.

But, although I understand it, I don't quite get why it "defaults" to part 107. What's the advantage of "going after you" under Part 107 requirements? Is it because they can nail you for more violations than they could if they "go after you" for Part 101 requirements?

Also, let's say you hold a 107 certificate, but you're flying under Part 101 on a particular Sunday. And let's say you violate the Part 101 flight by doing something stupid like, oh I don't know, let's say, flying out of LOS. Okay, so now you're no longer flying Part 101 and now you're flying Part 107. But you're still in violation. Does the fact that you have a 107 certificate benefit you in any way?

In other words, is it beneficial for a hobbyist to hold a 107?
 
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Well, it defaults that way because they wrote it that way lol. As far as why they did that, I can only guess. The FAA was probably trying not to over regulate hobbyists (there are some legal challenges to what authority they even had to regulate hobby usage at all). This way, they have a mechanism to hold an irresponsible hobbyist accountable to ensure safety of the NAS but they have an excuse to leave a hobbyist alone who isn't doing anything wrong.

I can't give you a good answer to your last question. I've dealt with a number of pilot deviations (and accusations) in the airline world (not my own, working with FAA on behalf of management) and, in my experience, the FAA values a constructive attitude, admission of errors and willingness to learn. With all that in mind, if a hobbyist demonstrated that it was an honest mistake, they did everything they could to ensure safety and worked hard to make themselves better pilots, then the FAA will often treat them much less harshly. Inspectors get frustrated by pilots who are irresponsible, unprofessional and unwilling to admit mistakes. So, it would probably benefit them as it shows a willingness to understand the world they're flying in and to try to be better.

All that said, I've also seen the FAA go after good pilots for silly reasons, so nothing is fool-proof. If such a pilot were to make a mistake, I suggest filling out a NASA ASRS form. That will help give them protection from fines or certificate action.
 
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That's a ton of great responses, thanks for the very constructive discussion.
 
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This is interesting, I had taken line A to mean something different.
Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft;
I understood this as people part of the aircraft operation as in task/purpose of the flight such as search and rescue operation. Therefore people who are the subject of video being recorded by a UAS are "part of the operation". Everyone else is interpreting that people who are operating the controls (and visual observers?) are part of the operation of the UAS.
I see now that my interpretation may be less likely to be correct, even though grammatically there is some wiggle room.

I think that it's difficult to argue against a visual observer being part of the operation of a UAS even if they are not physically at the controls. So i guess you could just enlist a bunch of visual observers who happen to be wearing wedding attire and then be technically OK? :)
 

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FAA inspector Kevin Morris has addressed this question. Model/subjects are not part of the operational team.
 
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While getting a release may be a good idea it will not help you in the eyes of the FAA. The rules are pretty straight forward and a "release" from the people does not allow you to violate the law.

You are correct in assuming money changing hands is NOT what requires Part 107. If the flight (any portion of it) is not 100% hobby then it defaults to Commercial and would require Part 107.

Basically as the law stands right now if at any portion of the flight a failure/mistake could take the aircraft to where it could make contact with people then you're in violation of the law. Regardless what happens if there is an incident and someone is struck by the aircraft proper safe distance was not maintained.
 
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This is interesting, I had taken line A to mean something different.
Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft;
I understood this as people part of the aircraft operation as in task/purpose of the flight such as search and rescue operation. Therefore people who are the subject of video being recorded by a UAS are "part of the operation". Everyone else is interpreting that people who are operating the controls (and visual observers?) are part of the operation of the UAS.
I see now that my interpretation may be less likely to be correct, even though grammatically there is some wiggle room.

I think that it's difficult to argue against a visual observer being part of the operation of a UAS even if they are not physically at the controls. So i guess you could just enlist a bunch of visual observers who happen to be wearing wedding attire and then be technically OK? :)

If you can still find it, Kevin Morris' FAA "Commercial UAS Operations under Part 107" webinar addresses his specifically. It was course GL1571602F when it aired in September. Good luck!
 
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This is very simple.

You require authorization to fly an aircraft in the US.

If you are flying a regulated UAS (over .55 lbs) as a hobby flier as per the rules stated above, you are legal to fly under Part 101.

If you have a Part 107 license, you can fly under that license and be subject to those rules.

If you do not hold a Part107 or fly under Part 101, then your UAS operation of a UAS over .55 lbs is unlawful.

You don't "fall under" Part 107 once you don't meet Part 101 requirements; it's simply the only other option for lawful flight.
 
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In other words, is it beneficial for a hobbyist to hold a 107?

Absolutely.

107 allows you to operate in any Class G airspace without seeking permission from anyone..

A pilot who is classified as a hobbyist rather than 107 has to contact every airport/heliport with a 5 mile circle of where he is operating regardless of whether the airport has controlled airspace or not..
 
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