Knowing the regulations and explaining to authorities

Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
I'm starting my own "drone business" beginning with aerial photography with an eventual eye toward mapping when ready. I've got what I think is a nice web site started and am padding it with images and videos. Here if interested:

Home Page/Portfolio

I have my certificate for Remote Pilot Certificate for sUAS ("Part 107 license"). I've done a few jobs, but so far just for free to develop my techniques, establish contacts and add to my portfolio. Pretty soon I'll feel ready to solicit work for pay. In the meantime, I'm still a little unclear about specifically what to do regarding regulations and compliance when flying. For example, for my latest video documenting a local town (the one titled "Beaver, West Virginia" in my web site), I visited a government facility (Mine Safety training facility) and asked if I could capture a few overhead images to feature in my video about the town. I actually got all the way down into the facility and talked to a person in management. He was sympathetic to my mission, but denied my request to fly my drone on the property only due to the close proximity to the local airport. Had I been more prepared, I believe could have convinced him I could fly there by producing a copy of the regulations for flying aircraft for recreation (which, as I am not getting paid I would have been doing). With a hard copy of this document I could have explained that I must fly in compliance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft including the requirement to notify the local airport that we would be flying a sUAS within a certain time period up to a certain altitude, right?

And the same goes for flying (for recreation) around towns, parks (other than National), public areas, etc. All you need to do (again, flying for recreation), is follow the Special Rules for Model Aircraft and perhaps produce a hard copy of the rules to anyone who questions your activity. It's like saying "here's the rules, I'm good here."

But how many of you inquire about local town, city or county ordinances? If so, how does one go about this?

I guess I'm just looking for an open discussion and advice about this kind of activity - flying a drone in public places where you may be questioned. How do you prepare?

Regarding flying for compensation (under Part 107) it's about the same - produce a copy of the regulations to illustrate that you are flying in compliance, right?

Tim
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
2,068
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
I carry my FAA registration with me (required) and a print out of Section 336. Each situation/encounter is different. You can only present the correct facts. If you are on someone else's property, they have the final say so what you do on their property.

As far as checking local laws... this is your responsibility. You need to research the area you will be flying from.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
I carry my FAA registration with me (required) and a print out of Section 336. Each situation/encounter is different. You can only present the correct facts. If you are on someone else's property, they have the final say so what you do on their property.

As far as checking local laws... this is your responsibility. You need to research the area you will be flying from.

Yes, thank you so far tcope. Matter of fact, I just realized having my sUAS Certificate of Registration would be one good component of appearing (and acting) within compliance. I just dug my old one out of my wallet and printed out a newer one which I will have laminated. I'm searching the internet for a copy of Section 336 (Special Rule for Model Aircraft) that has something about the FAA on it.

Where does one begin with checking local laws? Telephone city officials/offices? Police? This could potentially open a can of worms with people in positions of authority not really knowing their own laws or simply just saying "no drone flying allowed around here" because that's easiest.

Thanks again.

Tim
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
275
Reaction score
118
Location
FL
I'm starting my own "drone business" beginning with aerial photography with an eventual eye toward mapping when ready. I've got what I think is a nice web site started and am padding it with images and videos. Here if interested:

Home Page/Portfolio

I have my certificate for Remote Pilot Certificate for sUAS ("Part 107 license"). I've done a few jobs, but so far just for free to develop my techniques, establish contacts and add to my portfolio. Pretty soon I'll feel ready to solicit work for pay. In the meantime, I'm still a little unclear about specifically what to do regarding regulations and compliance when flying. For example, for my latest video documenting a local town (the one titled "Beaver, West Virginia" in my web site), I visited a government facility (Mine Safety training facility) and asked if I could capture a few overhead images to feature in my video about the town. I actually got all the way down into the facility and talked to a person in management. He was sympathetic to my mission, but denied my request to fly my drone on the property only due to the close proximity to the local airport. Had I been more prepared, I believe could have convinced him I could fly there by producing a copy of the regulations for flying aircraft for recreation (which, as I am not getting paid I would have been doing). With a hard copy of this document I could have explained that I must fly in compliance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft including the requirement to notify the local airport that we would be flying a sUAS within a certain time period up to a certain altitude, right?

And the same goes for flying (for recreation) around towns, parks (other than National), public areas, etc. All you need to do (again, flying for recreation), is follow the Special Rules for Model Aircraft and perhaps produce a hard copy of the rules to anyone who questions your activity. It's like saying "here's the rules, I'm good here."

But how many of you inquire about local town, city or county ordinances? If so, how does one go about this?

I guess I'm just looking for an open discussion and advice about this kind of activity - flying a drone in public places where you may be questioned. How do you prepare?

Regarding flying for compensation (under Part 107) it's about the same - produce a copy of the regulations to illustrate that you are flying in compliance, right?

Tim
For your video used on the website to promote your business you would still be 107. Even though the mine would not have been paying you for the video, you would be using that video to further your personal business. That requires flying under 107 even though no money would be exchanged.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oso
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
3,492
Reaction score
2,792
Age
67
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
Stay at Least 100ft. above and away from any buildings. I stay more.
The last I looked. There was recommendations that is not law yet, but I try to follow in WV.
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff Member
Premium Pilot
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
7,027
Reaction score
5,872
Age
50
Location
Western North Carolina
For the record, "Building your portfolio" falls directly under support of a business (it's not about being paid) which would mean Part 107 rules and getting ATC Approval and flying per the airspace.

Also it's important to note that regardless of the REASON for flying any property owner or entitled managing body can regulate whether you fly "From" their property. They have no say about the flight itself but they can deny you from flying "from" their property.

The burden to research and know any local rules & regulations falls directly on your shoulders. Just like anything else that is regulated (hunting, fishing etc) you have to research the regs before hand.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
4,851
Reaction score
2,068
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
Where does one begin with checking local laws? Telephone city officials/offices? Police? This could potentially open a can of worms with people in positions of authority not really knowing their own laws or simply just saying "no drone flying allowed around here" because that's easiest.
I'd certainly start by determining who owns the land that you are flying from and looking for their rules. You could also try looking up local laws for the city/county. However, this would be more difficult and if you find any, they are usually not valid laws anyway.

You could also call local law enforcement but that would really be a crap shoot.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
For the record, "Building your portfolio" falls directly under support of a business (it's not about being paid) which would mean Part 107 rules and getting ATC Approval and flying per the airspace.

Also it's important to note that regardless of the REASON for flying any property owner or entitled managing body can regulate whether you fly "From" their property. They have no say about the flight itself but they can deny you from flying "from" their property.

The burden to research and know any local rules & regulations falls directly on your shoulders. Just like anything else that is regulated (hunting, fishing etc) you have to research the regs before hand.

Thanks BigA107 and everybody else so far. Certainly, I would never dispute the owner/controlling authority about flying FROM their property regardless of airspace control above it. In the case of my Mine Safety Training facility, they were okay with the concept of me flying from their property, it was just their airspace concerns that led to their decision to decline.

Thanks again.

Tim
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
Thanks again so far everybody.

I do not dispute that I am flying under Part 107 even though I am not getting paid. However, can you point me to the FAA rule or regulation from which you draw this conclusion? I've looked high and low and all over the place in the FAA web site, but cannot find where they determine/define what is Commercial.

Thanks again.

Tim
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff Member
Premium Pilot
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
7,027
Reaction score
5,872
Age
50
Location
Western North Carolina
Thanks BigA107 and everybody else so far. Certainly, I would never dispute the owner/controlling authority about flying FROM their property regardless of airspace control above it. In the case of my Mine Safety Training facility, they were okay with the concept of me flying from their property, it was just their airspace concerns that led to their decision to decline.

Thanks again.

Tim

Fortunately they don't have any airspace at least not in the traditional sense. It's OUR airspace but as you've already noted, it's getting the aircraft INTO that airspace that can be a hurdle. At the end of the day you have to decide if the "outcome" is worth the hassle because you could be burning bridges for future work.


Thanks again so far everybody.

I do not dispute that I am flying under Part 107 even though I am not getting paid. However, can you point me to the FAA rule or regulation from which you draw this conclusion? I've looked high and low and all over the place in the FAA web site, but cannot find where they determine/define what is Commercial.

Thanks again.

Tim

Actually it's VERY wise to "question" anything you hear/read on an online forum. None of us (or most of us) are not aviation attorneys and have no skin in the game in regards to giving you advice (right or wrong). If we give you bad advice we aren't the ones you're going to call to bail you out of jail LOL.

If you do a Google search you're going to come up with tons (and I mean TONS) of debates online about this but it's fairly simple. As a Civil Operator (this excludes Public Safety, Govt etc operations) you are either

a) Part 101/336 (Hobby Recreational) Operator
or
b) Part 107 Operator

Part 101/336 is a Carve Out of Part 107 allowing you to operate under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. As long as you meet EVERY single piece of criteria you are flying under that protective "bubble". But the first thing you do that pierces that bubble you revert back to all of Part 107 regulations.

It's important to remember your can't "hobby" for someone else or for a business. Regardless of how you word it when you are doing anything to further a business in any way it's no longer hobby/recreational. We can't even do Search & Rescue under Part 101 because it's not hobby. It doesn't fit within the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft" definition.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need permission from the FAA to fly a UAS for recreation or as a hobby?
There are two ways for recreational or hobby UAS fliers to operate in the National Airspace System in accordance with the law and/or FAA regulations. Each of the two options has specific requirements that the UAS operator must follow. The decision as to which option to follow is up to the individual operator.

Option #1. Fly in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336). Under this rule, operators must:

  1. Register their UAS with the FAA
  2. Fly for hobby or recreational purposes only
  3. Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines
  4. Fly the UAS within visual line-of-sight
  5. Give way to manned aircraft
  6. Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport
  7. Fly UAS that weigh no more than 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
Option #2. Fly under the FAA's Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107). Under this rule, operators must:

  1. Register their UAS with the FAA as a "non-modeler"
  2. Obtain an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate
  3. Follow the operational requirements (PDF) of Part 107
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
Fortunately they don't have any airspace at least not in the traditional sense. It's OUR airspace but as you've already noted, it's getting the aircraft INTO that airspace that can be a hurdle. At the end of the day you have to decide if the "outcome" is worth the hassle because you could be burning bridges for future work.

Thanks again BigA107. I'm on the same page as you here. Again in the case of the Mine Safety Training facility, I'd like to be in a better position regarding my knowledge of all the rules and regulations and tactfully present them to whatever authority, but stay far away from a dispute which could as you say, burn bridges or tarnish my reputation for future work. In this case I had a nice exchange with the Deputy Superintendent of the operation, thanked him for his time and interest and went on my merry way leaving my business card and hopefully a good impression for possible future work.

Tim
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Age
57
...If you do a Google search you're going to come up with tons (and I mean TONS) of debates online about this but it's fairly simple. As a Civil Operator (this excludes Public Safety, Govt etc operations) you are either

a) Part 101/336 (Hobby Recreational) Operator
or
b) Part 107 Operator

Part 101/336 is a Carve Out of Part 107 allowing you to operate under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. As long as you meet EVERY single piece of criteria you are flying under that protective "bubble". But the first thing you do that pierces that bubble you revert back to all of Part 107 regulations.

It's important to remember your can't "hobby" for someone else or for a business. Regardless of how you word it when you are doing anything to further a business in any way it's no longer hobby/recreational. We can't even do Search & Rescue under Part 101 because it's not hobby. It doesn't fit within the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft" definition.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need permission from the FAA to fly a UAS for recreation or as a hobby?
There are two ways for recreational or hobby UAS fliers to operate in the National Airspace System in accordance with the law and/or FAA regulations. Each of the two options has specific requirements that the UAS operator must follow. The decision as to which option to follow is up to the individual operator.

Option #1. Fly in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336). Under this rule, operators must:

  1. Register their UAS with the FAA
  2. Fly for hobby or recreational purposes only
  3. Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines
  4. Fly the UAS within visual line-of-sight
  5. Give way to manned aircraft
  6. Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport
  7. Fly UAS that weigh no more than 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
Option #2. Fly under the FAA's Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107). Under this rule, operators must:

  1. Register their UAS with the FAA as a "non-modeler"
  2. Obtain an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate
  3. Follow the operational requirements (PDF) of Part 107

Thanks again BigA107! I was going to ask where you came up with or found the above information, but clicking around more myself I found this:

https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

Finally! It's a PDF from a link on the FAAs web site Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft . The heart of the matter I'm concerned with (the FAAs definition of flying for "hobby or recreational purposes" which thereby also defines what is NOT for hobby and recreational purposes and would then fall under Part 107) begins halfway down on page 9 and continues to page 11 including a table.

I did a print screen of the meat of this part of the document and copied in this post. Now I know the definition of flying for recreation and not flying for recreation (falling under part 107) from the sole authority (the FAA).

Got it!

Thanks.

Tim
 

Attachments

  • Untitled.jpg
    Untitled.jpg
    156.4 KB · Views: 135
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
140,603
Messages
1,449,237
Members
102,409
Latest member
TrapGodYuhDig