Possible rule change for operating over people ?

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I regularly check to see if any new major FAA / DOT rules are in the making (started with the proposed doing away with the 3rd class medical) every month by looking at the document that is updated monthly: Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings

This month (Oct 2016) I saw item #18: "Operations of Small Unmanned Aircraft Over People"

"Abstract: This rulemaking would address the performance-based standards and means-of-compliance for operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over people not directly participating in the operation or not under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft. This rule would provide relief from certain operational restrictions implemented in the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems final rule (RIN 2120-AJ60)."

Depending on how fast is actually takes to get by OST & OMB we might actually see what they propose for comment by the end of the year. But don't hold your breath as typically scheduled dates slip dramatically.
 
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Drone manufacturers may have to certify certain safety parameters in order to Be eligible to fly over people. Will have to wait-and-see but it certainly 12 to 36 months away before we see a final rule.


Enrico Schaefer
UAV Attorney
www.dronelaw.pro

Free Part 107 Waiver and Airspace Training Videos. https://www.dronelaw.pro/part-107-waivers/
 
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I'm guessing something along the lines of no single point of failure. Redundant batteries, redundant motors, redundant flight controllers? That would be the minimum for maintaining flight- I doubt that you'd need redundant radio links as long as the craft has auto hover/return to home functions.
Conceivably, this would rule out using anything with less than 6 motors. I know there are flight control algorithms that throw away yaw control to maintain pitch/roll when you are down to 3 motors, but they're not in widespread use and i doubt any regulator would trust such a system.
 
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Good to see some forward progress though. I didn't know anything was actually in the works. I know a lot of these have been discussed in the Drone Advisory Committee but didn't know that they had actually published anything.
 
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I wouldn't get my hopes up. This was started in 2012. A bit more information here.
 

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