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Found 31 results

  1. Have you requested a waiver or an airspace authorization from the FAA? If so, I would be very interested to hear about your experience. What were you looking for, what did you end up getting, how long did it take, and so on. I've already gotten an airspace authorization (not as much as I wanted) and am waiting for a waiver of Daylight Operations. How about you?
  2. It's been all over the news today and blowing up on Twitter. Figured I'd post it here. Appeals Court Strikes Down FAA Drone Registration Rule
  3. Hello all, I am a part 107 certificate holder located in Los Angeles. I have some questions about an upcoming shoot that I've been hired to do in New York City. A high-end property management company has hired me to shoot drone footage of three of their buildings in New York City at the end of July. 2 of the buildings are in midtown and 1 of them is in the financial district. I have a few specific questions regarding these properties... 1. According to Airmap, there is a permenant TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) around the southern part of Central Park extending about 10 blocks south of the park. I imagine that this is because of Trump Tower but I can't be sure. It seems difficult to believe that this large area of Manhattan is permenantly off-limits even when the President is out of town. Does anyone have any information about this? 2. The building in the financial district (55 Broadway) appears to be in class G airspace which seems hard to believe. My general question about flying professionally in NYC is if there are additional, local actions that need to be taken even after obtaining an FAA part 107 waiver? Does anyone have any information or experience flying for clients in Manhattan? I would appreciate any and all help. Thanks!
  4. Hey everybody, just wanted to pass on some info about dealing with the FAA and NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen). I have been traveling around the country shooting with a Phantom 3 Pro for an MTV show. I start the process as soon as production can give me the info.(welcome to reality TV!) You will need a pretty good idea of locations and time frame. First I use "airmap" which is a great app for getting local contact info for heliports, schools, etc. Then I go to, which are sectional maps, to get exact Latitude/Longitude of where I will be operating. Then I call the FAA (877-487-6867) to get a NOTAM registered The FAA will ask you for the following info: - Lat/ Long of area for the operation - Proximity to local airports especially anything within 5 NM - Radius of operation (NM) - Height of operation (AGL) - Date and time (local or Zulu) - your name and contact info - Organization name They will then issue a NOTAM #. I keep this info with me when shooting incase anybody asks me if I have permission, etc. And it reassures the producers that you are doing your due diligence. Hope this helps!
  5. Hi all, I live/work in the Phoenix metropolitan area and one of my biggest concerns is with Class D airspace. So far I'm just doing real estate work. If you look at Phoenix with AirMap or VFRMAP you will see that an awful lot of the area is covered by Class D air space (in addition to the Class B airspace for Sky Harbor). So far I've been lucky - the houses I've been hired to shoot were in Class G, but it's just a matter of time before I get a house that's in Class D. My issue is the time it takes to get an authorization from the FAA. No realtor is going to wait weeks or possibly months for an FAA authorization form. I got a call today and the realtor wants the house shot before Monday - that's typical. Again, in this case I'm in luck because the house is in Class G, but I'm wondering what other people are doing to handle this situation. Are you waiting for the waiver? Are you turning down the work? Are you just flying anyway without a waiver? And does anyone know what the current wait time is for a Class D waiver? Thanks, Chris
  6. Hi All, A couple of weeks ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FAA to get a listing of all drone-related fines they had ever been given out. I got the report last week and wanted to share it here. In addition to just sharing the information, I'm also interested to hear what other UAV pilots might think about it. You can access the full report here: I have to confess that I got the idea from an article I read that was written back in June - That article made me wonder how things might have changed since the new Part 107 rules went into effect. I haven't parsed through it yet but from first glance it seems there were 21 violations as of June 2016 and since then there are only 4 more violations as of January 31st. That's interesting to me but not sure exactly what to think about it yet. Chris
  7. For those who have not seen this yet. The fine was negotiated but bear in mind it was sort of a barter deal. They traded off making PSA's. Folks don't realize that the NYC area is HIGHLY controlled airspace and FAA has a very large staff in the area as well. Know your airspace! For Immediate Release January 17, 2017 Contact: Laura Brown ( / Les Dorr ( Phone: 202-359-3680 or 202-267-3461 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement with SkyPan International, Inc., of Chicago. The agreement resolves enforcement cases that alleged the company operated unmanned aircraft (UAS) in congested airspace over New York City and Chicago, and violated airspace regulations and aircraft operating rules. Under the terms of the agreement, SkyPan will pay a $200,000 civil penalty. The company also agrees to pay an additional $150,000 if it violates Federal Aviation Regulations in the next year, and $150,000 more if it fails to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement. SkyPan also agrees to work with the FAA to release three public service announcements in the next 12 months to support the FAA’s public outreach campaigns that encourage drone operators to learn and comply with UAS regulations. The agreement settles enforcement cases involving a $1.9 million civil penalty that the FAA proposed against SkyPan International, Inc. of Chicago in October 2015. It is the largest civil penalty the agency has proposed against a UAS operator. SkyPan Press Release
  8. Yes Virginia, it's finally happening! And no, it's not rigged! Here's my story from today, Friday 10/28. This is Florida v Georgia weekend in SE Georgia and it was my duty to head to Winn Dixie right near KSSI to load up on critical weekend items. While in Winn Dixie (that's where all my important calls are received it seems) I got a call from area code 281 and I thought it was probably a nonsense call - I get lots of them. Turns out it was FAA and he was a former controller now doing part 107 waivers. He was working from home on this one. We must have been on the phone for 20 minutes or so (in the salad oil aisle) and he was definitely working with me trying to get me the best solution for my airspace authorization request. First of all, he explained and apologized for the unclear instructions on the website. Airspace authorizations are intended to be issued for a short term operation perhaps for 1 or 2 operations, not long term. I was looking for a waiver here to fly in Class E Sfc airspace for an extended period and that really requires a waiver, he said.. So here's what I have gathered from everything. The authorizations will be granted based on the lowest controlled airspace grid. In my case, the grids over the runway at SSI obviously are set to Zero. So that means that within 3 miles of the airport, he can only issue a Zero. But he then went on to describe my area as he sees it and suggested that he move my "spot" northward and after going back and forth, he called me back and is granting me 100' agl from 3nm away from the airport up to 5 nm. After that , the airspace is Class E with 700 ft floor so I can fly all I want. Now this doesn't really help me all that much, but it's a start. He also talked about the smartphone authorization down the road. We both agreed to not hold our breath! He explained that I can request a waiver and the fact that he's granting this one does not hurt me as far as getting another. He called back and said that he will email to me on Monday and it will be effective next week. (I actually got it later today and it is effective tomorrow). I was very impressed with his interest in MY needs and he worked hard to try to help me. For now I will accept this and move from here. I think the lesson here is that FAA is really trying to work for us and we need to accept that and be appreciative of that commitment to the needs of the licensed sUAS community. It's not perfect, we know it and so do they, but we will move forward from here. Fly Safe. Ed
  9. Lead paragraph from the Pop Sci article this week, with link at the end: They need to be more precise--is the crime the act of shooting, or only if you are successful at shooting it down?? They say the latter but it I'm quite certain it's the former, regardless of success or not. Same law that they use to file charges against people using lasers against aircraft, I believe.
  10. Hi all, Just a quick hello from the UK. Looking to connect with other's from around the World. Cheers, Steve FAA Dispatch Instructor
  11. Has anyone that past part 107 recieved their temporary certifications yet? I'm going on 6 days now waiting for mine. I think when I finished the application it said 36 hours. Jake
  12. So from the reading i have been doing this morning it looks as if the FAA is planning to release the finalized NPRM Part 107... On Tuesday the 21st of June. This means that tomorrow could very well change the landscape of the UAV industry in the united states. Here is one of the articles i have been perusing to find out more information: For those of you pending a 333, or waiting to see this could be a very exciting day that will help to lower your barrier of entry into the commercial UAV marketplace. Keep in mind this is still the federal government and the pace of implementation may be slow (several months or more). There is a lot to be done to set up new test and structure the licensure process. The nice thing is they have an infrastructure in place that already does digital tests for aeronautical knowledge, so this should help to speed up the process. If you are looking to do more than your typical sUAS operation (night flights, beyond VLOS, above 500 feet, over 55 lbs, there will still be a 333 exemption process for these more advanced operations. But most of your boiler plate operations and pre approved FAA blanket COA drones will be able to operate under the guidance and rules set forth in part 107. Cheers, and get ready to do some great flying! cc @Alan Perlman
  13. Here is a link to the FAA "Part 107" update........ The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the final Small UAS Rule this morning. The press release is available at:
  14. Read this this morning: It sounds promising. If you haven't already filed, I think there is no reason to go through the trouble and expense of filing for a 333 exemption.
  15. Anyone have the soop, on whether its easier or not to receive the exemption if you can prove to the feds you're already licensed pilot, holding a medical? Currently, I have an ATP, CFII licenses, with medical and just applied for the exemption, and I wonder if they're more lenient towards licensed pilots. Anyone know if this helps? I did the exemption process myself and now starting to wonder if I shouldn't have paid an attorney to draft it for me.
  16. It's been a long time coming, but we're happy to announce that we've received our FAA Section 333 exemption. Our team patiently waited 6 months and 2 days for our Section 333 Exemption (and Blanket COA) from the FAA. We received it and are now cleared to operate commercially! Is it a perfect process? No. Is it the only door the FAA has given us to comply here in the US? Yep, sure is. While I’m proud to be one of 4000 companies who have successfully navigate this process, I’ll be even more proud when cleaner sUAS rules are put into place." In case you're interested in the guidelines I need to follow to comply with the Exemption and COA requirements, attached are links to my approved paperwork. Makalu-Ventures-LLC-15443.pdf Approved UAS for Publication (3-4-2016).pdf 200 COA Effective 7-1-2015.pdf
  17. Big news today from the FAA:
  18. On April 12th the FAA released the Final Rule on flight simulator training under Part 61. The rule allows Part 61 instrument students to log up to 10 hours in basic training devices, and up to 20 hours in advanced devices, with the combined total not to exceed 20 hours. While the regulations regarding commercial operations, Part 107, have not been finalized, the increased use of simulators in other areas has interesting implications for sUAS. Given the influx of so many commercial drone operators, wouldn't the shortest path to a certificate be a computer based drone flight simulator? Even if the only commercial sUAS operators are the ones who have, or have applied for an exemption, that is still over 10,000 individuals that would need to be evaluated and certified. FAA examiners would need to be trained and tested and then appointments would need to be made for everyone to get certified. This would be a huge bottleneck in the system. Now, if we used a computer based solution, like the droneSim Pro drone flight simulator, it would be available at testing sites around the country, or even online. Operators would not need to bring their aircraft to a testing site, would not need to worry about weather, and would not need to coordinate schedules with an examiner for an additional fee. A simulator also allows for more exact testing because we could record or monitor flight parameters and not have to guess what they actually are. A training/evaluation report would be generated and used for approval. The published Final Rule can be found here. More information about the simulator, can be found on our website ( Safe flying!
  19. While this article from is six months old, it bring up some good points about where we stand right now with the FAA's regulations here in the U.S. Thoughts?
  20. Hi folks! I'm doing a "soft launch" of a 5-minute industry survey that I'll be sending out to the masses over the next several days: Would appreciate your responses! Individual results are kept anonymous, but the aggregate survey data will be shared with everyone by May 2016.
  21. Has anyone recently received the 333 exemption from the FAA within the last month?
  22. Has anyone found the weight of the Typhoon H with battery? The new FAA regs are talking about not needing a pilots license for sUAS under 2 kilos. Where do we find more info on the Regs?
  23. Hello Fellow Drone Pilots, Does anyone who has previous filed, or have received a FAA Exemption 333, ever had the opportunity to find out the status of their submittal at some point during the process? I have filed over 6 weeks ago and realize there is now many in-line since the end of December, but have no update or confirmation that it is in hand or processing. I have filed for my "N" number and have had correspondence on that, but nothing for the "333". I am also a licensed Private Pilot though not flying in the last 6-7 years and have a certificate, thanks to Alan, that I could provide to boost the acceptance, but there was no place I saw for this information initially. Any feedback is always appreciated.
  24. Greetings all, FYI. I attended an FAA briefing on 1/16/16 in Chandler, AZ. The FAA presenter(from the UAS integration office) was very confident that the Part 107 commercial operations rules (no manned aircraft pilot license required, written exam for UAS certificate) will likely come on June 2016. I know it's the government and deadlines have come and gone, but for what is worth; there may be light at the end of this tunnel.
  25. All, Here is a except from the NPRM 107 about the qualifications they are proposing for us to be certified and I am sure it will change before all is said and done knowing the Government. what you all think about this 78 See, e.g., 14 CFR 61.83(c). iii. Pilot Qualification The third proposed requirement to obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating would be to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test. To ensure that a pilot is qualified to control an aircraft, the FAA generally requires that the applicant for a pilot certificate demonstrate the following three things: (1) aeronautical knowledge; 100 (2) flight proficiency (i.e. that the applicant has the requisite piloting skills); and (3) aeronautical experience.79 For the reasons stated below, the FAA has determined that a flight proficiency demonstration and aeronautical experience should not be required for issuance of an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating. Instead, the FAA proposes to require that applicants for this certificate simply demonstrate their aeronautical knowledge by passing an initial knowledge test and then passing a recurrent knowledge test every 24 months thereafter. 79 See, e.g., 14 CFR 61.105-61.109. a. Flight Proficiency and Aeronautical Experience As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the FAA currently requires applicants for a pilot certificate to demonstrate that they have the requisite flight proficiency and aeronautical experience to properly control the flight of an aircraft. These existing regulations are intended to ensure that an aircraft can take off safely and arrive back on the ground: (1) with everyone on board the aircraft unharmed; (2) without harming people on the ground; and (3) without interfering with other users of the NAS. The first consideration for requiring a flight-proficiency demonstration and aeronautical experience (to prevent possible harm to people on board the aircraft) does not apply to small UAS operations because if a small unmanned aircraft was to crash, there would be no one on board the aircraft to be harmed by that crash. The second consideration for these requirements (to prevent harm to people on the ground) is addressed by the operating requirements of this rule, which limit the operation of the small unmanned aircraft to a confined area and require the operator to ensure that the aircraft will pose no 101 hazard to people on the ground if there is a loss of positive control. An operator does not necessarily need special operating skills or aeronautical experience to ensure that the aircraft will not pose a hazard to people on the ground. For example, if an operator plans to fly the small unmanned aircraft in a residential area, the operator could approach the people who live in that area prior to the operation, inform them of the details of the operation, and ask them to either stay out of the area or stay indoors during the operation. Doing this would ensure the safety of people on the ground but would not require the use of special operating skills or aeronautical experience. The third consideration for requiring a flight-proficiency demonstration and aeronautical experience (to avoid interference with other users of the NAS) is mitigated by the fact that a small unmanned aircraft is generally: (1) relatively easy to control; (2) highly maneuverable; and (3) much easier to terminate flight than a manned aircraft. Specifically, the control station for a small UAS is typically less complex than the interface used to control the flight of a manned aircraft. Many small UAS control stations currently consist of a basic two-joystick interface where one joystick controls the aircraft’s altitude and the other joystick controls the aircraft’s speed and direction. Other control stations utilize basic programs, such as smart-phone or tablet applications, to control the small unmanned aircraft. These programs are generally easy to learn and utilize. By contrast, the flight deck interface used to control a manned aircraft requires coordinated use of flight control inputs, interpretation of aircraft instrumentation, and onboard equipment operation. Some of this equipment includes communication and sophisticated navigation equipment. A manned-aircraft pilot must learn to properly use all of these flight-deck-interface components in order to control the flight of the manned aircraft. 102 In addition, because a small unmanned aircraft is highly maneuverable and easy to land, an operator who finds the small unmanned aircraft to be difficult to control would still be able to easily land the aircraft. For instance, in the two-joystick control station example provided above, the operator could land a small unmanned rotorcraft simply by pressing the altitude joystick down until the rotorcraft descends to the ground. By contrast, a manned aircraft pilot would need to go through a significantly more complex process that includes adjusting aircraft attitude with flight controls, reducing engine power, and scanning for other traffic, in order to land the aircraft on the ground after takeoff. There are two additional considerations for not requiring a flight proficiency demonstration or aeronautical experience for small UAS operators. First, unlike the pilot of a manned aircraft, the small UAS operator has the option to sacrifice the small unmanned aircraft in response to an emergency. Second, as discussed previously, proposed §§ 107.19(b) and 107.39 would require the operator to control the confined area of operation in order to ensure that the small unmanned aircraft will not pose a hazard to people on the ground in an emergency situation. Other operating rules proposed in this NPRM, such as the prohibition on operating within restricted areas without permission, the requirement to give way to manned aircraft, and the 500 feet AGL height limitation, would also mitigate the risk that a small unmanned aircraft interferes with other users of the NAS or poses a hazard to people on the ground. Because the considerations underlying the current flight proficiency demonstration and aeronautical experience requirements have, at best, a limited applicability to small UAS operations that would be subject to this proposed rule, the FAA proposes not to 103 require that applicants for an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating demonstrate flight proficiency or aeronautical experience. The FAA invites comments on whether these applicants should be required to demonstrate flight proficiency and/or aeronautical experience. If so, what flight proficiency and/or aeronautical experience requirements should the FAA impose? The FAA also invites comments as to the costs and benefits of imposing these requirements. b. Initial Aeronautical Knowledge Test Turning to the remaining component of airman certification (aeronautical knowledge), the FAA proposes to require that applicants for an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating pass an initial knowledge test to demonstrate that they have sufficient aeronautical knowledge to safely operate a small UAS. The FAA proposes a knowledge test rather than a required training course in order to provide applicants with flexibility as to the method that they use to acquire aeronautical knowledge. For example, some individuals who wish to become small UAS operators may also hold a pilot certificate, and those individuals would already have acquired extensive aeronautical knowledge in order to obtain a pilot certificate. Other individuals may be able to acquire the necessary knowledge through self-study. Still other individuals may choose to use a commercial training course designed to provide them with the knowledge necessary to pass the initial knowledge test. In any case, passage of a knowledge test would ensure that the applicant has demonstrated the aeronautical knowledge necessary to safely operate a small UAS regardless of how the applicant happened to acquire that knowledge. The FAA invites 104 comments as to whether other requirements, such as passage of an FAA-approved training course, should be imposed either instead of or in addition to the proposed knowledge test. c. Areas of Knowledge Tested on the Initial Knowledge Test This proposed initial knowledge test would test the following areas of knowledge. First, the knowledge test would test whether the applicant knows the regulations applicable to small UAS operations. By testing the applicant’s knowledge of the applicable regulations, the proposed initial knowledge test would ensure that the applicant understands what those regulations require and does not violate them through ignorance. Second, the initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands how to determine the classification of specific airspace and what the requirements are for operating in that airspace. To comply with the proposed airspace operating requirements, a small UAS operator would need to know how to determine the classification of the airspace in which he or she would like to operate. Third, the initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operations. The proposed initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant knows how to determine which areas are prohibited, restricted, or subject to a TFR in order to comply with the proposed flight restrictions in §§ 107.45 and 107.47. Fourth, the initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands how to clear an obstacle during flight. As discussed previously, proposed § 107.37(b) prohibits a person from creating a collision hazard with, among other things, a ground structure. The proposed initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands what types of 105 small unmanned aircraft maneuvers would create a collision hazard with a ground structure. Fifth, the initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands the effects of weather and micrometeorology (weather on a localized and small scale) on small unmanned aircraft operation. Knowledge of weather is necessary for safe operation of a small unmanned aircraft because, due to the light weight of the small unmanned aircraft, weather could have a significant impact on the flight of that aircraft. For example, space around buildings, smokestacks and trees, which is safe during clear weather, could easily become hazardous in a windy situation. Accordingly, the proposed initial knowledge test would test whether an applicant understands the effect that different types of weather have on small unmanned aircraft performance and how to react to that weather. The proposed knowledge test would also test whether an applicant has knowledge of official sources that he or she can use to obtain weather information and predictions in order to plan the operation of the small UAS. Sixth, the proposed knowledge test would test whether an applicant understands how to calculate the weight and balance of the small unmanned aircraft to determine impacts on performance. In order to operate safely, operators need knowledge and understanding of some fundamental aircraft performance issues, which include load balancing and weight distribution as well as available power for the operation. Seventh, the operator of a small UAS may be presented with an emergency situation during an operation. Accordingly, the proposed initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands how to properly respond to an emergency. 106 Eighth, the proposed initial knowledge test would test the applicant’s understanding of aeronautical decision-making/judgment and crew resource management. Even though this proposed rule would limit the flight of a small unmanned aircraft to operations at or below 500 feet AGL, some manned aircraft will still operate in the same airspace as the small unmanned aircraft. Accordingly, the small UAS operator would need to understand the aeronautical decision-making and judgment that manned-aircraft pilots engage in so that he or she can anticipate how the manned aircraft will react to the small unmanned aircraft. The small UAS operator would also need to understand how to function in a team environment (this is known as crew resource management) because this proposed rule would permit the use of visual observers to assist the small UAS operator and would place the operator in charge of those observers. Ninth, the proposed initial knowledge test would test the applicant’s understanding of airport operations and radio communication procedures, which would include standard terminology. While this proposed rule would limit small UAS operations in the vicinity of an airport, there are some instances where these operations would be permitted. For example, this proposed rule would allow a small unmanned aircraft to operate in Class B, C, or D airspace if the operator obtains prior ATC authorization. In order to operate safely near an airport, the operator would need to have knowledge of airport operations so that the small unmanned aircraft does not interfere with those operations. The operator would also need to have knowledge of radio communication procedures so that the operator can communicate with ATC. 107 Lastly, the proposed initial knowledge test would test whether the applicant understands the physiological effects of drugs and alcohol. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can significantly reduce an individual’s cognitive ability to process and determine what is happening around him or her. Accordingly, an operator needs to understand how drugs and alcohol can impact his or her ability to safely operate the small UAS.