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Next question, waivers.  I guess these are on an as needed basis?  You don't get a waiver that lets you fly above crowds from now on because you've proven that you can fly safely?  What about the job that pops up and a client needs you to do a fly over of the homecoming football game that is tomorrow night?  No way to plan for that?

Jake

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True, there is not a way to plan for that. Flying over crowds is always a safety concern. If you are flying a quadcopter and you lose only on engine the bird it coming down. That is always THE concern, safety. An octacopter doesn't have the concern of losing one engine, lose one and you can still get in on the ground safely. Still bird strike or a battery problem and you have a huge problem with either.

With waivers you need to prove you can make the flight safely. A homecoming football game (using your example) is going to need multiple waivers, flying over a crowd is just one of them, you will also need a waiver to fly at night as most games are at night. 

Now in some instances you can get a waiver that lasts a year for flights in a certain area (usually a mile radius) most of the time, this is a fly zone in controlled airspace. 

I know it's a pain in the bottom, however, while you may be an accomplished pilot with hundreds of hours under your belt the FAA did not require a flight test to get an UAV certification. They have no idea if you know how to fly, just that you know what was on the test. 

I shot the opening of a football game a few weeks ago. Luckily, sunset was late enough for me to get the shots I needed. However, I flew over the baseball field and tennis courts and kept the UAV 70 to 100 yards away from any people. The higher I flew the greater the distance I moved away from the crowd. Like I said, a bird strike on one prop of the four and that thing is coming down and not straight.

Sorry, I don't have a better answer. Hopefully as the waiver system gets better and we understand it more it will get easier. 

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On 9/6/2016 at 0:10 PM, Marcel Graham said:

Unfortunately, they are still saying 90 days. But if you can get it for a year kinda worth it. 

The FAA might want to expedite these waivers a little. A lot of clients don't want to wait 3 months to even have their project started.  Most likely resulting in operators just launching on the hopes of not getting caught. My last two jobs, I just rented a helicopter and hired a photog. Instant approval into the Delta airspace. 

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5 minutes ago, hav3atps said:

The FAA might want to expedite these waivers a little. A lot of clients don't want to wait 3 months to even have their project started.  Most likely resulting in operators just launching on the hopes of not getting caught. My last two jobs, I just rented a helicopter and hired a photog. Instant approval into the Delta airspace. 

I tried the "losing jobs and $$" line with the locals. FAA hands are tied  by Washington big wheels. I wrote to my state senator and got the staff to call me back and said they will look into it. Not holding my breath...

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2 hours ago, Uaviator53 said:

I tried the "losing jobs and $$" line with the locals. FAA hands are tied  by Washington big wheels. I wrote to my state senator and got the staff to call me back and said they will look into it. Not holding my breath...

FSDOs are pretty much puppets anyway. Have you tried calling OK city? To be honest, I haven't. The other thought is maybe just calling the tower and working with them directly. They seem to be a pretty good bunch.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/9/2016 at 8:56 AM, Uaviator53 said:

I tried the "losing jobs and $$" line with the locals. FAA hands are tied  by Washington big wheels. I wrote to my state senator and got the staff to call me back and said they will look into it. Not holding my breath...

Curious if you heard anything back about this waiver issue. Getting ready to say the hell with the waivers. Quickly losing a business at the cost of doing it the right way.

Edited by hav3atps
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"Thank you for submitting your airspace authorization request to operate under Part 107.41. The FAA is making every effort to process airspace authorization requests as quickly as possible.  Air Traffic Control facilities are currently identifying those areas where authorizations can be approved without adversely impacting the safety of manned flight, developing and implementing local procedures to support Part 107 operations, and training the Air Traffic Control workforce.

 

As a result, Air Traffic facilities and UAS operators will begin to receive approved authorizations according to the schedule below:

 

•             Class D & E Surface Area                           October 3, 2016        

 

•             Class C                                                           October 31, 2016      

 

•             Class B                                                           December 5, 2016     

 

Unfortunately, the airspace authorization request you submitted has a start date prior to the dates listed above or was not submitted within enough time to allow proper processing (applications should be submitted to allow 90 days for processing). Therefore, we will not be able to process your request in time to support your planned operation.

 

If you still require an airspace authorization, please resubmit your request with a start date after the dates listed above.  We apologize for this inconvenience as we improve and streamline the Part 107 airspace authorization process. 

 

Respectfully,

 

Air Traffic Organization Emerging Technologies, AJV-115"

 

 

Not very helpful at all, is it. The job is long gone.....

 

 

Edited by Uaviator53
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