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B Ervin

New FAA Reauthorization Act and Educators

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We've had discussions about Part 107 and educators.   Is AUVSI, AMA or anyone working to deal with the rulemaking in regards to educators trying to bring safe and capable 107 pilots into the system and allowing them to fly in carefully controlled spaces outside of gyms, classrooms or cafeterias.  Flying inside is good for basic skills but flying outside in the environment is important for building skills as well.

If you've read the latest thread about High School educators and drones.  You'll know my problem!   My school is in Class D airspace, and in the LAANC Zero Altitude safe zone. 

About a week after the Act was signed... I got a cancellation notice on my waiver request, (because of "Equipage" what ever that means) with no options that do me any good.   I'll attach the email from the FAA and maybe someone else can interpret it, but I have to send it to my personal email so.... maybe tomorrow.

Edited by B Ervin

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Unfortunately there are some harsh realities for everyone with this reauthorization bill.  

There has been discussion about the difference between a part 107 UAV operator and a pilot.  The reason that distinction is relevant in context of aviation education is because the barrier to entry is a one week class and $150 or so fee for an operator and tens of thousands of dollars for a pilot.  There’s a lot of talk about safety and regulations but how relevant is any of that with a one week online coarse and a less than two hour knowledge exam?

seriously, you learn a little about communication but your not required to talk to anyone, you learn a bit about airspace and weather, but how much value is there for the FAA really to bring in more 107 operators?  If there was a lot to be gained by a more comprehensive training program then I’m sure organizations like AUVSI, AMA, and AOPA would be more engaged.  But it’s all lip-service.  

Generally I think operators feel a sense of accomplishment passing the 107, but I certainly didn’t feel any safer as a result of the accomplishment.  

At the moment the real value to UAV education has little to do with flying and everything to do with STEM, where hopefully that education would lead to manned aviation opportunities.  If you see my point, then the FAA’s stance in training 107s makes sense. 

Sorry it’s late and I’m really tired.  I will probably regret reading this later..

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

There has been discussion about the difference between a part 107 UAV operator and a pilot.  The reason that distinction is relevant in context of aviation education is because the barrier to entry is a one week class and $150 or so fee for an operator and tens of thousands of dollars for a pilot.

I recently had a conversation with an FAA airspace authorization agent in DC.  He's been working at the FAA for many years.  I had requested an authorization to fly below the downwind leg of a surface class E airport (in a 0' grid on the AFM) where the airspace authority is the Navy. The operation is a fairly important inspection for the city.  In my discussion with him I told him that if I were flying the downwind leg at 1300' agl, (which I have hundreds of times) and there was a uas flying at 50' agl, it would absolutely be no factor.  He candidly replied that he agreed but the Navy would not allow it based upon the low training required for part 107.  If there were a distinction for also being a current part 61 pilot, then he thought they would approve it. But there is not.  He said the regs are the regs. But the fact remains that the over all situational awareness of operating in the NAS, especially near airports, is much less with a part 107 cert than any other pilot certification.

Maybe eventually the FAA will add higher levels of uas certs so that agencies, like the Navy in this case, can have more confidence in granting approvals. Or, better yet, just writing regs for operations without the need for individual approvals at all.

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