Alan Perlman

1500+ Drone Pilots Speak Their Mind About U.S. Drone Regulations

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! Sharing results from a recent study we conducted on U.S. drone regulations. I know a lot of you took part, and I wanted to personally thank you for your engagement. I was blown away with how many responses we got and think the insights from the survey are pretty telling of where we're at right now.

Looking forward to your comments:

http://uavcoach.com/survey

drone-regulations-market-research-survey

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that's disconcerting.  More than half of the holders out there are already dismissing the rules that they have applied for.  What other rules do they think don't apply to them, or are too restrictive for their operations/egos? 

As a full time helicopter EMS pilot, I land and take off from practically any scene required to do my job safely in order to save lives.  I rely on other pilots to follow the rules in the airspace I fly in for me to concentrate on what we call a critical phase of flight.  My crew and I are my first priority.  The patient is second, which could be any of you 52% out there thinking that you are better than anyone else and don't think you should have a documented understanding of the airspace you so ignorantly insist on flying in.  I will abort any mission if it poses a safety hazard, including a UAV flying in my area......yes, I fly below 400' regularly, especially on a recon pass.  Those that say that I'm not allowed to....my retort is for you to get an understanding of what I am allowed to do by passing a knowledge test.  You'll find out that not only am I allowed to, but according to my GOM, I am expected to prior to landing in an unimproved area.

I agree that having an airman certificate is restrictive to fly a UAV commercially, but they are the rules at the moment.  Having an understanding of the NAS is the most important part of this rule.  You can still fly in Class Bravo airspace with a DJI geo-fenced unit, as the NFZ only surrounds the airport by about a mile or two.  Does that mean that you're going to go ahead and fly in that airspace if it's just outside the NFZ without approval?  Do you even know the restrictions of Class B compared to Class C,D etc?  Airspace is there for a reason.  Understanding the reason is part and parcel of complying with the rules governing that particular airspace. 

I know that this survey was posted outside this group and not all operators here represent the 52% of the result.  This is a message to all the 52% in and out of the group that think they are above the regulations.  The idea is to be more restrictive initially then relax as this industry grows and safety and trends are considered.  Please fly safe by following the rules, understanding the airspace you fly in and consider manned aircraft. 

End of rant.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice rant, On the matter of that 52% i believe the statistic is really portraying the assumed lack of carry over skill set at the controls and not the knowledge base of the NAS, airspace classification or other aeronautical/aviation concepts like lift, bernoulli, coanda, and other principles.

That being said i am one of the other 48% have a 333 pending and am working to get a sport level certificate prior to the sUAS certificate coming out (whenever that may be). Even without knowledge of class A, B, G and the differences between them most operators (especially those on this forum) would put down a uav at the first sound of a rescue or for that matter any other manned operation near them. Of course there are always those who think they are special and bad things don't ever happen to them, but that is unfortunately human nature and can only really be dealt with through education, outreach, and time. 

On another note since you have the flight experience from the other end, how hard is it for you to spot a UAV midflight while doing the first pass prior to landing? I am curious as to how easy it would be for you to spot, assess and determine imminent or perceived threat to an operation, seems like an added worry to an already stressful situation. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, I appreciate your comments.  As far as education goes, I think that's exactly what the FAA are trying to do by requiring an airman certificate until the UAS cert and Part 107 get finalized.  With an airman cert, you pass a knowledge test via computer with at least 70% correct.  About the only advantage I can see with actually flying an aircraft, is exposure and understanding to what is actually going on in the air.  By taking the test, you've proved to the FAA that you have an understanding of the regulations and areas such as weather. I agree that Bernoulli's principle, the internal workings of a piston engine and how to determine what your max out of ground hover altitude is beyond the scope of what a UAS operator needs to know to fly safely.  You do need to know what things like SVFR are though as the 333 limits you to VMC only.  Airspace classification has weather limitations to adhere to as well.

Anyway, I'm sure (hope) that most, if not all, the operators here would bring their craft down if there was a manned aircraft nearby.  It's the one bad egg that will hurt and most likely kill those onboard if one makes contact with an airplane and, to a greater degree, a helicopter.  A main rotor may withstand the impact (depending on the helicopter), but the tail rotor would disintegrate.

I don't think a UAS would be easy to spot, especially if it's below the aircraft.  It can easily blend into the objects on the ground.  I recently had a bird strike on the windshield.  Never saw it coming and it was black against a blue sky. 

Good luck with your sports certificate!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting study. Kinda sad in some ways. I'm all about following rules and guidelines but this stuff with the FAA is getting tedious. I have been flyingredients for over a year now and have had my bumps in the road. I have applied for my 333 and am going on 2 months past due of their "promised time". I have a family to support so am I just supposed to sit and wait for it while they tell me "don't call us we'll call you"? I've lost tons of work because I decided to be obedient and continue working while others surpass me, make money, and build business with no 333. Now...here I am still waiting, spent $500 to get it done and by the time I get it 107 will be in effect. What part of this is fair? Am I in the wrong for believing this? Whew! Sorry got a little heated... :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2016 at 7:10 PM, Industry Drone Systems said:

Interesting study. Kinda sad in some ways. I'm all about following rules and guidelines but this stuff with the FAA is getting tedious. I have been flyingredients for over a year now and have had my bumps in the road. I have applied for my 333 and am going on 2 months past due of their "promised time". I have a family to support so am I just supposed to sit and wait for it while they tell me "don't call us we'll call you"? I've lost tons of work because I decided to be obedient and continue working while others surpass me, make money, and build business with no 333. Now...here I am still waiting, spent $500 to get it done and by the time I get it 107 will be in effect. What part of this is fair? Am I in the wrong for believing this? Whew! Sorry got a little heated... :)

You're not alone...we're all pretty frustrated with how the timing has panned out. I truly believe that what goes around comes around. The fact that you've been waiting to operate in alignment with the FAA makes it clear that you have integrity in your business, which this industry needs a lot more of. I know you'll find success eventually.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FAA logo

KEEP YOUR DRONE AWAY FROM WILDFIRES

There are lots of great places to fly your drones, but over or near a wildfire isn’t one of them. In fact, drone operators who interfere with wildfire suppression efforts are subject to civil penalties of up to $27,500 and possible criminal prosecution.

Here’s why it’s important: Aerial firefighting aircraft, such as airtankers and helicopters, fly at very low altitudes, just a couple hundred feet above the ground and in the same airspace as hobby and recreational drones. This creates the potential for a mid-air collision that could seriously injure or kill wildland firefighters in the air or on the ground. 

As a result of unlawful drone operations near fires this year, fire managers have temporarily grounded all aerial firefighting aircraft on several occasions for safety reasons. Shutting down firefighting operations could cause wildfires to become larger and can threaten lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources.

The bottom line is “If You Fly, We Can’t."

Please fly responsibly – keep your drone away from wildfires.

 

JUST got this from the FAA - for those of you who aren't on their email list I would recommend it. We don't want to be a part of the news report about a 'curious drone pilot taking pictures of wildfire'. Just sayin'... 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.