hellohello

Is this a FAA violation even if having the license?

Recommended Posts

Why do you ask?  

I have no idea what the airspace is but for the sake of discussion let’s say that it’s class G.

In Class G it’s not illegal to fly over buildings or cars with people in them as long as they’re not moving.  From the altitude he is flying and the wide angle lens being used, there’s plenty of space to fly over buildings but appear to be over the street.   If the UAV crosses over the street and there’s a break in traffic or it’s at a standstill, that would be legal as well.  

Is it legal, probably not.  But in the US your innocent until “proven” guilty beyond a “reasonable” doubt.  The impimentation of the Part107 rules is sufficiently vague enough it would be difficult to get a conviction.  

Im not defending these flights one way or the other, I’m just pointing out it might not be as illegal as it appears.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

Why do you ask?  

I have no idea what the airspace is but for the sake of discussion let’s say that it’s class G.

In Class G it’s not illegal to fly over buildings or cars with people in them as long as they’re not moving.  From the altitude he is flying and the wide angle lens being used, there’s plenty of space to fly over buildings but appear to be over the street.   If the UAV crosses over the street and there’s a break in traffic or it’s at a standstill, that would be legal as well.  

Is it legal, probably not.  But in the US your innocent until “proven” guilty beyond a “reasonable” doubt.  The impimentation of the Part107 rules is sufficiently vague enough it would be difficult to get a conviction.  

Im not defending these flights one way or the other, I’m just pointing out it might not be as illegal as it appears.  

 

So you think Part107 covers this kind of flight over crowded street?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I’m pointing out is your assuming the drone is violating the rule from watching the video.  

It can be very deceptive viewing pictures or video especially from that altitude.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Av8Chuck Well put sir! 

In addition to the 'over people' issue, did the pilot also go to various rooftops to get each shot and maintain VLOS?  

I would like to hope/think it's being done within the proper rules as folks who break them just make it harder for everyone else, but I agree with your assessment, it's difficult to confirm/deny 100% with the footage alone. A look at the black-box data would be the way to go to know for sure. 

It's impressive footage, and if s/he is doing it by the book, it's even more impressive 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be clear, I’m not suggesting this operator did this legally, just that there’s really no way to know from just watching the video.  

I think a more interesting conversation would be how would you do this sort of aerial, safely and legally?  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/17/2019 at 9:10 AM, hellohello said:

This guy flying over crowded Manhattan streets and buildings.  His channel has many other videos like this.

 

These are some amazing shots .... wow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would assume that the altitude restrictions have been exceeded here at some time or another.  Count the number of floors on the buildings he/she is even with and multiply by 11.  (I know about flying over and around obstructions (buildings) of 400 feet away)  The footage is outstanding, so now I'm fairly certain others will now do these types of flights in cities everywhere.  Sooner or later there will be a problem and the reaction will be to ban drones in cities...See Denver, Colorado.

bf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't consider myself an expert on the laws, but I do have my part 107 and the FAA does say you cannot fly a small UAS over anyone not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle. If you do a little research into approved waivers, you'll see they are also adamant you can't fly over moving vehicles unless with approval on a closed set. 

You can watch the footage and make your own determination as to whether these rules were broken. 

Could it be done legally by FAA rules? You bet. You can get pretty close to moving traffic or people and not fly directly overhead (thank you FAA for having such a vague rule, BTW!). That camera can be very deceiving. You can be right on the edge of people or traffic and not fly over them, but it looks like you are right on top of them.

I don't think the FAA has the people power to dissect every video out there and follow up. I also don't think it's going to be an issue for long as we see the rules relax for flying over people and at night. I do wish they'd ease up on flying over cars though. With safety measures like parachutes etc. we should be able to get approvals for that as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Bill Fearheller said:

The footage is outstanding, so now I'm fairly certain others will now do these types of flights in cities everywhere. 

People have been doing this for several years with few incidents. 

2 hours ago, Joey Ambrose said:

With safety measures like parachutes etc. we should be able to get approvals for that as well.

Interestingly, I don’t know the company that manufactured the parachute system demonstrated at Commercial Drone Expo, but they were saying they were the only system “certified” by the FAA to fly over people, it failed big time.

Most parachute systems don’t work.  This is kind of a red-neck market survey but if they did you’d see thousands of YouTube videos popping off parachutes.  Most of the YouTube videos are from the manufacturer of parachutes being used in “ideal” situations.  There are too many variables for this to work consistently, repeatably and safely and yet the FAA appears to have certified some of these systems.  Kind of shows you what the FAA actually know about drones and how to use them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting argument.  FEW INCIDENTS!?  If I fly my drone under 400 feet altitude at the end of the active at Jefferson Co. Airport, there will be few incidents.  Most aircraft are more than 400 feet in the air by that time.  Should I do it?

As far as getting approvals are concerned, I didn't see in the article that permission was sought.  I thought that was what we were talking about.  If approval is received, then there is no controversy.

I would be interested in parachute systems and a light for operation after dark, but I'd run out of places to put them on my Mavic 2 pro.  I think I will stay as I am and fly legal as much as it pains me to do so.

Be safe out there and have fun,

bf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill Fearheller said:

Interesting argument.  FEW INCIDENTS!?  If I fly my drone under 400 feet altitude at the end of the active at Jefferson Co. Airport, there will be few incidents.  Most aircraft are more than 400 feet in the air by that time.  Should I do it?

If it’s class G then you can do that.  If it is then you need permission either by filing for a waiver or LAANC.  

No one is suggesting people don’t follow the rules, what we’re debating is determining compliance of the rules from the video.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad...didn't sound like that.   For clarity, you (collective) are saying you cannot determine that any rules were broken from looking at the video...I'm saying (not collective) that the pilot knows if rules were broken, and just because you can't be caught or convicted, doesn't make it a smart thing to do and it reflects badly on all drone pilots.  It will also sooner or later cause the rules to be more restrictive or bans to be imposed in more places than they are now.

Guess we are both right...'nuf said.

bf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are these shots legal?  Are they the type of shots that reflects poorly on our community?

 

5 hours ago, Bill Fearheller said:

It will also sooner or later cause the rules to be more restrictive or bans to be imposed in more places than they are now.

Taking these kind of shots will result in more regulations?

AE0F79AB-84C1-4842-B593-020CB3B6721D.jpeg

66BCB708-8EEF-4E64-8CDA-F36CDFBEE0BB.jpeg

8CF6AFA4-1081-4AB7-ABFB-4E17A0612364.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could this footage have been captured legally? I think in a different city, it would be more likely. But in New York City, the chances are a lot lower.

Something that hasn't come up yet in this discussion in response to the video over New York City is the city's own set of strict drone laws. There are multiple city codes that ban drones in NYC (see Drone Laws New York). 

There are ways to fly in cities/populated areas safely without breaking FAA regulations. However, New York City in particular doesn't offer much flexibility considering their own local laws: 

New York City—City Restriction // 2017

This city restriction declares that drones are illegal to fly in New York City, and advises anyone who sees a drone being flown to call 911.

Of course, that opens another can of worms regarding whether or not local governments should be able to create their own laws about the airspace when that authority is reserved soley for the FAA. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a drone flyer, I cannot do anything about these laws imposed by local government by myself.  We as a group need to find a politician at the federal level that will go to bat for us.  Does anyone know who that might be?

bf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Isabella | UAV Coach said:

Of course, that opens another can of worms regarding whether or not local governments should be able to create their own laws about the airspace when that authority is reserved soley for the FAA. 

Not much of a debate.  The ONLY agency authorized by congress to regulate airspace in the US is the FAA.  The ONLY way the FAA can create a rule is through the NPRM process.  Even NY has to go to the FAA to restrict airspace.  Doesn’t mean they can’t do it but if they don’t go through the NPRM process then the rule is illegal.  Rules can not be arbitrary or capricious. 

That’s why we have a constitution. 

1 hour ago, Bill Fearheller said:

We as a group need to find a politician at the federal level that will go to bat for us.  Does anyone know who that might be?

Your right having a politician that was an evangelist for commercial operators would be a plus, but politicians come and go and change their vote depending on public sentiment.  I think what we need more is an organization that represents our civil liberties as it relates to our right to choose a career.  The FAA is prohibited from regulating commerce. It’s why they’ve lost all the law suites related to what defined the commercial application of UAVs.  

We started http://www.acuas.org in 2015, about the same time as the Commercial Drone Alliance and a host of other organizations claiming to represent the interest of commercial operators.  Most represented manufacturers, trade shows, and manned aviation interests.  

 

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.