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  • 18

The FAA wants you to have a pilot's license to fly commercial drones

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If you're planning to shoot your next movie using a drone, beware: you may need to meet some stringent conditions to stay in the Federal Aviation Administration's good books. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the agency will propose commercial drone rules that require a conventional pilot's license. (www.engadget.com) Ещё...

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joelwiley
joel wiley 4
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
birddog67
Lewis Eason 2
Next comes the requirement for communication !
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
How about a 15 minute requirement? That's how long it takes to get the basic flying skills down. Since the higher dollar machines ($1000 and up) literally fly themselves with compass and GPS control, you simply 'adjust' for direction of flight. Once you stop pressing a stick in any direction, it stops right in that spot - and hovers there until you make another 'adjustment'. It really IS that easy.
Again, the only thing that can be required in a license is the knowledge of where you can fly, and more importantly, where you CANNOT fly. And then, only those who care about the rules will pay attention - just like anything else. Laws are made to, well, you know the rest.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
as locks are to remove temptation from honest people.
staugbchbum
John Sparling 4
Placing an aerial object in shared airspace requires responsibility - so far for lawful purposes that would mean licensure of some kind by the entity that currently covers aerial maneuvers, namely the FAA. I'm neither pro nor con -'just pointing out the facts.
Donnacronin10
Donna Cronin 1
Hi John. I am friend of Debbie Randell was Watkins. If you know her and worked at CAA please email me donnacronin10@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks so much
ssobol
Stefan Sobol 4
The FAA needs to define "drone". Flying a DJI Phantom in my backyard or down the street uses no skills that are taught/required by the PTS for a pilot's license. Using a quadcopter to shoot for a movie also uses none of these skills. This requirement of having a license to fly a drone is only legitimate if there is a "drone" license that shows you have the appropriate skills to fly a drone. Right now, if you give a ATP rated captain a drone he will have no more knowledge of how to use than the random guy next door. His PPL will not magically confer the knowledge and skills required to operate any sort of drone.
MrTommy
MrTommy 4
Having to have a license to shoot movies with a drone is just about collecting money. There's virtually no taught skills to learn. I've had a Phantom for almost a year now. I use it 'recreationally' to enhance my RV trip photos and for having fun in general. About the only thing they can do to require a license is for me to show that I know where I should and should not fly. This used to come under the heading of common sense, but as we all know, there seems to be very little of that around in today's world. Living in Nevada provides me with almost endless areas to fly without worrying about airplanes, stadiums, power wires, and all the stuff that seems to get others in trouble. I was born in the 40's and feel lucky to have brought along some 'common sense'. Just sayin' . . .
preacher1
preacher1 1
preacher1
preacher1 2
There has got to be some middle ground somewhere. You are very correct on the operational end. I wouldn't know where to start with one and wouldn't want to anyway. I think everyone's main concern is for the drone operator to have situational awareness of what's going on around his aircraft rather than just assuming he is all alone because of a supposedly empty sky. It is one thing to be low and looking over an area but some of these things have been reported at 2000' +. I doubt there is line of sight there and I can't see a reason for one that high autonomous.
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 1
Well let me ask. Before we let Ken Young get away with claiming that the industry cannot police itself, has (for example) the AOPA written up a "drone safety" pamphlet, to be distributed with quadcopters that weigh more than (say) one pound? If even the AOPA (and it's their asses on the line) cannot be bothered to write a model pamphlet, I have question who (besides the FAA) really thinks this is a problem.
ftldave
Dave Underwood 1
Industry police itself??? Better ask Santa Claus for that to happen, Russ. You do live in the United States, right?
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 1
Yes. That happens all the time. When markets are free, problems are business opportunities. Let's take this problem for example. How might you solve this problem at a profit? You could look at the FAA rules and consult with the AOPA to find out how people could safely fly drones without interfering with aircraft. Then you could write it up in a pretty "Fly Safe" pamphlet, and offer it for sale to drone manufacturers. Obviously THEY don't want to be regulated by the FAA because that will shrink their market.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
I think it a matter of awareness of where to rather than how to fly, in this case, your DJI Phantom. To get an amateur radio license, you need to demonstrate an understanding of what you are doing and how it can affect others. Driver training is more than here is the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake, and (anachronistically) the clutch. "We don' need no steenkin' badges" isn't going to cut it.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 3
If you plan to fly one of these things anywhere in a populated area, it needs a transponder or a maximum ceiling. A controlled RC event is different than flying your drone around (sometimes autonomously). The reports of drones near final approaches to airports scares the s**t out of me. You don't need a midair with a 777 to bring you down. A drone will do it very nicely. These wantabe drone pilots need to have an understanding about what damage can be caused. They just can't be allowed to fly around randomly--that's for birds and we know what a bird will do to an airplane. Technology is advancing way tooooo fast. Regulation--inevitable. (Can't regulate the birds).
devsfan
ken young 4
<Licensure by government authority becomes inevitable once the participants in the newly licensed activity are discovered to be unable to police themselves.
In other words, drone operators who do stupid and hazardous stuff while operating, ruin it for responsible and safe operators..
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 0
It is inevitable that some drone operators will do stupid things. Just as it is inevitable that people will do stupid things without owning a drone. Why single out the drone for opprobrium? Why not require a license to leave your house and go into the public space where you might interact with other people?
plow675984
Peter Low 3
It certainly seems that some people are getting a bit aerated over this possible issue. No one ever saw flying model planes or helicopters as a threat. Petrol model planes can fly for over an hour on a tank of fuel and fly higher then 5000 feet and much, much faster then a drone being discussed. Not too mention not as manoeuvrable with wide turning circles.

A funny old world sometimes
skylloyd
skylloyd 2
It will become as the concealed weapons permit, responsible people will have one, criminals won't.Responsible drone owners will comply, people that don't care, well, you know...
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
staugbchbum
John Sparling 2
Add a mandatory transponder sqawking a "drone code", mandatory in commercial drone construction. Disabling the transponder circuit would not allow flight. The added weight in microcircuitry would be negligible.
preacher1
preacher1 1
That would be a good start but with no other regulation, that could conceivably give it right of way over a 747 on final if it were flying in Class B off the runway end somewhere
staugbchbum
John Sparling 1
I agree. Licensure for a "drone rating" will have to include the privileges and limitations to be defined for that rating.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Something patterned loosely after a PPL, but Drone time could not go toward 1500 hrs. It could be a new employment path.
locomoco
M.F. LaBoo 1
The added weight for a sufficiently powerful transmitter, however, would not be negligible.
intdln
Dennis Noah 1
A commercial ticket plus instrument rating is necessary with appropriate medical certuficate. These things are a danger if flown too close to any airport. Imagine ingesting a drone into an engine while on final. In the 1970's in uncontrolled airports I hit a couple of box kites during a final with a low ceiling. I thought that was bad but no damage to plane. A jet engine injesting a drone would not only cause catastrophic failure but shrapnel. A dangerous situation.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Seems to me that's a tad of overkill although that may be what it takes to get their arms around this and make folks see that this is serious stuff. This will surprise a lot of people though as they look overhead and see all that empty sky and wonder what all the fuss is about,
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
It IS overkill. The main problem here, as I see it, is the usual idiots that get into a hobby or business with NO common sense, and quickly start to ruin it for all the rest who exercise good, common sense and endanger no one.
edgeair
edgeair 1
What kind of pilots license would be required? Would my private pilots license suffice under this proposal, or would I need a commercial pilots license? A CPL or PPL would be overkill in my opinion, but some form of certification needs to be put in place. I don't want to hit a drone with my Cessna just because someone is flying a drone for fun and is completely ignorant to how the airspace system works, yet I want the ability for me and my friends to fly a small drone around my house. Its a tough balance we need to find.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Probably a UAPPL (Unmanned Aerial Piloting Pilot License) with another attendant administrative bureaucracy to administrate it. Did I mention the license fees to cover administrative costs? With true administrative efficiencies thrown in. ;-)
captainjman
Jason Feldman 3
Not to mention usage fees for airspace access.

Look, the reason why they had to do this was simple - just look on youtube and see what some of these morons are doing. The LATEST one I saw was a guy flying through a layer of overcast to the sunny clear skies above.... some 2000 feet up!

These guys MUST Be taught basic airspace knowledge and set forth rules of where, when, etc you can fly. With drones that can fly long distances well beyond visual range, we aren't talking about remote controlled aircraft anymore. And all it takes is one of these drones with a RED EPIC and TAREDEK transmitter on an OCTOCOPTER with a PL Lens coming through the windscreen of a plane, or into the engine to really put some good ol' blood on the runway.

I am all for freedom and liberty, but just look at how these morons are behaving and it's clear that something has to change so that these idiots can be stopped.... sot hat they actually are breaking laws so they can be prosecuted.

IF THEY ARE SHARING OUR AIRSPACE - THEY NEED TO KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT HOW TO STAY SAFE
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Sharing airspace takes situational awareness. Situation awareness requires awareness. That may be where it breaks down. Think drone operator trying for a Darwin award.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, they look up there and see that "EMPTY" sky.
Mheckaman
M Heckaman 1
If the drone pilots do not need a license, then why would anyone need a license? I am professionally licensed in 2 countries, and had to hop through many hoops to obtain, certify and re-train and re-certify for years to maintain my privilege to make a living in the air. As a minimum, commercial instrument or equivalent to operate in the national airspace.
A review of FAR Pt 1 may be in order.
Operate, with respect to aircraft, means use, cause to use or authorize to use aircraft, for the purpose (except as provided in §91.13 of this chapter) of air navigation including the piloting of aircraft, with or without the right of legal control (as owner, lessee, or otherwise).

Operational control, with respect to a flight, means the exercise of authority over initiating, conducting or terminating a flight.
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 1
Are we talking about the same thing? My little ladybird quadcopter weighs about ten ounces. I can launch and land it on my hand. I'm supposed to get a PPL for this??
birddog67
Lewis Eason 1
Now, what about a requirement for two-way communication. Lets open the box.
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
Gee, I've never thought about 'communicating' with my Phantom. I thought the joysticks were doing that.
mikemeyers97
Michael Meyers 1
To pilot a drone, you should at least have knowledge of national airspace regulations. If drones stay in G and E airspace, it would nearly eliminate cases of near-miss on take-off or final. Coms requirement or possibly a special drone flight plan could be options for flying in B or C airspace
preacher1
preacher1 1
Actually, a permit to the operator outlining are and altitude parameter and either NOTAM or TFR covering same would be a start, although a whole bunch of extra work but I don't think one size is going to fit all.
plow675984
Peter Low 1
It is an area that certainly could do with some form of regulation, but saying that you have to be a fully qualified pilot to fly one on a commercial basis is going just a little too far.

Here, in the UK, you have to get the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approval before you can undertake a commercial drone flight.

I think that all commercial drone pilots should have to demonstrate that they have full competence in flying these machines, together with a very good commercial insurance cover in case of any accident. There should also be an observer (who should also have some level of training) with the pilot at all times who can observe the area being flown, advising the pilot of any possible problems/obstructions, This will then leave the pilot free to concentrate on flying the craft.
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 0
Why does commerce have anything to do with it? If you fly your airplane into a Phantom, the amount of damage caused is completely independent of the professional/amateur reason for the Phantom's flight.
k9wrangler
Karl Scribner 1
The genie is already out of the bottle, a recent article I saw told of the thousands of 'drones' with cameras being sold including a new entry into the market by camera maker GoPro.

I can see the need for some sort of responsible operation but question the ability to institute it.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Generally solution to a man made problem lies in man himself ! So I believe. As often said, necessity is the mother invention. As recent as about 110 years ago it was said, flying is for the angels. And this statement is attributed to Priestly father of the Wright brothers !
So where there is a problem there is a solution. We only need to have faith in human ingenuity.
dc8pete
Pete Sachs 1
I would like a DJI VIsion plus to record me launching my powered paraglider ( no lic req part 103) but your not supposed to film near an airport although I am an Equity member at our air park. Wonder how that goes over with the FAA?
Pileits
Pileits 1
What if as a licensed pilot I chose to fly NON-commercial drones.
mwilliams78
Mike Williams 1
So does this count as a drone (and who would need to hold the license)? http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-11-24/bad-eagle-gopro-camera-houston-texans-stadium-video-challenger-american-eagle-foundation?eadid=SOC%2Ffb%2FSNMain
MrTommy
MrTommy 1
Probably not, since the eagle goes where it wants. At least the 'drones' have some sort of control from the ground. So far.
Windval
Rob Kemperman 1
Does that includes all rc pilots? Grazy.
Rules by law for safety reasons ok.
Like only flying in non populated areas or open field.
A second person standby to watch the sky and landing area is a must.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
A very timely decision in the wake of commercialization of drone flying. After all safety factors in both kinds of flying are same. It'll be however interesting to see how passengers get served. By robots ? Androids shaped and dressed like sexy babes ? ;-p
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, they got to make a distinction between a drone and just a regular RC craft, but some type of licensure is going to have to be before someone takes controls. Another employment path?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
They all need regs. For years a national RC event was held in metropolis, il. I have seen jet models fly there that do over 200 mph and models that weigh 50+ lbs. In the wrong hands, flown carelessly, they are clearly a hazard. I will say this sanctioned event was well run, with airspace limits and notams in place.
ssobol
Stefan Sobol 1
Big RC meets with large or fast airplane models usually notify the local FAA and may get some sort of permit. This also gets the meet into the NOTAM system to notify airplane pilots in the area. This does not mean that the model plane pilots are in anyway licensed by the FAA to fly at the meet.
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 0
Wait, model airplanes aren't regulated by the FAA? Why are they talking about regulating quaddies, then?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Drone flying may be considered as a 2-in-1 job. An average pilot concentrates on flying and keeps general vigil around with a major support from ATC on the ground. And the ATC is responsible for combining navigation with vigilance over the sky. But the drone flier will have to be responsible and hence proficient for both.
And this will call for a special regime of discipline and law. Just the way it happened with flying machines before and after the WW II and so on.

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