333 Exemption process

Discussion in 'Flight Regulations' started by MIke Magee, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    If the NPRM comes to pass, you will not need to keep your present pilot's license current unless you want to. For sUAS you'll just have to re-take the FAA-approved knowledge test every two years.

    Andy
     
  2. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Hey Gary.

    I got a Private Pilot license. I started with King School online for the ground school portion and then went to a "live in" or immersion style flight training school. It is a lot of time and money - but I figured it best to just block it off and do it all at once as soon as possible. I had to take a few days off for some family commitments, but in general got the flight portion done in about 3 weeks and passed my check ride Wednesday afternoon.

    I have been talking to a few other forum members about the 333 process, and it appears that a variety of people / companies are getting their exemptions and then immediately violating them by not have a licensed pilot at the controls. I decided it best not to get the exemption only to violate it on the first flight - figuring that FAA violations to their expressed terms of approval might not go over well for future FAA dealings (either 333 or the other rules we get someday). Having only been a pilot for 2 days, I have not had a chance to ask around for how the FAA handles violations to their rules / terms of approvals, etc - but I am guessing the people out there advertising that they are "fully in compliance with the FAA" and are not having pilots at the controls will find themselves in some trouble sooner or later.

    A couple of the other instructors at the school I went to had also recently had multi rotor guys as students and echoed the same comments - that is what got me thinking about this and looking into the people I know of that have 333 exemptions and seeing if they were registered in the pilot database.

    I told another forum member that there might be a demand for skilled multi rotor pilots who are also FAA licensed pilots to go fly for some of the thousands of people who either have or are getting 333 exemptions.

    But thats just my 2 cents - like I said, I have only been a pilot for 2 days.
     
  3. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Michael the FAA has a 'naughty' file. As a licensed pilot if you have a run in with an inspector they generally want to keep the fuss to minimum. A self correction attitude goes a long way and generally you will get an admonishment and note to your 'file'. Something more serious or a combative attitude can result in a formal violation and lead up to and including a lifetime revocation of any pilot privileges.

    So if they follow precedent those that have an incident that comes to their attention, and have a 333 in place, and worst case no licensed PIC on site, well the outcome might be grim, both for the 333 holder and the person at the controls.

    Good for you in getting you PPL. Be safe out there.
     
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  4. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Thanks Gary...I figured it would be something pretty serious - I would certainly encourage other people to jump in and get a pilots license.
    In the big picture it is not a huge time commitment and the financial part should pay for itself with the work you end up doing. For me, it was the means to get my 333 and properly abide by the terms of it - but in the end it was really a great experience to learn to fly. I was very surprised how easy it is for a pilot to rent a plane - not much more complicated than having a driver license and renting a car.
     
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  5. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

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    Mike,

    At the flight school I went to they called immersion style flight training "crash courses" because thats the caliber of pilots they produced. I thought about going that route also but got talked out of it. That said, everybody has different capacities for learning but in general, cramming for a test always leads to poor long term retention. It's important to have rock solid proficiency, especially if you only end up flying once a month down the road. Not picking on your choice - just food for thought for others thinking of getting their PPL.
     
  6. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    I understand the reasoning from the FAA to require UAV pilots to have a pilots license, even if the intention is not to fly regular planes, only UAV's, there is so much to really understand about the shared airspace with potentially other aircraft and the consequences from an accident to property and people on the ground, or worse an air collision,
    but I can see many having their 333 exceptions approved and the person in control (PIC) not having at least a sport pilot license
     
  7. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    Hi Michael i congratulations on your pilots license am in the proses to find a flight school in my area, and found that many don't offer the sport pilot course, they offer the full private pilot, the ones that offer it are a little far for a daily commute I wanted to ask you just to compare.
    1 did you completed yours in the minimum hours require for a sports pilot or you endd up adding more hours
    2 what was the end cost in your area did you get a package
    3 on the plane did your clock started once in the air or the taxi time and air time together
    4 small airport or larger airport
    5 how long did it take
    thanks
     
  8. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Jose, I went to Tailwheels. They are in Lakeland, FL and offer a "dorm" style accommodation and have people learning to fly there from all over the world. The package is a fixed price so you are not worrying about how many hours it takes you to be ready for your check ride. I did the ground school in advance of arriving there and was ready to take my written test upon arrival. From there you just learn about flying every day. Getting a private pilot license requires a minimum of 40 hours (and a bunch of other requirements based on how that time is split up - solo time, cross country time, night flying, etc). I had my check ride scheduled in advance and had not met the minimum requirements when it was approaching and had to postpone a little. I ended up being ready between 40 and 50 hours - would have been closer to 40 but the plane I had originally been flying was not going to be available for my check ride so I switched planes and took some extra time to get comfortable in that one. Lakeland is a small Class D airport and the tower understands there are a lot of student pilots. I think that was helpful too. I did my training in a Cessna 172 - the cost was around 11 or 12 thousand (plus headset and any other gadgets you end up buying). Accommodations were about $300 a week.

    Here is a shot of the plane after the first day I flew...still had all its parts attached.
    IMG_1984-1.JPG
     
  9. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    James,

    I can appreciate your point. This style of learning would certainly not be for everyone. I had done all the ground school in advance so I was not cramming to learn anything for a written test. I was also surprised that you only need 70% to pass. I got a 93 and was irritated I did not get them all right (although I can prove one answer was correct - right out of the PHAK - my instructor told me not to worry about it). I did not plan to fly a lot - I had not really planned to fly much at all when I decided to get the license; it was mostly to meet the 333 application requirements. Since learning, I have had a complete change of opinion on this topic. I love to fly airplanes and will be making arrangements locally to rent and fly planes on a regular basis. Certainly I will need to stay current for carrying passengers, etc but getting up there and flying is a lot of fun.

    As it relates to others considering getting their pilots license to meet the 333 requirements, I would recommend approaching the task of learning the information you need like your life depends on it - because it does. Not just studying to memorize. You will understand that the first time you fly a cross country solo as a student.
     
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  10. Jonathan Ross

    Jonathan Ross Member

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    Hi All,

    I am just curious why do I know people that have their 333's and do not have a pilots license I seem to be reading in this topic that you have to have a pilots liceanse to obtain a 333. I thought the 333 was an exemption from needing a pilots license thus the term " Exemption ". Thanks for any info this is all good stuff.

    Cheers,
    J
     
  11. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Hi Jonathan.
    As far as I understand it, you do not need a license to GET the 333, you need a PIC with a license to USE it.

    Best,m

     
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  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The exemption is from certain parts of Part 91 of the FARs -- but not an exemption for the operator needing a current pilots certificate.

    Andy.
     
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  13. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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  14. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Even more specifically (from the same link as above):

    Do I need a pilot's license to petition for exemption under Section 333?
    A. By law, the FAA cannot authorize an aircraft operation in the National Airspace without a certificated pilot in command of the aircraft (Title 49 of United States Code § 44711). Exemptions granted in accordance with Section 333 carry the following requirement regarding the pilot in command (PIC) of the aircraft:
    Under this grant of exemption, a PIC must hold either an airline transport, commercial, private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate. The PIC must also hold a current FAA airman medical certificate or a valid U.S. driver's license issued by a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, a territory, a possession, or the Federal government. The PIC must also meet the flight review requirements specified in 14 CFR § 61.56 in an aircraft in which the PIC is rated on his or her pilot certificate.
    More information about obtaining pilot certification is available at:
    http://www.faa.gov/pilots/.

     
  15. Jonathan Ross

    Jonathan Ross Member

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    Thank you Mike. The part that is baffling to me is if you have a pilots license why do you need a 333. I thought the 333 was an " exemption " for flying UAV's without a license. Why the term exemption? Thanks don't mean to beat this thing but I am a bit confused.

    J
     
  16. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Jonathan: As a private pilot there are a lot of rules that you would break by flying a multi rotor for hire. For example here are a couple easy ones:

    1. A private pilot can not "earn money" from his flying. The flying is only recreational - small caveats to this, but in general this is the rule. So to get paid to fly multi rotors you need an exemption to that rule.

    2. When flying, you have certain minimum height rules you must follow. Flying a multi rotor at 200 feet you would be well below the minimum height above ground / obstacles, etc. So, you need an exemption to that rule.

    Those are just a couple of the really easy and simple examples. If you look up the regs and read a handful of 333 exemption requests / approvals you will pick up very quickly on what is being asked for (relating to pilots asking for exemptions to the rules they are currently bound by). At the end of the day, the FAA is simply granting pilots the ability to fly small UAVs outside of the basic rules for flying airplanes. They are not granting exemptions for NON-PILOTS to fly multi rotors or small UAVs (or anything) in the airspace.

    Hope that makes a little more sense for you.
     
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  17. Jonathan Ross

    Jonathan Ross Member

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    Michael,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this for me, really appreciate your efforts sir.

    Cheers,
    J
     
  18. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    No problem...until you dig in, it can be a bit confusing.
     
  19. Jonathan Ross

    Jonathan Ross Member

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    Yes it can :) I have one more question...Can you get a sports pilots license or is that not enough? Thanks again
     
  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    A sports pilots license is sufficient.

    Andy
     
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