FAA 333 Approved Closed Set Alta Operators

Discussion in 'Flight Regulations' started by James Adkins, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    21
    What do you all think about starting a list of operators who are 100% "legal" to fly the Alta for closed-set motion picture/television filming to help prospective clients better sort through the pile more easily?
     
  2. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    103
    I like it James. It would be a good place to post questions related to closed set ops (I've tried to get that ball rolling here).

    I guess We could consider THIS to be the thread.

    Now, if only my application has submitted more than FIVE months ago, I'd have mine.

     
    Michael McVay likes this.
  3. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    21
    I hear that. Our amendment to add the Alta and other rigs took 6 months to the day to get approved with the current backlog.
     
  4. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    66
    James,

    How would you qualify one as 100% legal? Would you have those wanting to be on the list post aircraft registration as well as pilot certificate number? You could take it a step further and have them report their medical information and date of last biannual flight review or other qualifying event. I know of many "100%" legal operators getting jobs without filing POAs or NOTAMs, not having pilot certificates, no aircraft registration, etc. Ive seen flying over 600ft on national TV (FAA 400ft max legal limit- COA or not), not closed off, flying within 50ft of the general public and they were boasting "FAA legal shoot" all over social media.

    Im all for it if it helps those that really are legal but sadly, without any consequences from the FAA and no enforcement, everyone is "legal". Only those that really are legal have something to lose (ATP certificate in my case).
     
  5. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    21
    Brad,

    Honestly I didn't really think of it as being my view of "legal" but more of a group consensus. Having said that, my initial thought was those who have met the primary administrative requirements of section333. I say this in full recognition that, as you clearly pointed out, the process remains a cluster of epic proportions. Even my local FSDO admits this fact unofficially. It's simple to verify administrative compliance if anyone cares. Not so easy to verify actual compliance as you know. Not sure if any of this actually helps. I just know it's a bunch of work and aggravation to get "legal".
     
  6. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    103
    Brad, James, the truth is always in the middle. I only have an instrument rating, not an ATP (add ===> serious acknowledgement for ATP guys).

    However, we need to support each other here in this forum. Here we can help each other, and we must. It's some serious growing pain for us, and for the FAA. We are in the system and the system is a changing.

    Today, my partner & I discussed "dropping a dime" on the folks that are skating on the obvious perimeter of legality. I'm hesitant. What do you folks think about it?
    -m
     
  7. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    127

    I would say yes. Proper pilots licence and medical and a current flight review. Believe it or not, the majors are asking for this now. My eyes were gleaming when the Sony Pictures Safety Manager recently, not only knew the rules, but actually did the 333 search on my company as well as an airman certificate search. They also wanted to see my special COA that I got for a flight that was inside 2NM of KABQ. I also had to produce my medical cert and logbooks as well. That was fun because I got to show him what a military pilot log looks like when I flew KC-135's. The majors are doing this, but there are some smaller productions who don't. That is why myself and the only other closed set company in my state have the film offices give the 333 requirements to all producers who come in getting their permits. Believe it or not being engaged with the state and local film liaisons help hugely. I have been able to finally shut down two rouge operators.
     
    Michael McVay and MIke Magee like this.
  8. Alex Wolski

    Alex Wolski New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm glad to see this discussion. I am sure like me everyone is quite frustrated and pissed at the FAA for not supporting legal operations with coa's and enforcement. The FAA messed up on with exemptions, not requiring a pilots license before getting an exemptiom. As already stated, the operators that have something to lose are those with a pilots license (commercial pilot license for me). On the other hand the threat of a $10k fine is not going to deter a successful illegal company, which they can factor that into the cost of doing business.

    Unfortunately most people do not have a clue about what it means to be legal. One thing we can do is educate. Like Shaun, I too have helped my local film offices; which now require copy of exemption, pilots license and the appropriate coa for location to get a permit.

    There needs to be something for professional "legal" closed set operators; a group, list, private Facebook page? It's obviously going to be impossible to verify how legal someone operates but requiring at least an exemption, pilots license, medical, flight review is a good start.

    Alex
     
    Shaun Stanton likes this.
  9. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    91
    Hey Alex. I recognize your name as someone in my area (SWFL). Shoot me a PM sometime and we should talk. There are a few of us who have been working on an education plan to several of the industries and we would certainly like to have another legal person help spread the word. Commercial pilot - nice. I agree with you on the way the exemptions should have worked - pilots license first. In fact, I just figured it was that way and got my private pilot this past summer before I filed my exemption. Anyway, if you want to connect sometime just let me know.
     
  10. Chris Fanning

    Chris Fanning Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Glad to see everyone coming together on this. We should all team up to make changes to the part 107 coming out in the near future. As of current you will no longer be required to be an actual pilot to commercially fly for hire. I think this is a HUGE mistake! The only people I've seen breaking the laws in the aerial biz have been the rouge guys / companies who aren't pilots and have no respect for the rules, people, or the FAA. I've spent tons of money and time getting too get where I'm at... But someone comes along with a credit card and now they can take business away from me but also put the general public in danger. Even an electrician has to have 7yrs in the biz before he can apply for a master electrician license. Why with the new part 107 anyone will be able to jump into this field and call themselves an expert. Just ridiculous! I personally have had two close encounters with a multicopters on a 3mile final to my home airport. Guys we need to team up and put a stop to this before it becomes the new rule and this all goes away for us all.
     
  11. Jason Herring

    Jason Herring Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    12
    107 sounds great, being a pilot in a plane doesn't make you fly a drone better or safer. The FAA should have a type of ground school and test to see if you can actually fly a UAS .
     
  12. Chris Fanning

    Chris Fanning Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Only someone who hasn't been through flight school would make a statement like that. Flying a uas is similar in SO many ways. The only real difference is your not sitting in it. 80% of your time in flight school is spent preparing for the "what if" something were to happen. When I fly my uas I'm constantly prepared for what I will do if the "what if" occurs. I.e. Where I will sit it down safely. And trust me ALL uas at some point will fail. Another big part of flight school is learning when to call it on safety (which is a tough thing to do) cause you always want to be able to perform for that big client. The wisdom and experience you gain from being a pilot is invaluable for this field and should stay mandatory. This is just one of the many things from flight school that carries over. There's not much from flight school that I can think of that doesn't apply to these aircraft.

    I just last week caught a large Ad agency that bought a large hexacopter and had a 23 year old flying it for a major hospital within a 100' of one of the busiest interstate junctions with over 150,000 cars passing by every day. Also within 2 miles of military airport in military airspace. No pilot, no 333, no license, no insurance.

    My wife and kid drive past there everyday. What if they lost control of that uas into traffic and caused a major accident? If your going to be flying one of these aircraft for hire in all different situations you should be a licensed pilot! If your going to be sharing airspace with me while I'm flying my wife and kid and I'm having to deal with weather, traffic, aircraft avoidance, atc, pilot fatigue, and now You.. You should be a pilot!
     
  13. Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    25
    You should be a licensed uav pilot for commercial work but having to get a full scale license is an unnecessary cost and burden on most uav pilots. Knowing how to fly to and from airport to airport has very little in common with knowing how to fly a uav safely. Should every uav pilot have knowledge of airspace rules, yes, but that shouldn't require them to spend thousands of dollars on aircraft rentals to learn. I understand that the people who have already spent the thousands of dollars would rather see the horrible 333 system stay in place but it makes no sense. Rouge fliers are going to be rouge fliers no matter what system is in place but make that system over burdensome and we will have more rouge fliers.
     
  14. Jason Herring

    Jason Herring Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    12
    Well put Mark, I good friend of mine works for the FAA and says its crazy that they want you to be a full blown pilot. Ground school and insurance wold be enough for commercial work. What people need to mitigate is on set stress, I know of two companies that have had major crashes due to pilot error and they had a 333, having 50 people and a crazy director or DP can make you unsafe quick:)
     
  15. Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    25
    I have been in the motion picture business for 23 years and flying RC for 20. I've been doing aerial video/photography using RC vehicles for over a decade now. The new crop of "drone filmers" either are dp's or ac's that think flying a drone is easy (sometimes it is) or even worse guys with a pilots license with little to no set experience who got a 333 and act like they know what they are doing because they are all "official". I totally agree Jason, if you haven't told a dp or director to "shut the f up I'm flying" than you don't know what you're in for on a set.
     
  16. Chris Fanning

    Chris Fanning Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    My problem is with what you guys are saying is pass a knowledge test and pay the fees and now you can fly for hire. No proficiency testing or experience required to obtain a commercial certificate and start putting the public in danger.

    A commercial pilot in aviation is required 250 hours of PIC before you can obtain a commercial certificate and fly for hire. It's takes years to obtain.

    I agree this requires a different license and curriculum but should take an appropriate amount of time, effort, and investment in time and skill set to achieve.
     
  17. Mark Hoffman

    Mark Hoffman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    25
    Well we are not flying 2000lb machines full of aviation fuel so yes the standard is going to be a little lower. RC aircraft of all sizes and shapes have been flying for almost as long as general aviation (approximately 80yrs) and there have been only a handful of fatal accidents (primarily 3D heli pilots flying into themselves). Chris the problems you bring up are basically the system we have now, just because you have 40 hours of flying a Cessna doesn't really prove any proficiency in flying an Alta or Cinestar. Let's also be realistic where the vast majority of current commercial uav activity takes place (closed set filming even more so), that's below 500' agl and close in. Those operations aren't much of a threat to manned aviation, and as long as our machines stay below the 55lb mark there isn't much of a threat for those on the ground.
     
    Jason Herring likes this.
  18. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    127

    I agree with your sentiments 100%, however with AMA and other interests, I am not sure on how much influence we will have at the end of the day. I would be game in supporting your efforts though. I know myself and a few other companies in my area would be signatories to a draft letter outlining our concerns at least. I agree a lot of non 333 guys are the ones being super unsafe. About once a month I see a Phantom or like system flying in our downtown. Usually the guy doing it is completely oblivious of his actions. We did have one guy who had an attitude, that he thought the FAA won't find him. Two rouge operators in my area managed to get a cease and desist from the FAA.

    Speaking of flying near airports. I have a COA to fly for a production up to 2NM of a class C. I did my first shoot for the production a few weeks ago about 3.5 NM south of the airport. Two things happened. The day of my shoot an RC hobbyist was flying at a soccer field a half a mile away from us closer to the airport doing aerobatics with a fixed wing. He was flying well above 400 feet. A few days after I did my shoot, someone flew a quad at night down one of the active runways as if they were trying to look like an airplane making an approach and landing. The funny thing was that I got a call from the FSDO asking if that was us! I told him first of all I am not going to risk getting my ticket pulled for something that stupid. Secondly, I would have coordinated any flight as per my COA with the TRACON as well as give him a list of our activities in advance. The guy knew we were not the culprits but he had to investigate it anyway since I do have a permission to be in that area.

    What gets me is that congress is entertaining letting anyone flying a system under 4.4 pounds, i.e Phantoms fly without any sort of testing or permit. This makes absolutely no sense. Every time I see a stupid video on Reddit, it is always "Check out my cool video of "Vegas with my P3 Pro." Every time I read drone crashes into X, it is almost always a DJI Phantom or some similar out of the box RTF unit like an Inspire or 3DR Solo.
     
  19. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    311
    If you went through the process of getting a pilots license like many of us you would understand why becoming an airplane pilot makes you a better professional. It makes you a better professional all the way around from doing check lists religiously to a full understanding of airspace, to having a perspective of being in the air all make you a must better professional. Is it important that you learn how to land a plane? No. Is everything about being a pilot helpful to you as a UAV pilot, no. However you sure learn a very important thing and its called "JUDGEMENT" and planning for worst case scenarios and a 8 hour ground school training program isn't going to cut it. I haven't finished my license just yet, getting close but I can honestly say that I am 100 times the professional I was before I started.
    I wouldn't trade what I have learned for anything. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Rick Surad and Michael McVay like this.
  20. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    21
    I have to agree with Dave. Getting licensed improves the decision making part of flying but does little to nothing for the physical manipulation of flying unmanned (and vice versa). I flew on a movie set the first time in the mid 90's and I have learned something new each time since. A good example is collision avoidance. Similar concepts apply for both however the actual techniques are very different. None of which is taught in any books at the moment.
     

Share This Page