FAA Announces sUA (Drone) Registration Rules

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Andy Johnson-Laird, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Read'm and weep.
    Analysis to follow.
    Andy
     

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  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Anxiously awaiting your analysis.
    I'm weeping at the thought of trying to read a 211 page FAA document.
    :confused:
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Well, it's actually surprisingly clear if you just read the FAQ. Which begs the question of why they needed 211 pages to do what one page of FAQs does. But I digress.

    My reading of today's rule is this: if you're flying any powered, remotely-operated flying thing outdoors weighing between .55lb (250g) and 55lbs (25kg) for fun or recreation and you're a US citizen, you have to register it.

    The FAQs imply that doing any/all of the above commercially will be addressed separately in 2016.

    Down with all lawyers and politicians! :cool: I can do this.
     
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Well, there are some questions arising out of an aircraft owned by a business that is also used for recreational flying.
    The FAQ talks about "use." I'm still at page 44 of 211 on the Interim Rule...Much of the preamble is discussion about commenters etc. The FAA needs (I suspect under the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946) to buttress their decision making in light of public comment. Or perhaps just buttress their butts. Who knows.
    Onwards to page 45.

    Andy.
     
  6. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

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    And then there's the pesky question of whether or not they even have the legal authority to do so, considering the current AMA lawsuit pending.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    You raise a good point, however, the DOT/FAA is well funded, probably well-armed, and may well play its "800-lb gorilla" card. (As in, "How do you dance with an 800-lb gorilla?" Answer: "Any way it wants you to.")

    For those wishing to skip to the "centerfold" of the Interim Rule, see the attached 14 pages. Its actually reasonably approachable.

    Andy
     

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  8. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I would not recommend you martyr yourself to prove that one way or the other.
     
  9. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

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    Not a chance. Besides everything I have already has a tail number anyway. My interest is more for all my buddies that are affected as recreational flyers.

    I just listened to the DOT press briefing. Secretary Anthony Foxx stated that registration is a requirement for all aircraft and is separate from the ban on hobby drone regulations spelled out in the 2012 reauthorization bill. The AMA lawsuit I mentioned challenges the DOT administrative Judges ruling that small drones fit the regulatory definintion of aircraft.
     
  10. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    You're so romantic :D
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    When it comes to 800-lb gorillas, romance can be "interesting" I gather.
    Let's hope the FAA decided not to play that card too.

    Andy.
     
  12. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I honestly do not see why the AMA is making such an issue out of this. IMO, they are fueling the fire for more regulation. They always like to throw out that whole "FAA will not promulgate any regulations concerning the recreational users." That was in 2012 when on this forum there were, what, probably a few hundred or so Cinestar owners around the world and maybe a few thousand people in the US even knew what a mulit rotor was. I am of the mind that congress would have taken a different approach if they had a chrystal ball and knew that there would be almost a million operators out there due to the Phantoms and the Bebops.

    The problem I see is that the AMA does not have the resources to self regulate this industry. They are great when it comes to the guys flying their scaled P-51's and Extra 300's. They are not poised to handle the several hundred thousand "Best Buy Aerial Cinematographers" out there who barely understand what is in their manual and plug in a battery and whiz around (Dense Metropolitan City of your Choice).

    I am quite frankly fed up with the "Dronesumer" who believes that because he's not for hire that he is somehow legal to fly as high and stupid as he wants and ends up on the sUAS news feed when he crashes on something or someone in public.

    Big deal AMA, you have to pay 5 bucks to register once. Then you affix it to your all your aircraft. I have N numbers on two birds. And I will register 2 that I use for personal use with this system. I would like to see the AMA come up with proactive solutions to making the skies safer.

    I was at the SOAC conference at Abelcine in Burbank this past weekend. I was floored that a few individuals in the audience truly believed that it is their first amendment right to fly anyway they see fit. They argue that no one has taken down an aircraft yet. Well there is always a first for everything. Aside from that there are thousands of youtube videos on people crashing into things and people as well as the countless news articles that seem to be a weekly occurrence.
     
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  13. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

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    Shaun,

    So you think the FAA has more resources than the AMA to herd all the consumer droners in? The AMA's point was, as a community based organization, they had an excellent safety record and registration process already so why reinvent this wheel? There is a culture of safety that is part of flying under AMA rules that consumers have no clue about. Having a new drone owner get signed off by an AMA instructor (DFE equivalent) would be far more effective than watching a "know before you fly" video and register your drone.

    The AMA makes a big deal of these issues because it is a steady erosion of modelers right to fly. Many model clubs have operated harmoniously for decades on or right beside airports for example. The AMA National site is one such case. Certain FAA propsals would shut down these clubs.
     
  14. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    Nope I don't think they are poised at all. The problem is that they were not funded for the mass immersion of this technology. When the 2012 modern reform act was passed congress most likely figured that the numbers would have been in the few thousands. Then DJI introduced the easiest out of the box system now we are almost at a million. The FAA needs to better be funded and staffed to handle this. Register your drone obviously is not a solution, but it is the only one that the FAA has at the moment. It will at least put forth some accountability on the pilot. Hopefully making the pilot think twice about flying down Broadway in NYC. Is it perfect, No. But at the moment it is only a simple step.


    I agree with you there that the AMA is able to regulate their traditional pilots. The problem is that they are not able reign in the "droners" or else we would not have this issue. The Best Buy guy does not want to be relegated to the AMA fields. He wants to fly down the main drag of San Francisco or New York or (Insert Major City). He wants cool compelling videos of how neat it is to whiz around a sky scraper or some neat statue in a city plaza. I think the FAA is pragmatic, at least the people I have talked to. They would agree that the guy in his scaled model is not the problem. One of the ASI's has the same thought that I do. In the sense that the DJI Phantom should not be categorized as a model aircraft. It's purpose is to get footage.
    The scaled P-51 Mustang's purpose is to fly at AMA fields all day doing cool stunts in the air and the pilots follow the rules in a controlled setting. The Phantom is real boring at an AMA field where all you get is shots of a tarmac and some corn fields or desert in my case. So how do you compel the "Droner" to follow regs? You give him a fine when he bust them. Here is the problem with the AMA. The FAA does not say you have to belong to the AMA. They say you have to belong to a community based organization that has established safety guidelines. I have read arguments that the local Ham operator's club fits the bill to the most ridiculous argument that if I put a small rocket motor on the bottom of my system and join the model rocketry society that my drone is now a model rocket.

    This is how I see the AMA. They are well aware that the traditional RC flyer is dying off. This is an opportunity for them to get a new generation of flyer. How are they going to compel that guy to follow their rules. There are arguments all the damn on Reddit where people think because they fly for a hobby that they can go up to 2000 feet and the FAA cant do a thing about it.

    It is a very complicated problem with a multi facet of issues. And it needs a very robust solution that gets the AMA involved but also provides avenues for enforcing the standards to those who chose not to follow the rules.
     
  15. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  16. James Adkins

    James Adkins Member

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    Kind of expected that. Next is T-shirts saying "I'll register my drone when you register your gun"
     
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Or the other way around? :)
    Andy
     
  18. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I am dealing with this issue right now on the legalities of it. My business partner and I are going to be teaching a comprehensive drone course at a non profit Maker Space. I am donating a Blade 350 to use as a training bird. In addition the group will be building some kit mulitrotors that we are getting from hobby king using Ardupilot. Most of the course will be ground instruction and the use of the Aeroimsim RC that I also donated. My intent is to have some flying at an AMA park. The members who will fly will only do so after passing a written test as well as passing the Aerosim RC copter course using the Cinestar 8. Before anyone touches the controls they will have to have an AMA card.

    My understanding is that if it is a community based group it can be registered by a corporate entity. Although this does beg the question. Does my course serve to further the business? I am not making a dime from it even I was I can legally do so under my 333, except under my 333 unless any of the members have a pilot cert no one touches a drone. Also under the 333 the drone gets an N number, it is already bad enough that Phantoms have them and I do not wish to fly under 333 for this purpose. The FAA says that the community based organization must be a national one.

    That is the conundrum I am in. The local FAA applauds the idea as they see it as a way to educate some of the public to be safe. I have approached the AFS-80 on this and am waiting to get their take on it since anyone touching the system will be an AMA member flying at a AMA designated RC park. I think since the pilots will be AMA members then they will be legal to fly it. Worst case we have to make the maker space a de-facto AMA chapter.
     
  19. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Shaun: I think you can cut to the chase: If the local FAA/FSDO approves it, you're golden (unless or until someone complains and then suddenly you're a nasty shade of brown).

    Remember: the question is not "do you make money?" but "are you flying for commercial reasons?" (which includes deriving commercial benefits such as further promoting the business). So:

    1. You're flying for a non-profit, which is a special kind of corporation. See the definition here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonprofit_corporation

    2. That means the corporation is commercial, but its purpose is not to make profits for its owners or shareholders. (Which is the specific definition of a non-profit.)

    3. Whether you have a section 333 exemption is really a side issue UNLESS you've got the exemption to do the non-profit work.

    4. The community-based organization is code-speak for the Academy of Model Aeronautics in the USA.

    As far as I understand it (which, granted, might not be very far) there is no conundrum. If you're flying for commercial reasons (even for a non-profit), then you ain't flying as a hobbyist or for recreation.

    Any other forum members able to expand on this?
    I could be wrong, but I'm rarely uncertain. :)

    Andy.
     
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  20. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Shaun you should take up another hobby/sport/business. I hear that owning a sail boat is a lot of fun. Especially in the desert southwest. :)
     

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