FAA press release on UAS exemptions being filed

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Gary Haynes, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Chris, at least for the exemptions you are correct. Whether this is the 'final' rule that is an unknown but I would say that the FAA isn't going to do one thing for the exemptions and something lesser down the road. Andy and I talked about this a few minutes ago. I think both of us would agree that this is a very strong indicator of what the NPRM (rules) will look like down the road.

    At one point in the past the requirement was tentatively going to be a commercial pilots license which is even more expensive and there was talk of needing a rotor rating in addition. This approach is much better.
     
  2. Scott Strimple

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    Lots of interesting stuff in these exemptions. I suspect that most of what has been granted was penned by the individual operators or possibly a collective of operators using Cooley. As in the airline world, each operator writes their own Operations Specifications that either meet or exceed the FAR's. Once the NPRM appears we will have a better idea as to if they have "handcuffed" themselves into abiding by a much more stringent set of rules than need be, all in the name of getting approval quickly. I'm guessing that the NPRM will not have some of the same stringent requirements... just a feeling.
     
  3. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    I sure hope the Pilot rule changes! Doesn't make much sense to me... Any idea when the NPRM will be out?
     
  4. Scott Strimple

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    Unofficially it is being bantered around for December now and maybe even January.. but in true govt style may be as early as Nov.... clear as mudd right?
     
  5. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    Hey Gary, I've been reading the fine print all night on this stuff. So confusing, they say one thing then seem to reverse it in the next paragraph. If i'm reading correctly, the FAA gave them permission to fly without a private PPL? Read the Red.

    Page 18 on second doc in document or page 27 if scrolling down.
    http://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/media/Aerial_MOB_LLC-11066.pdf

    The FAA’s analysis regarding PIC requirements: The parallel foundation of aeronautical
    knowledge required for private and commercial pilots is shown in the above table. Private 18
    pilot airmanship skills are furthered through manned flights in the NAS. Commercially
    certificated pilots build additional experience through these manned flights as well. The
    additional experience and airmanship skills obtained by commercially certificated airmen
    contribute to their ability to overcome adverse situations that could be encountered in flights
    conducted for compensation or hire. However, the experience obtained beyond a private pilot
    certificate in pursuit of a commercial pilot certificate in manned flight does not necessarily aid
    a pilot in the operational environment proposed by the petitioner; the FAA considers the
    overriding safety factor for the limited operations proposed by the petitioner to be the
    airmanship skills acquired through UAS-specific flight cycles, flight time, and specific make
    and model experience, culminating in verification through testing.

    The FAA shares ALPA’s concerns regarding appropriate training on the UAS being utilized.
    The FAA has reviewed the petitioner’s knowledge and experience criteria for its PICs. The
    FAA finds that the combination of aeronautical knowledge, UAS airmanship skills, and
    verification through testing is a sufficient method for Astraeus to evaluate a pilot’s
    qualifications, given that operations will be conducted within the limitations outlined in this
    exemption.

    The knowledge and airmanship test qualifications have been developed by Astraeus for the
    UAS operations proposed in their petition for exemption. There are no established practical
    test standards that support a jurisdictional FAA FSDO evaluation and approval of company
    designated examiners. The petitioner will conduct these tests in accordance with its FOPM
    and the conditions and limitations noted below. Given the constraints of the proposed
    operations, the FAA believes this would not adversely affect the safety of the NAS.
    The petitioner plans to operate in a unique and limited environment. Given the 1) separation
    of these closed-set filming operations from other manned operations, 2) the parallel nature of
    private pilot aeronautical knowledge requirements to those of commercial requirements, and
    3) the UAS airmanship skills of Astraeus’ PICs, the FAA finds that the additional manned
    airmanship experience of a commercially certificated pilot would not correlate to the
    airmanship skills necessary for Astraeus’ specific proposed operations. Upon consideration of
    the overall safety case presented by the petitioner and the concerns of the commenters, the
    FAA finds that granting the requested relief from 14 CFR § 61.113(a) and (b), provided the
    conditions and limitations outlined below, would not adversely affect the safety of the NAS.
    Another consideration supporting the certificate requirement is that pilots holding a private
    pilot certificate are subject to security screening by the Department of Homeland Security.
    This requirement should ameliorate security concerns over UAS operations under this
    exemption.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I’ve written up a Rather Good Guide® to the Exemption document along with some comments as to what it would mean if the contents of the FAA’s exemption were to apply to all commercial sUAS operations in the USA.

    My main web site, rathergoodguides.com is down right now (because Apple’s not yet come up with a fix for the Shellshock exploit), but you can download it for free at https://gumroad.com/l/rggfaa001
    EDIT: Please enter 0 in the $ amount field. Several folks have been kind enough to donate, but this report is intended to be available for free.

    There are some doozies in there apart from pilots having to have a manned aircraft pilots licenses, a current class III medical and passing a biennial flight review for the aircraft for which they hold the license. That would mean for me that I have to get a Class III medical, and then re-up my certification for gliders, even though I want to fly a Cinestar commercially.

    Also, as you will see if you download the document, the sUAS has to be able to abort a flight if it encounters unexpected obstacles. Not quite sure how it will do that.

    Also, it has to return to home if there’s a loss of transmitter signal or if it loses the GPS signal. Errr…..how can it return to home if it loses the GPS signal? It must have some form of inertial navigation system, I suspect.

    Anyway, download and enjoy.
    Andy.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  8. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Chris good point but it says that the pilots do not need a 'commercial' pilots license.

    The petitioner plans to operate in a unique and limited environment. Given the 1) separation
    of these closed-set filming operations from other manned operations, 2) the parallel nature of
    private pilot aeronautical knowledge requirements to those of commercial requirements, and
    3) the UAS airmanship skills of Astraeus’ PICs, the FAA finds that the additional manned
    airmanship experience of a commercially certificated pilot would not correlate to the
    airmanship skills necessary for Astraeus’ specific proposed operations. Upon consideration of
    the overall safety case presented by the petitioner and the concerns of the commenters, the
    FAA finds that granting the requested relief from 14 CFR § 61.113(a) and (b), provided the
    conditions and limitations outlined below, would not adversely affect the safety of the NAS.
    Another consideration supporting the certificate requirement is that pilots holding a private
    pilot certificate are subject to security screening by the Department of Homeland Security.
    This requirement should ameliorate security concerns over UAS operations under this
    exemption.

    Section 61.113 of the FAR's discusses privileges of a Private Pilot. Section (a) and (b) basically restrict a private pilot from doing commercial work. That bit is being waived is my read.

    Sounds like ALPA (Airline Pilots Association) objected that since it was a commercial operation the pilots needed commercial certificates.

    And each exemption may have variances like this based on the applicant.
     
  9. Scott Strimple

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    Great job Andy! It's still obvious that the FAA is stuck in the mindset of the 2009 ARC recommendations in much of this exemption. As you and I are well aware, those recommendations don't address multi-rotor operations in any specific manner. Time will tell if the operators granted the exemption are able to comply with some of the draconian and impractical constraints being handed down to them from the governing aviation authority aka FAA. Many are obviously rooted within the "you don't know what it is you don't know" so fall back to what it is you do know thinking. No matter if it makes sense or not to the petitioner's request. At least it's a step in a direction instead of continued stagnation ... but clearly the FAA is in need of some serious Subject Matter Experts on staff.
     
  10. Scott Strimple

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    Chris, I would agree with Gary's assesment. Absent any specific FAR for UA (which I believe is coming ... part 107 ?? ) the FAA is bound to make reference to the current FAR's and then provide specific exemptions where there is a disconnect to the regs and the requested deviation from said regs.
     
  11. Scott Strimple

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    I'm not gonna put a lot of emphasis on what is in the Cooley groups awarded exemptions as these were specific requests for Certificates of operations that applied to the petitioners specific requests utilizing their specific documentation. They do however give us a glimpse into what may be included in the upcoming NPRM.... both good and bad.

    So for instance ... lets say for the sake of example that I were to submit for a section 333 exemption. Lets also assume that in my ops specs I stated that every pilot would be an airline transport rated pilot with an FAA first class medical. The FAA would consider this as my specific request for my companies operational exemption. Even though they may allow every john q public to operate as PIC without a license in the future, in my case... since I requested it, and it is equal or more restrictive to the "no pilot license" the FAA would more than likely approve this and I would now have to operate with all ATP and 1st class medicals to be in compliance with my certificate of operation granted under section 333. The FAA makes little to no attempt to rewrite your ops specs when you have submitted equal or more restrictive to the FAR, and conversely when your requests fall short of the FAR's (or in this case... the best guess of what the FAA is going to publish with the NPRM) then they simply take the path of least resistance and bind you to the most relevant FAR/subpart that they feel applies as closely as possible.

    In this case.. we don't have any FAR's yet so we are all at a disadvantage to know what is going on in their minds until the NPRM appears. I think much of whats in this will probably find it's way into the NPRM. 55lb ATOGW, operations at and below 400'AGL, VO required, VLOS, Required levels of knowledge and some level of certification, be it self certification or thru a set of industry standards being developed, minimum distance from people, permission to fly over and around property, maintenance records, routine inspection procedures and logbooks, minimum flight experience to be considered qualified for commercial operations, PIC flight time logbook records, recency of experience protocol, category and class differentiation to fly different sUA's and I'm sure we can come up with a bunch more between us all.
     
  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Thanks!
    In case it's not obvious, please enter 0 in the $ amount field so that you can download the document for free.

    Andy.
     
  13. Chris Newman

    Chris Newman Member

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    Thanks Andy !!! Easy to understand!!


    So what do you guys think? Is it smart to go through the paperwork now and file for an exemption, even though I don't have ppl....yet? If I fight the PPl in my exemption would I most likely be denied?

    Should I start the process getting my PPL or is it too early to know what the official rules are going to be?
     
    Jeff Cook likes this.
  14. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Impossible to know, Chris. The question you're asking is: What will the FAA do when it comes to rulemaking for sUAS?

    If the FAA follows other countries, then you will not need a PPL. If they stick with the exemption thinking, then you will.
    Hint: If you want to get a PPL, then go get a glider one -- it's a helluva lot cheaper and, it might be argued that it will make you a better airman -- the usual epithet is "glider pilots fly in the air, power pilots fly through the air." :)

    The one thing does remain clear is that the movie maker petitioners cannot actually comply with the FAA exemption as written today -- in part because of mistakes in the petitions themselves and in part because the FAA has not yet understood sUAS.

    Andy.
     
  15. Chris Jordan

    Chris Jordan Member

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    I'll be getting a Rotor license come the new year, Been thinking about it for a long time anyway. As for now, it's fly safe and smart, and GET OUT ASAP.

    What they SHOULD be regulating, is WHO buys the Phantoms then crashed them into buildings, people, cars, landmarks, chases wildlife etc... That should have some sort of age restriction, or a class you have to take. THEY Are the ones that are making it all so hard for us
     
  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    That's what they would be regulating by insisting you have a private pilot's license. You have to have the appropriate training, be of a minimum age, not have any DUI's or felonies, and pass a medical. The government then knows exactly who the sUAS pilots are, where they live, and how to motivate them not to do anything silly otherwise you'll lose your pilots license.

    Andy.
     
  17. Jordan Overman

    Jordan Overman New Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful insights and information everyone. It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds... I think we are going to need to get really creative with how we approach this to implement something that makes sense for both regulation and practical application on our end as users.

    Chris and I have been in close contact with some state reps for Utah and the FAA that have been speaking to us about how we can move forward. With this new announcement we have requested to discuss more with them to get any additional info they can provide about how they see this playing out. We'll keep you posted on what we find out!
     
  18. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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  19. Ryan McMaster

    Ryan McMaster Active Member

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    With the section 333 things coming to light we have been hard at work in NV with help from a few local lawyers and the local university setting up requirements for a UAV flight school that is above par to the Private Pilots License "requirement" that all these companies are listing. We are aiming to have it ready by Jan 2015.
     
  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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