Flying near major airport

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by Scott Aubuchon, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Scott Aubuchon

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    We all know the story of the guy at FPV'n @ 1500 ft near jfk... nobody wants to be that guy.

    So, what about this... I want to shoot about 3 miles from a major airport, alongside a freeway (video for trucking company) to get some hwy shots. I'll never be above 50 ft.

    First, is it legal... second, is it stupid... third, if I have to ask, do I already have the answer ;)

    But seriously, barring some malfunctions (which is usually falling out of the sky, not flying high), I am below the height of most buildings in the area... but the proximity has me thinking no way. I do NOT want to be "that guy"...

    Would you?
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Find a more isolated location.
    Why so close to the airport?
    Ever wonder why so many car ads are filmed in the desert or on isolated mountain roads?
     
  3. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    You can always call the airport and tell them what your doing and see if they will give you permission. Technically if your outside 3 miles you don't have to do this but it's good practice. We shot at the MGM Grand a few months ago (across the street from LAS but outside their flight path. We spoke to the tower and told them what we were doing and they were ok with it as long as we didn't cross onto the airport grounds.

    Josh
     
  4. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    IF you are taking money for using your copter in the US then you fall into the category of "commercial Use" which is illegal as defined by the FAA advisory circular 91-57 http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/91-57.pdf

    Is this policy enforcable? There are a variety of opinions on this subject. As for my advice, when in doubt stay on the side of caution if you don't want to be "that guy". Anytime you question something its a good sign that your gut instinct is usually correct.
     
  5. Scott Aubuchon

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    Good input guys, thanks!
     
  6. Tommy - KnightDesignDev

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    Here in Michigan, Generally - we use the 3-mile / 300alt / 900ft out rule.
    We have contact the Airports, gotten permission / approval and outstanding support from everyone.... mostly stating how re-d@mn-diculis the FAA is about this issue.
    We have also done jobs with / near / for law-enforcement or municipalities in Florida and Michigan... they also think its re-d@mn-diculis the FAA is about this issue.
     
  7. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    The FAA rule is actually a 400 feet limit regardless of distance from airport. The distance you have to stay away from an airport is a bit different per location. I believe it ranges anywhere between 3-5 miles now. I remember someone posting the actual specifics but I can't remember if it was Gary or Andy? Personally I actually think that this rule is very good around airports because planes will be approaching low. You also have helicopters to contend with and they can fly in relatively fast from just about anywhere at any time.
     
  8. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    My personal rule I've now adopted is if I can see an airport (either from the ground or from the copter's operating altitude), I'm too close.
     
  9. Paul conto

    Paul conto Member

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    I've flown ON an airport before, a small reginal airport but still on one non the less. Was in constant contact with the tower, with radios, and they had no problems as we were right outside the hanger for a Lear Jet. The biggest thing is knowing the area you fly in, seeing if an airport is nearby, and staying in contact with the tower. So long as your not in the flight path and don't go to high they normally dvd have a problem with it.
     
  10. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Everyone should go to their local airport where they have a flight school and buy an hour of time from a flight instructor. Ask them to explain airspace rules. Buy a VFR aeronautical chart and have them explain how airspace is depicted on the chart. If you live in a metro area have the instructor show you Terminal Area Chart. It is a more zoomed in version of the normal VFR chart.

    The rule that is law is contained in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012. This section applies to all UAV's that are 'model aircraft', i.e. not for hire/commercial use. If you fly for hire, let's just say that FAA says NO.

    SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law
    relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal
    Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle,
    the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may
    not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,
    or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—
    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
    use;
    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-
    based set of safety guidelines and within the programming
    of a nationwide community-based organization;
    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless
    otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection,
    flight test, and operational safety program administered
    by a community-based organization;
    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere
    with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator
    of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air
    traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at
    the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft
    operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an
    airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure
    with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control
    tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).


    So item 2 above says operate based on a set of community standards. From a bureaucratic point of view this would likely be interpreted as the AMA or PARCAP or other formal organization. Nothing directly in the law about 400 feet, but that is in the AMA and PARCAP guidelines.
     
  11. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Gary it used to be in the FAA circular, has the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 overriden this or just supplemented the original circular? According to the link below 400 feet is still in order? Yes?
    http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/uas_faq/
     
  12. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Dave the AMA guidance mentioned by the FAA is less than 400 ft. Which is line with the 'law' in the reauthorization act in item 2. They didn't clearly make any specific law other than the radius to the airport, but item 2 might be interpreted as deferring to guidance from the AMA. Notice that it does not reference any advisory circular. And yes a 'law' supersedes any advisory circular. The AC 91-57 is now 32 years old but is still in effect. And the law applies only to 'model' aircraft defined elsewhere. For hire/commercial is a different ball game and your link outlines answers to a lot of common questions.
     
  13. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gary. So its clear as mud? Typical. In my opinion better to be safer than sorry as far as the altitude cap goes.
     

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