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(AOL)   Hiring drones to photograph your wedding is actually illegal according to the FAA. Who knew?   (aol.com) divider line 71
    More: Interesting, FFA, Infrastructure Committee, model aircraft  
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1102 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Aug 2014 at 11:30 AM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-06 08:55:22 AM  
Everyone in the business knows that.

It's like a prostitute.  Sex is legal, getting paid for sex is illegal.
Drone use is legal, getting paid for drone use is illegal.
 
2014-08-06 09:35:31 AM  
Hiring a drone? I'M MARRYING ONE!

GET A JOB, YOU SHIFTLESS PARASITE!
 
2014-08-06 09:51:25 AM  
Everyone knows the US government will approve the use of drones only for blowing up weddings, not photographing them.
 
2014-08-06 10:00:08 AM  
If your remote controlled helicopter is flying high enough to get in the way of other aircraft you're too far away to take a good picture.
 
2014-08-06 10:02:30 AM  
They spend so much time making the bride look beautiful horizontally, now they have to worry about the overhead view.
 
2014-08-06 11:32:03 AM  
But the drones need you. They look up to you.
 
2014-08-06 11:33:08 AM  
The question is whether the FAA has the authority to regulate drones like this. The NTSB dismissed that $10K fine they issued to the guy who flew over his university.
 
2014-08-06 11:41:11 AM  
That's some thorough proofreading, AOL:

Recently, headlines have been highlighting the use of a drone to tape New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's wedding, which many claim to be a violation of the Federal Aviation Administration rules.

The FFA makes it clear that unless you're flying for recreational purposes or as a hobby, you need FFA approval. They even provide "dos" and "don'ts."


Unless the bride is a cow, I guess.
i.ebayimg.com
 
2014-08-06 11:41:47 AM  
That 15 minute video will make my marriage last forever.
 
2014-08-06 11:43:08 AM  
Do they have to file a flight plan or something?
 
2014-08-06 11:45:27 AM  

meat0918: Do they have to file a flight plan or something?


probably more an issue with no type certificate -> no airworthiness certificate
 
2014-08-06 11:48:39 AM  

sprawl15: meat0918: Do they have to file a flight plan or something?

probably more an issue with no type certificate -> no airworthiness certificate


So if they get a someone to do it for free, they're in the clear, but if they pay someone "OMG!!! LAWBREAKER!"
 
2014-08-06 11:51:40 AM  

meat0918: So if they get a someone to do it for free, they're in the clear, but if they pay someone "OMG!!! LAWBREAKER!"


none of what i said has anything to do with what you posted
 
2014-08-06 11:52:46 AM  

sprawl15: probably more an issue with no type certificate -> no airworthiness certificate


It's more about the operator than the device. In Canada we call it an Operating Certificate; you need to have one if you want to charge somebody for services performed with an aircraft.
 
kab
2014-08-06 11:58:13 AM  
Land of the free strikes again!

Now we need to go after those pesky party balloons.
 
2014-08-06 11:58:46 AM  

sprawl15: meat0918: So if they get a someone to do it for free, they're in the clear, but if they pay someone "OMG!!! LAWBREAKER!"

none of what i said has anything to do with what you posted


At least I had the their/they're/there right.

//I'm gonna go finish my coffee and clear my head.
 
2014-08-06 12:00:35 PM  

meat0918: So if they get a someone to do it for free, they're in the clear, but if they pay someone "OMG!!! LAWBREAKER!"


kab: Land of the free strikes again!


Welcome to aviation. You're not making a cent until you satisfy the paperwork gods.
 
2014-08-06 12:07:10 PM  

costermonger: It's more about the operator than the device. In Canada we call it an Operating Certificate; you need to have one if you want to charge somebody for services performed with an aircraft.


it's about both. anything in the sky needs to be approved to be put into the sky (exceptions exist for things like models). if you wanted to privately fly your plane, it would generally need to be in a configuration that has an faa type certificate, and you'd get an airworthiness certificate asserting that the aircraft is being kept and maintained in accordance with the requirements of that type certificate

if you're operating in certain ways it may modify the process, but the process is strictly focused on the aircraft and what standards it must maintain to continue to legally operate
 
2014-08-06 12:13:55 PM  
As someone who occasionally pick up freelance work for a wedding production company that uses drones for our videos, I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

meat0918: So if they get a someone to do it for free, they're in the clear, but if they pay someone "OMG!!! LAWBREAKER!"


Right. They pay for the video package, and the company offers the drone footage as a free bonus above certain package levels. Pretty sure that's not legit, but I'm an independent contractor getting paid $150/hr so I don't ask questions, am not legally responsible or culpable, AND I'm not the guy on stick for the drone itself.

My irritation comes from "Hey guys, if I could get you to walk towards the camera but don't look at it, just casually stroll OH GOD DAMMIT IGNORE THE GODDAMN DRONE AND STOP CRANING YOUR NECKS AND POINTING AT IT"

I swear I could do an hour long highlight reel of "Bros in Tuxes Drinking Beers Looking at a Flying Drone Talking About How They Should Get One".
 
2014-08-06 12:16:49 PM  

EvilEgg: Everyone in the business knows that.

It's like a prostitute.  Sex is legal, getting paid for sex is illegal.
Drone use is legal, getting paid for drone use is illegal.


So I'm going to need a volunteer drone pilot for my wedding. I'll make a note of that.

/Don't want the FAA SWAT team crashing the reception.
//That would be awkward.
 
2014-08-06 12:20:35 PM  

sprawl15: it's about both. anything in the sky needs to be approved to be put into the sky (exceptions exist for things like models). if you wanted to privately fly your plane, it would generally need to be in a configuration that has an faa type certificate, and you'd get an airworthiness certificate asserting that the aircraft is being kept and maintained in accordance with the requirements of that type certificate

if you're operating in certain ways it may modify the process, but the process is strictly focused on the aircraft and what standards it must maintain to continue to legally operate


Right, but we're talking about UAVs, and to my knowledge the regulator isn't getting into the certificate game with them. They do, however, want to have some control over the operators who wish to commercialize UAVs.

I don't know what the FAA is doing, but in Canada the regulatory guidance that applies to commercial UAVs deal fairly minimally with the technical details of the UAV itself (basically weight limits and requiring a means of "termination of flight" in case shiat goes wrong), and heavily in things like site assessment, operational control and operator qualifications.
 
2014-08-06 12:30:16 PM  
So it's really a little more complicated.

Model aircraft have never been regulated.  The FAA put out an advisory pamphlet a long time ago laying out safe practices, but it has never carried any regulatory force.  It's fairly well codified that model aircraft are exempt from FAA regs.  The problem is that exactly what is/was a model has never been specifically spelled out.

The FAA is attempting to remedy that with proposed rules specifying what is and is not a model aircraft.  ("Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft ").  This is a proposed rule that must go through a public comment period before it carries the force of law.

Under their definition, there are two really big sticking points.

1) Aircraft must remain within line-of-sight of operator.  This precludes the use of first person video goggles, as the goggles break line-of-sight.  So it shuts off a huge part of the burgeoning quadcopter and a even the fixed wing hobby.

2) No payment can be received in connection with the aircraft.  While the obvious "can't film a wedding for money is included", it also includes anyone with a youtube channel who makes money to offset the cost of the hobby.    The FAA justifies this by saying recreation cannot include getting paid.  That totally ignores a whole lot of history of people getting paid for doing things they enjoy as a hobby.  You can't receive Youtube proceeds.  You can't get sponsored by a model aircraft or engine maker or radio manufacturer.  You can't rent a model plane.  (Can you sell a model plane? I dunno.)

The whole hobby is pretty much in a state of chaos until this gets sorted out.

/Don't fly, but have always had an interest.
 
2014-08-06 12:36:20 PM  
The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.
 
2014-08-06 12:36:58 PM  

joeshill: That totally ignores a whole lot of history of people getting paid for doing things they enjoy as a hobby.


It's just pulled down from manned aircraft, so I wouldn't expect them to give two shiats about examples when they have their own.
 
2014-08-06 12:40:01 PM  
Would we be having this debate if we were still just calling them RC vehicles?
 
2014-08-06 12:43:48 PM  
The FAA needs to pull its shiat together and draft some rules for commercial drone operation or they are going to miss the boat.
 
2014-08-06 12:46:41 PM  
Look, all you have to do is file a FOIA request for the drone footage the local PD captured of your wedding. It takes a little while to process, but it's free!
 
2014-08-06 12:47:44 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: Would we be having this debate if we were still just calling them RC vehicles?


Yes. The term "drone" causes some simple people to shiat their pants due to government use if drones for shooting and make launches.

But that's not the issue here. The issue is that the FAA has failed to get out in front of the rapidly expanding commercial drone market.
 
2014-08-06 12:48:41 PM  
*missile* launches. Goddamn swype.
 
2014-08-06 12:52:37 PM  

James Rieper: Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.


That's ridiculous.
 
2014-08-06 01:05:27 PM  

joeshill: Under their definition, there are two really big sticking points.

1) Aircraft must remain within line-of-sight of operator.  This precludes the use of first person video goggles, as the goggles break line-of-sight.  So it shuts off a huge part of the burgeoning quadcopter and a even the fixed wing hobby.


But it wouldn't break line of site, necessarily. What if the video was being fed to a HUD type of device...Google Glass or something? If the mere possibility of the operator looking away is the problem, then that should ban all model aircraft.

This whole thing just feels like the FAA bowing to the tinfoilers.
 
2014-08-06 01:05:34 PM  

James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.


drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash
 
2014-08-06 01:07:46 PM  

James Rieper: Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.


Someone should just arm their drone, then defend its use under the 2nd Amendment.

That would be a fun trial to follow.
 
2014-08-06 01:09:17 PM  

AdamK: James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.

drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash


Are there any safety codes to prevent airliners and Cessnas from damage anything when they crash?
 
2014-08-06 01:14:08 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: AdamK: James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.

drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash

Are there any safety codes to prevent airliners and Cessnas from damage anything when they crash?


uhhhh... comparing an RC quadcopter to a 747 is like comparing an RC truck to an 18 wheeler semi, things like scale + speed + mass do matter
 
2014-08-06 01:19:04 PM  
I work for the FAA, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2014-08-06 01:22:21 PM  

sprawl15: meat0918: Do they have to file a flight plan or something?

probably more an issue with no type certificate -> no airworthiness certificate


Not below a few hundred feet. No wedding camera would be that high.

I don't see any reason you couldn't do this on private property. Public may be an issue
 
2014-08-06 01:23:18 PM  

AdamK: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: AdamK: James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.

drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash

Are there any safety codes to prevent airliners and Cessnas from damage anything when they crash?

uhhhh... comparing an RC quadcopter to a 747 is like comparing an RC truck to an 18 wheeler semi, things like scale + speed + mass do matter


Well, yeah...the 747 can destroy a city block and kill thousands of people. The drone cannot. That's sort of my point.
 
2014-08-06 01:26:50 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: AdamK: James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.

drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash

Are there any safety codes to prevent airliners and Cessnas from damage anything when they crash?


Presumably all the airworthiness and operator regulations that reduce the chance of crashing. Every flight = 0.0000001 crashes so damage is marginalized.
 
2014-08-06 01:34:38 PM  

AdamK: drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash


I agree. They aren't ready.  In fact, it might never happen.  But it seems to have reached a point where it would be a good idea to anticipate it.

I can see the FAA not issuing a compromise rule in the meantime, like you are proposing.  Later on when UPS (or whoever) comes up with a viable system, you don't want to get beaten over the head with your earlier safety specs.

Suppose, for example, you issue a bunch of safety guides designed to fly cameras and recreational stuff, then Amazon tries to use it to ship someone a washing machine.  Yeah, you can update the code, but then it's hearings, and meetings, and "you said it was ok."  Strategically, it's easier for the FAA to let private business come courting, even if it's smarter to get some rules out there now.
 
2014-08-06 01:35:15 PM  
Just hang a Go-Pro on your 12-year-old nephew's quad-copter and have him fly it around.

Bonus: down-the-dress shots of all the hot wedding guests.
 
2014-08-06 01:40:31 PM  

costermonger: Right, but we're talking about UAVs, and to my knowledge the regulator isn't getting into the certificate game with them. They do, however, want to have some control over the operators who wish to commercialize UAVs.

I don't know what the FAA is doing, but in Canada the regulatory guidance that applies to commercial UAVs deal fairly minimally with the technical details of the UAV itself (basically weight limits and requiring a means of "termination of flight" in case shiat goes wrong), and heavily in things like site assessment, operational control and operator qualifications.


i imagine the issue is that these drones are not submitting themselves to any regulatory authority at all - you just buy a drone off the internet and fly it around. they've been sliding in the regs based on some language that allows things like model planes to be flown without the faa needing to be involved. any questions about technical details of the operation of the drone are secondary when the drone doesn't have a tc and thus categorically cannot be called airworthy

in the us, drones are only really allowed to be flown under an experimental type certificate, public use, or under the hobby exception
 
2014-08-06 02:13:52 PM  
KInd of dumb seeing as there really are only a few restrictions needed to cover drone use.

1. Drones may not fly higher than 100 feet about the ground

2.  Drones may not operate with in one mile of any airport.  ( not an expert so feel feel to adjust to what would be a proper safe distance)

3. Drones used for commercial purposes must registered and have id numbers affixed and the operators must have permits.

4. Drones for cargo transport must be certified they can safely transport the weight they are designed to transport.
 
2014-08-06 02:14:59 PM  

sprawl15: in the us, drones are only really allowed to be flown under an experimental type certificate, public use, or under the hobby exception


That seems to be quite limited. In Canada, they* can be operated for commercial purposes in accordance with a Special Flight Operations Certificate.

* - lightweight UAVs, which go up to 20kg or something
 
2014-08-06 02:17:50 PM  

grimlock1972: KInd of dumb seeing as there really are only a few restrictions needed to cover drone use.

1. Drones may not fly higher than 100 feet about the ground

2.  Drones may not operate with in one mile of any airport.  ( not an expert so feel feel to adjust to what would be a proper safe distance)

3. Drones used for commercial purposes must registered and have id numbers affixed and the operators must have permits.

4. Drones for cargo transport must be certified they can safely transport the weight they are designed to transport.


Needs a weight limit and some kind of requirement for what the UAV does if it loses guidance is absolutely necessary.
 
2014-08-06 02:21:48 PM  

AdamK: James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.

drones aren't ready for that kind of commercial use anyways

imo a "300 yard radius from point of origin/controller" mandate would be fine, as well as a bunch of manufacturer/user safety codes so these things don't damage anything when they crash


Do the radio controllers have battery level detectors for the RC copter?  Or are we still relying on operators to calculate run time based on mAhs in the battery and current draw from their motor?  One nicety would be if the copters would make a controlled landing when the battery hits 10% or something, instead of falling out of the sky.  A GPS guided copter would need to keep a running count of how much charge it needs to get back to its operator and it would go straight back under its own guidance once it hits that level.
 
2014-08-06 02:36:19 PM  

costermonger: That seems to be quite limited.


yup, the faa are pretty much dicks. it's led to rampant use of public use by people from firefighting planes to companies like blackwater since that puts the airworthiness determination in the hands of the respective government agency and the faa has no say, which pisses them off to no end, but they refuse to make any significant changes on any time scale faster than 'glacial'.
 
2014-08-06 02:44:03 PM  
So to tie it all back to another thread....

1) You just need to get yourself "Reserve Officer" status on some Podunk police force.
2) Get a bogus warrant issued to surveil the wedding.  "Suspected drug activity?"  Now you can fly the drone/UAV/quadcopter all you want under "Public Use"
3) Have your commercial enterprise FOIA the video.
4) Profit.
 
2014-08-06 02:52:56 PM  

costermonger: grimlock1972: KInd of dumb seeing as there really are only a few restrictions needed to cover drone use.

1. Drones may not fly higher than 100 feet about the ground

2.  Drones may not operate with in one mile of any airport.  ( not an expert so feel feel to adjust to what would be a proper safe distance)

3. Drones used for commercial purposes must registered and have id numbers affixed and the operators must have permits.

4. Drones for cargo transport must be certified they can safely transport the weight they are designed to transport.

Needs a weight limit and some kind of requirement for what the UAV does if it loses guidance is absolutely necessary.


It gets more complicated than that if you're looking to have these things make doorstep deliveries.  At some point they would need to be at the same level as pedestrians and cars.

These are all good points, though.

My thought is that delivery drones wouldn't ultimately be used to deliver things from warehouse to doorstep, since that wouldn't be fuel efficient.  I'm thinking the drones would be better at running things from truck to doorstep.  Think of the time savings if a UPS truck did not have to stop at each address.

It could do a moderate cruise while a series of drones removed packages from it, dropped them off, and returned to the still-moving truck.  The FAA would look at that and die from apoplectic shock.
 
2014-08-06 03:01:19 PM  

James Rieper: The issue isn't so much the drone as it is that the use of commercial drones is set to explode. Rather than get out in front and create some commonsense rules, the FAA has instead chosen to ban commercial drone use altogether.

Imagine a fleet of thousands of drones making deliveries from FedEx, or Amazon, or Domino's, or all three.   The air could literally be clogged commercial vehicles flying at the same level as houses, through flocks of migrating birds, over roadways where they could distract drivers, into power lines, across airport glide paths, etc.  Some would malfunction and crash or drop payloads in inopportune spots.

These problems could all be solved, but an agency needs to step up.


They are out in front. They're yelling "STOP HERE until we figure out a safe way to proceed."
 
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