Drone flights face FAA hit


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL](http://www.marketwatch.com/search/?m=Column&mp=The%20Wall%20Street%20Journal) GET EMAIL ALERTS
Drone flights face FAA hit

** Nov 23, 2014 11:22 p.m. ET**

[FONT=“Arial”] [FONT=“Arial”]Looming rule proposal would restrict commercial uses, require pilot license



Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rule-making process.
The drone industry has awaited commercial rules for about six years, hoping the rules would pave the way for widespread drone use in industries such as farming, filmmaking and construction. Current FAA policy allows recreational drone flights in the U.S. but essentially bars drones from commercial use.
While the FAA wants to open the skies to unmanned commercial flights, the expected rules are more restrictive than drone supporters sought and wouldn’t address privacy concerns over the use of drones, people familiar with the matter said.
The agency also plans to group all drones weighing less than 55 pounds under one set of rules. That would dash hopes for looser rules on the smallest drones, such as the 2.8-pound Phantom line of camera-equipped, four-rotor helicopters made by China’s SZ DJI Technology Co. Similar-sized devices are seen as the most commercially viable drones and have surged in popularity in the last two years.
In addition, pilot certifications likely to be proposed by the FAA would typically require dozens of hours flying manned aircraft, according to people familiar with the rule-making discussions. Drone proponents have resisted requiring traditional pilot training for drone operators.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com](http://online.wsj.com/articles/drone-flights-face-faa-hit-1416793905?mod=mktw).


**FAA Gets Handed Power to Regulate Unmanned Aircraft **
in Content](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?cat.4) > Policy and Regulations
by Unmanned-Aerial.com](http://javascript<b></b>:window.location=%22mai%22+%22lto:%22+%22editors%22+%22@%22+%22unmanned-aerial.com%22;self.close():wink: on November 18, 2014

In its decision regarding the March court case of Raphael Pirker, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that operators of unmanned aircraft of all types are subject to the legal penalties the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) applies to operators of all aircraft.

According to the NTSB](http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2014/141118.html), “an ‘aircraft’ is any ‘device’ ‘used for flight in the air.’ This definition includes any aircraft, manned or unmanned, large or small.”

On Oct. 17, 2011, Raphael Pirker had flown - and received compensation for doing so - a Ritewing Zephyr over the University of Virginia campus to collect photos and video footage. The FAA ordered](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.190#.VGuXP2fF_rQ) that Pirker pay a civil penalty of $10,000 for allegedly operating a UAS in a careless or reckless manner.

The FAA then appealed](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.256#.VGuXIGfF_rQ) an NTSB administrative law judge’s decision after the judge dismissed the FAA’s order that Pirker pay the fine.

In the decision to dismiss the FAA’s fine, the judge compared Pirker’s unmanned aircraft to a model aircraft and found the FAA had not enacted an enforceable regulation regarding such aircraft.

Now, the NTSB is siding with the FAA and says the definitions of aircraft “are clear on their face” and fall under the same rules as manned aircraft.

It claims “statutory and regulatory definitions, as well as Advisory Circular 91-57](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.614#.VGuWi2fF_rQ), and FAA Notice 07-01, contain no express exclusion for unmanned or model aircraft.”

“Even if we were to accept the law judge’s characterization of respondent’s aircraft, allegedly used at altitudes up to 1,500 feet [above ground level] for commercial purposes, as a ‘model aircraft,’ the definitions on their face do not exclude even a ‘model aircraft’ from the meaning of ‘aircraft,’” the NTSB says in court documents.

“Furthermore, the definitions draw no distinction between whether a device is manned or unmanned. An aircraft is ‘any’ ‘device’ that is ‘used for flight.’ We acknowledge the definitions are as broad as they are clear, but they are clear nonetheless.”

The NTSB says it has now served the FAA and Pirker with its opinion and order for the case. In the opinion, the board has remanded the case to the administrative law judge to collect evidence and issue a finding concerning whether Pirker’s operation of his unmanned aircraft was careless or reckless.

In conclusion, the NTSB orders the following: “the Administrator’s appeal is granted; the law judge’s decisional order is reversed; and the case is remanded to the law judge for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion and Order.”

In a statement](https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=17734&cid=TW280), the FAA says the NTSB affirmed the agency’s position that UAS meet the legal definition of “aircraft” and that the agency may take enforcement action against anyone who operates a UAS or model aircraft in a careless or reckless manner.

According to the FAA, Pirker operated a UAS in a careless or reckless manner, and the proposed civil penalty should stand. The agency says it looks forward to a factual determination by the Administrative Law Judge on the “careless or reckless” nature of the operation in question.

Roy are you in the habit posting old news and then even older news?

And what does your stories have to do with Canada?

Let me help

Ottawa issues new guidelines on use of drones in Canada

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/ottawa-issues-new-guidelines-on-use-of-drones-in-canada-1.2063808#ixzz3LR6CyllS

**Senator: UAS Rules Have Been Stuck in Federal Bureaucracy for Far Too Long **
in Content](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?cat.4) > Policy and Regulations
by Unmanned-Aerial.com](http://javascript<b></b>:window.location=%22mai%22+%22lto:%22+%22editors%22+%22@%22+%22unmanned-aerial.com%22;self.close():wink: on November 24, 2014

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to immediately move forward with and release much needed rules for the use of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

According to a release](http://www.schumer.senate.gov/Newsroom/record.cfm?id=356578) from the senator, this announcement is in light of the fact that within the last week, there have been at least three alleged near-miss incidents](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.693#.VHNjsmfF_rQ) in which UAS were flying close to planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Schumer also reiterated his call for the Commerce Department’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration to issue privacy guidelines as soon as possible.

Schumer said that while there are innumerable benefits to this technology - including law enforcement, agriculture and business - the lack of rules has created serious safety and privacy concerns for the general public.

Schumer made clear he does not want to dictate what those rules are but that the FAA simply must make the definition and appropriate use of commercial and hobby drones clear: outlining what is legal and illegal and where they can be used so that the largely positive technology does not suffer, he says.

In August, Schumer urged the FAA](http://unmanned-aerial.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.465#.VHNjVmfF_rQ) to expedite its rule-making on small drones - which Congress originally authorized the agency to do in 2012. He now says the situation is more urgent than ever and that the FAA and OMB must take action.

“With the three recent incidents of drones flying dangerously close to planes at New York’s JFK Airport, it’s clear that commercial drone use has crossed over from unregulated to potentially deadly,” says Schumer. “For several years, federal bureaucracy has stood in the way of FAA drone rules to protect New York City residents’ and fliers’ safety, and it’s time for the FAA and OMB to finally release their new regulations so that our airspace stays safe.”

I really like this one: https://store.dji.com/product/phantom-2-vision-plus

I don’t really mind all the regulations. The harder they make it, the less competition you get. I think those would be really awesome for commercial inspections of difficult areas. Drones definitely have its place in the inspection industry.

No more making paper airplanes with the kids. For shame!!

I use one. You have to be a little careful and you really need the prop guards to be safe and protect the unit. They are feather light. They are easier to use with a little more space around you then in tight spots. The spectroscope is way safer in tight areas.

Go with the Vision 2. The camera on the plus comes off of its mounting. Which in turn breaks the strip that connects the camera to the drone. It becomes a $1000 toy after that happens.