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FAA to propose rules on drone aircraft

2011-11-28 15:55:35.239402+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

LA Times: Idea of civilians using drone aircraft may soon fly with FAA. Interesting because ground transportation will have to solve this problem next.

[ related topics: Aviation ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-28 19:31:53.480387+00 by: meuon [edit history]

I'll contend that on my property, I rule the airspace that I can control with a 12 gauge shotgun. and that's where this will all end up: For arguments sake, call it 100 yards. Not a range where a plane or drone should be flying above my house. And If I 'net it and bring it down, it's mine.


Is a starting place for that thought. Not sure where it will end up.

As for flying one I own, I think the inverse applies. Over my land, or land I am given permission to fly over, 100 yards ore more should be usable for my toys.

Dispite my really thinking it's kewl what some people are doing with them, flying over other people's private land at very low altitudes, especially with a camera, is a violation of their rights.

The other question is: What are the rules for common airspace above sidewalks, roads, parks, etc.. ?

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-28 19:42:19.068244+00 by: Larry Burton

What's the difference between a drone and an RC model aircraft? Will these new FAA regulations cover the RC aircraft now being used by hobbyist?

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-28 21:14:43.805937+00 by: Dan Lyke

My guess is that there are two distinctions: Size/weight, and autonomy of control. Right now RC aircraft have size and weight limits (may also have density limits, I'm not sure), and must be flown within line of sight of the operator.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-28 21:36:02.160251+00 by: ebradway

FAA regs basically give unlimited access to 150ft within 5 miles of an airport and 500 ft outside that radius. This limitation applies to kites, balloons, RC planes, etc.

The difference between an RC plane and a drone is that the RC plane typically only operates within eyesight of the operator. Drones can even operate without an active human operator, much less within eyesight. RC planes also typically only fly in known areas, so pilots avoid them. Generally it's not a bad idea to call your closest ATC Tower and ask them to issue a NOTAM if you are messing around in places pilots don't expect.

That said, the FAA actually lacks any ability to penalize you. All it can do is restrict pilots' licenses. If you have no license, they can't do anything. However, if you cause an air accident, you'll face civil or criminal charges and it's hard to argue your point if you're not following FAA regs and the plane you took down was following regs.

What I don't think most people realize is that airplanes are quite fragile and not very maneuverable. It's hard enough to avoid a small Cessna, much less a 50 lb drone. And a 50 lb drone can take out even a large plane.

One result of widespread drone use could be the end of VFR. Everything would have to be under Tower/Transponder control.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-30 17:18:46.100559+00 by: petronius

I saw a piece on this this morning, and one company wants to sell the police drones for "about the cost of a new police car". The thing is, the picture of the thing doesn't look like it cost more than $250. I suspect that cheap private, unlicensed drones run by paparazzi and neighborhood busybodies will far outnumber official drones no matter what the FAA says.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-12-01 19:08:31.389017+00 by: andylyke

Apropos aerial photoing of people's "private lands" - the concept of private lands is, IMO, shaky. Any parcel of land you can point to has, in the recent (i.e. recorded) past changed "owners" through violence or the backed up threat of violence. No human being has ever created land, unless you count the inconsequential portion of the Earth's surface created through dredging and filling, so the idea of "private land" has no basis in reality ("natural law"?). We organize society under government to artificially create land ownership. (I find it interesting that the most adamant opponents of governmental authority are generally the most strident advocates of "property rights". No government, no protected property rights. Period.)

If anybody is embarrassed to let the public see what's going on in land controlled by him, he should build a roof.