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1 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)  Nov 24, 2014 11:01:45am

If you are flying a drone in public airspace you should have a license to do it responsibly.

2 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 11:06:29am

re: #1 Wendell Zurkowitz (slave to the waffle light)

I disagree given the kind of license they propose & the existing limitations that go with drone flights. Nothing over 55lb, line of sight control only, daytime only… 400 ft ceiling. Is the airspace over my property public? Over a facility I lease? If a car dealer hires a drone pilot to take high angle views from over his property is that public or private airspace?

Now if we are to talk about a license designed for drone flights and skills that’s fine with me. BTW should allow the young to operate drones too.

3 Lumberhead  Nov 24, 2014 11:34:50am

re: #2 Indy GOP Refugee

Now if we are to talk about a license designed for drone flights and skills that’s fine with me. BTW should allow the young to operate drones too.

This seems reasonable. The proposed qualifications do seem onerous so I can understand your concern about government overreach. Although, I will point out that the article states:

The FAA is expected to make its proposal before the end of the year, and there will be a public comment phase where your input (hopefully) influences the final rule set. It may take up to two years to hash things out, so these terms definitely aren’t set in stone.

So there is plenty of time for things to change.

4 cinesimon  Nov 24, 2014 12:17:32pm

Commercial operations of drones should be licensed. And of course it will be pared back to allow for the fact that drone operators aren’t going to be flying actual planes.
But of course, it’s government overreach regardless. Because the GOP have worked diligently for decades to have us all believe that anything ‘government’ is inherently incompetent, corrupt and dangerous - not to mention, of course - inherently anti freedom!

Commercial drone operators need to know the rules of the sky. They absolutely need to study, on a serious (therefore, in some people’s minds, ‘onerous’) level, the rules of the sky. Drones can reach serious heights now. Nothing about this issue is unreasonable.

5 Eigth Immortal  Nov 24, 2014 12:27:44pm

What do we have to fear? How about things crashing into each other and falling on people, or powerlines?

6 cinesimon  Nov 24, 2014 12:30:52pm

re: #5 Eigth Immortal

But that’s the price of freedom!
:)

7 cinesimon  Nov 24, 2014 12:33:06pm

re: #2 Indy GOP Refugee

You seem to be confusing commercial and toy drones.
As for your ‘who owns the air above my head’ question - umm…

Actually your pasted list of requirements of ‘what this means’ is rather dishonest.
Of course it’ll be shaped to suit drones and not space shuttle pilots.

This kind of emotional, knee-jerk reaction to anything government proposes is simplistic in the extreme.

8 No Country For Old Haters  Nov 24, 2014 12:46:50pm

re: #7 cinesimon

This kind of emotional, knee-jerk reaction to anything government proposes is simplistic in the extreme.

Indy GOP Refugee often comes across like a knee-jerk-Republican, despite distancing himself from the party.

9 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 12:49:35pm

re: #4 cinesimon

I don’t think that’s aimed at me but for the record yeah some will run beyond all reason the other way. *Sigh* I’ll just comment as per what I’d like to see. Be able to hire a drone guy stay legal, expand my video/photo business via innovative gadgets. BTW if I had a paid gig in front of me I’d hire the guy anyway, and tether to the ground. That limits flyability at the benefit of no liability. Er, so to speak.

IIRC, there is at this time no such thing as private airspace. I might argue for much less restrictions directly above my own land up to 400 feet freely and up 1000 with a permit.

re: #7 cinesimon

Well I could fly a toy drone with a camera like the one in a cell phone for hire and still get in trouble. The point is if they mean pilots license like PPL, that’s not dishonest, it’s what they said. Not my fault it looks silly or extreme. If they mean something more reasonable I’m all ears. And eyes open for due process in making these new rules.

10 Lumberhead  Nov 24, 2014 12:53:27pm

re: #4 cinesimon

Commercial operations of drones should be licensed. And of course it will be pared back to allow for the fact that drone operators aren’t going to be flying actual planes.
But of course, it’s government overreach regardless. Because the GOP have worked diligently for decades to have us all believe that anything ‘government’ is inherently incompetent, corrupt and dangerous - not to mention, of course - inherently anti freedom!

Commercial drone operators need to know the rules of the sky. They absolutely need to study, on a serious (therefore, in some people’s minds, ‘onerous’) level, the rules of the sky. Drones can reach serious heights now. Nothing about this issue is unreasonable.

So you think it’s reasonable to require that a person needs to actually fly an airplane in order to fly a drone?

11 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 12:57:01pm

re: #8 No Country For Old Haters

Indy GOP Refugee often comes across like a knee-jerk-Republican, despite distancing himself from the party.

I’ll add in my own defense and I differ widely from GOP policy not just affiliation. It’s just that my moderate right lean is in that general direction so gets me lumped in with the real crazies sometimes.

It’s a little weird to me that a cam drone like a phantom can’t be used in the very same airspace where you could put up a wind generator, antenna or let someone put up a cell tower.

12 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:10:53pm

re: #10 Lumberhead

cinesimon in #4 seems to assume they mean a special drone pilots license. Which is not what the article says. I’m leaning on them a little. One would think they might actually say drone pilot license but clarity is a rarity.

re: #4 cinesimon
re: #6 cinesimon

Why drag in the GOP whose views I really don’t share in general? Save that for someone who agrees with them. Maybe that’s in part why some take me as a knee jerk republican. In my case it’s quite a straw man. An unfortunate distraction from what I am saying.

13 No Country For Old Haters  Nov 24, 2014 1:12:30pm

re: #11 Indy GOP Refugee

I’ll add in my own defense and I differ widely from GOP policy not just affiliation. It’s just that my moderate right lean is in that general direction so gets me lumped in with the real crazies sometimes.

Wouldn’t a moderate right-lean lump you in with the Democrats who believe in reasonable regulation, rather than with the far-right anti-regulation crazies?

It’s a little weird to me that a cam drone like a phantom can’t be used in the very same airspace where you could put up a wind generator, antenna or let someone put up a cell tower.

A wind generator, antenna, or cell tower are all going to stay put once installed to meet code. What’s to stop an idiot with a drone from going above where these items would be and get into commercial airspace?

We could skip the license requirements and just jail anyone who flies into commercial air-space, but I think it’s probably better to keep them out of the hands of people who can’t handle being trained and being responsible, rather than waiting for one to take out a passenger plane by flying into an engine intake.

14 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:30:00pm

Just to encourage more discussion, look at what happens legally as soon as contact with the ground is lost. The FAA is in administrative control. So since this is all new and drones are only recently practical it’s really odd. Like if I stand with my camera and take a snap in public for commercial sale it’s legal. If I was controlling a little drone with my camera in it right at the same height it’s controlled by the FAA.

Approached as a thought experiment-With my feet on the ground there is extensive due process to effect what I can or can not do. If I were on that floating skateboard, I’m fully under the jurisdiction of an agency with comparatively little due process to make a rule about my conduct or rights. I don’t have a right to fly. Not even an inch. Now this sounds silly but I’m just having fun to make a point-Might those who own or lease property be able to fly a drone in the same airspace we associate with flying toys like planes and kites and allowing cell towers?

15 goddamnedfrank  Nov 24, 2014 1:31:52pm

re: #2 Indy GOP Refugee

I disagree given the kind of license they propose & the existing limitations that go with drone flights. Nothing over 55lb, line of sight control only, daytime only… 400 ft ceiling.

For the sake of comparative physics a 55 lb object free falling from 400 ft will strike whatever it falls on with well over the energy of a .50 caliber Browning machine gun round at the muzzle. A full on piloted aircraft license might be a bit much, but I definitely can see the argument for some kind of licensing before one is allowed to operate drones commercially.

16 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:39:41pm

re: #13 No Country For Old Haters

Wouldn’t a moderate right-lean lump you in with the Democrats who believe in reasonable regulation, rather than with the far-right anti-regulation crazies?

A wind generator, antenna, or cell tower are all going to stay put once installed to meet code. What’s to stop an idiot with a drone from going above where these items would be and get into commercial airspace?

We could skip the license requirements and just jail anyone who flies into commercial air-space, but I think it’s probably better to keep them out of the hands of people who can’t handle being trained and being responsible, rather than waiting for one to take out a passenger plane by flying into an engine intake.

Well feel free to lump me in with those that take a reasonable view here. Apart from GOP and dudebro foolishness.

So sure those things are there all the time. One could argue that’s a constant rather than occasional eyesore or property threat if say that antenna comes down in the wind. My kid can fly a toy plane and that’s fine. I fly a cellphone camera to take pictures of my truck for sale and I need a license?

I think we need to establish a smallish free fly zone for really small drones over our own property. Like where toys fly. Draw a line beyond that for greater restrictions.

As always penalties apply for breaking the rules, with severity tied to consequences.

17 Lumberhead  Nov 24, 2014 1:45:11pm

re: #12 Indy GOP Refugee

cinesimon in #4 seems to assume they mean a special drone pilots license. Which is not what the article says. I’m leaning on them a little. One would think they might actually say drone pilot license but clarity is a rarity.

The use of the phrase “single engine airplane” is what made me think one had to fly an actual airplane, not a drone. If those requirements are for flying instruction using a drone then I don’t think they are “onerous”.

18 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:50:53pm

re: #15 goddamnedfrank

For the sake of comparative physics a 55 lb object free falling from 400 ft will strike whatever it falls on with well over the energy of a .50 caliber Browning machine gun round at the muzzle. A full on piloted aircraft license might be a bit much, but I definitely can see the argument for some kind of licensing before one is allowed to operate drones commercially.

So you did see the last line in my #2? & #9 about being fine with a drone license that has reasonable terms?

19 goddamnedfrank  Nov 24, 2014 1:56:16pm

re: #16 Indy GOP Refugee

I fly a cellphone camera to take pictures of my truck for sale and I need a license?

That’s not really commercial use under most law that I’m aware of, anymore than occasionally selling your unwanted stuff on Ebay requires you to get a business license. Commercial activity that rises to the level of regulatory oversight is almost always defined as a pattern of activity. So, unless you’re operating as a car broker, deducting operating expenses from your taxes and plan to attempt to demonstrate a profit motive to the IRS if audited, this is a weak example.

20 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:56:18pm

re: #17 Lumberhead

Right when they say pilots license the private one is the easy one. it gets harder from there. So Endgadget and I take them at their word-Pilots license is their proposal. When they say drone license I’ll take it as drone license. Cinesimon took another view I guess.

A pilots license calls for real in air flight time. So those afraid of heights could not qualify to stand on the ground and fly that drone for a buck or two. Unintended but weird consequence of what they propose.

21 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 1:57:48pm

re: #19 goddamnedfrank

Good point. Okay lets scale up to car flipper like one of those guys on the build show. That’s a fair example. I think a small free fly zone (with restrictions) really needs to be an option.

Or a real estate agent taking shots for the listings?

22 goddamnedfrank  Nov 24, 2014 2:09:24pm

I don’t believe for a second that the FAA is going to require a traditional manned aircraft pilot’s license to operate low altitude drones for commercial use. It simply doesn’t pass the smell test. I get that “sources” sold the WSJ on some vague notion that this might happen, and why the word “pilot” is being latched onto because of the current minimum license standards. But it’s clickbait.

In no conceivable world do I think FAA administrators are going to pedantically insist on a one size fits all approach that attempts to force drone operators to meet that current standard. I see no reason at all to think this is even the remotest kind of possibility.

23 goddamnedfrank  Nov 24, 2014 2:18:24pm

re: #20 Indy GOP Refugee

Right when they say pilots license the private one is the easy one. it gets harder from there. So Endgadget and I take them at their word-Pilots license is their proposal. When they say drone license I’ll take it as drone license. Cinesimon took another view I guess.

A pilots license calls for real in air flight time. So those afraid of heights could not qualify to stand on the ground and fly that drone for a buck or two. Unintended but weird consequence of what they propose.

Yeah, sure. The real estate agent should have some kind of training and license. Not a full pilots license but something that helps ensure they understand the issues involved. Especially a real estate agent because they’ll be operating a camera drone near other homes, which will inevitably involve serious invasion of privacy issues. They should have some training on how to avoid impinging on the rights and safety of others, on when it’s necessary to end a flight, or not fly at all.

24 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 2:26:38pm

re: #22 goddamnedfrank

Okay. It’s fair to go by what is said for discussion, and even have a little fun with what it means. Past that it could be a starting point for tough negotiations.

25 blueraven  Nov 24, 2014 2:27:22pm

I saw a report last week about several drones flying way too close to commercial planes. The pilots were freaking out. Just like birds, they can get sucked up into the engine, possibly causing a crash. Could also be used by terrorist.

It is a real problem.

26 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 2:35:26pm

re: #23 goddamnedfrank

Would you go so far as to say there is no altitude too low or weight limit too light to regulate? What of upcoming microdrones? Seen in gadget articles these things are wristwatch sized. License to fly?

Other question-How impressed are you with administrative due process for these rules as opposed to the more rigorous legislative process? For the sake of conversation lets assume a functional legislature. Or perhaps impose a similar due process on the agency. For a negative example would have been nice if the media had an appeal process to get permission to overfly Ferguson.

27 goddamnedfrank  Nov 24, 2014 2:45:36pm

re: #26 Indy GOP Refugee

Would you go so far as to say there is no altitude too low or weight limit too light to regulate? What of upcoming microdrones? Seen in gadget articles these things are wristwatch sized. License to fly?

Other question-How impressed are you with administrative due process for these rules as opposed to the more rigorous legislative process? For the sake of conversation lets assume a functional legislature. Or perhaps impose a similar due process on the agency. For a negative example would have been nice if the media had an appeal process to get permission to overfly Ferguson.

I can see the argument for an appeals process. Immediate open records is a better approach, so the Ferguson flight ban would have been immediately exposed as a police request to hamper media oversight. Best if legislative politics stays out of this kind of issue as much as possible, at least when it comes to micromanaging. I get that there’s a problem with administrators being political appointees too and ruling against the public good, as seems to be happening with the FCC and Net Neutrality.

28 William Barnett-Lewis  Nov 24, 2014 3:02:41pm

The Sport Pilot license would be an appropriate minimum for flying a drone in controlled airspace.

29 Indy GOP Refugee  Nov 24, 2014 8:31:44pm

Just for hilarity’s sake… If a Buddhist monk achieved levitation, he too would be subject to FAA regulation, hovering in the temple.

30 William Barnett-Lewis  Nov 25, 2014 7:53:16am

Considering that the monk would not be likely to get into the intake of a 767’s CF6 while the jet is on short final, I doubt they’d care as much as they do about dufuses that don’t have a clue how to behave in controlled airspace.

Seriously, things are a hell of a lot more crowded up there than most people realize and I really would like to see someone who has had to be up there IN it be required to be the one running a drone if it’s over 50’ up or in controlled airspace.


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