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[DPRG] FAA and Commercial Drones

Subject: [DPRG] FAA and Commercial Drones
From: David P. Anderson davida at smu.edu
Date: Sat Jan 11 17:01:52 CST 2014

Seems like there are perhaps two different questions here.  One is a 
sort of a privacy issue, which it looks like the Texas law was meant to 
address.  The other is a public safety issue.

If I understand the Texas law, I can indeed fly my drone up and down the 
block over the roofs and yards of my neighbours and their playing 
children, as long as I'm not using a camera or taking any pictures.

Or I can just get the expressed consent of all my neighbours. That's a 
privacy and copyright issue.

But the safety issue remains.   I guess I'm more concerned with the 
safety issue.   Privacy and copyright are a huge can of worms even 
without the drone component.  ;)


On 01/11/2014 04:50 PM, Tom Brusehaver wrote:
> The hope is the FAA can put the rules together. Texas passed a law
> that became effective in September:
> /“A person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use 
> of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the 
> express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real 
> property captured in the image,”/
> http://rt.com/usa/texas-drones-new-rules-876/
> If the FAA doesn't put a good set of rules in place,  every city, county
> and state will have different rules, and no one will know what is legal
> or not. (Colorado wanted to issue hunting licenses)
> So no, you may not fly your camera equipped aircraft down your
> street, when there are people around. At least not in Texas.
> On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 4:41 PM, David P. Anderson <davida at smu.edu 
> <mailto:davida at smu.edu>> wrote:
>     Also mechanical failure.   These things break.  Even if the
>     control and software were perfect, which they are not.  Lots of
>     angular momentum and spinning sharp things.   All held together
>     with those 1/4 cent plastic ball-links.  What faith we have.
>     I can go to the local flying field and fly my camera-equipped
>     remotely operated drone or quad-copter (if I had one), just like
>     any other aircraft at the field, subject to the same rules.  I see
>     guys there doing it all the time.
>     It's questionable, however, if I can fly up and down my block over
>     the roofs and yards of the neighbours and their playing children
>     with my remotely operated vehicle.   I would say that to do that,
>     you had to have some sort of license and there needs to be rules
>     in place govening the allowed airspace.  Can you buzz around a
>     crowd at eye-level?  If not, how high do you have to be?  And so
>     forth.   Just like to drive on the public streets requires a
>     licence, and a set of rules. There's also a commercial driver's
>     license, if you want to do it for pay, the requirements are
>     stricter.   Seems like the same thing might apply.
>     The FAA-AMA  "memorandum of understanding" was, I think, more
>     about the AMA's fear that the new drone technology would make our
>     traditional hobby illegal.   I think it was sort of a way of
>     carving out a pre-exemption for the AMA from whatever drone rules
>     are eventually adopted. We'll see...
>     best
>     dpa
>     On 01/11/2014 04:14 PM, Rud Merriam wrote:
>>     I suspect there is not a lot of difference for this type of
>>     footage since the operator is probably in visual range of the
>>     drone. Much as with your flying events the operator can see if
>>     something else is entering the airspace. The problem with manual
>>     drones comes when they are out of range of the operator and
>>     cannot see the helicopter approaching at 100s of miles per
>>     hour...and the helicopter pilot cannot see the miniscule drone.
>>     That is also the case with autonomous drones - incomplete
>>     situational awareness.
>>     I expect the FAA is working to avoid a lot of case-by-case
>>     discussions by simply saying "NO!" now.
>>     There is also the FCC involved since the frequency space also
>>     needs to be deconflicted. Spread spectrum may prevent an evil
>>     operator from taking over another drone but it cannot prevent
>>     loss of control. Even if the operator retains control what if the
>>     video link is lost because of jamming?
>>     Technically the amateurs are not, unfortunately, regulated, yet.
>>     I spotted something but cannot provide a reference about the AMA
>>     signing an agreement with the FAA on drones.
>>     I stumbled on this researching accelerometer and gyroscope fusion
>>     for my SRR rovers.
>>     - 73 -
>>     *Rud Merriam K5RUD
>>     * /Mystic Lake Software <http://mysticlakesoftware.com/>
>>     /
>>     On 1/11/2014 3:58 PM, David P. Anderson wrote:
>>>     Interesting find, Rud.
>>>     I was wondering what the difference is between this video
>>>     footage, shot by a remotely operated drone, and video footage
>>>     shot from helicopters, which we see on TV all the time.
>>>     I think the last line in the article, to the effect that it
>>>     can't be allowed because there are no rules in place, makes sense.
>>>     I'm a card-carrying member of the AMA and fly helicopters at AMA
>>>     sanctioned fields and events.  We have LOTS of "rules in place"
>>>     that are required for safety, with the enforcement proviso that
>>>     your AMA liability insurance will not cover any mishaps if you
>>>     were not following the rules.   That, and the other flyers
>>>     yelling at you, form a pretty strong incentive to follow the rules.
>>>     I haven't observed amateur drone and quad-copter pilots
>>>     following ANY rules at all.   From where I sit, that looks
>>>     awfully dangerous.   Especially flying around crowds, flying
>>>     OVER crowds of people, taking off and landing in unsecured
>>>     areas, etc, etc.  Risky business.
>>>     So, bring on the rules!   I think they are sorely needed.  The
>>>     AMA might be a good place to start. They've been thinking about
>>>     these problems for decades.
>>>     best
>>>     dpa
>>>     On 01/11/2014 02:55 PM, Rud Merriam wrote:
>>>>     We had a discussion following the Amazon drone announcement.
>>>>     The FAA responds to commercial usage of drones in no uncertain
>>>>     terms - not legal.
>>>>     http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/235239/faa-on-drone-recordings-by-journalists-there-is-no-gray-area/
>>>>     -- 
>>>>     - 73 -
>>>>     *Rud Merriam K5RUD
>>>>     * /Mystic Lake Software <http://mysticlakesoftware.com/>
>>>>     /
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