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Legal issues in US

Patrick in Florida

Active Member
Join
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
26
Age
56
Hi - I am sure this is covered extensively … but I’m still quite confused. I’ve owned four drones … starting with PHantoms and currently the spark. I’m considering the DJI Mini 3 or the new Avata - I love the concept of FPV but have no experience with it.
Question - why am I always scared I’m out of compliance or illegally flying? I have the UAS registration. I also have successfully completed the TRUST certification.
I use The drone only for recreational purposes. I”m happy keeping it within sight and lower than 400 feet.
Do I want to get a sub-250 gram one like 3 mini pro? OR does that matter if I”m already registered?
I do some real estate photography, but currently not with drone as I find the regulations so confusing.
Also… I live in Key West, Florida - the entire area is both Air Space (EYW airport) and naval air restricted… is there any way to fly there? I do travel to other places, but trying to figure out my options. EVery time I feel like flying, I feel like I’m violating some laws and I don’t want to do that.

Any insight and opinions would be most helpful. I realize this is not a forum of lawyers, but one of experienced drone flyers.
Thanks again,
Patrick
 

SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
370
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Hey Patrick.

My understanding of the US rules (and very similar in most other countries) is . . .

Flying PFV with goggles of any kind - must have a spotter, a 2nd person that can keep the drone in VLOS, and watch for any approaching issues, manned aircraft, people of animals etc on the ground, vehicles, anything a pilot must watch out for directly while flying.
They must be in earshot of the pilot, right with them.

It doesn't matter if you get the Avata being over 250g with your pilot registration in place . . . nor is it necessary with your pilot registration to stick to a M3P sub 250g.
If you go with the M3P you don't really require the registration label, but set it up with goggles to fly FPV, you will still need to follow the spotter rule.

The Avata would REALLY give you some great RE work flexibility, a big one is extra safety with the ducted props (they are also easy to replace parts such as a duct if damaged), and the controller signal penetration is apparently really excellent for flying close proximity to buildings, internal rooms etc.

With regards to Key West, you'll have to look into your regions zone unlocking to see if you can bypass any DJI flight restrictions (not able to take off etc), and really try and stick to the letter of the law with any permanent 'firm' NFZs.

To stick to the FAA rules and fly real estate jobs, you will probably have to get your part 107 to fly commercially, and this should give you all the info you need to work out how to / what parts of airspace you can unlock.
 
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Patrick in Florida

Active Member
Join
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
26
Age
56
Hey Patrick.

My understanding of the US rules (and very similar in most other countries) is . . .

Flying PFV with goggles of any kind - must have a spotter, a 2nd person that can keep the drone in VLOS, and watch for any approaching issues, manned aircraft, people of animals etc on the ground, vehicles, anything a pilot must watch out for directly while flying.
They must be in earshot of the pilot, right with them.

It doesn't matter if you get the Avata being over 250g with your pilot registration in place . . . nor is it necessary with your pilot registration to stick to a M3P sub 250g.
If you go with the M3P you don't really require the registration label, but set it up with goggles to fly FPV, you will still need to follow the spotter rule.

The Avata would REALLY give you some great RE work flexibility, a big one is extra safety with the ducted props (they are also easy to replace parts such as a duct if damaged), and the controller signal penetration is apparently really excellent for flying close proximity to buildings, internal rooms etc.

With regards to Key West, you'll have to look into your regions zone unlocking to see if you can bypass any DJI flight restrictions (not able to take off etc), and really try and stick to the letter of the law with any permanent 'firm' NFZs.

To stick to the FAA rules and fly real estate jobs, you will probably have to get your part 107 to fly commercially, and this should give you all the info you need to work out how to / what parts of airspace you can unlock.
Fantastic summary, thanks for taking the time to do that. I really love this forum and get so much from it. Thanks again!
 
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I B Spectre

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Join
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
863
Talking about everyone's Favorite Aviation Agency, the whole Remote ID thing is still clear as mud. As of the 16th of September just past, drone "manufacturers must comply with remote ID or they may not produce or sell a non-compliant UAS". Thing is, the FAA still has not issued a Memorandum of Compliance stating the exact requirements for that compliance. So many unanswered questions. Even if manufacturers develop an addon device to allow older drones to comply, all the 249 gram drones will have the added weight. Does that mean you'll have to register it? Probably, because at the date when all drones must be in compliance you won't be able to leave the ground unless you are have remote ID or so they say. I tend to be a rule follower and the FAA has demonstrated their seriousness about drone violations with very hefty fines.
 

Patrick in Florida

Active Member
Join
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
26
Age
56
Talking about everyone's Favorite Aviation Agency, the whole Remote ID thing is still clear as mud. As of the 16th of September just past, drone "manufacturers must comply with remote ID or they may not produce or sell a non-compliant UAS". Thing is, the FAA still has not issued a Memorandum of Compliance stating the exact requirements for that compliance. So many unanswered questions. Even if manufacturers develop an addon device to allow older drones to comply, all the 249 gram drones will have the added weight. Does that mean you'll have to register it? Probably, because at the date when all drones must be in compliance you won't be able to leave the ground unless you are have remote ID or so they say. I tend to be a rule follower and the FAA has demonstrated their seriousness about drone violations with very hefty fines.
That’s kind of the conundrum I find myself in.
How do you comply? Or try to?
 
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SPark_South_Oz

Well-Known Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
370
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
How do you comply? Or try to?

Nothing for a pilot to do, it's all automatic . . . well, you just need to buy a RID complying drone when available, and when totally mandatory not fly outdated aircraft*.
It's the drone manufacturers that have to comply and have it fitted / active when the drone is powered on.

Dji drones that comply now are the Mini 3 Pro, Avata, Air 2S, Mavic 3 & Cine, Matrice 30 (M30) & 30 Thermal (M30T).

* There are supposedly going to be devices you can retro fit to older drones to comply too.

A lot of unknowns still, so don't expect it to be in place by any deadlines airspace authorities try and set.
Not sure about other countries, but once in the USA system, I'm sure the UK will follow, here in Australia too, and likely most other modern countries, through the EU etc.
 
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