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First New look of FAA Memorandum 2019

BigAl07

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Wait, so regarding fixed sites. Does that mean in Controlled AS, you will only be able to fly in these "fixed sites"? Like a dog park or drone park? Or does fixed site mean already established sites where RC pilots fly?
Fixed Site means any site that is "approved & documented" by the FAA. I would suspect most of those are going to be more like AMA Flying Fields rather than random parks etc but I suppose any "fixed site" can get requested to get approval once the process is matured some.
 

Maviac

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OK - so what this appears to be saying is that within all surface controlled airspace associated with an airport, recreational flight will only be allowed at fixed sites. That's a huge additional restriction on hobbyists given the population density in surface controlled airspace. There are either going to be a lot of people breaking the law or the recreational drone business is in for a big downturn, or both.
Agreed, but then there’s the reference in the memo to LAANC being available this summer for recreational flyers. It’s not that clear but it sounds like flights in controlled airspace might be allowed for recreational pilots with authorization (the memo is sloppily written so who knows what they really meant. For example, it refers to flights less than 400 ft, as opposed to 400 feet and below. It’s a minor point but one that should be clear in such a document).

The memo does note that the purpose is to reduce the burden on towers from dealing with calls. If that is true, then LAANC for recreational pilots would seem to solve the problem.

As to your last sentence, I suspect the former is more likely to be the case, unfortunately.
 

kadras

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The rule doesn't state that flights in controlled airspace, or any flights for that matter, must be from fixed sites.

Ҥ 44809. Exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft
“(a) In General.—Except as provided in subsection (e), and notwithstanding chapter 447 of title 49, United States Code, a person may operate a small unmanned aircraft without specific certification or operating authority from the Federal Aviation Administration if the operation adheres to all of the following limitations:
(1) through (4) blah, blah, blah
“(5) In Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, the operator obtains prior authorization from the Administrator or designee before operating and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions. [This is where LAANC will be used]
(6) to (8) blah, blah, blah

Next section
“(b) Other Operations.—Unmanned aircraft operations that do not conform to the limitations in subsection (a) must comply with all statutes and regulations generally applicable to unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems. [This allows other flight opportunities but the operator must be really familiar with all the rules.]

Next section - applies to flying from a fixed site, not that you must fly from a fixed site. It says if you're flying to the rules of section(a) above AND at a fixed site, you follow this section. This allows flight in controlled airspace at known locations, without the need for getting additional approval, i.e. using LAANC, because the site location would be "pre-approved." Having pre-approved areas was a goal during the creation of the model aircraft rules, so that the operator wouldn't have to contact the airport/ATC each time. As reflected in some of the posts on this forum, some operators were allowed to fly at their "home area" without making contact each time.
“(c) Operations At Fixed Sites.—
“(1) OPERATING PROCEDURE REQUIRED.—Persons operating unmanned aircraft under subsection (a) from a fixed site within Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, or a community-based organization conducting a sanctioned event within such airspace, shall make the location of the fixed site known to the Administrator and shall establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure with the air traffic control facility.
 
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Vegasdad

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The government over stepping wanting everyone to get 107 let me say this just because you have a piece of paper that says you pasted a test your a better flyer. I didn't think we ever had to get permission before to fly their yes we had to let the ATC know where and when we would be flying but I didn't need their ok. 107 guys act like they are flying a f16 calm down my friends its a toy with a camera. Now let me go get some popcorn before all [Language Removed by Admin] brakes loose.
 
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sar104

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Agreed, but then there’s the reference in the memo to LAANC being available this summer for recreational flyers. It’s not that clear but it sounds like flights in controlled airspace might be allowed for recreational pilots with authorization (the memo is sloppily written so who knows what they really meant. For example, it refers to flights less than 400 ft, as opposed to 400 feet and below. It’s a minor point but one that should be clear in such a document).

The memo does note that the purpose is to reduce the burden on towers from dealing with calls. If that is true, then LAANC for recreational pilots would seem to solve the problem.

As to your last sentence, I suspect the former is more likely to be the case, unfortunately.
Section 349 certainly leaves that option open - I was referring to the wording in the memo and PowerPoint presentation that doesn't appear to include such an authorization system outside UASFM listed locations. But it may be just awkwardly worded - I guess we'll see when AC 91-57B is released and the FAA updates their website and guidance.
 
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BigAl07

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The government over stepping wanting everyone to get 107
Seriously? Get a little over dramatic much?

wanting everyone to get 107
I think everyone SHOULD get their Part 107 but this is still Hobby/Recreational but it brings everyone up to playing by the same rules. If you're flying the exact same aircraft, in the same location, and in the same manner as someone else why should you have different rules to fly by? This should have been done since day one but Congress fouled the water with their ignorant and knee-jerk reaction called 2012 Model ReAuthorization Act.

let me say this just because you have a piece of paper that says you pasted a test your a better flyer.
I agree. I think you should have to also have a Flight Proficiency Test to demonstrate you can fly the sUAS safely. But that piece of paper at least demonstrates you were exposed to the Rules & Regulations at least 1x and you can no longer feign "ignorance" to them if you bust them.

I didn't think we ever had to get permission before to fly their yes we had to let the ATC know where and when we would be flying but I didn't need their ok.
You didn't get permission you "Notified" but they still had the ability to DENY a flight if it endangered the NAS in any way. What you did with that "Denial" was clearly on you but they were mandated to NOT give "Approval to fly".

107 guys act like they are flying a f16 calm down my friends its a toy with a camera. Now let me go get some popcorn before all [Language Removed by Admin] brakes loose.
No Part 107 guys/girls are acting like they have skin in the game and are trying to operate within the FARs to help maintain the safest and most crowded Airspace on the planet. If you're going to be a Big Boy and fly your hobby sUAS in the NAS then you need to do the same thing because like it or not (NOT) we are all lumped into the same pot at the end of the day. You screw up we are get tighter regulations across the board.

Enjoy your popcorn :)
 

gottahavit

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Yes but when you create regulations so restrictive that almost no one will obey them, then two things happen, one everyone ignores them and since they are breaking the law anyway why care where you fly so people fly even less responsibly, and two since everyone is doing it it becomes impossible to enforce and again people pay even less attention to flying responsibly. The only way they will enforce this is if DJI and Yuneec start sending all flight logs to FAA and auto issue fines at which point the hobbyist drone industry is dead.

I fly only outside controlled space now anyway as there is a line down the side of my state where I live with 5-10 overlapping small airports just about anywhere along the main highway and trying to call them all every time I want to fly(all are private or farmers small airports) is absurd to me when I can drive 8 miles east and there are almost none. So this particular change has little meaning to me, but If If I wanted to fly under the new regs I'm fairly confident there will be ZERO fixed sites near me, so basically they are shutting down this area of my state for hobbyists.

I think the end goal here is they want hobbyist drone flying to die out. They do nothing for safety unless they are going to start tracking automatically and how many people(even those of us that try VERY hard to fly legal) want all our flight logs sent to the FAA?
 
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Drone on

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OK - so what this appears to be saying is that within all surface controlled airspace associated with an airport, recreational flight will only be allowed at fixed sites. That's a huge additional restriction on hobbyists given the population density in surface controlled airspace. There are either going to be a lot of people breaking the law or the recreational drone business is in for a big downturn, or both.
So, class G airspace is still good to go. Generally, I am good with that as I have seen all the roof tops I care to see.

LAANC is the ticket forward; hopefully for both recreational and Part 107.

I have part 107, but the areas under LAANC governance are fairly limited while "automated authorization coming soon" continues to be pending ad infinitum.
 

Dale D

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Am I the only one to comment that I see no big reason to fly in an air space that might endanger planes and airline passengers? Maybe I am just naive, but I try as best as I can to not fly within 5 miles of my big city airport (Miami). Last week I did a flight over the waterway where cruise ships leave the port, and soon after I landed, a seaplane roared by at about 300 feet! I almost was up there nearly at the same time a few minutes earlier. That would have been the last thing I would have imagined- to be in air space where commercial pales are flying.
I am a newbie, so just count me as inexperienced, but I have never even attempted to call an airport control tower to get flying permission. I am just too afraid and chicken.
 

Inspirephil

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According to the latest information I have received more will be revealed soon.
What I am most concerned about is the FAA knowledge test for recreational/hobbyist flyers. I want to take the test asap to make sure I am following the new regulations.
But these types of regulations are a direct result of pilots that don’t follow the airspace rules and thumb their noses at the rest of us who do follow them.
With the explosion of sUAV pilots in the last few years the FAA had to do something.
 
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tcope

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Am I the only one to comment that I see no big reason to fly in an air space that might endanger planes and airline passengers? Maybe I am just naive, but I try as best as I can to not fly within 5 miles of my big city airport (Miami). Last week I did a flight over the waterway where cruise ships leave the port, and soon after I landed, a seaplane roared by at about 300 feet! I almost was up there nearly at the same time a few minutes earlier. That would have been the last thing I would have imagined- to be in air space where commercial pales are flying.
I am a newbie, so just count me as inexperienced, but I have never even attempted to call an airport control tower to get flying permission. I am just too afraid and chicken.
So you are saying that when I fly 4 miles from an airport at 10 feet I'm endangering an aircraft. Or is it possible that you are simply twisting the truth to meet your position. When you were flying as you mention, were you within 5 miles of an airport? If so, seems like you don't follow your own rule. If you were not, seems like even flying further then 5 miles is "endangering" aircraft and you are not following your own rule.

Also, if you ever flew within 5 miles of _any_ airport/helipad you are not flying legally and, per your own post, are endangering aircraft.

Perhaps it is not as black and white as you think.
 

Bryce steiner

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Am I the only one to comment that I see no big reason to fly in an air space that might endanger planes and airline passengers? Maybe I am just naive, but I try as best as I can to not fly within 5 miles of my big city airport (Miami). Last week I did a flight over the waterway where cruise ships leave the port, and soon after I landed, a seaplane roared by at about 300 feet! I almost was up there nearly at the same time a few minutes earlier. That would have been the last thing I would have imagined- to be in air space where commercial pales are flying.
I am a newbie, so just count me as inexperienced, but I have never even attempted to call an airport control tower to get flying permission. I am just too afraid and chicken.
There are times when small single engine planes are flying very low over my town swinging around spraying fields. I have seen them lower than our high school football field lights, while I was taking school pictures (scaring us all). This is not near airports but it still happens. The FAA tries to mitigate the contact between UAV and the planes like this but I don't think you can eliminate all risks. Common sense kicks in when laws can't cover everything. The best thing is to give way even if you are "okay" because the last thing you would want is someone getting hurt or killed. Not that I think anyone would get hurt if there was a midair collision, but why take the chance?
 

msinger

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What I am most concerned about is the FAA knowledge test for recreational/hobbyist flyers. I want to take the test asap to make sure I am following the new regulations.
For now, there's no telling when the test will be available. The FAA stated they "will provide additional guidance and notice when the aeronautical knowledge and safety test is available and the date on which adherence to this condition is required". I'm assuming they will allow a reasonable amount of time for people to take the test. And considering the sheer number of people who will need to take it, it'll likely be some type of online test that one can do at home.
 

Drone Master

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For now, there's no telling when the test will be available. The FAA stated they "will provide additional guidance and notice when the aeronautical knowledge and safety test is available and the date on which adherence to this condition is required". I'm assuming they will allow a reasonable amount of time for people to take the test. And considering the sheer number of people who will need to take it, it'll likely be some type of online test that one can do at home.
We all hope! There are now millions of Drone Pilots just in the US alone! The FAA better have a decent plan on how they they will implement the test!;)
 

Thomas B

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We all hope! There are now millions of Drone Pilots just in the US alone! The FAA better have a decent plan on how they they will implement the test!;)
Latest report I found said 8% of the US population own a drone... that’s about 26 million drone owners.
 
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Drone Master

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Latest report I found said 8% of the US population own a drone... that’s about 26 million drone owners.
Like I said! Millions! And Growing! The FAA has a big responsibility here and it will be tough to regulate and enforce! Especially with local law enforcement.
 

Apocalypso

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This is going to get interesting for people at are not 107 certified. I just checked the B4UFLY app, and it is still directing me to call the local tower. I live in an area with a small private airport which does not have a tower, and I am within 1 mile of the 5 mile radius and not on any approach path. Although I can fly legally around here by using my part 107 and getting an approval from AirMap, it is a real shame for others who are not 107 certified.
Which will soon change because the FAA is now saying do not call the control tower, they won't authorization permission if you're a hobbyist.

"Until further notice, air traffic control facilities will no longer accept requests to operate recreational drones in controlled airspace on a case-by-case basis."

link:

FAA Highlights Changes for Recreational Drones
 

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