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Never have I been so many questions when notifying airport

normr

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On Wednesday, a friend who lives on the outer 5 mile edge boundary of North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines Florida, needed me to shoot some pictures and videos of his home and lake, so as a responsible pilot, I called the number shown in the Hover app and was told I needed to call another number for the tower, when they answered, I told the person that I was a hobbyist drone pilot and that I was planning on flying in the area of their northern 5 mile boundary. He started asking for the address of where I was flying, my contact info, my FAA registration number, the weight of my drone, how high I was planning on flying ( I told him I would be under 400 feet) and for how long.

I have never been asked all this information in the past even when I have called that same airport, has anyone else experienced this? Is this something new they are doing since that Las Vegas video of the knucklehead flying above landing jets.
 
Doesn't surprise me. Since you made the effort to call he may as well get all the details. It does seem that he had a script of questions to ask since he asked about weight etc.
 
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Being that you are calling to warn them. All those questions are pertinent and important information to know if you have the responsibility of bringing aircraft in and out safely. If an accident happened involving the drone and he failed to ask for all that information i could see how that could be taken as negligence on his end.
 
It must be something new because I’ve never been asked all these questions, in the past, it was just where and how long and how high, It’ll be interesting to hear other people’s reports.
 
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Seems like someone was asking the right questions, assuming he carried the responsibility for advising arriving and departing aircraft of nearby airborne hazards. That is probably the way things are supposed to work.
 
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I fly Public Safety sUAS and have had to talk to three different airports over the last year. One was Denton Regional almost no issues except I had to notify both the AO and the ATC. More issues with the AO because he wouldn’t answer his cell. I also contacted Addison Airport this one was the coolest guy. He wanted to come out and watch me fly. When I called to let him know I was done flying he said he was trying to find me on the Terminal Radar. I have also called DFW International. This one was a little more of a challenge, mostly because the ATC guy didn’t want to be bothered by a little sUAS. Ultimately when he realized it was a courtesy that I called he begrudgingly approved my flight. I have never had to tell them weight, just color of aircraft, my operating area by Lat/Long, AGL Max, and if I have lights.
 
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seems logical to me. If I were responsible for a given air space i would ask all those questions and possibly more. ATC is just that ATC. Every other aircraft in their air space reports that kind of info relative to ID size flight path etc either electronically or verbal communication I really do not see it as unusual. Remember we , anyone who enters a controlled airspace even uncontrolled for that matter do not own the air space we are using it and the old adage better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission simply does not apply here.
mikemoose55
 
I routinely have to call a naval air station to inform them I’m flying within their 5 mile radius and the only question they ever ask is how high I’m flying. No FAA number, lat long, or anything.
 
They may be in on the same briefings as AOPA.
Here's a helpful set of pages for hobbiest drone pilots:

Best Practices for Flying your Drone within Five Miles of an Airport - AOPA

and more to what you were asked
The airport manager or employee will likely be interested in the following information:

  1. Where you will be operating (address or latitude/longitude)
  2. The altitudes at which you will be flying (below 400 feet above ground level)
  3. What type of flying activity you will be doing
  4. The number of aircraft and a basic description of the aircraft
  5. When you will be flying and for how long
  6. Your name and a method of contacting you such as a cell phone number or radio frequency
 
They may be in on the same briefings as AOPA.
Here's a helpful set of pages for hobbiest drone pilots:

Best Practices for Flying your Drone within Five Miles of an Airport - AOPA

and more to what you were asked
The airport manager or employee will likely be interested in the following information:

  1. Where you will be operating (address or latitude/longitude)
  2. The altitudes at which you will be flying (below 400 feet above ground level)
  3. What type of flying activity you will be doing
  4. The number of aircraft and a basic description of the aircraft
  5. When you will be flying and for how long
  6. Your name and a method of contacting you such as a cell phone number or radio frequency
I can understand notifying a control tower, since they have control over their airspace - 5 miles up to 3000’, and can communicate with pilots about UAV traffic that may affect them. Absent an entity that communicates with pilots, it’s not clear how the owner of the “blacktop” would use the notification of the sUAV operation.

Unfortunately, most private airports/heliports are unattended. In my experience, calling the number in the FAA registry for these facilities usually goes to voicemail, and you don’t get a callback. If somebody does answer, they usually have no idea of what to do with the information you’re giving them.

A few days ago, I called the number for a hospital helipad several times and the call went to VM each time. I left a message including my cell number…but nobody called back. I called the main switchboard and they had no idea where to refer me, so they passed me to Security, who didn’t know either. I gave them the name of the person on the FAA registry, and they said he was in facilities, so I got transferred there. The man who answered there wasn’t very helpful either, but at least, assured me he’d make sure I got the callback - he told me they only do things like cleaning the snow from the helipad. No call back yet, but I’m not holding my breath.

Another helipad call got a quick return, but not from the person the FAA had listed. That person, for whom I left the VM, had one of their pilots, who was also 107 certified, call me; he knew exactly what I was talking about, and only asked where I flew from. When I told him, he said that at that distance they were well above 400’. He basically said there was no issue unless I was right near the pad, and that I wouldn’t have to call each time. He said if they saw me, they’d go around, and if I saw them, I should just land. Pleasant conversation, problem solved. If only it was so easy everywhere.

Does anybody know if there’s any effort going on to change the 5 mile rule? How about eliminating it for private facilities and/or or those without any control tower or other means to let pilots know where you’re at? Or maybe reducing the distance to 1 mile, if you’d stay below say 200’. The way it is now, I end up calling a lot of people who have no idea what to do with that info, or just seem annoyed by my call. I’m all for safety, but I think putting a high powered strobe (Firehouse 4 LED) on my MA will make far more difference than a phone call to someone not in a position to notify actual pilots.
 
Here in Oz the rule is

If your drone weighs more than 100 grams:
  • You must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes (usually those with a control tower)
  • You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/ HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible. This includes:
    • not operating your drone within the airfield boundary (*without approval)
    • not operating your drone in the approach and departure paths of the aerodrome (*without approval)
Seems logical

In the state I live, which is about 1/3 of Australia in size, there would be no more than 10 controlled aerodromes (If that)
 
Unfortunately, most private airports/heliports are unattended. In my experience, calling the number in the FAA registry for these facilities usually goes to voicemail, and you don’t get a callback. If somebody does answer, they usually have no idea of what to do with the information you’re giving them.

A few days ago, I called the number for a hospital helipad several times and the call went to VM each time. I left a message including my cell number…but nobody called back. I called the main switchboard and they had no idea where to refer me, so they passed me to Security, who didn’t know either. I gave them the name of the person on the FAA registry, and they said he was in facilities, so I got transferred there. The man who answered there wasn’t very helpful either, but at least, assured me he’d make sure I got the callback - he told me they only do things like cleaning the snow from the helipad. No call back yet, but I’m not holding my breath.

A lot of you are overthinking this. You are not required to get a call back. You are not required to talk to anyone. You are required to NOTIFY. If you leave voicemail to the phone number listed on the ELA or airfield directory, you have notified. Make note of it and carry on.
 
I wonder how the FAA would sort it out if you called and jumped thru all the hoops and at the same time some 14 year old kid that didn't get permission launches and causes a near miss in the same zone. Unlikely, but possible.
 
easy way out of all this BS? Go Part 107 and most of the notification issues go away.

I can be 1.01 miles away from an airport and there is no problem,while some of you who are much better sUAV pilots than I have to beg to fly.

What is the difference besides I dropped $150.00 to take a test that had nearly no practical application in real life?

If I had not, the 5 mile rule would have had me spending my days on the phone or pulling my hair out.
 
hey there.
I'm in Murrieta Ca. on vacation and I'm near a small airport and apparently a couple of helicopter pads.
I've flown here a couple of years ago and went over to notify the tower and they acted as if I was a nuisance and told me to just go fly.
Recently I downloaded airmap and now to comply I need to call two airports and two heliports to fly a drone for hobby purposes .
Personally I think this is overkill because I just want to fly low and near my location as I've done several times in the past with no problems .
If I was going to fly blos or over 400' then I see the need to notify the airports and heliports in that area.
That being said I think it's ridiculous for a hobbiest to even communicate with professional airport personnel and waste both parties time .
 
On Wednesday, a friend who lives on the outer 5 mile edge boundary of North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines Florida, needed me to shoot some pictures and videos of his home and lake, so as a responsible pilot, I called the number shown in the Hover app and was told I needed to call another number for the tower, when they answered, I told the person that I was a hobbyist drone pilot and that I was planning on flying in the area of their northern 5 mile boundary. He started asking for the address of where I was flying, my contact info, my FAA registration number, the weight of my drone, how high I was planning on flying ( I told him I would be under 400 feet) and for how long.

I have never been asked all this information in the past even when I have called that same airport, has anyone else experienced this? Is this something new they are doing since that Las Vegas video of the knucklehead flying above landing jets.
Best Practices for Flying your Drone within Five Miles of an Airport - AOPA
 

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