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Sheriff at my door this morning.

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PompousWindbag

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So, I took this flight last evening around 9pm.
I created two short hyperlapses in the same airspace and then did a little loop around the neighborhood before I came in for a landing. In reviewing the footage later, I noticed a car with its lights on, stopped in the street in front of my home. That made me a little uneasy. This morning, a female deputy knocked on my front door, handing me a business card with another deputy's name on it and asked me to give him a call. He seemed startled when I readily admitted that yes, that was my drone and I launched it. He asked if I was a certified FAA drone pilot. I explained that as a hobbyist, I don't need a Part 107 license, but that I indeed had completed the TRUST certification, my drone is properly registered and my FAA reg is displayed on the exterior of my drone. He then tried to tell me I couldn't fly at night because the LED's aren't enough. I assured him that I was aware of this and that's why I was flying with an FAA approved beacon atop my craft. He countered by saying that the neighbor who took photos of my drone couldn't see the strobe. I told him that's because the strobe is on top for the benefit of being seen by manned aircraft above and isn't readily visible from the street. Believing a good offense is better than playing defense, I explained what the hyperlapse is and how I could understand that it might make someone below nervous, but that nobody's privacy (except mine, quite frankly) was being breached. I offered to show him the footage and he appreciated that. I told him that insofar as I am aware, I am legally allowed to do what I'm doing and my objective was to provide the evidence to him to prove it so that he could put the matter to rest with the complainant. I sent him the video of the hyperlapse and copies of my TRUST and FAA drone registration. For icing on the cake, I sent him the landing I filmed of my drone last night, which clearly shows the white/red flashing beacon light on the surrounding area after I landed.

He wrote back, thanked me for my response and said he'd let me know if he has any other questions. (Removed by moderator) She seemed a little embarrassed that she was even having to bother me at all. Am I missing something here? Have I done anything wrong?
 
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Phantomrain.org

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So you must realize that one of your Neighbors hates that you fly the drone, and there lies your problem. You are right about the light ontop not being seen , as its almost impossible to see it while flying 10 ft or higher.

Might as well get some Donuts ready, as there is a good chance she will be making the rounds again as that neighbor might not give up so quick.

One of the best things you can do is take a few seconds of video of the drone taking off with the FAA light on top , that can save you quickly without the hassle for any video you post.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain and Land on the Water.
 

thispilothere

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By the way, the female deputy that delivered the business card was a knockout. Beautiful smile. She seemed a little embarrassed that she was even having to bother me at all. Am I missing something here? Have I done anything wrong?
(Deleted by moderator)

Cops don't know drone laws. They barely understand anything involving privacy or nuisance laws.

Imagine how bad it'll be when RID kicks in and any angry neighbor can track you down and confront you.
 
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Prop Wash

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I think:
1) You did everything right - FAA-approved strobe, FAA rules for night flying, not spying on anyone.
2) You were able to prove it.
3) You communicated all of the above openly with law enforcement.
I'd be surprised if this one went any further. If the officer explains you were within the rules to the complainant, it may done. But, don't be surprised if "irritated neighbor" continues to be...ahem...irritating. Perhaps limit your night flights so they can't say, "He does this 'EVERY' night!"
 

eEridani

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First and Foremost: I am only asking for info - I am not trying to make any statements or argue anything.

Where in the FAR's is the bit where recreational flyers can fly at night? I've been looking and can't find one shred of info that says it is okay, even with approved lighting. There was one general waiver - but it was rescinded a short time ago. I want to fly at night, have everything set to fly legally; but so far all of my LAANC requests have been denied (100' inside Class C airspace and always file for clearance, just in case a neighbor calls) - and I can't find one sentence about night flight anywhere else, including rec flying under part 49, making me think night flight is not allowed. It's driving me crazy.
 

sar104

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First and Foremost: I am only asking for info - I am not trying to make any statements or argue anything.

Where in the FAR's is the bit where recreational flyers can fly at night? I've been looking and can't find one shred of info that says it is okay, even with approved lighting. There was one general waiver - but it was rescinded a short time ago. I want to fly at night, have everything set to fly legally; but so far all of my LAANC requests have been denied (100' inside Class C airspace and always file for clearance, just in case a neighbor calls) - and I can't find one sentence about night flight anywhere else, including rec flying under part 49, making me think night flight is not allowed. It's driving me crazy.

You are asking the wrong question. 49 U.S.C §44809 specifies the limitations under which recreational flight is exempt from 14 CFR Part 107 - in other words night flight is allowed unless daylight operation is one of the limitations. Daylight operations is not one of the limitations, and so night flights are not explicitly restricted. Exempt flights are required to be conducted in accordance with the safety guidelines of a community-based organization but, assuming you use AMA guidelines for that, night flights are allowed.
 

eEridani

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You are asking the wrong question. 49 U.S.C §44809 specifies the limitations under which recreational flight is exempt from 14 CFR Part 107 - in other words night flight is allowed unless daylight operation is one of the limitations. Daylight operations is not one of the limitations, and so night flights are not explicitly restricted. Exempt flights are required to be conducted in accordance with the safety guidelines of a community-based organization but, assuming you use AMA guidelines for that, night flights are allowed.
But 14CFR 107 requires flights to have a part 107 license AND night certification (using the recurrent test for now). Where in the part 49 exemption is this rule exempted or not negated?

Guess I am just reading the part 49 bit too constrictively and mixing in the LAANC denials to reinforce my interpretation. I just sent the FAA a request for clarification.
 
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sar104

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But 14CFR 107 requires flights to have a part 107 license AND night certification (using the recurrent test for now). Where in the part 49 exemption is this rule exempted or not negated?
49 U.S.C §44809 is an exemption from all Part 107 requirements, and sets a different set of requirements. Part 107 doesn't apply to flights under 49 U.S.C §44809.
 

PompousWindbag

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I think:
1) You did everything right - FAA-approved strobe, FAA rules for night flying, not spying on anyone.
2) You were able to prove it.
3) You communicated all of the above openly with law enforcement.
I'd be surprised if this one went any further. If the officer explains you were within the rules to the complainant, it may done. But, don't be surprised if "irritated neighbor" continues to be...ahem...irritating. Perhaps limit your night flights so they can't say, "He does this 'EVERY' night!"
I hope you're right. As I explained to the deputy, I maybe take the drone out on average once a week at most, and not all of those are night flights. I also stressed that my typical flight pattern is to take off vertically at least 150-350' straight up, before I move in any direction, so as not to draw attention to the drone or cause any unintended stress to the neighbors.
 

PompousWindbag

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So you must realize that one of your Neighbors hates that you fly the drone, and there lies your problem. You are right about the light ontop not being seen , as its almost impossible to see it while flying 10 ft or higher.

Might as well get some Donuts ready, as there is a good chance she will be making the rounds again as that neighbor might not give up so quick.

One of the best things you can do is take a few seconds of video of the drone taking off with the FAA light on top , that can save you quickly without the hassle for any video you post.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain and Land on the Water.
Good idea. Thanks.
 
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halmc

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You are asking the wrong question. 49 U.S.C §44809 specifies the limitations under which recreational flight is exempt from 14 CFR Part 107 - in other words night flight is allowed unless daylight operation is one of the limitations. Daylight operations is not one of the limitations, and so night flights are not explicitly restricted. Exempt flights are required to be conducted in accordance with the safety guidelines of a community-based organization but, assuming you use AMA guidelines for that, night flights are allowed.
Precisely. Laws are generally designed to regulate and sometimes restrict rights, they are almost NEVER the source of rights.
 

Drone_Pilot

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First and Foremost: I am only asking for info - I am not trying to make any statements or argue anything.

Where in the FAR's is the bit where recreational flyers can fly at night? I've been looking and can't find one shred of info that says it is okay, even with approved lighting. There was one general waiver - but it was rescinded a short time ago. I want to fly at night, have everything set to fly legally; but so far all of my LAANC requests have been denied (100' inside Class C airspace and always file for clearance, just in case a neighbor calls) - and I can't find one sentence about night flight anywhere else, including rec flying under part 49, making me think night flight is not allowed. It's driving me crazy.
Not all Laanc apps allow you to fly at night. Aloft is one that will allow you to fly at night that I know.
 
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7amanian

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Wow, that ended up nicely. Once I was on a family vacation in a hotel and after checking with the hotel and got the approval to fly, I started flying early in the morning and people were very interested in it and many people wanted to take pictures and video and I was so happy to do so. went back to the room and changed the battery and flew again and no pleasure will last as many people are "HATERS". a lady came and she reported me to the police and hotel management claiming that I have recorded her..... I was frustrated and worried at the same time till I explained the situation and the reason was the drone was close to the area where she was as it's next to us, showing them the approval as well as the registered Drone certificate. police were understanding as well as the management and I had to show her the footage and told her to give me exactly the time you saw it. then she claims that she open the curtains and she saw the drone flying nearby her room and thought I was recording. fun fact, the drone was recording at 90 degrees the sand area with the sea plants and nothing she says was true. also showed them the footage of the landing and case dismissed.

Totally agree with the haters.
 

MoneyMonk

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So, I took this flight last evening around 9pm.
I created two short hyperlapses in the same airspace and then did a little loop around the neighborhood before I came in for a landing. In reviewing the footage later, I noticed a car with its lights on, stopped in the street in front of my home. That made me a little uneasy. This morning, a female deputy knocked on my front door, handing me a business card with another deputy's name on it and asked me to give him a call. He seemed startled when I readily admitted that yes, that was my drone and I launched it. He asked if I was a certified FAA drone pilot. I explained that as a hobbyist, I don't need a Part 107 license, but that I indeed had completed the TRUST certification, my drone is properly registered and my FAA reg is displayed on the exterior of my drone. He then tried to tell me I couldn't fly at night because the LED's aren't enough. I assured him that I was aware of this and that's why I was flying with an FAA approved beacon atop my craft. He countered by saying that the neighbor who took photos of my drone couldn't see the strobe. I told him that's because the strobe is on top for the benefit of being seen by manned aircraft above and isn't readily visible from the street. Believing a good offense is better than playing defense, I explained what the hyperlapse is and how I could understand that it might make someone below nervous, but that nobody's privacy (except mine, quite frankly) was being breached. I offered to show him the footage and he appreciated that. I told him that insofar as I am aware, I am legally allowed to do what I'm doing and my objective was to provide the evidence to him to prove it so that he could put the matter to rest with the complainant. I sent him the video of the hyperlapse and copies of my TRUST and FAA drone registration. For icing on the cake, I sent him the landing I filmed of my drone last night, which clearly shows the white/red flashing beacon light on the surrounding area after I landed.

He wrote back, thanked me for my response and said he'd let me know if he has any other questions. By the way, the female deputy that delivered the business card was a knockout. Beautiful smile. She seemed a little embarrassed that she was even having to bother me at all. Am I missing something here? Have I done anything wrong?
NOPE!
 

Phantomrain.org

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What I would do now:

Sign up to your Neighbor Hood Watch: Let them know your FAA approved to fly at night,
Let them know your Practicing for Search and Rescue and your Available for finding those who are lost.

Post a security perimeter Picture of your Neighborhood every night on the Posts. '
Post Sunsets when you can and Foul Weather Pictures as well.

If someone is selling there home offer an Overhead View for them showing the location surrounding them.
You can also Post Pictures of Rivers and Streets that flooding, Parked Vans , Utility Work , Pole work,

One quick response that has saved me countless times from speculation is the reason I am flying my drone is that I am checking the Designated Air Space for Search and Rescue Operations , and that is the Reason why my drone has the Wet Suit because it needs to fly under all weather Conditions. It works better than I am joy flying my drone.

Needless to say my surrounding Neighbors know where to go to find a lost cat.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain and Land on the Water.
 

Dbez1

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Imagine how bad it'll be when RID kicks in and any angry neighbor can track you down and confront you.
I’m working on my 107 and, to my understanding, private citizens will not be able to get information like controller position, pilot name etc. Have I been misinformed?
 
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mvadventures

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Good discussion... until people felt the need to comment on the fact that the Sheriff's deputy was an attractive female. What does that have to do with anything? This person is a deputy, doing their job. Does it matter what they look like? If the person was ugly, had a disability, or was a member of an ethnic group - would that matter? That's how you get -isms... racism, sexism, etc.
If you're in a bar looking for someone to talk to - maybe looks matter. But for someone doing their job - nope. It's about how well you do your job, not what you look like.
 

theDRONEranger

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So you must realize that one of your Neighbors hates that you fly the drone, and there lies your problem. You are right about the light ontop not being seen , as its almost impossible to see it while flying 10 ft or higher.

Might as well get some Donuts ready, as there is a good chance she will be making the rounds again as that neighbor might not give up so quick.

One of the best things you can do is take a few seconds of video of the drone taking off with the FAA light on top , that can save you quickly without the hassle for any video you post.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain and Land on the Water.
(Deleted by moderator)

Good flying, good answers. Calm, considerate and concise answers. Well done!
 
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Jiffen

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I think:
1) You did everything right - FAA-approved strobe, FAA rules for night flying, not spying on anyone.
2) You were able to prove it.
3) You communicated all of the above openly with law enforcement.
I'd be surprised if this one went any further. If the officer explains you were within the rules to the complainant, it may done. But, don't be surprised if "irritated neighbor" continues to be...ahem...irritating. Perhaps limit your night flights so they can't say, "He does this 'EVERY' night!"
Until now I did not realize a strobe light was required for night flight. In looking for an approved light I see they come in several colors, and operate in Strobe, Flash, or Continuous. I cannot find a regulation that defines color requirement or the strobe, flash, continuous operation.
 
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