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Where do you draw the line from recreational pilot to part 107?

Dangerly

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I feel like this whole distinction between recreational and part 107 is pure mud and I can't make heads or tails of it for my particular use case. I never want to get compensated in any way - whether financially, good will, or otherwise - from any of my drone work. In fact, I don't even want my name on any of my drone work or to get credit. It's purely for the fun of it and capturing beauty. If other people see it, great, but I honestly don't care.

So with that setup, pick a letter and tell me where you'd draw the line between recreational and Part 107. Do I need a Part 107?

A. I own property in clear airspace with no local restrictions, I launch my drone from my own back yard, go up to 100 feet, take a picture of a park in the distance, and return. I post the picture on my personal Instagram account. So far, this would all be fine under recreational use, right? I can't imagine any problems.

B. The park sees my picture, downloads it from Instagram, and posts it on their website. So far, no problem for me, right?

C. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone within the park and take a picture for my own enjoyment from within the park. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. The park does the same thing - they copy it and eventually post the picture on their website.

D. Very similar to above, but with one difference. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone and take a picture from within the park, so long as I give them permission to use the picture to do with what they want. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. They do the same thing - copy the picture from Instagram and post on on their website.

E. Very similar to above, but with one difference. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone and take a picture from within the park, so long as I give them a copy of the picture to do with what they want. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. I email them a copy of the picture, and they post it on their website.

At what letter do I violate FAA guidelines with a recreational license?

EDIT: For those starting here, I've since added the twist that I would intend to open source all my drone photos and videos, allowing anyone in the world to copy them without giving me credit. I assume I don't need a part 107 just for that. If others want to use my work, I would neither know nor care. This way, I don't need to explicitly give permission (in part D) to use my work because it's inherent in the open source copyright.
 
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I feel like this whole distinction between recreational and part 107 is pure mud and I can't make heads or tails of it for my particular use case. I never want to get compensated in any way - whether financially, good will, or otherwise - from any of my drone work. In fact, I don't even want my name on any of my drone work or to get credit. It's purely for the fun of it and capturing beauty. If other people see it, great, but I honestly don't care.

So with that setup, pick a letter and tell me where you'd draw the line between recreational and Part 107. Do I need a Part 107?

A. I own property in clear airspace with no local restrictions, I launch my drone from my own back yard, go up to 100 feet, take a picture of a park in the distance, and return. I post the picture on my personal Instagram account. So far, this would all be fine under recreational use, right? I can't imagine any problems.

B. The park sees my picture, downloads it from Instagram, and posts it on their website. So far, no problem for me, right?

C. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone within the park and take a picture for my own enjoyment from within the park. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. The park does the same thing - they copy it and eventually post the picture on their website.

D. Very similar to above, but with one difference. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone and take a picture from within the park, so long as I give them permission to use the picture to do with what they want. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. They do the same thing - copy the picture from Instagram and post on on their website.

E. Very similar to above, but with one difference. I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone and take a picture from within the park, so long as I give them a copy of the picture to do with what they want. I do the same thing - go up 100 feet, take a very similar picture but this time within the park, and post it on Instagram. I email them a copy of the picture, and they post it on their website.

At what letter do I violate FAA guidelines with a recreational license?
My understanding is quite simple. Get paid or compensated any way, Part 107.. that includes flying for someone else's compensation ie volunteering for an organization. Not paid or compensated, recreational.
 
I look forward to hearing the discussion on this too. The argument that I repeatedly here is once it's past strictly recreational, it's a no-go. If that's the case I'm going to say that 'D' is over the edge. However, I would do any of those and ask, "Who's going to know?"
 
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D & E seem like you've crossed the line of flying recreational (just for fun). You're now plotting ahead of time to do something commercially with the photos taken during the flight.
 
My understanding is quite simple. Get paid or compensated any way, Part 107.. that includes flying for someone else's compensation ie volunteering for an organization. Not paid or compensated, recreational.
The twist here is that I'm flying purely for my own enjoyment. Posting my picture on Instagram allows someone else to copy it and then benefit from it, but that is not my goal. I'm not flying for someone else's compensation or benefit, but someone else happens to be able to benefit from it.
 
Simply put, you can't "recreate" for another person or entity. Your intent at the time of the flight determines whether it is under 44809 or 14 CFR 107.

Look at it this way: even if this is all hypothetical, you are asking in a forum how far you can push the limits of 44809 in order to get your photos to a park which will use them to promote said park. To me that kinda shows your intent is not purely recreational.
 
The twist here is that I'm flying purely for my own enjoyment
However, there is a twist on your twist. You're not allowed to take the flight unless you agree to be a participant in a commercial activity.
 
D & E seem like you've crossed the line of flying recreational (just for fun). You're now plotting ahead of time to do something commercially with the photos taken during the flight.
So you're saying it's legal if I:

1. Get permission to fly
2. Post my picture on Instagram, knowing they or anyone else for that matter may (or may not) copy it from Instagram
3. They copy it and use it on their website

So that's all good? But if I just add "And you have permission to use my photo" then I've crossed the line?
 
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if I just add "And you have permission to use my photo" then I've crossed the line?
That now makes it seem like you're plotting to partake in a commercial activity.

And, yes, this is just my own opinion. Please ask the FAA directly if you have any doubts. You should not rely on any responses you see in this forum -- as none of them will be an official response from an FAA employee.
 
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It's very simple. There are 8 criteria for flying under the recreational exception to 107. They are listed here: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml...lim-title49-section44809&num=0&edition=prelim

if you fall outside any of those 8 criteria, it's a 107 flight. No discussion necessary.

What you or someone else does with the imagery after the flight is of no concern to the FAA. They could care less. It's all about intent at time of flight.

There is no grey area here at all.
 
So you're saying it's legal if I:

1. Get permission to fly
2. Post my picture on Instagram, knowing they or anyone else for that matter may (or may not) copy it from Instagram
3. They copy it and use it on their website

So that's all good? But if I just add "And you have permission to use my photo" then I've crossed the line?
Also legit #3 even if they PAY YOU!!! As long as the INTENT was recreation, just to fly up and take some nice, personal pictures or to fly around and sight see. If ANY other purpose, Part 107.
 
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Just getting your Pt. 107 doesn't require you to do commercial work. I got mine so I could better understand airspace rules and know more about where/when I can fly. I have no interest in flying for compensation but I like knowing that I can fly under Pt. 107 rules and not worry about whether my flights fit into the 44809 boundaries or not. I find it makes my time in the air more enjoyable since I know the rules for where I am flying.
 
It's very simple. There are 8 criteria for flying under the recreational exception to 107.
Unfortunately, it's really not simple at all. That's why the OP is here asking this question.

The link you shared states "the aircraft is flown strictly for recreational purposes". It does not explain what "recreational purposes" means. I believe that's what the OP is trying to understand.
 
That now makes it seem like you're plotting to partake in a commercial activity.

And, yes, this is just my own opinion. Please ask the FAA directly if you have any doubts. You should not rely on any responses you see in this forum -- as none of them will be an official response from an FAA employee.
Thanks for your thoughts. I will ask the FAA and post here if I get a response.
 
Unfortunately, it's really not simple at all. That's why the OP is here asking this question.

The link you shared states "the aircraft is flown strictly for recreational purposes". It does not explain what "recreational purposes" means. I believe that's what the OP is trying to understand.
Actually, it is very simple.

If the park gives permission with the caveat that they get a copy of the photo, the flight is no longer recreational. The park has put a quid pro quo caveat on the flight. It now falls under 107 rules.
 
seems fairly clear to me...

in D & E there is a "transaction" talking place.

They will only allow you to fly if you give them something in return.

You are in essence being compensated for the flight by being allowed to fly there and you are providing a service to the park (providing a photo) for the permission to fly there.

if they gave you permission to fly with no implied or explicit transaction beforehand and then later the park realized they liked the picture and you sold it to them for a million dollars then there would be no Part 107 violation.

Again its the transactional nature of the flight beforehand and not what happens after the flight that makes the total difference in the rules.

But that's just my newly minted part 107 certification speaking so I could be completely wrong.

EDIT: cross-posted with the above.

So I guess I was right after all. 😀
 
seems fairly clear to me...

in D & E there is a "transaction" talking place.

They will only allow you to fly if you give them something in return.

You are in essence being compensated for the flight by being allowed to fly there and you are providing a service to the park (providing a photo) for the permission to fly there.

if they gave you permission to fly with no implied or explicit transaction beforehand and then later the park realized they liked the picture and you sold it to them for a million dollars then there would be no Part 107 violation.

Again its the transactional nature of the flight beforehand and not what happens after the flight that makes the total difference in the rules.

But that's just my newly minted part 107 certification speaking so I could be completely wrong.
That's also the opinion of someone who counsels 107 and 44809 drone operators when they're turned in for infractions. 😉
 
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seems fairly clear to me...

in D & E there is a "transaction" talking place.

They will only allow you to fly if you give them something in return.

You are in essence being compensated for the flight by being allowed to fly there and you are providing a service to the park (providing a photo) for the permission to fly there.

if they gave you permission to fly with no implied or explicit transaction beforehand and then later the park realized they liked the picture and you sold it to them for a million dollars then there would be no Part 107 violation.

Again its the transactional nature of the flight beforehand and not what happens after the flight that makes the total difference in the rules.

But that's just my newly minted part 107 certification speaking so I could be completely wrong.

EDIT: cross-posted with the above.

So I guess I was right after all. 😀
So then, with all of that in mind, this would be legal?

I ask for and receive permission from the park to operate my drone within the park and take a picture for my own enjoyment from within the park. They ask what I'll be doing with the content, and I tell them I'll be posting it on Instagram. I go up 100 feet, take a picture within the park, and post it on Instagram. The park sees the photo on Instagram, they copy it and eventually post the picture on their website.

So long as there's no explicit exchange of value, I'm good? If it's implicit, as in the above, then I should be okay?
 
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