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

I still think they whole recreational vs very loosely "commercial" is still a pathetic excuse for calling something intent. The issue is airspace if you're even in it.
 
I did mention that very phrase in my last post but the anti-rules crowd has probably never heard that and only seek to impugn the regulations.
I don't 'only seek to impugn the regulations', I just see some regulations as tedious, unnecessary and irrelevant. And those regulations, I will ignore.
 
Correct. "Compensation" has nothing to do with it, nor does "commercial". It's either "recreational", or it's "non-recreational".

It's only recreational if the intent is purely for fun or personal enjoyment. Anything else is non-recreational, regardless of whether you receive compensation or not, and regardless of whether you're doing it for your own personal purposes or out of goodwill for a neighbour.

The part that I find wacky is that there are only a bare minimum set of applicable regulations, and only need pass a simple "Trust" test, if you're flying only for fun. This implies that recreational pilots can be trusted to fly safely under those minimum requirements, as long as they're having fun.

Instead the full Part 107 applies if you fly for any reason that is of any useful benefit to anyone. And, according the FAA clarification, it can't even be judged as being flown strictly for recreational purposes, even if you're flying for no particular reason or benefit to anyone, unless you're actually enjoying yourself.

"purely for fun or personal enjoyment"

Why should there be different classes of regulations covering the safe operation of aircraft within the U.S. national airspace, with the separate classifications distinguished only by whether the intent is to have fun or not? What has fun have to do with safety?

It's like saying murder is illegal, unless it's done purely for fun or personal enjoyment. It just makes no sense.
 
I just see some regulations as tedious, unnecessary and irrelevant. And those regulations, I will ignore.
Apparently, a lot of those tedious, unnecessary, and irrelevant regulations don't apply and can be safely ignored, just as long as you're having fun.

Flying over your house, or flying out to the end of the pasture, is allowed and considered safe when done purely for fun and your own amusement. You can check the state of your rain gutters or whether the pasture gate has been closed, or even check your neighbour's gutters and gates, as long as that's purely for fun and your own personal enjoyment.

But if the "intent" of your flight is to check your own or your neighbour's rain gutters or gates, that's non-recreational regardless of whether or not you get compensated for it.

It's absurd.
 
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Apparently, a lot of those tedious, unnecessary, and irrelevant regulations don't apply and can be safely ignored, just as long as you're having fun.

Flying over your house, or flying out to the end of the pasture, is allowed and considered safe when done purely for fun and your own amusement. You can check the state of your rain gutters or whether the pasture gate has been closed, or even check your neighbour's gutters and gates, as long as that's purely for fun and your own personal enjoyment.

But if the "intent" of your flight is to check your own or your neighbour's rain gutters or gates, that's non-recreational regardless of whether or not you get compensated for it.

It's absurd.
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If flying over my neighbor's roof to ensure it's not going to leak gives me joy (enjoyment) and it's not when I am working, then by the definition of recreational, this meets the actual dictionary definition of recreational. Should we not use the actual dictionary definition of "recreational" here?
 
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If flying over my neighbor's roof to ensure it's not going to leak gives me joy (enjoyment) and it's not when I am working, then by the definition of recreational, this meets the actual dictionary definition of recreational. Should we not use the actual dictionary definition of "recreational" here?
We should not because that definition is too broad. We'll need to use "recreational" under the terms defined by Congress and layed out by the FAA subject to their interpretation and subject to change over time. There is an exception and the term "recreational" has been landed on to label that exception. It's not the same "recreational" that you might find when it comes to downhill skiing or cross-country RVing.
 
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Let's review a little history to explain how we got to this abysmal situation.

Originally the regulations exempted all "model aircraft" as long as they were flown safely as not to present a hazard to manned aviation or to people and property on the ground. That's the "don't be an idiot" rule.

Radio controlled airplanes were always considered to be "aircraft" under the FAA's regulations. But the definition of "model aircraft" stipulated that they are flown only for "recreational" purposes.

Back then, everyone knew what was meant by "model aircraft". It's a scale model of a yellow Piper Cub, or a Spitfire, or whatever, and it's typically only flown at your local model aircraft flying field according to the strict rules imposed by your local club and AMA. That system worked acceptably for a hundred years.

But, if you used your radio controlled aircraft for any non-recreational purpose, it no longer met the exemption for "model aircraft" and therefor the full weight of every FAA "aircraft" regulation applied, including ridiculous things like the need to paint foot-high identification numbers on the fuselage, and carry a printed copy of the operating manual onboard, etc. Exceptions for such nonsense could be requested in Canada if, several months before any planned non-recreational flight, you applied for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) with sufficient documentation to demonstrate such flights could be carried out safely.

Then we got camera carrying "drones", which any idiot can fly taking off from wherever they please to spy on people and cause havoc at airports causing airliners to crash, thereby creating the perception of grave danger to society. So we need regulations. And we're going to make those regulations apply equally to everything weighing only a trivial 250g and up to including stuff weighing a 100 times more at 25kg.

"Drones" are the problem. But nobody could come up with a proper definition of what a "drone" actually is. So instead we have "UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles", which was considered offensive to women aviators, so that had to be changed to "RPA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft", or whatever, which unfortunately now includes all model aircraft, which previously weren't causing any problems.

Not surprisingly, hobby fliers and the AMA strenuously objected, so Congress forced the FAA into writing an exemption for "recreational" flight operations. But that doesn't mean you're exempt from everything. There are specific restrictions about staying away from people and airports, a requirement to pass the "Trust" exam to demonstrate at least a minimum understanding of the FAA regulations, and much more...

Unless you're flying in an approved FRIA reserved solely for that purpose, you must fly in accordance with the rules set by a Community-Based Organization, like the AMA, and those rules must be approved by the FAA!

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml...lim-title49-section44809&num=0&edition=prelim
(2) The aircraft is operated in accordance with or within the programming of a community-based organization's set of safety guidelines that are developed in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The "recreational" exemptions don't apply to you unless you also fully comply with that obscure backdoor clause, through which the FAA can impose all sorts of additional requirements.
 
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We actually do have a similar exemption in Canada, but it's not written into the regulations.

We got rid of that artificial distinction between recreational or non-recreational, because it's absurd. If you're flying a small remotely piloted aircraft (sRPA) in Canada, then the same regulations apply to you regardless of whether you're flying for fun or business.

The "intent" of your flight, fun or business, makes no difference at all to the regulatory requirements. You can use it for whatever you like -- take real-estate photos, monetize your Youtube videos, check your gates and gutters, who cares? All that matters is the weight of your aircraft (250g-25kg), and where you are flying it, controlled airspace (Advanced) or uncontrolled (Basic).

If you're flying a sub-250g micro-drone, only the "don't be an idiot" regulation applies.

The only place you'll find any of that "recreational" nonsense remaining is in our equivalent of your AMA, our MAAC - Model Aeronautics Association of Canada. They obtained a blanket exemption from needing to comply with Transport Canada's regulations.

Because they've existed a long time and have a long history demonstrating that their club members can operate safely under the existing MAAC rules, they were granted an exemption, but with lots of conditions applied. Their members don't need to register every one of their model aircraft, and they don't need to take a Transport Canada exam in order to be allowed to fly, etc.

But, recently there was scandal in which a few of the MAAC clubs were found to be in breach of the Transport Canada conditions and the entire MAAC exemption was rescinded!

I don't know if that's been fixed yet. I'm not a MAAC member. I tried once, hoping to benefit from their club insurance coverage. But there are so many complications and restrictions to their coverage, I gave up on that.

You need to pay a yearly membership fee to MAAC, plus a yearly membership fee to your local MAAC-associated flying club. If ever you do have an accident and need to draw on the insurance policy, the local club first has to contribute a fairly huge deductible amount, before the MAAC policy covers anything. And my local club insisted the insurance only applies when flying at their uninteresting club field, despite the fact that MAAC says it applies anywhere (as long as you're flying according to their rules...). And one of their rules is that their insurance only covers "recreational" flight operations.
 
I'm grateful for all the discussion on this thread I started. It's helping me better understand this line.

My latest attempt to understand this is with the following rule: If I know that anyone has an intention to use my drone flight for anything other than fun at the time I fly, then it's not recreational.

How does that reformulation land with people?
 
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I'm grateful for all the discussion on this thread I started. It's helping me better understand this line.

My latest attempt to understand this is with the following rule: If I know that anyone has an intention to use my drone flight for anything other than fun at the time I fly, then it's not recreational.

How does that reformulation land with people?
I think you still miss the point a little. It is YOUR intent that counts, not others.
 
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I think you still miss the point a little. It is YOUR intent that counts, not others.
I disagree based on what I learned here, because if I fly purely for fun over someone else's property on the condition that I share any photos I take with them to use to promote their business, then my understanding is that I am no longer flying "recreationally". My intent is pure: to have fun. The other person's intent is to promote their business, about which I could not care less, but I know that my photo may (or may not) be used for that purpose. My understanding is that this does not meet the definition of recreational even though MY intent is only to have fun. Am I wrong?
 
I disagree based on what I learned here, because if I fly purely for fun over someone else's property on the condition that I share any photos I take with them to use to promote their business, then my understanding is that I am no longer flying "recreationally". My intent is pure: to have fun. The other person's intent is to promote their business, about which I could not care less, but I know that my photo may (or may not) be used for that purpose. My understanding is that this does not meet the definition of recreational even though MY intent is only to have fun. Am I wrong?
The intent of the flight, not the intent of the use of videos or the photos, is all that counts.
 
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The advent of UAS in the national airspace is relatively new compared to helos and fixed wing. The FAA is doing its best to safely integrate these new aircraft. At first no kind of certification was needed. Then came 107, along with recreational carve out. Every few years rules change. It may one day be required that all drone pilots flying in the NAS hold a 107 license. For now the accident/injury rates are low and recreational status is working. If those rates go too high, there will be changes to licensing.

As for your Park flight, the FAA gave the best possible explanation. Great that you made the effort to ask. That will be to your advantage in case of a challenged flight. With 107 in your hip pocket, those kind of flights won’t be a question. Maybe think about setting up an IACRA account if you haven’t done so, and you’ll be ready to go after the 107 exam.

I have fun flying, even if it’s for hire. Not all of my previous employments were that way (smile). Enjoy the friendly skies.
 
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E
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.
Exactly. The same sort of thing if you take off and then happen to capture the crashing of an alien UFO: you can sell the pics to the highest bidder as the intention was not to make money initially. However, if you then go back, knowing the pics are worth money, and you take heaps of pics of the crash site, selling them for $1000 each, you are flying commercially.
Likewise if someone asks for some pics, and they then sell them, and you get nothing, it’s not commercial. However, if you got free entry into the park for a year, by providing picture, with a pre-agreed reward… Each case on its merits, but in Australia I got my commercial permit, as it was cheap. Still no offers for $$$$ though! Haha
 
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Exactly. The same sort of thing if you take off and then happen to capture the crashing of an alien UFO: you can sell the pics to the highest bidder as the intention was not to make money initially.
Now we're back to the absurdity of it all.

If you're fly recreationally every day and unintentionally record the crash of an UFO and subsequently make money off the pics, that's okay.

But if you hope to someday record a UFO crashing and intentionally fly your drone every day waiting for the UFO to crash, for that you better hurry and first obtain your full Part 107 certification.

What's the difference?

The FAA wanted everyone subjected the same way to the full Part 107. Congress forced them to include recreational exemptions. If untrained recreational flyers can be sufficiently TRUSTed to fly safely within the National airspace, why are professionals (and UFO watchers) considered so much more of a hazard deserving stricter regulation?

The FAA is there for safety. Why should they have any say over who makes money or not? Isn't that the realm of the IRS?

Whether you're deliberately taking pics of UFOs for money, or just for fun and then incidentally making money, makes no difference to anyone as long as you're flying safely in both cases. Same rules for everyone.

The FAA should regulate how you conduct your flights safely. The intent of the flight is irrelevant.
 
Now we're back to the absurdity of it all.

If you're fly recreationally every day and unintentionally record the crash of an UFO and subsequently make money off the pics, that's okay.

But if you hope to someday record a UFO crashing and intentionally fly your drone every day waiting for the UFO to crash, for that you better hurry and first obtain your full Part 107 certification.

What's the difference?

The FAA wanted everyone subjected the same way to the full Part 107. Congress forced them to include recreational exemptions. If untrained recreational flyers can be sufficiently TRUSTed to fly safely within the National airspace, why are professionals (and UFO watchers) considered so much more of a hazard deserving stricter regulation?

The FAA is there for safety. Why should they have any say over who makes money or not? Isn't that the realm of the IRS?

Whether you're deliberately taking pics of UFOs for money, or just for fun and then incidentally making money, makes no difference to anyone as long as you're flying safely in both cases. Same rules for everyone.

The FAA should regulate how you conduct your flights safely. The intent of the flight is irrelevant.
Here's the difference. In the latter case, it sounds like you are operating a business called "We Record UFO Sightings" and you take your commercial drone up over the mountain every night hoping to snag a picture worth $$$. But here's where I agree with you, if you fly up there every night at midnite hoping to see something but you're not furthering any sort of business, not 107 in my eyes...but i digress. Intent is what the FAA says and at this point, we gotta live with it because without it, all flights would be 107. Isn't there a similar argument going on with Uber drivers and commercial licenses and business stuff?
 
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[...] if you fly up there every night at midnite hoping to see something but you're not furthering any sort of business, not 107 in my eyes...
That's the point though, isn't it? You can fly the exact same flight every night just for fun because you know full well UFOs don't exist and there's no chance of you ever getting a photo of one. Or, you can fly every night intending to catch a photo of a UFO, but never see one. Or, one night everything goes according to plan and intent and you actually do get a photo of a UFO and sell it for big money.

The intent makes no difference whatsoever to the safety of the same flight conducted every night.

Intent is what the FAA says and at this point, we gotta live with it because without it, all flights would be 107.
But, the FAA says it's acceptably safe for untrained hobbyists to fly under the recreational exemptions. Why isn't it equally safe when your intent is to sell photos of UFOs. Why can't all flights be done under the same relaxed rules?

Intent alone doesn't make one class safer than the other.
 
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Here's the different. In the latter case, it sounds like you are operating a business called "We Record UFO Sightings" and you take your commercial drone up over the mountain every night hoping to snag a picture worth $$$. But here's where I agree with you, if you fly up there every night at midnite hoping to see something but you're not furthering any sort of business, not 107 in my eyes...but i digress. Intent is what the FAA says and at this point, we gotta live with it because without it, all flights would be 107. Isn't there a similar argument going on with Uber drivers and commercial licenses and business stuff?
I'm still waiting for the great pumpkin.
 
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