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Why do we have drone rules?

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Ever wonder why some drone rules exist?

 
I watched it until the first rule came up (400 ft AGL) and the speaker promptly got it completely wrong, explaining it as 400 ft above the launch point. But then he had started out by declaring how confusing he found the rules to be, so no surprise I guess.
 
I watched it until the first rule came up (400 ft AGL) and the speaker promptly got it completely wrong, explaining it as 400 ft above the launch point. But then he had started out by declaring how confusing he found the rules to be, so no surprise I guess.
it’s 400 feet AGL from wherever the drone is correct ?
 
Yeah, Russ is usually pretty good at things. Not this time. It's 400' AGL from where the drone is.

Case in point, I could lift off and fly 400' up on a ridge here in Colorado. Then fly 500' out over the valley. I could easily be 1500' of more AGL, and in violation.

Conversely, I could lift off on a valley floor, and then be 850' up (& have) from my launch point as I climb the hill, and not be in violation.

AGL is from where the drone is flying.
 
My understanding that that isn't quite correct either. One has to remain at or below 400 feet above terrain or structure within 400 feet horizontally. Somewhat academic, but it certainly has nothing to do with the launch point location or altitude.
 
My understanding that that isn't quite correct either. One has to remain at or below 400 feet above terrain or structure within 400 feet horizontally. Somewhat academic, but it certainly has nothing to do with the launch point location or altitude.
Part 107 states:

§107.51 Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.​

A remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small unmanned aircraft system must comply with all of the following operating limitations when operating a small unmanned aircraft system:​
(a) The groundspeed of the small unmanned aircraft may not exceed 87 knots (100 miles per hour).​
(b) The altitude of the small unmanned aircraft cannot be higher than 400 feet above ground level, unless the small unmanned aircraft:
(1) Is flown within a 400-foot radius of a structure; and
(2) Does not fly higher than 400 feet above the structure's immediate uppermost limit.
(c) The minimum flight visibility, as observed from the location of the control station must be no less than 3 statute miles. For purposes of this section, flight visibility means the average slant distance from the control station at which prominent unlighted objects may be seen and identified by day and prominent lighted objects may be seen and identified by night.​
(d) The minimum distance of the small unmanned aircraft from clouds must be no less than:​
(1) 500 feet below the cloud; and​
(2) 2,000 feet horizontally from the cloud.​
So yes - that provision does apply to structures, but not to terrain, and it only applies to Part 107, not recreational flights which must remain within 400 ft of the ground.
 
I watched it until the first rule came up (400 ft AGL) and the speaker promptly got it completely wrong, explaining it as 400 ft above the launch point. But then he had started out by declaring how confusing he found the rules to be, so no surprise I guess.
I'm sure he knows that and should correct it, but the rest of the video is still very informative for new comers. The one rule that seems silly to me is not flying over people period. That, in almost every video on the forum is a rule being broken. The question for me would be, why the rule for drones falling out of the sky, and not for more dangerous aircraft. Of course that would be impossible to do with all aircraft flying over us every day, and they are more dangerous than drones. Hovering over people, yes, flying by no.
 
I'm like @Slade I can't see 400' up lol so I would be breaking the VLOS rule :)
 
I'm sure he knows that and should correct it, but the rest of the video is still very informative for new comers. The one rule that seems silly to me is not flying over people period. That, in almost every video on the forum is a rule being broken. The question for me would be, why the rule for drones falling out of the sky, and not for more dangerous aircraft. Of course that would be impossible to do with all aircraft flying over us every day, and they are more dangerous than drones. Hovering over people, yes, flying by no.
Yes - I'm sure that there was some useful information there, but it annoys me that people post these kinds of "educational" videos and can't even be bothered to get the basics right. It does a disservice to the community, and is at least partly responsible for the kinds of misconceptions that you see repeated on these forums.

On the issue of operation over people, that is mostly targeted at sustained operation, since in many flight environments it is difficult to ensure that the aircraft never inadvertently flies over someone. Its goal, of course, is to minimize the risk that anyone is struck by a falling drone in the event of engine failure. And even that is being addressed with the new categories of operation.

As for the comparison with manned aircraft, remember that those are subject to far greater certification and inspection requirements than drones. A quick perusal of this forum reveals how often (in absolute numbers) even the highly reliable DJI drones fall out of the sky. Manned aircraft are also operated at heights that generally allow the pilot some choice in landing/crash location in the event of engine failure.

Looking at overall risk of injury from a falling aircraft, with small drones the probability is relatively high but the consequence is lower; with manned aircraft the probability is very low, but the consequence is much higher. The current drone regulations simply attempt to lower the probability, while the upcoming categorized operation is about reducing the consequence.
 
Yes - I'm sure that there was some useful information there, but it annoys me that people post these kinds of "educational" videos and can't even be bothered to get the basics right. It does a disservice to the community, and is at least partly responsible for the kinds of misconceptions that you see repeated on these forums.

On the issue of operation over people, that is mostly targeted at sustained operation, since in many flight environments it is difficult to ensure that the aircraft never inadvertently flies over someone. Its goal, of course, is to minimize the risk that anyone is struck by a falling drone in the event of engine failure. And even that is being addressed with the new categories of operation.

As for the comparison with manned aircraft, remember that those are subject to far greater certification and inspection requirements than drones. A quick perusal of this forum reveals how often (in absolute numbers) even the highly reliable DJI drones fall out of the sky. Manned aircraft are also operated at heights that generally allow the pilot some choice in landing/crash location in the event of engine failure.

Looking at overall risk of injury from a falling aircraft, with small drones the probability is relatively high but the consequence is lower; with manned aircraft the probability is very low, but the consequence is much higher. The current drone regulations simply attempt to lower the probability, while the upcoming categorized operation is about reducing the consequence.
Agreed. They put up the traffic lights at the intersection after so many deaths. In our case the lights are up before we kill anyone.
 
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I'm sure he knows that and should correct it, but the rest of the video is still very informative for new comers. The one rule that seems silly to me is not flying over people period. That, in almost every video on the forum is a rule being broken. The question for me would be, why the rule for drones falling out of the sky, and not for more dangerous aircraft. Of course that would be impossible to do with all aircraft flying over us every day, and they are more dangerous than drones. Hovering over people, yes, flying by no.
Manned aviation have regular inspections, and certified parts.

We don't.
 
Thats true, and yet they crash every day.
But very few crashes are due purely to mechanical failure. FAA investigations attribute around 88% of chartered aircraft accidents (at least in part) to pilot error.
 
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I watched it until the first rule came up (400 ft AGL) and the speaker promptly got it completely wrong, explaining it as 400 ft above the launch point. But then he had started out by declaring how confusing he found the rules to be, so no surprise I guess.
This is mainly 400 feet above the subject you are observing regardless of how high the subject you are observing is.
 
And the point being?

Drone pilots in most part require no training to launch and fly around. By comparison training to fly any manned (powered) aircraft is considerable (and expensive). They are required to fully understand flight characteristics of each aircraft they fly, radio procedures, navigation, communication… yet despite this a far greater percentage of aircraft incidents are attributed to pilot error.

Every person from aircraft engineers to aircraft manufacturers, Air Traffic Control to pilots know they have a direct responsibility for people’s lives. Everything they do is done with safety as the primary consideration. By contrast none of that can be said about drone manufacturers; not the designers, programmers, assemblers, those writing the manuals or those carrying out repairs.

Drones do fall from the sky far more often than manned aircraft. Flight firmware can fault, components fail, propellers detach.

Most commercial aircraft can glide giving some chance of preventing injury to those on the ground. Helicopters have some control from engine failure but drones, they just fall uncontrollably.

We as pilots are the ones that have control of our aircraft, we are the only ones responsible for the safety of others and we cannot guarantee our aircraft will not fail at any point in the flight.

It’s for entirely these reasons that regulations are in place to minimise the risk of anyone being injured regardless of how unlikely that may be.
 
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we cannot guarantee our aircraft will not fail at any point in the flight.

It’s for entirely these reasons that regulations are in place to minimise the risk of anyone being injured regardless of how unlikely that may be.
I agree with regulations and checking our equipment. The point of my post was to argue about just quickly flying over people or cars, which if you watch the videos almost everyone does. I've been flying drones now for years and never had an accident. Am I just lucky or is it because I check my equipment, battery levels and condition, check the props and fly where I can see the drone. Of course this doesn't mean it won't fall from the sky, but if it does the chances of hurting someone on the ground or loss of human life is remote. Yesterday a private jet crashed in Smyrna Tenn. killing 7 people. Fortunately it came down in a lake and not in a neighborhood. In 2020 there were 40 accidents with just commercial aircraft resulting in 299 deaths, and I don't know how many small aircraft came down. So that's my point, we should have no problem flying quickly over people and traffic but (not) hovering. I live near a small airport, small craft and private jets fly over my house every day am I worried, no,
should I be? I guess I'd be a lot less worried if they were 1 pound drones. So again, don't get me wrong, I'm for regulations, but common sense should prevail.
 
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