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Can I do this ?

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So my wife has been a math teacher for 35 years and is also now the tech teacher at her elementary school. So she is doing some classes and after school programs about drones and other tech and wants me to bring a couple of my drones to after school and talk a little bit about them and do a couple of flights and answer a few questions about them.
I am not a pro but figure I can answer some of their questions and do a couple of flights for them. I have been flying helicopters and drones for several years so I know I can handle the flying part of it and be safe while doing so.
We also talked to the principle and got permission and also talked to the local school board member, but my question is............are there any laws or FAA regulations I need to know about that may prevent me from doing this ? I have done some research but can't find anything that may prevent it.
I know to keep the kids back a good safe distance and not to fly directly over them. I also will not be doing any kind of sport flying as far as fast fly by's or any kind of flying of that nature.
I will be mainly showing the pre-flight inspection and the different types of control movements a drone can do, and I'll hover around and take some video and pictures to show them inside after the flights. I thought I may take it up to around 200 feet to get a nice video and some pictures from above and I'll talk to them about being a safe and responsible drone pilot.
We live in a very rural area of far Southwest Virginia so not many professional drone pilots or company's close by. Most of these kids have only seen the toy type of drones like you see in a department store.
I plan to fly three of my drones and do a short flight of each starting off with the MJX Bugs 5w and then the Yuneec Mantis Q and then the Q500 4k and talk about the differences between them.
So if anybody knows of any regulations I may be breaking please let me know, and also I am open to any suggestions for the demonstration that you think may help the kids in any way, and please feel free to suggest them. The kids will be from classes of 3rd grade to 7th grade.
I do not have my 107 yet so of course I'm not getting paid and the school is not going to profit from this so I am thinking it should not violate the commercial regulations, but there may be something I am not aware of. I plan on doing this one day next week, depending on the weather of course.
Any help would be greatly appreciated !
Thanks
 
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Ty Pilot

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As long as your not within five miles of an airport or any TFRs you should be fine. You mentioned not flying directly over anyone so you know about that. The only thing I would say is; your wife is a teacher and she will be performing these classes as part of her job correct?

From the FAA, commercial operations is defined as - in furtherance of any business, whether it is your's or someone else's. This is one of those murky scenarios that I think could go either way. Personally I think you're fine but it may not hurt to call your local FSDO (Flight Standards District Office) and ask them.
 
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As long as your not within five miles of an airport or any TFRs you should be fine. You mentioned not flying directly over anyone so you know about that. The only thing I would say is; your wife is a teacher and she will be performing these classes as part of her job correct?

From the FAA, commercial operations is defined as - in furtherance of any business, whether it is your's or someone else's. This is one of those murky scenarios that I think could go either way. Personally I think you're fine but it may not hurt to call your local FSDO (Flight Standards District Office) and ask them.
Thank you so much for your reply because that is exactly the type of info I was hoping for !
Yes, she is performing this as part of her job. She is the coordinator of a federal grant the school got to help rural schools to teach and get these kids in more contact with newer technology.
Can I just look up my local FSDO in google or is there a better way to find out how to contact them ?
 

Steve Carr

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This is one of those murky scenarios that I think could go either way.
I agree. I've done a demo for a class as well but there was a 107 pilot with me. Generally a recreational flight is done for the enjoyment of the pilot. It's a hobby unrelated to any business or even educational venture. My guess would be the FSDO will frown on this. The intent of the flight at the time it is done is used to determine whether it is commercial or recreational. If there is any kind of media coverage of your flight the visibility is increased and documented.

My rule of thumb has been: If I want to fly and film an event or structure I ask permission and explain clearly this is just a hobby of mine. If I am asked to fly I politely turn them down explaining that I fly for fun only and they should contact a 107 operator.

I have, however, let people know that I am planning a flight at a certain location and they are free to come and watch. :)
 
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I agree. I've done a demo for a class as well but there was a 107 pilot with me. Generally a recreational flight is done for the enjoyment of the pilot. It's a hobby unrelated to any business or even educational venture. My guess would be the FSDO will frown on this. The intent of the flight at the time it is done is used to determine whether it is commercial or recreational. If there is any kind of media coverage of your flight the visibility is increased and documented.

My rule of thumb has been: If I want to fly and film an event or structure I ask permission and explain clearly this is just a hobby of mine. If I am asked to fly I politely turn them down explaining that I fly for fun only and they should contact a 107 operator.

I have, however, let people know that I am planning a flight at a certain location and they are free to come and watch. :)
Thanks Steve, I just made a call to the local FSDO office to see what they would say and I could not reach anybody. I did leave a msg. with my name and phone # and a brief explanation of what I was wanting and ask them to call back.
My local office is in Charleston WV. even though I am in Va they cover all of WV and most of Southwest Va. I am hoping I hear back from them, but if I do not then I will not do the demonstration now and wait until I either hear from them or get my 107.
Edit.
There would be no media coverage of it at all, but I will wait until I either get the ok from the FSDO office or until I get my 107...........which ever comes first....
 
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Phaedrus

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As long as your not within five miles of an airport
Nothing in the current rules has any requirements based on distance from an airport. Everything is based on airspace. Class G uncontrolled airspace allows you to fly up to 400 feet agl with no requirement regarding distance from an airport.

Flight in controlled airspace requires authorization from ATC using either LAANC or DroneZone.

TFRs over ride all other requirements or authorizations.

From the FAA, commercial operations is defined as - in furtherance of any business, whether it is your's or someone else's. This is one of those murky scenarios that I think could go either way. Personally I think you're fine but it may not hurt to call your local FSDO (Flight Standards District Office) and ask them.
I agree. This is basically a show-n-tell for an elementary school class.
 

DCH

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This is basically a show-n-tell for an elementary school class.
Agreed. If this is a public school, there is no "Business" to be furthered. Furthermore, this is an extracurricular activity, so your wife is not getting paid anything (extra) for this demonstration.
 

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Nothing in the current rules has any requirements based on distance from an airport. Everything is based on airspace. Class G uncontrolled airspace allows you to fly up to 400 feet agl with no requirement regarding distance from an airport.

Flight in controlled airspace requires authorization from ATC using either LAANC or DroneZone.

TFRs over ride all other requirements or authorizations.
It's funny but I originally wrote my response saying that as long as you are in Class G airspace but then that begs a question whose response can get rather complicated to a hobbyist so I just used the 5 mile rule. It will be interesting to see the new hobby aeronautical knowledge and safety test when they roll that out, one would think that some airspace knowledge would be required.
 

Ty Pilot

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Agreed. If this is a public school, there is no "Business" to be furthered. Furthermore, this is an extracurricular activity, so your wife is not getting paid anything (extra) for this demonstration.
Business may translate to compensation, one would like to think there is no way anyone could see this as a commercial venture but I look forward to hearing what that FSDO tells BigRHS.
 
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Being a show and tell it can be a lot of fun for the hobbyist pilot. Watching the light turn on in a young mind is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences one can get out of life. Rules can be black and white, but this is one case where the silver lining needs to take precedence.

Hopefully the FSDO will give him the green light in this case! I know if it we’re me sitting in that office I would be asking when and where this would be taking place so I could be a part of it.
 
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Business may translate to compensation, one would like to think there is no way anyone could see this as a commercial venture but I look forward to hearing what that FSDO tells BigRHS.
I still have not heard back today and if I don't hear anything by around 1 or 2 tomorrow then I will call again. As soon as I find out for sure I will post it here so that everyone will know what they tell me. It may help someone else in the future.
 
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Being a show and tell it can be a lot of fun for the hobbyist pilot. Watching the light turn on in a young mind is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences one can get out of life. Rules can be black and white, but this is one case where the silver lining needs to take precedence.

Hopefully the FSDO will give him the green light in this case! I know if it we’re me sitting in that office I would be asking when and where this would be taking place so I could be a part of it.
Thank you ! Exactly how my wife and I both feel !
It will be a blast for me and hopefully for the kids and I hope I can turn at least a couple of young ones onto our wonderful hobby and or profession. I hope to do it in a way so they are responsible pilots and respect the regulations and the safety of everyone, but mostly I hope they have a couple of hrs of fun.
Where we live is a low income area that has been hit hard by the down turn in the coal industry and maybe something like this can get at least a few of them to think of alternatives for them in the future. A lot of these kids have never been out of this part of Virginia so maybe something like this can get them to open their eyes a little at other possibilities..
 

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I really do not see why he needs to talk with the FSDO.

First, they are not the ones who authorize flights and second, this is clearly a hobby flight. His wife being the teacher of the class is immaterial. Our RC club has done numerous similar events with kids on buddy boxes, no issues. A few in the last year under the new law (Section 349).

If he is in controlled airspace he will need authorization, but that will be done using LAANC or FAA DroneZone.
 
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DCH

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I really do not see why he needs to talk with the FSDO.
I'm in complete agreement here. Like I said earlier, there is no Business involved here that is being "furtheranced" whatsoever, there is no compensation whatsoever for anyone involved, or not involved. This is a demonstration of a hobby to school children, presented as an extracurricular activity. All you need is permission from the school and perhaps the parents of the children.
 
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Make sure the principle of the schools is in agreement, and you should carry insurance just incase your drone decides to have a mind of its own.
We have already cleared it with the principle and the local school board members, we tried to think of everything we could and that's one reason I wanted to post about it on here and ask for help. I really appreciate all the responses !
I hadn't thought of insurance though, what am I looking at cost wise and what companies should I look at for this type of insurance if you don't mind me asking ?
 
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Steve Carr

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The regs have been interpreted in different ways depending on who is reading it. Even the FAA may give varying opinions. A FAA memorandum dated May 4th, 2016 "Educational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems" contains the following paragraph:

1573187334834.png
This document remains on the FAA website. It is quite clear. However, it refers to section 336 which may no longer be relevant.

A more recent addition to the FAA website on May 17th, 2019 is a bit less clear:

 
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The regs have been interpreted in different ways depending on who is reading it. Even the FAA may give varying opinions. A FAA memorandum dated May 4th, 2016 "Educational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems" contains the following paragraph:

View attachment 18993
This document remains on the FAA website. It is quite clear. However, it refers to section 336 which may no longer be relevant.

A more recent addition to the FAA website on May 17th, 2019 is a bit less clear:

Thanks for that. The way I read it, it looks like I would be good to go as long as I follow the safety rules and I am flying in a class G airspace ( which I would be ) and not getting compensated in any way. It would strictly be for the kids and my enjoyment and hopefully educate the kids and just maybe get some to take up this hobby.
 
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The regs have been interpreted in different ways depending on who is reading it. Even the FAA may give varying opinions. A FAA memorandum dated May 4th, 2016 "Educational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems" contains the following paragraph:

View attachment 18993
This document remains on the FAA website. It is quite clear. However, it refers to section 336 which may no longer be relevant.

A more recent addition to the FAA website on May 17th, 2019 is a bit less clear:

Just think, you wouldn't be able to accept a peanut butter sandwich from a kid for compensation, man what is this world coming to? 🥜:rolleyes:🤔😬
 
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