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FAA Regs? What do you actually do?

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Hi, I am a breeze owner and I have a few questions. I paid my 5 bucks and got my registration number and I have the drone buddy app. I like the breeze because it’s small, portable, and quick to launch. It fits me for what I do with it. Being that it’s a small device is it completely necessary to contact an air traffic control tower when operating in the 5 mile zone? If so, do you? How did you get the number and what do they say? Could they really see it on radar? I fly in many different states and so far haven’t been approached or told not to. I do fly respectfully and not near people although I do exploring and navigating around points of interest along the way. The breeze can be very nimble in good hands and has a great camera.
 
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I only ask because I drive OTR and encounter lots of different areas. I have been reading and researching a lot on my own.
 
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Most civilian radar systems are blind to small craft especially at the altitudes that we fly at.

You should never intentionally attempt to circumvent the FAA regulations, that being said, unless you buzz the tower or fly over a cop, no one will be any wiser to the fact that you did so.

THAT being said, if you post the proof of said crime on the internet, you CAN and likely WILL be charged if your videos gains the wrong person's attention...

Luckily, I don't know anyone that lives near an airport so I haven't attempted to fly in such areas, but if I did, I wouldn't go above the roof of the structure that I was standing next to.
 
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Thanks for the reply, I’m not looking to circumvent any rules. But jeeze there’s a lot of airports. I really want to know what to expect when I contact one and say “Hi my names John P. And I am informing you of a planned flight of a UAV 4.2 miles from your airfield at an altitude under 200 feet.” Right now I wouldn’t fly my breeze near one because I have no way to know how high up it is due to a malfunction, it still flys fine but will fly much higher than the geofence. High enough I can’t hear the rotors spinning. No way to know how high that is. Long story short when I get a properly working craft I do plan on calling some towers. Primarily in Colorado along some rivers I want to film.
 

DoomMeister

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Most towered airports will trigger the NFZ programming in the Breeze and restrict you to 20 meters (66 feet). If you get to within a mile of a towered airport the breeze will either not start the motors or be restricted to 4 to 5 meters (under 16 feet). There are a lot of dinky farm airports scattered all over and are rarely if ever used. The database in most apps do not have contact information that is current for those. Most small airports that are operational will be in the local phone book and you can contact the airport manager.
 
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BigAl07

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Size, weight, color etc doesn't matter. If you're flying for hobby (under the current guidelines etc) and you're within 5 miles of an airport you're legally obligated to NOTIFY the controlling authority.

Keep in mind that even though you may only intend to fly at 25' AGL what happens if you lose signal etc and the aircraft RTH kicks in and it's now heading to (as an example) of 250' AGL?

Once your aircraft leaves Terra Firma it's operating in the National Airspace System and as such you have rules/regs/guidelines to follow.

Safe Flights :)
 
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Good information, guess I can chalk up another item not working on my Breeze. It fires right up to full flight mode, no nfz warnings. I didn’t fly it. Just turned it on at a location I deliver to in Centennial, CO. It is 1/4 mile from Centennial airport. Locked 18 satellites while holding it and hit take off and it started the rotors. Promptly gave me a message weight to heavy for takeoff because I was holding it and it shut off. Anyway, I’m going to call that airport tower/manager once I google the correct number. I’m trying to put together Ariel shots of locations my company delivers to for other drivers to see the layout with entrance directions for trucks. I know, I know.. I could do it with google earth but it’s so much cooler to do it myself
 

BigAl07

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Good information, guess I can chalk up another item not working on my Breeze. It fires right up to full flight mode, no nfz warnings. I didn’t fly it. Just turned it on at a location I deliver to in Centennial, CO. It is 1/4 mile from Centennial airport. Locked 18 satellites while holding it and hit take off and it started the rotors. Promptly gave me a message weight to heavy for takeoff because I was holding it and it shut off. Anyway, I’m going to call that airport tower/manager once I google the correct number. I’m trying to put together Ariel shots of locations my company delivers to for other drivers to see the layout with entrance directions for trucks. I know, I know.. I could do it with google earth but it’s so much cooler to do it myself

That's easy enough... you're flying for your company so you need your Part 107 and then you simply submit your flight request with LAANC and once approved you're good to go. Easy and very quick to get.

Unfortunately there's no way what you're dong is even remotely "Hobby" even though you may not be getting paid for it.
 
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That's easy enough... you're flying for your company so you need your Part 107 and then you simply submit your flight request with LAANC and once approved you're good to go. Easy and very quick to get.

Unfortunately there's no way what you're is even remotely "Hobby" even though you may not be getting paid for it.
Even if I am doing it on my own free will with my own free time? It was more of a pet project just to see if I could even produce anything usable and only shared with other drivers I know that might need direction to some of the places I’ve been. I guess I could do part 107 if it’s really necessary. Didn’t think it would fall under that since it was my own personal undertaking.
 
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F0268EBA-FB8D-4CE2-A267-E6F86FBAAC2A.jpeg
So this image could be considered commercial since I would be showing the dock layout and space available for backing up a semi and then sending it to a friend that would be coming here next week?
 

BigAl07

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Even if I am doing it on my own free will with my own free time? It was more of a pet project just to see if I could even produce anything usable and only shared with other drivers I know that might need direction to some of the places I’ve been. I guess I could do part 107 if it’s really necessary. Didn’t think it would fall under that since it was my own personal undertaking.
You can't "hobby" for someone or something else. While your heart is in the right place IF (and I doubt it would ever come up) there was an incident it would be up to you to prove it was hobby. It would be next to impossible to prove that what you're doing would NOT benefit your employer in any way.

Now if you happened to be flying and took the pictures and then later said, "Oh cool I can see some things in this image that gives me an idea of something we can do with my emplooyer to help" is one thing.. .but saying ,"I'm going to go take these pics to help my employer" takes your INTENT from Hobby to Commercial.

At the end of the day I'm just a random guy on the internet giving some advice from my experiences (several decades doing this stuff) and in order to get the OFFICIAL ruling you'd want to contact your local FSDO and run this scenario by them. Nothing I (or anyone else on the internet) says really matters. We are all just keyboard jockeys LOL.

On the flip side, if you follow my advice I can assure you that no actions will be taken against you from an FAA standpoint.
 
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I appreciate any and all input, even from random guys on the internet. Everyone here probably knows much more than I do at the moment. My goal of being here is to change that. Then I can be that random guy on the internet. I don’t want to be the guy that has a drone tracked back to him after whoever runs the serial number from a crash and then all I have to say is “I didn’t know that could happen” OMG. I want to be the guy that in a worst case scenario I can say “I know the rules and I was in compliance” at least I’d have a defensive position through knowledge. On that note before it is stated. I’m aware I probably shouldn’t even fly my Breeze due to the issues it has. I keep it close in line of sight when I’m in a populated area and rationalize it to the comparison of driving a car with a check engine light on. It still drives fine.
 
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From my days studying for the 107 and my contact with the FAA hotline; the rule of thumb is if it helps your business financially then it is commercial.

If your a farmer and fly your drone to check where the thistles are then commercial. If your flying a parking lot to determine safety issues then grey area!

The FAA defined it as monetary income, promotion or savings (IE farmer). The gov't (FAA) have been know to interpret their own statutes incorrectly on many occasions to generate income instead of generating common sense!
 
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In determining the need for a commercial license, i.e. Part 107, the FAA uses a very broad "furtherance of a business" standard. To flip it around, If you are flying for any other reason than the pure joy of flying and taking aerial images, then you need a Part 107 certification. You don't need to be paid or make money, you only need to intend the flight to be about something other than having fun flying.
 
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Hope you are telling the truth about being a retired pilot (which I think you are) as what you said is the best advice I've heard in a long time.

We tend to like to debate how many FAA rules can balance on a pin head, but the truth is it's mostly unbalanced pinheads in the government (FAA) that use little to no common sense.
 
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Hi, I am a breeze owner and I have a few questions. I paid my 5 bucks and got my registration number and I have the drone buddy app. I like the breeze because it’s small, portable, and quick to launch. It fits me for what I do with it. Being that it’s a small device is it completely necessary to contact an air traffic control tower when operating in the 5 mile zone? If so, do you? How did you get the number and what do they say? Could they really see it on radar? I fly in many different states and so far haven’t been approached or told not to. I do fly respectfully and not near people although I do exploring and navigating around points of interest along the way. The breeze can be very nimble in good hands and has a great camera.
I live inside the Class D airspace of a towered airport, and I always call and let them know. Has never been a problem. FAA has an app for your cell phone that uses the GPS location to tell you if it is ok to fly your drone where you are. FAA app is B4UFLY, and works great. While the chances of coming to the FAA attention are small, dealing with them in that event is such a pain that you should expend some effort to avoid it, especially since it is very painless to comply.
 
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Look, if I ever catch you at 400 feet and 2 inches, I'm reporting you to the NKVD!

Did anyone ever wonder who dreams up all this for us to follow horse with a carrot hanging in front of him?

400 feet? Why not make it even, like 500 feet? A number everyone can remember. I'm sure there's some perfectly illogical reason for their 400 feet but I can't fathom it. They mix statute miles with nautical miles and on and on...and on.
 
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Phaedrus

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The original rationale for 400 feet was that in general manned aircraft will be at or above 500 feet agl. 400 feet for models, etc. gives a 100-foot buffer between the two, manned/unmanned.
 

Phaedrus

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This is for Thoneter too.

I never fly within an airport traffic area but if you do & can call the tower without giving them your N number, my advice is to go ahead & call.
Hobby drones don't have "N" numbers. And when you do make the required notification within 5 miles of an airport they often don't need more than where you are, when you're flying, and how high you expect to go.

I live in a mostly isolated part of north Florida & often fly drones at altitudes of 1,000 feet for aerial photography.
Nothing wrong with this for hobby pilots, for now. Once the new Section 349 is written into the FARs by the FAA the absolute limit will be 400-feet in Class G airspace and actual permission to fly in Class B, C, D, and E surface area. ATC will determine your max altitude in those situations.

If you are flying under Part 107, then 400 feet agl is the max (or 400 feet over any structure, antenna, etc. and within 400 feet of that). So you could go to 1,000 feet if you went 400 feet over a 600-foot antenna for instance.


Just remember, the FAA are not the Gods of Wisdom
Yep, they are just the federal regulatory agency that ultimately decides the what, where, when and how of our flying.
 

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