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How Many Are Aware of Title 49, Sub Title B, Part 830 Rules?

Phaedrus

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It sure seems like they are talking out of both sides of their mouths. I wonder how many sUAS operators have actually reported.

So first they say this:

In order to minimize the burden on operators of a small UAS and the NTSB, we have exempted from the definitions of “aircraft accident” and “unmanned aircraft accident” in section 830.2 of the NTSB regulations those events in which there is only substantial damage to the aircraft (no injuries), and the aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of less than 300 pounds.
But then they turn around and say this:
(1) Any person suffers death or serious injury; or
(2) The aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 300 pounds or greater and sustains substantial damage.
So from those two sections I think we can conclude that:

1) If there is a serious injury or death you must report to the NTSB.
2) If there is no injury AND you are under 300 pounds no report is needed.

But then, they cite examples such as flying into a tree, etc. with no injury as requiring notification if other conditions of 830.5 are met. Clear as mud,.
 

PatR

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Indeed. So if you report when it’s not required you filed a little too much paperwork, no harm, no foul. But if you failed to file and it was required it’s an automatic violation. No appeal due to ignorance, no second chance, its a done deal, you violated code requirements.

The fun part is if no death or significantly serious injury occurs they MAY initiate an investigation. Not will, but may.

Using the examples section in the “clarification” memo as a guide there’s only one smart (safe?) play for a commercial operator if their sUAS falls out of the sky. The only thing the memo seems to clear up is what defines the difference between an incident and an accident. Every example provided requires a report submittal, with a timeline difference of it being submitted immediately or within 10 days.
 

Ty Pilot

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Yeah clear as mud for sure.

Okay so If someone is flying a sUAS (under 55 lbs) under the 107 rules framework and an accident occurs, they should follow the accident reporting guidelines outlined under 107.9 as @Phaedrus posted on the previous page and shown below
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No later than 10 calendar days after an operation that meets the criteria of either paragraph (a) or (b) of this section,
a remote pilot in command must report to the FAA, in a manner acceptable to the Administrator, any operation of the
small unmanned aircraft involving at least:

(a) Serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness; or

(b) Damage to any property, other than the small unmanned aircraft, unless one of the following conditions is satisfied:

(1) The cost of repair (including materials and labor) does not exceed $500; or

(2) The fair market value of the property does not exceed $500 in the event of total loss.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the only ambiguity I see there is 'What' constitutes a 'Serious' Injury? I found this definition at Ruprrecht Law

A serious injury is an injury that qualifies as Level 3 or higher on the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM). The AIS is an anatomical scoring system that provides a means of ranking the severity of an injury and is widely used by emergency medical personnel. Within the AIS system, injuries are ranked on a scale of 1 to 6, with Level 1 being a minor injury, Level 2 is moderate, Level 3 is serious, Level 4 is severe, Level 5 is critical, and Level 6 is a nonsurvivable injury. The FAA currently uses serious injury (AIS Level 3) as an injury threshold in other FAA regulations.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Beyond that (and maybe I am missing something) there is nothing further to do in terms of reporting. If we as 107 operators were meant to report to other agencies, wouldn't that be part of the training for a 107? Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that accident reports filled to the FAA would be shared with an agency like the NTSB?

Oh wait I forgot what we're dealing with here. :rolleyes: I know, I know; ignorance of the law does not excuse one from it.
 
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Phaedrus

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NTSB defines serious injury as:

Serious injury means any injury which: (1) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the injury was received; (2) results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); (3) causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; (4) involves any internal organ; or (5) involves second- or third degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.
49 CFR Chapter VIII Section 830.2, which is actual law, certainly appears to say that a UAV accident is one with serious injury or death, OR involves a UAV over 300 pounds. But then their memo gets into play and mucks everything up.

I agree, comply with 107.9 and don't kill anyone.
 

Ty Pilot

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Would it be safe to say that:

a) If a 107 operator had an accident that triggered a report, and at that time, called the NTSB and asked if a report needed to be filed with them that; he/she would be in the clear?

OR

b) Is there some loophole in which; a 107 operator flying a sUAS had an accident that did NOT trigger an FAA report, could in some way need to file one with the NTSB?

If (b) is possible then wow. Just wow. o_O
 

PatR

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The way I read things, B is possible.

Personally, I would never call a federal agency to make a critical information request unless the person responding provided written documentation to support their reply, along with appropriate CFR code references and their name and department for verification. It's much too easy for someone to later say; "I don't recall that conversation." or "I never spoke to that person or said that."
 
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PatR

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Back to aircraft weights for a moment; perusing various Congressional, FAA and law college documents I believe there IS a difference between max weights for "standard" recreational and commercial sUAS. Everything I've read has a max recreational weight of "no more than" 55 pounds while commercial is restricted to "less than" 55 pounds. That difference is certainly meaningless to most everyone except someone playing the edges of legality, or the difference between a right or wrong answer to a test question. Some references below.

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 122 / Wednesday, June 25, 2014 / Rules and Regulations

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 91
[Docket No. FAA–2014–0396]
Interpretation of the Special Rule for
Model Aircraft


• the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;

************************************

Subject: Model Aircraft Operating Standards
Date: September 2, 2015
Initiated by: AJV-115
AC No. 91-57A

Determination of “Model Aircraft” Status. Whether a given unmanned aircraft operation may be considered a “model aircraft operation” is determined with reference to section 336 of Public Law 112-95:

(1) The aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2) The aircraft operates in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization (CBO);

(3) The aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds, unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a CBO;
126 STAT. 11 PUBLIC LAW 112–95—FEB. 14, 2012 Public Law 112–95 112th Congress
****************************

SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT. (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—

(1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community- based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;
From Cornell Law Libraries

14 CFR Part 107 - SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Definitions

Small unmanned aircraft means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft.
 

Phaedrus

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One is the definition of a model aircraft for Section 336/349. The other is a sUAS weight for Part 107. So it depends under which section your flight is authorized.
 

PatR

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Yeah clear as mud for sure.

Beyond that (and maybe I am missing something) there is nothing further to do in terms of reporting. If we as 107 operators were meant to report to other agencies, wouldn't that be part of the training for a 107? Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that accident reports filled to the FAA would be shared with an agency like the NTSB?

Oh wait I forgot what we're dealing with here. :rolleyes: I know, I know; ignorance of the law does not excuse one from it.
The way I came across the 830 reference was during a 107 currency course review where NTSB reporting requirements were pointed out. The currency testing appears to be putting more operational depth in the study/test curriculum to expand operator knowledge. There's much more focus on crew concept/safety, waivers, and accident reporting and less on airspace regs and chart use. As I had been unaware of Part 830 until then as well and wondered how many others are in the same boat? That made it worth discussing here, I think. The aircraft weight difference is one of those fun things to kick around.

OTOH, this particular study course is rather new but presented by a pretty well respected name in the full scale aviation community and is being "pimped" a little bit by AOPA. There may well be errors in the course material but King Schools is not noted for that. Being "goofy" in their presentation at times, most certainly, but not much history of misinformation. I will say it's pretty darn comprehensive but you're still stuck looking at and listening to John and Martha King for the delivery.
 

PatR

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One is the definition of a model aircraft for Section 336/349. The other is a sUAS weight for Part 107. So it depends under which section your flight is authorized.
Agreed, and it was the point I was trying to make. It can come up as one of the currency test questions. Essentially, does the commercial operator know what the weight limitations are and how they are applied? If the test applicant checked off "55 pounds" believing it was the correct answer all the way around they would be wrong. The currency test has fewer questions than the aeronautical knowledge test so fewer errors are permissible.
 
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Phaedrus

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And let's not forget that it was Congress who wrote those definitions. :eek:
 
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PatR

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NTSB defines serious injury as:



49 CFR Chapter VIII Section 830.2, which is actual law, certainly appears to say that a UAV accident is one with serious injury or death, OR involves a UAV over 300 pounds. But then their memo gets into play and mucks everything up.

I agree, comply with 107.9 and don't kill anyone.
Although I agree with you up to a point, that point being a flight controller failure/loss of control/fly away, there is another perspective to consider.

As BLOS and flight over people waivers become more prevalent it's quite likely the NTSB and other agencies will put more focus on flight control systems. It's one thing to crash a model aircraft or sUAS in a manner that assured the crash would not cause injury or damage to people and property on the ground but if there were a number of events where sUAS simply fell out of the sky due to power system or flight controller failures they might want to track those events to determine if a particular brand or type of product was consistently involved. From that point they might issue an emergency A.D. banning the use of a product or determine that certain products might require formal certification/inspection before further use. That's part of what what the NTSB is supposed to do anyway.

The more BLOS ops and flight over people ops conducted the more system performance/failures tracking I expect to see.
 

Phaedrus

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I agree, it will be interesting to see how things shake out. It is still mystifying to me that the FAA makes not a single mention of the NTSB in any of their reporting requirements.
 
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Pretend like it never happened. :oops:Just like the ServePro commercial.
 

PatR

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In some ways it explains things slightly better but it uses the same examples and language used in the 830 memo.

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear there are some conditions that will require commercial sUAS operators to file an NTSB incident/accident report in addition to FAA incident/accident reports.

Something I don’t understand is why these reporting requirements were not referenced in initial Part 107 information releases. Based on the clarification memo date the requirements were in place prior to 107 implementation.
 
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Something I don’t understand is why these reporting requirements were not referenced in initial Part 107 information releases.

@PatR It must have been a Monday or Friday when they wrote this particular section.
 

Phaedrus

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In some ways it explains things slightly better but it uses the same examples and language used in the 830 memo.

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear there are some conditions that will require commercial sUAS operators to file an NTSB incident/accident report in addition to FAA incident/accident reports.

Something I don’t understand is why these reporting requirements were not referenced in initial Part 107 information releases. Based on the clarification memo date the requirements were in place prior to 107 implementation.

It appears the best course of action is to avoid accidents!!
 

PatR

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Indeed!

It is also apparent that multirotor manufacturers need to start paying a helluva lot more attention to flight controller quality and revisit their firmware update procedures and vet the code in a manner that assures simple processes to prevent users from performing them incorrectly, causing fly aways.

Part 830 is a strong wake up call for both users and makers. Operators failing to heed 830 could find themselves in a bushel of trouble. Makers could see their products grounded or blocked from import.
 

Phaedrus

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But it seems that people are so focused on 107 that nobody pays any mind to NTSB. And the FAA does not help by completely ignoring them in the 107 materials.
 

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