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Near Uncontrolled Airport

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I am a new Typhoon H owner. I have friends who commented on the fact that their drone would not fly when within 5 miles of our local airport. My office is located on our uncontrolled airport grounds, so I tested my drone to see how it would behave in that location. My location is under very large oak trees and I am a pilot with over 30 years experience, so I knew I would not create any hazard of any kind in the test.

The Typhoon H flew normally, keeping it below the trees for the test. I am curious if the software has been updated to allow flight near an uncontrolled (no FAA presence or tower). The new rules are a bit ambiguous, as follows:
  • when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower [when an air traffic facility is located at the airport])
 

PatR

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Not ambiguous at all really. The rules make a plain statement the recreational flyer is responsible for notifying the airport of their activities prior to initiating them. The recreational flyer is not required to ask permission, but to notify. The law is literal, if something is not there, it does not exist. There is no inferring.

A group of people that regularly fly near an airport, such as an established RC club, are advised in the law they should work out a permanent arrangement with the airport in order to "standardize" activities. That makes it easier for the airport to provide airspace use information to arriving and departing pilots by issuing a standing NOTAM and for the RC club by minimizing the number and frequency of contacts they will have to make with the airport. When the RC club establishes flight rules for the membership and the airport is aware of the location and altitudes of flight things work out quite well. The practice has been in place long before Part 336 was written. Responsible RC clubs have been flying on and by full scale airports in harmony with full scale aviation for decades.

Bear in mind that all airports are not created equal. There are airspace designation differences as well as the type of airport. A private airport is different from an uncontrolled airport and an uncontrolled airport is different from a terminal airport. Each has aviation rules applicable to the type and the airspace designation over and around it. As those rules have been in place for generations it behooves the recreational flyer to study and learn them. Not all airports fall into a class now known to recreational flyers as an NFZ, and Yuneec's NFZ restrictions are in fact very few in number, generally occurring only at large terminal type and some military airports. Legally, the drone operator is the one, the only one, responsible for knowing where they can or can't, should or should not fly. The manufacturer is not legally required or responsible to install NFZ restrictions in the auto pilot software but they do so to limit their product liability.

Yuneec offers the opportunity for operators to apply for an NFZ waiver. The waivers come in two flavors, recreational and commercial. Both require the operator to agree to assume full responsibility for their actions. When the waiver request is submitted the operator is issued special software, specific to the auto pilot serial number to an aircraft auto pilot serial number, that alters the NFZ software. The waiver software has to be uploaded to the system, and uploaded again after each firmware upgrade. The recreational operator will still have some limitations when very close to one of the airports that generate an NFZ. A commercial operator that provided proof of their commercial status will have no such limitations as their software leaves their systems unrestricted in all ways.

Getting into radio controlled, auto pilot assisted flight brings with it a lot of new areas of learning, and even more personal responsibility. As with anything new it takes some time and effort to learn what we need to learn. The process can be a lot of fun and extremely educational.
 
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Great answer, especially for someone not familiar with airport operations and/or FAA regulations. Personally, I have about 3,000 hours of pilot experience, including instrument and commercial certifications in past years. The thing I don't know is why my Typhoon H (out of the box) goes ahead and flies within the airport boundaries while other drones will not fly if within 5 miles of the same airport. It's a software related question rather than a regulatory question. I'm still curious about that.
 

Steve Carr

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Great answer, especially for someone not familiar with airport operations and/or FAA regulations. Personally, I have about 3,000 hours of pilot experience, including instrument and commercial certifications in past years. The thing I don't know is why my Typhoon H (out of the box) goes ahead and flies within the airport boundaries while other drones will not fly if within 5 miles of the same airport. It's a software related question rather than a regulatory question. I'm still curious about that.
The Yuneec database in the firmware contains only major airports for the NFZ function. There are only 166 airports listed in that database for the United States and a total of 566 worldwide.
 
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That explains it perfectly, Steve Carr. I suspect my friend's drone software includes more airports in its database.
 
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Great answer, especially for someone not familiar with airport operations and/or FAA regulations. Personally, I have about 3,000 hours of pilot experience, including instrument and commercial certifications in past years. The thing I don't know is why my Typhoon H (out of the box) goes ahead and flies within the airport boundaries while other drones will not fly if within 5 miles of the same airport. It's a software related question rather than a regulatory question. I'm still curious about that.
Think class E airspace(probably your case) vs class B, C and D airspace.
 
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PatR

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DJI restricts most everything, including many that do not qualify for restriction. Yuneec does not think they own the world's airspace and therefore did things with considerable restraint.
 
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So a friend at work bought one of these a few weeks ago
mNv7odw.png


Sorry, I just can't help laughing almost uncontrollably when he explained the rules of flying these machine compared to the attention given to RC planes/helis and MR's.

The hoops one must go through to get a "license" to fly a toy to make money possibly taking pictures of your neighbor's property and the threat of fines and jail time is a sham.
 

PatR

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No argument from me. Ultralights have fewer regulations than we do. However, without regulations how would the mega aerospace companies be able to compete with our small stuff? They HAVE to build a massive regulatory base that everyone else will have to comply with if they want to play this game, otherwise their massive staff levels would leave them woefully noncompetitive. If anyone has been following the path the regulations have been taking, and the identities of those that have been formulating those regulations, they already know that's what's happening.

Did you know that a Private Pilot is not required to be commercially certified to take aerial photos from an airplane?;)
 
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No argument from me. Ultralights have fewer regulations than we do.
Did you know that a Private Pilot is not required to be commercially certified to take aerial photos from an airplane?;)
There was this guy back in 1980's that flew an "Experimental" aircraft called the "Grass Hopper" and he broke every existing law on the books pertaining to the ultra light aircraft only to do almost the same thing over and over again. You could stand outside and hear that Rotax motor fire up and idle for a bit then the take off roll and lift off. There was a maximum fuel capacity of 5 gallons per the regulations. He would carry two additional tanks with him. He would run out of fuel make a forced landing fill his tank with the spare and take off again.
His fuel tank was five gallons, but there was no regulation against carrying additional fuel on board at that time.
I think he earned a Darwin Award while flying too low and ran out of fuel.
 

PatR

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Being one that has crashed a hang glider, twice, I came to understand the Darwin Award early on. Being a slow learner it took two crashes to get the message.
 
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No argument from me. Ultralights have fewer regulations than we do. However, without regulations how would the mega aerospace companies be able to compete with our small stuff? They HAVE to build a massive regulatory base that everyone else will have to comply with if they want to play this game, otherwise their massive staff levels would leave them woefully noncompetitive. If anyone has been following the path the regulations have been taking, and the identities of those that have been formulating those regulations, they already know that's what's happening.

Did you know that a Private Pilot is not required to be commercially certified to take aerial photos from an airplane?;)
I was hoping someone gets the point I was trying make.

The used car racket is the same thing. In Michigan you must have a dealer license and commercial property in order to attend a car auction. It's a good ole boys club; can't have Joe 6 pack bidding against dealers. It wasn't always that way.

They also fixed it here so Big Ag and Big Fam farms have a monopoly on .....food. Being grandfathered in doesn't work anymore.
Michigan Loses ‘Right To Farm’ This Week: A Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers

rant/off
 
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Being one that has crashed a hang glider, twice, I came to understand the Darwin Award early on. Being a slow learner it took two crashes to get the message.
Well PatR I'm glad you did not earn the Darwin award, you have to die to earn it. I'll probably earn mine while riding my motorcycle. I have been riding for over 50 years and had only one really major crash.
 
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I live in a small town in AZ. There is a guy who has been flying his para sail around my place and I'm thinking of meeting him with my q500. Here is the kicker he is not flying from an airport but he is flying in flight path, our town is only 5x5 miles, now quests who would get their behind handed to them if I did what I was thinking?

Now note this airport is not major however Luke has landed here with jets and there are many private jets that fly in and out. As a matter of fact after I put my drone away drained my batteries etc... Some dude in a Huges 500 buzzes my home under 300 feet, and has done this multiple times.

FAA regs. Are becoming a joke, just like taxes, little man carries bigger, has been and always will be, do you have any idea how much it costs to maintain a Huges 500? A heck of a lot more than a the fines and fees from drone owners.
 
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I am a new Typhoon H owner. I have friends who commented on the fact that their drone would not fly when within 5 miles of our local airport. My office is located on our uncontrolled airport grounds, so I tested my drone to see how it would behave in that location. My location is under very large oak trees and I am a pilot with over 30 years experience, so I knew I would not create any hazard of any kind in the test.

The Typhoon H flew normally, keeping it below the trees for the test. I am curious if the software has been updated to allow flight near an uncontrolled (no FAA presence or tower). The new rules are a bit ambiguous, as follows:
  • when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower [when an air traffic facility is located at the airport])
I live 2 1/2 miles from our airport, no tower or FAA office on the grounds, but the airport sits on top of a hill, and the runway is about 400 feet higher than my yard, my Q500 4K flies just fine here and if I hear an airplane in the area, I land ,until I can't hear it anymore, also helicopters come and go from the airport, so any time I hear them coming, I will bring it down below my big maple trees or land completely, until they are out of the area......And I always have my drone in sight, and I am 70 years old now, so that really isn't that far away these days........I have only been up to 400 feet one time, and figured that was to high, for me.........Now this airport was on the Yunnec airport chart or map of air[ports, so until I received my drone, I was worried it would not fly here, but it started up and flies just fine.....I didn't buy it to be an astronaut, so I don't need to fly that high....fly safe and have fun.............
 

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