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Flying for Search And Rescue

Discussion in 'Public Safety' started by Waternut13134, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Waternut13134

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    Hey all,Today I was flying in my local park and I was contacted by this gentleman that told me he runs a search and rescue group here in Florida (Apparently one of the largest groups here) and he asked me if I ever thought about volunteering with the group and that the inspire would be a great tool to use help locating missing people. I told him I didnt have my 333 and he said that since they were a non profit and I was strictly volunteering that I wouldn't need one.

    What is every ones take on it? This would be purely volunteer and I wouldn't get paid one bit. I think this would be great but I dont want to get into any trouble since I dont have the pilots license or my 333. Thanks for any help!
     
    MrKeb likes this.
  2. seanmclean

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    Not really a commercial endeavor, so you're probably fine. I can't imagine anyone would hassle you if you were searching for a lost person, either. Just don't get paid for it.
     
  3. Waternut13134

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    Thanks for the help,That's what I thought myself as well. Nope they dont get paid one bit,in fact I would have to pay a yearly fee just to be a part of the group that would cover training cost and supplies.
     
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  4. Hercules_One

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    Are the group part of a firefighter station? Either way, nice approach and iniciative, just be careful of your bird in tight situations :)
     
  5. ISP5557

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    If they receive any tax money they are considered a public entity and must have a COA to fly any mission.
     
  6. Waternut13134

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    No this is a a private group,but it's built up of fire and police officers.
     
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  7. licensed pilot

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    The correct answer to your question will come from the FAA UAS Integration Office at 9-AFS-UAS-Inquiries@faa.gov.. or try Steve Pansky at 202-904-9400.
     
  8. ISP5557

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    I am going to bet since it is made up of public officials, (Fire/Police) the FAA will tell you you must file for blanket COA. They would see it as an attempt at an end around the rules I think.
     
  9. licensed pilot

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    Perhaps, if they say so then that's the correct legal answer. As far as I know there are no authorized FAA UAS Integration Office personnel answering questions on this forum and most of the "legal" advice I read here is wrong.
     
    #9 licensed pilot, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
    Trevlan likes this.
  10. MacDyver

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    Being a retired Firefighter I'd have to say if I am approached to help save a life any other considerations other than putting other lives at risk are out of the door, Including any FAA response, Especially Tender Age!
    I'll simply deal with whatever agency after the fact.
     
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  11. licensed pilot

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    Absolutely. After 32 years in police service in my county, twice chief of police, I'd never turn down a request for help. As a matter of fact, I "invited" myself to a chiefs' meeting in May, did a presentation on the capabilities of UAVs, the legal aspects, and let them know I would assist to the limits of my technical abilities in any life threatening emergency. Offered the use in said emergency of my Phantom 3 Pro, my Inspire 1 Pro and my soon to be added to the fleet FireFly6 VTOL fixed wing( once I purchase and complete flight test).

    The way I see it, if a UAV saves a life , the local media will be all over it and it will be difficult for the feds to be the bad guys, not to say I won't come out of it with at least a suspension to my FAA commercial pilot certificate. As in every case, the offense will be looked at under the totality of the circumstances and, as a licensed commercial pilot I would fly under minimal threat to civil aviation. It would be worth the sacrifice. As a cop I placed my police certification in jeopardy more than a few times by what I considered necessary actions (perhaps not exactly kosher under policy) but in the end the greater good prevailed. I'm a realist if nothing else. If I chose to fly at night or break any other 333 condition I expect the FAA will not be kind, in which case, I'll just throw myself at their feet and beg for mercy. Perhaps assisted by letters from local public safety agencies and maybe even intervention by a friendly congressman...I'll let my attorney plea for a suspension but to keep me flying...That's the plan, anyway. Hopefully I'll never need it :(
     
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  12. SanCap

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    I too have offered my assistance to our local Fire/Police/search and rescue for an emergency as a community service.
     
    MacDyver likes this.
  13. Inspired Cop

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    I am currently in the process of obtaining a COA for our local Sheriff's Office and we are dealing with Steve Pansky. We have purchased both a P3 Advanced and an Inspire 1. The P3 will be primarily for training and the Inspire 1 will be the main SRT/SAR aircraft. I am the designated trainer and primary pilot.
     
  14. licensed pilot

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    Good for you. Are u volunteering your time or are they hiring you as a trainer?
     
  15. Inspired Cop

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    Yes! LOL I'm on staff.
     
  16. licensed pilot

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    Ah, for some reason I thought u were retired...
     
  17. sturgisphoto

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    If you volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol do you need a commercial rating? I suspect the answer is no.
     
  18. MacDyver

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    My understanding is If you're not a Hobbyist taking flying strictly for personal gratification its a commercial or governmental operation.
    again If a life is at stake ESPECIALLY TENDER AGE, and my resources are requested by emergency services, and further I am not hampering operations or putting other lives at risk I would care less what ANY agency say's They can haul me off in chains, I'll deal with the consequences later.
     
  19. licensed pilot

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    The public organization must have a public COA. Public agencies are not required to have FAA licensed operators but must have a thorough training program to certify their own pilots, which is part of the COA application. I am not sure if the FAA has granted a blanket COA to the entire organization or if each CAP squadron must apply for a COA.

    ps- I was a search and rescue pilot with the CAP IN Arizona and Hawaii in my younger days. The CAP taught me how to fly as a cadet in 1969.
     
  20. Inspired Cop

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    Re-tired? I'm not even tired yet! LOL