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Is this legal/normal flying of a drone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NewtoDrones, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. NewtoDrones

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    Hello I am a new member who was at an event lately with a crowd watching dirt bikes doing jumps. I noticed a drone covering the action and took a video. Since you are all experienced drone people is this normal to be around a crowd like this? I don't know if I can post a video right on here so here is a screen shot of the video in my iphoto. I am 99% positive this drone was operated by a local resident who is running for a political position to represent our district to the state. There was an area taped off for the dirt bikes and the drone was out among the crowd flying above and around everyone. Not to mention one instance in my video where he makes a very rapid flight and descent above everyones' heads like he was running out of battery or something.

    Just looking for opinions on legality and if this is normal?
     

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  2. southerndoug

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    Normal: probably. Legal: definitely not.
     
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  3. lake_flyer

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    Correct, illegal to fly above or near crowds.
     
  4. zyong812

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    Laws about drones are not imperfect yet. There may not be restrictions clearly. But for safety, you are not suggested to do this.
     
  5. JasonJett

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    Based on your one pic screen shot. This is what I see: It depends on if he is hovering above them or if he just passed over. The best practice is to not cross their line at all. That is what I would try to avoid. There is some best practices. Not sure about an actual law that says you cannot cross a line of people but the FAA def has restrictions about not flying over a crowd of people. I wouldn't really call that a crowd. More like a small group. If that was the only place I could fly to get over them I would prob cross over them. At the moment UAVs are considered civilian aircraft. Civilian aircraft are able to fly over people. It all just depends on the situation. Him being a political person running for office makes no difference.
     
  6. Harry Christie

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    Just registered my new Inspire. From what I could see, drones are "unmanned aircraft". Might be a sub-category of "civilian aircraft," but definitely a different classification. FAA UAS safety guidelines state "do not fly over stadiums, sporting events, or groups of people." Don't know if there's a corresponding law or not, but seems stupid to risk it.
     

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  7. DennisR

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    Send me the address and name and I will report him to FAA. I promise I will do it,.
     
  8. Ryan Van Scotter

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    Perhaps it is legal?

    If it's private property, i.e. The race venue gave permission to the operator and it is posted or the people are informed, perhaps on some signs or on the venue website. Then it can easily be legal, even if commercial uses is intended.

    Even though the operation may very well be legal, The type of flying could still be classified as reckless (by the FAA) depending on the interaction and proximity of the people. But if it's a legal operation that would all be spelled out in their OM and MPTOM...

    I'm sure the FAA trolls websites and YouTube for videos that could potentially violate people. But The reality is that the FAA is not interested in going after people operating in the "grey area". Gross violations, or after an incident or injury, is completely within their sights.

    Maybe that's why the 333 exemptions take so long... Who knows???
     
  9. JasonJett

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    There has been a case where court decided that FAA has no authority over personal RC aircraft use. If he was not doing anything commercially reporting him would not matter anyway.
     
  10. DennisR

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    If that is legal then why do any of us bother paying 10k and a lot of study getting licensed? Why?
     
  11. Kilrah

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    How can anyone reply without even knowing in which country that is, not even to mention what permissions and certifications the pilot may have? :confused:
     
  12. RitchieM

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    My understanding,in the UK for example, is overhead is a no no, even if that crowd are being controlled or marshalled up to 1k people. Over head of people is just not allowed. I just do the camera op and tech stuff for us btw.

    That said, some pics I see look stunning but I do think "how did they get approval for that?????". Some shots would, in the uk, only be achievable by something that was not a UAV.

    So grey at the moment...
     
  13. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    You can land on someone's head if they give you permission and sign a waiver! Providing a full crew and talent safety briefing is undertaken and everyone is under your control then not a problem.
    The same would be true for a collection of extras in a film provided they where briefed and understood the risks (and gave their permission).
    However, overhead without permission is a strict no no.
     
  14. Bryan Conover

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    Let's just take a moment entertain the idea the FAA UAS enforcement is a joke. For the last 6 months I've been filing monthly 333 violation complaints against a YouTube by the name of Casey Neistat. Included in those written request for them to formally investigate him is over 100 direct links to youtube videos of flying unsafely in excess of 1000 feet above moving people and freeway vehicles. In addition, I have requested a investigation into him being financially compensated by Google for these videos. As of 3 weeks ago in a heated verbal debate they have stated they have no such plans of taking any action against him other than a form letter that was never responded to. Daily he post videos that set a miserable example of UAS usage that could eventually kill or injure. All falling on deaf ears and blind eyes at the FAA.
     
  15. RitchieM

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    But in the real world, we are talking not about a closed set, we are dealing with the fluidity of the real environment

    For the last poster, I fear we are dealing with issues beyond this discussion and a personal issue.

    Respect is utmost and without following the localised rules, sadly I fear we will be left with beautiful toys that will be grounded and not allowed to fly.
     
  16. Bryan Conover

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    Grounded...I could see it happening. No real practical reasons to have "hobbiest" in the sky gumming up the works for Amazon and such.
     
  17. RitchieM

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    Why would you allow a person to fly without any warrant of skill, but still provide amazing footage? Because it's s unique view. It's something that absolutely blows people's minds when they see it.

    For that we have a responsibility to ensure the best footage, but more importantly the best practices.
     
  18. DennisR

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    Is there a country that allows this happen? Legally? Where is it? You are all about making excuses for this type of activity.
     
  19. licensed pilot

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    Send all evidence to your local congressman and the media. eventually you'll push the right button.