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USA Part 107 - flying above public road

Discussion in 'Certified UAV Pilots' started by Quadslo, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Quadslo

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    How is it with flying above public multilane roads? As far as I read, it is not allowed?
    What is the minimum distance for flying close to the road?

    I would like to film traffic.


    Thanks.
     
  2. DesertWindAero

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    That depends on where you are flying.
     
  3. Joola

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    This type of operation would require a waiver as the vehicles would not necessarily be stationary.

    § 107.39 Operation over human beings.
    No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft over a human being unless that human being is:
    (a) Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft; or
    (b) Located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft.

    So far, I think only 1 waiver has been granted for operations over human beings and that was to CNN.
     
  4. Quadslo

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    Thank you, so we drop the waiver option. I must now find where it says how far away should I fly from a moving vehicle.
     
  5. DesertWindAero

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    There isn't anything.

    That said, if you flew off to the side of the road so that you're not *directly* over the moving vehicles, that appears to be ok.


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  6. Quadslo

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    Great! In Europe we have a rule that you have to be 30m away or more if vehicle is in motion.
     
  7. Jason1234

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    Is that 30m horizontal or absolute distance?



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  8. Wesley Claggett

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    If I'm flying over a street 150 feet up, I'm not allowed to cross a street with cars??? You gotta be kidding me. Why are we drone flyers if we can't film with them.
    Also I see footage all the time of kids and people underneath a drone as it flys up and away.

    Because they are being filmed does that make them a part of the operation section???
     
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  9. DesertWindAero

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    The short answer to your question appears to be "No...you can't."

    From the final rule:

    " § 107.39 Operation over human beings.
    No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft over a human being unless that human being is:
    (a) Directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft; or
    (b) Located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from a falling small unmanned aircraft."

    I suppose in those situations, the pilot is not flying under Part 107 rules, but as a hobbyist.

    No. They are not "directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft..." That means, under Part 107, you can fly over yourself, your visual observer, or the person manipulating the controls...period.
     
  10. Wesley Claggett

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    Ok I see the rules. Thanks.

    If I'm being paid to drone for a film and the scene calls for a shot over people looking straight down, or over the city flying over a building looking down. We can't guarantee that there are no people below or cars below, but we still see these shots all the time. Being paid isn't a hobbyist. I'm getting into drone work for film and TV. These shots are required as is flying over cars. How do we go about this if the rules say we can't?

    Also if someone is walking according to this if we are1 foot away from a person it makes it legal correct? As Long as you're not directly over a person.

    Or do we just make all parties in the film "observers"
     
  11. DesertWindAero

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    The obvious concern is the safety of those being flown over.

    I think the route to go is to come up with some ways to protect people you may be flying over, document that and ask for a waiver, as that is one of the sections for which one can get a waiver.

    Yes, it appears that flying offset to someone or a moving vehicle would be acceptable - just as long as you can show you were not "over" that person.
     
  12. Jason1234

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    I'm not suggesting to ignore the rule, but wouldn't the burden of proof be on the accuser? It seems like that would be hard to prove. How would you prove that a UAS is directly over someone or a moving car unless it is plainly obvious from video at multiple angles or in the event of a strike.

    This all ties into another thread about flying over other people's property. While that isn't illegal per se, how could you reasonably guarantee that some non-participant won't walk out of a door on an adjoining property? I see this as a major issue for things like real estate photography.

    The prohibition over moving cars makes good sense. A drone strike to a moving windshield could have disastrous results. Flying over crowds doesn't seem smart or safe without serious mitigation given today's technology and lack of reliability data. Flying over a random individual straying into the area of operation doesn't seem like a significant risk that should be regulated in my opinion. This seriously disrupts commercial opportunities.

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  13. DesertWindAero

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    Well, I'm not an attorney...nor do I play one on TV. That said, I think that having a flight operations manual for your commercial enterprise detailing safety steps and mitigating risk would be a good start. Within it, you could detail how you would mitigate purposefully flying directly over people, or how you ensure you do not operate in a reckless, irresponsible manner . You brought up real estate shoots...

    So, for example, your operations manual could say something to the effect that you would ensure the owner of the property communicates to all family members to stay inside during the shoot...or, you could have a megaphone you would use to announce to the general area to be mindful of your flight just before taking off...or, you could say that you would initiate maneuvers to avoid unexpected people in the area if your Visual Observer gave you a warning...or, other mitigating actions.

    Nothing can account for an unexpected, sudden, or otherwise unanticipated event, like the random individual straying into the area or a neighbor running out of his front door and into the area of operation...but, at least you'd be able to show you took prudent, reasonable, and conscientious actions to help preclude injury.
     
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  14. Jason1234

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    Yeah, the reckless and irresponsible thing is a definite gotcha. You can dispute all day long that you didn't fly *directly* over someone, but recklessness is subjective. Prudent and reasonable operating procedures is the way to go for sure.

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  15. Jason1234

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    I actually ran into this yesterday. I was filming a bank on Saturday when traffic would be light, but the ATM was still open to vehicular traffic. My risk mitigation plan was to watch the entrance and quickly maneuver over the building in the event of traffic entering the property. I also had a planned landing route from over the roof and an emergency landing point on the roof selected in advance. Several cars did enter the property and I executed the plan perfectly to remain legal. This was an easy case with simple solution. It won't always be easy, though.

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