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What exactly is and isn't a congested area?

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Grant Skelton, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Grant Skelton

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    Hi

    I am interested in people's interpretation of 'congested areas'. I'm currently awaiting my PFAW so am thinking about the work I want to pitch for. I am however a little unsure (I wasn't so much during my training) what exactly a congested area is. I thought I knew but now I look at the work of more and more people / companies on the web that PFAW, there must be a 'load' of special permissions being asked for or a much broader interpretation of 'congested area'. I'd love to get a steer for the experience of this group.
     
  2. Scotflieger

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    @Grant Skelton the CAA's definition of a Congested Area is a hazy one. It comes from general aviation and is basically an area where if you crash you are most likely to hit someone or something. It covers villages, towns and industrial areas. Even working to the 50m rule you are likely to include multiple properties and persons, all of which you would need to contact and gain permission to close to under the 'direct control' rule.
     
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  3. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Unfortunately there are many doing work who are not in possession of PFAW so the rules 'do not apply to them' or so they think. I look at some peoples showreels and think "Now I KNOW there was no way you got permission for that one!"
    The 166/7 restrictions are pretty clear on stand offs from any building, vehicle or structure etc not under your control.
    Having said that, you'd be surprised at what you can do and still work within the confines of the PFAW. There are usually many ways to 'Skin a Cat'. Most jobs are achievable with good planning and a common sense approach.
     
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  4. Kevin Hancox

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    Congested is subjective, 50m is definitive. If in doubt, don't, is the simplest way to look at it... It is you, your livelihood, your insurance and your certification.

    Never get pushed into anything by a client, and make it clear of the rules prior to any booking. That is the simplest way to be sure you don't get into a sticky situation... ;)
     
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  5. Steve Reid

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    Most of the present rules were written with model airplanes in mind. Florida's State Parks says so. right now there's a lot of loop holes. I was confronted by Park Rangers and pointed that out to them, so they let me finish making my video.
     
  6. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    This thread is in regards to UK CAA regulations under the Air Navigation Order which in the UK is law so we have to play by the rules.
    However, the good news is the UK has been more proactive than a lot of countries and so we are legally permitted to operate commercially providing the individual has demonstrated the required level of competence in RPAS piloting, submitted and had passed an ops manual to the CAA and passed a ground school exam in various subjects regarding aviation.
    When we've done all of that...... We can go fly (providing we maintain certain distances and do not fly at night)
     
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  7. Wing Commander Smyth

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    OK, so this might be off topic a bit, and I agree the UK is up there with regards to regs etc...... BUT I do sometimes wonder why we (CAA Approved pilots) spend the time and money getting PFAW when there are loads of people out there, flying irresponsibly and jeopardising things for us all.....getting paid, with no consequences.

    I know Editor you are hot on this, you questioned one of my shots previously, which is only right and I was happy to explain but where's the real jeopardy for the others who do fly over Stonehenge for example and put it in their "CAA approved" showreel??

    The powers that be can't "be" everywhere, and if they are going to try and watch all drone footage to check, well good luck with that.....

    I wonder if there should be a system where the community can report on suspicious (or at least blatant) infringements.....I know that might sound like sour grapes jobs worth, but for those of us who spend thousands doing it "right", playing by the rules, and being professional......there seems little real threat for the rule benders....

    I see paid for promo films all the time where you KNOW that's not possibly compliant.....but what can you do....

    Sorry - as I say probably completely off topic and i've broken forum rules myself but I wasn't sure whether to start a new thread about my thoughts or not........
     
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  8. Scotflieger

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    @Wing Commander Smyth (nice handle btw) I know what side of the line I wish to operate on. I think we will see the rules tightening making the 'hobbyist' wishing they weren't behaving stupidly. There will be a full RP licensing system introduced at some point. I also think the current 'fad' for drone toys will peak this Christmas leaving the 1000+ PFAW persons/companies a clearer run. Any flagrant breaches of the ANO (with evidence plastered on YouTube) should be reported to the CAA or the Police as was the case with the most recent court case. If they are charging for their footage without a PFAW then they are breaking the law. Simples!
     
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  9. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Oh, you've hit a nerve with me on this one so I'd better stay off my soapbox. :p
    Personally, I have had enough now of non authorised aerial companies or individuals advertising their services when they have no legal right to do so. It's hard enough to make a living in this game without the non authorised muscling in.
    It's no different to any other industry that is regulated and licenced with cowboys taking business away from legitimate businesses.
    I have no hesitation now reporting flagrant breaches of ANO flying and advertisements to the CAA.
    As you quite rightly point out, we have all had to spend thousands of our own money getting to a point where we have undergone the requisite training, passed the level necessary in piloting an RPAS and also gone to the expense of procuring the insurance should something go wrong.
    Why the hell should somebody who has gone to Maplin Electronics, bought themselves a Phantom and then call themselves an 'Aerial Photography Expert' be allowed to get away with it?
    I will carefully step down from my soapbox now and apologise for derailing the thread. :(
     
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  10. Wing Commander Smyth

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    @Scotflieger why thank you! Smyth has been my ground film crew nickname for donkeys (lord know why!?!) so I thought, why not make it a tad more..... aerial.

    Ah, I didn't actually realise that someone had reported an offence, I stupidly assumed that If I were to report anything, the police would be "too busy with real crimes" and the CAA would be "too busy" just trying to keep up with the industry (thankfully I hear the PFAW are coming through a LOT quicker than previously!).

    But what I REALLY think will happen, is when....and it sadly is a "when" and not an "if", a drone causes a loss of life then they will step up the enforcement, but if they did that level of enforcement now, it might stop a tragedy in the first place.....

    @The Editor - if anyone derailed this thread it's me!! But I totally agree with your feelings, which is why I had to comment. I didn't realise you could report to the CAA - who do you report to? A particular person or number?

    I have a loooooooooong list.......
     
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  11. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Haha, no worries.

    You can either do it here CAAPortal
    Although it's not that user friendly in being able to point to links to websites etc.
    Or here Whistleblowing Report Form | Publications | About the CAA
    Or you can use the usual email uavenquires@caa.co.uk where obviously you can attach URL's of offending YouTube videos etc.
     
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  12. Wing Commander Smyth

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    OK cool - thank you.