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FAA Process; To approve 333 exceptions?
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ebonovic
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Has anyone done a deeper dive into the 333 exceptions for the FAA, to allow "commercial" usage of our Phantoms?

I am no looking to be a delivery service, but I would like to be able to take property or event photos/video, and get a little $$ for it.
Not talking big dollars, and probably more often or not, it would be a bartering thing.

And yes, I am sure that I could do it under the table/radar, but if I wanted to run a small ad, and schedule times and events... little harder to be under the radar.
Just curious if anyone has gone through the process to (for the lack of a better term), been certified?

With the number of houses in the area going up for sale, I could spend a Saturday taking photos and even at $20 a pop... I could make a good little bit of expendable income, to buy more toys

2015-7-10
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Phantom Help
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I have an exemption. It's not expensive to obtain one, but it'll take a few months. It seems the most recent exemptions are being approved in 2-3 months. Even with the exempton in hand, keep in mind that you're going to also need at least a recreational or sport pilot license in order to use your exemption. There will also be a bunch of other restrictions, but none of them should prevent you from taking photos of homes on private property.





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Inspector_Tim
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I would need a sport or recreational *pilots license* to obtain a 333 exemption? I'm probably not understanding that, as when you say that, I'm assuming you mean for aircraft (like fixed wing etc), not RC? Sorry if I sound naive, I could certainly use some direction, maybe some links or similar. Wouldn't it make more sense for a UAV or RC pilot to have certification/association SOP's etc, RC Aircraft / UAV's (at least the type we talk about here / small and lightweight) would seem worlds apart from aircraft.. I understand that an irresponsible UAV/RC pilot can do damage/cause injury etc, and I take a lot of care when sending mine up.. but hoping there is a middle ground. My goal is to use *while* working, not for a *fee* per se, example.. I'd like to use as a tool during an inspection etc. I'm not there yet and still learning/gaining experience and enjoying the aerial photo/video for my own enjoyment.  

Again, thanks for any information!
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Fulgerite
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Enjoying the aerial photo/video for your own enjoyment is fine without the exemption.  Go have fun with your hobby.

It's when you start to use the drone for commercial purposes that the 333 exemptions come into play.  It's not that hard to get a sport pilot cert.  Most local airports have flight schools.  Or you can purchase training online.   http://www.sportys.com/pilotshop ... ilot-test-prep.html

But the real cost comes when you consider that you will need business insurance.  Your drone can cause serious damage if you accidentally loose control.  (Which does happen from time to time.)  Your drone can cause property damage, start an accident fire or even injure a human.  You really should have business insurance if you are operating a business.  Otherwise you expose yourself to extensive liability.

All things to consider.
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HunterBrooks
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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-7-10 23:38
I have an exemption. It's not expensive to obtain one, but it'll take a few months. It seems the mos ...

Do you just need to pass the Sport Pilot written exam, or do you also need the 20 hrs of actual flight time for the 333 exception?
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Inspector_Tim Posted at 2015-7-11 00:44
I would need a sport or recreational *pilots license* to obtain a 333 exemption? I'm probably not un ...

You do not need a pilot license in order to obtain an exemption. You'll need it if you want to use your exemption though. Using a Phantom to assist with inspections is definitely commercial use.





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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-7-11 01:14
Do you just need to pass the Sport Pilot written exam, or do you also need the 20 hrs of actual fl ...

I don't have a pilot license. You should be able to find more information about airman certificates on the FAA's website. However, I'm fairly certain the written exam is only a step in the process of obtaining a pilot license.





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HunterBrooks
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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-7-11 01:20
I don't have a pilot license. You should be able to find more information about airman certificate ...

Yeah, I use to be a pilot, so I'm familiar with the requirements for an actual license.  I'm curious if I need the full license for the exception, or just pass the written exam.  So, it sounds like in order to actually charge people for services rendered with the PH3, the full license is required - including the 20 hrs of flight time.  It's the flight hours that's the expensive part of the license.

I'm actually studying for the written exam now.  Was hoping to avoid flight time.
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spiderbot.sb
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Here is some additional info.  HTH

http://dronelawjournal.com/

http://www.provideocoalition.com/drone-law-update-faa
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HunterBrooks
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spiderbot.sb Posted at 2015-7-11 01:36
Here is some additional info.  HTH

http://dronelawjournal.com/

Hey SpiderBot, thanks for the links.  Ha, if I read one more FAA ruling my head's gonna explode.  lol

I keep seeing the terms "certificate" and "license" used interchangeably, and I'm not sure if they're the same thing when talking about commercial use of a UAV and being able to use the exception.

So, for anyone who has 100% confirmed, in order to charge customers for commercial use of a PH3 (photos, mapping, etc), do I also need the 20 hrs of flight time (15 hrs with an instructor & 5 solo hrs).  

Thanks everyone!
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Eagle-ONE
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the aircraft needs to be registered. Has someone done that?
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dmwierz
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Guys, these are some pretty rudimentary questions. Spend some time on the FAA's web site, and you'll find all your answers.

Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA)

Yes, you need a CURRENT SPL or PPL (including the stick time); Yes you need to register the precise aircraft that will be used; etc...

There is a guy local to Chicago who is offering a SPL in a powered parachute for around $2K, all inclusive, FWIW.
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Eagle-ONE
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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-7-11 01:17
You do not need a pilot license in order to obtain an exemption. You'll need it if you want to use ...

And what about the CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER OR AUTHORIZATION
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dmwierz
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Eagle-ONE Posted at 2015-7-11 12:34
And what about the CERTIFICATE OF WAIVER OR AUTHORIZATION

FAA 333 Exemption COA

From the site above.
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Eagle-ONE
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I Found This video Very informative.
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Vaupell
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Well I live in Denmark, same rules here..

Drones are allowed for recreational use and privates only.
But for business or profit of any kind, you need

- Drone  registration
- A insurance for each drone
- Company clearing with the government flight administration
-- Includes all drone data,
-- Pilot logging
-- Drone logging
-- Drone registration with the authorizes as flying object, has to have readable license number.
-- Pilot education or proof of equivilant, either licenses 1b or 1c for DJI phantoms
- Knowlegde and ability to obtain flight data..... METAR data,

and finally, follow a different set of rules that the hobbists. :p
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acollinsdal.yah
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As others have stated, anyone can get a 333, however to be legal after you get that, you need a pilots license, can be anything from sport pilot  on up,,,,and yes, that includes stick time and being able to actually pass a test flying a plane with an FAA inspector on board,,and that normally takes more than 20 hours of practice,,you also will need time with an instructor on board,,,so a sports license is cheaper than a traditional single engine,,but its still expensive

I am a licensed pilot, have commercial liability insurance on my drone, and am waiting for my 333.  The 333 is actually more of  a 'bookkeeping' thing, because you are simply asking for a waiver for rules that they have given waivers to in the past, which is why you can get a 333 in  2-3 months instead of a year or more if you want an exemption they don't normally   give
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Eagle-ONE
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acollinsdal.yah Posted at 2015-7-12 07:55
As others have stated, anyone can get a 333, however to be legal after you get that, you need a pilo ...

I don't understand , on one site the FAA say you need pilot certificate but if I read this
http://www.faa.gov/pilots/become/
Say "If you are interested in flying ultralight vehicles, you don't need a pilot's license.
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Eagle-ONE Posted at 2015-7-12 08:47
I don't understand , on one site the FAA say you need pilot certificate but if I read this
http:// ...

A Phantom is not an ultra light vehicle. It's an SUAS.





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TAZ
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Eagle-ONE Posted at 2015-7-12 08:47
I don't understand , on one site the FAA say you need pilot certificate but if I read this
http:// ...

Flying, and flying for commercial rewards is completely different.  You must have a 333 exemption, and currently, a SPL (sports pilot license) or greater to fly UAVs for compensation, to be legal.  It is the "for compensation" that increases the requirements.

If you'd like to know more about flying UAVs for hire, just google "333 UAV" and you'll get tons of info.
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aburkefl
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TAZ Posted at 2015-7-12 09:18
Flying, and flying for commercial rewards is completely different.  You must have a 333 exemption, ...

I believe in rules and I believe in laws. I also believe there are some really dumb rules/laws!

Is it really practical/reasonable that someone wishing to commercially utilize SUAVs have a pilot's license? I have some limited experience in piloting/navigating, etc., and understand why the requirements exist for  flying planes and helicopters. On the surface it appears it's easier to legally pilot an ultra-light than it is to commercially fly a drone! How much sense does that make?

Or is it that the ultra-light is not a commercial venture?
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spiderbot.sb
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aburkefl@gmail. Posted at 2015-7-13 20:09
I believe in rules and I believe in laws. I also believe there are some really dumb rules/laws!

I ...

Crazy rules/laws?  Ain't it the truth!

If you spend some time researching the "rules", two things stand out.

1) The FAA does not currently have any authority to enforce the 'rules'.  The FAA is NOT an enforcement entity, like the police.  They CAN file lawsuits, however.
2) The FAA is only concerned about money - or - they have been coerced by the 'big boys' in order to keep the 'little guys' out.

It appears that the 'rules', whatever they end up entailing, are being delayed for 'public input', a process which could take years.  In the mean time all transgressions seem to be handled on a case-by-case basis using the courts and the local police for enforcement.  The FAA were even trolling utube looking for evil doers.

But as far as I can tell, there are no actual laws other than those that already exist more generally, i.e. trespassing, damage to property, etc.

Someone have a link that shows otherwise?
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aeriallens
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For NOW, of course you must get an exemption and have a pilot's "ticket" to fly for pay as stated above, mainly because the FAA has to regulate the airspace for commercial use.  They have no choice.

BUT by sometime in 2016 the PROPOSED new rules from the FAA will be in place (hopefully) and most sUAV folks agree these are VERY reasonable.   To see the proposed rules, just go to the FAA UAS site or regulations dot gov and look for Docket number FAA-2015-0150-0017, or simply search in your browser for that document.

Meantime, certainly go ahead and register your aircraft (as you must, either now or later, if you are going to get paid legally),  but ultimately you will need no license per se in the majority of cases.  You WILL of course be held to some strong standards and be liable for a bunch of safety stuff.  I am patiently waiting.
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Phantom Help
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spiderbot.sb, there are laws. Here's the law that requires an airman certificate when flying an aircraft commercially:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/44711

And, here's another saying the FAA has the power to exempt anyone from the above law:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/44701

For some reason, they are choosing not to exempt people who only want to fly an SUAS.





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Phantom Help
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aeriallens, the FAA has no plans to stop requiring people to get a license (airman certificate). The new SUAS rules include the creation of a new SUAS airman certificate. The FAA will continue to claim they must require people to have a certificate due to 49 USC§ 44711. Although, as you can see above, that is simply not true.





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Fingerlaker
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Consider the FAA has stated that a final rule for commercial UAS operations will be in place in less than one year. The proposed rule suggests that an operator would only need to pass an aeronautical test to obtain an FAA UAS operator's certificate. So unless you are already a certificated pilot (or have one to operate your drone) then it is not likely to be worth the time and expense get a Sport Pilot certificate and apply for a 333 exemption.
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Mspinner1
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What about taking the pics and video for free? Than charging for "editing"  on a sim card?
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aeriallens
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PhantomHelp - You are of course correct. What I MEANT when I said "ticket per se" was that it will become a lot simpler and fractional in cost as compared to any existing operator cert. My apologies for not being clear.

Mspinner, what you suggest or even just charging for editing (or a tee shirt for that matter - yep that's been tried) just won't make it; still not permitted without all the mess required. In your favor is the idea of pretty much flying undercover and not doing or advertising anything boldly - the FAA could not possibly hire enough people to catch every real estate and wedding photographer - BUT it is still not permitted without an exemption. You may as well bite the bullet and get started doing it all legitimately....or just wait for more favorable regs. You may as well at least try to register your aircraft, to get started.

Personally, it is sad that you are only trying to get a good tree-level photo or video clip for your client, and that is what he/she wants. We have to be responsible....and very patient. Meantime, it is a good idea to discourage our non-commercial or hobbiest counterparts from intentionally doing stupid things (high risk coupled with significant probability of failure around people, valued assets, pets, or property) with THEIR quads; THAT is what makes the NEWS and forms public opinion...and eventually, laws. Really good things and rescues etc happen with our drones, too, but these efforts are often trumped by the more thrill seeking dare-devil types.
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spiderbot.sb
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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-7-14 02:51
spiderbot.sb, there are laws. Here's the law that requires an airman certificate when flying an airc ...

Yes, that looks very authoritative.  One issue, please define 'civil aircraft'.

Another question that comes to mind is why a hobbyist is excluded from 'The Code' but when the same hobbyist uses the same drone to make $0.01, suddenly the drone is a 'civil aircraft'.
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aeriallens
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Just chiming in - The commercial part -as opposed to hobby - has its origins in the "commerce clause" of the US Constitution, which very simply states, [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.  

That's it, then later the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, long before airplanes. From there, many regulatory agencies have taken root due to interstate commercial activity.  So it seems like, if you just stay within your state all would be well.  Wishful thinking.
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HunterBrooks
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Fingerlaker Posted at 2015-7-14 03:36
Consider the FAA has stated that a final rule for commercial UAS operations will be in place in less ...

Great responses guys, and thanks for answering my main question around stick time.

So, my plan is to pass the SP written exam, register my PH3, and get the insurance.  Then I'll wait to see what officially happens next year with respect to stick time.  

Now, speaking out both sides of my mouth for a moment ...  I'd hate to spend the time/effort/money on actual fixed-wing flight time again - BUT, I definitely feel that my earlier days of flying makes me a better UAV pilot.  

So, I can see a compromise coming where there could be a "stick time" requirement, but for flying time on a certain class of UAV's with a "certified" UAV school that has modified their current fixed-wing FAA-certified curriculum for UAV's.  Now that would make sense.  And the DJI app could easily be modified to include in the flight logs "time with an instructor" which could include a digital signature feature for an instructor to sign-off on your hours.
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Phantom Help
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spiderbot.sb, here's a general definition of civil aviation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_aviation

Here's the important part of 49 U.S. Code § 44711:
"A person may not operate a civil aircraft in air commerce without an airworthiness certificate in effect or in violation of a term of the certificate without an airman certificate authorizing the airman to serve in the capacity for which the certificate was issued"

Hobbyists are flying civil aircraft. They are not operating in air commerce ("commercially") though.





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xaq7
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Also, you'd have to treat the Phantom like a REAL plane, and it's by far not built like a certified aircraft. Any pesky crack in the shell? VPS error? You've got to ground the bird. You should have 2 way communication with any local controlled airspace.

I talked to a lawyer, they wanted $2500 to file the exemption. I've talked to local realtors, they've been advised to steer clear of any aerial UAS photos. That was going to be my market, but no realtors in the area want to bite. If you want to go commercial operations, then I'd strongly suggest a more robust bird, the Phantom is still toy grade.

I haven't priced insurance or any of that, but it's yet another expense. For me, I couldn't make the numbers work. Maybe others have found a way.
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TAZ
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HunterBrooks Posted at 2015-7-15 00:41
Great responses guys, and thanks for answering my main question around stick time.

So, my plan is ...

Hunter, in an earlier post you mentioned you used to be a pilot...and then in this post, you mentioned you didn't prefer to have to do the stick time "again". I'm wondering, had you actually obtained your private pilots certification in the past issued by the FAA?  If yes, then good news....pilot certifications  never expire.  If you used to be a  pilot, you still are (it's the medical certificate, and the flight review requirements that are out of date...neither of which is required for flying under a UAVs 333 exemption) .  Doesn't matter if t was decades prior when you obtained your pilots certification, and you haven't flown once since.... No additional tests or flight time required.

If your pilots certification was issued by the FAA at any time in the past, you can pull it up to obtain your Certificate Number here:: https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/.  You may need to update your current address to get a physical copy, which you can do there too.

If you did not obtain your pilots license certification, the past hours you logged can technically still be counted towards the minimum hours requirements towards the certification you seek, without regard to how long ago they occurred, provided you have retained your log books to prove it.  The only date based requirement is at least 2 or 3 hours (for sport or private respectively) of dual instruction must be completed within the preceding 60 days prior to the practical test.  Now wether you could actually pass a practical flight exam without sufficient practice is an entirely different question.
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aeriallens
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...well, there IS the idea of "tethering" the P3? It seems the FAA allows tethered aircraft without all the exemptions and rules, but the only reference I have found is related to testing and mooring of various aircraft.  Any tether info I have found is old and certainly does not anticipate any sort of unmanned drone or even a model helicopter.

In real estate, say you need that great lakeside property shot (still photos) from a vantage point over the water -- could you attach a filament of Spectra line as a "safety" tether - not under tension - and be sort-of legit?  Could really get messy and expensive if not flown with extreme caution and alertness. I know, that is a goofy idea....but maybe?
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xaq7
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I've seen tethered RC blimps used for photography with success. I've also tethered a home made quad with a power cable, and flew it without onboard batteries. Infinite flight time!!! Well I hovered for 2 hours and then the novelty wore off. But really, if aerial photo is the goal, powered balloons are a pretty good option.
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HunterBrooks
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TAZ Posted at 2015-7-15 02:22
Hunter, in an earlier post you mentioned you used to be a pilot...and then in this post, you menti ...

Hey TAZ, thanks for the info.  That's actually great news regarding the non-expired pilot license.  Funny, after I read your note, I was like, "DUH, that's right!"  lol

Unfortuneatly, I soloed numerous times, but before I could complete the cross-country, I moved out of the country, and never picked it back up again once I returned (married, kids, life, etc).  But yes, I do still have my logbook.
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TAZ
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aeriallens@gmai Posted at 2015-7-15 02:34
...well, there IS the idea of "tethering" the P3? It seems the FAA allows tethered aircraft without  ...

You are correct in thinking that a tethered aircraft used to be exempt from most regulations, due to a now expired publication that defined a UAS as:

[A] device used or intended to be used for flight in the air that has no onboard pilot.  This devise (sic) excludes missiles, weapons, or exploding warheads, but includes all classes of airplanes, helicopters, airships, and powered lift aircraft without an onboard pilot.  UA do not include traditional balloons (refer to 14 C.F.R part 101), rockets, tethered aircraft and un-powered gliders.

So...you'll find plenty of comments claiming tethering is a way around the regulations, and they were arguably accurate at the time they were written.  However, that publication has now expired and a new definition is now in force:

Unmanned Aircraft (UA).  A device used or intended to be used for flight in the air that has no onboard pilot.  This device excludes missiles, weapons, or exploding warheads, but includes all classes of airplanes, helicopters, airships, and powered-lift aircraft without an onboard pilot.  UAs do not include traditional balloons (refer to CFR part 101), rockets, and unpowered gliders.

Note the absence of the "tethered aircraft" exception.  

There is a much better and detailed explanation with dates, impact and references  here:  http://planelyspokenblog.com/uas-tethered-v-untethered
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Eagle-ONE
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Mspinner1 Posted at 2015-7-14 09:59
What about taking the pics and video for free? Than charging for "editing"  on a sim card?

Still been commercial purposes, still been illegal.
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spiderbot.sb
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Phantom Help Posted at 2015-7-15 01:32
spiderbot.sb, here's a general definition of civil aviation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_avi ...

Thanks for that.  Wiki is not really an authoritative source but I get the point.  Again though, please define 'civil aircraft'.

Still, why does earning a nickel transform the same actions with the same drone into a punishable offence?  How about if I take video with my drone of my property, on my property far away from any airport, staying under 100 feet, and sell the images?  Why does the FAA involve itself with that?
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