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Hi Im with the FAA - Do you have an exemtion to fly over people with that thing?
1548 22 2015-6-8
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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This past weekend in my town, I launched my drone to capture the Hot Air Ballon Race that happend annually, 7 minutes into the filght I was approached by a FAA Operations Inspector whom flashed his FAA credentials while I was hovering at 206 feet AGL.
He asked me if I have an exemption to fly that thing over people? I told him no... He says, "Im gonna ask you to bring it down immediately".
I stated that I'm documenting the airshow and will be putting together a video of this and other local events. He says- "you're gonna have to land it now".

I complied and asked him at what altitude constitutes "Flying over people?".. he nicely told me to contact him this week and he would get me that info...

Im a pilot and I rent airplanes and fly out of that same airport and was really confused that he could/would not answer my question on the spot.
As of today, I'm contacting the FAA to get the exemption that he's referring to. I thought flying over people meant 10' -20' NOT 206' above them.
Confused as hell now!?


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2015-6-8
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Raybro
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11096 ft
United States
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Need an exemption, a certificate of airworthiness, and an N number for your Phantom
2015-6-8
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HermosaDrones
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2501266 ft
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United States
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it is not wise to fly a phantom over people at any time.  sometimes it happens.  keep us posted.
2015-6-8
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Faken
lvl.2

Canada
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Our ministry or transportation guidelines for Drones in Canada is basically 250 meters away from buildings or people.  So in other words, if you were to draw a 250 meter circle with a person standing in the middle, the drone can not fly over that circle at any time at any height.  People do it, but they can certainly ground your flight or fine you for not obeying.

If you are using the drone for commercial use like you were, you would need what Raybro says... a permit, certificate and reg number.

Dan
2015-6-8
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Kilted Flyer
lvl.4
Flight distance : 814139 ft
United States
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Funny you say this about drones, and what did I witness yesterday? A small single engine plane doing circles over my neighborhood at about less then 100 ft off ground. Nearest airport was 9 miles away. I say HE was breaking FAA rules flying a full sized plane that low. He would cause more damage then a quad would id something would happen....
2015-6-8
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PhantomHelp.com
Captain
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If you do get an FAA exemption, I think you're going to find that it will restrict you from flying over people. It's a lot of work to get an exemption, so you might want to double-check with the FAA before you proceed.





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2015-6-8
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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PhantomHelp.com Posted at 2015-6-9 03:50
If you do get an FAA exemption, I think you're going to find that it will restrict you from flying o ...

Hello Good People.. I have sent an email to the Inspector and he has not replied yet.
I agree that flying over people isn't the  safest thing to do. However I am serious about the photos that I take and this is more than a hobby for me.

I'm still curious as to why he could not answer my question on the spot...
To be honest,  I was only over the autos that were parked there and wanted to stay away from the balloons to ensure separation and  not cause any accidents.
But i guess people were in the cars too....
2015-6-8
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817504 ft
United States
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The FAA official is correct: You are not supposed to hover over crowds of people. The higher the drone is, the more dangerous it is. A Phantom is a big heavy object and will pick up speed on the way down if it suddenly loses power (which they do all the time as you know if you read this forum). The thing the FAA official is wrong about is that there is no exemption which I am aware of that allows you to fly a drone over a crowd of people without their prior consent. Worse, I think that a field with a bunch of balloons taking off may be considered an airfield and the balloons may be aircraft and you are clearly within the 5 mile radius. I would not go knocking on the FAA's door if I were you.
2015-6-8
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Skaffen-Amtiska
lvl.1

Australia
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Kilted Flyer Posted at 2015-6-9 00:03
Funny you say this about drones, and what did I witness yesterday? A small single engine plane doing ...

Unless of course, the pilot of the light aircraft has a low level endorsement.  then its fine.
2015-6-8
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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"I would not go knocking on the FAA's door if I were you"

I contacted this guy early in the morning during normal operating hours and he replied late last night and was asking me more personal questions. (specifically my name and email address.)
He was stating that the info that I gave him doesn't match up... Now I'm really  suspect of him and his intention. He says to provide him this info and then he will send me the link...  I have nothing to gain from lying to the FAA period. I never gave him an email address at all. -This reply has me very suspicious now.-
I gave him my name at the time he asked me to bring the Phantom down and now he seems to be doing an investigation verses honoring his word to send me the link that he promised.
Proceeding with caution now.. if anyone knows of the link regarding drone use or "Exemption" please post it.

I feel like I'm being setup verses being helped.
I will contact the FAA head office in Oklahoma to get this link and the Rules regarding personal drone flight if necessary.

#NotTrustingThisGuy'sIntentions
2015-6-9
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fwickeha
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Flight distance : 173410 ft

United States
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DerbyCity BirdM Posted at 2015-6-9 20:23
"I would not go knocking on the FAA's door if I were you"

I contacted this guy early in the morning ...

You have already admitted to giving this guy your name and by emailing him, you have provided him with your email address.  You really need to consider with whom you are dealing.  If this person is an employee of the FAA, he will provide you with his name and the office with which he is associated.
Maybe you should re read "The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" again.
2015-6-9
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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Here's the entire conversation via email.
Me - "Hello, You asked me to contact you to obtain the link that I needed to get the exemption/certificate of airworthiness, for drone flight.
thanks"


FAA Operations Inspector - "Yes, could you please tell me the name you used at the airport Friday night?  The email address doesn't seem to match.  I will send you the information.
Thanks,"


Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't he just provide the link necessary for me to become compliant?
2015-6-10
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flydronefly
lvl.4

United States
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fwickeha@hotmai Posted at 2015-6-9 21:34
You have already admitted to giving this guy your name and by emailing him, you have provided him  ...

"Maybe you should re read "The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" again."

HA!

This has a CSI case written all over it...
2015-6-10
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flydronefly
lvl.4

United States
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DerbyCity BirdM Posted at 2015-6-10 20:07
Here's the entire conversation via email.
Me - "Hello, You asked me to contact you to obtain the lin ...

Is he emailing from a .gov account or @aol ?
2015-6-10
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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flydronefly -   It's a .gov email account... as of today, I'm losing this joker and contacting the FAA in Oklahoma directly to get my answer.
I have never had this type of experience before when dealing with the FAA. I've been flying airplanes since 1985 and he's very suspect in his behavior.

2015-6-10
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droneflyers.com
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Yeah, in a legal sense you can't fly over people at all - especially a bunch of them. It's probably OK to fly over your wife, etc......but not people in general.

I know that's a big limitation and you say it's more than a hobby - but it isn't in any legal sense unless you have FAA approval...and even then you can't fly over people.

Someday drones will have failsafe (maybe airbags, etc.) and maybe this will loosen up. But for now we have to be satisfied with buildings, nature, etc.
2015-6-10
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talk2t_c
Second Officer

France
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Maybe he's just the janitor or teaboy on a day out and flexing his imaginery power.  I'm sure I could rattle up a FAA looking ID on my computer.
If he was real maybe he should have suggested flying further away from people, but still able to get some good shots like the one shown.
2015-6-11
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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talk2t_c Posted at 2015-6-11 23:04
Maybe he's just the janitor or teaboy on a day out and flexing his imaginery power.  I'm sure I coul ...

"Maybe he's just the janitor or teaboy on a day out and flexing his imaginery power"

I find that haralious!!
I have ditched this guy and have contacted the FAA on my own.. awaiting a return call back from someone more willing to assist verses being suspect.
2015-6-11
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Grimtheviking
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Flight distance : 2908448 ft
United Kingdom
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talk2t_c Posted at 2015-6-11 23:04
Maybe he's just the janitor or teaboy on a day out and flexing his imaginery power.  I'm sure I coul ...

Brilliant,, ahaaa.
I think there's a few of them about.,,,,,,,,
2015-6-12
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pb05life
lvl.2

United States
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F**k the FAA, next air show we should all take our drones there at once. The Government can't keep there nose out of anything. When they make kites and Frisbees illegal then I will be care where I fly. I will bet you money more injuries happen every year from Frisbees then drones. I will bet you have a better chance to win the lottery then get hurt by a drone.
2015-6-12
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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OK folks, I got a call back from the FAA yesterday and this guy was extremely helpful. He took his time and advised me on exactly what to do to get the exemption.
If anyone is interested in acquiring your exemption...see  the link below  to the form needed.
I was told that I should read the petitions the were granted and "Word mine similar" to the ones that were granted.
If all goes well, I could expect to receive it within 180 days or sooner.

http://www.faa.gov/uas/legislative_programs/section_333/

See current exemption requests

See authorizations granted via Section 333 exemption

See instructions for filing an exemption request

Good Luck to everyone interested!
2015-6-17
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HermosaDrones
Second Officer
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we have a lawyer in LA who will do it for $500.  Much easier than cutting and pasting for days.
2015-6-19
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DerbyCity BirdM
Second Officer

United States
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HermosaDrones - after looking at the "filing an exemption request" page, I will be considering your option!
2015-6-22
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