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FAA approval question
420 12 2017-3-9
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SkyFlyMike
lvl.2
Flight distance : 575020 ft
United States
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I received a phone call to fly above a marina and take about 10 stills. Unfortuneltly the marina is
about 3000 feet from LaGuardia airport. I filled out the FAA form for an excemption. My question is
what chance to I have,if any,on getting approved? Am I supposed to call the control tower or am
I wasting my time?
Also about a month ago I got a phone call to fly at the Liberty Science Center which is very close to
Manhattan,The Statue of Liberty and a bunch of heliports. I was already booked with another job
so I was not able to shoot that day. I found out the drone operator was able to get approval
within a week. How can that be?

Thanks,
Michael

2017-3-9
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WilliamM
First Officer
Flight distance : 904132 ft
United States
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Can't help directly, but just wanted to let you know it might help if you also post your question on the PP forum.
2017-3-9
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TPVAerials
lvl.3

United States
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Sorry for not being of any help...but may I ask how you spread the word about your services? Sounds like you have business coming in fairly consistently
2017-3-9
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shawn_
lvl.4
Flight distance : 256726 ft
United States
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If you filled out a detailed request, your chances are good. You'll likely get a phone call from the FAA with more questions, then they'll call the tower and get their approval, then issue the authorization. I just got approval for my latest request which took near 60 days...and that is with 2 previously approved applications...The week authorization you mention may have happened, but that seems pretty quick compared to what I've seen. Let us know how it goes.
2017-3-9
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SkyFlyMike
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Flight distance : 575020 ft
United States
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-9 12:11
Can't help directly, but just wanted to let you know it might help if you also post your question on the PP forum.

I thought the general section is more appropriate being that it's not a specific drone question.
2017-3-9
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SkyFlyMike
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Flight distance : 575020 ft
United States
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shawn_ Posted at 2017-3-9 13:21
If you filled out a detailed request, your chances are good. You'll likely get a phone call from the FAA with more questions, then they'll call the tower and get their approval, then issue the authorization. I just got approval for my latest request which took near 60 days...and that is with 2 previously approved applications...The week authorization you mention may have happened, but that seems pretty quick compared to what I've seen. Let us know how it goes.

Will do. Thanks
2017-3-9
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WilliamM
First Officer
Flight distance : 904132 ft
United States
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SkyFlyMike Posted at 2017-3-9 17:04
I thought the general section is more appropriate being that it's not a specific drone question.

No it's a whole different forum, not a DJI forum. Has a whole different bread of members there, though some you'll see on both. http://www.phantompilots.com/
2017-3-9
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SkyFlyMike
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Flight distance : 575020 ft
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-9 17:18
No it's a whole different forum, not a DJI forum. Has a whole different bread of members there, though some you'll see on both. http://www.phantompilots.com/

Thanks. I didn't know that existed
2017-3-9
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Rotorjockey
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United States
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In my opinion, since the FAA requires us to pass the same stuff they do for GA pilots they should be treating us commercial drone pilots with the same expediency they do GA pilots.
2017-3-9
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shawn_
lvl.4
Flight distance : 256726 ft
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Rotorjockey Posted at 2017-3-9 18:50
In my opinion, since the FAA requires us to pass the same stuff they do for GA pilots they should be treating us commercial drone pilots with the same expediency they do GA pilots.

I wouldn't say they require UAS operators to "pass the same stuff," since all you just need to pass a written exam...no practical, medical, documented training, or anything like that GA pilots need. Also, factor in how many people are probably requesting items that have no practical or safe application, or is missing information, that is slowing the process down...They're getting thousands of requests and the last time I spoke to the guys in DC there were only a couple people in the department to sort through it. Lastly, they don't make money on this stuff....if you charged for authorizations, even something small like $5, it would thin the heard. Right now people can toss out 20 requests, because why not?
2017-3-10
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Rotorjockey
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shawn_ Posted at 2017-3-10 06:15
I wouldn't say they require UAS operators to "pass the same stuff," since all you just need to pass a written exam...no practical, medical, documented training, or anything like that GA pilots need. Also, factor in how many people are probably requesting items that have no practical or safe application, or is missing information, that is slowing the process down...They're getting thousands of requests and the last time I spoke to the guys in DC there were only a couple people in the department to sort through it. Lastly, they don't make money on this stuff....if you charged for authorizations, even something small like $5, it would thin the heard. Right now people can toss out 20 requests, because why not?

I've been a GA pilot since 1974 and have flow 19 different GA aircraft but I was reffering to the written part of the statement since we don't have to do all of the other GA requirements.
2017-3-10
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Rotorjockey
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shawn_ Posted at 2017-3-10 06:15
I wouldn't say they require UAS operators to "pass the same stuff," since all you just need to pass a written exam...no practical, medical, documented training, or anything like that GA pilots need. Also, factor in how many people are probably requesting items that have no practical or safe application, or is missing information, that is slowing the process down...They're getting thousands of requests and the last time I spoke to the guys in DC there were only a couple people in the department to sort through it. Lastly, they don't make money on this stuff....if you charged for authorizations, even something small like $5, it would thin the heard. Right now people can toss out 20 requests, because why not?

You really think people are doing that just because? We are in a world of hurt if people that have to jump through hoops and spend large sums of money for their equipment play those kind of games.

2017-3-10
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shawn_
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Flight distance : 256726 ft
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Rotorjockey Posted at 2017-3-10 13:34
You really think people are doing that just because? We are in a world of hurt if people that have to jump through hoops and spend large sums of money for their equipment play those kind of games.

Yeah, I do. I've met dozens of commercial UAS guys who have like 15 applications in and when I asked why, they simply said "why not." They know they wont get them all, they're just hoping some of them are approved. So yeah, people are doing it because there is no vetting or risk in doing it, the only cost is 5 min online, which leads to the backlog.  That is why I said if there was even a nominal fee, like $5 per application, it would cut back on the BS applications. We've got plenty of money wrapped up in equipment and a lot of money in jobs waiting on airspace authorizations, so I feel the pain.
2017-3-13
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