Look, I'm sorry. It's a pet peeve of mine that people post here, telling me they have knowingly flown out of range of radio control of some method. Some have been so stupid as to make an FPV transmitter the highest priority and thus they can see, but have no control.
I'm not out to bash people's ideas. We all would love to have a cheap drone be fully autonomous. The problem is, unless it's proven, has some failsafes, can avoid real aircraft, is small enough not to cause property damage in a crash, the government is looking at us as a risk to the public at large.
All I'm saying is at least attempt to match the "spirit" of the current UAV rules for commercial use. Those include a primary and secondary RF control method. A pilot must ALWAYS be in control. Don't post in the forums some BS idea of flying out of radio control range. Either plan a way to be in control or just don't do it. This includes knowing your range by doing an RF link calculation and abiding by it for all flight plans. Ensure you have working failsafes and you test them before every flight.
I think it deserves the same treatment as the FPV links to some seriously illegal flights such as those over NYC. That's the exact kind of crap that's about to put rules on all of us, that cost us money, take away our freedom, and may kill non-commerical use of UAVs. If we cannot police ourselves, we will be policed in a manner nobody is happy with. We need to be the better person and use just a tiny bit of common sense.
Again sorry for the rant, but in the past few weeks, I have been in numerous posts of people admitting to knowingly and purposefully flying out of control range. Somebody is watching and taking numbers. It only takes one incident worldwide and this hobby is done. Don't be the person who screws everyone worldwide.
I almost think we need to adopt a strong policy as members of DIY drones, that we agree to a set of rules that inlcudes not purposely flying out of control range. We strive as a community to be an example of proper and safe UAV usage. Posts that don't comply need enforced by moderators and new members signing up need to agree with the policies and then are enforced by moderators.
I think the Wiki needs changed to include such rules as a first screen because I think these common sense safety rules are universal, no matter what country you operate in. We need to demostrate we understand safety issues and act in the public's best interest, even if it may limit some of our use cases. Just because you can get away with it, don't post that crap here as a record of how you violated basic safety principals.
Don't be that person that ruins the hobby for all of us.
That definitely qualifies as a rant. Still, I agree with the message that people shouldn't be knowingly flying out of radio range.
The official DIYd safety standard has always been line of sight and below 400 feet. Other then repeating ad infinitum, there really isn't much more you can expect from a online community.
DIY is by definition about tinkering and experimenting, so the "rules" will be pushed or flat out broken at times. Just like how every teenager (or grown man for that matter) with a car, sooner or later will drive over the speed limits. As a community the best you can hope for is to inform, so that people can make educated choices limiting the risk potential. What you do not want to do, is to drive people away into "underground" movements. Not hearing about something, does not mean it hasn't happened.
> The official DIYd safety standard has always been line of sight and below 400 feet.
There's no point to getting bound up in regulations like that. People can operate on their own land as they see fit. There's no basis to say that 400 feet or LOS is legal law. There's no case law in relation to that regulation. The supreme court has in the past said that you own the airspace over your property at least as high as you can reasonably use in connection with the land you own.
Operating in control of your machine and having failsafes in place is a legal requirement because it endangers people not to. There's no basis to say that LOS is required or that 450 is any more dangerous than 400. Until the regulations are actually upheld there's no basis to say that they legally trump your property rights.
I agree with you 100% Vernon. I'd like to also call for swift and hard action on this issue.
I'm not one for obeying BS rules and regulations, and I don't think that needs to be the basis for the rules, but safety has to come first. If you remember, I strongly told people here that losing control and/or not having a failsafe is reckless endangerment and could land you in prison for a long time.
Any time you turn a machine loose that you can't stop you are breaking the law. There's no reason we should allow discussion of illegal activities here. I'm not talking about every guideline or minor regulation though, I'm talking about basic common law, with serious penalties, that makes things like this illegal in every system of laws that has ever existed.
It doesn't take any actual activity to ruin this hobby for everyone. Just a few examples of talking about it can be used to say that the drone community regularly violates the law or has no respect for it.
There's plenty of examples here of discussion about potentially illegal activity, and I don't think most people understand the elements of a conspiracy charge. If I give someone advice about going out of range or advice on the gear to do so I'm guilty of conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment. For a conspiracy charge you only have to know about the conspiracy, be a willing participant, and commit one act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Your "one act" is as simple as giving advice. You're also guilty right then and there! There doesn't have to be an actual crime committed, or even an attempt at committing the crime. Just plotting or talking about it is the crime.
There's just no reason to allow this sort of thing here. Having a rule against this won't restrict anyone's speech, they'll just have to be a little smarter about their discussion here and not ask questions that spell out that they're doing something illegal.
Oh, not this again. :facepalm:
By your definition of "the law", all traditional RC aircraft (ie: non-UAV) are illegal. Better contact the AMA and ask them to shut it all down.
None of the RC people I know intentionally send their planes out of control range, so I think you're misinterpreting what I said. RC people do range checks, have working failsafes, and take every reasonable precaution to maintain control of their crafts.
This discussion is about starting a machine and turning it loose with the idea of intentionally going out of control range. That would be fine if your autopilot could operate safely without operator control, but no existing autopilot can currently do that. None of them have the ability to avoid objects that may enter their path. None of them can clear a path if an emergency flight has to come through.
In my area there are frequently low flying hospital helicopters that blow past with no warning. If I turned a drone loose and it did something that even slightly delayed the life flight chopper then someone could die and I would be 100% responsible. So turning something loose and having no control is clearly not an option.