Im not a legal genius but here is my two cents.
I will be honest, what is the FAA going to do if we don't abide by their rules on UAVs? Shoot us down? Fine us?
Its going to be hard for them to justify shooting our uavs down, and if they do try, shotguns wont do much if we are at a higher altitude. although it would be ironic for them to use a uav to shoot down a uav....
When it comes to fines, they cant fine you unless they can confirm your the operator of the uav. Set up near a lake and say you have a unmanned underwater vehicle. FAA does not govern things on or under the water.
If you want to be a real troll to the FAA, put a rat onboard and say its not unmanned.
> what is the FAA going to do if we don't abide by their rules on UAVs?
Men with guns and badges will surround you, hold you at gunpoint, throw you to the ground, and put you in a cage like an animal. They will also seize all your gear. The next morning when you see the judge he will set an outrageous bail for you. If you can't make bail you will sit in jail for 6 months to a year until your trial begins. After 10's of thousands in lawyer fees you'll be fined an exorbitant amount of money, your gear will not be returned to you, and you might also have to spend some time in jail and/or will get a suspended sentence. Besides the fine you'll be sentenced to community service and be on probation for 6 months to a year or more. During probation you'll be drug and alcohol tested regularly, have to report to probation on a regular basis, and if you get so much as a jay walking ticket you'll go back to jail to serve the remainder of your suspended sentence.
Does that sound good to you?
Lol, they cant surround you if they cant find you!
Call me extreme, but I do most of my UAV launches from the ski-launcher on the back my boat. You have no idea how hard it is to land on a 15ft x 10ft platform, unless its a copter....
But seriously, the FAA has no means of enforcing the UAV laws if they cant identify the operator, and they cant shoot you down without some serious firepower. The worst they could possibly do is hijack the uav by intercepting the signal and landing/crashing/bringing it low enough to shoot.
My solution to that is have all radios on a stand alone (receive only) RC killswitch on another frequency. Set APMs return to base somewhere that you can gtfo fast, or have it loiter until you turn the radio back on.
How many people do you think are going to be rolling around in the area with a RC transmitter and drone control gear?
You do also realize that with one doppler setup they can get an almost exact bearing on your TX location don't you?
If you trouble the FAA enough to want you shut down all they have to do is call any of the agencies and say they've identified possible terrorist activity. You'll be shut down so fast your head will spin.
Realistically, with a helicopter and a doppler radio locator you'll be pinned to the ground before you can even shut your TX off. And that same heli will simply fly over your prized UAV and the rotor wash will drive it right into the ground, no firepower required.
I will admit you have a good point there, but It will be hard to locate cellular communications, or if you wanted to be an ass, broadcast on the NOAA weather radio frequency and make sure your signal is inaudible.
Another idea is to have a cheap remote TX. Example being have your control gear in a van, and have a remote TX linked to you via cellular. Van > Cellular > TX > (regular op freq) > UAV.
They find the remote TX and you can be gone before they can get a lock on your cheap go-phone.
Meh... im no pro, but I will make things damn difficult.
I honestly do not give a fuck about the FAA when it comes to hobby drones. I can understand if there was someone in it, if we went over 500ft, or got close to an airport, but if they want to mess with me, Mexico is at my front door.
> I honestly do not give a fuck about the FAA when it comes to hobby drones.
I agree with your sentiment. I have no respect for that bogus, bloated, fradulent, corrupt bunch of backwards idiots. But I DO fear them. They have way too much power IMHO. Your best bet is to stay under the radar.
I've had perhaps more than my fair share of dealings with the law. What I can tell you is that you'd be amazed how fast the police can figure things out and find you. They'll roll around the area asking people "Who flies RC planes/drones/copters?", and it won't take long for them to get your number.
It's very hard to hide something like this because people notice and talk. When cops ask questions chances are that they will quickly find you. They have no problem intimidating people, asking around at the post office, and so forth. Most people are mentally weak and almost all of them actually want to talk to the police.
I had a friend tell me once when he spilled the beans and got another friend served some sort of silly subpoena he was dodging that "They came here asking questions, what was I supposed to tell them?"
The answer is simple and will save you and your friends a world of grief. "I don't talk to pigs." Short and sweet, they usually spin on their heels and leave.
In no circumstances is it EVER a good idea to talk to cops. Even if you are innocent or it's not about you or a friend. This topic reminds me to post a video for everyone out there. It's a little long, but never in my life have I seen so much info and good legal advice thrown our so fast and so clearly.
EVERYONE needs to watch the following video. In fact, download it and show it to all your friends and anyone you care about.
At least watch the first half. The second part is by a cop turned lawyer and is also very good. The guy talks a mile a minute so it's well worth your time.
Remember that you will be operating outside of Federal law.
There's only way they can hem it in... We'll see if it comes to fruition.
The fortunate thing for me, is I am close friends with the local sheriff and city police. Ironically I regularly help them with UAV support.
They wont let the feds on me that easily, and if needed, I can operate this from the other side of the border.
Who are the AMA and why should we care about their rules?
What am I missing?
The only person's I "have" to work with is the government due to my social contract with them called the United States Constitution.
I don't care what the AMA has to say about UAV's, General Aviation, Recreational Models, especially if it tries to place restrictions or guidelines for whatever ideal of the hobby they have in mind.
I'm sure they are informed reasonable people, but what does the AMA have to do with Drone "laws"? Nothing.
They are just an opinion. One I probably respect but don't necessarily agree with.
They can make whatever rules they want for their private property, because I respect private property laws. But if they are trying to place rules on the hobby in general, they can go "pound sand".