FAA announces investigation into drone use over Denver 420 rally

From ABC News in Denver:

DENVER - The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it is launching an official investigation around the drone that was seen flying over the 4/20 rally in Denver on Sunday.

"Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft -- manned or unmanned -- in U.S. airspace needs some level of authorization from the FAA," Allen Kenitzer from the FAA wrote in an email.

Authorization can be for either the private sector for purposes such as research or training, or for public use, which requires a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for public aircraft.

But drones are sometimes considered model aircraft, which only have to follow FAA guidelines. Those guidelines say hobby aircraft-flyers must keep their aircrafts below 400 feet above ground level and away from airports and air traffic. Besides this, the guidelines specifically exclude the flying of model aircraft for business purposes.

The FAA website says that "routine operation" of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over densely-populated areas is not allowed.

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Comment by Gary McCray on April 22, 2014 at 11:25am

The FAA website says a lot of things which seem to have absolutely no bona fide legal foundation at all.
Apparently they consider themselves above the law.

We will also notice: "But drones are sometimes considered model aircraft, which only have to follow FAA guidelines."

Guidelines are guidelines, not rules or laws and neither are in evidence for having to do anything of the sort.

Basically, the FAA is and has been a total load of BS regarding this entire issue!

They really need to start thinking about actually trying to do things right rather than just bullying the public around with their stupid pressure and groundless fines and illegal legal actions.

It's time to start counter suing for interference and loss of income.

 

Comment by Euan Ramsay on April 22, 2014 at 12:01pm

Oh do shut up, FAA. You're making yourself look stupid.

Comment by Sam Curcio on April 22, 2014 at 12:10pm

"Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft -- manned or unmanned -- in U.S. airspace needs some level of authorization from the FAA," Allen Kenitzer from the FAA wrote in an email.

Well, that statement is left wide open for interpretation. Kind of broad-based if you ask me. Which aircraft? Model or full scale? How much will it cost? How do we go about getting this "authorization"?
Considering we have a liberal administration in the White House, the statements from the FAA sound more like Big Brother.

Comment by Euan Ramsay on April 22, 2014 at 12:13pm

"Liberal" is also open to interpretation...;-)

Especially to us across the pond (Here in Switzerland specifically) the antics of the NSA within our shores leave a distinctly un-liberal taste in the mouth. The FAA seems to be fitting right in to it's government agency brief...

Comment by Josh Potter on April 22, 2014 at 12:21pm

The FAA website says that "routine operation" of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over densely-populated areas is not allowed.

So non-routine operation is allowed?  Clear as mud FAA.  

Comment by Euan Ramsay on April 22, 2014 at 12:23pm

"densely-populated areas". How dense is dense? Hong Kong dense, or Australian outback dense?

Comment by Sam Curcio on April 22, 2014 at 12:25pm

As dense as the FAA wants it to be. That is subject for revision at any time.


Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 22, 2014 at 1:00pm

Steady now there are definitions in air law for congested areas. Generally the yellow bits on sectional charts.

Comment by Justin Martin on April 22, 2014 at 1:19pm
Speaking of sectionals, with all the available free sections now of days (whether it is through Vector, or on GPS systems...) Why are these not yet integrated into APM planner or Mission Planner? It would be a nice responsible step in the right direction.
Comment by Gary McCray on April 22, 2014 at 1:53pm

@ Euan + 100% Our government feels even less responsibility to justify its actions when it relates to other countries.

In fact, the disfunctionality of the FAA is certainly part of a larger condition, but they have taken it to a new low (or high) depending on your perspective.

We need good laws and regulations, but unfortunately, everything the FAA has done so far indicates that that is becoming an increasingly unlikely outcome.

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