• Ok So what about flying over private land with the owners consent (Like A farm) and staying under 400 feet. That should be Private airspace and not require any permit right? I mean maybe draw up a paper for the own to sign that gives you permission to fly over his land.

    And since I am not flying in Public airspace, and not over public property, The FAA shouldn't even being involved. 

    On a side note, it would be nice to have a multi part poll running for the following Options (So you can go back later and add the results  (even better if it was divided by states, or to make it easier have the state or at the very least have you select your state)

    So the option would Be (And you could change the order) State, Applied for exemption, and then make it so they can go back and answer application accepted or denied. You might have to find a script to do a poll like that because normal polls dont let you go back and add....But it would be nice to what stats are given exeptions.......and possibly even an option for the time it took (like a drop drop- down menu)

    • my understanding is that the FAA has control over any aircraft. and they have determined that uas/uav are aircraft. they dont delineate betweek public and private airspace. there is no private airspace. they own all airspace it seems. you can fly over anyones home. but if you have a camera on board you are opening up yourself to a whole world of complications. its gonna get even messier than it is now.

      • Moderator

        All airspace is administered by the state there is no such thing as private airspace. The 333 process is super simple, there are more than 1100 of them in operation. Don't forget you need an N for the airframe as well.

        • thanks for confirming my understanding. i should have my exemption by end of november. bring on the uav license please!!! haha.

  • I have had a look at the FAA website and have gone through the designations, but I still wonder whether research that is not related to the actual engineering of the UAV warrants a business type 333 exception?  In other words, to fly a UAV to do archaeological survey or to photograph excavation, what would be the appropriate class if you want to do this yourself and are not receiving payment because it is your own research that will not profit in terms of straight monetary gain?

    Does anyone know what the time frame is for FAA developing actual licensing procedures?

    • It looks like you might benefit from a conversation with Wil Cashen at give him a call and maybe he can give you some direction.
  • My understanding is that you must have a pilot's license to operate an aircraft with an air-worthiness certificate. However, one of the common exemption requests is relief from air-worthiness inspections, which in turn means that a pilot's license is not required. Another rule is that you must have an Airmans Certificate to operate aircraft in the National Air Space which, again from my understanding, is not a pilot's license; for instance, you can be cleared for ground ops with an Airmans Certificate without being a pilot. Consider that a sport pilot license tests specifically on Airplanes, Gliders, Gyroplanes, Powered Parachutes, and Weight-Shift-Control aircraft, none of which are UAS. There is also the definition of "aircraft" to consider, as well as the fact that legal precedent seems to indicate that the FAA doesn't even have jurisdiction outside the NAS, which only extends down to 500' and within transition zones, so maybe the whole thing is moot until new laws are passed. I would be happy to stand corrected on any of these points.

    It's a lot of fun, all in all.

    • Justin, you may be correct in these descriptions I really do not know as I am very new to this industry. However, i asked very specific questions regarding the pilot license requirements to the chairman at and he stated right now you must have at least a sport pilot license to fly a uas. he has seen no 333 exemption approved without this requirement. people/businesses may "request" an exemption to this but its not been approved. i urge you to contact them either by phone or email. they are very good people that want to help folks in this industry fly legally. they are not for profit but their people do get paid for their work.

      • You don't need any FAA certificate to apply and be granted a 333 exemption. Just like most people who own airlines are not pilots. However your 333 exemption will most likely require a certificated pilot during any operation requiring the exemption.
      • Here's the FAA language in a recent approval:

        "Under this grant of exemption, a PIC must hold either an airline transport, commercial, private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate. The PIC must also hold a current FAA airman medical certificate or a valid U.S. driver’s license issued by a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, a territory, a possession, or the Federal government. The PIC must also meet the flight review requirements specified in 14CFR §61.56 in an aircraft in which the PIC is rated on his or her pilot certificate."

        Seems a little more clear to me now, except for the fact that there are certain training time minimums for different types of sport aircraft certification, none of which are UAS. I guess you'd go for the "Lighter Than Air, Balloons" category, which requires only 7 hours of training.

        Thanks, I'm still figuring this out myself!

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