-- Hobby Unmanned Aircraft Only --

Here it is, your chance to be 'The Man' and make the rules. This is a blank sheet of paper.

Spell them out clearly in regards to:

Function - what you can and can not do with the vehicle, i.e. BAD - watch your neighbor sunbathe (yeah, I know he/she is hot), BAD -watch for the cops while your accomplice robs a store, GOOD - assist first responders in finding small children..

Weight/Size - All up with payload, wingspan, etc (if I have to explain this..)

Range - how far can the aircraft go (another self explanatory topic)

Control Systems - RC, Wifi, laser, satellite.. the sky is the limit.

Vehicle Types - Fixed Wing, Rotary Wing, Anti-Gravity engines... will there be specified rules that identify these types and will other rules change depending on the type of vehicle and the power system?

Power System - Are some motive power systems prohibited? Nuclear power? Gerbil power? Are there limits on the released potential energy (think about the school bus again)? How much fuel? How many batteries?

Insurance Requirements - So you crash the amazing machine into a school bus of kindergarten children...who's gonna pay for the lawsuits? This is called liability.

Registration/Identification - Are you going to require a pilot/builder to register in a database? Will it need a registration number? Home base address on the airframe? Telephone number to call when they pull it out of their front seat after it crashes through their car window?

Pilot Qualifications - Will the pilot have to spend time on a certified sim before cutting loose? Is there a training process? Are they noobs limited to a 2S tricopter until logging 15 hours? Are there any qualifications needed? Are flight logs required to document pilot proficiency? Are certified flight schools required?

Airframe Certification - Can just anyone throw together some sticks and plates and call it a Unmanned Aircraft? Are bona fide educational programs exempt from the certification? Do a group of guys in a cigar-smoked filled room decide who's airframe is legit, and who gets stiffed and only flies in their dreams? If required, what are the airframes requirements and who will determine they meet or exceed them?

Operational Mode - Here is where FPV, mind control, bio feedback, and the like should be spelled out.

Operational Location/Environment - Where can you fly this amazing machine? How far from an airport? How high? How far from dwellings? Is this dependent on any or combinations of the other categories of regulations? i.e. noobs cannot fly within 3 miles of subdivisions; pilots with more then 1000 logged hours can fly in their underwear while in FPV mode anywhere they want; etc.

That is all I can think of at the moment.

If you have others, add them on below the one's listed above.

Here is the list again for cut/paste work:

Function - 

Weight/Size -

Range -

Control Systems -

Vehicle Types -

Power System - 

Insurance Requirements -

Registration/Identification -

Pilot Qualifications -

Airframe Certification -

Operational Mode -

Operational Location/Environment -

Now, go forth define exactly what standards you think our hobby vehicles should be held to.


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Replies to This Discussion

Ok I have written it down and called it CAP 722 all details here http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722.pdf

Use whatever you want ;-)

Nice reference document Gary but, what regulations, if any, do hobbyists think they can live with?

OK hobbyists... sound off.


Gary's UK regulations show that the issues have been delt with by others.  After scanning over this document I see a few issues that I can comment on.

First, the above regulations are dependant on the all up weight of the UAV.   Serious operator qualifications dont start until the uav is over 20kg (thats 44lb).  I could understand the US regs providing a lower threshold (perhaps 20lb) before requring special authorizations or regulations.  In my opinion a 10lb limit, that has been suggested by others, is to restrictive, and a 40lb UAV needs more severe regulation.

The requirement for a collision avoidance system is a worthy objective for all uav's and is covered in the UK document. 

Ive only touched the surface of this issue.  In general terms if we intend to use a UAV for commercial use I beleve it would be reasonable to require some minimal operator qualification test and license and some qualification of the UAV.  If a commercial operator is irresponsible,  causes damage, or is caught looking in the neighbors windows, it should be possible to revoke their license and prevent them from flying.  Testing and licensing should be easily accessable, perhaps regulated by the local AMA field, (I would rather avoid the DMV)  Liability insurance should also be required.  Personal responsibility is what this is about, the emerging UAV industry needs to be able to identify and control operators to prevent the random dumbass from hurting someone.  

The degree of control may be vairable by state or local conditions.  Farmland, suburbs, and citys are vasty diffrent.  Regulations need to address these differences.

Lastly,  hobby use should stay unregulated.  Perhaps with some enforsable guidlines to educate individules and prepare them to step up into commercial operation.  


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