FAA Commercial Shutdown


If anyone in the group has or knows of anyone that has been shutdown for commercial sUAS use would you please contact me.

roryp at volt aerial robotics dot com



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  • T3


    Thanks for the offer.  There are basically two approaches to legally fly. Public entity you get a COA (certificate of authorization) private entity you need a Special Airworthiness Certificate....less than 90 issues in the history of the FAA..you will probably be told like we have been since 2006 that change is coming wait patiently.  I see you are in the area if you would like to get together for a lunch I can give you an overview of the equipment.  

  • I am attending a conference next month with a presentation from the FAA on uas and how to attain a cert. to operate. Rory, if you have any specific questions you would like me to ask I would be happy to do so. I have many myself I intend to ask.
  • T3

    Basically so far we have one letter to desist from operating with no reference to legal jurisdiction. We come back to the issue of operation over private property. Does the state (Federal, State or municipal) have the authority to stop you from operating a UAV for recreation or commercial purposes?  If I have understood the current legal precedent if they did this they would be infringing on the 5th Amendment.  

  • There is a real and very intractable issue here.

    First, whatever laws / regulations the FAA currently has that enable it to operate are subject to immediate change as soon as the FAA decides what new laws / regulations it needs to have. 

    It is basically a regulation making body and it will simply get those laws passed that it feels it needs in order to be able to perform what it perceives to be it's job.

    Worse, right now and understandably, the FAA views the whole issue of civilian UAVs as a coming nightmare it would prefer to completely avoid, but failing to be able to do that at least delayed as long as possible.

    Basically as soon as the FAA establishes ANY regulations permitting large scale use of civilian UAVs it becomes an immediate media and political target.

    The first time one of them lands on somebodies head it will be front page news for weeks and all fingers will point at the FAA for allowing such a thing to happen.

    To say nothing of the first time a Paparazzi quadcopter is caught outside the bedroom window of one of the rich and famous.

    If on the other hand the FAA simply uses Draconian power to virtually stifle civilian UAV use they will significantly damage the economy of the United States and it's Global credibility.

    On top of all of this, Civilian UAV use is now a giant political and media football largely centered on invasion of privacy.

    In fact an issue that should be completely disconnected from the FAA and civilian use regulations but should instead rely on existing and proven to be necessary new and not connected laws and relying on the vested parties (not the FAA) to prosecute.

    Of course, a lot of this appears to be being foisted onto the FAA as well.

    Talk about a can of worms.

    My guess is that the FAA very sincerely wishes they had never heard of civilian UAVs.

    A very good friend of mine was in charge of Computer Security at Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory for several years, an equally unenviable job for pretty much the same reasons.

    Right now, the FAA is busy very purposefully procrastinating, basically no matter what it does it is screwed.

    I don't like this situation and I sincerely hope it eventually has a reasonable outcome, but we are likely to get a lot farther with the FAA by figuring out how we can work constructively together than by attempting to out flank them or to confront them.

    Simply it won't work.

  • Moderator

    This fuss is a net result of ignoring what began in 2007, I understand news of the NPRM and SFAR 107 is coming. Once both are through all the current ambiguity will be laid to rest.Patrick mentions the NPRM date in our last podcast

    What needs to happen now is that community based sensible standards for flight training and airworthyness should be adopted by us all. A sensible simple set of best practice examples.


  • I too don't buy into the whole privacy issue surrounding the use of aerial platforms like this. The company I work for deals primarily in real estate development marketing all over the world, and I myself have been on the tops of buildings with incredibly powerful zoom lenses or with time-lapse rigs that we might let run for an entire day. We also have access to our our own full size helicopters that we use for flyovers of major cities as well as the countryside. I could just as easily invade someones privacy from up there with that type of equipment as I could with my small copters. In fact, we have had a lot of laughs and have a lot of footage that we cannot use for various reasons.

    Now we are going the route of trying smaller copters for some of our client shoots as it is more economical for them and a faster turn around for us.  We are flying GoPro, Canon, and RED at this point.  So far, no issues, but I would hate it if those that let the fear of what a few bad apples could do with things like this guide the future of their use. I am fully behind requiring a registration and license fee for commercial use, and people being smart for recreational use. For the FAA to say that you must be a fully qualified heli pilot to operate one of these for commercial reasons is ridiculous. In fact, our helicopter pilot can't even figure out how to fly it...it is so alien for him to be on the ground looking up and FPV is just not the same.

  • Moderator

    Alot of people seem more worried the operator would be wearing a dark blue wind-breaker with big yellow letters on the back that say GOVERNMENT.


  • Flying over the neighbors will almost never be part of a commercial mission. Privacy rights are not threatened by commercial operators. Name tags, company vehicles, position lights...
    How are you going to accuse some dork wearing FPV goggles and an orange vest, of "secret spying". Especially when the dork is being paid by the property owner!
  • Moderator

    Whoa, whoa, ...what?

    can you give some details?

    I have been holding off on my TC application using the same "out of sight is out of mind" kind of mentality,especially since I fly recreation only, so far, but if I could get a blanket approval, that would be great!

    Guess I should be following the Canada DIYDrones Group more closely!


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