This just popped up on a Canadian Commercial Operator Facebook group and we're discussing the implications and legal possibilities.  Apparently the operator claims that this has been cleared with Transport Canada, but nobody is sure yet what the details of that are.

This does not appear to fit in with existing commercial regulations.  It seems unlikely that a commercial operator would be able to get a permit to fly in a crowded area like a ski hill.  I have taken a guess as to what is going on here:

The operator is not operating the drone.  They are renting drones to recreational users.  Not much different than selling drones to recreational users.  The user is the pilot in command, not a commercial operator.  The user captures images of himself.  Then the operator edits the footage.  It would bypass all of the commercial regulations.  Some disagree that this would be legally possible, but I don't see why it would not.

Currently, a person can rent a Uhaul truck, without being required to possess a commercial truck license.  And I think it would be over-reaching if the government tried to stop a person from paying somebody to edit footage for them, no matter how it was captured.

The key to the whole gambit, is the drone rental, and the Follow-Me device is pivotal for that to work in this case.  Some of the marketing material show a Phantom, but the video from Cape Productions clearly shows a 3DRobotics X8.

No matter how this situation is being managed, it presents a very interesting legal scenario, that could test some of the implications of the existing Canadian UAV Regulations.

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  • Yeah it's quite interesting, they have the armband as a gps tracker simply for the camera to follow. X8 setup with go pros. Pretty cool overall. 

  • I'm heading up there Saturday to see their operation. I might be able to fill in a few of the questions you guys have when I get back.

    I haven't been active on here lately, but I saw the ads for these and my I decided to look into it. 

  • May look like a viable business idea for them, until one day we`ll see in the news someone got hit in the head by a 3DR X8 going downhill....

  • It would be interesting to see their failsafe's.  I can see someone goofing off halfway down the hill, or bailing, then the drone would hang around until the battery gets low-ish, but the elevation changes would be tricky to manage.  It must only be used on one side of the mountain, or on certain runs. 

  • I think its a "follow me" gps locator, the UAV follows the subject at 20-30 feet. 

    Yes, it's done so that it follows a person.  So that nobody needs to be manually controlling it.  That makes the customer, the operator. So how is that possible?  That is why I am guessing that they are renting drones to recreationalists who do the "piloting".  There wouldn't be any need for the bracelet if there's a pilot flying it.

    So much unclear about this.

  • Moderator

    Makes sense, but good to know about possibilities.

  • Well in my case all the SFOC were with name of the PIC who was the one who submitted the application to TC.

  • Mark LangilleI did not know that... I guess a single person operation would assume that since the paperwork lists the one name as PIC, that a larger entity would be the same. 

  • Looks like there may have to be some "adjustments" in their operations soon.

    But like you said Rob_Lefebvre, this could be an interesting test of the TC regs and may clarify some aspects of the application of them, not the least of them being enforcement!

  • SFOC is NOT tied to the PIC.  It is tied to the Operations Manager/Operator.  We have multiple pilots on our SFOC.

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