No hiding behind AC 91-57 anymore


The FAA just cancelled AC 91-57 the one that many folks used to justify commercial aerial photography from unmanned aircraft in the USA. 

Now look to the “full special” interpretation for Model Aircraft for your guidance.

Patrick said this at the time about that.

Folks in the U.S. UAS community (which now including paper airplane aficionados too) were surprised and dismayed by the FAA’s “full special” interpretation for Model Aircraft. The community is completely flabbergasted by the lack of response from the regular gaggle of advocacy groups. UAS freedom(s) just took a major hit in the U.S. and folks are asking where the hell is the leadership? We are usually treated to quick responses (canned goods) heralding any announcement from the FAA (no matter how trivial or nonsensical they may be), as enlightened and a giant step in the right direction. We can guess who got the special dispensation/backroom deal neutering.

Shocked and awed –

The community is collectively wondering what’s up with the subdued response? Where is the mobilization of the membership(s)? Adding to the dismay is the notion that this edict could have possibly caught advocacy groups off guard? It has many feeling like we just suffered a regulatory tsunami without warning and no disaster plan!

* To everyone’s integration credit… The FAA did state repeatedly that the hobby would look the same after regulation was announced. However, in this instance it would appear that reality and the FAA have parted company again.

If you want to join the Hollywood set these are the requirements for your platforms 

We commissioned our art department at sUAS News to create this simple graphic to explain the system over there ;-)


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  • Hi Pedals,

    Here's Gary's SUAS News article on it:

    Item 10 being the particular requirement I was referring to above, but by far not the only excessive and inappropriate requirement.



  • Also maybe I'm dumb. But I don't get the wheel at all

  • Oh I completely agree the FAA is a bunch of idiots about any of this.  Can someone link to the Holywood regulations? I actually haven't seen them.

  • What Josh said. The Hollywood requirements make it really clear that this whole thing should be out of the FAA's hands, period. If you told me that document was a scathing parody of over-regulation I might believe you.

  • Hi Pedals,

    I agree, they are really cancelling something that had no real legal interpretation anyway, but the wheel of suffering above has way too much reality connected to it.

    And many of the rules even relating to the Hollywood "exceptions" still point out a process that is way more egregious than it needs to be.

    The requirement for a private pilots license is clearly a convenience for the FAA rather than a service to the community at large.

    To be done properly they would need to set up a separate UAV pilot certification program, but by requiring all UAV pilots to have a private pilot license, while they do insure that the necessary procedures are understood, they also saddle the interested public with both an onerous and very expensive task of actually being able to fly themselves and to spend a small fortune on private pilot instruction learning to actually fly a plane which is in fact of no value to them at all in piloting a multicopter.

    A convenience to the FAA, but a costly, onerous and completely unnecessary set of hurdles for the prospective UAV pilot.

    And that is just one of a huge pile of overly restrictive and poorly thought through "conditions" attached to so far their only exception to permit commercial flight.



  • AC91-57 was completely meaningless to begin with. Cancelling it really makes no difference to anything.  It was not regulatory, and said very little about anything at all anyway.

  • When Government (agencies) act irresponsibly they foment Anarchy!

    And from all accounts, the FAA continues to pay no attention whatever to either the people of the United States or to what actually serves the Country.

    They are an out of control self serving bureaucracy that only serves those who benefit it directly.

    Disgusting - Again!

  • I read the requirements document and a lot of it is fairly reasonable.  I can see Sporty's selling a lot of log books from now on.  The one requirement I have a HUGE problem with is the 48-hour advance notice thing particularly when it comes to search & rescue operations.  Speaking from personal experience, 80% of searches are resolved (for better or worse) in the first 12 hours.  97% are resolved in the first 24 hours.  Two days is an eternity for a successful search.

    Personally, I would love to introduce some FAA bureaucrat to the mother of a missing 4-year old and say "Here's the government functionary that won't allow us to use every tool we have to find your child.  I'm sure he'd be happy to explain the situation to you."  I'd watch that LiveLeak video.

  • Wow the Hollywood UAS requirements started out really sensible and just went full nuts.

  • Ack! - the eight pointed star of Chaos! (geeky warhammer reference)

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