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  • Federal over-reach, got it.  Yeah, that seems the fashionable boogie-man lately.  Boogie-woman?, hmmmm

    We cannot address all the boogie men in y'all's closet.  FAA vs. volunteer SAR was the question posed.

  • I asked out of curiosity, it doesn't really apply to me as in my state sar falls under state police, so thats 333 not 107 or hobbyist. In my case even as a volunteer anyone officially on a mission is effectively a public servant. However, not all states are set up like that.

    In this particular example with sar it goes well beyond drones. It's just as, if not more, dangerous and disruptive if the general public starts wandering in to a search area or random full size aircraft start showing up.

    My issue is not with inexperienced people being allowed access, I think we're all in agreeance with that, but with how FAA defines their terms and who falls under what. Since the FAA is making decisions on what exactly is pleasure vs profit etc etc, I'd like to see how exactly they are reaching those conclusions. With sar for example, its less an issue that they're worried about sar uas operators making a profit and more they don't have a way to regulate beyond commercial, public, and hobbyist applications and are trying to just lump outliers into one of those three.

  • My point:  a person could volunteer with a SAR effort within the US controlled airspace withOUT a 107.  That decision of whether he/she is walking a grid with a flashlight or participating in UAV operations is left to the PO that is in authority.  The definition of 'contracted operations with a governmental entity' allows for volunteerism, as long as it is coordinated by that gov't entity.

    If your training, equipment, and records are sufficient to convince the on-site coordinator that your best contribution to the SAR effort is to watch, participate, or lead the UAS effort, then you will be flying under a PAO.

  • 100% agree and I never said hobbyist should show up at SAR sites.  We discussed this here-

  • I concur with that assessment by the FAA

    SAR is not a 'hobby'.  Any lost person search effort should be coordinated by a public governmental entity tasked for that responsibility; i.e., fire dept, police dept, parks services.  The onsite search coordinator would have obtained PAO status for any volunteer flights;  could be heli or UAV.   That person will also verify any training and airworthiness requirements appropriate for that search scenario, based on varying parameters.

    Ppl showing up with their new Phantoms in tow, wanting to help is commendable, but not helpful.

    My 2 cents, but I am not a highly paid lawyer.

  • The point posed above was that is was dumb and you should be able to fly without a 107 essentially as a hobbyist for SAR since you are not receiving any money for the operation.  My statement was that the FAA does not see SAR as a "hobbyist" activity therefore a 107 or COA is required.

  • a "SAR hobbyist".   Hmmmmm.

    I am confused now.  Can you expound upon that a bit? . . .

  • Correct with a Public COA but not as a hobbyist.

  • Nikola / AKRCGUY . . . 

    as a "member of a 501(c)3 organization", are you able to operate under the requirements of a 'Public Aircraft Operation' ?

    See here for more guidance:

    AC 00-1.1A (Cancelled) - Public Aircraft Operations – Document Information
  • Take it from someone who was contacted by the FAA using that theory, it doesn't work.
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