3D Robotics

3689442345?profile=originalPlease see this warning from the Los Angeles Police Department, sent to the California Association of Realtors. Discussion on helifreak here.  More background and discussion here. I'll be talking to the NYT about this tomorrow. 

Short form: Amateur UAV use within the usual FAA guidelines (under 400ft, within visual line-of-sight, away from built-up-areas) is allowed, as always. But commercial use requires a COA, which you're not going to get. So there's nothing new here, but it's a reminder that the guidelines will be enforced.

LAPD Warning Against Hiring Unmanned Aircraft Operators for Aerial Photos

Los Angeles authorities have asked C.A.R. to communicate this warning to REALTORS® who hire unmanned aircraft operators to take aerial photographs for marketing high-end properties.  Using these devices (also known as drones) for flight in the air with no onboard pilot may violate, among other things, the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) policy on unmanned aircrafts, and Los Angeles's local ordinance requiring permits for filming commercial motion pictures and still photographs.

The Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) investigation has apparently revealed that aerial photos where unmanned aircraft were observed have appeared on certain real estate sales websites.  According to FilmL.A., the LAPD Air Division has issued this warning as it intends to prosecute violators in the near future.  FilmL.A. is a public benefit company created by the City and County of Los Angeles to manage film permit activity and related issues.

Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s current policy, no one can operate an unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System without specific authority.  Operators who wish to fly an unmanned aircraft for civil use must obtain an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate, which will not be issued to an unmanned aircraft used for compensation or hire. Although the FAA allows hobbyists to fly model airplanes for recreational purposes under specific guidelines, that authority does not extend to operators flying unmanned aircraft for business purposes. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice on Unmanned Aircraft Operations and the FAA's policy. 

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  • Alfred, I just got an idea (thanks) for a motorized fishing real thinggy that keeps slack out of the line without undue tension. Kind of like a legal tether. Oh wait, there's that commercial money making prohibition thing. Drats, we just can't win. I guess LA county just want's their cut, mmm?

  • They are just pissed because the FAA all ready told them they can't do it. So screw every one else. Chasing a fleeing suspect with a 50 LB copter at night with a traffic cop at the controls is dangerous(well, it probably is), but hovering a nice quad for a for photos(and profit) on a sunny day of your choosing, well that's just a chance we can't take. "Won't someone please think of the children!!" ...Sorry ;)

  • I recall something about, if the aircrat or flying device is tethered, then it has not actually taken off. There was an occation I worked with and experimental helicopter designer, that tethered his prototypes for short test flight hops befor he got it inspected/registered. He said the FAA guy told him as long as it was tethered they had nothing to say about operating the machine.

  • Moderator

    A timely reminder then to support RCAPA it might finally start sinking in over there that rules are coming.

    Not as quickly as the military contractors whooped up before Christmas but they are coming. My old war cry STANAG 4586 is very much in the near future.

    This is not really a surprise last year the film commission said similar what will happen now is people here and all over RC forums will say, not from my cold dead hands will they.... or what right... or if I do this.. lots and lots of people are beginning to say those drone guys are going to ruin model aircraft flying. Expect bad feeling towards us as a group.

    Then it will die down and as a group American UAS enthusiasts will have done nothing yet again.

    The regulations will land, and people will shout how can this have happened, nobody ever told us.  

    The AMA is not on your side, they want to save large scale model aircraft and jets.

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