Warning from the LAPD--do not use UAVs commercially!

Please 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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Comment by John Johnson on February 4, 2012 at 2:44pm

Mr. Panic, please clarify your resonse.  Which of the following do you disagree with:

A. Following rules is the right thing to do.

B. You should follow all rules even if you disagree with them.

Comment by Lebdog on February 4, 2012 at 2:56pm

I wasn't arguing, just pointing out that there are some rules which are made to be broken, simply so that you are always at the discretion of the law, or at least that's how it works out.  I think park flyers work out like this, not that a park isn't a populated area, so again at the discretion of the law.  I prefer fair, but concrete laws with no sacred cows, so that a law for you s a law for me.  
In LA, those who write the laws, often exempt themselves and if you ask them (as I have), you would find they believe laws are to keep the cattle in line..  They often tell me not to take laws so seriously.  When I watch them, these politicians, lawyers and entertainment executives often treat themselves like they are above the law.  When they get caught in LA, there are attorneys who know judges who get charges dismissed.  I didn't believe this until a close friend got a major charge literally dismissed.  His attorney walked in to the court room and the judge stopped court to greet him..
Where do the people have a say in the laws these days, why is it the corrupt media making laws with politicians serving bank and special interests??  
TV and Media don't serve the people because the politicians sold out the FCC, this doesn't even give the people a fair shot!  Thank God for outlaws, someone in America has to live like a free man!
Owners of the major networks include:
Viacom (VIA.BResearchEstimates), which owns CBS and UPN, News Corp.(NWSResearchEstimates), which owns a majority of Fox (FOXResearch,Estimates), Walt Disney Co. (DIS:ResearchEstimates), which owns ABC, General Electric Co. (GE:ResearchEstimates), which owns NBC, and AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOLResearchEstimates), the parent company of CNN/Money, which owns the WB network. 

Comment by Isaac Joslin on February 4, 2012 at 3:11pm
I totally agree. I think we ought to speak out as well. No harm in trying eh'.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on February 4, 2012 at 3:47pm

This thread is becoming uncivil and is migrating into the subject of politics, which is not allowed on DIYD,  so I'm closing the comments. 

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