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QUESTION 107.39

LUIS MARTINEZ

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Question-PLEASE READ THE QUESTION-NO KNEE JERK RESPONSES.
Has any public safety agency here has applied for a training waiver (part 107), NOT under a COA, for waivering 107.39 during a training exercise dropping a PFD/rescue rope to a ff or cop playing victim and delivering a PFD? Please do not quote 107, I KNOW what it says.

NOT looking for your interpretation of what "Directly participating in the operation" means to you. I've read AC No: 107-2 .

If you've had FSDO discussions on the topic I'd like to hear those too. Looking for a factual response and NOT opinions. Thank you for playing.
If you'd rather keep it private my email is [email protected]
NOT looking to start an unending thread. just informed answers, please.

If you are not with public safety agency that has applied for a training waiver (part 107), NOT under a COA, for waivering 107.39 during a training exercise dropping a PFD/rescue rope to a ff or cop playing victim and delivering a PFD ... please don’t reply.
 

BigAl07

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If you are not with public safety agency that has applied for a training waiver (part 107), NOT under a COA, for waivering 107.39 during a training exercise dropping a PFD/rescue rope to a ff or cop playing victim and delivering a PFD ... please don’t reply.
I've NOT had that discussion and honestly I'm surprised (and maybe even disappointed) to be able to say that. I'm going to weight in none-the-less because I think it's a valid question and needs to be "elevated". I'm going to reach out to some of my FAA Liasions and get some feedback on this.

Has any public safety agency here has applied for a training waiver (part 107), NOT under a COA, for waivering 107.39 during a training exercise dropping a PFD/rescue rope to a ff or cop playing victim and delivering a PFD?
We've held this type of training many times and, to be honest, it's never even been considered as violating 107.39 yet most likely it IS.
 

SanCap

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"We've held this type of training many times and, to be honest, it's never even been considered as violating 107.39 yet most likely it IS."

I find it very unlikely that anyone would consider it a violation for training purposes. In a Live SAR situation I would also be very surprised if anyone followed thru with a formal non-compliance citation UNLESS the flight failed and someone was hurt during the SAR or deployment of a life saving device.
 

BigAl07

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Ok as of this morning I have officially "had that conversation with the FAA". I just spoke with Oklahoma FAA to our UAS Operations Team Leader and here's (and it's a quote) his reply:

Hey Allen!

Is official training directly "over" a team member (PFD deployment etc) a violation of 107.39 (not operating under a COA or anything).? The team member could be simulating a swimmer in trouble and the UAS is going to drop a PFD to the "Victim" in the water. The "victim" is a credentialed member of our team but not actively part of the Flight Crew but indeed a Team Member.

Short answer, yes. They cannot operate over that person since they are not directly involved in the safe operation of the UAS and they do not hold a waiver to 107.39. However, I don’t think it means they couldn’t do their training.

Remember, “over” means just that…directly over. If a person was in the water, for training purposes, I would think they could fly their mission and drop the PFD right in front of that person, without being over that person. Obviously, this would take some careful flying as to not inadvertently operate over them.
So from the FAA's standpoint it is indeed a violation of ~107.39. Remember they are always going to go by the book in order to CYA (Theirs).
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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"We've held this type of training many times and, to be honest, it's never even been considered as violating 107.39 yet most likely it IS."

I find it very unlikely that anyone would consider it a violation for training purposes. In a Live SAR situation I would also be very surprised if anyone followed thru with a formal non-compliance citation UNLESS the flight failed and someone was hurt during the SAR or deployment of a life saving device.
Frankly. I couldn't care less about the rule if a life is in danger. I'm not going to stop and ask for permission, neither is my fire chief. Not exactly the first rule I've "bent" for the greater good in 32 years in public safety. I suspect the rule is routinely ignored during training but was curious if anyone had pursued a waiver.
 
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LUIS MARTINEZ

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Ok as of this morning I have officially "had that conversation with the FAA". I just spoke with Oklahoma FAA to our UAS Operations Team Leader and here's (and it's a quote) his reply:



So from the FAA's standpoint it is indeed a violation of ~107.39. Remember they are always going to go by the book in order to CYA (Theirs).
Thanks for taking the time to check with the feds, Al. It is the answer I expected for a training scenario, CYA. :D
 
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Fred Garvin

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Who are you training? The “victim” swimmer to grab a dropped PFD? The drone pilot to drop the PFD?

I'm assuming the drone pilot. Why do you need a live “victim”? It’s just training. Use a dummy or a target. if the pilot can hit a dummy or target, they’ll be able to do it in an actual rescue.

And I agree with comments above. In an actual life or death situation, save a life and worry about the “rules” later.
 

R.Perry

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Wow, do we like splitting hairs. Asking an FAA person on how to circumvent one of their laws is a waste of time, they are going to stick with the letter of the law.
Now, the question really is what do they prosecute and what do they ignore. Flying over a stadium packed with people will get their full attention, overflying people in a search and rescue mission they most likely can care less. The FAA primary concern is about safety of people and we need to have the same mindset. We need to ask, am I flying in a safe and prudent manner?
The internet is filled with examples of people breaking the part 139 regulation, how many were prosecuted?
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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Who are you training? The “victim” swimmer to grab a dropped PFD? The drone pilot to drop the PFD?

I'm assuming the drone pilot. Why do you need a live “victim”? It’s just training. Use a dummy or a target. if the pilot can hit a dummy or target, they’ll be able to do it in an actual rescue.

And I agree with comments above. In an actual life or death situation, save a life and worry about the “rules” later.
"You play the way you practice; if you don't practice, don't play". Old police axiom.
A dummy cannot simulate a victim's unexpected panic reactions, nor movements. We've done dummy training, this is the next level.
 

BigAl07

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Wow, do we like splitting hairs. Asking an FAA person on how to circumvent one of their laws is a waste of time, they are going to stick with the letter of the law.
Now, the question really is what do they prosecute and what do they ignore. Flying over a stadium packed with people will get their full attention, overflying people in a search and rescue mission they most likely can care less. The FAA primary concern is about safety of people and we need to have the same mindset. We need to ask, am I flying in a safe and prudent manner?
The internet is filled with examples of people breaking the part 139 regulation, how many were prosecuted?

@R.Perry while flying for fun or for your nonPublic Safety job (like I do) on construction sites etc is one thing... but flying for Emergency Services puts a whole new level of Scrutiny on our shoulders. John Q. Public is always looking for a chance to criticize and potentially disband Emergency Services use of UAS or any new technology that their Hard Earned Tax $$ purchased (Unless it's them or a loved one we are trying to save and then ANYTHING goes). When flying for a Public Safety Dept. you don't bust the regs unless it's Life or Death period. It's an entirely different ball game when you are flying with a Dept/Gov signature on your credentials.

While I fully understand you may think we are splitting hairs and wasting time but we indeed wanted "in writing" clarification from a source that matters. Remember we are NOT talking about a LIVE SAR mission but training. Even if operating under a Public Safety COA chances are COA allowance/waiver for Flights Over People may not cover training and demonstrations. The COAs are written for very specific and exact situations and any deviation from those excludes the COA completely so we resort back to ~107 regs.
 
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R.Perry

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BigA, I understand your point, and it is well taken. Obviously the rescue of the blind man was a perfect example of not only overflying, but hovering over people. Did they have a waiver, I doubt it, is the FAA going to jump their case for doing so, I honestly don't think so.
If overflights of people is so dangerous, why does the FAA give waivers to do so? UCMerced now has a part 139 waiver for a Mavic. Guess what, as for me, I'n not going to overfly students even if I have a waiver, but the boys over in the video department at the college are doing it all the time legally. Personally I think that's nuts.
 
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BigAl07

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BigA, I understand your point, and it is well taken. Obviously the rescue of the blind man was a perfect example of not only overflying, but hovering over people. Did they have a waiver, I doubt it, is the FAA going to jump their case for doing so, I honestly don't think so.
If overflights of people is so dangerous, why does the FAA give waivers to do so? UCMerced now has a part 139 waiver for a Mavic. Guess what, as for me, I'n not going to overfly students even if I have a waiver, but the boys over in the video department at the college are doing it all the time legally. Personally I think that's nuts.

For the most part, flying DURING an emergency gives us certain "leniency" so long as there isn't an incident within an incident. Training is a whole other aspect. For instance I can fly on/from the Blue Ridge Parkway during an active SAR mission (with permission but it's not an over-the-phone process after lots of hurdles) but they absolutely will not allow my team to do the same thing during a practice scenario on/from the BRP.

The waiver process simply requires the submitter to prove they are going above and beyond to mitigate the risks. It's simply to restrict Johnny boy from going to Best Buy, getting a UAS and then flying over that concert/venue and really putting people in danger of harm and causing worry/panic.

As a side note:
I'm currently providing "Remedial Training" for a high school student who thought it was a fun/cute idea to BUZZ the stands at a local baseball game. Thank goodness it was just a Tello so it would have done minimal damage (hopefully) but local LEO was called (He had been warned before and told not to return to the area) and they called LEAP and finally I was sent out. Once he is done with training he gets to spend some time speaking at local schools on Drone Safety (his Community Service) and why his actions were not safe or legal.... for the next year.
 

R.Perry

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I live a very short distance from Yosemite Park, I talked to the director at the park about the possibility of using drones for search and rescue. His response, absolutely not. When I asked why his comment was "The drones might disturb the wildlife or park visitors" My response was "Oh the two search helicopters won't."

So much of this seems to be a political can of worms. You seen the picture of the climber that I posted climbing El Captain, that was shot from a drone, what has freaked the park administrator is that someone flew a drone up next to a climber and actually hit the climber. That ended drone operations. So those of us that care about safety and using common sense are handicapped because of a few idiots.

Just think of the photo opportunities that are missed in our national parks because of drone paranoia and a few idiots. I would love to be able to fly off of Glacier point (3000 ft above the valley) and photograph some of the magnificent views from different perspectives.
 

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Maybe a dumb question but I'll ask...

I can see how you can drop a PFD/rescue rope while not flying over a person but how does that person get to the PFD and rescued without at some point being under the helicopter? Does the training NOT include hoisting the person on-board the helicopter?
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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Maybe a dumb question but I'll ask...

I can see how you can drop a PFD/rescue rope while not flying over a person but how does that person get to the PFD and rescued without at some point being under the helicopter? Does the training NOT include hoisting the person on-board the helicopter?
Helicopters don't crash..... fargo.gif
 
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R.Perry

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Maybe a dumb question but I'll ask...

I can see how you can drop a PFD/rescue rope while not flying over a person but how does that person get to the PFD and rescued without at some point being under the helicopter? Does the training NOT include hoisting the person on-board the helicopter?
Part 139 does not apply to helicopters, only to drones.
 

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