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Who Polices Us

Tim Jones

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I have been in several spirited discussions on this topic.
But what if you know an unauthorized person is operating in your market. They have undercut the competition and are flying without certification, crew or insurance. But still making lots of money.
They have youtube videos up showing they are doing commercial work.

It would be nice if the FAA would find these folks out and enforce the law
even better if potential customers understood the risk of using rouge operators and froze them out

But lets be honest, neither of those things are going to happen

Do you report them to the FAA?
Do you increase your marketing highlighting your compliance to regulations and safety?
Do you just have a word with them

If the FAA is not going to enforce the laws, what do we do proactively to advance our business
 

AH-1G

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I have gone directly to the FAA Orlando Flight Standards District Office and spoke with Billy, (Aviation Safety Inspector) his answer, "they would have to see the person actually flying the drone". To paraphrase the rest,
These folks are at the bottom of the list as far as priority, if becomes a safety issue it then becomes priority, but then again they have to visually see the person flying. Other than that they send out a warning sent by snail mail.
I spent over an hour with him on other topics and how to catch violators. "They are not staffed to handle these issues". Billy mentioned "it is best served that local law enforcement handle these complaints":rolleyes:. So much for rules and regulations applying to us in the drone business. :mad:
 

Tim Jones

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I have heard that a lot
Which makes you wonder, should they get local law enforcement more involved
If they could educate them enough to know the rules and issue citations would that be better or worse for us.
That is a tough one
 

AH-1G

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I have heard that a lot
Which makes you wonder, should they get local law enforcement more involved
If they could educate them enough to know the rules and issue citations would that be better or worse for us.
That is a tough one
Since my son is a police officer, he mentioned this would be waaaaay down their list to investigate, unless there are injuries involved. To much paper work!
 

Maddog

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Personally I would turn them in to the FAA. If the FAA won't do anything, social media is a good way to put pressure on them.

Just to illustrate the range of action you can get out of the FAA, last summer a Phantom owner was flying his drone over a forest fire in central Arizona. This caused airborne assets to be grounded. He posted video on social media and was soon tracked down by law enforcement.

Nobody ever witnessed him flying near or over the fire but he was arrested, convicted and is still in jail.

Contrast that with what @AH-1G was told and you can see how screwed up the FAA and law enforcement are when it comes to drones.

When all these regulations started coming out I knew the Feds would dump enforcement onto local law enforcement, and they did. Of course local law enforcement can't do much because they can't enforce federal law. (I know that from experience).

So the whole situation is just FUBAR.
 

PatM

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The FAA has a day job, and all of this "Drone" Stuff has been knocking at their door for a quarter century and they are just now getting around to dealing with it.
 

PatM

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I have faith it will eventually get worked out but at a pace that is not satisfying to those of us trying to start or run a business. Maddening
 
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Tim Jones

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Well we have something to lose, our certificate those other guys have 0 to lose
Not one to be a tattle tale I prefer to let my work speak for why I am worth it
But maybe this would be a good function of the new DroneZone. Where you could at least register such activity. Even if they just sent something out to the guys and said hey we are watching you
 

PatM

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I was contacted by a Surveying service a few months back. Actually they were reaching out to a group whom my wife was part of and; they were in need of an experienced operator. My wife mentioned that I am a commercial remote pilot and said I would give them a call.

So a few days later; I called the owner and we had enough discussion for me to find out he was hired to survey an 84 acre site that is central to our city and, that he has no idea about multi rotors but, had just purchased one in the hopes that he could eliminate a sizable chunk of his expenditures in favor of this little "Drone" automatically, quickly and with zero skill might I add; map the entire site. You know the drill.

I set up a meeting over the phone and said I would be willing to come in and discuss his needs and see if there was a way to organize this project.

A very long story shortened as much as I can: For the entire time that I am describing, not only the operational hurdles, but the overall scope of project and time estimates, there was a deer in the headlights look starring back at me. After the meeting he was to call me when his new aircraft arrived and I was to come in a train his people on it and; eventually I was to act as the PIC on site.

I never heard back from them.
 
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I was contacted by a Surveying service a few months back. Actually they were reaching out to a group whom my wife was part of and; they were in need of an experienced operator. My wife mentioned that I am a commercial remote pilot and said I would give them a call.

So a few days later; I called the owner and we had enough discussion for me to find out he was hired to survey an 84 acre site that is central to our city and, that he has no idea about multi rotors but, had just purchased one in the hopes that he could eliminate a sizable chunk of his expenditures in favor of this little "Drone" automatically, quickly and with zero skill might I add; map the entire site. You know the drill.

I set up a meeting over the phone and said I would be willing to come in and discuss his needs and see if there was a way to organize this project.

A very long story shortened as much as I can: For the entire time that I am describing, not only the operational hurdles, but the overall scope of project and time estimates, there was a deer in the headlights look starring back at me. After the meeting he was to call me when his new aircraft arrived and I was to come in a train his people on it and; eventually I was to act as the PIC on site.

I never heard back from them.

Sounds about right, he might give you a call when he or his crew cannot obtain positive results.. Frustrating to say the least when they reach out to you, and they dont take the time to recognize the good guidance you are giving them.
 

Tim Jones

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Not even a consulting fee out of it?
Maybe that is the ticket, don't do any of it, just teach people how to.
Nah.. what is the fun in that.
You do hit on something I find interesting. The relatively cheap availability of the technologic ability to put a camera in the air, lured a lot of Spielberg wannabes into buying drones.
Only to find out, that having a pool stick makes you no shark.
 

PatM

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Yeah, my wife said he was a good guy and asked me to go in with a positive attitude and to help him. Well I kinda knew where it was going but, as a dutiful husband - I proved myself right once again.;)

At the beginning of the meeting when he was talking about cutting all the man hours out, and how it was a simple - upload this, download that - I knew where we were headed.
 
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Andy Stern

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Sounds like this discussion has come up a bunch, but I just joined this forum (been on Mavic and Phantom boards for a few years).

Long story short, late last year I found myself without work and decided to start my own business. I wanted to do everything on the up and up so of course I took and passed my 107. I currently have potential clients but am waiting on airspace authorizations before officially launching my business (pun intended).

It's extreme frustrating being unable to earn income because I'm doing the "right thing" while I'm fairly certain that a number of local operators have not been certified but are making money hands over fist.

I'm not interested in becoming a vigilante or reporting anyone, but am curious to know if my suspicions are correct or if I'm just paranoid. I know that there's a public registery of airman but have any of you used to it look up people you suspect are flying illegally, or just speculating? If I found it that a professional I hired was not licensed, I feel like it's the kind of thing I would resort to the state. Is that not applicable here?

I'm not trying to stir the pot. I'm just looking for some insight from the community.
 

PatM

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If you're asking if people are flying commercially without proper certification, they are. There are posts on this very new forum where the rules are challenged and queries are made that make it clear that there are people questioning the law. In the example I gave above; during the conversation I was asked (and I quote) "are there ways around those rules"


The problem is; there are rules without a true policing body to enforce them. One thing is for sure, the FAA does follow up all complaints, eventually. There are many Youtube posters that have been visited and can confirm this.
 

Tim Jones

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Exactly, that is one of the reason I posted this,. Policing should not be our job. But then who does. And if no one does, why should I bother to renew when my two years is up
 

PatM

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Another problem is that "Droning" without a license does NOT make the six o'clock news. Not yet. I think most of those that do "a little here and a little there" are for the most part Ignorant. Sort of the situation with drinking and driving before the mid 80s here in the states. Anyone older than 45 or so knows what I mean. The same must happen with us, and in fact in the same way. We need to be vocal about the dangers while at the same time educational to the uniformed.
 

Tim Jones

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The education route, while honorable and certainly worth the effort. How do you get the attention of an audience. I hate to say it, but until someone gets hurt badly by someone flying irresponsibly that causes people real financial pain will they listen.

This again is where a good trade group might come in handy. But too many of those are out there and none with a clear mission statement of being directly involved with legislation, education and promotion of the good guys
 

Tim Jones

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What makes me cringe is watching the way some people fly these things around kids and animals. They clearly have not been flying long enough to experience a mechanical failure and seen what 8 14inch carbon props can do to flesh.
My wife spots for me sometimes. And I have filmed her and my granddaughter with the drone a few times. But I have them taught that if I shout duck or this thing heads your way, don't put your hands up to protect yourself, Drop and cover
 
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