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Why commercial drone pilots don't need FAA License

Sky

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Hello Inspire Pilots!

I am making a video about the required licensing for commercial drone pilots for my college english class. We were asked to make a 5 minute video about a problem in our community. Well, you all are part of my inspire piloting community. I believe <IMO> that the FAA restriction on commercial drone piloting is ineffective and unnecessary.

My reasons are my own but what I want to know is YOUR opinion.

Any suggestions, comments, ideas, perspectives, you have on the subject of FAA drone pilots license would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for you time fellow i1 Pilots!

[update: grammar edits]
 
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Hey sky..
interesting subject. ..
I agree that to get a commercial UAS license should be easy to obtain kinda of like a dmv drivers test. .
certainly we shouldn't need intrusive TSA screening to be licensed. .
I believe it should be a level playing field for everyone not just for the pilots with a 333 exemption..
 
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Because my flight school has taught me absolutely nothing about how to operate a uav.....I think ground school certification should be required - I also always liked the idea (UK?) took where you have to test in front of an instructor, basically show casing your drones safety abilities and your flight abilities, it might seem silly but I think it's important that you prove you can fly.
 
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I've been through the UK testing and found it a fairly simple process as long as you put the work in. The pass rate for the flight test was about 2 out of 10 when I sat mine. Apparently, most people just rock up with a phantom and think "Hey, I can flying this really really fast, that must mean I am good right?". The two candidates that sat their test before me that week didn't even get past the office based planning stage and were told to go home.

I do believe that licensing is needed, if only for transparency to the CAA (or FAA) on your procedures and accountability if something were to go wrong.
 
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Hello Inspire Pilots!

I am making a video about the required licensing for commercial drone pilots for my college english class. We were asked to make a 5 minute video about a problem in our community. Well, you all are part of my inspire piloting community. I believe <IMO> that the FAA restriction on commercial drone piloting is ineffective and unnecessary.

My reasons are my own but what I want to know is YOUR opinion.

Any suggestions, comments, ideas, perspectives, you have on the subject of FAA drone pilots license would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for you time fellow i1 Pilots!

[update: grammar edits]
It never ceases to amaze me the people that complain about the stringent rules regarding commercial UAS operation. With near daily front page news about careless and reckless UAS use in the hands of hobbyists, you want to push for deregulation and let anybody with the ability to get a drivers license operate a drone for hire? I know the response will be 'you just don't want competition' and my answer to that is I have always welcomed professional competition into the industry, my work stands for itself. The regulations set forth now are not unreasonable for people who are willing to put forth the effort to get into the industry. What I don't wish to see are extremely unreasonable regulations that will quickly come down the first time a licensed operator recklessly brings the commercial side into bad light.

Case in point-
The Costa Concordia incident brought forth new regulations in the maritime sector almost immediately that effected all professional Mariners. A knee jerk reaction to an incompetent Master who holds an 'equivalent' license to my own but did not have to go through the same training and licensing institutions to get there. As a result, the Med which was once an easy area of operation is now a cluster of regulations that change daily at the whim of local port authorities. When challenged the answer is always 'Sorry Captain, ever since the Costa Concordia...'

So for those of us who have put forth the effort to become responsible operators with knowledge of the best aviation practices to represent the commercial UAS industry, we want to see continued professional representation so as to safeguard its future. Instead of complaining about how hard it is to do, get the training, which I might add will serve you in many aspects and join those who have worked hard to get here.
 
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It never ceases to amaze me the people that complain about the stringent rules regarding commercial UAS operation. With near daily front page news about careless and reckless UAS use in the hands of hobbyists, you want to push for deregulation and let anybody with the ability to get a drivers license operate a drone for hire? I know the response will be 'you just don't want competition' and my answer to that is I have always welcomed professional competition into the industry, my work stands for itself. The regulations set forth now are not unreasonable for people who are willing to put forth the effort to get into the industry. What I don't wish to see are extremely unreasonable regulations that will quickly come down the first time a licensed operator recklessly brings the commercial side into bad light.

Case in point-
The Costa Concordia incident brought forth new regulations in the maritime sector almost immediately that effected all professional Mariners. A knee jerk reaction to an incompetent Master who holds an 'equivalent' license to my own but did not have to go through the same training and licensing institutions to get there. As a result, the Med which was once an easy area of operation is now a cluster of regulations that change daily at the whim of local port authorities. When challenged the answer is always 'Sorry Captain, ever since the Costa Concordia...'

So for those of us who have put forth the effort to become responsible operators with knowledge of the best aviation practices to represent the commercial UAS industry, we want to see continued professional representation so as to safeguard its future. Instead of complaining about how hard it is to do, get the training, which I might add will serve you in many aspects and join those who have worked hard to get here.
Agreed, however the licences in the US that make qualifying for an exemption easy really have little to do with operation of a UAS. I'm all for a stringent qualifying body such as the FAA for licensing but when a pilot's licence is the "minimum" requirement for UAS operation it doesn't help.

There needs to be a focused licensing where operators learn about TFR's and proper incident reporting procedures and less of aircraft to aircraft communication as we aren't supposed to be operating in their space anyway.
 
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My opinion is that a license is definitely needed for commercial drone (RPAS) operating and flying.
A customer has every right to expect and demand that a commercial job is carried out by certified, and skilled pilots.
Ground School based on PPL as well as a proof of basic flying skills on a CP helicopter (In the Netherlands at the National Aerospace Laboratory we have to pass a CP heli simulation test before we get the certificate, good thing, the training is even under the authority of the Section Manager Helicopters), and a proof of safe operation of the used RPAS, according to the operations manual.

We need this because it's the only way to be sure that everybody, who's making a living with it, knows the rules all the other airspace users follow. And is at least capable of flying safely (also when the automatics fail or the 'app' crashes), and knows how to interpret and use the available information needed to prepare a safe operation.
 
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Actually, the rules and regulations should (and will eventually) make it extremely obvious that any stupid dangerous stunt with a drone is (pretty almost) always the work of an ignorant noob or extreme hobbyist. A professional pilot is not likely (almost never) to risk his licence or his equipment.

And maybe it will go up to a point where only mini or even micro drones can be flown without a license. In the Netherlands they proposed a micro drone rule (sub 1kg). There's a good chance it passes, rendering all non professional used drones heavier than 1 kg useless.
 
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The FAA should be concerned with safety...they have no business being involved in whether or not I make money using my UAV to shoot video.

Yes, they should require operators to show they can fly safely...a test. Yes, they could charge a nominal amount to support the efforts to test us, etc.
 
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The FAA should be concerned with safety...they have no business being involved in whether or not I make money using my UAV to shoot video.

Yes, they should require operators to show they can fly safely...a test. Yes, they could charge a nominal amount to support the efforts to test us, etc.
Just so I understand. You want the FAA to maintain safety by imposing the same rigorous testing standards as the DMV?
 
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My view is this...the FAA should not be involved regulating the commercial aspect of UAV's making money shooting video or photos. I think their concern should be public safety.

Obviously, there are some real idiots out there with UAV's that are endangering lives and potentially causing an overall ban of this technology...we see this daily on the news...mostly just the bad stuff...guns on drones, idiots over fire scenes, etc.

I would not mind having to take a test to demonstrate that I am a competent and safe flyer...and I would not mind paying reasonable fee to do so. Maybe this would help weed out the wackos, but in the end, I doubt it.

I just don't understand how the FAA is telling us we can't make money shooting/producing video or photos with these things...that's all I'm saying. What does this have to do with flying safely?
 
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Because the moment you take off you are operating in the National Airspace System (NAS) which is governed by the FAA. You cannot ask them to regulate this space, keep it safe for everyone, then allow yahoos with a drivers license and a few hours of ground school access to it. The safest way to weed out the wackos is to make it difficult for them.
 
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Each respondent above has their own opinion and some valid points. I hold an FAA Exemption and went back to get re-certified as a pilot since I gave it up some years ago. If you think of where it will go, and understand that successful models are working in other jurisdictions, then it is wise to prepare for the inevitable, much like planning a flight. Sure, there are differences of opinion on how stringent the process should/will be, but the free pass is gone. Ground school prepares the pilot for sharing in the airspace responsibly. Actual flight in a Cessna is absurd, but only required in the interim (USA/FAA).
Canada and the UK have leapt forward with very well received programs that are a combination of ground school and actual flight testing using the pilot's sUAV. That makes sense and I do hope that it is the end direction that the FAA takes. In the interim, I fly commercially and really don't care for those that won't take the time to be a part of the success of the industry by complying with regulations and operate irresponsibly. I also don't think there are many liability insurance policies written to yahoos.
 
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Each respondent above has their own opinion and some valid points. I hold an FAA Exemption and went back to get re-certified as a pilot since I gave it up some years ago. If you think of where it will go, and understand that successful models are working in other jurisdictions, then it is wise to prepare for the inevitable, much like planning a flight. Sure, there are differences of opinion on how stringent the process should/will be, but the free pass is gone. Ground school prepares the pilot for sharing in the airspace responsibly. Actual flight in a Cessna is absurd, but only required in the interim (USA/FAA).
Canada and the UK have leapt forward with very well received programs that are a combination of ground school and actual flight testing using the pilot's sUAV. That makes sense and I do hope that it is the end direction that the FAA takes. In the interim, I fly commercially and really don't care for those that won't take the time to be a part of the success of the industry by complying with regulations and operate irresponsibly. I also don't think there are many liability insurance policies written to yahoos.
Well written. Agreed on the flight time but I do believe that in order to operate commercially the ground school should be the same ground schooling that holders of a PPl should have to go through.
 
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Sky

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Agreed, however the licences in the US that make qualifying for an exemption easy really have little to do with operation of a UAS. I'm all for a stringent qualifying body such as the FAA for licensing but when a pilot's licence is the "minimum" requirement for UAS operation it doesn't help.

There needs to be a focused licensing where operators learn about TFR's and proper incident reporting procedures and less of aircraft to aircraft communication as we aren't supposed to be operating in their space anyway.
This is the basis for my argument, spelled out clearly. Thanks AutoAir!
 

Sky

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To be clear I am speaking about regulations within the US, but do appreciate views from other countries. A pilots license should not be required for a drone license.
 
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To be clear I am speaking about regulations within the US, but do appreciate views from other countries. A pilots license should not be required for a drone license.
So we have laid out our case as to why we feel current regulations should be the case. So far all I have seen in rebuttal is 'a pilots license should not be required'. If I was your professor I would say - state your case. Why not and give reason?
 
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Sky,
The FAA isn't aiming for safety or anything else for that matter. It's a simple old school, good ole' boy system. If they were about safety they would have had regulations in place A LONG TIME AGO! The problem is the FAA doesn't suffer from budget cuts & is free to overrun their costs for anything they dream up. You realize that new radar system they developed about 7 years ago, doesn't have a single provision to manage anything unmanned! Here's an article on it:

http://www.equipmentworld.com/faas-new-air-traffic-control-system-doesnt-support-drones-doubts-over-commercial-flight-regs-increase/

The FAA has spent $5 billion on the NexGen radar system & their saying that it's impossible to include UAS as part of the system. Congress asked the FAA to make this the system future proof radar, streamlined, highly efficient, & they didn't even consider a UAS to be part of it... How stupid can you be a still keep your job?

If you want proof of the lack of safety, then ask yourself, why haven't they mentioned any requirement for licensed maintenance? Sure they want a pilot's license to operate a UAS but, who performs maintenance? Anyone? Come on.... It's a double standard, that they apply only as they are told to by their good ole' boy club.
 
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Well written. Agreed on the flight time but I do believe that in order to operate commercially the ground school should be the same ground schooling that holders of a PPl should have to go through.
Absolutely true, but WITH ADDITIONAL specific and relevant material to sUAV relating to their operation in the NAS. I will venture to say that no UAV operator without a PPL understands the difference between class B and class C,D,E airspace and the related protocols to each. I pre-plan every flight related to where I intend to fly.
The only time I was caught seriously off guard was a Coast Guard helicopter crossing my flight area at 400'AGL. I heard him coming and went lower FAST, but still had to check my shorts. Fortunately, I rarely fly above 50m/160' AGL.
To CaptBadge: btw, I hold a 100t Masters as well
 
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