New FAA Guidance for Recreational Drone Pilots?
This is the middle of july of 2021. The faa put out a new document that you need to be paying attention to, and i mean it. This is something that, unfortunately, i haven’t seen a whole lot of content online uh part of the reason why i’m deciding to record this video but uh in this video we’re going to talk about this document called the advisory circular 9157 charlie. This is a draft document that the faa just put out and we’re asking for comments so i’m, going to tell you why you need to be paying attention what’s new, in this advisory circular. This is the third version of the the circular and we’ll talk about what is new and why this is so important and why you should be leaving a comment and then how you’re going to leave a comment so let’s get to it Music. So before we start this video, this may uh end up being something that you guys may not enjoy a whole lot. I just want to say this: this is don’t, shoot the messenger. Okay, i teach the rules. I don’t make them i’m, not part of the faa, and this video is designed to really help you understand what the faa is proposing to do and how you can write an intelligent comment back to the faa to tell them what you think if you’ve been following Me for a while in pilot institute for a while, we talked about the notice of purpose rulemaking in the past for remote id, and we ask you guys, along with a few other people in the industry, to write your comments to the fa.
This is somewhat of a similar process, even though sending your comment is not as straightforward, but i’ll show you how we do this, so the first thing is: where do you find this advisory circular, and you know what i did is i brought in my ipad for This video, because i want to show you a couple things on the ipad as well. At the same time, and some of the notes that i wrote, but this advisory circular i’m going to put the link down here, you can see it right here on the on the screen. This advisory circular is on this page and if you go to it right away, you’ll see at the top. Actually we have ac 9119. This is not the one you need to keep scrolling until you see ac 9157 charlie – and this is title exception for recreation – for limited recreational operation of unmanned aircraft. If you fly your drone for recreational purposes and you’ve never seen this advisory circular, this is actually a perfect video, because you should have seen this before so a little bit of background on this. Why is this important? Why is this making sense? And maybe you are not so familiar with part 107 and maybe the recreational flying but part 107 is the the in capital letters set of regulation that governs all of drone flying in the united states. Now what the faa did is they carved out a little section called 44809 and the reason it’s called 4.
09 because that’s the number of the regulation in the u.s code, a blue portion of this is carved out out of part 107 as an exception that allows you To fly for recreational flying 44 809 is very straightforward. If you think about it. It’S eight sets of roles that basically tell you what you need to know. You need to follow these roles. I have a video where i mention all different roles that you need to follow and and again it’s very straightforward in the fa. Recently they added this this new one called the trust exam. We also have a video on the trust, exam and we’re also. Actually we can, you can take the trust exam on our platform, but this is the latest thing that the faa did and out of all this congress in in back in 2018, when they created the reauthorization act for the faa, they created 44809 and congress basically asked The faa to create a whole bunch of rules for recreational flyer, and so, if you look at the list, like i said, very simple, you have flying for recreational purposes. Staying within visual line of sight, don’t interfere with aircraft, get airspace approval stay below 400 feet. Take the trust, exam register, your aircraft, those are the basic rules that you have to follow in order to fly legally, but in this regulation there is no real mention of certain things. So, for example, in part 107, you have visibility requirement.
You have a certain distance from clouds. You have rules about not flying over people. You have rules about not flying over moving vehicles flying at night. There are some requirements, speed limits and all of that, so all of this is not covered in 44809, which often surprises people people say well. Can i fly over people? Well, if you look at 44809 technically, you can, but in here there is one section in 44809, which is called cbo guidelines, community based organization guidelines and under these guidelines you have to follow a set of cbo guidelines, and you say i see i get this question. All the time it’s like what’s a cbo, do i need to be a member of it. Where do i find the guidelines? Do i have to really follow these and the answer is yes, one of the bullet points in 44809. Is you have to follow cbo guidelines? Now the trick is at the moment as i’m recording this, the faa has not come up with a standard to select cbos so technically in the world. Right now, in july of 2021, there is no real fa approved cbos this advisory circular. That we’re talking about today is ready to accomplish just that. It is designed to give cbo’s that want to apply some guidance on how they should do it, this old advisory circular, the one before this. The bravo version was about eight pages long, okay, the new one is 19 pages long.
Why and the reason is because of cbo guidelines. This is why you need to be paying attention to this video, because now the faa has created this whole set of cbo guidelines, and potentially these can become your rules as well. Now remember, i said on 44 809 there’s only eight rules that you have to follow. Well, one of these rules is, you have to follow cbo guidelines. Now these cbo guidelines can open up a whole bunch of different regulations. If your cbo that you select says you can’t, fly over people, well, guess what? Because you have to follow guidelines, you can’t fly over people. If this cbo says you can fly at night, then same thing: you’re going to have to follow cpu guidelines, even though it’s not in 44, 809 indirectly, it is in 44 809, because it’s in cbo guidelines does that make sense. This is always a part that was confusing to people and still is because well because the fa hasn’t selected cbo’s yet but they’re going to do this with this document, because this document highlights everything that needs to be done. So why eight pages? Why is there eight more pages in here well there’s, eight more pages, because the fa has something in there called recommended safety procedures that’s in page 3.3. 3. If you want to see it and in here, if we go take a look at the document, we will see on page 3, 3 i’m, going to scroll to it right here.
You see that there’s a whole bunch of guideline and the first one. It says in 18.104.22.168.1, it says, restriction on flying over people restriction on flying over people right here it says, establishing buffer areas between an aircraft planned flight path and any people in the area now you’re going to say this is not fa regulation. This is something that the cbo’s are going to put in place and you’re right. This is something that the cbo’s may put in place, because the fa in here says the fa recommends that a comprehensive safety guideline should include at least the following. This is a recommendation. The faa is basically saying well if you want to get approved, we highly recommend that you put these things into your cbo guidelines, they’re, not saying you have to they’re, saying it’s highly recommended, so you read between the lines. Okay, also in here, what you see is hazardous material or weapons. There are going to be restrictions from cbo’s because they don’t exist in 44809. Prohibition on engaging in careless and reckless behavior. This should be everywhere right. This should be in very general now, if we keep going in here at the bottom, we have uh 22.214.171.124.1 in this section right here. It says first person view procedures. Now the faa wants to put fpv procedures in place. The first one is that the visual observer must be co located and in direct communication, and we can see this on page 3.
5 right here. It says visual observer must be in direct communication with the fpv flyer must be in direct communication with the fpv flyer somewhere else in this section in here it says, without the use of technological assistance i’m going to get back to this, because this is very important. It also says in here: fpv flyers must have the capacity to see the aircraft at all time. Although a visual observer may be watching the ua, the fpv flyer must ensure that throughout the operation of the ua he or she would have the ability to immediately see the ua if the fpv was removed. Let’S get back to this, because this is a point of confusion from people all the time they say do. I have to have a visual observer. Yes, you do again, remember don’t shoot the messenger. This is what the fa is saying. Yes, you have to have a visual observer with you that visual observer must be able to see the aircraft at all time, which means that it also says they must be co located to the pilot. It also says in here that at all time, if the pilot were to remove the goggles, he or she must be able to see the aircraft, so some people say well. I can have a visual observer, a mile down the road and uh and i’m still satisfying the requirements, not so much because the mutual observer must be co located and in direct communication, and then in here it says, direct communication.
If we go back to page 2.2, which is a little bit before right here in the loss, this is the entire section about visual line of sight right here. The visual observer must be standing close enough to the recreational flyer to be able to communicate directly with him or her without the use of technological assistance and without creating a distraction to the recreational flyer. This is, if you use a vo in general, not just for fpv, but especially for fpv. This is going to apply, so you got to be careful here. You got to be careful this. This is the guidance from the fa. This is what they’re going to look at when they start asking you questions. So this is part of the reason why this is eight pages. Long is because we have fpv procedures. If we go to page 3.6, you will see in here as well that there is information about night flying there’s, also, information about maintenance and procedures, maintenance inspections and procedures on page 3.5 and 3.6 night operation. I found something interesting in here there’s two interesting points. Now, they’re adding the requirement for a light visible from three statute miles again. This is, if the cbos decide to adopt this regulation that’s in here, not regulation, this guidance that’s in here, okay. It also says in here something that i found interesting in addition to ua lightning guidelines for flying at night in unlit or low, lit or low light areas.
The safety guidelines should also permit members to conduct recreational flights at night without requiring ua lightning in areas that are sufficiently eliminated, so that members can maintain v loss of the aircraft throughout the flight. This is not in part, 107. there’s. No in part 107 language. That says, if it’s well lit, you don’t have to have the lights on, but it’s in here it’s part of the guidance in here. I thought this was an interesting point. There’S also information in here about medical condition. Again, this is the eight pages of stuff that was added. The fa would like to see that there is something about physical and mental condition about the use of alcohol, the use of drugs, the use of the i’m safe checklist, because this is not again part of 44809, so they’re using the cbo guidelines to add restrictions, limitations, Guidelines, whatever you want to call them something in here about emergency procedures um, i didn’t find anything bad, not that you know in the emergency procedures. I think it’s important an important point in here safety event reporting. They would like to see the cbos push the members to report when there is a safety event. That happens. I put a bunch of notes in here for myself that i’m going to come into the fa loss of navigation function. What does that really mean functional? Failure of the ua can you give us examples, one that i really didn’t care for is recreational flyer errors.
Does the faa really expect that every recreational flyer is going to report when they make an error what’s an error? What how do you define it what’s? I think this is a little bit of an overreach. This is just my personal opinion, so these are all the things that were added into this document, which is why, i think again, you need to be paying attention, because you need to become aware of what is in this document and all the information that’s in here. What else is in here, that’s not related to the cbo guidelines? There was a good clarification in page 2.3 about a flying from the top of a building. This is a confusion that we hear all the time for recreational flyer. If you’re at the top of a building, you cannot use that and add 400 feet on top of it. So it says in here, for example, a uas engaged in recreational operations under 44 809 may not be launched from a 10 story rooftop and fly up an additional 400 feet. This is very important. This is very important right here, because a lot of people think well. I can fly 400 feet on top of a building. This is only a part. 107 rule. This is only a part. 107 rule so i’m glad that they added this information in here. I think there’s a necessary clarification, that’s required in section 2.2.6 right here. There’S no mention of what to do in class e3 and class e4.
This may be more technical for this video i’m, not going to bother you with the details, but nowhere in here it mentions information about what you do in class b, c d and e 2. But nothing about class e3 and e4, which are extensions to class delta and class charlie airspace on the ground. So i think there needs to be information i’m, going to put that in my comment also on page 2.4, which talks about regular registration in 2.2.8. There is no mention of the exemption of drones are sub 250 grams 0.55 pounds that needs to be added in here. I think, and then there was a good mention in here at one point that says, however, this is on page 2.2. However, an operator does not need to be a member of a cbo to fly under its safety guidelines. This is important. People have been saying. Well, do i have to pay to join the cbo? You don’t, you don’t, you can just download their guidelines and follow them. You don’t have to be a member, and the fa was very clear about this because well because they don’t want to push people to pay money for something that they may or may not need so again, i’m. Providing you information here. What can you do about it? If you don’t agree with any of this, submit your comments to the faa, the link is down here. If you look at how you do this, when you are on the link right here, there is a section that says: draft document comment grid and if you tap on it, then it’s going to take you to a word document that you can fill out.
So you can put your information in here, follow the stuff and then there is an address at the top of where it needs to be submitted. So make sure you send your comments to the faa about this. This is very much you have until august 9.. This is very much like a notice of proposed rulemaking, even though this is not a rule, this is a notice of proposed advisory circular. If you want to look at it this way, i want to give you a little bit of my personal opinion. I typically don’t do this in in my videos. I try to keep it as informational as possible, but um. I think some of these clarifications are welcome. They’Re in here i think, i’m glad to see that uh, the the mention about you know flying from the top of a building, uh i’m glad to see some night information. I think the lights are very important to have on your drone. I think the guidance to fly over people is also required, because this is something that can be pretty dangerous if it’s not done correctly. But i also think that this is going to upset quite a few people that are flying recreationally. That already are having a tough time with over regulation from the faa of their hobby i’m, not saying it’s a right or wrong feeling. It is the way that people feel the idea behind wanting people to fly safely is to make rules and guidelines that are as easy as possible.
This is not part 107 right. This is recreational flying recreational flying should remain simple. Trust is out. There. Trust takes about 10 or 15 minutes and because it’s simple, because because people can just read a few slides answer, the quiz know the basic eight things that you have to do. I don’t think we need to make this so complex that nobody’s gon na read the rules or nobody’s gon na want to follow the rules, adding five or six pages of cbo guidelines. I think, is a bit too much. The cbo’s have a choice. The cbo’s are going to have a choice to either go with everything that’s in this guideline. This is only recommendations from the fa. They’Re. Only saying you should do this. If you want to get approved, i don’t know that the fa is going to hold it against them if they don’t. But who knows, the last thing that i want to see is 44 809 plus cbo guidelines should never be the same as part 107. This is, this is not the the purpose of 44809 is never to be as complex and as regulated as part 107 and – and i may take some flag for this, but i believe that we need to keep these guidelines as simple as possible. Otherwise, we’re going to lose people, people are just going to say ain’t, going to happen i’m, not going to follow this i’m, not going to read through five or six pages.
Maybe this is irresponsible on my part, i’m, not sure, but i’m just i’m a little bit disappointed. Let’S! Put it this way so that’s it i’m going gon na shut up i’m gon na. Let you guys leave your comments. I’M sure you’ll have a lot of comments on this. Please please please submit your comments to the faa they’re looking for feedback, so let’s provide them feedback let’s, be polite, let’s, be to the point: let’s be factual and uh and tell them what you would like to see in here, and i know i’m going to work On my comments, i’m going to submit it and that’s all i have so fly safe. Send your comments like subscribe. Leave your rude remarks down in here and i’ll.