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Proposed new drone legislation/registration

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ted hughes24/07/2017 10:59:03
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My personal view is that light foamies (park fliers, like the WW2 foamies) should be exempt, heavy models (over a kilogram, say) should be registered.

This simplifies things.

The Wright Stuff24/07/2017 11:12:28
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 24/07/2017 10:57:37:

Oh dear - Luddism is clearly alive and well in some corners of the UK aeromodelling scene!

It seems to me that as a hobby we are extraordinarily good at excluding people and new ideas. I can remember;

"Electric power is not 'real' aeromodelling"

"ARTF's are not 'real' aeromodelling"

PS Although promoted with FPV uses, unlike many having actually used the Eagletree Vector, I can tell you it has many uses beyond FPV. Most flights I've had with it are not FPV flights.

I agree with, and admire your optimism, BEB. I don't think either electric power or ARTF was made mandatory: it was 'opt-in', so to speak. But I'm struggling to think of a better analogy.

To me, it's about choice. People want to be able to choose to adopt new technology, but want the choice of being able to continue as they were. I don't think this is excluding aspects of the hobby, it's including the choice to maintain the status-quo!

Rich too24/07/2017 11:30:37
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 24/07/2017 10:57:37:

Oh dear - Luddism is clearly alive and well in some corners of the UK aeromodelling scene!

It seems to me that as a hobby we are extraordinarily good at excluding people and new ideas. I can remember;

"Electric power is not 'real' aeromodelling"

"ARTF's are not 'real' aeromodelling"

Etc., etc.,.....

For a technology based hobby it looks like some folks are surprisingly and frighteningly anti new ideas!

It's very sad in my my view that we can't come at things from the "how could we build this in and grow" angle, rather than the "how can we exclude this" approach that seems to be the default reaction of so many.

No doubt you will all shout at me now - true to form - pass the pitch fork and flaming torch! smile

BEB

PS Although promoted with FPV uses, unlike many having actually used the Eagletree Vector, I can tell you it has many uses beyond FPV. Most flights I've had with it are not FPV flights.

for your information I am not a technophobe at all. I just don't see why I should be legislated for something I have no interest in. If in future, I decide to get interested in drones, then fine, I can register - what's your problem with that?

Edited By Rich2 on 24/07/2017 11:36:59

Rich too24/07/2017 11:31:08
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Posted by The Wright Stuff on 24/07/2017 11:12:28:
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 24/07/2017 10:57:37:

Oh dear - Luddism is clearly alive and well in some corners of the UK aeromodelling scene!

It seems to me that as a hobby we are extraordinarily good at excluding people and new ideas. I can remember;

"Electric power is not 'real' aeromodelling"

"ARTF's are not 'real' aeromodelling"

PS Although promoted with FPV uses, unlike many having actually used the Eagletree Vector, I can tell you it has many uses beyond FPV. Most flights I've had with it are not FPV flights.

I agree with, and admire your optimism, BEB. I don't think either electric power or ARTF was made mandatory: it was 'opt-in', so to speak. But I'm struggling to think of a better analogy.

To me, it's about choice. People want to be able to choose to adopt new technology, but want the choice of being able to continue as they were. I don't think this is excluding aspects of the hobby, it's including the choice to maintain the status-quo!

yes

Martin Harris24/07/2017 11:33:42
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 24/07/2017 10:57:37:

Oh dear - Luddism is clearly alive and well in some corners of the UK aeromodelling scene!

It seems to me that as a hobby we are extraordinarily good at excluding people and new ideas. I can remember;

"Electric power is not 'real' aeromodelling"

"ARTF's are not 'real' aeromodelling"

Etc., etc.,.....

For a technology based hobby it looks like some folks are surprisingly and frighteningly anti new ideas!

It's very sad in my my view that we can't come at things from the "how could we build this in and grow" angle, rather than the "how can we exclude this" approach that seems to be the default reaction of so many.

No doubt you will all shout at me now - true to form - pass the pitch fork and flaming torch! smile

BEB

PS Although promoted with FPV uses, unlike many having actually used the Eagletree Vector, I can tell you it has many uses beyond FPV. Most flights I've had with it are not FPV flights.

No need to shout at you BEB and we've usually been in accord on the majority of issues but there are many of us who don't see multicopters as being strongly related to our hobby of aeromodelling. By its very title, this suggests a relationship between full sized aerial vehicles and models depicting them. This can be as tenuous as simply having a lifting plane and control surfaces but there is still a strong relationship. Drones (and I make no apology for using the term) are a spin off of technologies developed for aerospace and other uses but are not models of anything - they are the primary subject.

Yes, they may use some of our model components and technologies but I suspect the majority of aeromodellers see them as a distant relation - some of us may toy with them but very few go on to make them a major part of their flying hobby. With the exception of drone racing, no aspect of drone operation other than initial set-up and development seems particularly suited to a fixed rural location typical of a model club operation.

This whole subject has come about because of easy access to the new technologies whip make drone operation accessible to anyone with a few Pounds to spare - no commitment to our hobby is required and drones are easily purchased by the curious, stupid or those with evil intent. I believe it is in our collective interests to distance ourselves from the classification and work to define the difference. We can continue to accommodate those aeromodellers who wish to investigate new technologies by providing a safe operating environment in a similar way as Wembley Stadium puts on pop concerts and motor sports events while retaining its identity as a football stadium for its core purpose.

In short, drones should not be seen as model aircraft - more as a separate but complementary hobby.

john stones 124/07/2017 11:39:35
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You can't define it amongst yourselves, every stance has holes in it that can be picked apart, cameras have been fitted to models long before all this kicked off, trying to distance yourselves from other contraptions that fly has no future, you may as well grumble about the improvements in technology, especially electric flight "proper models have engines in) ? Motors on a stick..that your avatar Brian ? I fly multis as well as f/w, flown gliders, helis, jets, who are others to define what's flying to me ? Is some one flying a Junior 60 with stabilising/safe gear onboard flying ?

Who are we to dictate to others what they can do in the sky ? ah but we have an enviable safety record wink Yep and so do the vast majority of M/R flyers and plenty of em are "proper modellers" surprise and who's gonna police/oversee all the definitions that we/you come up with and verify them ?

Put the case for fair treatment based on our long and good record, anything else is pointless.

John...Proper modeller.

Edited By john stones 1 on 24/07/2017 11:45:33

The Wright Stuff24/07/2017 11:41:14
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Posted by Martin Harris on 24/07/2017 11:33:42:

This whole subject has come about because of easy access to the new technologies whip make drone operation accessible to anyone with a few Pounds to spare - no commitment to our hobby is required and drones are easily purchased by the curious, stupid or those with evil intent. I believe it is in our collective interests to distance ourselves from the classification and work to define the difference. We can continue to accommodate those aeromodellers who wish to investigate new technologies by providing a safe operating environment in a similar way as Wembley Stadium puts on pop concerts and motor sports events while retaining its identity as a football stadium for its core purpose.

In short, drones should not be seen as model aircraft - more as a separate but complementary hobby.

This works until someone makes a 50% scale model of a full-size delivery drone, and wants to fly it recreationally.

The more I think about it, the distinction is less and less about the physical hardware, and more and more about the purpose of the flight.

Rich too24/07/2017 11:46:29
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I don't see why John, if you use certain technology you must register, if you do not, you don't dont know and yes, if you use an "old" model with technology that's covered by the laws, you register.

This all began by new technology, why can it not be defined by it?

We'll never reach agreement on it wink

 

Edited By Rich2 on 24/07/2017 11:49:54

Steve J24/07/2017 11:50:41
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Posted by Rich2 on 24/07/2017 06:52:34:

Modellers will know the answer to the basic question, do you own/operate a drone? I most definitely do not.

Using the definition in the DfT consultation, you do.

Anyway, the draft regulation in NPA 2017-05 doesn't use the term "drone". It uses the term unmanned aircraft and you are going to struggle to argue that you don't fly unmanned aircraft.

Posted by john stones 1 on 24/07/2017 11:39:35:

Put the case for fair treatment based on our long and good record, anything else is pointless.

Correct. We need to make sure that the government give the BMFA, LMA & SAA a decent operational authorisation under article 14 of the draft regulation.

Steve

Rich too24/07/2017 11:58:11
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that's because they haven't come up with a definition for drones - and actually, that's the whole point of this part of the discussion!

Edited By Rich2 on 24/07/2017 12:05:14

Peter Christy24/07/2017 12:31:34
845 forum posts
Posted by Rich2 on 24/07/2017 11:58:11:

that's because they haven't come up with a definition for drones - and actually, that's the whole point of this part of the discussion!

Edited By Rich2 on 24/07/2017 12:05:14

Exactly so! And surely the definition must be not its physical layout, but its capabilities.

BEB: I am not disagreeing with you here, but I'm sure that you recognise that there must be some measure of control over any UAS. In the case of the models we all know and love, this is to a large extent built in, as they need a certain level of skill and intelligence to operate successfully.

With "drones", as we repeatedly hear (not least in another thread on here), that is not necessarily the case.

We need to find a definition that everyone can agree on, that minimises the inconvenience to the majority, whilst still allowing the minority to pursue their hobby - even if subject to certain restrictions.

I stand by my suggestion that the capability to operate out of sight of the pilot is as simple and clear definition as you will get. (Perhaps I ought to add human pilot, to avoid any advance in artificial intelligence!)

--

Pete

ChrisB24/07/2017 12:38:56
1152 forum posts
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Below is a hypothetical conversation that will take place in the future.

Imagine the scene at Middle Wallop, Barkston Heath or Cocklebarrow Farm.

Hi there Jack, that's a nice model, what is it?

Jack: Its a lesser spotted wotybird, designed by me and built from balsa, tissue and dope and powered by an old OS 15fs open rocker using castor straight fuel.

That's very nice Jack, what radio do you use?

Jack: I've got my trusted Fleet Radio that I've had since I built the model in 1975, and its only on its second set of NICADS...Excuse me for a minute while I light my pipe....

Very nice Jack, how much does the model way?

Jack: Well, its just under 4lbs.

Ooh, that's lovely Jack, how did you find the drone registration process?

Jack: Drone registration....Its not a drone, its a vintage style model aeroplane, I haven't registered any of my models which are all similar to this because they are not these drone contraptions, i'm not into that.

What Jack, you've not registered them? But its a UAV/UAS, Drone.

Jack: A what..UAV, what does that mean?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/System..aka Drone.

Jack: No its not, its a model aeroplane. I don't fly drones. My grandson got one for his birthday and they are shaped like a X and have a camera on them. No no, I fly model Aeroplanes, so I haven't registered. Anyway, how would I register it?

You'd go online Jack and register the model if it weighs more than 250g.

Jack: Online? Is that with a Computer?? Oh no, i've managed to survive 75 years without a computer, I don't own one, nor a mobile telephone.

End

There are many many aeromodellers who fit into the above category, I know several. They fly small IC powered Ben Buckle models only on a calm summers day and don't CHOOSE to do anything more advanced, they don't CHOOSE to fly using an Ipad/Phone, they are happy pottering around in the sky as and when the weather allows.

The Wright Stuff24/07/2017 12:49:25
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<SPOILER ALERT>

In the next episode, we find out what happens when Jack tries to pay his fine using his new fangled cheque book!

Bob Cotsford24/07/2017 12:55:05
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so..... what kind of UAV is a freeflight Black Magic? It's unmanned, it's definitely aerial and a vehicle, but no fpv, no stabilisation or guidance circuitry. Just wings and an engine weighing over the 250gm.

Even without all the high tech gubbins it's still a risk to other aviators, especially if it hooks a thermal.

The point? Anything over 250gm that flies without a man on board guiding it will come under any new regulations, there is no way that I can see that it can be avoided. "This toy aerodyne is different to that one" will not cut it, it's not a legally definable argument.

I'm out of here until we hear something definite from our Lords and Masters devil

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 24/07/2017 12:55:34

Martin Harris24/07/2017 13:11:57
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While you could pick pieces of the edges of Pete's definition, it's the nearest one I've seen to a simple and workable definition to differentiate between what we understand to be bona fide model aircraft and drones. I think we should get behind it and commend it to our representatives as the basis of a proposition to assist in achieving the published intent of EASA not to unduly affect our established hobby and sport.

The Wright Stuff24/07/2017 13:20:36
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Posted by Martin Harris on 24/07/2017 13:11:57:

While you could pick pieces of the edges of Pete's definition, it's the nearest one I've seen to a simple and workable definition to differentiate between what we understand to be bona fide model aircraft and drones. I think we should get behind it and commend it to our representatives as the basis of a proposition to assist in achieving the published intent of EASA not to unduly affect our established hobby and sport.

I agree.

Who knows, once the legislation is in place, manufacturers will hopefully respond by considering the functionality in their flight-assistance products, and enabling them to fall within the exemption category as far as possible.

Martin Harris24/07/2017 13:37:00
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To get back to BEB's points, I see no reason why we can't embrace new technology without disturbing existing custom and practice. If we feel the need to semi-automate our flying machines, there's no reason why we couldn't then comply with new legislation for those particular models.

But there again, is this not just as much about being an exercise to compartentalise our activities to enable commercialisation of the lower airspace and sell it to the general public as a responsible safety inituative?

Mark a24/07/2017 14:10:18
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I was wondering if we end having to register our models there will undoubtedly be a cost involved which could be per model which could be expensive which could in turn drive people away from the hobby which would be a real shame.New technology is fine for those who want to use it but I wouldn't want a model aircraft to fly itself there is no fun in that. I'm all for safety our club fly's from a grass strip used by full size stuff with no issues just a big portion of common sense. A blanket legislation would in my view do our hobby no good at all.

Rich too24/07/2017 14:16:49
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Posted by Bob Cotsford on 24/07/2017 12:55:05:

so..... what kind of UAV is a freeflight Black Magic? It's unmanned, it's definitely aerial and a vehicle, but no fpv, no stabilisation or guidance circuitry. Just wings and an engine weighing over the 250gm.

Even without all the high tech gubbins it's still a risk to other aviators, especially if it hooks a thermal.

The point? Anything over 250gm that flies without a man on board guiding it will come under any new regulations, there is no way that I can see that it can be avoided. "This toy aerodyne is different to that one" will not cut it, it's not a legally definable argument.

I'm out of here until we hear something definite from our Lords and Masters devil

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 24/07/2017 12:55:34

How did we arrive at what is known as a drone? Forget the legalities (and people that know nothing about our hobby), but take a step backwards and tell me when did drones arrive? What was it that determined all of a sudden - "that's a drone"? I don't know about you but I do not own a drone by any reasonable stretch of the definition - I only own traditional fixed wing model aircraft. If the legislation stated that if I stick a camera on a plane it becomes classed as a drone under legislation then I accept that - and I wont use a camera.

So why is it so difficult to define? Just because the draft guidance uses the term "unmanned" doesn't make that the definition.

ChrisB24/07/2017 14:36:33
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Mark a, there has been discussion of a registration per person rather than per aircraft, or a fee lasting for 3 or 5 years rather that annual. There has also been suggestion of using club data for registration rather than a second set of registration data..possibly free. It's all a bit unknown at present. Nonetheless, if its a charge per aircraft then it could prove costly...30aircraft and counting.

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