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Proposed new drone legislation/registration

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Guvnor22/07/2017 10:57:28
105 forum posts
Posted by Brian Cooper on 22/07/2017 10:07:31:

This will probably seem a tad controversial, but I really don't care:

Personally, I regard drones as the biggest threat to the continued existence of our cherished hobby. . Therefore I would like to see Drone operators (I won't call them pilots) coming under a similar scrutiny as people who apply for a firearms licence.

Anyone wanting one would have to undergo a background check and give convincing reasons for wanting one before being granted a licence to purchase one..... and the licence should be expensive.

Then, and only then, could someone buy one. . . After that -- and before any flights can be done -- the Drone operator would have to apply for a Provisional Flying Licence, and would have six months in which to pass practical tests with regards to their piloting ability and an awareness of the law. All of these flights should be fully documented and have a police-approved witness to confirm them. . Also, a drone should be kept in a locked cabinet and its Tx in a separate locked cabinet (just like firearms).

Any test failure would mean the licence being removed for ten years.

Anyone caught flying one without a licence should face a minimum of 10 years in jail.

B.C.

Really???! And what about the hundred thousand drones already out there? What about the drones home built? What about the drones bought from overseas? I'm glad you aren't in charge of this...

John Privett22/07/2017 10:59:40
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5684 forum posts
219 photos
Posted by Daithi O Buitigh on 22/07/2017 03:05:18:

The article was in the Independent and does appear to be using the usual 'scare tactics' of...

Please don't make the mistake of confusing the website bearing the "Independent" name with the now-defunct newspaper that once went under the same name.

The website is (in my opinion!) a scummy, tabloid-style, click-bait infested site. Check any claims they make to see if they can actually quote a source...

Edited By John Privett on 22/07/2017 11:00:41

trebor22/07/2017 11:00:48
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1549 forum posts
191 photos

There's plenty of Parasitic Loafers about laugh

ChrisB22/07/2017 11:08:41
1191 forum posts
34 photos

From what I have read it's very similar to the EASA proposals. Height limit of 400ft (doesn't specify if this can be amended by representations) and if in a club, no registration. Other than that it doesn't say a great deal.

It's high level at the moment, so will, no doubt be amended over time.

I would be keen to see heights for under, say 6lbs be limited to 1200ft at established model flying sites registered on the notams map. This would allow for gliding to continue as is.

Steve J22/07/2017 11:25:04
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636 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by John Privett on 22/07/2017 10:52:17:

Only 213? That is depressing.

Depressing, but not particularly surprising.

Steve

Capt Kremen22/07/2017 12:12:00
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205 forum posts
49 photos

213 not surprising at all.

The average 'Joe Bloggs', whether a hobby flier or not, rarely wades through government documents.

What hope for CAA or BMFA documents, copius and detailed as they may be and assuming they are aware to visit those sites in the first place.

How many model (and drone), fliers know of the free NATS (National Air Traffic) app for mobile phones & tablets called 'Drone Assist'?

Have you tried it? You may find it quite informative and useful for conventional/non-drone fixed wing & heli flying too.

Also, disappointed that the BMFA website & Facebook opening home pages do not have 'Stop Press' up-to-date information on today's news announcements.

Peter Christy22/07/2017 12:16:27
928 forum posts

I have to say that I have a lot of sympathy with Brian's views on this (see previous page). We thought CB was a problem back in the late 70s / early 80s, but that was nothing compared to this.

What I cannot comprehend is the difficulty the powers that be seem to have distinguishing between a drone and a model aircraft (as we understand the terms).

Surely, all they need to do is specify that any UAS (unmanned aerial system) capable of operating out of sight of the pilot must be registered?

No need for any technical specifications, its simple. If it can be operated out of sight (doesn't matter if it is or not), it must be registered.

That leaves traditional models in the clear. Simples!

--

Pete

David P Williams22/07/2017 12:17:27
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727 forum posts
270 photos

I have just read the Government document released today (yes I did comment on the proposals) and am disappointed that a) it uses the term 'drone' throughout and b) nowhere does it provide a precise definition of a 'drone'

KELL22/07/2017 12:33:55
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20 forum posts

Don't make the mistake thinking it's just rules for "drones" ...government officials are well known for cracking walnuts with sledgehammers. It's up to responsible model aircraft flyers to make it known that we are not part of this media over hyped problem

Steve J22/07/2017 12:34:24
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636 forum posts
27 photos

Drone was defined in the original consultation document as -

  1. A drone is an unmanned aircraft, normally flown by a pilot from a distance, using a remote control station that communicates instructions to the drone. Drones are also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Those using drones are referred to as drone users, operators or pilots.

But the DfT's use of the term is not consistent. Sometimes they follow this definition and sometimes they just seem to mean multirotor.

Steve

Gordon Tarling22/07/2017 12:42:38
186 forum posts
4 photos

Who were the other 212?

211 now - I responded. I have to admit that I'm quite disappointed to see that only 213 responded - perhaps head in the sand and think it won't apply to them? Wake up folks, this IS coming!

Bob Cotsford22/07/2017 12:47:28
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7195 forum posts
406 photos
Posted by John Privett on 22/07/2017 10:52:17:
Posted by Steve J on 22/07/2017 09:10:05:

The government response has indeed appeared -

**LINK**

213 people who said that they flew model aircraft responded to the consultation.

Steve

Only 213? That is depressing. We have about 36,000 BMFA members and less than 0.6% of them responded to the consultation. Where was everybody else? I know the consultation was mentioned on here a few times (eg. here, here, and here.) Should we have made it more prominent? I hope I'm not the only person from here to have responded! Who were the other 212?

It goes beyond depressing, only you, Gordon, me and 210 others could be bothered to enter a response. I wonder how many bothered to petition their MP? Whatever happens, it's too late to start whinging now.

 

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 22/07/2017 12:48:15

ChrisB22/07/2017 12:47:38
1191 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by Steve J on 22/07/2017 12:34:24:

Drone was defined in the original consultation document as -

  1. A drone is an unmanned aircraft, normally flown by a pilot from a distance, using a remote control station that communicates instructions to the drone. Drones are also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Those using drones are referred to as drone users, operators or pilots.

But the DfT's use of the term is not consistent. Sometimes they follow this definition and sometimes they just seem to mean multirotor.

Steve

Yes, EASA use equally inconsistent terminology. I have raised several questions with them about this. The UK consultation has an equal number of inconsistencies.

Cuban822/07/2017 12:48:48
1943 forum posts
3 photos

I say again.............where are all these drones that are causing all the trouble? Just taken a look out of the window and........ no, not one in sight. Not seen one in the park, or the fields..........ok a bloke had one flying it illegally beyond LOS on the beach last year - never saw him again.

Idiots at airports and making a nuisance of themselves elsewhere are already covered in UK air law. I also sympathise with Brian Cooper, we've got mixed up in a manure storm of issues that TBH, we should have kept at arms length, others will disagree and that's fine.

My models are not drones or UAVs they are R/C model aircraft flown for recreation and I wish that we would fight tooth and nail to distinguish the difference. If it's always flown line of sight and requires constant direct visual pilot input via radio control to fly it or prevent it flying away or crashing, then I reckon it must be a model aeroplane/heli/toy quad/totally manual (dumb) MR. Fly your model FPV - great, just follow the existing regs.

If it can fly itself straight out of the box under it's own active control or GPS or whatever (or have that option) while its operator eats a sandwich, reads the paper or goes for a 'jimmy' it's a drone. Is it not that simple? What best describes what you fly and what would you call it?

 

Edited By Cuban8 on 22/07/2017 12:56:04

Daithi O Buitigh22/07/2017 12:48:57
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1289 forum posts
44 photos

One possible reason for a very poor response is that most of us simply didn't know about it until well after the consultation period ended, by which time it was too late to say or do anything

Frank Skilbeck22/07/2017 13:13:47
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3989 forum posts
96 photos

There was a guy commenting on the papers on this mornings BBC Breakfast (an external reviewer) when the BBC presenter asked him what he thought of the story, he was aghast that you could just go and buy and fly one of these things without any form of licensing, that is what we are up against.

If the registration is simple (and cheap) and keeps the authorities off out backs (as any new transgressions will obviously be unlicensed fliers wink) then it hopefully will allow us to carry on.

But before we go to far in our indignation of joe public, bear in mind I've seen calls on modelling forums for cyclists to licensed, it's a human trait that if we perceive something as a problem we will want that the authorities to do something about it.

Edited By Frank Skilbeck on 22/07/2017 13:14:30

John Emms 122/07/2017 13:18:32
228 forum posts

Thanks, and I appreciate that.

I did scan the thread created before the press release of this morning. The thread includes much conjecture, including the idea that only drones over 2kg, and radio over 4 channels would be affected. I think that, in Government eyes, all remotely controlled (or not controlled) flying artefacts over 250g will be considered "drones" even if we collectedly see the real distinction.

I put specific questions forward that directly relate to the press release of this morning, and if there is no interest, that is fine.

Regards,

John

Edited By David Ashby - RCME on 22/07/2017 13:37:51

Steve J22/07/2017 13:50:38
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636 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 22/07/2017 12:48:48:

where are all these drones that are causing all the trouble?

This is not been driven by "drones causing trouble". It is being driven by a desire to safely integrate commercial UAS activity (both VLOS and BVLOS) into European airspace. Registration is seen as a building block for the coming unmanned traffic management system (aka U-Space).

See the Riga Declaration, the Warsaw Declaration and EASA NPA 2017-05.

Steve

Ikura22/07/2017 14:11:04
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107 forum posts

Perhaps the lack of response on the petition is that the general population have long ago discovered that discussing anything with the government is a complete waste of time because the politicians have their own agenda and it doen't matter a hoot what anyone says, they will do what ever they want regardless.

This is more about tax than anything else. If they can regulate it they can tax it, and they will tax it via license fees etc, etc. That is why people just give up on things like this proposed legislation. Does anyone honestly think they will take notice of us?

Personally I am not concerned what legislation they bring in because they are patently useless at policing anything.

I heard somewhere that it is illegal to enter this country without a passport and visa but that law doesn't work very well. Neither does the law forbidding the use of a mobile phone while driving. The laws might be there but they are almost impossible to enforce. Yes they catch the odd person but not that many compared to those who get away with it.

How on earth are they going to prevent anyone throwing a glider or a plank off a hillside or cliff and enjoying themselves for a couple of hours? Flying a Fun Cub on a bit of waste ground? They won't and they can't.

This is media driven and most of it is sensationalist drivel. Nearly everyone I know will continue flying regardless.

Peter Christy22/07/2017 14:27:50
928 forum posts
Posted by Cuban8 on 22/07/2017 12:48:48:

I say again.............where are all these drones that are causing all the trouble? Just taken a look out of the window and........ no, not one in sight. Not seen one in the park, or the fields..........ok a bloke had one flying it illegally beyond LOS on the beach last year - never saw him again.

Well, I had one hovering so low over my house about a week ago that I heard it indoors, over the TV! And my hearing is nowhere near as good as it used to be! He then flew it up - over several other people's houses - and followed a steam train along the nearby viaduct!

I *think* I know where it is coming from, and if I catch it again, I shall have words! I think it is the same idiot that delights in sending spectacular videos to the local paper, over-flying a pier full of holidaymakers, as well as nearby beaches and coastal haunts.

I'm getting black looks from my neighbours, because they think its *me*! (They are aware of my hobby)

I fully accept that a lot of the reports of drones following airliners on their approach are nonsense, as are those reporting them at over 10,000 feet. But the ones that annoy Joe Public the most are the ones overflying their property in quiet residential areas. And it annoys *me* because I'm suspected of being the pilot!

Grrrr!

--

Pete

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