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Proposed new drone legislation/registration

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Martin McIntosh22/07/2017 19:37:15
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2419 forum posts
935 photos

On a `lighter` note, my Lidl XL glider is 263gm without a battery. I wonder if I shall need to undergo a safety awareness course before I fly it again? Designed for 3 + year olds.

Martin Whybrow22/07/2017 19:55:52
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884 forum posts
33 photos

One thing that is mentioned repeatedly in the documents is how to reduce the risk from drones, yet I haven't seen any evidence of a risk assessment; anyone who's involved in engineering, construction, H&S, etc. knows that the first thing you do when looking at risks is to carry out a hazard analysis follwed by a risk assessment, and only then start to create a risk mitigation plan

John Bisset22/07/2017 19:56:43
79 forum posts

Tom Sharp2 has raised a darn good point. LoS could be a variable feast. Personally, since I am no spring chicken , I'd be happy to define it within my effective vision limits, which would be closer than the runway's length at one field I fly from!

Technically, LoS could be a very long way at the top of a hill slope, a lot less on a typical flying field. At my home model field, LoS in one direction is about 150 metres or less, because of trees.

I suspect whatever the authorities come up with will be unworkable since too many small drones have been sold uncontrolled already.

i12fly22/07/2017 20:15:53
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489 forum posts
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Despite trying to keep abreast of the 'drone' draft proposals I seem to have missed something here, the government have been operating under my radar. I saw this situation as being controlled by EASA and therefore have until 15 September to make comments. Now the government have jumped the gun and are introducing legislation of its own -which could well be different to that which the EASA will subsequently bring in as a European Regulation which -we will adopt with or without brexit. So we'll have to abide by 2 sets of laws which will probably conflict in some areas. Or have I missed something.

I do not believe for a moment that drone and model aircraft cannot be individually defined. It may take a year for a highly paid team producing a 100+ page report but everything can be defined by a team of lawyers and politicians -even if they get it wrong.

As EASA are working on it why is our government interfering, haven't they got more important things to do? It smells of commercial lobbying. I suppose that as UK airspace is said to be saturated at times, there is only one way to grab more of it in control and it isn't upwards so it has to be downwards, down to 400ft or below.

John Bisset22/07/2017 20:26:34
79 forum posts

i12fly - I think you are right, it is a mixture of commercial lobbying and political 'grandstanding'. Of course EASA has the dreaded Europe word in it so possibly this is intended to allow a certain portion of the population to do their knee jerk bit...

I see they are talking of mandatory geo-fencing. That will be interesting if they include us radio model types. Do we all need to get GPS fitted to allow this?!

ChrisB22/07/2017 20:48:13
1191 forum posts
34 photos

I agree the publication of this response by DFT has been done to satisfy BALPA, the media and the anti brexit brigade.

Interestingly the EASA draft regs give implementation timeframes, exclude model aeroplanes from geofencing and if in a club, and with the agreement of the national aviation body, variable height restrictions, possibly higher than 400ft. The DFT regs don't, they say they will continue to work on the detail. They also say that geofencing will be considered in due course, following further work.

I don't see any reason why there would be two sets of regs. I suspect the DFT will sit on the proposals until EASA have formalised theirs. Then one set will be adopted.

Brexit will not affect EASA, so this is a way of the government heading off the brexit issue from a political perspective.

Dane Crosby22/07/2017 21:02:28
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220 forum posts
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Hi all, I am one who has not contacted my MP. He would not have any understanding of my hobby that I have been involved in since 1961.

I was hoping that the BMFA, of which I am a member would be very actively involved at the very top to explain our operation and explain the difference between a completely autonomous machine and one hands on, LOS. The promotion of, and protection of my hobby by the BMFA is my prime reason for being a member. If I am being naive then explain the reason to me and I'll try to find another organisation who will be proactive.

Until we and the BMFA can come up with a cast iron distinction between the types then we cannot expect the ill-educated politicians and their advisers to separate the various types we operate.

I am a retired, fast jet, slow jet, multi turboprop and helicopter pilot having instructed on jets and helicopters.

I was amused by the BBC quote saying that helicopters were worried about "drones" breaking the windscreen. I would have been much more worried about a chunky drone clouting my main, or worse, tail rotor !

Now I will se what I can do to educate my MP but don't hold your collective breath.

Sam Longley22/07/2017 21:28:48
44 forum posts

The way to do it over a long period of time is for transmitters to have the same requirement as EU VHF sets. When ,say, a Dutch( Or french, Belgian etc) user transmits on his/her VHF it emits a short "hiss" as the transmit button is released. This identifies the radio & user. The UK does not comply with this but  it is called ATIS ( Automatic transmission Identification System) & is part of the Rainwat agreement

So if the govt insisted that all transmitters had to issue a code every so many seconds that identified the user or its position & all transmitters were sold under license then we could fly to out hearts content without any worries. Anyone operating in a banned area or operating in an illegal manner could be traced regardless of what we were flying

It is not beyond the capability of manufacturers to add this to their sets if they wanted to or were forced to before they could sell them in a certain country ( Inc those sold via internet) It would also help if the USA insisted on it as well

The big problem would be how to get rid of all the existing transmitters in current circulation. But that is the same as getting all the existing drones in existence recorded as well

Edited By Sam Longley on 22/07/2017 21:33:46

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/07/2017 21:47:28
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15187 forum posts
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In CAP722 CAA effectively suggest that LOS is upto 500m - but that is a guideline and needs local circumstances to be taken into account and interpretation

BEB

PatMc22/07/2017 22:17:42
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3675 forum posts
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It's only FPV flying that needs to have a distance specified to define LOS.

Peter Christy22/07/2017 22:55:06
928 forum posts

The problem with which the authorities seem to have some difficulty (as well as many modellers) is defining the difference between a "drone" and a "model aircraft" (as we understand the terms).

The difference is quite simple. If it can ONLY be flown successfully when the pilot can see it (LOS), then it is a model aircraft. If it CAN be flown whilst out of sight of the pilot, be that autonomously or FPV, then it is a "drone".

Note I say say "CAN" be flown - that means that even if it is being flown within LOS, it still qualifies as a "drone" if it is capable of being flown whilst out of sight.

Once you have that definition, the rest becomes simple to legislate. Actually enforcing any regulations is another matter entirely, and on the evidence so far, pretty much impossible!

As so often, the law abiding will face restrictions that will be ignored by the "villains".

I was brought up to believe that a law that was unenforceable was a bad law, as it brought good law into disrepute. The proposals that I have read strike me as being completely unenforceable, and hence bad law.

--

Pete

Cuban822/07/2017 23:34:55
1943 forum posts
3 photos
And as far as those of us flying radio controlled model aircraft for fun, totally unnecessary.
Martin Harris22/07/2017 23:37:09
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7548 forum posts
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Posted by PatMc on 22/07/2017 22:17:42:

It's only FPV flying that needs to have a distance specified to define LOS.

I suspect the most eagle eyed of us would have difficulty flying a 251g drone at 500m! If this were applied it would be another example of "one size fits all" legislation that is badly thought out. Happily (and hopefully) the CAA have a good record of drafting and applying the ANO sensibly and reasonably so I'm fairly confident that they will work to produce a decent compromise.

I do like Pete's definition - seems clear and workable to me...

i12fly22/07/2017 23:41:31
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489 forum posts
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Well Pete there are many bad laws as you describe that come from Europe. I work in an industry that encompasses gas and wood burning, many of the facets involved are unenforceable -until something goes wrong and then they go to town on you. The difference with us brits is that if there is a rule or law then we take it seriously -we have to, its the law. Our brethren in Europe in my experience over the last 30+ years working with Standards Regulations and Directives is that when something new comes out to use it as a guide and don't implement things they don't like. That's my experience of working closely with German, Dutch, French and Italian companies. We cannot ignore the law with flying -if we had an accident -low risk but they happen, then we would not be covered by our insurance. We're covered for negligence but only for lawful activity, so the men in curly wigs could/would strip us of everything we own.

At the moment our insurance covers us for negligence, pilot error, inadequate pre-flight checks etc but doesn't cover us for things outside our control (act of God?) -because we have no responsibility for that and no case to answer. My impression of the government proposal is that we as pilots will be responsible for everything. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but it will surely bump up the premium.

It will be interesting to know how BMFA David Phipps sees this, I'm certain he's doing his best but is only one voice in a large group of powerful stakeholders with other agendas.

i12fly22/07/2017 23:50:31
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489 forum posts
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Forget re-defining a model aircraft from a drone, EASA and our government have decided they are the same, the best we can hope for with fixed wing is relaxation of geofencing for fixed wing as it cannot work.

Or can it?

Similarly another future proposal to be investigated -electronically identifying a flying model? a transponder? what sort of weight would that be?

PatMc22/07/2017 23:53:44
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3675 forum posts
475 photos
Posted by Martin Harris on 22/07/2017 23:37:09:
Posted by PatMc on 22/07/2017 22:17:42:

It's only FPV flying that needs to have a distance specified to define LOS.

I suspect the most eagle eyed of us would have difficulty flying a 251g drone at 500m! If this were applied it would be another example of "one size fits all" legislation that is badly thought out. Happily (and hopefully) the CAA have a good record of drafting and applying the ANO sensibly and reasonably so I'm fairly confident that they will work to produce a decent compromise.

I do like Pete's definition - seems clear and workable to me...

I didn't say it was possible to specify a LOS distance merely implying that for non FPV flying it isn't necessary.

I too like Peter's definition, an alternative & possibly simpler definition might be an unmanned aircraft that is equiped to return or record images whilst in flight.

Martin Harris23/07/2017 00:08:13
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7548 forum posts
188 photos

I did appreciate the subtlety of your observation, Pat. It's the idea of specifying a single distance rule that I was having a go at! Before someone points it out, I do understand that the present 500m distance is only a guideline...

Rich too23/07/2017 06:45:07
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2608 forum posts
1011 photos

We all know what drones are, anything capable of flying outside the line of sight, and that would require communication between the model and the ground controller as defined in Wikipedia. Personally I don't get why it is so difficult to differentiate. thinking

John Bisset23/07/2017 18:20:48
79 forum posts
Posted by i12fly on 22/07/2017 23:50:31:

Similarly another future proposal to be investigated -electronically identifying a flying model? a transponder? what sort of weight would that be?

Transponders are enough of a headache for light aircraft and sailplanes.

The first difficulty is the power consumption, which can be large if the transponder is being interrogated frequently. The second difficulty is swamping of the system. If every light aircraft and sailplane had to be transponder equipped it could be counter productive. It was demonstrated on a short trial that in an area like the Home Counties, if every light aircraft and sailplane switched on a transponder, the system would crash - it would be overwhelmed. ATC would not like it. So I suspect having R/C models and drones use transponders as well might not be popular.

I like the transmitter ident notion, though I don't like the thought of all the costs involved.

Anyway - this is a red herring story, designed to make it look as though government is 'doing something' when in fact they have all swanned off on holiday.

Peter Christy23/07/2017 18:31:09
928 forum posts
Posted by John Bisset on 23/07/2017 18:20:48:Anyway - this is a red herring story, designed to make it look as though government is 'doing something' when in fact they have all swanned off on holiday.

Quite right! Although some of the suggestions that have emerged here might be of interest to those negotiating on our behalf.....

--

Pete

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