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The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread

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Martin_K05/12/2019 15:45:57
120 forum posts
Posted by Cuban8 on 05/12/2019 14:06:37:

.... I and virtually all the BMFA members are grateful for what's been done on our behalf to deflect the worst of what could have been an immediate sessation in our activities and make the administering of all the new regs as easy as possible ....

An immediate cessation in our activities?

The objective of the EASA proposals, as adopted by UK government, is to encourage 'drone' use. They reduce the restrictions on some operations, e.g. commercial use via the Open Category, low speed mode, C2 UAS.

I have been careful when voicing my concerns to reference privately built models, my own interest and a category which will be changed unless we get exemptions.

It will be interesting to see what the likes of Horizon Hobby, Multiplex, and HobbyKing do with regards to ARTF fixed wing models, once the FAA and EASA finalise their new rules.

John Bisset05/12/2019 16:15:39
203 forum posts

I believe Chris Berry's recent posts have it fairly well right.

The aspiration of 'authority' to have on board identification and real time tracking of everything airborne is clear. It is not, however practical yet, not for some time to come. Theory is one thing, practice another.

I have two separate conspicuity/anti-collision systems in one aircraft of mine; it still frequently fails to be 'seen' in flight by remote stations even at medium altitudes. Earlier this week while flying I was struck by the number of calls for people to re-squawk because ATC was not picking up the transponders.

For close range collision avoidance the systems work well enough overall, as an addition to and back up for see-and-be-seen, which is what they are for. They are still expensive, power hungry and problematic at a distance except when flying high, say 10,000ft and above. At medium or low level, forget any distant monitoring except in very intensely monitored and geographically benign environments. This will change, but slowly. The degradation of signal at low altitude will continue to be an effective limiter.

Personally as a pilot routinely flying in and around the levels likely to be mostly used by drones, I'd be unhappy at the idea of everything transmitting its position, or trying to. That causes distraction, confusion and chaos, working against safety. For light aircraft operations, having radio control aircraft giving out position data will just confuse - we are not routinely flying below 500ft except around airfields or when on special tasks. We need the BMFA making this point clearly on our behalf - forget position info from R/C aircraft! Expensive, short range, useless and confusing for real world traffic.

For drones I only want info from the higher flying ones. Even between 500 to 1000ft the range available will be low, so its really collision avoidance stuff, not real tracking. Once a good, say ADS-B equivalent, set up exists at low cost and with high reliability, maybe worthwhile anti-colision will become feasible. Meantime, we keep our eyes open - and incidentally only believe a small proportion of the airliner's drone airmiss 'reports'.

Steve J05/12/2019 16:21:29
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1695 forum posts
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Posted by Martin_K on 05/12/2019 15:45:57:

It will be interesting to see what the likes of Horizon Hobby, Multiplex, and HobbyKing do with regards to ARTF fixed wing models, once the FAA and EASA finalise their new rules.

As I read it, ARTF's will come under privately built. RTF's and BNF's will get the C0-C4 codes. I did look to see if DJI had claimed C0 for the Mavic Mini, but they haven't.

Steve J05/12/2019 16:27:46
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Slide from the recent FAA drone advisory committee meeting -

faa dac 43.jpg

Report on the DJI trial of the draft ASTM standard in Canada recently.

There have been other trials of the draft ASTM standard in Switzerland and the US.

MattyB05/12/2019 16:48:35
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1986 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by John Bisset on 05/12/2019 16:15:39:

I believe Chris Berry's recent posts have it fairly well right.

The aspiration of 'authority' to have on board identification and real time tracking of everything airborne is clear. It is not, however practical yet, not for some time to come. Theory is one thing, practice another.

I have two separate conspicuity/anti-collision systems in one aircraft of mine; it still frequently fails to be 'seen' in flight by remote stations even at medium altitudes. Earlier this week while flying I was struck by the number of calls for people to re-squawk because ATC was not picking up the transponders.

For close range collision avoidance the systems work well enough overall, as an addition to and back up for see-and-be-seen, which is what they are for. They are still expensive, power hungry and problematic at a distance except when flying high, say 10,000ft and above. At medium or low level, forget any distant monitoring except in very intensely monitored and geographically benign environments. This will change, but slowly. The degradation of signal at low altitude will continue to be an effective limiter.

Personally as a pilot routinely flying in and around the levels likely to be mostly used by drones, I'd be unhappy at the idea of everything transmitting its position, or trying to. That causes distraction, confusion and chaos, working against safety. For light aircraft operations, having radio control aircraft giving out position data will just confuse - we are not routinely flying below 500ft except around airfields or when on special tasks. We need the BMFA making this point clearly on our behalf - forget position info from R/C aircraft! Expensive, short range, useless and confusing for real world traffic.

For drones I only want info from the higher flying ones. Even between 500 to 1000ft the range available will be low, so its really collision avoidance stuff, not real tracking. Once a good, say ADS-B equivalent, set up exists at low cost and with high reliability, maybe worthwhile anti-colision will become feasible. Meantime, we keep our eyes open - and incidentally only believe a small proportion of the airliner's drone airmiss 'reports'.

Great post. I completely agree, but my concern is that the National Associations might be given an equally unappealing option if offered an exemption to the conspicuity kit. I suspect operating at "known" model flying sites is what they will suggest, but if the cost/complexity of maintaining that status is significant it will cause issues, especially for the public sites used by slope and thermal soarers where there is often not a Club involved. Hopefully some solution can be found, but I suspect those of us operating in those locaton will hace to carry conspicuity equipment to stay legal.

Steve J05/12/2019 17:01:29
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1695 forum posts
50 photos

@MattyB, That is where the French are heading. Fly at a registered site or be electronically conspicuous.

Cuban805/12/2019 17:44:48
2824 forum posts
1 photos

By a potential cessation of our activities, I think being limited to below 400' would pretty much have put an end to a large proportion of club flying - maybe not all, I accept that's too strong, but it'd kill thermal soaring and aerobatics and a lot of general flying for fun with higher performance models. Forget all those lovely big loops! 400' is not much - if you've stood by the London Eye which is just under 450' tall and imagine flying a 60" span sports aerobat below its height, you'd be surprised at how restrictive it would be. I thought just that when visiting London a little while back and was surprised how low 400' is when you have something to gauge the height by.

Not a problem thankfully, we have the exemption at least for the time being, but who knows what might transpire if we just keep quiet - I'm sure the BMFA understands this.

Chris Berry05/12/2019 17:47:38
239 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by MattyB on 05/12/2019 16:48:35:
Posted by John Bisset on 05/12/2019 16:15:39:

I believe Chris Berry's recent posts have it fairly well right.

The aspiration of 'authority' to have on board identification and real time tracking of everything airborne is clear. It is not, however practical yet, not for some time to come. Theory is one thing, practice another.

I have two separate conspicuity/anti-collision systems in one aircraft of mine; it still frequently fails to be 'seen' in flight by remote stations even at medium altitudes. Earlier this week while flying I was struck by the number of calls for people to re-squawk because ATC was not picking up the transponders.

For close range collision avoidance the systems work well enough overall, as an addition to and back up for see-and-be-seen, which is what they are for. They are still expensive, power hungry and problematic at a distance except when flying high, say 10,000ft and above. At medium or low level, forget any distant monitoring except in very intensely monitored and geographically benign environments. This will change, but slowly. The degradation of signal at low altitude will continue to be an effective limiter.

Personally as a pilot routinely flying in and around the levels likely to be mostly used by drones, I'd be unhappy at the idea of everything transmitting its position, or trying to. That causes distraction, confusion and chaos, working against safety. For light aircraft operations, having radio control aircraft giving out position data will just confuse - we are not routinely flying below 500ft except around airfields or when on special tasks. We need the BMFA making this point clearly on our behalf - forget position info from R/C aircraft! Expensive, short range, useless and confusing for real world traffic.

For drones I only want info from the higher flying ones. Even between 500 to 1000ft the range available will be low, so its really collision avoidance stuff, not real tracking. Once a good, say ADS-B equivalent, set up exists at low cost and with high reliability, maybe worthwhile anti-colision will become feasible. Meantime, we keep our eyes open - and incidentally only believe a small proportion of the airliner's drone airmiss 'reports'.

Great post. I completely agree, but my concern is that the National Associations might be given an equally unappealing option if offered an exemption to the conspicuity kit. I suspect operating at "known" model flying sites is what they will suggest, but if the cost/complexity of maintaining that status is significant it will cause issues, especially for the public sites used by slope and thermal soarers where there is often not a Club involved. Hopefully some solution can be found, but I suspect those of us operating in those locaton will hace to carry conspicuity equipment to stay legal.

To form an club only takes 5 people. So any ad-hoc group if slope soarers could form a 'club' and that would be that.

MattyB06/12/2019 10:09:07
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1986 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Chris Berry on 05/12/2019 17:47:38:

To form an club only takes 5 people. So any ad-hoc group if slope soarers could form a 'club' and that would be that.

Unfortunately that doesn't really solve the problem for slope and thermal pilots that fly at multiple different sites (at least not with the BMFA's current rules for affiliated clubs). You can only have a single primary club per BMFA member, so if I am one of the 5 members joining through a club to affiliate it, I can't create another affiliated club using my membership as one of the 5.

This is far from impossible to solve though; I'm sure the BMFA will tweak their rules if the regs do end up requiring lots of new clubs to take custodianship of public sites. There could even be a BMFA affiliated National Club that "owns" all public access sites where there is not a club today; that is an idea I and others have floated before, but it we are still a way off knowing if it will be needed.

Edited By MattyB on 06/12/2019 10:17:33

MattyB06/12/2019 10:43:13
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1986 forum posts
30 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 05/12/2019 17:44:48:

...Not a problem thankfully, we have the exemption at least for the time being, but who knows what might transpire if we just keep quiet - I'm sure the BMFA understands this.

This is all getting a bit boring Cuban8...

The BMFA are not "keeping quiet"; they and the other National Associations are actively negotiating with the CAA on the next phase i.e. the changes that come in in June 2020 and beyond. I'm pretty confident they are aware of the importance of the 400ft height exemption for their members, after all they did negotiate it!

I have spoken to Dave Phipps who has confirmed preserving that and getting valid exemptions to the new distance regulations (CAP 1789, Annex C, Category A3 - No uninvolved people present within the area of flight and no flight within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas) are a major focus the next phase. Understandably though they are not going to conduct the negotiations in the public domain with updates to members every 5 mins; that would undermine trust between the parties.

I know you are not the biggest fan of the BMFA (and I agree it's governance needs to be revisited to make it fairer for different types of member), but you need to remember they have been negotiating with a wall for ~2 years, and there may be another 5 years ahead of them. The BMFA may not be perfect, but they and the other national associations are our best hope of defending our rights against increasing regulation - acting as individuals we have no chance. If you disagree that is fair enough, but you need to start acting on your alternative plan and/or trying to reform the BMFA from the inside, not sniping from the perimeter.

[Stands down from soapbox... wink 2]

Edited By MattyB on 06/12/2019 10:47:18

Steve J06/12/2019 13:50:27
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1695 forum posts
50 photos

The ASTM UAS remote ID and tracking standard is now showing as approved and pending publication.

john stones 106/12/2019 16:47:46
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10793 forum posts
1481 photos

Good post Matty. yes

i12fly06/12/2019 22:44:23
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586 forum posts
21 photos

Matty thumbs upyes

Nigel Heather07/12/2019 14:27:30
193 forum posts
7 photos

Just received the latest BMFA magazine and it is accompanied by some very useful leaflets about registration.

It also has a set of test questions.

I’ve read through them and have some questions myself

  1. Are these the actual questions that you will be asked
  2. The questions are in two sections, non-camera equipped (13 questions) and camera equipped (7 questions). I notice that when opening the BMFA test you are asked whether your aircraft is camera equipped. Does that mean if you say ‘No’ then you are only asked the first 13 questions.
  3. There are a few question that I admit that I’m not 100% sure of. For example, Q4 asks whether there are any restriction that apply at a particular place (select all that apply). Answers are BBC Website, drone app and dronesafe.uk. Now I pretty sure it is the second two (though they have misspelt the address from the dronesafe website so technically that is wrong too) but I’m not sure about the BBC website - does it have links, maybe, I don’t no, I assume mot but not 100% certain.
  4. Other question that I feel it would easy to slip up on are Q14, Q16, Q17, Q18 in that I think I can answer them but I also think I can spin some of the options to be incorrect or correct.

Cheers,

Nigel

John Bisset07/12/2019 14:52:01
203 forum posts

(Good post yesterday Matty - thanks)

Nigel, I wondered about Qu 4 too. I suspect the BBC option as a source of info is a red herring & having checked I can see no sign of anything relevant. The snag with multiple choice is that the wrong answers must be ~believable, Well, that is one of the snags with multiple choice...

I presumed the dronesafe website was correct when spelt correctly (!) and that the 'app' would also be correct, though I have not seen such a beast.  (Late addendum : A 'drone app' might be about other drone related matters, so possibly a wrong option. Hmm.) 

Like you I thought Qus 16-19 were potentially awkward and since I don't use camera equipped machines, personally irrelevant. Hopefully the apparently commonsense answers will be correct.

Well done the BMFA for issuing this so promptly in a clear easy to understand way. Now to find out if my 'common sense' thinking works!

Edited By John Bisset on 07/12/2019 14:56:12

Steve J07/12/2019 15:05:54
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1695 forum posts
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Frank Skilbeck (assuming that you are still reading this topic), Nice article on page 51 on the News.

Edited By Steve J on 07/12/2019 15:09:43

Nick Cripps07/12/2019 16:26:41
45 forum posts
17 photos

On behalf of the Long Eaton & District Model Aircraft Club, I would just like to say thank you to Andy Symons for making the trip to our club meeting last night and giving a very informative talk on DMARES.

We are fortunate to have people like Andy and BMFA CEO Dave Phipps fighting our corner on this matter.

Nigel Heather07/12/2019 17:20:58
193 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by John Bisset on 07/12/2019 14:52:01:

(Good post yesterday Matty - thanks)

Nigel, I wondered about Qu 4 too. I suspect the BBC option as a source of info is a red herring & having checked I can see no sign of anything relevant. The snag with multiple choice is that the wrong answers must be ~believable, Well, that is one of the snags with multiple choice...

I presumed the dronesafe website was correct when spelt correctly (!) and that the 'app' would also be correct, though I have not seen such a beast. (Late addendum : A 'drone app' might be about other drone related matters, so possibly a wrong option. Hmm.)

Like you I thought Qus 16-19 were potentially awkward and since I don't use camera equipped machines, personally irrelevant. Hopefully the apparently commonsense answers will be correct.

Well done the BMFA for issuing this so promptly in a clear easy to understand way. Now to find out if my 'common sense' thinking works!

Edited By John Bisset on 07/12/2019 14:56:12

Yes, take question 16. This is about flying a drone using FPV. Gives, four options (select all that apply). They are

  • You are using a buddy box, and one pilot with the master TX maintains line of site.
  • If you are flying under a current CAA exemption and comply with that
  • Okay to use googles if outside an airfield’s restriction zone
  • Okay to use goggles if there is no one else nearby

So analysing these

  1. This is definitely okay even though it is going much further than the legislation requires
  2. Who knows, depends on which exemption you are flying under. For example you could be complying with exemption E4973 but that is nothing to do with FPV
  3. Depends, if you are complying with the FPV rules then yes, otherwise no
  4. No as this suggests that you don’t have a spotter maintaining line of site

So if it were me, I’d say that (1) is the only one that is definitely correct. (2) and (3) might be okay but depends on circumstances, you can’t say for sure. And (4) is definitely wrong.

But would that give me the mark, depends on what the thought process of the question setter is for (2) and (3) is.

There are a handful like that.

Cheers,

Nigel

Dickw07/12/2019 17:45:43
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526 forum posts
77 photos
Posted by Nigel Heather on 07/12/2019 17:20:58:.......................
  • You are using a buddy box, and one pilot with the master TX maintains line of site.
  • If you are flying under a current CAA exemption and comply with that
  • Okay to use googles if outside an airfield’s restriction zone
  • Okay to use goggles if there is no one else nearby

So analysing these

  1. This is definitely okay even though it is going much further than the legislation requires
  2. Who knows, depends on which exemption you are flying under. For example you could be complying with exemption E4973 but that is nothing to do with FPV
  3. Depends, if you are complying with the FPV rules then yes, otherwise no
  4. No as this suggests that you don’t have a spotter maintaining line of site

So if it were me, I’d say that (1) is the only one that is definitely correct. (2) and (3) might be okay but depends on circumstances, you can’t say for sure. And (4) is definitely wrong.

But would that give me the mark, depends on what the thought process of the question setter is for (2) and (3) is.

There are a handful like that.

Cheers,

Nigel

Are you sure about (1) going further than the legislation? Have a look at the 2nd bullet point on the CAA site here.

2) I think you can assume the exemption has to be relevant to what you are doing!

3) now you are adding conditions which are not in the question - just making heavy weather of an easy test.

Take the test - if you don't pass first time you will certainly pass a few minutes later when you do it again. Think of it as an education process rather than a test.

Dick

Andy Symons - BMFA07/12/2019 18:12:18
572 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Nick Cripps on 07/12/2019 16:26:41:

On behalf of the Long Eaton & District Model Aircraft Club, I would just like to say thank you to Andy Symons for making the trip to our club meeting last night and giving a very informative talk on DMARES.

We are fortunate to have people like Andy and BMFA CEO Dave Phipps fighting our corner on this matter.

Aww thank you.blush

Was good to come along to chat to you all. Quite enjoyed myself.

Major plaudits should go to Dave though. We are lucky to have him spearheading things.

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