Drone Registration Is Just FAA Making You Read Their “EULA”

Over the last few weeks we’ve waded through the debate of Drone restrictions as the FAA announced, solicited comments, and finally put in place a registration system for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Having now had a week to look at the regulation, and longer to consider the philosophy behind it, I don’t think this is a bad thing. I think the FAA’s move is an early effort to get people to pay attention to what they’re doing.

The broad picture looks to me like a company trying to get users to actually read an End User Licensing Agreement. I’m going to put the blame for this firmly on Apple. They are the poster children for the unreadable EULA. Every time there is an update, you’re asked to read the document on your smartphone. You scroll down a bit and think it’s not that long, until you discover that it’s actually 47 pages. Nobody reads this, and years of indoctrination have made the click-through of accepting an EULA into a pop-culture reference. In fact, this entire paragraph has been moot. I’d bet 99 out of 103 readers knew the reference before I started the explanation.

So, we have a population of tech adopters who have been cultivated to forego reading any kind of rules that go with a product. Then we have technological advancement and business interests that have brought UAS to the feet of the general public both with low costs, wide availability, and pop-culture appeal. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s jump into that, then cover some of the other issues people are concerned about, like the public availability of personal info on the drone registry.

Idiots are More Dangerous than Criminals

One of the common arguments against any type of regulations is that criminals don’t follow laws. Great, I’ll give that one to you. It’s correct at least some of the time and is fully applicable in this case.

I assert that in the case of UAS on the market right now, we’re in far more danger from idiots than we are from criminals. Sure, the use of drones to traffic drugs across the US/Mexico border is well documented. But that doesn’t cause direct harm. In that case, the criminals are trying to stay out of everyone’s way to avoid being caught.

On the other hand, people flying UAS over fires because they bought a drone large enough to carry their fancy DSLR cause a direct threat to pilots of fire-fighting aircraft, and an indirect threat to people and property near the fires if this causes the aircraft to be grounded. The same can be said for people flying drones over crowds of people. Imagine this drone crash at a concert where the ground is packed with people.

And so we have the eight simple rules to the right. This is the second step of the FAA drone registration, right after making an account and entering your address. These are devastatingly easy to understand, and even the click-throughs are concise and well written. One of the links found on that page is the explanations of restricted airspace, and the “Learn More” link goes to a simple set of Dos and Don’ts.

Most people don’t want to cause problems, and if they are properly educated they will work to avoid breaking these rules. This is a reasonable way to educate them.

Your Right to Privacy

There is one argument I’ve heard against this registry that I think holds water, and that is the privacy concern. The FAA plans to make the drone registration database publicly searchable, and the search results will include owner names and addresses.

That kind of sucks. In general, I would estimate that the vast majority of people prefer not to have their home address be publicly searchable. That being said, this is certainly not the first place that information is available. There are a myriad of people search websites that will be happy to give out your personal information for a price. And many municipalities (mine included) have already made address information publicly searchable through property sales and property assessment records.

However, I’m not one to go along with the argument “it’s already broken so it can’t be broken any more”. I would like to hear your take on the need for publicly searchable name and address data. What value does that have? Is there a way to get that value without opening up a huge database of info? There are only two reasons I can think of: quick contact in an emergency  and getting a lost drone back to an owner. The former would require spotting and recording the registration number from afar, and the latter is easy to accomplish by putting an email address on the drone itself.

This Can Save the Hobby

For at least a year I’ve seen stories of people doing unwise things with their drones. These were inevitably followed by comment threads begging people not to replicate bad behavior because the FAA would crack down and end the hobby.

At this point I think the FAA is acting in the same vein as those commenters. They have not outlawed anything. Tiny toy UAS (0.55 lbs and less) can still be purchased and flown without any other action. Larger UAS that can pose a real threat to aircraft require registration — which I argue is just to get people to read the safety rules — and even the big boys above 55 lbs. are still allowed by certification through community based modeling organizations.

Something had to be done and this is the biggest compromise with the widest benefit of any plans that I have heard proposed. Go forth and fly your drone, don’t be an idiot about it, and we can all continue to have a lot of fun!

94 thoughts on “Drone Registration Is Just FAA Making You Read Their “EULA”

  1. “Idiots are More Dangerous than Criminals” not necessarily using a drone to draw heavy bare wire or metal bar to short across high voltage power lines is criminal and even more dangerous because if done to 500kv+ lines that go cross country it can not only knock out power to a large population but if dragging wire the power may get you too.

    in fact it may be terrorism witch is even worse than criminal.

      1. I’m curious about that too. It sounds like a good idea, but I think any wire big enough to cause a major problem or trip one of the huge SF6 breakers at a substation would be too heavy to lift with even the biggest UAV.

        1. Put enough current through a thin wire and it vaporizes, initiating a conductive plasma channel which can carry much more current than the original wire. That channel is then self-sustaining through air and electricity alone, and can last several seconds before a break in the channel develops.

          So if you’re “lucky”, you could cause major problems with a tiny wire. I recall seeing a military proposal to aerially disperse graphite threads, thinner than a hair, over a wide area; theoretically causing widespread disruption to electrical grids.

          1. This seems like the exact situation that substations are designed to handle, though. Massive short in the line = unexpected power surge. So, you turn it off, drive over, and fix it.

            If you want to commit electrical terrorism, it might be a better idea to just blow the towers up. That would take significantly longer to recover from.

      2. There was a guy in my home town that would get bored and knock out power substations with a wrist rocket slingshot, a 1/2 inch nut, and old VHS cassets. He’d srtip the tap from the cassets and tie one end to the nut then fire it across the breakers and transformers at the substation. It was always an impressive sight. Loud bang, bright green blue lights, and then no power for about 12 hours. He mangaged to hit all of the subsations in the county one night his sophmore year. He would ride down the wide swath the power companies cut through the woods on a dirt bike to avoid the roads

    1. electrical engineer in power systems here:

      the tiny wire would vaporize. If it managed to actually initiate a phase-to-phase fault, the circuit breakers on either end of the transmission line would open.

      and then probably reclose, at which point there was no wire there.

      If not, redundancy is typically allowed for by looking at security analyses in their state estimation simulation system.

      A lot of other debris can mess with this stuff thanks to nature — so it’s a case that has already been accounted for.

      (this description is of typical North American practices.)

    1. Which you don’t have to pay if you get in early. It’s not a profit making excercise, and it’s more about the punishment that can be issued if someone IS caught doing something stupid (which local law officers will do without need for specialist enforcement).

      1. The danger of letting these actions go is massive. In the best case you have people shooting at any drone they see just because, and in the worst you have multiple aircraft crashes because some idiot thought these concerns were minor. The general public have little idea of what goes on in any realm that they aren’t already involved in, so when something with serious public-safety concerns like this starts percolating out into the wider public, it’s necessary to make things very clear, very fast.

  2. The problem is the registration number for the drone will be visible in photos, so it is a click or two to dox you. License plates are usually much harder.
    Think of it like the picture with the TSA master keys.
    I have a ham license, but am careful to compartmentalize my call sign and my internet persona.
    Also, I expect a pattern to the IDs, so just write a bot to go through all the IDs and dump the information.

    1. You bring up an interesting point, the sticker has to be on a drone but is it allowed to cover the umber with another peel-off sticker? I mean it would still be readable if the drone was involved in something but it would not be on photographs and such. And I expect it would be legal at this point. It’s like stamped numbers on car bodies, they are normally not visible on the outside either, as long as they are there and can be checked it’s OK.

  3. I had always assumed that there were 2 reasons the FAA was requiring registration:

    1) To make people understand that even though they bought the drone from a consumer store, there are legal rules they have to follow. I’ve heard a lot of people say “Well they wouldn’t have sold it to me if I wasn’t allowed to fly it”, and I think the FAA wanted people to understand that you’re only allowed to fly it within a certain framework of rules. (i.e. the premise of this article)

    2) So that when someone did something stupid like fly it in front of emergency vehicles attempting a rescue, they had a name, phone number, and address that they could chase down to fine for being stupid. Currently I think part of what’s annoying the FAA is that they don’t know who is doing stupid stuff, and how to smack them upside the head for being stupid when it happens.

    1. 3. The (sick) need to regulate and control everything for people who go work for government bodies.

      Sound like sarcasm/joke, but I think it’s a reality. Many occupation attract people with a certain ‘twist’ in their mentality that they can express in said profession, and often it’s something that has to be kept in check by outsiders really. And often it is not kept in check, causing misery for many others.

    2. I would suggest that this also does away with the “how was I supposed to know?” defense when the FAA _does_ track someone down. To quote the figure above, when you click through you agree that “I have read, understand and intend to follow the safety guidance.”

  4. It is still registration, and a public at that.

    A system without registration could work like this:

    All commercial “drone” manufacturers would put a key in the software (to US imported machines). The owner would go to FAA site and input the key. FAA site would contain the “eula” and after reading it, you would get a key to unlock the “drone” based on the key you gave.

    Of course the problem would be to get all the commercial “drone” manufacturers to comply and make sure that the key is not the same for all the machines. And anyone building their own would have to have the smarts to comply without going to the website.

    That’s just a suggestion for an option, though the system now is what it is, so good luck with that.

        1. Here’s a suggestion: No registration, no “unlocking,” just require ID info to be placed on the aircraft. Zero cost, no need for a central body to keep things updated, enforcement is exactly the same. Why have a central registry??

          1. But that way you can’t make sure the total newbies read anything. I think it’s a good idea to have them read the etiquette. It’s more about preventing idiotism.

            You don’t actually need the server anyway. Just put a code on a cd or memory stick which has the code to unlock the device. But what ever. I don’t know if it’s actually feasible. It was just a less evil option for the registration thing.

    1. My biggest beef is the list is public which leaves it wide open to abuse and the fines are extremely harsh.
      The person who did the penalty part of the rule must be one sick b—–d who probably enjoys drowning puppies in their spare time as fines like harsh would financially ruin many people.

  5. I am a FAA private ticket holder: I also own lots of quadcopters all under the .55 limit. The privacy part bothers me. So the 3D printed, 250 kit racing drone and any foam RC’s I may build I have to fall below 250g, but med copters keep burning up because the FAA like most government spooks can’t enforce what is all ready on the books. Bird strikes happen, how many quad strikes are on record.

    1. The issue is not how many have already happened, but how to aid in future prevention. The financial barrier to aerial R/C has been dropping like a stone over the last decade, so it is becoming easier and easier for the foolish to afford to be foolish remotely, which is what the FAA is addressing. (I do agree that people’s information should only be released with a court order/etc.)

      1. That’s funny. When we asked for net neutraity rules one of the big arguments from government officials was that they shouldn’t be making rules to prevent things that have’t even happened yet. In other words, don’t try to solve the problem before it happens. When someone predicted that toy quadcopters would become popular… they jump all over that one!

  6. I’ve been reading about this from various sites and one question that keeps coming up is “can they legally do this”? Yes, I know they are the FAA but does that make them complete masters of the sky? There have been quite a few arguments on this with some very, very good points being made as to where your property ends and where their jurisdiction begins. I’m no lawyer and have no plans to even debate this. I’ll leave that to wannabes and Google search.
    I do agree with one thing though, the 5$ fee is BS. Someone is going to make quite a bit of money, what will they do with it? So what happens if I buy a drone and do not register, some of those millions of dollars gonna go to someone’s salary to come lean on me? Take my drone? What if I buy it and turn around and sell it, never flying it? Or return it to store in 20 days due to defect?
    Yes, I know ” what ifs” but seriously, I do not see any plus in this what so ever. All I see is a bunch of people giving 5$ to the FAA who, at some point in time, could and will come harass them once something goes down within a 10 mile area.

    1. The extent of the FAA’s powers is something you’d have to do actual research on. There are really two questions here:
      1) Does this run afoul of Congress’s rules on RC aircraft, in which case they definitively can’t, and
      2) Where did the FAA get the authority for regulating these flights in the first place.

      The FAA can certainly see to public safety (this is part of the Constitution, though the FAA isn’t mentioned, so even generalities are in the hands of Congress), but beyond that the rights are technically in the hands of the States instead of the Federal government. So, if it either runs afoul of the Congressional RC rules, or neither has a Constitutional basis nor a basis from an agreement with your State, then it can be thrown out in a court.

      I suspect, however, that the rules really are the least-strict that they can be while having even a minor beneficial effect on safety. This is about as minor as the rules can get while having any possibility of holding people responsible for their actions.

  7. 1. I get there are idiots doing stupid things with “UAS” devices just like they do stupid things with anything else. Common Sense Rules should exist.I have no problem with the rules as they are today.
    2. Penalties for not following the rules should also exist, even though we all know the wealthy and influential still sometimes get around those penalties.
    3.up to 27,500 fine just for flying said unregistered aircraft even when not doing anything criminal. This is a tad bit high, and a tad bit subjective, 5,000 minimum up to 10,000 maximum per incident in my mind should be enough along with the FAA confiscating any and all other UAS the person / company may own. Along with being banned from flying / owning a UAS for minimum of 5 years.
    4. This would not include any monies to be paid to anyone who suffers any property damages.
    5. In the case of the UAS being used to spy on a person (not government officials, they should be monitored) Then depending on the use of the material collected would determine the restitution to be paid to said “victim”. I know vrey subjective as well, but this would be a very long list of mins and maxs.
    6. Anyone using the UAS to monitor the military or government officials, well they need to be able to prove wrong doing on the military’s/officials part to avoid any punishment. So I would hope they have backups to prove if this is the case. I’d hate to see a person go through a real life version of enemy of the state.
    7. Criminal use of the UAS, well I would say the minimum fine should be 25,000 up to 500,000 along with confiscation of all other UAS own or in possession of.
    8. Making the list public record, total disagree with this. There is no need to chase down a person as if it’s the end of the world that anybody with access to those records need to take it upon themselves to start a lynch mob.

    1. The fines are ridiculously harsh as the fine for driving a car with out registration is usually only $300 or$400 but the level of damage it can do vs a drone on the lower end of the limit is like an atomic bomb in comparison.
      some thing like 300,000 joules of kinetic energy vs 40 to 100 joules.
      The lower end of the fine should only be a few hundred bucks at a the most and the absolute upper limit for anything short of using it to commit a terrorist attack a few grand.

  8. Ok, so the FAA and AMA both state that you must contact the airport or airport control tower (if it has one) before flying within 5 miles of said airport. Now there are saying not to fly at all near airports. Have you ever taken a look at a 5 mile radius on a map?! it covers my entire town and then some when the center is placed over the center of the local airport.
    So does the “within 5 miles call and let them know” rule still apply or do I have to find a spot in the middle of no where to fly my RC plane? (I don’t do n’copters)

    1. The 5 miles is due to a regulation for airspace regulations.. As an example, class D airspace reaches from surface level to 2500 feet MSL and usually stretches 5 miles around and is controlled airspace. Aircraft operating in this region need to contact the tower prior to entering, and are under control during their time in it.
      Here’s an example of an aeronautical chart that contains multiple controlled airspaces over Denver. https://skyvector.com/?ll=39.82773336878961,-104.73417663108897&chart=301&zoom=3

      And here’s a good explanation of the different types of airspace…

  9. I really don’t get the uproar. Seems to me that if the gov can force licencing for cars and other dangerous moving objects, making people register to fly stuff isn’t even close to overstepping their authority. All this “god given right” shit is exactly that… shit. If someone wants do something that could dangerous to others in spaces shared by the public, then having to publicly promise to play nice should come with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an anthropological study that correlates the 2nd Amendment with an unreasonable cultural need resist every type of restriction.

    1. I own a farm, I need to move around and check on my product, a high end drone would benefit me in many ways. I’m not endangering anyone else in the least, if they are endangered, then they are on my property and the danger of being shot for trespassing is much higher than a crashing toy. It is my “god given right” to do both, and that is no shit. Grow up, wrap your small mind around the fact that many people do not live in neighborhoods of hundreds of overpriced houses sharing several acres, or blocks. And a drone can be more than a toy. Paying money to a group who pretends they have supremacy over my property ( they do not, look it up, supreme court stated this) and having them come to harass me when someone’s unregistered toy down the road causes havoc is not how I wish to spend my valued time. No uproar intended though….

      1. “I own a farm, I need to move around and check on my product…” So you need to register as a COMMERCIAL user, and follow the regulations of the country you live in. I bet you have to follow ALL SORTS of rules on your farm. Some of those are imposed upon you by the government.

        Society makes rules, and we all live by them. Or, a big enough group gets together and changes them.

          1. Pretty sure that preexisting law actually mandated a lot of this (the 5 mile rule, for example, already existed). Something that you need to understand about the law in the US is that federal laws come in 5 categories:
            Constitutional – Very few, and exist for shaping the general functioning of the system.
            Legislative – These are commonly called laws, but they are not the only type of laws.
            Congressional Procedure – The way Congress does it’s business. The House actually has to enact these every two years. Not commonly refered to as laws, and not commonly binding on normal citizens. Not subject to the “normal” ratification procedure.
            Administrative – The category that these FAA regs fall into, as well as Executive Orders: sometimes referred to as regulations. When properly formulated these draw the bulk of their power from Legislative law, and enact as few additional powers as are actually required to properly do the job specified in the Legislative law that they are built around. However, the Constitution is mostly agreed to have an implied grant of any power NECESSARY for the Federal government to do it’s job, so these CAN validly contain more power than would be expected. This is a consequence of the Administrative side of the government being intended to actually do the job of governing: sometimes you need grease, sometimes you need caution signs, and sometimes you need armed guards, and ALWAYS there will be someone displeased about it.
            Judicial – These laws are sometimes referred to as Case Law, and Judicial Precedence. They are primarily concerned with interpretation of Legislative and Administrative laws, and are necessary to adapt the law to unforeseen circumstances. They vary between locations, and only Supreme Court ruling can be counted on to be relevant everywhere. They are also subject to interpretation themselves, and slowly morph under the influence of the judges that are appointed to the courts.

            Out of all of these, the only one even vaguely new are the Constitutional and Congressional Procedure categories, both of which basically entered our legal system with the signing of the Magna Carta, back before America even existed. The only one of these categories that actually follows the congress-president system is the Legislative category, and it is almost NEVER concerned with actual implementation.

    2. Whats does purplepeople like to do? Golf? Dangerous. You need to Register and Pay. Fly a kite at the beach? You need to Register and Pay. Play softball? Register the ball. Register the bat. Oh and Pay. Use a ladder to put up Christmas lights? Register and Pay. (insert any activity here)? RaP. Public restrooms are next.

      Still seem unreasonable? All of it does and that is the point.

      Idiots wont register. They will buy it, fly it and not pay. Leaving the rest of us with more registration and a newly created job for the FAA to put a family member on the payroll.

    3. The government owns the roadways–it owns the land and built the structures. No license is needed to operate motor vehicles on private property. Airspace is private property up to a certain distance above privately owned land beyond that it is not owned by anyone but is a publicly shared area which is managed by the government.

      The “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012” prohibits the FAA from regulating recreational model aircraft except under a narrow set of circumstances such as flying within 5 miles of an airport. The FAA’s rule requiring registration is currently being challenged in the courts under this law.

      1. Bear in mind that that depends on state rules. Most states presumably don’t have much on the subject because the FAA has been handling it, but there’s no guarantee that you necessarily own the airspace within that area… nor that the airspace you own ends so quickly.

    4. I really hope you don’t believe what you wrote.

      Assuming you are a US Citizen, your rights are God given.

      Congress shall make no law preventing…

      They don’t grant you your rights, you already have them. What they do is subtractive, not additive. You are not a subject of a King.

  10. Public air space is classified as the ‘navigable’ airspace above 500 feet AGL (Above Ground Level). Anything blow that is your private property if you own your own land. The FAA has no more rights to what you do within that airspace on private land then motor vehicles does in any vehicles operated your private land.

      1. It’s basically agreed that you DO actually own that land, the trick is that you normally have restricted SOVEREIGNTY. There are certain plots of land where the owner’s rights override the government’s rights in most cases, because they had it first (to the best of my knowledge, these locations are all in the states purchased from France or Mexico). Also, some locations don’t actually take ownership of the land themselves: instead, if someone else pays the taxes for long enough then THEY get to take ownership of the land. Pay your taxes, everyone.

    1. That is exactly why I do not have a ham license plate on my car. My state, the one to the north of me and as far as I know all the others offer license plates for a few bucks extra where your license plate number is your call sign. I’m all for showing off the hobby but I have no interest in every jerk on the expresway knowing my name and address.

  11. None of the rules bother me except the line of sight rule. That one makes me sad. I always wanted to make an actual drone, that is something that can fly automated. Before quatcopters I was thinking small blimp. The purpose wasn’t to spy on people, drop stuff on people or anything negative. It was mainly just a challenge, sort of like building a exploration robot for NASA only this one is on Earth because I am extremely unlikely to ever posses an interplanetary rocket. Had I ever done this keeping away from populated areas, airports, etc would have been an important objectve from the very start.

    As for use.. once the novelty wore off I was thinking maybe a few of these with software defined radios on board would be a good project, allowing me to not only receive things but to triagulate where they are coming from.

    FPV sounds like a lot of fun too. It’s not really in your line of sight if you have goggles on though is it?

    People that scare easily and like to make rules that affect others really suck. Nobody wants to see you inside your backyard/house/etc and you will probably live your entire life without getting hit by a drone. If people had more of a tendancy to just let others be and do their own thing the world would be a much better place. It’s too bad the vocal jerks have to ruin things. No doubt these rules will live long after the ‘drone’ fad is over and remote controled aircraft goes back to being a niche toy owned by only a geeky few.

    1. I had the same ideal.
      This drone registration ruling reminds of the bull the ATF pulled soon after 9-11 and tried to effectively outlaw both model rocket engines,reload and black powder etc.
      Or what they did in Texas that pretty much outlawed chemistry supplies.

    2. You can apply for both exceptions and type/equipment certifications. I strongly suspect that Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc., all plan to do precisely that once they believe that they’ve gotten the flight-control systems safe enough, and to some extent the FAA has been trying to do something comparable with it’s next-gen air-traffic control system, they just haven’t gotten it finished yet. If you get something reliable set-up in this space, you could make a LOT of money.

      Something that I’d actually like to do is start up a FPV business inside an old warehouse, with terrain & such (just flying through the air seems a little boring). The size of vehicles would certainly be restricted, but that should be dealable, and by keeping it entirely confined within a building I believe the visual-flight rule would be easy to get an exception to.

  12. Reminds one of the FCC trying to control the thousands upon tens of thousands of unlicensed CB radios during the 1970’s. They finally just tossed in the towel and gave up. Besides, the FAA’s FSDO’s are more concerned with harassing REAL piots over alleged Part 135 violations (you know, a CMEL ATP accepting money to fly a friend somewhere….very very bad thing in the eyes of the FAA, unless you happen to be a Part-135 entity).

  13. These rules read like a catch all. How close is “near”, a jet 10 miles out from the airport is what 5k-8k feet AGL, is that “near”. What about a small aircraft flying VFR, they can be as low as 1000 feet AGL, if one passes overhead did you fly your drone “near” an aircraft. How far from an airport must you be? what is visual line of sight? naked eye or 80x spotting scope, cause at 400 ft altitude in flat country that could be 40 miles away. Same for all the other undefined adjectives. Don’t fly over people??? are you kidding! that pretty much excludes towns, cities, developments etc.
    Everyone will pretty much violate one or more rule every time they fly a drone, so if any thing happens they “gotcha”.

  14. Theater of security. In the end laws don’t matter, stupid people will do stupid things, and evil people will do evil things. If consequences matter to stupid and evil people, they wouldn’t be stupid and evil.

    Government programs almost always start out as “reasonable”. So that average people will support it. They are always given the pretense of solving a problem, so that the useful idiots will demand a solution for it. What government starts always balloon from reasonable to absurdity and insanity.

    I say the solution to idiots with drones, is the 2nd amendment. If someone is pissing you off with their drone, shoot it down.

  15. The registration price and database is identical to the present registration laws for certificated and experimental aircraft. Check (faa.gov) and look at the N-number lookup. There is legal precedent for the FAA actions that predate this recent legislation, and the FAA is not requiring any drone operator to comply with any special regulation that did not already exist.
    The FAA will probably allow commercial drone flights after rules are made, and they will probably require that the commercial UAV’s be equipped with ADS-B -out capability. Then those aircraft will be allowed to operate in contolled (read aroung large airports) airspace and probably above the 400ft limit. The rules you find so offensive are NOT new they are for the most part 50-60 years old. Model aircraft have been subject to the rules since the late 1940’s but there were few violations until recently

  16. I’m not against registration, but the main issue I have with the current registration process is it makes you agree to a list of statements, one of which requires VLOS between the operator and the drone. This effectively outlaws FPV – either through the use of goggles or a LCD screen.

    1. FPV was already illegal, has been for decades. RC places can get big enough to carry impressive video cameras & transmitters, yet rarely did, for this precise reason. If you’re the first one that gets the FAA to authorize a system for general use, then you’ll make a lot of money, so I’d suggest taking a serious look at it.

  17. I’m all for accountability and responsibility. If flying your uas causes damage to persons or property then, by rights, you should be held accountable. However, I don’t agree with the database being made public. That offers too much chance for someone to take it upon themselves to retaliate without knowing the cause. If anything, the database should be available to law enforcement in the event that something does happen. If you choose to put your address/contact info on your craft then that is your choice. I also believe that if we need to register then any government figures who operate uas should have to do so as well. There’s just as much chance of having one of theirs hit me as one of my own.

  18. Folks have been flying model airplanes for 80 years without problem. The multi rotor drones fly themselves with the operator providing direction, this means an idiot can (and do) fly them. The Aircraft Modeling Association (AMA) provides insurance, acts as an interested party to government regulations and provides guidelines for operation that are nearly identical to the ones just issued by the FAA. Congress passed a law, which the FAA is ignoring, that says the FAA should keep their hands off model airplanes. Instead the FAA is lumping them in with the multi rotor drones and is a classic example of bureaucratic over reach. They should regulate the drones and, as Congress has mandated, stay away from model aircraft, which have operated safely for 80 years.

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