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Canadian drone laws

Robyle3

Active member
#1
Hello, I'm genuinely not sure if this subject has been covered, so I'm making a new thread. The Canadian government, last June, finally tried to tackle the epidemic of irresponsible drone flyers. Regulations are that all pilots of REMOTE AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (RAS) are to have a licence and register their aircraft should it be over 250g (just over a half pound). "Basic operations" are line-of-sight ops where the aircraft does not weigh over 25lbs.

Nowhere in the department of transportation website did I find defined wether or not that applied to fixed wing RC Aircraft. The RAS definition leaves a lot of room for interpretation. And at 15$ for a test and a registry number saving me from potential 1000$ in fines, I'm thinking it's not a bad idea to just sponge it and get a licence and registry. But if anyone can chime in on wether or not my government just killed my hobby, it would be appreciated.
 
#3
Hello, I'm genuinely not sure if this subject has been covered, so I'm making a new thread. The Canadian government, last June, finally tried to tackle the epidemic of irresponsible drone flyers. Regulations are that all pilots of REMOTE AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (RAS) are to have a licence and register their aircraft should it be over 250g (just over a half pound). "Basic operations" are line-of-sight ops where the aircraft does not weigh over 25lbs.

Nowhere in the department of transportation website did I find defined wether or not that applied to fixed wing RC Aircraft. The RAS definition leaves a lot of room for interpretation. And at 15$ for a test and a registry number saving me from potential 1000$ in fines, I'm thinking it's not a bad idea to just sponge it and get a licence and registry. But if anyone can chime in on wether or not my government just killed my hobby, it would be appreciated.
It applies to all rc aircraft, and yes they are killing the hobby, (they have no logical reason!!!) I live near our local airport and in the fall and spring there are flocks of geese, ( up to a hundred), that daily fly across the end of the runway. Geese are what took down the plane "Miracle on the Hudson). We cannot fly at our local town because we cannot be far enough from the airport. How can the Gov. justify, "3 mile distance from an airport and below 296', when airplanes must be above 1000'. The only way to fly is to join the Canadian, (AMA), where you follow their rules and don't have to get a licence and pass their fake test.

By the way I don't like how we are blaming the abused (drone), flyers, I have never seen any evidence where they have done anything to justify this response!!!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#5
As I understand it the Canadian regulators have gone this way because everyone else has across the planet. There is no basis to it, no risk assessment to back it up, and is a ridiculous attempt to appease the masses that have no idea what a drone is or what it is used for. Really I could go on and on about ridiculous cases of ALLEGED drone incidents which have no facts, just speculation.

Here are some of the rules, just a couple to make you shake your head in confusion.
1. Any aircraft over 250g's must have a flight log, a repair and maintenance log, and the owner/operator manual on hand on site for not only the pilot, but must also be accessible to the MANDATORY spotter as well, at all times.
2. If the flying site being used is over private property you must have permission of said property owner before any flights are to commence so you and the owner are aware of all the risks involved.
Now you might think these are reasonable but I can explain why they aren't. chances are you are going to a field in the middle of no where and you have already figured, if you are a reasonable responsible person, that the risks to persons or property is down to zero, yourself being the exception. Hopefully you have the sense of self preservation and don't run the drone into yourself. Furthermore, manned aircraft fly over personal and public property all the time with out permission of said property owners, at the risk of anyone or anything below, from greater heights, in a much heavier airframe, which will if not completely cause a substantial greater amount of damage, injury or death to not only the occupants of the aircraft, but anyone or anything on the ground. Which is the lesser of two evils?
Here is one that will blow your mind, and this is totally Canadian
3. All remotely operated aircraft are to have de-icing equipment installed to alleviate risk to persons or property while in the air or on the ground... WHAT?!
4. Any operator under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by a qualified adult who also has the appropriate licensing with the applicable governing body. Again more eye rolling
5. All these rules are exempt if the pilot of the drone or RAS is flying in a M.A.A.C. sanctioned field, therefore all rules to the field appy and over ride the governing body rules... well for the most part

These are just a handful of them. Now let's say you get your licence, and register you plane/drone, and go out flying with your spotter, regardless of using FPV or flying line of sight, in a field which you have permission to fly in, and you stay within your 400' ceiling. Now, and I have personally seen this, a helicopter flies in at just over tree top level, well below their 500' deck they are designated to fly in and it hits your plane/drone, guess what? You are at fault, and if they find your drone with your registration number on it, Johnny Law comes knocking on your door to arrest you, go to trial, and in some cases people have been fined up to $20,000 for less. The pilot of the helicopter was in violation of their own flying space above 500' and you followed all the rules, but you are the one considered to be the cause of all the risk. Get this, the only way an aircraft has the allowance to fly that low is within the low fly zone of an airport or landing pad, or has issued an notice of low flying in a designated area. Other then that they must fly over 500'. If you are walking down the sidewalk in you neighborhood, would you expect a car to come careening into you at 60kph or would you feel safe to walk your dog on said sidewalk? The rules are and should be treated as the same. Your drone/plane below 400' is on the sidewalk, manned aircraft over 500' is the road, with a 100' separation zone, that makes sense right?

I have been out flying before, well below 400' and have seen a light aircraft flying in the vicinity, I would say well over 1000', probably double that, and have noticed them change coarse to be well out my range most likely because they have seen my RC aircraft flying responsibly at low altitude. Both parties being reasonably responsible pilots. I have also been at a park down in the river valley with the family doing some fishing and have witnessed a private manned helicopter flying along the river, below treetops on the banks of the river, maybe at the altitude of about 50-60', wearing around the islands in the middle of the river even flying under a road bridge. Is that pilot of the helicopter a reasonably responsible pilot? What if I wasn't fishing but flying my child's toy and an incident happened?

What does this mean? Registration is more then a cash grab, its an offenders list for the regulators to have an easy place to point the finger to say i told you so, and here is your fine, probably well exceeding $1000 or possible jail time. If you license and register you are really supporting outrageous laws like this, they are child's toys, really! Did you know if you have a motor bike or scooter that is under 50cc's you don't need a license or registration? How much personal injury or property damage can one of those do compared to a plane/drone that weighs in at say 500g's. Do you think the new laws are fair? Yes they are unjustified, unwarrented, and have no knowledge of risk behind them.

Now all said and done, if someone is flying an RAS in a restricted zone like an airport exclusion, then yes they are uneducated to the fact or ignorant to the inherent and obvious possibilty of risk to persons and/or property, then yes throw the book at them. They deserve it and are tarnishing the good nature of our hobby we enjoy, and have been enjoying by people like us for the better part of a century, without one death caused by a drone/plane in that time period. More people have died by lightening strikes and even asteroid debris then from an RAS.

You make the call, do some research, but please make an informed decision. Don't be swayed by the law makers to completely comply because not only are you supporting their obvious blatant disregard for the facts and reality, but you could have a knock on your door for something that isn't your fault and get hammered with something a lot more serious then the $1000 fine.

Sorry for the long winded response but I just want to make sure that anyone who is considering registration and licensing understand all sides and the value or lack there of the designated new laws, again it is completely up to you as for yours. Will I be registering or getting a licence? Absolutely not. Being insured by the M.A.A.C, yes.

Thanks for reading
 

Robyle3

Active member
#6
Well, if I didn't have a feasible reason to join my (not so) local flight club, I do now. Irony of my area is that it is a rural community, with next to 0 non-private flyable fields.
Thanks a bunch everyone. I've even sent multiple questions to the DoT, and not received any response. I always figured that so long as nothing, erm, unreasonable is done, then no one would have any problems with me flying.
But I was flying a scratchbuild at an unused fair ground (made for our annual folk music festival, it's a beautiful public Feild), when a lady snuck up on me and scared me into leaving the area. I'm looking up at my plane, so I never noticed her walk up to me DIRECTLY under my flight path. I mean, there's a large buzzing object in the sky, you'd think she'd have the sense to let me know she was walking so I could make sure I was nowhere near her. That night is when my whole paranoia about this started.
Thanks for settling this, everyone :)
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#7
Well, if I didn't have a feasible reason to join my (not so) local flight club, I do now. Irony of my area is that it is a rural community, with next to 0 non-private flyable fields.
Thanks a bunch everyone. I've even sent multiple questions to the DoT, and not received any response. I always figured that so long as nothing, erm, unreasonable is done, then no one would have any problems with me flying.
But I was flying a scratchbuild at an unused fair ground (made for our annual folk music festival, it's a beautiful public Feild), when a lady snuck up on me and scared me into leaving the area. I'm looking up at my plane, so I never noticed her walk up to me DIRECTLY under my flight path. I mean, there's a large buzzing object in the sky, you'd think she'd have the sense to let me know she was walking so I could make sure I was nowhere near her. That night is when my whole paranoia about this started.
Thanks for settling this, everyone :)
This lady that snuck up on you are the same bleeding hearts that sensationalize the risk of what this hobby is built on, next to no risk at all. It is the media that grabs onto people like her and glue them to the screen to get ratings, the same people that know nothing about the hobby or what the laws are. They just cry "cops" and "fines" to get what you experienced, fear of being in violation of the law. Now if you were on private property, (I am sure a fair ground could be considered private property) then i understand why she approached you but you are right, she should have made her presence known, for her own safety, (again she knows nothing of the risks, obviously) an asked you to leave without the threat of enforcement, because there is no enforcement that will waste taxpayers dollars to come bust you for flying a toy. They got better things to worry about like drunk drivers and jay walkers. I remember when everyone cried UFO, drones and planes are just the next target
 

Robyle3

Active member
#9
Well, that certainly tosses a wet blanket on my energy to keep building my latest project. I get this way at work sometimes, too. (Some) People are just jerks who like tossing their perceived weight around. No regard for the joy that this hobby brings to the people who enjoy it.

I remember having an older friend of mine (I think he's like, probably over 80 by now) come watch me fly for a bit. He kept telling me stories of when he and his mates would chase their gas-powered FF models down the road for hours. His favourite story was of this one model that caught a thermal, and kept going up and up and up...and they never saw it again. I was flying around as he was talking, and asked him if he knew all the controls on a radio. I flipped the SAFE switch on and said "your turn".
His smile at that is the reason I love this hobby.

I never even considered that the fairgrounds might have been private property! The woodworking looks just like the signs and structures at the provincial park down the road so I thought that at the very least it was municipal owned. I guess until I officially join the club I'll stick to flying by the ocean at low tide (hello, sand-sheilds). That, for sure, is crown land.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#10
That's the best bet, I have a few spots around the rural neighborhood I live with crown land, one is like 15 acres and the other is probably twice that. On the larger one I even mowed a runway to fly off of winter and summer. No one can complain as long as you stay out of property lines, everyone enters at their own risk. That greenspace even has someones garden compete with electric fence to keep the deer out, actually my dog got zapped there just sniffing around, so if someone complains about me flying there, they will get an earful back.

There was a couple adjacent property owners who have talked to me about the flying and I told them that I would respect their property lines and other then that I wasn't gonna stop flying there and they were cool with that. They did have a problem with the drone that films my aerial stuff but it applies to the same rules so they can stuff there hats with it. I think they think we are spying on them, so not the case. I invite anyone to come out and fly with me, check out my YT channel, link in my signature, and you can see some of my 60 or so vids.

Where do you live and fly?
 

Robyle3

Active member
#11
I’m based in rural Nova Scotia, main exports are fish and forestry XD. You can count on any land within 15ft (the general limit) of water being privately owned. And that makes it virtually impossible to know who to ask to fly with peace of mind. So long as there aren’t any people around, there are quite a few places I can fly along the ample oceanfront (which cannot legally be privately owned). I like an area that is bordered by a cliff and a fish plant. There is also an area closer to me that can work, but the beach is all rock (read as: propeller graveyard). And, for my smaller UMX planes, the parking lot and soccer field of my old high school fit perfectly during the summer and holidays. It was recently re-paved, too. So I am soo looking forward to scale takeoffs and trying some touch-and-gos.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#12
Do you fly that Corsair in your avatar?

Living on the ocean is so awesome. My family lives on the west coast, I am in Alberta, but i try to visit there as much as possible. Got the mountains and ocean, what else do you need. Do you have any vids of your flights?
 

Robyle3

Active member
#13
Hehe, no, that plane (a Ka-14) is now my fav wall decoration. I saw I had foam that had been incorrectly sized (3mm instead of 5), so I decided to try mocking up a model. It was a horrible process (all. those. SCORECUTS), but I couldn't have been happier with the first glide test. All was well, then I discovered that inrunners are terrible at direct-driving props. Plan is (if I ever finish my "Dinah") to try it again at a larger scale.
As I am the only person in my family who is "in" to RC Aircraft, I usually fly alone, with no free hands for a camera. I could always strap my phone to my head, haha (we WILL NOT mention my "great idea" to strap it to the cabanes of my biplane, may she rest in peace(es)). I've been eyeing a few flight-cams on hobby King, but can't bring myself to cross the line of my planes becoming "drones". But it is difficult to find times to fly when it's dark both when I go to and come home from work. Winter is my "overthink about everything" and building season. Look forward to my thread on making suspension-aided skis for UMX planes. Many pens will be harmed in the beta processing.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#14
I will be flying during the winter, although as you may know being Canadian, winters can get cold. Gonna keep my no fly limit to -10. I did up a pair of ski's for the Bushwhacker and I haven't used them yet. This weekend will be the last for that plane, It's going down in the "Fly As Hard As You Can" challenge, I expect I might get 1 maybe 2 packs through it. Built it as a 3D trainer but it has a more of a jack of all trades kinda tendencies and not really a 3D plane, so it's hard to get a feel for the 3D aspect. There is already a new one on the bench, FT-3D, a precursor to the 540 Edge.

Do you plan to build and fly any FT planes?
How long have you been flying for?
 

Robyle3

Active member
#16
'crown land' I love this place....
Lols, yeah. Technically Canadia is no longer a colonial country...psha i say!
For as long as I've been around the RC community (about, woah, almost 6 years now), the only ft-style plane I made was the ft glider when it was first released. I used way too much glue and duct tape to keep it together. I didn't even have electronics for it. I wish I had a picture. I did base my biplane heavily on the baby blender, if that counts. I've been flying for about three years now. I bought a UMX Pt-17 from my LHS, and learned the basics.
Next venture is to get myself a sea angel kit to beat the snow.
 

jross

Well-known member
#17
5. All these rules are exempt if the pilot of the drone or RAS is flying in a M.A.A.C. sanctioned field, therefore all rules to the field appy and over ride the governing body rules... well for the most part
I called MAAC. You don't have to be at a MAAC sanctioned field as long as you have permission to fly there and follow all MAAC safety practices.
 

Robyle3

Active member
#18
I called MAAC. You don't have to be at a MAAC sanctioned field as long as you have permission to fly there and follow all MAAC safety practices.
I actually decided to go to the MAAC website and read their info sections directly related to the topic. And I understood the same thing. Seeing as it'd be pointless to only pay for one month membership, I guess I'm grounded until Jan 1st. No biggie, between work and inclement weather I doubt I'll have any good mornings anyway.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#19
I called MAAC. You don't have to be at a MAAC sanctioned field as long as you have permission to fly there and follow all MAAC safety practices.
As I understand it there are rules that go beyond MAAC like the driving thing, mandatory spotters and owner/operator manuals plus a repair log. Is that in the MAAC rules, I don't think it is? And then there is the registration and licensing isn't there?
 

Robyle3

Active member
#20
As I understand it there are rules that go beyond MAAC like the driving thing, mandatory spotters and owner/operator manuals plus a repair log. Is that in the MAAC rules, I don't think it is? And then there is the registration and licensing isn't there?
From what I understood, so long as you are a member you are exempt from the new laws. This is because the MAAC has an established record of safe flying (proving that with a little common sense and mutual respect this hobby poses ABSOLUTELY no threat to anyone). But the MAAC recommends you have your membership info on you and even in your planes if any issue does arise. The membership takes the place of the licence/registry. It is by far more expensive, but that is because it gives you access to more than just a list and some numbers.