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Class D airspace... How many of you drive far to fly?

#1
I checked out a VFR sectional and apparently there is a small private airport near my house with a 10 mile class D radius. Interesting that I never knew it existed as I have never witnessed an aircraft take off from there (I'm not in the flight path), but because it exists it would be illegal for me to build a little micro and fly it around below the treeline. The only reason an aircraft would be within 400ft of the farm I live on is if it is crashing, in which case a UMX RC plane would be inconsequential. This is very frustrating, I live on an island with one bridge and in order to clear all class C and D airspace I would have to drive 45 mins (1:30 round trip) just to fly. Does anyone else here have a similar problem, or have any tips or experience obtaining authorization to fly in class D?
 
#2
You may already know this, but after a few more hours sifting through regulations while reading the Airman Certification Standards for UAS I noticed reference AC 107-2. I looked it up and found:

CHAPTER 4. PART 107 SUBPART A, GENERAL 4.1 Applicability. This chapter provides guidance regarding the applicability of part 107 to civil small UA operations conducted within the NAS. However, part 107 does NOT apply to the following: 1. Model aircraft that are operated in accordance with Part 101 Subpart E, Model Aircraft

Then I noticed that if operating under Part 101 (sub 250g, recreational use) there are NO airspace class restrictions. It simply states:

(e) When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation.

Which is different than Part 107 which requires "prior authorization". You don't need "authorization" under part 101, you are simply required to NOTIFY them. Just to be sure, I checked the applicability of Part 107 as defined within itself:

107.1 Applicability.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this part applies to the registration, airman certification, and operation of civil small unmanned aircraft systems within the United States.
(b) This part does not apply to the following:
(1) Air carrier operations;
(2) Any aircraft subject to the provisions of part 101 of this chapter

Part 107 regulations do NOT apply to aircraft operated under Part 101, meaning you can fly them wherever you want as long as you NOTIFY any ATC within 5 miles, and fly within "community based" (AMA) safety guidelines. There is also no 400ft operating ceiling under Part 101, but the AMA Safety Handbook imposes a 400 foot ceiling within 3 miles of an airport.

References: FAR subchapter F, FAA-S-ACS-10A (UAS Airman Certification Standards), Advisory Circular AC 107-2

I have read a lot of conflicting/incorrect information on multiple forums so please do what I did and check the references for yourself, and let me know if I missed anything!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#3
You may already know this, but after a few more hours sifting through regulations while reading the Airman Certification Standards for UAS I noticed reference AC 107-2. I looked it up and found:

CHAPTER 4. PART 107 SUBPART A, GENERAL 4.1 Applicability. This chapter provides guidance regarding the applicability of part 107 to civil small UA operations conducted within the NAS. However, part 107 does NOT apply to the following: 1. Model aircraft that are operated in accordance with Part 101 Subpart E, Model Aircraft

Then I noticed that if operating under Part 101 (sub 250g, recreational use) there are NO airspace class restrictions. It simply states:

(e) When flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation.

Which is different than Part 107 which requires "prior authorization". You don't need "authorization" under part 101, you are simply required to NOTIFY them. Just to be sure, I checked the applicability of Part 107 as defined within itself:

107.1 Applicability.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this part applies to the registration, airman certification, and operation of civil small unmanned aircraft systems within the United States.
(b) This part does not apply to the following:
(1) Air carrier operations;
(2) Any aircraft subject to the provisions of part 101 of this chapter

Part 107 regulations do NOT apply to aircraft operated under Part 101, meaning you can fly them wherever you want as long as you NOTIFY any ATC within 5 miles, and fly within "community based" (AMA) safety guidelines. There is also no 400ft operating ceiling under Part 101, but the AMA Safety Handbook imposes a 400 foot ceiling within 3 miles of an airport.

References: FAR subchapter F, FAA-S-ACS-10A (UAS Airman Certification Standards), Advisory Circular AC 107-2

I have read a lot of conflicting/incorrect information on multiple forums so please do what I did and check the references for yourself, and let me know if I missed anything!
This is all changing if the current proposed rule goes into effect. This is what everyone's up in arms about - you will not be able to fly ANYWHERE except in an FAA Recognized-Identification Area (FRIA), or if you have a transponder. The transponders will only be allowed in pre-built planes, so anything that you currently have now, or are wanting to build, won't be legal to fly any longer. So, unless you purchase RTF units, you won't be able to get into the air.

In addition, FRIAs are ONLY able to be applied for within the 1st year from when the rule goes into place. This is a huge problem when it comes to the potential for moving/finding new fields, as I'm currently experiencing with my club - if we lose our land as we're expecting within the next 2 or so years and have to relocate, we won't be able to re-apply for a FRIA. We'll have to go through a recognized Community Based Organization and have THEM apply for us, with no guarantee they'll be able to secure it. Very, VERY frustrating.

Oh, and note that it talks about Part 107. That requires separate certification from the Part 336, which is what probably 90% of us fly under, not Part 107.
 
#4
Thanks for the response, I hadn't read about the FRIA's yet. I just reviewed the proposed rule on federalregister.gov and it still states non-applicability for aircraft under 0.55lbs (250g) in several places. As long as it passes as proposed, for micros we will still only be required to comply to Part 101 regulations and the "community based" AMA safety rules.

For the rest of you guys with bigger planes, this is ridiculous. I work in aviation and fully understand how the very strict regulations contribute to exceptional safety... How many aviation mishaps have been caused by RC Airplanes? Any that would have been prevented with transponders? Any resulting in loss of life or injury? How much total equipment damage? I haven't heard of any, but would be interested to see any data to substantiate these regulations... off to google, see ya in a bit.
 

FL_Engineer

Well-known member
#5
This is all changing if the current proposed rule goes into effect. This is what everyone's up in arms about - you will not be able to fly ANYWHERE except in an FAA Recognized-Identification Area (FRIA), or if you have a transponder. The transponders will only be allowed in pre-built planes, so anything that you currently have now, or are wanting to build, won't be legal to fly any longer. So, unless you purchase RTF units, you won't be able to get into the air.

In addition, FRIAs are ONLY able to be applied for within the 1st year from when the rule goes into place. This is a huge problem when it comes to the potential for moving/finding new fields, as I'm currently experiencing with my club - if we lose our land as we're expecting within the next 2 or so years and have to relocate, we won't be able to re-apply for a FRIA. We'll have to go through a recognized Community Based Organization and have THEM apply for us, with no guarantee they'll be able to secure it. Very, VERY frustrating.

Oh, and note that it talks about Part 107. That requires separate certification from the Part 336, which is what probably 90% of us fly under, not Part 107.
This isn't a criticism of your knowledge on the subject by any stretch of the imagination but I do have some honest questions...

Are we 100% certain transponders will be limited to RTF's and not available for separate purchase?

Is it clearly spelled out that you will only be able to fly at a FRIA site and not say, at a LAANC site through an app based system?

It just seems like there are still a ton of unknowns as to how exactly this will be implemented, what the FAA's actual intent is, and what the industries response will be. I'm extremely new to all this so I'm watching this very closely to see what I need to do to keep up. It just seems like even the FAA doesn't know how things are going to shake out.
 

Captain Video

Well-known member
#6
Keep this in mind:
The FAA has yet to provide any proof or solid evidence to support their claims that our hobby presents a danger that would require this degree of regulation. How can the FAA spend money and time to create such rules and not back up their claims to not only infringe upon $1 Billion industry which could drive hobby stores, and small manufactures out of business! It looks like big big business (UPS, FEDEX, Amazon and the like) is lining the FAA's pockets to crush out of existence for their own ends.
 
#7
Yeah, any supporting data is suspiciously hard to find. The most recent us figure I found was 1,800 near misses in 2016, with zero mishaps. Even if that number is accurate, the fact that one thousand eight hundred "near misses" resulted in zero mishaps directly reflects a low risk. I know personally that birds cause a lot more than zero damage to aircraft per year, yet we continue to fly without exterminating them! As far as trying to find data differentiating RC planes from drones, this is all I could locate, from the UK:

airprox-2.jpg

I can't imagine how the US data would be very far off in percentage between different types... why don't they just leave the fixed wing pilots alone!!!
 
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#8
This isn't a criticism of your knowledge on the subject by any stretch of the imagination but I do have some honest questions...

Are we 100% certain transponders will be limited to RTF's and not available for separate purchase?

Is it clearly spelled out that you will only be able to fly at a FRIA site and not say, at a LAANC site through an app based system?

It just seems like there are still a ton of unknowns as to how exactly this will be implemented, what the FAA's actual intent is, and what the industries response will be. I'm extremely new to all this so I'm watching this very closely to see what I need to do to keep up. It just seems like even the FAA doesn't know how things are going to shake out.
He was correct, you WILL unfortunately be required to fly at FRIA only if you do not have remote ID. It sounds like you can install remote ID if you choose, here is the link to the proposal, maybe you can make more of it than I can: https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...e-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#9
As far as the question on how far we drive to our flying fields, my one-way distance from home to field is about 30 miles/48 Km. Some of my planes probably qualify as "Park Flyers," but I prefer the flying field for a set runway, and less chance of random bystanders that may or may not have any clue how to act around RC aircraft.
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#10
My driveway is 4 miles long, the best long range fpv I've put together cant reach the nearest city. I haven't yet been to flite fest as that would be the farthest I've driven to fly. Outside that, I'd say 100 miles, but I fly from my front yard mostly so I am quite fortunate....