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New Hope for surviving the nprm and remote id?

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#24

this just came in an email update from RDQ regarding the new rules and some still incomprehensible :poop: in the wording but at least its something more solid to explain and or work by for now.


1/20/21 Update: What Remote ID Means for FPV Pilots

 

NPRM

Final Rule

Compliance Date

Flyers need to do remote ID 36 months after date it goes into effect.

Decreased to 30 months after.

Boundaries

89.105 says, “airspace of the United States” which is VERY broad.

No Change. This effectively says that if you are flying a drone in your backyard, friend’s yard, grandpa’s farm, etc. “out-of-doors and above the surface of the Earth”, you would have to comply with remote ID unless you fall into one of the exceptions: FRIA, foreign civil aircraft, <250 grams.

Network RID

Standard ID would have to transmit on the network if available.

Network was removed.

Limited RID

Deleted. Broadcast module ID basically took Limited RID’s place.

FAA-Recognized Identification Areas

Application deadline to get recognized.

Deadline Removed.

Only recognized Community Based Organizations could apply for a FRIA

FAA Recognized CBOs or educational institutions, including primary and secondary educational institutions, trade schools, colleges, and universities could apply for a FRIA. See 89.205. The FAA rejected the idea of getting your backyard turned into a FRIA.
From a lawyer’s perspective, I am going to say that the entities that would fall under “educational institutions” would be somewhat unwilling to create free to the public FRIAs due to liability concerns.
I have the concern that the FRIA’s that get recognized because they are part of a CBO (like AMA), might have additional restrictions that the FAA did not account for that could restrict access. I reached out to someone very knowledgeable about this and was told that not all AMA clubs allow guest flyers. Some AMA locations are restricted by the landowners such as municipalities that restrict guest flyers. Flying fields at military installations are another example. For guest flying, non-AMA members can fly at AMA chartered club sites under several programs such as introductory flights for newbies. An accomplished UAS pilot that is not an AMA member cannot merely show up and start flying at an AMA field. They would need to be flying within AMA’s various intro programs, trial membership, or AMA full membership. .

Equipage

Standard or Limited ID, unless exception.

You will need to do standard or broadcast ID unless within an exception (sub-250grams, federal government, FRIA, etc.).

Registration

Each registration can be only for one aircraft.

One registration can be used for all aircraft (like we are doing now under Part 48). 48.105 (“A Certificate of Aircraft Registration issued in accordance with § 48.110 for small unmanned aircraft to be operated exclusively in compliance with 49 U.S.C. 44809 constitutes registration for all the small unmanned aircraft used exclusively for operations in compliance with 49 U.S.C. 44809 owned by the individual identified on the application.”) The FAA ties the serial number of the broadcast RID to the specific registration. Please note that swapping out parts on the aircraft does not somehow unregister the drone.

Altitude Reporting

The altitude of the controller and sUA must be barometric (not GPS derived).

sUA must transmit geometric altitude within 95% probability of the controller and sUA. This means the aircraft must have equipment that can receive GPS signals. See 89.310 and 89.315.

Radio Frequency

47 CFR Part 15.

Unchanged. This means all sorts of apps are going to pop up for phones to identify the drone flyers AND (controller location for standard ID or take-off location for broadcast module ID). This also means a serious privacy concern. The FAA Network ID ConUse document mentioned “fixed receivers” as methods of obtaining the information.
Here is the example they gave, “Officer Schroeder works as a law enforcement officer at the DOD facility. In his office, Officer Schroeder has a DOD computer through which he can log into a Remote ID monitoring application using his DOD credentials. He also has a DOD-issued tablet with the same capability, which he can carry around the facility. In the DOD Remote ID web application, he configures a default view to show the vicinity around the facility with all baseline streams shown in near-real-time. The facility also has several fixed receivers around the perimeter for Remote ID broadcasts. These are wired to a dedicated display unit in Officer Schroeder’s office which he can observe in addition to his web app for network Remote ID.” It would be easy to install some Wi-Fi receivers around metropolitan areas and log all drone flights.

Ground Controller Location

Standard and Limited must transmit.

Standard RID transmits ground controller location. Module RID transmits lat/long/altitude of take-off location. See 89.310(a) & (h) and 89.315(e)-(f).

Distance of drone from controller?

Standard = none
Limited= 400ft.

No limitation. The 400ft thing is gone.

Manufacturers

“no person may produce an unmanned aircraft system unless:” This was super broad.

Narrowed in scope to those making standard ID aircraft and broadcast modules. See 89.501.

Swapping out parts and broadcast module IDs.

For flights under 44809, you can swap out parts all day long. “The FAA does not agree with commenters who believe that the requirement to obtain a serial number to then use for aircraft
registration would render parts swapping obsolete. The FAA explains in section XVIII.A of this preamble that discarded unmanned aircraft can be disassembled into the following parts: Carbon (frame, frame parts), plastic, metal parts (screws, standoffs), wire, electronics (flight controller, ESC, motors, camera, VTX, RX), and batteries. Those parts can be reused, especially if they remain in good condition. In addition, home-built unmanned aircraft are excepted from the production requirements of this rule including the requirement for a serial number.”
Basically, the unmanned aircraft has applied to it a registration number. That specific registration is tied to the broadcast module which has a distinct serial number it broadcasts. So you could show up to a field, crash drone A, salvage the broadcast module off of it, attach to drone B which also has the same registration number as drone A, and go and fly. Make sure the recreational registration and broadcast module are ALWAYS together.
What if I bring my friend, two drones with the same registration, and one broadcast module, can we both fly at the same time?
No, because both drones need the broadcast module. Even if you had a second one attached, the FAA said, “For owners operating exclusively in compliance with 49 U.S.C. 44809, the remote identification broadcast module may be used for all unmanned aircraft for which the owner is registered, but only one of those aircraft may be operated at a time”




 


 
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#25
and here is a FAQ break down / interpretation of some things. (in two postings... stoopid 20k word limit mixed with lawyer speak...)

 


FAQ
Can some DIY hobbyist guy create his own broadcast module?
It would be pretty time consuming. See Part 89 subpart E. 99% of everyone would just purchase a drone with this or attach an approved module unless they are flying within an exception.
Does this mean FPV flyers are going to get harassed/attacked more?
Yes. If transmitting standard, the controller location (lat/long/alt) will be broadcasting from the drone on Part 15 frequencies. All the smart phones could receive this. It would be trivial to set up a program to receive these broadcasts. I’m guessing ADT and other security companies could market this service alerting you to drones flying in your area.
Module ID transmits the take-off location, not present controller location. Broadcast module ID transmits take-off location. For best protection, use broadcast module ID and position yourself for your best protection in relationship to the take-off point.
Additionally, I’m anticipating someone making more complaints with a simple click of a button. Someone could send complaints to the FAA via the FAA Hotline web page. https://hotline.faa.gov/ or just simple emails to their local aviation safety inspectors regarding your flight. 89.305(a) and 89.315(a) both require transmission of unique identifying information that will be tied to your specific aircraft. It would be trivial to write a program to report to the FAA, “On [XXXXX] date, I observed unmanned aircraft [insert here the serial number observed], and it appeared to be operating in a dangerous manner.”
Moreover, on 12/22 the following documents were issued:

In these, the FAA told air traffic controllers on how to handle unmanned aircraft of interest (UOI). You can expect law enforcement to do more drone stops going forward (“license and drone registration please”).
So why would someone do standard ID as opposed to module ID?
Standard has better privacy. Kinda. Standard id requires transmission of session id or serial number while module ID is only serial number. If you have different session IDs, it would be difficult for non-government actor to determine all the flights were the same aircraft. If I was stalking you, I would identify your serial number and then try and identify where you fly. I perceive as time goes on some wardriving apps will aggregate the serial numbers on maps similar to this SSID map. https://wigle.net/map Remember your drones will be transmitting on the same frequencies as Wi-Fi just like all of those little SSID blips are on that map.
For broadcast module ID, why can’t the FAA allow session id as opposed to only serial number broadcast which allows tracking? It seems like it would be trivial to create a unique session ID that would be generated for every flight from a private key and make sure the FAA always had the private key to be able to associate public sessions IDs with a unique registration. Think 2 factor authenticators. The FAA may be intentionally NOT doing that so as to force people over to standard ID who are privacy sensitive.
Beyond Line of Sight. Broadcast module ID does not allow for beyond line of sight flying.
Doesn’t the new rules cause havoc for the FPV community since you have to fly within visual line of sight in the FRIAs or with module ID? If a FPV flyer was wearing goggles, how could the drone be within line of sight? They have goggles on ya know!
To answer this, we need to go back into history to understand the FAA’s evolving view of “within visual line of sight” and “able to see” to understand what is going on here.
For many decades model aircraft flew under Advisory Circular 91-57. The FAA started applying the Federal Aviation Regulations to unmanned aircraft and their view on things was evolving.
In 2012, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was passed which created Section 336 that protected model aircraft from being regulated by the FAA. The FMRA defined model aircraft as “flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(c)(2).
In 2014, the FAA issued a model aircraft interpretation explaining how they thought you should do things, “Based on the plain language of the statute, the FAA interprets this requirement to mean that: (1) the aircraft must be visible at all times to the operator; (2) that the operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft; and (3) people other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight. Under the criteria above, visual line of sight would mean that the operator has an unobstructed view of the model aircraft. To ensure that the operator has the best view of the aircraft, the statutory requirement would preclude the use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles designed to provide a “first-person view” from the model. reducing his or her ability to see-and-avoid other aircraft in the area. Additionally, some of these devices could dramatically increase the distance at which an operator could see the aircraft, rendering the statutory visual-line-of-sight requirements meaningless.” This is all before Part 107 became a law. The FAA was applying the regulations of the time, 91.113 which has a “see and avoid” requirement, to unmanned aircraft because the FAA believed that the FMRA’s “rulemaking prohibition would not apply in the case of general rules that the FAA may issue or modify that apply to all aircraft[.]” like Part 91’s regulations.
In 2016, Part 107 came out with Part 101 subpart E. Part 107 allows FPV flying under 107.31 and 107.33. Here is where people get tripped up. Section 107.31 says: (a) With vision that is unaided by any device other than corrective lenses, the remote pilot in command, the visual observer (if one is used), and the person manipulating the flight control of the small unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft throughout the entire flight in order to: . . . . (b) Throughout the entire flight of the small unmanned aircraft, the ability described in paragraph (a) of this section must be exercised by either: (1) The remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small unmanned aircraft system; or (2) A visual observer.” (Emphasis mine).
In 2018, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 hit the delete button on Section 336 and replaced it with now 49 USC 44809. This caused issues seeing that Part 101 subpart E was still on the books, but Section 44809 overruled it. Most recreational flyers desire to fly within the exception for limited recreational operations listed in 49 USC 44809 which says in (a)(3), “The aircraft is flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co-located and in direct communication with the operator.” (Emphasis mine).
In 2019, the FAA cleaned things up by withdrawing the 2014 model aircraft interpretation which said FPV flying with goggles can’t see and avoid.
On 12/11/2020, the FAA withdrew Part 101 subpart E as a regulation because it caused confusion and was overruled by 49 USC 44809 which came from the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
CURRENTLY, you either fall into 49 USC 44809 which is for a very narrow group of recreational flyers (not all recreational flyers) or you fall into Part 107 which is for non-recreational flyers. That’s it. Remote ID in Part 89 applies to all unmanned aircraft, with some exceptions. All FPV flyers over 250 grams, flying in the national airspace of the United States, will have to do broadcast module remote ID, standard ID, fly in a FAA Recognized Identification Area (FRIA). FRIAs are granted only to recognized Community Based Organizations or educational institutions. Your backyard, friends’ yard, local park, etc. are most likely NOT going to be in a FRIA so FPV flyers flying a 250+gram drone are stuck doing standard ID (SID) or broadcast module ID (BMID).



 
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#26
Lawyer speak part deux

 


Broadcast module ID allows for retrofitting aircraft but BMID has requirements:
“A person operating an unmanned aircraft that is not a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft may comply with the remote identification requirement of § 89.105 by meeting all of the requirements of either paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of this section.
(a) Remote identification broadcast modules. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, a person may operate an unmanned aircraft that is not a standard remote identification unmanned aircraft if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) Equipage.
(i) The unmanned aircraft used in the operation must be equipped with a remote identification broadcast module . . . .
(2) Remote identification operating requirements. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, a person may operate an unmanned aircraft under this paragraph (a) only if all of the following conditions are met:. . . .
(ii) The person manipulating the flight controls of the unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft at all times throughout the operation. . . . .
(b) Operations at FAA-recognized identification areas. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, a person may operate an unmanned aircraft without remote identification equipment only if all of the following conditions are met:
. . .
(2) The person manipulating the flight controls of the unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft at all times throughout the operation.”
(Emphasis mine).
So how do we figure out what this “able to see” means in Part 89? Do FPV goggles void that? If I am wearing goggles, doesn’t that mean I’m not ABLE to see?
The remote ID notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was attempting to define visual line of sight in Section 1.1. But that didn’t make it into the final rule. The final rule’s preamble said, “the FAA has determined not to adopt a definition for ‘visual line of sight’ in this rule.” They did not want to lock one definition in for ALL types of operations which may in the future have different definitions of visual line of sight, so they abandoned a one definition scenario. No help there. We need to look elsewhere.
In the remote ID NPRM, the FAA proposed the definition of visual line of sight from 107.31; therefore, that would be the most appropriate, and only other place to look, to identify how to define this term. Context of 107.31 helps bring to light what is meant. Section 107.31 says, “(a) With vision that is unaided by any device other than corrective lenses, the remote pilot in command, the visual observer (if one is used), and the person manipulating the flight control of the small unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft throughout the entire flight in order to: . . .(b) Throughout the entire flight of the small unmanned aircraft, the ability described in paragraph (a) of this section must be exercised by either: (1) The remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small unmanned aircraft system; or (2) A visual observer.” (Emphasis mine). Here is a comparison.

89.105 (Broadcast Module Remote ID or FRIA)

107.31

“The person manipulating the flight controls of the unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft at all times throughout the operation.”

“the person manipulating the flight control of the small unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft throughout the entire flight in order to:”


For 107.31, there is the ability to see by taking off the goggles and see the unmanned aircraft. The ability is primarily a distance and human capability number. The larger the drone, the further away you could fly. The smaller the drone, the shorter the distance you could fly it away. Now 107.31(b) says the ability must be getting exercised by the RPIC or VO. Section 44809 and Part 89 do not have any such exercising of the ability requirement, just the ability.
In the area where the FAA discussed visual line of sight in the preamble of the final rule, it said, “FAA Response: As noted, the FAA has determined not to adopt a definition for ‘visual line of sight’ in this rule. The FAA recognizes that the concept of visual line of sight allows for variation in the distance to which an unmanned aircraft may fly and still be within visual line of sight of the person manipulating the flight controls of the UAS or the visual observer. The FAA believes this is appropriate given the performance-based nature of current UAS regulations.” (Emphasis mine). The ability to see the drone is what limits the distance you can fly away. Ability determines distance.
If we read part 89 and 107 to be harmony, Part 89 does not restrict FPV racers from using goggles as long as the person manipulating the controls is “able to see the unmanned aircraft at all times” and keeps the unmanned aircraft “within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co-located and in direct communication with the operator.”
The FAA used “visual observer” multiple times and it’s not clear. Is the mention of the term visual observer indicate that there is this 2 person requirement to do FPV flying?
49 USC 44809(a)(4) says, “The aircraft is flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co-located and in direct communication with the operator.” (Emphasis mine). It does not say “and a visual observer.” Please also note you can’t somehow use a VO to “daisy chain” the drone out further because 44809(a)(4) says the VO has to be “co-located and in direct communication with the operator.” For Part 107 flying, 107.31 & 107.33 would apply and prevent daisy-chaining further out.