The Consultant - 2016 - (Page 41)

UPDATE Proposed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Regulations from the FAA T he FAA has released proposed regulations for small (under 55 pounds) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The public comment period closed in early 2015. Below are the main points of the proposed regulations. I have omitted obvious ones ("you must fly your small UAV safely") and ones that really have no effect on applications consultants would be involved in: ©COPYRIGHT: YUPIRAMOS /123RF STOCK PHOTO OPERATOR LIMITATIONS: * Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg) * Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the operator or visual observer * At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses * Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly involved in the operation * Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official sunset, local time) * Must yield right-of-way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned * First-person-view camera cannot satisfy "see-and-avoid" requirement but can be used as long as the requirement is satisfied in other ways * Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots) * Maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level * Minimum weather visibility of three miles from control station THE CONSULTANT 2016 OPERATOR CERTIFICATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES: * Pilots of a small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) would be considered "operators." Operators would be required to: - Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledgetesting center - B e vetted by the Transportation Security Administration - Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires) - Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months - Be at least 17 years old - Make available to the FAA, upon request, the small UAS for inspection or testing and any associated documents/records required to be kept under the proposed rule - Report an accident to the FAA within 10 days of any operation that results in injury or property damage - Conduct a preflight inspection to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks, to ensure the small UAS is safe for operation AIRCRAFT REQUIREMENTS: * FAA airworthiness certification not required, however, operator must maintain a small UAS in condition for safe operation and prior to flight must inspect the UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation Aircraft Registration required (same requirements that apply to all other aircraft) Clay Folk, ACF * Aircraft markings required (same requirements that apply to all other aircraft); if aircraft is too small to display markings in standard size, then the aircraft simply needs to display markings in the largest practical manner The "visual line of site" provision is problematic for, not just forestry, but a lot of industries wanting to use small UAVs. Overall, the proposed regulations were not nearly as restrictive as feared. If the visual line of site provision is removed or amended, small UAVs will become a valuable tool in many industries. For most forestry applications, this restriction makes no sense. The FAA did leave the door open for UAVs weighing less than 4.4 pounds, these regulations would be less restrictive than the ones above. The FAA does recognize the future importance of small UAVs and is aware of the problem the visual line of sight creates, so the final rules may be friendlier in that area. It is not known when the final rules will be published, but it is likely to be at least a year out. Ironically, these rules do not apply to hobbyists-the ones creating all the problems you see in the news. For the full list, see: https://www.faa. gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/ media/021515_sUAS_Summary.pdf Clay Folk is a SC and NC Registered Forester with Folk Land Management, Inc. where he has been using a small UAV for a variety of forestry and wildlife applications. He can be reached at 41

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2016

From the Executive Director: The Elephant in the Room
From the President ACF – We Join You
Member Profile: Keville Larson, Renaissance Forester
The Value of a Consulting Forester
Fracking and the Landowner
Two Weeks at the Gates of Hell
If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…
Proposed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Regulations from the FAA
Cross-Border Trade Disputes Heat Up
Will Small Firms Have to Specialize to Survive?
The Cradle of Forestry
Products & Services Buyers’ Guide
Index of Advertisers
A Call to Order

The Consultant - 2016