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Old 03-22-2015, 11:07 PM   #101
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Yep, if you are dumb enough to take off in an UL without any training you probably wouldn't do anything that would make you soil the underoos. Drones on the other hand are like an arcade game in that when you die, you just keep pumping in the quarters...or in this case a rather healthy credit card...
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:38 PM   #102
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Skinny I don't consider myself "dumb" and I was a self taught pilot. Had three years hang gliding experience when I took up powered flight. Self taught there too on the Oregon beach sand dunes. In our state there were only 5 or 6 guys flying under power and they weren't really ultralights. They were all powered hang gliders w wheels attached. My first was a dope and fabric bi-plane that weighed a little over 100lbs dry.

Parks,
I remember hop'in and pray'in the Feds would allow us 180lbs and expecting 150 to 160. And then we were all in shock when the 253lb FAR 103 became law.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:00 AM   #103
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"self critiquing" I like it, very clever understatement. I think the drone folks will also self critique. They will form an organization and come up with best operating practices.
They realize that they could lose their flight privileges if they piss off enough people.
The government may formalize those rules if not enough drone drivers follow them.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:15 AM   #104
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I think there is a big difference between something you strap yourself into as an adult and something a clueless adult can buy online and give to their kid for a gift.

Almost the magnitude difference between an RC controlled toy boat and a jet ski.

One someone might obey a regulation...even think there might be some and the other group thinking it is just a toy.

The ones that may see a regulatory issue are the pro photographers or other serious users.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:54 AM   #105
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Someone is going to build a cheap black box that is capable of hijacking (not jamming) the flight control system. It will sell very well and there will be many of these toys mysteriously disappearing (preferably into the drink or the dirt).
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:08 AM   #106
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They might be a little more tricky to shoot down than one would think.

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Old 03-23-2015, 10:42 AM   #107
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Greetings,
Harumph! Amateurs...

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Old 03-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #108
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I remember hop'in and pray'in the Feds would allow us 180lbs and expecting 150 to 160. And then we were all in shock when the 253lb FAR 103 became law.
The FAA regulatory process is very public with full disclosure. That number did not appear without a great deal of open and documented debate. Shouldn't have been a shock to anyone. The same is true for the current machinations over the unpiloted toys.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:07 AM   #109
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Skidgear, it actually was a big surprise. Everyone involved was expecting 150 pounds. To this day I don't know how they came up with 253 pounds. Might have been a typo and just went with it!
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #110
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Skid,
I was very connected to the UL community and we were all extremely supprised ... actually shocked was a good word.
There was the usual comments and everyone was encouraged to tell the FAA what they thought. A lot of time was involved too. Waiting for the rule to come down seemed to take forever. In the end there was only one UL that was (as produced (a kit)) not within the limits of FAR 103. And it was heavier and faster than the 63 knot speed limit. So it looked like the FAA gave us a huge amount of slack. And in a short period of time 25 to 35% of the "ultralights" were outlaws .. as in over the 103 rule. And many flew 2 place ultralights that were supposed to be for training only by an instructor (with and without a passenger and I never saw anyone get sent up the river nor did I even hear of the FAA coming out w scales to check anybody.

For that matter how often do you see a ramp check in general aviation. There's many "private pilots" out there w nothing more than a driver's license. Not being close to general aviation that could be wrong but I don't think so.

But Skid I do agree in that I'm sure the FAA spent a lot of time on FAR 103 and gave it their best shot. I talked to FAA people at fly-ins and air shows and the comment period was extensive.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:48 PM   #111
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Skid,
I was very connected to the UL community and we were all extremely supprised ... actually shocked was a good word.
There was the usual comments and everyone was encouraged to tell the FAA what they thought. A lot of time was involved too. Waiting for the rule to come down seemed to take forever. In the end there was only one UL that was (as produced (a kit)) not within the limits of FAR 103. And it was heavier and faster than the 63 knot speed limit. So it looked like the FAA gave us a huge amount of slack. And in a short period of time 25 to 35% of the "ultralights" were outlaws .. as in over the 103 rule. And many flew 2 place ultralights that were supposed to be for training only by an instructor (with and without a passenger and I never saw anyone get sent up the river nor did I even hear of the FAA coming out w scales to check anybody.



For that matter how often do you see a ramp check in general aviation. There's many "private pilots" out there w nothing more than a driver's license. Not being close to general aviation that could be wrong but I don't think so.

But Skid I do agree in that I'm sure the FAA spent a lot of time on FAR 103 and gave it their best shot. I talked to FAA people at fly-ins and air shows and the comment period was extensive.

A friend of a friend of mine has a 1974 Cessna-180 that he has owned for over 25 years and has over 4500 hours flying it on wheels, ski's and floats. He has rebuilt the engine in his hanger and has performed all the work on the AC including all the annual inspections, well he inspects the AC when working on it.

He has no A&P license, no pilots license never had a medical and never had a formal lesson. He files and fly's IFR in IMC to include landings and takeoff's. He has no insurance.

I will say he is a great pilot (from reports) and oh did I mention he is one of many and lives in AK.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:30 PM   #112
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Not very impressive. No insurance, no physical, no ratings, no evaluations. At least in Alaska the "big sky theory" works better than other places.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:35 PM   #113
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Many people go to Alaska for "freedom".
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:05 PM   #114
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Skidgear, it actually was a big surprise. Everyone involved was expecting 150 pounds. To this day I don't know how they came up with 253 pounds. Might have been a typo and just went with it!

I spent 20 years in the rule making process from the FAA side. There is always a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at least six months before the Final Rule hits the street. The content of the final rule is always coordinated with industry...in the case of ultralights it would have been EAA and the manufacturers, and some user groups for the most part. It might have been a surprise to folks on the street who tend to not follow the process very closely...but the final rule was no surprise to anyone who was plugged in. No chance whatever for a typo.


It's very easy to look up the public record and take a look at exactly what happened and how that number was selected.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:08 PM   #115
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EAA . No chance whatever for a typo.
The irony....
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:11 PM   #116
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The irony....
EAA = Experimental Aircraft Association.


The irony....
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:30 PM   #117
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Skidgear, I think what Eric and I are saying is that we were surprised at how generous the FAA was when they issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. We were also surprised that the EAA and AOPA didn't manage to kill it. We were not loved by either organization at that time. The only organization we had at the time was the USHGA (U.S. Hang Glider Assoc.). They didn't have much political pull as they were just a bunch of crazy hippies jumping off mountains, at least to the FAA.
As I recall there was one guy in the FAA who went to bat for us but we didn't know it at the time.


"It's very easy to look up the public record and take a look at exactly what happened and how that number was selected. "


How? I'd really like to know.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:34 PM   #118
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EAA = Experimental Aircraft Association.


The irony....
Had no idea....the stupidity on my part....I understand now...feel adequately dumb. But then I know nothing about flying such contraptions around.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:07 PM   #119
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Skidgear, I think what Eric and I are saying is that we were surprised at how generous the FAA was when they issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. We were also surprised that the EAA and AOPA didn't manage to kill it. We were not loved by either organization at that time. The only organization we had at the time was the USHGA (U.S. Hang Glider Assoc.). They didn't have much political pull as they were just a bunch of crazy hippies jumping off mountains, at least to the FAA.
As I recall there was one guy in the FAA who went to bat for us but we didn't know it at the time.


"It's very easy to look up the public record and take a look at exactly what happened and how that number was selected. "


How? I'd really like to know.
Go to the FAA web site. There's a section for regulations. Select Historical FARs (or CARs). Start digging.

By the way, the airworthiness (engineering) side of the FAA, where I was employed, was not wild about these contraptions. That reg had a Flight Standards (operations) lead....they had to do something to gain some sort of control over what was becoming a dangerous operation. As it turned out I believe the EAA eventually got involved with the field inspector side and developed some guidelines to provide at least a modicum of construction integrity. Big difference between such a guide and a formal certification to a comprehensive airworthiness standard. To this day there is virtually no oversight from the aspect of handling characteristics and performance (as is required for an aircraft in one of the normal categories). But then it's experimental and very limited in the damage it can do to the unsuspecting public on the ground as they have specified operating areas, or the numbers of people in/on the aircraft. And rest assured body counts are part of the safety equation.


I'm all for the experimental community as it's the last grass roots aviation left in this country. That said, the airworthiness side of the FAA had no interest in attempting to regulate the vehicle designs (develop an airworthiness standard). First of all it would have killed the category from the cost perspective, and secondly we would have had to double or triple our staff to keep up with proliferation of designs, and accident investigations. Just go away, get your kit inspected from the construction/assembly perspective, fly safe and leave us alone.

These toy un-peopled gizmos on the other hand, are something altogether different as has been explained quite well by another poster.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:45 PM   #120
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Not very impressive. No insurance, no physical, no ratings, no evaluations. At least in Alaska the "big sky theory" works better than other places.
Agreed

OK, I understand that the "dumb" terminology I used may be abrasive and rather direct. I also understand there are many excellent untrained pilots in the world, probably just a natural born talent. I'm sorry if my term offended anyone on here.

But...

I'm completely lost in why I should be arguing or advocating the idea of formal training, following regs, trusting in protocols, etc. being a good idea

I'm sure there is a healthy dose of people that write the check, fill up the tanks, and head out only to be rescued by the coast guard because training was unnecessary.
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