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Thread: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

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    New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    For anyone either responsible for, or flying, drones on unnanned remote aircraft, like modrl planes and helicopters, new rules appear to have come into force today ... Nov 5th, 2019.

    I've only read them quickly, but "responsible for" seems to include owning, whether you personally fly them or not.

    Up to two ID's may be required :-

    Flyer ID - free, but you need to pass an online test, lasts 3 years

    Operator ID - £9/year.

    If you own and fly, you need both.


    These restrictions apply to drones or aircraft weighing between 250g and 20Kg. Below that, it appears to still be unrestricted (though I only looked quickly), and above that .... wrll, if you're operating something above 20Kg, I blooming well hope you already know wgat you require.

    There are other exemptions (like only ever flying indoors, under netting, etc) but I suggest if you own or fly anything, you ought to pop over to the section on drones and unmanned aircraft at caa.co.uk and check out what, if anything, you need.

    This is, it seems, in effect now.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Know and follow the rules, but seek membership of appropriate organizations that will work to protect your hobby.

    Panicked, kneejerk reaction legislation is a bad thing. I say this as an airline pilot, and as one who has previously flown fires where Drones are a serious risk.

    We all know about the shutdown at Gatwick, but it's worth noting that there was no evidence of a real drone found, the whole incident was likely a result of mass hysteria.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Completely agree with all that, TeePee, except perhaps the kneejerk bit.

    I would only say that while the risk to aircraft is obviously an extremely serious one, only a complete *rude-word* or someone with malicious intent flies anywhere near an airport or aircraft. And it's long been illegal anyway.

    Aircraft aside, there's a distinct if less drastic risk from flying such devices in all sorts of situations that in no way involve aircraft. Near people, buildings, built-up areas, trains, large crowds, etc, would all be included.

    Again, the legislation on all that hasn't changed with this either.

    What this is about is trying to make sure that everyone involved knows what you can, and can't (legally) do, and tracking both drones, and pilots/owners. It's about registration and trying to impose some degree of self-responsibility on those operating such devices to ensure they are aware of the laws already in force seeking to protect the public. And starting a way to bear down on those that don't know any better. After all, any moron can just walk into a shop, plonk down their cash and be out and about in the local park ooerating a device which could seriously injure, or worse.

    The Gatwick thing was an eye-opener to many, but in reality, the problem existed way before that. I have a relatively small (450-class) electric-powered helicopter and even that, well, suffice to say I don't want to be hit by a 13-14" carbon-fibre blade when it's spinning at even fairly low speeds, let alone full speed in flight. And some of the bigger and fuel-powered versions .... well, there are some horror stories about idiots with plenty of money and no respect for what these devices are capable of.

    The big problem is that devices like those heli's actually take real skill to fly, so tend to be hobbyist only.

    But drones are way, WAY more stable, especially with on-board stability measures, and a novice 8-year old could fly one. Meaning they've been .... erm .... flying off the shelves to people with no clue that there are laws, never mind what they are. They're now a mass-market device, and popular kids (of all ages) Christmas list item.


    A registration scheme for flyers, owners and devices is probably actually well overdue, even if it is going to be a bit of a pain for responsible users.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    This was announced in 2017, so not really kneejerk from a timeline point of view either.

    However, I can't see how it's going to be enforced - I doubt there will be anything at point of purchase, just like tons of people are riding electric scooters illegally because there's no enforcement.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Enforced registration at point of purchase might be a future step, if things don't settle down and irresponsible use doesn't .... well it won't stop, but it could be a much smaller issue.

    And that's probably a good approach. If 'no regulation', or at least registration, doesn't cut it, then ratchet up regulation a notch or two. It's better, I'd say, than using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

    Then again, enforcement is, as always, a problem because far, far to higher a percentage of people than is good don't care about laws unless they also fear getting caught. It takes both - a realistic belief in the chances of getting csught, and a fear of the consequences of punishment if you are.

    Case in point - stiffer and stiffer penalties for using a mobile phone yet I still see numerous idiots doing it more or less every day. Which suggests either the penalties are still way insufficient, or the perception of the chances of getting caught too low.


    But, back to drones, there's a trade-off.

    It's perfectly possible to implement a system that's far more rigorous, but it'll also be far more expensive. Sufficiently so as to make it prohibitively so so all but the seriously wealthy. This registration scheme applies, essentially, to recreational users. The moment anybody uses a drone or unmanned aircraft for payment, in whatever form the payment takes, this scheme no longer applies and you need "permission" from the CAA to fly, and as our very own recently departed PeterB coukd have told us (hwving gone that route), doing so is far from easy, far from quick and most certainly far, far from cheap.

    Going that way would be a more onerous scheme, but would almost certainly kill the hobbyist drone market in this country, and deprive many users, including kids of all ages (like me) of their innocent pleasures.

    So this scheme is a balance, but if it fails to be effective, the next stage may well be more draconian. And rightly so.


    All it needs for Stage 2 is for a but of time to pass, and then some headline-grabbing incident to soend a few days on the evening news, like a few serious injuries or even a death or two, and the pressure will be on to "do something".
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Mate of mine flys drones and he's done a few courses now on this sort of thing.
    I dont think its kneejerk as such, as mentioned its been coming for a while, but as per normal takes something in the media that has caused disruption and suddenly things start to move faster...
    As long as airports and the likes have decent enough detection and defence against this sort of thing then I cant see it being an issue.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    I've always seen drones as something that's intereting in theory, but with very few practical uses for most people - and I have no practical use needs, hence I don't own one.

    Model helicopters I found a bit more interesting simply for being helicopters, but still only in theory as I still didn't see a practical use for myself to be worth owning one.

    Both of those are further made pointless for me by the fact that I doubt I'd have the skill to be able to fly either anyway though, plus I doubt my interest would last long afterwards if I ever did try them.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    the amount of contraband fed into prisons via drone must be at an all time high, but the chance of a criminal registering their drone use is nil/zip/zero.

    So once again, here we go on the age-old bandwagon : it's easy to disarm a considerate law abiding gun owner, but nearly impossible to do the same to a law breaking gun owner. This will be the same I fear - force the people who are already trying hard to do it right, to register, and have no way of knowing the 10's of thousands who are doing it wrong.

    If drone use needs controlling, then drones needs registering at point of import and of sale, with serial numbers etc.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    ....

    Both of those are further made pointless for me by the fact that I doubt I'd have the skill to be able to fly either anyway though, plus I doubt my interest would last long afterwards if I ever did try them.
    I have both drones and heli's, though more of the latter. The drones are too small to be caught by this, as are some of the heli's.

    As for practical use .... for me, it's a hobby. Drones, being more stable, have more practical uses than heli's, especially if big enough to have stabilised cameras platforms, but then, they's neither small nor cheap, for the most part.

    Most drones are highly stabke in flight, and some you pretty much have to try to crash to come unstuck .... and even then, only if you've turned off much of the built-in stabilisation. If you do turn it all off, for instance fir aerobatics or racing, well, that's different .... like driving a family saloon is different to driving an F1 car at a GP race. You could fly one. I've seen novice 8-yr olds do so .... though not in "F1" mode.

    Heli's are different.

    There's three badic types. The first flies itself and is effectively a toy. The second requires some skill and practice, but is a good intro learning tool.

    Then there's "proper" heli's. These have basically the same full collective pitch mechanicals as "real" helicopters. And there's about as stable as balancing one bowling ball on top of another, while riding a roller-coaster.

    My first CP heli was a tiny little thing. Small, pretty cheap, I thought so .... good for learning. Right. Not. It's got roughky the stability of an angry hummingbird, on speed, in a hurricane. If, when you start, you can get it off the ground for more than 1 second, you're doing well. If you can hold a stable hover for 5 seconds, you have inate talent. "Ideal learning tool" my ar.... erm, foot.

    That said, if you learn to fly that, you can fly almost any model heli (*) and have a good start on the full sized things because you understand the principles involved.

    But that little heli is whole barrels of fun once you "get it". It's a bit like riding a bike. You do a lot of wobbling, and probably some falling off, then something in the brain goes click, and you understand the rrkationship between pegals and steering, and the effect of speed. Once that happens with a CP heli, and you similarly click with everything being reversed when flying it towards you, then it becomes merely practice to go from simply flying it, to really in control .... like a novice driver just passing a test, to an experienced driver where 99% is automatic reflex.

    Then, you try upside down. No, on the hekli, not the car. Well, hopefully not the car, as it tends to not end well. But it's fun with the heli.

    The practical use? None really, with one exception. It not about use, it's about fun. .if it floats your boat, great. If it doesn't, it's not for you.

    The one exception?

    I was talking to a helipcopter instructor (full sizedchelis, not models) and he told me that every single modrl heli pilot he's taught to fly real heli's has "got it" whereas not every non-model flter does. And typically, both "got it" and progressed, pretty fast. Flying a model (he said) certainly doesn't equip you to fly the real thing, but it does he said) give you a real and significant head start.




    (*) Except multi-engined jobs. They're .... a different type of challenge.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Oh, and if you or anyone else does try to fly one of those really agile little beggars, remember modern radio transmitters are programmable. Learn that first, and program in 'modest' curves between control inputs on the radio, and response rates on the heli.

    You still have to learn how it reacts, but need reaction times about 20% of those you need in acrobatic mode. Then, as you get it, and gain control, adjust those curves and end-stops bit at a time. You can turn a relative tame "learner" chopper into that doped-up hummingbird, all by software changes. And for free.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Plenty of interesting information there, thanks Saracen.

    The part about model pilots getting the hang of real helicopter piloting faster in that instructor's experience is also a very interesting note too.

    In my own case though, I see them more of a novelty that would be nice to try for few minutes, but that I wouldn't be interested in continuing afterwards.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    ....

    In my own case though, I see them more of a novelty that would be nice to try for few minutes, but that I wouldn't be interested in continuing afterwards.
    The very basic ones, I entirely agree. And me too. Butcthe 'proper" ones? Well .....

    The best way I can explain the appeal, to me at least, is to quote/paraphrase JFK and the striving to get to the moon - "we do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard".

    It IS hard.

    Similar is the computer game development model - make the initial bits easy, to set the hook in the fish, then gradually reel them in, making leveks harder and harder. Make 'em work for it, and the (mental) reward for success gets bigger and bigger. That sense of achieving something. It is, as I understsnd it, a pretty basic dopamine (or whichever cerebral hormone it is) reward mechanism.

    Ask Olympians why they do it. Ask a mountaineer why they aspire to ever-higher peaks. A mate of mine is a physical exercise enthusiast, to the pointcof having taken his cycling to the extent of John O'Groats to Lands End. His running to dozens (maybe more) of marathons and his swimming to include a cross-channel swim. And I don't know hiw many iron-man triathlons. Mostly in his 50s and early 60's.

    While I wouldn't compare me flying helis to to climbing Everest, swimming the channel or winning Olympic gold, the motivational mechanusm is the same - hiwever good you are, you want to be better. It's often not even about beating others, but beating yourself.

    And with those full CP helis, it starts with getting off the ground, then stable hover, then adding a non-crash contwct with the ground. And becayse it's hard, you get a right kick. And from there, well .... how well can you fly.

    As for drones, hqve you seen the DRL? Drone Racing League? It's on TV at the moment, with a 'stage' every couple of weeks. I can't remember the channel but will look it up if you want. These, as the name suggests, are professional out-and-out racing drones, but they're flying very tight, challenging courses with drones doing something like 80-90 mph, with very tight gates to get through, in a 3D course and being a fraction of a second out in a turn means at least cocking up the racing line, if not crashing out entirely. I know for sure I'm nowhere near good enough for that, not least 'cos I'd need vusion and reflexes a good 30 years younger than mine.

    That's what grips me. It's trying to do better than I have before. But, for instance, competitive cycling, weight-lifting, etc, do nothing for me.

    So unless this particular self-challenge floats your boat, then you're probably right - you'd dabble, then lose interest. And only you know if it'd appeal, if you tried it.

    The same, really, applies to any serious hobby/enthusiasm. Another of mine is photography, but you will really, really struggle to find any of my pictures online. There are a few, but they're almost as rare as unicirn droppings. A friend of mine is really into building complex models from matchsticks and another collects stamps. I kinda get the matchstick model thing, but haven't got the patience, and as for stamps .... well, it seems to make him happy.


    That's why heli's float my boat, but would it float yours? Doesn't sound like it. And it can get pretty expensive to find out it doesn't.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    ...

    That's why heli's float my boat, but would it float yours? Doesn't sound like it. And it can get pretty expensive to find out it doesn't.
    No, I definitely don't think it would float my boat more than the initial novelty of a few minutes. The motivation just wouldn't be there.

    I'm much more motivated to learn programming, but learning programming is akin to my game library in motivational terms - I keep collecting resources (usually via Humble Bundles) and plan to get around to it at some point, but when that'll actually end up being is another question entirely.

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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    I really appreciate the insight into Heli's, Saracen. I'm really into RC Cars myself (offroad pretty much - 1:14 to 1:8 "scale") so I have some background there. I have thought about helis in the past and could get into it in the future. I thought drones might negate the need for that but the way you describe the challenge is very exciting.
    Also good to think of yourself as a kid at all points in your life

    I doubt at any point I will be doing 1:1 heli training but the challenge of keeping one up sounds like fun. And excellent point on the transmitter (TX) programmable curves.
    What was that beginner model you mention was hard to handle?
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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    This is, it seems, in effect now.
    For clarification, the DRES system launched 5th Nov, so registration is possible now but isn't actually in effect ore enforceable until 30th Nov.

    I'm not enamoured by the idea, but I can swallow it if the fee doesn't just become an ever increasing tax based on lack of knowledge and poor understanding in general. However, as already stated, this isn't a knee jerk response to the Gatwick incidents - it was announced long before that happened.

    It is obviously driving drone manufacturers to re-think - Mavic just released the Mavic Mini, which weighs in at 249 grammes but remains an incredibly capable quad, with a 2.7k camera on a three axis gimbal.

    I find the timing a little odd though - a lot of folk pack their drones away for the majority of the winter. I haven't flown mine in a couple of weeks due to crappy weather. The run up to spring would seem like a better time to push this. Still, I imagine it coincides with other aviation authorities schemes around the world.
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    Re: New Drone and Unmanned model aircraft regulations in force

    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
    I find the timing a little odd though - a lot of folk pack their drones away for the majority of the winter. I haven't flown mine in a couple of weeks due to crappy weather. The run up to spring would seem like a better time to push this. Still, I imagine it coincides with other aviation authorities schemes around the world.
    Might be they wanted it quiet to avoid too many people doing it at once. Or it might be trying to catch Christmas purchasers.

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