Drone pilots don’t have to register under FAA’s controversial rule, court rules

Dec 3, 2012
Sandpoint, Idaho
Drone pilots don’t have to register under FAA’s controversial rule, court rules

“A (drone) registration system is important to promote accountability and responsibility by users of the national airspace, and helps create a culture of safety that deters careless and reckless behavior,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. “We plan to work with Congress on a legislative solution that will ensure continued accountability across the entire aviation community, both manned and unmanned.”

The decision applies to hobby users, but does not apply to commercial drone users who have to follow a separate set of standards which includes passing a test to get a license in order to fly.

“We are carefully reviewing the U.S. Court of Appeals decision as it relates to drone registrations,” according to a prepared statement from the FAA. “The FAA put registration and operational regulations in place to ensure that drones are operated in a way that is safe and does not pose security and privacy threats. We are in the process of considering our options and response to the decision.”
Many drone users had accepted that the drone-registration process was a means of educating users about safety. Some drone users suspect that it was in reaction to events such as a drone crash near the White House in January 2015, though the drone operator in that crash voluntarily came forward.

“They want to be able to identify the drone operator if there’s an accident or bad use of the drone,” said Colin Snow, founder of drone research firm Skylogic Research. “But who is going to register their drone and then commit a nefarious act?”
Drones have been spotted flying too close to airports as airplanes take off or over fires where crews need to clear the area. An 18-month-old boy’s eye was cut after he was hit in the head by a crashing drone.

And though registration may have educated drone users to avoid those types of circumstances, many felt it wasn’t enough.

“The entire registration process took an average of 7 minutes,” John Taylor said in an interview with MarketWatch last week. “The FAA used that to show it wasn’t very burdensome, but how much education can really go on in 7 minutes? It’s all bogus.”

Taylor said that there should be some type of regulation around drone use, but requiring hobbyists to register is not the solution.

“There needs to be enforcement and education,” he said. “Perhaps drone manufacturers should make you take a test before you are able to unlock their app in order to fly the drone.”

“As of today, no American has been seriously injured by hobby drones,” Taylor said. “They may get cuts or bruises, but look at ATVs and watercraft, where dozens are killed every year. It’s all a reaction to new technology. People are afraid of drones because they’re something new. I just don’t see that the risk justifies the action that has been taken over the last 100 years around model aircraft.”
Mar 7, 2011
Well I had one nearly hit me in the face in my own yard. Stepped out of my race trailer and I was probably within a foot of it at eye level to the rotors. Idiot was violating a few regs. Flying it without eyes directly on it (he was using the camera). Flying it around people in an unsafe manner. Followed it back to his house and had some choice words with him.

Not afraid of quadcopters (what they really are since they are technically not drones), but a good number of their owners have caused ALOT of havoc and problems to the rc world. There was a guy flying his quadcopter IN THE APPROACH TO A MAJOR RUNWAY in Madison. Another crash landed his in Racine Co Airport on the runway. Seen a couple of them flying over an interstate at 50' like they were "dogfighting". Seen posted some where a pilot had one go by his cockpit window on approach at 1000'. Unfortunately the FAA lumped us rc pilots of rc airplanes and rc helicopters in with the quadcopters. At least rc airplanes and helicopters take some skill to fly. Most quadcopters can be flown by someone who has never flown rc before within minutes.

Every one of my rc models (air water and land) has a decal on it with my name and phone number (some have my old AMA number on them also) in case one gets lost. Now if they actually reverse the FAA "requirement" for rc pilots to register with them, I'll probably bring my aircraft out of the attic.
Oct 4, 2006
Chicago, IL
As a pilot I have not had any 'close encounters' with a quadcopter but I know they have been seen near Poplar Grove Airport (C77). Too bad you can't license stupid... but then this is America - can't people do whatever they want regardless of how it affects others? o_O IMHO i guess it is like guns - they are not dangerous in themselves , but put them in a hand of a moron (is that a politically correct term???) and you get what you get...
Aug 11, 2007
Mountain Home, ID
Real Name
Seen posted some where a pilot had one go by his cockpit window on approach at 1000'.
I think I saw that one, and if I recall, it was debunked, or at least unverified. (Paraphrasing here) They said that they saw something, but at that speed and through the relatively small cockpit windows, they couldn't verify what it was. Someone suggested that it may have been a drone and then they (and the media) ran with the unverified, unsubstantiated claim and shockingly when the investigation either couldn't prove it was a drone, or proved that it wasn't a drone, the media never bothered to correct the story.

I love my drone and fly it in a safe manner and wish everyone else would do the same. The registration in my opinion is just another way to try and control/regulate something that doesn't need to be. As they said in the first quote, who is going to register one before committing a crime with it? Its just irrational fear to new technology.
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