If a public agency flew a UAV within the recent guidelines (VFR within class G & E airspace) why would a 2nd Class Medical be required?? I do not understand the logic of this requirement given the conditions in my prior sentence.
Since 2004 the FAA Sport Pilot certificate has been in place and basically covers exactly this type of VFR flight. No medical is required for that, simply a valid drivers license. I think this requirement is going to simply freeze out most 'public agency' like a fire department, county law enforcement or county incident management team in the use of this great technology.
You are right about digital video. This plane uses the Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) VT30 for digital video, audio and data. A little pricey for us modelers but very high quality and robust. It's in the C-band microwave band (not 5.8 GHz).
What kind of target drones did you fly? Were you in uniform or a contractor?
Different topic--will you be working Field Day at the end of the month?
We had a COA application started in January 2010 (?) and when we started working on it, only a Third Class Medical was required. When we finally finished it around February 2010, it bounced because FAA changed their policy and now we need Second Class Medicals. ??!!??!!??!!??!! Even better: all of the spotters need Second Class Medicals, too, not just the pilot. I've never been able to find out the logic behind this.
As for the medical freezing out people, the medical isn't too bad, so a healthy person with good corrected vision can pass. It is, however, about $100 which adds cost.
BTW, I don't mean to bash FAA. The individual FAA staff we work with are fantastic people and extremely helpful.
IMHO, being required to obtain and keep a 2nd class medical ongoing is onerous. And in the case of flight in class G/E within those base guidelines, is just out of line with a reasonable level of safety. Even more so for the spotter.
I'm a volunteer firefighter, we already have numerous annual qualifications that have to be maintained, often at our own costs. Not to mention the time to make it happen. 70% of fire departments in the US are volunteers.
Also, I personally know of two pilots who ran afoul of the medical issue. They wanted to simply fly as a sport pilot but had some issues with their 2nd class medical. After 4 years still not resolved and basically they can no longer fly airplanes.
OK, this medical requirement has got my attention. I tried thinking like the FAA (frightening, I know), about this 2nd class medical need for UAVs piloting/spotting. Maybe they thought it would be needed for flights in IFR conditions, or into class D/C/B airspace.
Nope. A little research finds that the FAA already allows a Sport Pilot to fly VFR into class D/C/B airspace if they have additional training specific to communications and operating rules of those airspace classifications, AND their aircraft has a working transponder. Check out: FAR 61.325
It is hard enough for me to understand the UAVs pilot need for a 2nd class medical. Why a spotter must also have one is well beyond the pale.
Maybe CenTexFlyer and others who have worked through the COA process can chime in?
Book is in the final edits. Looks like we'll be publishing soon. I'll let everyone know as soon as it hits!
Sorry for the delay in "chiming in"......
The reason for the 2nd class medical is that the FAA is considering all UA operations under agencies in the same light they view any commercial flight operation. They have no other FAR to work under so the (round plug) UA operator(s) get hammered into the square hole.
The book is out and is available at www.suasnews.com/first-to-deploy
Gene or Dave,
Do either of you have any links to decent UAS contractors, or contact information?
I can take a PM if you you would like to keep in private.
On Spread FM