back to article FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a new rule that will require the owners of almost every drone in the United States to register it with the federal government – and pay $5 for the pleasure of doing so. Concerned with the booming number of flying toys, especially the 25 reports a month being filed with …

Anonymous Coward

There are several preconditions, including operator training, certification, and TSA pre-screening, which are not included in the $5 fee. Plus, you would likely need to get an attorney specializing in aeronautic regulation (and who understands the legal difference between total takeoff weight and payload weight) to file your paperwork. Plus there will probably be periodic inspections, although they did say they won't require takeoff checklists like on regular aircraft. Plus, if you make any changes to the drone (such as adding anything like a battery which changes the weight) you may have to do the whole process over again. All of that stuff costs money.

It was a huge mistake to set the threshold weight at 250 grams. It's like asking people to get a radio operator license to carry a cell phone.

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It's also a power grab. If you have to register it with us, we must have jurisdiction. This gives them a greater theoretical claim to that lower airspace and to any other regulating they want to do concerning drones.

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mtp
Holmes

Lohan loophole

Do they actually say weigh? If so then Lohan has a great loophole here because when in initial balloon mode it has -ve weight so is clearly below any threshold that the all powerful FAA deems to set.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: Lohan loophole

Nice try. Weight could be said to be the force produced on a mass due to gravity. Whilst LOHAN's measured weight might be negative, it's only due to the counter force produced by the balloon. The downward component of the resultant remains the same.

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Silver badge

Re: Lohan loophole

It's weight is still positive, it's just lower than the weight of the air it has displaced... it has bouyancy, but it still has weight.

Sorry...

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mtp

Re: Lohan loophole

It still has mass but I stick with the -ve weight

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Silver badge

Re: Lohan loophole

"It still has mass but I stick with the -ve weight"

It has positive weight, but the air it displaced has a greater positive weight. With most objects you don't need to consider the mass of the displaced fluid.

Take a supertanker - does it become weightless when placed on water?

No, it still weighs alot, but it is supported by the water around it.

LOHAN still weighs what it did before, but it's supported by the air around it.

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Silver badge
Joke

Land of free speech?

People should be able to drone on and on as much as they like.

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Silver badge

Excuse me...

Height in feet, weight in grams?

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Re: Excuse me...

We don't need no steenking consistency (or silly SI rules)

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Headmaster

Re: Excuse me...

Uh-huh. And whoever would cast the first stone is one really strong hurler.

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Anonymous Coward

The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

Drones don't kill people, rappers do...

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Re: The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

Drones might kill people so have to be regulated just in case

Guns definitely kill people so their owners are too scary to regulate

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Re: The US govt are more concerned by illegal drones than guns?!

Steve, You are mixing two unrelated arguments deliberately to bring up the subject of guns which are NOT part of the FAA's bailiwick and are not part of this article. Since you don't know your ass from your elbow, I will try to explain so you might comprehend the difference

Tools can not kill people by themselves, only humans can show an "intent" to kill; not tools such as guns or drones. They have no ability to aim and fire or fly themselves under normal circumstances.

They REQUIRE a human to make them operate and that is what the issue really is. A human must decide to pull the trigger in order for guns to fire; making the human the only responsible party in a crime.

Guns cannot be jailed for a crime, only humans can.

In the same way, a human must pilot the drone and direct it's flight path, making that human responsible for the drone and where it goes.

.

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TRT
Silver badge

Anyway, I have a R/C plane...

so that's not a drone, is it?

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Unhappy

Re: Anyway, I have a R/C plane...

The rules also hit "model airplanes"and that's one.

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Joke

Drones

I have a set of bagpipes and that has 3 drones :)

but I'm not paying $15 for the privilege of throwing it in the air

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M7S

"Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

OK, that's paraphrasing one of the criticisms, but there may be another view to be had of this particular item. Here in the UK at least, it is pointed out that legislation does not keep up with technology, whether that be computers, social media or even motor vehicles (ordinary ones for the road), although with autonomous vehicles the are trying to finally break that habit.

Perhaps the FAA are simply anticipating that these products will become even better (as in longer range/altitude, low mass etc) in a short while and are sensibly forestalling the criticism that would be levelled then that "they didn't think far enough ahead".

It is possible that there was a reasonably prescient engineer involved in the discussion somewhere.

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Re: "Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

But is the problem to be solved really that of drones crashing into people on the ground? From watching the news, they're mostly upset pilots that are having near-misses with drones, there's a bit of a privacy issue in the airborne camera around one's neighbors bit, and a vibe (or maybe it's just me and my own anarchist cookbook mentality) of fitting a drone with some explosive and turning it into a guided missile (albeit a rather slow one).

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: "Most current drones cannot reach 400 feet....."

Presumably you can't then ship drones by airfreight?

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In other words, the FAA took a worst-case scenario [...]

Isn't that what they're *supposed* to do? I don't want my pilot to be prepared for the "reasonably unlikely scenario" I want her/him to be ready for the worst-case scenario.

I don't really see what the big deal is - just pay the $5, put the damn sticker on there, and then don't be a fucking asshole with your quad-copter. Problem solved.

I wonder if people bitched about having to register their cars and/or get driver's licenses when those first started.

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Anonymous Coward

It's very unfortunate...

...that the U.S. has so many incompetent government agencies who are not held accountable for their actions by anyone. The FCC, FTC, FAA, EPA and many other agencies routinely waste tens of millions of tax payer dollars only to demonstrate their gross incompetence and inability to properly regulate their area of expertise. The criminals are laughing all the way to the bank and many are very large corporate criminals with great influence over these government agencies via PAC financial contributions. So we have the criminal and unscrupulous controlling the incompetent and apathetic government agencies. What a system...

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Joke

FAA to regulate bullets?

"The FAA claims that the 400-foot rule is a "misperception that may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground," and claims it has authority over all airspace from the ground up."

So if a bullet is fired outdoors, it travels through airspace from the ground up. Maybe gun violence in the US could be cut down if all bullets had to be registered with the FAA.

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Bronze badge

Re: FAA to regulate bullets?

I have a few friends who have "flown" "bullets" with more than 250 grams mass (I agree with the earlier poster who distinguishes weight from mass, but then we'd have to get into grams versus Newtons, or pounds versus slugs, and I would love to have about a 2meter long RC dirigible. But I digress), but they were doing so under Naval auspices, and I believe the FAA would not have had jurisdiction.

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Radio controlled airplane modelers

... are disgusted. Heck. I've glued together free-flight balsa gliders heavy enough to require registration*, and I suspect this will result in a temporary injunction until all the conflicting regulations (say, tethered flight - there's already an FAA exemption for that) and law sorted out, IDEALLY, common sense can take over. Good luck.

*Give or sell any heavy enough "model airplane" capable of sustained flight and that that transaction has to be reported as well.

Oh, that kinetic-energy-derived standard? What about the traditional "half brick inna sock?" Or a ladies handbag?

Fun.

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