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Re: [Balloon_Sked] Re: [GPSL] Re: Autonomous Gliders dropped from balloons

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  • wb8elk@aol.com
    Robert, Robert, very well put. Anything that we can all do to help each other out to wade through government restrictions to legally actually allow the pure
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 31, 2011
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        Robert, very well put. Anything that we can all do to help each other out to wade through government restrictions to legally actually allow the pure research that I and others truly enjoy is what it's all about. I must say that I was excited to learn of a possible FAA yes answer to this kind of operation over the continental airspace after all the years of being told no and having to go to great lengths (such as launching from the Gulf of Mexico) to actually do a balloon-launched return glider. Although the FAA response indicated doesn't appear to me to be a resounding YES.
       Interesting interpretation of the "Advisory" for R/C aircraft though...if the word "advisory" means just that (and often in the FAA it actually becomes a "rule" after a certain amount of time)...that may imply that an R/C plane being flown under ground operator control via R/C from high altitude may be possible with that kind of interpretation (we controlled our R/C rocket glider from 30 miles distance while it was 75,000 feet up via a 900 MHz data modem), although a completely autonomous R/C plane seems to imply the aforementioned UAS rules. This has given me something to dig into and find out more. I've found these discussions to be fascinating.
      If I were doing this kind of flight I'd probably just make the drive to Canada to avoid these issues now that it appears that they don't have UAS restrictions like in the US.
      If there is any future discussion on this topic, lets keep it on GPSL.....please remove the Balloon_Sked group from the reply....apologies for initially copying that group.

      - Bill WB8ELK

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Robert Rochte <rrochte@...>
      To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: W0OTM <w0otm@...>; balloon_sked@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 12:21 pm
      Subject: Re: [Balloon_Sked] Re: [GPSL] Re: Autonomous Gliders dropped from balloons

      I have no dog in this fight, and Joe knows my thoughts (and that's all they are, just my thoughts) on the legality of this matter.
      I also certainly understand and appreciate the "if it isn't specifically prohibited, then it's allowed" position with regard to government and regulations.  Some here aren't comfortable with this approach and I respect their beliefs (even if I don't always agree).
      In most hobbies and other areas of interest where government likes to stick its nose, two camps exist - the "I'll do it my way until they tell me otherwise" group and the "better get permission first" group.  So, we shouldn't be surprised by the exchanges here. 
      There are usually subgroups, too, like the "let's see what happens and then we can jump on board" folks, and the "they're going to ruin it for us all" crowd.  Again, no surprises here amongst us ARHABers!  :)
      So, what to do?
      Surely Bill and others have taken the preferred approach: a collegial request for details that would help us all.  This request has, by my own reading of the reply within this thread, been denied.
      So what now to do?
      We could, of course, just leave it alone and see what happens.  In all likelihood, I think that *nothing* will probably happen.  That is, I don't think that anyone at FAA or Homeland Security will even notice the flight.  If I'm right, then this flight - sans any documentation provided by the group - will tell us all nothing about the regulatory environment.  If I'm wrong, then either we'll *still* know nothing more (since no statement of "permission" will come after the flight), or we'll find out in a year or two that the flight was illegal when charges are finally filed.
      Another possible course of action might be for a different group or individual to make their own (current) inquiry to FAA about an identical project.  If they receive a negative response from FAA (especially something like others have received in the past, like "we would *never* waiver that flight"), then they could refer to the project currently in question and their purported permission to conduct the flight.  If the flight then doesn't go off - even without any comment from the group as to why - then I think we'll have our answer and supporting data.
      I'm personally not a fan of asking questions to which I really don't want a definitive answer (e.g., writing theoretical questions to ATFE's Tech Branch is *always* a bad idea, IMHO), but this would be one way to potentially resolve the question.
      Now those who know me and what I do probably also know that I have been (still am, perhaps?) considered something of a "renegade" in the ARHAB community.  My flights follow the rules of FAR 101, but I do not reach out to FAA beyond what it strictly required (i.e., usually not at all).  I do not file NOTAMs and I have no contact with the local flight office when we are doing an exempt flight.
      So, to the leader of this glider project, please hear me: I'm *not* trying to rain on your parade, nor am I a member of the "sky is falling" crowd.  At the same time, I have come to have great respect for those whom I (light-heartedly) refer to this way! 
      Mike, Bill, Joe and others have been doing this for a LOT longer than me and they're not just making this stuff up.  Again, I don't always see eye-to-eye with all of them - and I might still be in the renegade category according to some - but I still listen very closely to everything that they say. 
      Can you not simply give the name and title of the person(s) at FAA with whom you have spoken?  Can you not simply forward a message to the list for everyone's edification?  Something, anything?
      And - here's ANOTHER can of worms - if non-disclosure agreements are stopping you from sharing anything, are you appropriately using amateur radio in the first place?
      Robert Rochte, Director of Technology
      The Grosse Pointe Academy
      +1 313-378-0525 Mobile
      "It's better to help people than garden gnomes."

      On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Joe <nss@...> wrote:

      See there may be the exact problem,  you say,,
      For once Joe, consider that NSS isn't the ONLY "Leader in HAB",
      I never ever said I was a Leader,  Bit I bet everyone here WOULD SAY that Bill IS a LEADER.
      the ONLY group to have "very open and long relationship with the FAA" 
      And I also agree that there are many others that have had decades long relationships with the FAA
      and isn't the "definitive" interpreter of US regulations.
      There we go,  I am NOT the  "interpreter" of the US Regulations.  No group IS! If you think any are when it comes to what's legal and what is NOT, yu are very mistaken.  The FAA IS the one making the decisions on US Regulations.
      And for two decades so far they have been solid in their decisions, and the decisions as others have said a UAV in US Airspace is NOT legal.
      Joe WB9SBD
      On 8/31/2011 11:06 AM, W0OTM wrote:
      For once Joe, consider that NSS isn't the ONLY "Leader in HAB", isn't 
      the ONLY group to have "very open and long relationship with the FAA" 
      and isn't the "definitive" interpreter of US regulations.

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