In this week’s column – the errors and misconceptions about flying below a public security COA, as Steve Rhode talks about his current interview of FAA consultant John Meehan.
The following is one in all a biweekly series on public security drone points by Steve Rhode, Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy, and founding father of Public Safety Flight, an internet site devoted to details about the usage of unmanned plane methods (UAS), UAVs, plane, and drones in public security. (Not to be contrued as authorized recommendation: please see details at the FAA government web site.)
Flying Under a Public Safety COA: What You Must Know
You may need heard that previous saying, “what you don’t know can kill you.” While that’s true, within the public security flying world, I believe the expression ought to be “what you assume you understand can kill you.”
Flying drones in public security is a brand new subject with a great deal of shortcuts to get individuals within the air. Much of the knowledge pilots hear or study is from a salesman, good friend, or web discussion board.
So it doesn’t shock me when pilots ask me about conditions which are simply not inside the rules.
When introduced with the information, the response is commonly denial that what I’m saying is true as a result of so many different sources have given the impression of a distinct actuality.
In all circumstances, the last word authority of public security UAS flight is the FAA, and the boundaries of compliant flight are within the Federal Aviation Regulations. It provides all pilots a spot to search for the proper reply as an alternative of what new pilot Bob advised them he had heard at a convention.
Recently I had the chance to have John Meehan from the FAA drone people on my Public Safety Flight podcast. We spent virtually an hour and a half simply scratching the floor of 1 matter – public security COA flight.
John is a wealth of information and frequently helps departments to cope with the extremely complicated world of flying below a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA).
John shared the historical past of the COA and the way it took place following the Vietnam battle to permit all of the helicopters coming again for use in public plane operation by very skilled and extremely educated navy pilots.
I discovered that fascinating. It defined how we wound up with such unfastened oversight by the FAA when operating an expert business flight operation primarily below a COA. No surprise the fashionable COA is a minefield.
That a part of the dialogue alone is definitely worth the funding in time to take heed to the complete podcast, even in case you don’t normally take heed to podcasts.
More key factors we talked about that every one public security pilots want to pay attention to are:
Training flights are usually not allowed below the COA. All coaching flights and different non-Public Aircraft Operations (PAO) must be flown below a Part 107 Remote Pilot certificates held by the pilot.
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight is commonly misunderstood by departments flying below a COA. A standard misperception is plane can fly past sight, however the actuality is it could actually solely fly past the visible line of sight of the pilot however not the required Visual Observer (VO).
Well-intentioned pilots generally misunderstand even the brand new Tactical BVLOS that’s solely to be requested in imminent hazard to life and nonetheless requires a VO to watch the plane always visually.
We talked at size about the entire hidden or unknown points that journey up COA pilots. We appeared into why even the non-pilot on the COA, generally known as the accountable particular person, might be discovered legally accountable for non-compliant flight by the division.
But the accountability extends right down to the pilot flying the plane. No division can protect the pilot from fines, penalties, and authorized motion from the FAA or different aviation regulators.
This podcast web page has a transcript of the complete interview if you wish to learn it.
All pilots flying below a COA and all departments that maintain a COA for public security drone flight ought to listen to the entire podcast and listen to what John has to say. You owe it to your self and your division.
Steve Rhode is an FAA-certificated airplane business and instrument certificated pilot, an skilled Part 107 UAS business pilot, and Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy. He gives knowledgeable recommendation to drone pilots by way of Homeland Security Information Network and as an FAA Safety Team drone knowledgeable. Steve is the founder Public Safety Flight, an internet site devoted to information, sincere info, ideas, and tales about the usage of unmanned plane methods (UAS), UAVs, plane, and drones within the hearth service and different public security niches. Sign up for the Public Safety Flight newsletter to hitch Steve’s personal e mail checklist, or contact Steve here. In the airplane, his FAA callsign is Fire Demon 1: and Firebird 1 with the drone.