Go Pro on RC plane


Staff member
Kinda like "Where's Waldo..." I kept trying to find the pilot in each shot...

Thanks for sharing...



Well-known member
Don't do that in the USA.

The FAA recently came up with rules regarding drone quadrocopters, RC planes, and other things regarding recording commercially.

In short, the FAA grounded the entire industry in the USA about two months ago, threatened the only person they ever heard that actually got reported to the FAA, issued brand new rules stating that if you're doing drone work for profit (and I would not like to test this with the news), you're looking at needing a pilot's license, a permit a month in advance, filing a flight plan, or you're in violation of FAA rules, which will result in jail time and a $10,000+ USD fine.
PROBLEM: They will never issue a permit to fly a drone, so you're immediately illegal.

I, and another photog at WTVF actually own Parrot AR Drones ($300 of AWESOME!), and I can't legally put a GoPro on it and fly it for a fun shot, standup, or anything in news without violating federal law.

In short, have fun flying this thing outside the USA. You're not legal here. The FAA is big, completely bored, has people that sit at desks and bend paperclips all day into little castles in the legal department, and would absolutely LOOOOVE to make an example out of you how big and badass the FAA is, if they find out you're flying these things. Every pilot in the world knows that if you have a pilot's license, never, ever, ever even look the FAA in the face or say anything. Otherwise, you could be summarily grounded for life.

It was fun for about three weeks, until someone in some friggin' government department probably said, "What's the worst case scenario?" and they all said, "Terrorists could use this!" or "This could get sucked in a jet engine!"

They have 27 months to file an amendment to tell us what the rules are. YES, 27 MONTHS. Two and a quarter years.

Have fun flying outside the good 'ol USA. As usual, some fed thinks my 400 gram (1/2 pound) mostly styrofoam Parrot drone that can't fly more than fifty feet from my iPhone is a terror threat, and the FAA believes that anything longer than the cast of a fly fishing pole is their exclusive domain, beyond all reason. If I slap a 100 gram GoPro to this thing and use it on the news, I've committed a federal crime.

In short, this is a moving target of paperwork and federal stuff, and I've probably got a lot of information wrong, but hey, it's the feds, and they have a long standing tradition over middling things to say things like, "YOU'RE SCREWED. NO, YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY INPUT. WE DON'T CARE. HAVE A NICE DAY."

The drone thing is dead in the USA.
There is nothing anyone can do about it.
You set up a federal department with iron fist capabilities, and you shouldn't be surprised when their first reaction to anything is an iron fist.
Don't even think about flying one of these things for a news story.
In short, I think you can see what I think about the FAA right now.
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