mission protocol

mission protocol

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Curt 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #996

    willmasteller
    Participant

    I just passed 14 CFR part 107 and am wondering what your real world protocol is for planning and flying a mission.  Like your selves, the most common airspace I will be flying in is class E, class E surface, and class G.  and Magenta hatched MOA.  I know you don’t need a waiver to fly in surface class E and MOA but you still need to obtain permission.  For your airport (HYS), did you just talk to the airport manager once and say “Hey, I’m going to fly my drone in your airspace from time to time. Is that cool?”  Or do you talk to him every time you are going to bust his airspace?  And for the Bison MOA that is near you, do you call 1-800-WX-BRIEF to find out if it is hot or not?  Or do you take a different action.  And as far as what Items do you have or have done for each mission?  Here is what I have on my list. 1. Remote Pilots Certificate. 2. Drivers licence. 3. Check NOTAMS and TFRs (1-800-WX-BRIEF).  4. Check METARS (Skyvector).  Check airspace (Skyvector).  5. Waiver if needed.  7. Radio.  8. Fire extinguisher and first aid kit. 9. Flight and maintenance log. 10. Approval from the property owner.  11. Insurance.  As you see the list gets pretty long.  I’m wondering how anal do I really need to be?  What are your “real world” steps?

  • #997

    Curt
    Participant

    First off, congrats on passing and welcome to the club Will!  You’ve posed some great questions, most of which I’m sure many that are new to working with the FAA regs have.  Instances may vary depending on your rapport with the local airport manager, but in our case, it’s been very pleasant for a couple of reasons.  First is that we paid a visit his office to make him aware of our business, what we do, and the steps we take to make the skies safe.  Explaining this and meeting him face to face went a long way to gaining a sense of familiarity with us.  The second is we set up a channel of communication directly with him.  We did this by setting up a Google Drive spreadsheet with our flight location, date/times, durations, etc. that would notify him days prior to our flights.  We also would shoot him a text or call when flying areas that may be close to air traffic patterns.  Some of this may have been overkill, but he liked to be “in the know”.  Your airport manager may be okay with a one-time reach out, or maybe he’ll like a heads up every time until he feels comfortable with UAS in the area.  Regardless, I’d stop in and introduce yourself; you’ll find out that most of these guys and gals get a kick out of what you’re doing and will take an interest.
    For the Bison MOA, we’ve not flown close enough to cause concern, but you’re on the right track; we like to check 1-800-WX-BRIEF and NOTAM regardless before flights.
    Since we had our Section 333 Exemption prior to getting Part 107 certifications, we’ve been in the habit of filing NOTAMs before flights, and still do so depending on the location and duration of the mission.  It’s probably not a bad idea to file a NOTAM if you’ll have a lot of air time in a higher risk location.  If it’s just a quick flight it’s probably not necessary.  Other than that, your list is spot-on, although I’d recommend the addition of a pre-flight check list that bullet point steps from aircraft prep, mission planning, flight procedures, all the way through post-flight procedures.  Even though it may seem redundant if you fly often, we still use a check list for every flight and it’s saved our rears on a few occasions.   You may pare down your “real world” steps as you get used to flying in your area, but it doesn’t hurt to start out with a long list, plus it shows you’re a professional and take all precautions and due diligence.  One last thing, you may throw in a stack of business cards because as you know, flying these contraptions attracts buzzards and lookie loos!

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