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Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

Then why aren't you calling for the same (or, really, much more) stringent regulations on the millions of casual noobs, instead of the comparative handful of people who happen to regularly use the technology as part of the bucket of professional tools?

What makes you think I'm not calling for regulations on noobs? The fact that I'm explaining why commercial pilots have more stringent regulations on them doesn't mean I'm not in favor of regulations on others, too.

The vast majority of reckless behavior involving these devices is at the hands of idiotic beginners

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be regulations on the commercial pilots.

Comment Re:You don't own the sky (Score 1) 182

What about people who live near an airport? Are they entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their property?

You mean people who bought a house next to an airport because it was cheap and then complain that there is noise from airplanes? Like the people who buy houses next to the railroad tracks and then complain about trains going by?

Hopefully a combination of laws and common sense will apply to drones: basically "thou shall not annoy your neighbors with great regularity".

As common sense, that's not a bad rule. As a law it would be atrocious. I'm annoyed by the cooking smells coming from my next door neighbor's house. Should that be illegal?

Comment Re:You don't own the sky (Score 1) 182

The disparity in our opinions are likely lead to stupid laws like having to have a flagman 50 feet in front of a horseless carriage.

You're right. In this analogy, your position would be that any horseless carriage on the street is violating your right to peaceful enjoyment of the street and that no horseless carriages should be allowed anywhere but on someone's own private property because they're scary.

I'm certain there can be compromise, but it is doubtful if you continue to insist you have a right to invade my space.

I'm certain that no compromise is possible as long as you keep trying to claim every molecule of air over your head as your private airspace and that any incursion whatsoever is stripping you of your basic right to life. As long as you keep using phrases like "invade [your] space" when you are talking about the airspace over that tiny part of the planet that you claim ownership to, then no progress can be made.

This issue has been long decided. The FAA regulates from the surface up, not from some arbitrary 500' limit that you want to impose. An aircraft in the space over your head is not destroying your life.

Comment Re:It's the driver's responsibility (Score 1) 277

This thread started with "They believe their right to walk into traffic" so OF COURSE it's about people being run over.

I didn't say it wasn't about people being run over. I said it wasn't about drivers claiming the right to run people over just because they were violating traffic laws. Please read the words before you reply.

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

how is that Clearly Something Else Entirely?

I'll answer your question because it doesn't have the inane hyperbole of the previous guy.

It's different for the same reason that the guy who charges you $50 for a short flight from your local county airport to the nearest big city so you can catch an airline flight has to have a commercial pilot license while your friend who does it as a favor to you doesn't. And why the guy who is flying that commercial airline aircraft has an even higher level of certification and ongoing standards.

That reason is that there is a financial incentive to the pilot and profit involved. Lots of people here rant on a regular basis about the awful profit motives of greedy capitalists and how money is the goal, but here we're turning a blind eye to that.

The guy you pay to do your gutter inspection doesn't get paid if he doesn't do it. He gets paid more if he does ten in a day than if he does one in a day. He's got more incentive to overlook safety issues. Is the aircraft completely airworthy? Are there weather or other hazards that are being dismissed because "it will probably work out ok?"

Second, as a consumer, it is assumed that you don't know his skills or abilities and are trusting that he's got them. You know your own skills, and have a good idea of your friend's, but you have no way of judging a stranger's piloting skills until it is too late.

That's why it is established legal precedent that a commercial pilot of any aircraft has a higher level of training and certification than a recreational pilot is required to.

And why is my own use, or that other safety-minded, business-reputation-at-stake adult's use of a small quad

What makes you think the profit motive hasn't degraded the "safety-minded" nature of the guy you're paying to do the job? And "business reputation"? Just how much do you really know about the internal operation of a business? How many shoddy workmen are still in business -- and if your belief that a "business reputation" would protect you from them, how are they still in business?

a twelve year old noobie kid who says, "Sure, mister, I'll get some pictures of your rain gutters for free!

It is your decision based on your knowledge of the twelve year old kid, and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY if things go wrong. When you pay someone you 1) don't know them from Adam and 2) expect them to be the ones who take responsibility for any problems.

the guy who does it every day and cares about his reputation

If every businessman cared about "his reputation" and that "reputation" had any enforcement properties attached to it, we wouldn't need laws about commercial service providers at all, and there would be no shoddy or incompetent workmen selling services to the unsuspecting public.

Comment Re:Why should the FAA allow drones without COAs? (Score 1) 182

And even airplanes are allowed to operate below 500' when landing or taking off

But when does that happen?

At least twice each flight for every flight of every aircraft.

I highly doubt anyone noticing that you're trying to take off or land in your backyard (is that a thing? Is that just for ultralights or something?)

No. It is for "aircraft".

is going to hang around in a position that gets in your way.

The fact remains, an aircraft that lands or takes off out of your neighbor's property is very unlikely to have reached 500' AGL by the time it crosses the property line, and therefore there are times when even manned, powered aircraft can fly below 500' over someone's property without their permission LEGALLY.

What we actually need is less blind fear.

You got that right.

Comment Re:You don't own the sky (Score 1) 182

I think the big disconnect here is between those of us who believe we are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of our property and those who feel they are entitled to fly there drones wherever and whenever they choose.

No, I think the disconnect in what you are arguing is that you equate "no drones ever" with "peaceful enjoyment of your property", whereas most people realize that a drone 100' above your head doesn't automatically mean your peaceful enjoyment is prevented. Or a drone that wanders 10' over your property line while being used to take pictures of the next door neighbor's house doesn't ruin your entire life and make your property unusable.

And most people realize that the airspace is governed at a higher level than "homeowner" because there are valid uses of that airspace and having homeowners able to prohibit all uses of the air over their heads would be a stupid and ridiculous way to manage that space.

As much as hate government regulation, this is one of those cases where it is necessary.

You only think it is necessary because you are a dog in a manger.

You need to get over the idea that the FAA does not regulate the airspace from the surface up. They do. That battle is long over. It's well entrenched in the FARs. You saying that someone should never have any right to fly anywhere over your property with their aircraft is a battle you have lost.

Comment Re:It's the driver's responsibility (Score 1) 277

Are there really people here who want to pretend they have a right to run people down just because those people broke a road rule?

It is hyperbole to leap from a statement about who has the right of way to a statement about "run[ing] people down just because". I don't know anyone who is saying that anyone should be run down just because they broke a road rule. What they are saying is that people WILL be run down because they expect to break the laws of physics. And they're saying that traffic control devices (like "Walk/Don't Walk" signals) do apply to pedestrians and thus they don't always have the right of way.

Comment Re:Punish jaywalking (Score 1) 277

Allowing people on foot to reclaim their city from the motor car will make cities a better place.

I expect SF is like many cities in the world: the drivers of those automobiles are also citizens and residents of the city and therefore have just as much right to "reclaim" the city from the pedestrians.

I say that to point out that the pedestrians are not the only people in the city and they don't automatically get to set the policies for everyone else.

Comment Re:Right Of Way (Score 1) 277

All things being equal, does a car have a longer stopping distance than a pedestrian?

All things aren't equal, and that's why it takes a longer distance for a car to stop than a pedestrian. If a pedestrian weighed 3000 pounds, had four rubber tires for traction, and walked at 20 MPH, then he'd have about as long a stopping distance as a car.

But he doesn't. And his turning radius is much much smaller. He can change direction from walking along the sidewalk to walking into the crosswalk much faster than a car can make a left or right turn and in less space. He can go from "not in the crosswalk and not even looking like he wants to cross" to "in the crosswalk" in a fraction of a second, too. What's really fun is when he is "in the crosswalk, standing and talking to his friends that are still on the sidewalk".

Comment Re:Have an awareness raising conversation (Score 2) 277

You as a driver, have a responsibility to others when operating your machine in the public space...

And you, as a pedestrian, have a responsibility to obey the laws, even the laws of physics. Saying that a driver isn't liable when a pedestrian steps illegally into the street (entering a crosswalk when the controlling signal prohibits it is illegal) is not the same as saying he has carte blanche to run someone over. There is legal liability and there is, sadly, a dead pedestrian who participated in his own demise.

The statement that "pedestrians always have the right of way" is simply not true, so using it as the starting point of a driver education campaign is dishonest at best. For example, the pedestrian who ignores the "don't walk" signal and starts to cross anyway does NOT have the right of way. That doesn't mean you should go out of your way to run him down to teach him a lesson, but it does mean that when he does it willfully and ignores the 18-wheeler that's four feet from the crosswalk the trucker is not liable for the results.

Comment Re:Have an awareness raising conversation (Score 2) 277

The fact that every intersection is a potential unmarked cross walk also seems a little bit insane.

This has been Oregon law for many years. Every intersection has a crosswalk. It doesn't need to be painted to be there. Unfortunately, most people (at least "many") don't know this, and don't know how to use those crosswalks, so there is an effort now to put in even MORE crosswalks. They just put in a marked, lighted crosswalk about 30' away from two others (the two at the closest intersection) and 50' away from another pair (the second closest intersection.) If you want to turn left onto the closest street, you have to slam on the breaks just after passing the pedestrian island to pull over into the multi-use lane to make your turn.

Isn't the logic behind it that you're supposed to slow down anyway while pulling into any intersection, to make sure you won't intersect with traffic coming from the sides?

No. That's silly. A five lane road is usually a major route, and forcing people to slow down for every intersecting two land road is just lunacy. If you need people to stop for the intersecting roads, you put stop signs or signals there. The stop signs on the side streets are how you keep those cars from "intersecting" with traffic on the main road.

Comment Re:FAA should just ask Google / Amazon (Score 1) 182

Both these companies could quickly come up with policies that would satisfy most regulatory laws. Google could probably have something the FAA could use as a blueprint out within a few weeks;

Let me make sure I understand this: you are all in favor of corporate lobbyists with dogs in the fight writing laws that apply to them? I just want to make sure you understand that's what you're saying here.

I think we need two different "classes" (at minimum) for this, commercial vs. civil.

FAA has already created three categories: recreational, commercial, and public agency use.

The conspiracy theorist in me says the FAA is dragging their feet because right now that feel they have total power over this,

The FAA isn't "dragging their feet", they're being prudent in not creating laws that may have seriously bad side effects or not result in the effects that are desired. They just don't know yet how unmanned and manned aircraft will mix in the national airspace. We're in the middle of a transition from radar guidance to ADS-B and NexGen aviation services, so we're talking about predicting how unmanned systems will interact in an airspace system that doesn't yet exist.

And that includes finding out how the non-ADS-B equipped manned aircraft fit in and how their existence is going to impact the system as a whole.

That new system won't be in place until 2020 when the ADS-B mandate goes into effect. Creating a bunch of laws that will just have to be replaced in a couple of years is a waste of everyone's time, and unsafe. It's bad enough when FAA changes the rules on manned pilots and they don't get the word, imagine whole classes of recreational drone pilots who don't even know the FAA is involved.

Comment Re:You don't own the sky (Score 1) 182

Cases I've read seem to indicate the government as usurped all but around 500ft above my home.

If you know the rules, then you know they control aircraft from the surface up. Try hopping in your Cessna 172 and flying just 200' AGL and then tell the FAA that they don't regulate what you're doing...

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_