ADM stands for “Aeronautical Decision-Making.” – FAA FAASTeam Program Manager Kevin Morris, Great Lakes Region – Flight Standards Division,District Office – 15 gave a ‘must see’ presentation to drone pilots and operators on a variety of subjects including:
- ADM for drone pilots.
- Risk management decision making for drone operations.
- Real world scenarios.
- How to obtain a Part 107 Waiver?
- What are the performance based standards for Part 107 waivers?
- How to obtain airspace authorization?
This is a ‘must see’ video from the FAA. We will be transcribing this presentation and providing comments from drone attorney Enrico Schaefer in the next week. So stay tuned …
ADM AND RISK MANAGEMENT FOR UA OPERATIONS WITH KEVIN MORRIS
Kevin Morris: All right, greeting everyone and welcome! Thank you all for taking time out of your evening here to join me on this holiday week here to talk about a couple of really exciting things. Aeronautical decision making and risk management. While that might not be the most thrilling words you’ll hear spoken tonight, but it will be very important for all your UAS operations moving forward toward the future and things you might even be doing tomorrow morning as part of your assigned missions for your business. So once again I am going to say hello, my name is Kevin Morris. I am a FAF Safety Program Manager for the Minneapolis Flight Standards District Office and like last week helping me, or not last week but last time helping me out is Jay Flowers. Jay will be running the Production side of things so if you have a question you’re going to be typing in the box, Jay will be kind of working with that and we will get your answers as quickly as we can in the best manner possible.
So going through a little bit here today, what we want to cover initially is, “Why is this important?” “What are we talking about aeronautical decision making?” “Why are we talking about risk management?” “We are just out there flying UAS, this isn’t manned aircraft stuff?”
If fact some of the questions I heard early when people took the knowledge exam that they were surprised by all these questions that they had on physiological stuff and hazardous attitude and risk management and stuff like that. The reasons we have these questions, and the reason I am putting on this webinar, is because this stuff is absolutely important to you. I am going to be covering why exactly you need to know it and why you need to use it and how it is going to help you.
We are going to cover aeronautical decision making. We will talk about risk management. I am going to go over Performance Based Standards. This seems to be a real heart burn for a lot of folks out there right now, submitting their waiver applications through an online portal. Many folks, a great number of folks haven’t got an answer one way or the other yet. A lot of folks have had their waiver application denied. One of the things I want to touch on is how to apply for a waiver.
We will talk about that, the Performance Based Standard. We will finish up with three real world scenarios and a live question and answer session, like a radio call-in. We will do the hand raising and you can ask questions just like we did last time.
So again, welcome everyone for joining. I really do appreciate it. The fact that you are here you have a keen interest for safety and that is something that is going to make the entire UAS community better received and like I said in other web seminars, the future of UAS really depends on you guys now. How you go out there and conduct your operations? How safe you are? What tools you use to mitigate risk? So this webinar will be right down that ally for you guys, good useful information.
I have done another webinar; it is a bit of a juggernaut to go through. Some of you actually sat through it live, kudos. It was about three hours long. A lot of you have watched it and replayed, some of it is on YouTube and we also have the formal Citrix recording you can find. But if you missed that webinar, there is a short URL up on screen right now, and if you want to take a screen shot or copy it, or jot down the number I’ll leave it up there for just a second. That URL will redirect to our Citrix website and you can put down your name and email address and you can watch my previous webinar that covers Part 107 in great detail as well as some of the other things you are going to need to know to understand how to operate under Part 107 as a commercial UAS Operator. That is a great webinar, it’s a bit long admitted, this one will be shorter, I promise. I will not keep you folks on the east coast here until 11 p.m. tonight. We will get through this one a little bit quicker.
So here I am, a little about me. For those who might be seeing me for the first time. I hold an Airline Transport Pilot’s Certificate, Flight Instructor’s Certificate, Remote Pilot’s Certificate, and Aviation Safety Inspector for about ten years now and a Safety Program Manager for a year and a half. I have been a focal point or point of contact, however you want to lay that out, for the Minneapolis FISDO for about four years now so in terms of dealing with UAS, as mentioned in another webinar, I don’t go fly them, I don’t conduct business with them, I don’t own any, but I went through the Remote Pilot Certification process to understand what you guys are going through. However, I do very much understand the FAA side. All the rules and procedures, things like ADM and risk management. So, while I might now be the best guy to ask how to run a business, I am certainly a good resource for things you might need to know to keep yourself on the right side off the regulations or just to make your operations safer.
I have five handouts that are available and if you go to your toolbar you’ll be able to see those handouts. You can download every one of them. They should all be in PDF. The first one is Q and A, I took all the questions you guys asked in the dial up box which is on the right side of my screen. I grouped similar questions together and I answered every single one and then I put that in a document. Was a little mind numbing at times but I felt that I owed that to you guys. So that webinar Q and A is in there. So if you have a question, maybe check that document first, might have already been asked and may have already been answered. I also have the Performance Based Standards in there. I have some information on ADM and risk management, and I also decided to put in the FAA Law Enforcement Officer Drone Reference Card. This is something we are trying to get out to all law enforcement communities around the area to understand where they fit in. We’re not asking them to do our job, but no doubt they are going to be on the front line of phone calls coming in of people who don’t understand what you are doing is okay. What we try to do is give them the information at a quick glance so that they can approach the situation with as much information as they can. They are not out there to police UAS, but I guarantee you that if they haven’t already, they are going to be getting phone calls. So I have the Law Enforcement Drone Reference Card, you folks can download that and look at it is as well.
Going quickly over the control panel, since most of you are unfamiliar with this, that little hand with the up arrow is the raise hand. Don’t use it now, because I won’t have time to jump between screens if you have a question. But, during the live Q and A session by all means use the hand raising, that is how I am going to pick a question to answer. We have about 600 people register for this webinar, so there is no possible way I can get to you all but I will get to as many of you as I can and yet keep this seminar in a reasonable time slot there.
There is also the question panel there. Some of you are using it already and I recommend that. If you have a question on a particular slide type it in there because if we can’t get to it live during the webinar and we can’t get to it at the end, I will certainly take the time again to go through all those questions and answer them and then email everyone that Q and A when we are done.
Jay is the FAASTeam Program Manager out of the Fargo FISDO and he is kind of the production side of this in the background. If he is finding a lot of questions rolling in to that dialog box, making it a hot question, 2, 3, 4 people are asking questions, he is going to jump in and interrupt and say, “hey Kevin, I got these questions, what about this…” and then we will answer them right in the middle of the presentation. We are not going to do that a lot because I want to keep moving through the presentation, but I want you guys to know if you have a question go ahead and type it in and he will track that the best he can.
So just last time, there are certainly topics that we are not going to cover. We are not going to talk about hobby operations. We are not going to talk about FPV drone racing, ongoing lawsuit, or frustration with the federal government, business plans, or how to pass the knowledge exam. That is not what this course is designed for. This course is designed just like the last one, to give you a very good understanding how ADM and risk management should be incorporated in every facet of your UAS operation.
With that being said, you guys now I am a huge fan of polls because this forces you guys to pay attention a little bit. We are going to have one poll come up here really quick, the question is going to be, how many of you attention today have watched my previous webinar on UAS Operations under Part 107?
All right, it looks like it has about 88% of you guys voting, I am going to close that pole out and I believe I can click on share and show you guys the result of that. And if you look at it, the majority of you have not seen my previous webinar that is what you are indicating here, which is perfectly fine because this webinar is not meant to repeat the other one. This is a whole different set of information for you folks. Even if you have seen the first one, it’s not like it is a prerequisite of this webinar so those that have, thanks for coming back. If your new, welcome, I hope you enjoy this webinar here.
So, let’s get right down to brass tacks here. Why is this stuff important? Why am I having an hour and a half to two hours of your life on a Tuesday night talking about ADM and Risk Management? We have drones out there that may not be flying in the safest manner possible and news media outlets are picking up on that. Look right here on the screen, I just grabbed a few different ones. What’s important to remember is that if you’re reading it, for example this one where a drone may have struck a passenger jet in London. If memory serves me correctly, did not turn out to be a drone. But did anyone ever see the follow up story stating that? Probably not. What you are going to see in the headlines is the big attention grabbing headline DJI Phantom III Drone hits Quebec woman in the head. That’s what you are going to see in the headline. Even if they got it wrong, you may never see the follow up. Or if you do see the follow up, it’s not going to be advertised as much as the initial story. Why is this stuff important, because the media is waiting for bad things to happen. They don’t report buildings that don’t burn. So when something happens, particularly with the UAS, that’s a hot topic right now and everyone is very concerned about it and they are going to be all over it. They are going to report it. So, even if you think, oh this safety stuff, I got it, I got it, I am safe, it’s not such a big deal, keep in mind a lot of people are watching. It’s not just the FAA, it is everyone.
Why is this stuff important?
Number one, Always safety. If we are not safe, nothing really matters. So this stuff is critical to future regulations. 107 came out and for better or worse those are the rules we finally got out on the books. It took a little bit of time but we got those regulations out. Now, again, it’s on your shoulders. How you guys go out and conduct business is going to reflect how regulations are modified. Many of you may have heard Administrator Huerta and DOT Secretary Fox and they came out and announced Part 107 is going live and enacted. One of the things that was mentioned right away was they are looking at modifying operations over human beings. That was one of the first things mentioned right out of the gate. That type of stuff, regulation change, or modification, or addition, or redaction of regulations is going to be largely dependent on how you, the UAS community operate. Are you guys doing it safe? Are you making risk? Are you making good aeronautical decisions? Because if that is the case, you’ll probably see the regulations loosen. But it goes the other way too. They will tighten up if we have a lot of issues , a lot of media reports, a lot of incidents with UAS because of poor ADM and poor risk management.
And finally underneath that is public perception is driven by the media and if you are a manned aircraft pilot , you already know that the media for the most part do not get things right when it comes to aviation. If you’re not a manned aircraft pilot, you’re a UAS pilot, welcome to aviation the media is probably gonna get it wrong and it’s probably not gonna be wrong in your favor. They don’t try to do it out of malice, at least I try to believe they don’t try to do it out of malice, but the result is the same. What the people turn in to the TV is their reality. Amongst other things, safety is primary, future relations and public perceptions are all very key elements on why this stuff is important.
So let’s get into aeronautical decision making – one of the best tools you guys have is to make sure your operating safely in National Airspace System. The way I start off in aeronautical decision making presentation is there is not a lot of difference really between manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft. Both groups are both certificated airmen. Both groups are flying registered aircraft in National Airspace System. I would like to say to folks whether you manned aircraft or unmanned aircraft pilot ADM is a lot like common sense. You can think of it in those terms, aeronautical decision making is a lot like common sense.
To go along with that, I have heard people say common sense is gained through experience. And we had those experiences because we didn’t have bleeping common sense in the first place. Well, when we are out there operating, experience is the worst teacher we can have. Experience will give you the test first and then teach you the lesson. We don’t want to have that, we want to flip it around. We want to have aeronautical decision making be our guide to move through safe operations with UAS.
So come up here to my next poll and it is a quick question for you guys, I want to see what you believe. So the question is gonna be, true or false, good judgment can be taught?
All right, excellent. Most of you guys responded. Coming up about 86%. I’m just going to close it out. And moving along here, my next slide will tell you, contrary to popular belief, good judgment can be taught. And thankfully, otherwise we might be in a real tough situation if we weren’t able to teach good judgment. How we do that is through aeronautical decision making. Aeronautical decision making is using good judgment. So we define it as a systematical approach to the mental process used by pilots to continuously determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances. It’s a bit of a tongue twister so here think of it this way, aeronautical decision making is a systematical approach to risk assessment and stress management. That’s what we are trying to do. Want to break it down into more simplistic terms, what we are really trying to say here, aeronautical decision making is essentially what a pilot intends to do based on the latest information they have. So your operating your UAS, you gathered all this information, things are happening in real time, aeronautical decision making happens real time.
What you intend to do, based on the information you have, is aeronautical decision making and the importance of that cannot be over emphasized. If we don’t have good aeronautical decision making, the hazards that exist and the risk that we asses to those hazards won’t be mitigated. And when we have unmitigated risk you generally have bad outcome. ADM is absolutely critical to not only to the National Airspace System but the security of your business. Because if you start crashing your UAS, you’re not going to have a lot of business. We really want to keep ADM at the forefront of everything we do because, despite every advancement we have on flight safety, one factor remains the same and I bet all of you could probably guess the one factor that doesn’t get fixed over time…I’ll stop the suspense, it’s you, human, it’s me, human. 80% of all aviation accidents today are a result of human factors. Think about that, 80%, that’s a high, high percentage. Now interestingly enough, maybe if we were to go back just 100 years in aviation, that number would be reversed. I would go on record to say that probably 80% of aviation accidents probably about 100 years ago were mechanical failure, component failure or structural failure, some sort of failure of the machine. Well we fixed the machine, we made it better. It crashes, we figure out why it crashes, we make it better. We fix the machine. The human brain does not get fixed. It’s the same human brain we have had for a long long time.
It’s the same with UAS. If you guys think back to just ten years with UAS, what was available to what you can buy today, what kind of capabilities you have in equipment, it’s night and day. And it is just going to keep on getting better. But what we are not revising, all of us are still operating on human brain software 1.0 and that’s not going to change. The human factor.
So what is this big dissertation I’m saying? Aeronautical decision making. That is how we work with trying to reduce human factor errors in aviation accidents. So our goal is to help you improve your ADM skill. We are going to do this to mitigate risk associated with your flight. Very very important because we have two defining elements every time we go flying, we have hazards and we have risk. Hazards are perceived conditions or an event or circumstance that you encounter.
So looking at the photo here, I would say that maybe, if you guys can see that on your screen, the hazard here or at least one of the hazards are going to be those power lines. That exists. That is a real condition that exists. That is a hazard. Now the risk for this particular UAS operation in this picture depends on a lot of things and how you asses that hazard or cumulative hazard. So we are going to talk about hazard and risk when we talk about aeronautical decision making.
And why do we use ADM? Why do we have this big presentation? Why am I going to go over all these intricate components of ADM? Because none of us see the hazard and asses risk the same way. Everybody is individualistic. Everybody is going to recognize a hazard differently. Everybody is going to asses risk for that hazard differently. If we have a system, aeronautical decision making, that helps us recognize hazards, mitigates risk, regardless of who we are and we make it safer. And as I mentioned before, the future of small UAS operations is going to be better.
So that’s what we are talking about so okay. Great Kevin, you talked a lot about why we do it, but how do we do it. Well, we have a few different steps for good aeronautical decision making. You want to be able to identify personal attitudes that might be hazardous to safe flight, you want to learn good behavioral modification techniques, that is a very difficult one to do, but that is critical to ADM, you want to be able to learn and recognize how you are able to cope with stress , develop risk assessment skills, use all available resources and then come all the way back around and self evaluate. Self evaluation is how did everything I just did work?
So let’s talk about some personal attitudes that are hazardous to the safety of flight. So, attitude in general, we are talking about a motivational disposition to respond to people’s situations or events in any given matter. That’s our attitude. Everybody’s attitude is different. We kind of have, in my opinion, a core attitude we bring with us, as part of us every single day, but that core attitude can fluctuate. You don’t get enough sleep, you have an argument at home, we can get up from the wrong side of the bed in the morning we can have bad attitudes; or, we can have positive attitudes. But the concerns we have in aviation are hazardous attitudes, because they directly contribute to poor pilot judgment. They can also interfere with your ability to make sound decisions and exercise your authority properly. So, hazardous attitudes are real , they are not just some kitschy thing the FAA came up with. They exist in all facets of aviation, I’ve seen them as a student pilot, I’ve seen them as an airline pilot, and I’ve seen them with an FAA inspector. They are out there and they are real and I tell you we all have them. You can’t sit there right now and tell me right now, looking at your screen, tell me you don’t have hazardous attitudes, or you’ve never had a hazardous attitude, and I’ll tell you why as we go through this.
For those who have taken the knowledge exam have probably seen this. Those of you that haven’t, some of this might be new. So we have anti-authority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho attitude and resignation. So, these are kind of the big five hazardous attitudes that the FAA has come up with.
When we are talking about anti authority we are talking about people who don’t like you telling them what to do. They look at the rules and regulations as ridiculous, over burdensome, either there local city or federal authority are overstepping their bounds. They don’t like them. So one of the things you have to do if you have this anti authority is realize the rules are there for a reason. They are not there just to make your life miserable. They are not there to slow your business or your company’s growth. They are there for very specific reasons. We like to say in aviation that all of our rules are written in blood. It’s a pretty morbid thing but when you look at our rules, it’s kind of true. Every rule that is on there is because someone may have died. Now when we get into unmanned aviation, not so much the fatalities, but certainly the manned aviation side. So the rules are there for reason, but they are not infallible. So if you are looking at a rule or looking at some sort of requirement, if it doesn’t make sense, ask questions. Ask questions from your local or city. Ask questions of the FAA. Ask questions. Just because somebody wrote it down on a piece of paper doesn’t mean it is all correct and never change. So one of the things you can do if you’re an anti-authority person is remember to follow the rules, they are there for a reason. But, question them if they don’t make sense to you or you don’t think its right.
The other hazardous attitude we have too is impulsivity. So this is the need, you feel like you have to do anything right now. We just have to go do it right now and I’m not worried about anything else, were just going to get this task done. I need to fly, I’m not sure what the weather is, I’m not sure what is happening but I need to get this done now. Impulsivity. I’ve suffered from this, most other aviators I know have suffered from this. So remember that rarely in aviation are you forced to make a decision immediately with life or death consequences. Generally, you have time to make these decisions. If you use good aeronautical decision making you’ll have even more time, because you will have reduced those risk associated with those hazards. But, make sure when we are deciding, when we are making that decision it is not impulsive. Weigh all the alternatives. Don’t just see option A and believe that is the only option you have got. Because B and C may be just as good or better.
Invulnerability is probably the hazardous attitude that most people have. When we get into the car and drive to work we don’t think we are going to get into an accident. Because accidents happen to other people. When we get on an airplane to fly we don’t think it is going to crash because accidents happen to other people. Sometimes that invulnerability can turn hazardous because you can start to take chances. Well, I’ve never had an issue with doing this before, I have never been caught before, or hit anything before so I am just going to go do it. Then, all of a sudden, we start to normalize that. Instead of being a slightly unsafe behavior we look at that as “oh, that is just what I do. Nothing is going to go wrong. Nothing goes wrong with this.” People crash because they are not paying attention.
So one of the things we have in manned aircraft flying, retractable aircraft, is an old joke among aviators when we talk about “gear up” landings. Airplane comes in, instead of the wheels being down, pilot forget, leaves the wheels up, and he comes in and lands on the belly of the airplane. The old saying in aviation, there are those that have and those that will. So think of that in terms of UAS operations, yeah you have never had a flyaway, you may have known someone else who had a flyaway but not you. Train yourself to think, there are those who have had flyways and then there are those that will. If you operate with that than you kind of cure that hazardous attitude.
Course, now that you are a certificated airman, you folks have your green Remote Pilot Certificate card on you handy, you’re pretty cool. I get it. I felt the same way when I got mine, so we tend to have this macho attitude as a pilot. And, while a little bit macho is okay, too much of it is a bad thing. Moderation, right. So people who have a hazardous attitude being macho are always trying to prove they can do something. In fact, they will take risk just to prove that they can. You get a phone call, let’s say, from a media outlet. They want you to go to something and they mention to you, hey, we just called your competitor and they couldn’t even do it. They said that there was no way they could do it, that it was too windy and they didn’t want to go flying. So, would you do it? It’s really hard to be able to say, no, my competitor is right, it’s too windy. No we want to be like, I can do that. It’s only fifteen naught of wind. Yeah yeah, send me the check, I’ll go out and fly the mission. This isn’t just a male dominated trait. Women are equally susceptible to being macho when it comes to decision making. So, remember you have a Remote Pilot Certificate. Many of you already have businesses starting up. You’re probably the fastest growing field in aviation for a long time coming. You have nothing left to prove. The only thing you have left to do now is to grow your business and grow your operations. So, why risk your career? Why go out there and try to prove something to somebody? You really don’t need to anymore. So don’t take that macho risk when it comes to flying.
Another one is resignation. Fortunately, this is not a problem that most folks have when it comes to aviation. So the resignation attitude is, I’ll just hide, throw your hands up, and I’ll leave it to somebody else. I’ll let somebody else tell me if I should go fly or not, based on their opinion. Maybe it’s a request that is not too reasonable but I don’t want to have to argue anything so what am I going to do? I’ve got to go fly and make money. My landlord needs the rent. Remember this, Remote Pilot-in-Command. You’re the captain of that ship. We have all heard the saying, the captain goes down with the ship, but really what we are trying to say with that is that you never give up fighting. If you look at the two pictures on the screen, that is a United DC-10 and then of course the Miracle on the Hudson US Airways. Both of these aircrafts were faced with horrendous conditions. In the case of the DC, in the top picture, it was almost uncontrollable. It was a triple hydraulic failure. The crew never gave up. The Captain used all available resources and they fought it all the way down to the runway. Same thing with the Miracle on the Hudson and most of those are familiar with Captain Sullenberger. Bird strike, dual engine flame out, in ended up driving the airbus into the Hudson. The point is, we don’t give up. We are pilots. We are captains of our ship. We don’t give up. So while this could be a hazardous attitude, particularly your fatigued, this might creep in a little bit more. For the most part aviators such as myself, yourself, we don’t have resignation attitudes. We will do whatever we can to save the ship. We will make our decisions on our own to the best of our ability to keep things safe.
So, brings me to another pole and this is gonna hit a little bit close to home here. So I want you guys to answer this, this pole is not optional so don’t think you can duck out of it, but be honest. Which hazardous attitude are you most likely to experience?
I’ve got about 82% of you guys voting. 83%, a couple of more. Come on guys, you have got to answer this question. You will notice I didn’t put up there, none of the above, because that is not realistic. All of us have experienced hazardous attitudes. All of us need to do a self assessment here. Where am I going to fit in to that question, in that answer form? Where is my hazardous attitude?
All right, I am going to close it on out here and I’m going to share this with you guys. So, over half of you say the most likely hazardous attitude you’re going to experience is impulsivity. The next highest one would be invulnerability and that, I would say is pretty darn normal. We all want to get things done as quickly as we can. We all feel, this doesn’t happen to me it happens to somebody else. The next one is anti-authority which I can only imagine what you are yelling at your screen while I do my presentation. But, none the less, the key to that pole, what I really wanted you guys to do, to be able to look at yourself. Because I can’t see who voted what, so look at yourself and say where do I fit in? Where is my hazardous attitude? And if you recognize it, that’s the first step in trying to cure it. So, I’m gonna hide that pole here and continue on.
Jay: Kevin, before you go forward I have one question here. It’s from Mark Procrosch. Can you see it on yours?
Kevin: I can’t, why don’t you go ahead and read it to me.
Jay: Okay, basically it says, Kevin great job. It says, I am a private pilot who has passed the FAA Safety Part 107 Remote Pilot online test. I am not current. Am I correct in thinking that I need to get a physical and get current again or take a Part 107 written at a test center and proceed as a non-pilot?
Kevin: Yes, a pilot certification question…I would say yes, you are correct. The only way, if you’re a Part 61 airman and you’re going to get your Remote Pilot Certificate the only way you can use our online course if you’re current. You’re going to have to bring in to demonstrate the log, would probably, yes your current flying aircrafts. That requires you to go out and get a medical, to do a flight review, absolutely, yes. Your other option is to take the knowledge exam, like those folks that are not Part 61 certificated airman. So absolutely you would need to be current to use the online course to get your Remote Pilot’s license.
Okay, continuing on here, good question, and thank you for that. I mention that this one is going to be the tough one, learned behavior modification techniques. Behavior, what we do, how we conduct ourselves is very difficult to modify. For the most part, we don’t even realize we have particular behavior traits. So, the classic model for modifying behavior is first of all you’ve got to recognize the behavior. Then you have to track it. Identify what is causing it. Remove those causes and then stick with the program. The example that is super easy to apply but maybe not so great for an aviation discussion would be smoking. Let’s say you want to quit smoking. Your behavior is that you smoke. You don’t want to do that anymore so start tracking it. When you smoke? How much do you smoke? When you start tracking you’re going to start identifying the trackers. Do you mostly smoke when you go out to bars? Do you mostly smoke in social settings? Is it mostly private settings? Once you identify those triggers, then remove those triggers. That would likely aid you if not remove the behavior that you don’t want to see anymore. The tough one is staying with that program. I know smoking it not much of the greatest example, it’s probably the best example I can give to identify behavior modification. If you recognize you have a particular behavior, say you have this impulsive attitude, and you have impulsive behavior, recognizing and tracking is your first two steps. When are you most impulsive? When does that happen? Are there times when you have the impulsive behavior the most? Remove those times. Remove the triggers. Are you mostly impulsive at night between 6 – 8 p.m. because you want to get home, you done being at home and can’t make decisions right away? Maybe that is not the best time to accept your next UAS mission. Maybe accept it at a different time or on a day when you’re not working till 4 and you have this extra time between when you are trying to get home. So, if your sincere about doing some behavior modification, these are our five steps that will help guide you, but they are not all encompassing. Like I said behavior modification is very difficult, not impossible, but definitely very difficult to do.
First step is recognizing what behavior you want to modify. Another thing we want to do for good ADM is learning to recognize and how to cope with stress. Stress is everywhere. You can’t get away from it. I don’t care what you do for a living. I don’t care what part of the country you are living. I don’t care if you are at home and who you are living with. Stress is everywhere. We have physical stress, which can be something as simple as vibrations or noise, the environment you are in. Physiological stress, fatigue. Fatigue isn’t just, boy I’m really tired today I only slept six hours last night. I got a new born baby at home and I got only about three hours of sleep last night. That is being tired. Fatigue is kind of a chronic condition that is ongoing. I haven’t been getting sleep all week long that is when fatigue comes in. Fatigue will stress you, there is no doubt about it. Finally, we have the physiological stress. The easy example is having the argument with your spouse or maybe having a death in the family. All this adds this physiological stress.
Talking stress we have two types, acute and chronic. If you had to choose one type you would want acute stress that is during a short term. There is something happening right now, like you have a lot of noise in your work environment. Generally you can remove it. Acute stress triggers our fight or flight response in a lot of ways but it is not long term. What is really dangerous is the chronic stress, which is long term. The reason it can be so damaging is because during the course of time it can creep into an area where it exceeds your ability to cope. And that line you cross from being able to handle the stresses over a long period of time. Maybe one of your parents is really really sick and it’s taking a lot of time, a lot of trips to the hospital and things are not looking good. Maybe you have to do a lot of work with the family. That will slowly add to that stress bucket until that time where it starts to overflow and you might not realize it. When it starts to overflow, it’s now exceeding you’re ability to cope. And that will have a huge impact on your ability to make solid aeronautical decision making. It’s going to affect the timeliness of it, it’s going to affect your ability to realize all options available.
Chronic stress is something you want to be very very aware of, a slow creep kind of into your day to day activities. It’s definitely the most damaging. So recognize stress and dealing with stress is so critical.
Number one is take care of yourself. Absolutely take care of yourself, eat healthy, get adequate rest, try to avoid a lot of alcohol, try to avoid introducing other chemicals (smoking, things like that). If you take care of yourself your body’s natural ability to cope with stress goes up. You will have an easier time doing that. You can also talk to others. Hell, I’m not saying you have to run out and join a support group or anything but there is a lot of communities online for UAS operators. Maybe you can, hey I’ve got this thing going on maybe I should fly or not? You can do that anonymously most of the time. Talk to others. Obviously avoid drugs and alcohol if you have a lot of stress coming, does nothing for you but compounds the issue.
And if all else fails, take a break. We have rules for airline pilots where if they are stressed, they are fatigued, and they can literally call the company and say I’ve got to take a break. You’ve got to pull me off this five day international trip because I am fatigued a stressed and the company needs to do that. There are reasons for doing everything and if one of those means you need to take a break, take a break. The world won’t stop just because you can’t accept the next UAS mission. If you have been flying for twenty one days straight, take a break. So that is one great tip for coping with stress.
The last three kind of work itself into risk management. We want to develop risk assessment skills using all of our resources and then self-evaluate how we did at the end. Talking about risk management, every flight that we make and every mission that you accept, every time you fly your UAS you’re going to making decisions under hazardous conditions, so in order to fly safely, you need to assess the degree of risk to determine your best course of action, and mitigate that risk, because risk is everywhere in the aviation. So our goal with risk management is to proactively, ahead of time, identify safety related hazards and mitigate those. Mitigate meaning reduce those risk. That is a goal with risk management. And risk management is a part of our aeronautical decision making process. When we are focusing on the risk management aspect of it we are talking about identifying your hazard and mitigating the risk associated with that hazard.
So, coming up to our next pole here, it’s kind of a quiz for you, see how you guys do with this one. It’s a true or false question and the question is, or I should say statement is; you can eliminate all risk associated with small unmanned aircraft system operations?
All right, it looks like most of you guys have voted here. Course most of you got it right, 96 percent said false and that is absolutely the correct answer. You cannot completely eliminate every aspect of risk associated with flying; it just doesn’t work that way. The minute you take your small unmanned aircraft off the ground there is a risk involved, it may not be a high degree of risk but there is certainly a risk involved. Eliminating all risk is not realistic. It’s not the expectation. The expectation is that we look at those hazards, we assign the risk to those hazards, we do everything we can to mitigate those risk. So when we are talking about risk management we need to assess the risk. It’s not as simple as it sounds because you are not generally operating in a crew environment. So, most of the time pilots flying transport carrier aircraft or major airlines are in a crew environment supported by a significant amount of training. Dispatchers, chief pilots have a huge support structure behind them. You guys do not. For the most part you are probably driving to your location, operating your UAS drone, maybe you have got a visual observer with you, but for the most part it is just you. So the only person out there who is going to help you asses risk is no one, just you. So you have to not only assess the risk but you have to act as you own quality control. Then you’re going to have to make that decision alone. You’re not going to get a phone a friend out there when it comes to making a decision based on risk. That is why ADM and risk management have to be incorporated in everything that you do. Most of us our goal oriented. I haven’t met, I don’t think any pilot that isn’t goal oriented, so you have a mission, you want to complete that mission and the risk associated with that is we can have a tendency to deny our personal limitations, we can ignore it. We say I know I can get this mission done. This is no problem, I’m going to go do it and we mentally block off some things. So, why that is extra difficult for small UAS operators is because you’re on your own. You, in a small location by yourself, making the decisions, without any support group behind you.
So how we asses risk with risk management, is critical for your guys and one of our most basic tools for doing that is the Risk Assessment Matrix. If you get online and you Google, risk management or assessing risk, you will have a lot of hits and a lot of different tools and they are all probably pretty darn good. This is just one example. Most of the risk assessment tools are based off of this type of formula; you have a likelihood of disparity and some sort of outcome with that. So when we are talking about the likelihood of an event, we want to talk about the probability of its occurrence and with this particular risk assessment matrix we are looking at it probable, or it may happen occasionally, or the chance of happening is remote, or it’s extremely improbable to happen. Who decides that is you the remote UAS pilot in command. You’re the one who going to decide the likelihood of a particular risk associated with the hazard from it. How likely is it going to be to happen? Then you have to assess the severity of it, so if it does happen, if we think back to that example of that gentleman who was operating the UAS by the power lines, the power lines are the risk, how likely are they to fly into it. We would have to determine that. When the UAS hit it, let’s say, what would be the consequences of it – catastrophe, critical, marginal or negligible. It would be up to you to come up with that. And how this works we look at the graphs.
So let’s think back to the power line example, so you’re flying the UAS, taking a video of that kid skateboarding, there are power lines above you. So the hazards are the power lines. The risk is you flying into those power lines or inadvertently making contact with those power lines. Let’s just say, you say it’s kind of windy out there today, so there is an occasional risk that I might hit that. It’s not probable that I would fly that close to it, but it could happen occasionally given a certain set of circumstances and if it did happen, if the UAS hit it, it’s probably going to come right out of the sky. If the UAS comes in contact with it it’s probably going to come crashing down onto the ground. It’s a marginal severity. So what that does, that leads me to the green area on this one example of this risk assessment matrix. To say that particular flight, you should do this before you go up not while you go up, would be medium. Now, if that were to fall into the high category does that mean I can’t fly? No, it doesn’t. But you as a remote pilot in command, you need to say, no, no, let me just think this through. Let’s say there is a high probability of a severe outcome with this. So maybe I don’t want to fly when it’s windy. Maybe I want to do this mission when I have a calm wind. Take that added hazard out.
Again, it’s up to you. It’s going to be your decision with no one watching over your shoulders, that is why this is tough. This is why you need to employ ADM and risk management to your operations. That risk assessment is part of a six-step process. There are a lot of different ways to look at risk management. This little bubbled color wheel is definitely one but if you don’t remember anything from that six step process, remember these four fundamental principles.
One, when you go out there never accept any unacceptable risk. There is no reason for it. If you are accepting some risk that is unnecessary for the operation, stop, because, if it’s unnecessary you don’t need it. Mark sure your risk are running at the appropriate level, meaning that if you are the remote pilot in command in the field, and you are looking at something that doesn’t seem right, you don’t think that this is an unnecessary risk and that contractor who set you up with the work is on the phone with you saying you’re going to be just fine, just go ahead and go, that decision needs to happen at your level as the remote pilot in command and not the person on the phone. Now we can’t eliminate all risk but what we want to do is accept the risk when the benefits outweigh the danger. You can’t eliminate all risk in aviation. But what we want to do is accept those risks when the benefits outweigh the dangers. One of the tools to do that is making sure to integrate risk management into planning at all levels. So risk management doesn’t just happen in the middle of your flight. It doesn’t just happen at pre-flight. It happens maybe when the phone rings and you get the mission to work. Maybe it happens before that when you are coming up with your business model. When you are coming up with some hard no-fly rules for your business, make sure that risk management is part of every bit of your process. It really needs to be if you are going to have quality decision making for your flight to be safe, protect your business and for you to grow your company. All of this is critical to that. So we don’t accept any unnecessary risk when we fly. So unnecessary risk, if you ask me to define what it is, I would say unnecessary comes without any corresponding return. Flying is not possible without risk but we don’t accept any unnecessary risk when flying. Making a decision at the appropriate level is you. You are the pilot in command, knowing the risk makes this important. You’re on your own. It’s up to you. Have to take this stuff to heart when you go forward. So we want to accept risk when the benefits outweigh the dangers.
So what I like to ask, what is your return on investment, in terms of risk? So, if you are going to go out there and fly, and we go back to that power line example, if you are going to say the power line is the hazard, I’m assessing the risk here and I am still going to fly, you should be able to answer the question what is my return on investment for this flight? Is my benefit outweighing the risk? If it’s not then I wouldn’t take that flight. Integrate your risk management at all levels of your company, all stages of your flight. Be proactive in it. Doesn’t just asses risk after you take off in your flight, assess risk throughout the entire planning process.
In aviation we have a very thin margin for error. It doesn’t take much to have something go wrong. There are a lot of variables and they are unique to every one of your missions. No two missions are going to be the same, even if they are in the same spot on the same day. Those missions are going to be different in a lot of different facets. So the margin of error is thin. And the consequence of making bad decisions is that the cost of our errors are high. Drones don’t just cost two hundred bucks if you are going to be doing this for a business. A lot of people are spending ten – fifteen – twenty thousand dollars on that equipment and that is not including the camera. So, the margin of error is thin and the cost of making errors is extremely high. There is no sound business model that is going to exclude aeronautical decision making and risk management. It has to be incorporated in everything you guys do.
So one more pole here before I believe we have a break coming up. I’m just kind of curious, it’s a true pole and not a quiz this time. I want to know what you folks feel poses the greatest risk for small UAS operations under Part 107.
Okay we have been getting pretty good percentage here, poles been open for about a minute. I’m going to close it out and share it with your folks. And when you are looking at the results I would agree with your opinions one hundred percent. I think the biggest threat to UAS operations under part 107 are rogue operators followed by public perception. Unfortunately the 71 percent of rogue operators tend to drive the 21 percent public perception too. I will touch a little bit on this because this is a serious concern for everyone, not just for the folks in the field, but the folks at the FAA are trying to keep everyone safe. We follow up on every report of a rogue UAS operator. The challenge for us is that unlike manned aircraft, small UAS air flights are very low in terms of altitude in nature and generally very short. By the time your flight standards district office safety inspector would be notified of a rogue UAS operator, they are probably gone. That is the key reason while we are not asking law enforcement to do our job, but we are trying to educate law enforcement on what we need so we can do our job. Because, when somebody sees a UAS doing something dangerous, they are not going to pick up the phone and call the FAA, they are going to pick up the phone and call 9-1-1. And the first person on the scene is going to be a law enforcement officer. So our idea is to educate the law enforcement community with just the basic information that we need from them so we can go out and do our job. And I can guarantee you that when a report comes into the office, the FISDO or FAA Headquarters, we will investigate it. We have a team dedicated to investigations and enforcements of most type of activities but we don’t have enough of us to stand at every street corner. We don’t have enough of us to hide out at every park or go to every big event. So it’s very difficult to us. I wish I had great answer for you guys in that other than I absolutely agree that rogue operators, and we are going everything we can at the FAA to track those guys down and if you guys see it report it so we can follow up on it.
All right I’m going to hide that screen here. I know we have reached our maximum sit down time here quickly. The next half of the presentation goes relatively quick. We are going to take a ten minute break, I’ve got 7:57, plan on being back here seven minutes past the hour.
You guys have me now? (Audio goes in and out for a minute – which is talked about).
All right, I want to talk about Performance Based Standards here. Why are we doing Performance Based Standards? We are required at the FAA to find that anybody looking for a waiver meets certain requirements. One, obviously the operation has to be safely conducted under the terms of that waiver. The waiver application must also identify a complete description of a proposed operation and a process to mitigate risk based relative to a certain requirement. Now, how that is all done is Performance Based Standards. And we issue this document because, well we really should have issued from the get-go, a couple of days on it. We are identifying with Performance Based Standards, for those who are requesting waivers, what we need to see, in order for your waiver to be approved.
So what I want to do here today is a little bit of Performance Based Standards. I talked about it before in my previous webinar, but I think it is important to bring up the point again here. So, when we are using Performance Based Standards, how we successfully apply is to use it as a guide. Don’t just cut and paste Performance Based Standards in there. What we want to know is how you are going to meet our Performance Based Standards for the waiver that you are seeking. And to do that, you have to be very detailed, very specific, identify the procedures or processes you are going to use, don’t just simply say I am going to do a process that does this. And lastly, be original.
So, what we have been seeing with some of our waivers, talking with the group, I should probably but a caveat in there, I’m not approving waivers, I’m not involved in the process. I have been trying to communicate with the folks who have been, trying to give you guys some better information on what you should and shouldn’t do.
Here are some of the things getting waivers denied; they are too vague in how they are going to apply with the performance based standard or some folks have just been quoting regulation. They pluck it out and say I am going to make sure I do this. Or people are applying like it is an automatic thing, they just think that the waiver is guaranteed to them so I’m going to submit it and literally they don’t put anything in the description box. Or, they ignore the Performance Based Standards or they didn’t know it was there. The Performance Based Standards have to be met and if you ignore the standards there is no way to improve either. Copying somebody else’s word for work, process by process won’t work for you because it’s not the same person, it’s not the same mission, it’s probably not going to be the same UAS so don’t copy someone else’s waiver. Don’t buy into a company selling waivers like hey, give us a few hundred dollars and we will get you your night time waiver. Waivers have to be specific to the individual. They are very-very customized documents in terms of your application submitting it. So the whole batch method of one company maybe going out and doing a whole bunch of applications doesn’t necessarily work.
(Audio break music.)
Hey welcome back here, I’m going to see how long we can keep that technical difficulties please stand by handy. So okay, so Performance Based Standards, right back on track here, what I want to do is provide you folks with a sample application here for a waiver for daylight operations. It is probably our most common request right now, people wanting to waiver the daylight operations requirement. So, the daylight operation waiver needs to have a method for the remote pilot to maintain the VLOS during darkness to see and avoid other aircraft, people on the ground, ground based structures and obstacles during darkness, method by which remote pilot may continuously know and determine the position altitude, latitude and movement of the small unmanned aircraft, to be sure everyone participating in the operation has knowledge and can recognize and overcome visual allusions caused by darkness, understand physiological conditions and finally some way to increase the conspicuity of the small unmanned aircraft to be seen at a distance at least three statue miles unless there is a system in place that can avoid all non-participating aircraft.
None of this stuff I did previous or in this slide here is secret information. This is all in our Performance Based Standards. When you go to our portal and you open it up, and you go to the waiver side, one of the things that I want to say is that it might be a blue box or even maybe an orange box near the top is Performance Based Standards, this is listed in there.
So, some of you might be thinking, hey, this is great, the super friendly FAA guy Kevin Morris is going to tell me exactly what I need to put in my waiver application. Nighttime ops here I come. Well, I’m going to be a little bit of a party pooper here. I am not going to tell you guys exactly what you need to have for your nighttime waiver, but, what I want to do is say this is great. The fact you guys are here, that we are talking, that I can give you information to you, that you guys can ask questions; absolutely this is a great thing. But, what I am going to do is I am going to provide you guidance on what you need to put in your waiver applications. I am not going to tell you specifically what you need to put in there because if you remember, one of my previous slides was you can’t just copy somebody else or you can’t just put in generic information, you have to make it yours. Your specific operation, with your specific UAS, for your specific company; the guide on how to do that is in the next two slides.
So one of the guidelines in the performance based standard is your maintain the visual line of site during darkness. Some things you want to identify, not everything, but definitely some things identify is that maybe you are going to use a visual observer at all times, to help you make sure you have that visual line of site. The visual observer can help you point out where it is at any moment if you lost it, that the small aircraft is going to be adequately illuminated to aide you for the visual line of site operations, or maybe you want to put in there that the remote pilot in command with be prohibited in engaging in any other activity during small unmanned aircraft operations. The remote pilot in command won’t be looking down at his system, won’t be looking down at charts, it will be eyes on the aircraft the entire time.
What about seeing and avoiding other aircraft or people on the ground, or ground based structures or obstacles? How are you going to meet that performance based standard? One of the things that you can identify is that you are going to go to the area during the daylight and you are going to know all the hazards, all the wires, all the poles, all the possible structures or items you can bump into at night. You are going to document them all during the daytime. You’re going to bring in that visual observer not only to help you with the aircraft but to make sure no other aircraft or people on the ground enter your area of operation.
So what happens if maybe you want to have a tool to bring the UAS back home if something goes awry, of if you are in an area, or if something enters your area operation you don’t want? Identify some way you are going to get your UAS back to you safely if a hazardous condition is identified, by the remote pilot in command or the visual observer.
The other performance based standard is that you must continuously know and determine the position, altitude and attitude of the movement of the small unmanned aircraft. How are you going to do that, be specific. So you may have onboard telemetry data that will be sent down to a particular control station, to know the specific position latitude and altitude and movement of it. That in addition to the telemetry data that you are getting the visual observer is going to report back to you the UAS, is it hovering is it moving, is it high, and is it low? You are going to have some sort of backup system for that so that you will always know where that aircraft is and what it is doing. Again, these are generic guidelines for you but these are some of the information you put into that waiver to meet those Performance Based Standards.
So what about this one, this is a good one, how are you supposed to have knowledge to recommend and overcome these visual illusions at night or understand physiological conditions that degrade your night vision? With the FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 17, which I believe is the air medical chapter on it, has a lot of good information there about what happens to vision at night and some of the nighttime illusions you may be able to see.
So, as a UAS operator, applying or a daylight operation waiver you are required by Performance Based Standards to make sure everybody involved understands those limitations and optical illusions, physiological illusions that come up at night and that we don’t necessarily have in the daytime so be specific in your application. What specifically are you going to train everybody on, how are you going to insure that they are trained and how are you going to insure that they are going to understand the information you are giving to them? And maybe there is better material out there then the Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Being an FAA guy, I can’t imagine there is, right? But maybe there is some better information out there. Don’t be afraid to use that. Again the more specific you are, the more detailed you are, the more likely you are to have that waiver approved.
So, how about increasing the conspicuity of the small unmanned aircraft, so you can see it at a distance of three statue miles. Kind of all over the place with this one and you guys are much better experts at this than I am. But one of the things you may want to identify is that I am going to equip my aircraft with static light, some sort of static lighting system, so that it is visible from all sides for at least three miles. Or maybe even attach a strobe. I’ve already seen on some of the UAS Groups this particular strobe works really, really well; it’s powered by this battery. If you are going to put that strobe on there and maybe you can control that strobe on and off, you can’t have that strobe on there if you are trying to take pictures and you have a bright light flashing. But maybe on your Performance Based Standards waiver application, I’m going to keep on that strobe until maybe I am going to start that video or photography and then when I am done that strobe is going back on. Again, be specific, exactly what type of lighting. And make sure you can see the lighting from three hundred and sixty degrees. You don’t want to just say I’m going to put a light on the bottom, a little Christmas light on the bottom and that is good. Because, that is probably not going to work to meet the Performance Based Standards. Make sure you can see it from all angles, top and bottom.
So another quick quiz for you here, my audio seems to be rocking along nicely here, that’s good, I don’t want to have to work about that. This one is actually a little of a quiz for you, see if you guys have been paying attention here so, the question is: The individual ultimately responsible for ADM and Risk Management is the? Let’s see if you guys choose the correct answer.
All right, I’ve got about 82% because we lost a little bit of time with the Citrix kind of following up with a little bit here. Close up. The correct answer is the remote pilot in command.
That is the only person responsible for ADM and Risk Management of that operation. There can be more people invoiced in helping that remote pilot make that decision, but, where the rubber meets the road it’s not the person manipulating the controls, it’s not the visual observer, it’s not the CEO but it’s the remote pilot in command on that small unmanned aircraft.
So let’s get into a few real world scenarios and we will follow up with the question and answer session.
Here is scenario number 1, you guys are going to get to chime in so pay attention here. Under scenario 1, your first job with your company, you have a large organization that has hired you. The big project needs to be done as soon as possible. There is potential for future big money contracts based on your work. There is a lot riding on this one. You drive out to the site, about three hours away, the weather is good and the location is great. Everything is all set up and you meet all the requirements of part 107. It looks like a great start to your UAS business. You start pre-flight the vehicle and you notice you have a nick on your propeller blade. At that moment, you realize you did one of the cardinal sins of UAS operations, you did not bring any spares along. So there you are, three hours away at a job that needs to be done as soon as possible, and you notice you have a nick in that propeller blade. Now, in all fairness, you have a flown before with a similar nick but this one is a little deeper than you had the first time around.
Okay, here you go, ADM and Risk Management, its decision time. I’m going to throw a little scenario 1-poll up here on the screen and I would like to know what your guys answer is to this question.
(Jay notes it’s not letting him answer the question. Kevin notes could be an issue with Citrix system before.)
We will get to everyone’s question, if we can’t get to it real time we will get to it during the Q and A session or at the very least I will answer everyone’s question – may be a week or so until they get an answer.
All right I’m going to close out this pole here. I’ll share with you folks here what other UAS operators attending this Webinar have said, 66 percent of you, said you would not fly that mission. 30 percent of you said you would but you would fly farther away from structures than usual and some of you said yes, absolutely, I would still fly that mission.
If you remember back to one of my earlier slides, no two pilots will see a hazard or assess a risk the same way. So while a nick in a propeller blade for one is a no go maybe for someone else it might not be. What I want to do is get into some factors to consider if you decide to do the mission or decide not to do the mission. What can happen?
Obviously the hazard is the nick in the propeller blade. In addition to that you have a lot of pressure, this is your first job at your company, and you have a future contract riding on it, a lot of pressure to complete that mission. But what about regulatory non-compliance, 107.15. 107.15 states in part that the UAS must be essentially safe for flight prior to launch and it is the job of the remote pilot in command to make sure to do that. Could you say that the UAS is safe for flight, maybe? These are the decisions you guys are going to be making in the field real time, on your own, and as Captain of the ship you’re going to have to answer for, if something goes wrong.
So what are the risk? We could lose control, certainly not fly away but the water blade could fail UAS which than would lose revenue. Just saying no you are not going to do the mission could cost you current and future jobs. Or maybe you do the mission and you lose control of the UAS and you hit something and it is destroyed. Part of the thing is you may have to do is an FAA enforcement issue. So while I’m not going to sit here and tell you what the right or wrong answer is, what I want you to do when you look at these is think of the ADM we went through, think of the risk management process cause everybody’s answer may be correct. Maybe it’s okay to fly. Maybe it’s not okay to fly. Maybe stay far away to mitigate risk. Those are the decisions you guys will have to make and will have to answer. Whether is it successful or not. So ADM and Risk Management is critical for you guys.
Let’s go to another scenario. There is a protest that is happening in the city right now. You have been contacted by a local news organization and they want you to get overhead footage. So this is local footage at a local news organization, they want you to come out there and they are going to pay you a few bucks to do it. As you are prepping to go on this mission you check the location, so you look at your terminal area chart and you note where this is, map it out and look at GPS coordinates. So you look at the chart and note it is right on the edge of that airport Delta Class Airspace. And being a good pilot, a good remote pilot, you understand the rules and realize you should have prior authorization for that airspace prior to flying. Let’s say it is during the day and the tower is operating. During this process you get two more phone calls but this time they are not local but they are from big-big companies, major news organizations and they are going to pay you top dollar for this footage. So the pressure is starting to mount, right? One of the things you don’t have is a waiver to operate over human beings. You don’t have that waiver. So we factor all this in and before you go you submit an airspace authorization but you haven’t received a response. You tell yourself you are going to be all right, I’m not going to operate over anybody I am going to get shots from the side and hopefully that will suffice. So that’s the location, you don’t have a waiver to operate over people; you don’t have the airspace authorization yet. This is a chance to make some big money so here we are, that’s the big background on it, and here comes our decision time. So here comes the pole and I want you guys to give me an answer.
Okay, I’m closing out the pole here and let you guys know what everybody said. The vast majority of you said that you would not take that mission so that means to me you guys looked at the hazards, looked at the risk associated with that particular operation and decided you know what there is too much unnecessary risk or the risk I am going to have to go out there and deal with aren’t going to have a big enough return on my investment, so I am not going to do that. Some of you said I am going to do that but I am not going to fly higher than 20, 30, 50 or 100 feet. You guys are going to limit your altitude. 5 percent said you would go to the mission. When you have these events come up and I guarantee you folks that if you get good and doing your work your name is going to get recognized and your phone is going to ring more and you are going to be presented with these types of scenarios. You have to look at these hazards, you have to assess these risk. What are we looking at for hazards here? You may end up operating over people; you don’t have a waiver for that. Maybe your goal is to stay as far away from people as you can but take a look at the risk. Those crowds are going to be unpredictable. And it may be impossible at that particular location to even fly without going over people. How about the Class D Airspace, if you remember your right on the edge of that Class D. Are you in? Are you out? You filed a request because you thought geez I might be in, but you do not have that authorization yet. What are the risks associated with that? What about regulatory non-compliance? That is always a factor whenever we are going out and doing any sort of mission. But when we look at the risk of this particular event, we mentioned the unpredictable crowds. This is going to be high visibility. You likely won’t be the only one there with a camera but you may be the only person with a UAS. And I guarantee those folks without the UAS, when they see you flying will probably start filming you with your UAS. So you’re talking about a high visibility. Now if you say I am not going to do it, does that limit your future contracts with major news outlets or local news outlets, possibly some risk to your business by not flying? With regulatory non-compliance we have to consider FAA enforcement action. Now, FAA enforcement actions, depending on the type of operator you want to be, some people try to work that into their business plan believe it or not. Well I know the FAA fines this amount, I am going to get paid this amount that is a terrible way to do business. Because I will tell you very quickly the fines will go away and the FAA will go to suspension or revocation of your privileges so that is not an effective business model.
You want to consider regulatory compliance in everything you do because if you don’t there may be enforcement action. But, in the end, we really want to focus on safety so using your ADM and Risk Management get a sense of situation I would probably not go if that were me but that may not be the right answer. Maybe you can find a spot to go that is not in that Class Delta that you know for sure, but again you have to look at it on your own. There is not going to be that support group there to give you the answer, you are not going to be able to phone a friend. You as a remote pilot, on your own, are going to have to make that decision.
All right, last scenario here and then we will get into some Q and A. So scenario number 3 is that you were hired by a marketing firm to take some aerial photographs for city parks for some stock footage. They just want a bunch of different parks, stock footage that they can use in their advertisement. So you carefully choose you next location, it’s in West Alexandria, it’s near the city limits there, there is no airspace around, the actual city is located in Class G airspace so you know no ATC authorization is required for that particular area. You can comply with everything with Part 107 so it’s a great way for you, it’s a low stress, you can go out and take some video of some city parks and you are pretty excited to do that. So you go out on your very first launch, over the city, in this park area and you are approached by a local law enforcement officer. He states, hey look it, you can’t fly the drone above city property, we have city ordinances prohibiting, and you cannot be flying your drone up there. He goes on to say because of our city ordinance; I want you to land and land immediately. Now you are right in the middle of filming, you know you are in the right, you know the FAA regulates the airspace from the surface on up and you know you are in compliance with 107. You know you don’t need any specific waivers and you are not operating above people and you are not doing anything outside regulations. As far as the FAA is concerned, where your aircraft is, is their jurisdiction and you are in compliance with all the rules. But, here stands the officer who says, I want that down on the ground and I want that down on the ground now. So here is your decision time Captains.
I just realized I was stuck on scenario two’s pole, sorry about that guys, I am going to back up just so I can show you that. So jumping to this screen here, that is the location that you are going to film, West Alexandria, Class Gulf Airspace. You are approached by the local law enforcement officer, again everything you know you have done you are doing correctly, and he demands that you cease operations. So, just to recap, you’re in an okay area for airspace, you’re in compliance with 107, and you know you are in the right but he wants your UAS on the ground right now.
So here is the last question for you guys, last question, last aeronautical and decision making you have to do.
Jay: Hey Kev, just so you know we have a lot of people reporting the screen is falling off, audio is falling off.
Kevin: That is operator error, I will own that. I did not stop sharing the pole on the screen so I jumped back and hopefully corrected that for most people. Mia culpa, I apologize folks.
Okay, I am about to close this one out and I am going to do it the correct way this time. I am certainly going to share the pole with you so you can see the result on the screen. About ¾ of you said you would not continue your flight you would land with the other roughly 25% or so saying you would continue your flight but tell the officer; hey I am operating under Part 107.
So I am going to get rid of sharing that pole at this time so everyone can share with me my slide enhancement. Somme of the factors we want to consider when we are approached by law enforcement is if you are approached by a law enforcement officer, this may be the only time I give you direct guidance related to a scenario, in fact it is because this is the last scenario. If you are approached by a law enforcement officer and he wants you to land your UAS and you know you are in the right, land your UAS. That is not the time to stand your ground that is not the time to prove your point that is not the time to keep flying. Yes in this particular scenario the law enforcement officer may be citing city ordinances, but city ordinances do not regulate airspace, they can’t preempt Federal Law. So you know you are in the right. But by all means if you are requested by a law enforcement officer to stop, by all means stop. Comply with the law enforcement officer. This is the only guidance I am going to give you here, comply with the law enforcement officer. It’s okay. They might not know the rules and in reality they probably don’t. They have way bigger things than UAS. But somebody called them out there, somebody complained, and they are doing their job. They are coming out there to a scenario they don’t understand, I guarantee they don’t even know what Part 107 means. Most of them anyway. When they ask you to do something go ahead and do it. Once you are on the ground that is when you can have the civil discussion. The risk for not complying with the officer’s request is that they could confiscate your small unmanned aircraft. They could take it away from you, you could have court cost, you could have possible fines, at the very least you could end up with a confrontation with a law enforcement officer that doesn’t benefit anybody. So land your UAS, talk with the officer, educate them and work with the city because obviously they have ordinances on the books that aren’t right and you need to work with them to educate them. Every city is going to be different, small city, medium city, and large city. You have to work with the city but at that particular time, at that particular altitude with the UAS, with the officer standing there, if he asks you to stop flying stop flying. That would be my only recommendation with that and most of you said that.
Okay, questions and answers, we are on this slide here. We are going to do this for about the next seventeen minutes. I promise we are not going to go over two hours with this presentation, including my little technical errors. So what I am going to do here is that I am going to put everybody’s hands down and you’re going to have to kind of bear with me as I get my screen set up here, for the Q and A session. What I want you guys to do is if you have a question go ahead and use that little hand raising that you have there on the screen. I am going to try to find the first person and when I do I’m going to unmute you so I can get you to answer your question live. Keep in mind; let’s use appropriate language and all that type of good stuff so I don’t have to mute you back up again. Looking at my hands raised here, I am going to just pick one randomly, I apologize I won’t get to everybody. Let’s see if I can do this right on the first try:
Kevin: John Gustafson can you hear me okay?…You should be off mute so if you have the audio set up….Okay, I am going to go onto the next one here real quick, let’s try Dennis Miller. Can you hear me okay?
Dennis: Yes, but the darn hand is supposed to be down here. I am having a lot of trouble with this.
Kevin: Did you have a question or do you want me to go to the next one?
Dennis: That’s okay, go to the next one.
Kevin: Let’s try Andrew Phillips, can you hear me Andrew?
Andrew: Yes I can.
Kevin: All right. I can hear you. Go ahead with your question.
Andrew: I am a law enforcement in North Carolina and I have a couple questions pertaining to what LEO should be doing in regards to UAS operations in the city. One is if you have a citizen UAS near or over their property, how should you explain to them the privacy issue of that they are not be violated but they feel that they are?
Kevin: So the question is, how do we deal with the privacy issue or what my recommendation is to you folks for the question of UASs and privacy?
Andrew: That’s correct.
Kevin: Okay, thanks. I’m going to put you back on mute here if I can find it. There we go. Let me take the general cop-out answer at the federal level, we don’t regulate privacy in the FAA. So when we get into privacy issues with UAS or someone calls into local law enforcement and says, hey this thing is hovering over my back yard I don’t like it, I think its invading my privacy. In all respects, that is most likely a civil issue. So local city ordinances or state law that may regulate privacy or homeowners rights to privacy may take effect. On the FAA side, we don’t have any rules that regulate privacy. So when people call us up and say this thing is hovering out my window and is spying on us, we essentially dump them off to you as the law enforcement. We don’t do that just to get rid of the workload, you are the folks that have the laws, state and local that can handle the privacy issue. So we don’t, unfortunately we don’t deal with privacy, so my recommendation would be to treat it as you would any other call where there may be an invasion of privacy, again that so specific into the cities I wouldn’t want to expand much beyond that. I apologize I don’t have a lot of answer for you.
I am going to put everybody’s hand back down and reset it so if you have a question again go ahead and raise your hand.
All right, I saw one here jump up. Okay, Brett Woods can you hear me?
Brett: Yes I can.
Kevin: Okay, I got you loud and clear Brett, what’s your question.
Brett: Okay my question is, I hate to be infantile, if we don’t hear from the FAA regarding waivers, and should we just continue to wait? Should we email? Should we try to smoke signal? I mean what do we do?
Kevin: Great question, so I’m going to put you back on mute. I appreciate that question. You’re not alone in your frustration with the delay in waiver applications. The short answer is wait. The way our system is set up now, once you submit your waiver it goes into queue. And, one down sides of the systems is that we don’t send you an automated response, like, hey thank-you for submitting your waiver will get in touch with you soon. So from your perspective it goes in this black hole but it is not lost I can promise you that. Once a human being takes a look at it, it is assigned a number and you will get an email from the FAA saying, we are reviewing your waiver at this time. At that point, once it is being looked at by a human it can go one of three directions, the waiver is going to be approved, and you will get a notification back, a formal form that is signed and everything, it will be denied and you will get a notification back that it has been denied or a request for further information. They will send you an email and say they need an explanation of the Performance Based Standards here, you didn’t go into enough detail but everything else looks good. One of three ways. What to do in the meantime is wait. I know you are probably laughing or swearing at me through the screen right now but we recently just upped our staff working on the waivers because it needs to be going faster. We are getting better at it. Keep in mind we didn’t even start approving waivers for small unmanned aircrafts till a couple of months ago so it is a new process for us, new process for you and we have to take these waivers in the order that they come and not all of them are fantastic applications. Some of them are really poorly written, but we have to still look at them and it takes up human resource time to do that so unfortunately the process is slow right now but it is getting better. We recognize the delay is frustrating a lot of people, we really do understand that and we are going what we can with our resources. I know it’s not the greatest answer in the world but it’s kind of where we are right now. So if you have a waiver submitted and you haven’t heard anything back that means human eyes have not read your waiver application yet so your best bet is just to wait.
Okay hands are going down again so if you still have a question go ahead and raise that hand.
Okay we will go with Kevin Haley, can you hear me?
Kevin Haley: Yes I can Kevin, thank-you.
Kevin: I’ve got you loud and clear so go ahead.
Kevin Haley: So, I haven’t applied for my 107 yet, I am getting ready to. Do I have to have my 107 before I submit my waiver?
Kevin: Okay, so one of the…thanks Kevin I am going to put you back on mute, one of the questions I hear a lot or one of the questions I hear phrased a lot is get my 107. You don’t really get your 107 but I understand what you speak in that term. What you are going to get is your remote pilot certificate. There are two certificates you are going to need from the federal level to operate. You are going to need your remote pilot certificate and you are going to need your registration certificate for your commercial UAS. If you are applying for a waiver you must have both. You must have a commercially registered UAS and you must have a remote pilot certificate. You do not need the permanent remote pilot certificate card to start your waiver application process. If you have your temporary remote pilot certificate it will say pending where the certificate number is supposed to be and that is okay. You can apply for a waiver and where it asks for your certificate number you say pending. But regardless if you have the number on the hard card or the temporary on the certificate you still need to have your remote pilot certificate before you make an application for a waiver.
All right hands are going down again, I think we will have time for two or three more questions here, jumping up here, Richard Pedia, let’s see if I can get you unmated here…Richard Pedia can you hear me?
Richard: Yes, can you hear me?
Kevin: I’ve got you go ahead sit.
Richard: Yeah. I’ve just passed the Part 107 course. I took the test and I passed that also. On October 31, as you were stating my certificate says pending still. It was on October 31 that I passed the test so how long would it take for that pending to give me a certificate number.
Kevin: Okay, I will put you back on mute Richard, thanks for that question. There are probably a couple hundred people still looking at this webinar saying October 31 man, chill out. You got a ways to go. The temporary certificates are good or 120 days and there is a reason that they are valid for 120 days because we need ample time to process that. Now, do give you an idea, I submitted my application for remote pilot certificate on August 29, the very first day that you could, and it took me all of August and the most part of September. So it took me two solid months before I got my certificate in the mail with the number on it. The good news if you have a remote pilot certificate and it is temporary you can still exercise all the privileges and rights of being a remote pilot. It is probably going to take you two months to get that card in the mail with your hard certificate and the number on the card. There is just so many coming in and there are just so many people working them. So, October 31 you submitted it, maybe it will be a Christmas present for you. That would be my recommendation. Again, the good news is you are not restricted because you have a temporary certificate; you can go forth and do everything you could as if you had the full hard card in the mail from us.
All right hands are going down again, shoot the hands up if you have a question. Joe Talley, can you hear me?
Joe: Yes sir, can you hear me?
Kevin: Got you loud and clear sir, go ahead.
Joe: Okay, public safety. Within an organization you have the RPIC and the Safety Officer, obviously RPIC is in charge of the flight at all times but when you have a safety officer as well how do you develop that relationship between the two?
Kevin: All right, I am going to ask for a clarification, would the safety officer be flying the UAS? Are we talking about two officers operating the UAS?
Joe: The remote pilot in command with be flying the aircraft but you also have a safety officer who is making sure he is keeping an eye out for all the safety requirements for the operation program and you brought things up commercial side but there is public safety. RPIC is obviously in charge of the flight but at what point, what is the interaction between the safety officer and the RPIC given that the safety officer is responsible for safety.
Kevin: Okay, good question, I’ll put you back on mute here, thanks for that. Without trying to get into to specific details because first of all I don’t have a law enforcement background so I’m not fully vested in my knowledge of how a safety officer wholly interacts with the public law enforcement officer but what I would say is that however you guys have it set up you are going to have a two man operation where you have one person flying and one person is a safety officer, have a documented process on who is responsible for what. As you pointed out the RPIC is going to be responsible for the flight, no question whatsoever. But maybe as an organization, maybe as your law enforcement agency, maybe you want to come up with responsibilities for that safety officer to have. Maybe they are the ones who are keeping the area of operation clear of people, or maybe they are responsible for helping see and avoid other aircraft in the area. It’s really up to you what role that safety officer would play in that particular scenario so I would say on the good side you probably have what I would call a visual observer, that would be the safety officer. I would maybe come up with a process that maybe that safety officer meets all the requirements in that actions and activities of that visual observer and then add on some other public issues or safety processes to that individual. Entirely customizable to you on that one. I don’t know if I want to get too deeper than that because it sounds like your particular agency and how you guys work that together. That is a good question. I would start with that safety officer meeting all the requirements of a visual observer.
Okay, dropping hands again guys, go ahead and shoot them up if you have some questions. Let’s try Gerald, can you hear me?
Gerald: Can you hear me?
Kevin: Yes I’ve got you loud and clear.
Gerald: Yes, I’ve got a question. I have been attempting to apply for a Class-D waiver for some time, I do real estate shoots. They keep getting rejected. They keep giving me 2-5 miles away from an airport, that or below 200 feet, no matter what I seem to file it keeps coming back rejected. I don’t get any information why it is. The problem is I can’t do a 90 advance warning on the location because half the time the houses aren’t even available on the market that long. What can I do to have one of these things passed so I can have a blanket waiver around an airport?
Kevin: I’ve got you great question. Gerald I’ll put you back on mute now. What I think you just did is touch on probably the biggest heartburn for every UAS operator under Part 107 we have other than the waiver process. This is the authorization process. Let me first off say we recognize, like when waivers, the authorization process is not happening as fast as we want it to be. Speaking specifically of ATC authorizations, our goal has always been mirror manned aircraft in terms of timeliness. Manned aircraft don’t radio ahead 90 days in advance to fly into Class D airspace. They radio in 9 miles or a couple minutes ahead of time to get their clearance to enter. The goal for the UAS community to have the same type of response time, we are not nearly there yet. We know that, but we are going to get there. I’d like to say my personal opinion is probably in the next 8-12 months we will be there. We are currently looking at software, developing software, developing an App to allow you folks to stand in a location, let’s say 4.2 miles away from the airport reference point, put in your request I am going to be here, I am going to be within .1 nautical miles from my location, no higher than fifty feet and submit and within a minute or two you are going to get an automated authorization or other type of response back. That is the goal. That has always been the goal. We are just not there. We were in a rush to get this 107 out because we were behind and we owed that to you folks but in the process, the support structure that goes with it is not quite caught up yet. So no, 90 days authorization requesting in advance doesn’t work, not only for real estate, but it doesn’t work for virtually every small UAS operator. Some of the issues we have with people applying for their authorizations are that the locations are too vague. It is almost like they say I want to operate everywhere inside your Class-D airspace, I’ll be no closer than a mile but from 1.5 to 4 miles out, no higher than 100 feet and I want that authorization for six months. You probably won’t get that. You probably already know you won’t get that. Air traffic is designed to keep aircraft separated. It can’t do that if you are in an area so large or so vague they never know quite where you are. So when you are submitting an authorization, like a waiver, you want to be as specific as possible on how you are going to meet the performance based standards. Be very specific in your authorization request. So that may mean you might have to submit five, six, seven different authorization requests and that is certainly a limitation in the system right now and we realize that. The system is not designed nor will it probably ever accept a broad authorization over a large area. Large is subjective I know that, it depends on the airspace and air traffic facility but it’s not designed to accept that. So if you are getting denied, it’s probably because you are to close, to high, or your request is too broad in terms of the area you are requesting. But, the grievance you have with the 90 days is valid and we know it and like the waivers we are working on that as well. That is going to get better, know it’s going to get better, but currently we are a little bit stuck with where it’s at. I can promise you we have got really good people working on this stuff and they are doing everything they can to turn these as quickly as they can or request further information as needed but it certainly is not going to be as fast as everybody wants it to be right now.
So dropping hands and we will do last question here coming up. Let’s go with Scott Zimmerman. Can you hear me?
Scott: Yes Kevin, how are you?
Kevin: Good, I’ve got you loud and clear.
Scott: Okay. I’m here in St. Paul enjoying the ice storm. Hi neighbor. I am the executive director of Air Bears, search and rescue, emergency service providers and my question is the FAA has given us all the obligations and responsibilities of being official pilots but none of the protection. We can’t save lives if we are being shot down. My question is how many more UAS will be shot down before the FAA decides to take action.
Kevin: Okay, good question, thank you for that. Okay that will end the webinar. Just kidding guys. Okay so the shooting down of drones, the question that will haunt me probably my entire career. That is a problem. Absolutely a problem and we have been telling you folks that your UAS is an aircraft. We make you register your UAS, we make you earn your remote pilot certificate, and you are a certificated airman flying a certificated aircraft in the National Airspace System. Therefore, somebody shooting down your UAS is the same as shooting down a manned aircraft with significantly different results in terms of outcome, none the less aircraft is an aircraft, right? Here is how this works; the FAA does not prosecute individuals for criminal acts. Shooting down an aircraft, interfering with a crew member, those types of things are considered criminal acts under the US Code of Federal Regulations. Those criminal acts are handled by, in this case we are talking about shooting down a UAS, and those are handled by the FBI. So I will tell you how it works, so I haven’t had any calls here in Minneapolis but I have had people call up here and say if this airplane flies over my house again I am going to shoot it down. Okay, well please don’t do that is my response. But I am required, obligated to notify the FBI. They are the ones that go out and investigate that and most times it is not an issue. Now we enter this world where people are shooting down drones, not something people are talking about, some people have done it. And that is a problem. But, in terms of what the FAA can do, try to educate and communicate to folks that you can’t shoot these things down, the responsibility for investigation, apprehension and criminal charges rest with the FBI. So it’s not an FAA function on that. I hear the complaint.
I’m glad I got these three questions because the waiver issue, the authorization issue and the shooting down of a UAS, those are three topics that come up every time I do a UAS operation.
No it’s not okay to shoot them down, what the FAA is doing about it, we are treating it like any other aircraft that has been shot at or shot down. We are notifying the FBI for criminal investigations, once we do that it goes into their hands and they take it from there. The FAA does not have the authority to arrest anyone so that lies with the FBI.
Okay jump up here, my last slide you guys should be getting a survey, I think it’s about a week, or maybe a couple of days I can’t remember, but there will be a follow up email you will get from Citrix. They will redirect you to a survey I have. Super short survey; probably take forty five seconds of your time to complete. I need that feedback from you guys, one of the real problems with webinar is I don’t have feedback from you. I am staring in this little webcam here and guessing what you guys are doing on the other side of the camera. So if you could take that short survey that comes in that follow up email, it ask you what you thought, what you want to see covered, how often it should happen, those type of things it will help be steer it towards more maybe what you guys are interested in. I’m going to wrap this up. I am about five minutes over my time with you guys. Thank you for attending this seminar, I know these two topics, Aeronautical decision Making and risk management are not exciting but I hope you guys understood the value of them and not only is it going to keep the airspace safe but it’s not only going to keep your business up and running but it’s going to keep your investments safe.
So again, I know a lot of you asked questions, I see them scrolling on the screen, I will take the time to answer them, I think last time there were 450 questions so give me a little time to work through them but I will certainly answer all of them and then I will circle that back with an email to all you folks. Appreciate your time. Have a great night, have a great holiday weekend, drive safe in your traveling, and we will see you again soon, thanks.