Since you stumbled upon my webpages, I assume you are a UAS enthusiast!
It doesn't matter whether you are a commercial UAS operator, a recreational UAS user, a public entity operator like law enforcement or fire or search and rescue person, or simply an educational user wondering if this is the career path for you, I hope that these pages bring you some guidance!
I have a slew of information, starting with 14 pages of ground school in preparation for the Part 107 remote pilot written test or Part 61 add-on. There are pages devoted to each specific user, pages devoted to job hunting, counter-UAS technology, US state and local UAS laws, as well as international UAS laws.
I hope you find what you are looking for on this site. And if not, please reach out to me. I always appreciate your feedback and I am constantly updating the pages!
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95) mandated the creation and publication of a 5-year Roadmap for the FAA's process of developing regulations, policy, procedures, guidance material, and training requirements to support safe and efficient UAS operations in the NAS, while coordinating with relevant departments and agencies to address related key policy areas of concern such as privacy and national security.
Early history of UAS and the AMA: 3 books available for download below
2015 March - AOPA Article on Drones: Droning on
2015 November 27 - FAA released their safety guide in time for Black Friday shopping Fly safe with your drone
UAS DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS
Unmanned Aircraft (UA): A device used or intended to be used for flight in the air that has no onboard pilot. This device excludes missiles, weapons, or exploding warheads, but includes all classes of airplanes, helicopters, airships, and powered-lift aircraft without an onboard pilot. UA do not include traditional balloons (see 14 CFR Part 101), rockets, tethered aircraft and un-powered gliders.
Crewmember [UAS]: In addition to the crewmembers identified in 14 CFR Part 1, a UAS flightcrew member includes pilots, sensor/payload operators, and visual observers (VO), but may include other persons as appropriate or required to ensure safe operation of the aircraft.
Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS): An unmanned aircraft and its associated elements related to safe operations, which may include control stations (ground, ship, or air-based), control links, support equipment, payloads, flight termination systems, and launch/recovery equipment. It consists of three elements:
• Unmanned Aircraft;
• Control Station;
• And Data Link.
National Airspace System (NAS): The common network of U.S. airspace—air navigation facilities, equipment, and services; airports or landing areas; aeronautical charts, information and services; rules, regulations, and procedures; technical information; and manpower and material.
Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen): According to the FAA’s Destination 2025, (2011): “NextGen is a series of inter-linked programs, systems, and policies that implement advanced technologies and
capabilities to dramatically change the way the current aviation system is operated. NextGen is satellite-based and relies on a network to share information and digital communications so all users of the system are aware of other users’ precise locations.”
Airworthiness Certification: process that the FAA uses to ensure that an aircraft design complies with the appropriate safety standards in the applicable airworthiness regulations
Certificate of Waiver or Authorization: an FAA grant of approval for a specific flight operation. The authorization to operate a UAS in the NAS as a public aircraft outside of Restricted, Warning, or Prohibited areas approved for aviation activities
Collision Avoidance: the Sense and Avoid system function where the UAS takes appropriate action to prevent an intruder from penetrating the collision volume. Action is expected to be initiated within a relatively short time horizon before closest point of approach. The collision avoidance function engages when all other modes of separation fail.
Communication link: the voice or data relay of instructions or information between the UAS pilot and the air traffic controller and other NAS users
Control Station: the equipment used to maintain control, communicate with, guide, or otherwise pilot an unmanned aircraft
Crewmember (UAS): in addition to the crewmembers identified in 14 CFR Part 1, a UAS flightcrew member includes pilots, sensor/payload operators, and visual observers, but may include other persons as appropriate or required to ensure safe operation of the aircraft
Data link: ground-to-air communications system which transmits information via digital coded pulses
Detect and Avoid: term used instead of Sense and Avoid by RTCA
Optionally Piloted Aircraft: aircraft that is integrated with UAS technology and still retains the capability of being flown by an onboard pilot using conventional methods
Pathfinder: an initial UAS airworthiness certification program that will aid the FAA in the establishment of certification requirements
See and Avoid: when weather conditions permit, pilots operating instrument flight rules or visual flight rules are required to observe and maneuver to avoid another aircraft
Self-Separation: Sense and Avoid system function where the UAS maneuvers within a sufficient timeframe to remain well clear of other airborne traffic
Sense and Avoid: the capability of a UAS to remain well clear from and avoid collisions with other airborne traffic. Sense and Avoid provides the functions of self-separation and collision avoidance to establish an analogous capability to "see and avoid" required by manned aircraft
Small Unmanned Aircraft: UAS weighing less than 55 pounds
Visual line-of-Sight: unaided (corrective lenses and/or sunglasses exempted) visual contact between a pilot-in-command or a visual observer and a UAS sufficient to maintain safe operational control of the aircraft, know its location, and be able to scan the airspace in which it is operating to see and avoid other traffic or objects aloft or on the ground
The Drone Dude Podcast
Interview with Dr. Sarah J. Nilsson, Esq. on July 10, 2015
2016 May - AOPA Article - Game of drones
Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS
602 561 8665
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The information on this website is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice.
While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not YOUR attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.
In no event shall Sarah Nilsson be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages relating to this material, for any use of this website, or for any other hyperlinked website.