FLYSAFE SAFETY GUIDELINES
The FLYSAFE course is a rigorous 3-day intensive workshop that immerses people from all skill levels into standardized training and education with tested certification for low-range unmanned aerial photography. FLYSAFE is an education and certification process that helps ensure both camera operator and pilot are professional and safe at all times. The course consists of two parts; ground training and testing and flight training and testing. FLYSAFE is not affiliated with any government agency nor does it’s training practices or certification take responsibility for any pilot/operator’s actions. FLYSAFE is a training program to provide quality flight safety and operator training for independent operators. The FLYSAFE certification is strictly proof of successful completion of the FLYSAFE course and compliance with FLYSAFE safety guidelines.
FLYSAFE certification is divided into 2 parts. FLYSAFE Ground, and FLYSAFE Flight. To gain the ground certification you must attend FLYSAFE and pass the written exam. To gain the flight Certificate you must pass the flight exam and be signed off by a FLYSAFE representative. The ground certificate is a prerequisite for the flight exam. The FLYSAFE certificate indicates you have successfully completed both written and flight exams.
B. Levels of Flight Certification
1. FLYSAFE Certified Pilot: A pilot who has been tested and passed the flight exam conducted by a certified FLYSAFE representative. Current AMA Membership is required.
C. Proficiency Requirements
FLYSAFE recommends certified pilots maintain current flight logs and log a minimum of (4) flights at least (5) minutes each per month to maintain proficiency. This may not be accomplished by simulator.
II. FLIGHT REGULATIONS AND AIRSPACE
A. Logging Time
FLYSAFE recommends all pilots/operators maintain current logbooks of flights completed. This is acceptable in both digital and physical log book form. Logging time is recommended but not required.
Operators must at all times have their flight safety checklists present for all official flying. The FLYSAFE flight checklists include preflight, flight, and post flight information. This is acceptable in paper or digital form.
To maintain FLYSAFE current, you must always have a general liability insurance that covers any incidents including property and personal. No less than a $1 Million dollar umbrella policy is acceptable. If you are flying for someone, you must list them as additionally insured.
Flying above 400 feet AGL is prohibited at all times. UAV Aerial Photography has its uses primarily as low-range flight. If you must fly above 400 feet AGL, use full sized aircraft to accomplish the altitude. It is recommended for many reasons that you stay below 300 feet AGL, however is required you always stay below 400 feet AGL.
You may not fly over 100′ AGL within (3) miles of an airport without special pre-arranged communication with that airport’s operator. In no instance may you fly over, around, or off the ends of any runway. If you must fly at an airport, it must be pre-arranged, and written permissions must be given with specific times and locations as well as altitudes. You must also be equipped with a transceiver to monitor the air traffic frequencies of that airport. It is preferred to have a liaison from the airport supervising. If flying in close proximity to airport guidelines, you must have in your possession a sectional chart outlining the information pertaining to that airports proximity to your shoot location.
F. Flight Methods
First Person View (FPV) is a FLYSAFE approved method of flight with a spotter. The pilot may use the flight monitor (FPV) as reference but there must be a trained designated spotter watching the aircraft via line-of-sight at all times with no exceptions. The most suitable and most encouraged method of flight is direct line of sight. This requires the pilot to fly the aircraft by looking at it directly, unassisted except for corrective eyewear.
G. Flying while Intoxicated
You may not in any instance act as pilot in command under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Blood alcohol maximum for flight is 0.00.
H. Flying Over People
(Closed Production Set)
People you fly over or near, must be fully aware of it in advance and must sign an individual release of liability with the understanding that their activities and involvement may result in injury or even death. *Extreme caution must be taken at all times.
Flying over or near people or crowds is to be avoided whenever possible and only permitted in the following circumstances:
1. Client understands and approves of all activities.
2. You have current liability insurance for personal and property damage listing the client as additionally insured.
3. All participants are aware of the activities and have signed a liability release form.
4. You are operating at your own discretion and accept all responsibilities that pertain to your activities
*Extreme caution must be taken at all times.
I. Flying Over Roadways
It is strongly discouraged to fly over active roadways. When possible, use closed roadways. Flying over roadways is permitted at the pilot’s discretion but should never interfere with normal roadway activity (landing on a road, stopping traffic, chasing vehicles, distracting drivers,, etc…). Hovering directly over a roadway is strictly prohibited at all times.
J. Use for Surveillance or Spying
It is damaging to the reputation of UAV Aerial Photography to use your abilities for surveillance or spying. That is why FLYSAFE prohibits your flight for this purpose. The only exception to this is if you are assisting police, or public safety for official business and remain FLYSAFE compliant on all other flight conditions.
K. Flying At Night
You may fly at night only if you have a clear understanding of surrounding obstacles in advance as well as suitable exterior aircraft orientation lighting. It is required that all aircraft flying at night must be marked at a minimum with RED lighting on the rear and BLUE lighting on the front. You must also land with (2:00) minutes of reserve power.
L. FAA NOTAM’s and TFR’s
It is required that all FLYSAFE pilots must be aware of any FAA issues NOTAM’s and/or TFRs in effect where flying is taking place. It is also required that the pilot abide by the FAA issued NOTAM/TFRs at all times.
M. Takeoff and Landing Zones
To remain compliant you must choose areas where safe takeoff and landings may be conducted. This is defined by a space no smaller than (10) feet by (10) feet and clear of overhead and lateral obstructions. The Pilot/Remote Control Operator in Command shall check the location to determine if there are any potential radio frequencies or electrical transmissions that could interfere with or affect the safe operation of the aircraft. The aircraft must be checked for proper balance before each flight or after any alterations to the aircraft such as new camera or lens alteration. The area should be cleared of debris. Never, under any circumstance, throw anything such as grip tape, clothing, paper, etc. around the aircraft, whether running or not. Loose clothing, trash, or anything that may hinder the operation of the aircraft, shall be cleared. If there are people in the area of takeoff they are to be made aware, and asked to remain clear of the 10’ x 10’ area.
N. Pilot In Command
The Pilot/Remote Control Operator in Command is at all times the final authority over the aircraft and shall be in command over all flight operations and/or related activities. The Pilot/Remote Control Operator in Command shall have the final authority to abort any flight operation in the interest of safety. Abort signals shall be specified ahead of time. In the event of a power loss, signal loss, or mechanical failure, the pilot must make every attempt to keep the safety of people and property as the highest priority. The aircraft may be crashed, or destroyed in the attempt to keep the safety of people and property. The pilot has the final authority and is responsible for the flight of the aircraft.
A. Aircraft Size
Your aircraft must be of a size that is visible during flight. Orientation must be decipherable at whatever distance/altitude you fly to.
B. Use of GPS
All equipment must be equipped with GPS. GPS coordinates must be attained and verified before takeoff and used as the fail-safe return to home location in the event of signal loss or other issue. GPS systems are supplemental for flight accuracy and precise aircraft positioning. GPS is never to be used as a substitute for visibility, flight conditions, or pilot proficiency.
C. FAIL–SAFE Requirements
All aircraft systems must be programmed for fail-safe. Fail-safe is defined as the flight computer taking over in the event of a signal loss from the pilot or preset function from transmitter. Hover in place, hover-then-land, as well as return to home and land are acceptable methods of fail-safe.
D. Navigation Lighting
All FLYSAFE certified pilots must have exterior navigation lighting on their aircraft for flying at night. This lighting must make the orientation decipherable for the pilot, camera operator, and spotter. The universal FLYSAFE navigation lighting at night is RED on the rear of the aircraft, and BLUE on the front.
E. Flight Time
All flights must be timed according to the capacity of the power system and anticipated usage. This ensures landing with safe level battery reserves of at least (1:00) minute. Before takeoff, batteries must be verified as fully charged.
F. Voltage Monitoring
You must be able to read the voltage of your aircraft either visually or audibly at all times. This can be through the use of audible/visual voltage monitors, on screen display, or both.
G. Autonomous Flight
Autonomous flight may not be used as the primary form of flight control without a certified pilot override on standby at all times. In the event autonomous flight is used, the pilot in command is required to have manual override capability at all times.
H. Professional Use
No aircraft may be used professionally unless previously tested and proven to be in an airworthy state and functioning properly.
I. Indoor Flight
If the aircraft is to be used indoors, extreme caution shall be taken. Indoor conditions (e.g., increased heat resulting in reduced air density) could adversely affect flying characteristics. Additionally, interior sets, walls, ceiling beams, lighting equipment, HVAC equipment etc., can be a hazard. GPS is not to be used indoors.
J. Damage and Incident Reporting
In the event of damage caused to the aircraft, camera or other equipment for any reason, it is required that an incident report be filled out, explaining the details of the occurrence and recommended corrections to be made.
Fly at your own risk in precipitation. Under no circumstance may you fly in any precipitation if you are flying over people or property such as buildings, homes, cars, or other things that may become damaged in the result of an equipment failure. If you have a flight platform that has been tested to perform in precipitation you may fly at your discretion.
Good judgment should be used when determining when to fly with wind. It is suggested that you do not fly in wind greater than 15 kts with or gusts over 20 kts.
A. Limits of Certification
The FLYSAFE certification does not provide any special rights, privileges or perks. Its purpose is to be the best and safest possible pilot and operator. Its purpose is to also provide a differentiating factor that serves as a benchmark for knowledge of the standards of Radio Control Aerial Photography. FLYSAFE, its parent companies and those affiliated with FLYSAFE are not responsible for the individual or collective actions of any pilot, operator, company or otherwise. It is also not insurance, an insurance policy or provider of insurance services. FLYSAFE is a proprietary training system to educate and build the skills of Radio Control Aerial Photography Professionals.
B. Revocation of Certification
FLYSAFE certification is a privilege. If FLYSAFE feels it necessary to revoke your certification it may do so at any time. Failure to follow FLYSAFE safety regulation will result in the revocation of your FLYSAFE certification