Attention commercial drone pilots: learn from Ian how to get access to a little-known FAA program which essentially grants you a “Get Out of Jail Free” card that can be used to help you get out of trouble when operating your drone commercially. Please fly your drones safely.
- The FAA ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card ford commercial drones
- ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System) – http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov
- Confidential, Voluntary, and non-Punitive
- Also referred to as a NASA report
- Report accidents to the NTSB and FAA!
- 1976 FAA appointed NASA to manage this system
- Caveat: this cannot completely excuse you from responsibility
- The ARC 277B form offers pilots limited immunity from penalties and certificate suspensions
- You are protected if:
- Violation was inadvertent and not intentional
- Violation did not involve a criminal offense or accident
- You have not been found responsible for a previous violation within the past 5 years
- You can prove a NASA report was filed within 10 days of the incident
- FAR 91.25 prohibits reports filed with NASA for being used for FAA enforcement purposes
- Why is this even allowed?
- The ASRS system captures and analyzes the reports and then shares the findings with the aviation community
- FAA assumes filing this report is similar to an act of contrition, assumes you will not make this mistake again
- It’s not an entirely free pass because the offense can be put on your record, it just means there will be no direct penalty against you from the FAA
- Writing down the circumstances of the violation will reinforce the infraction in the pilot’s mind making it likely you’ll adopt a better attitude and not commit the same mistake a second time
- The ASRS team, based at Moffett Field, receives ~200 reports every work day, approximately 40,000 per year with nearly 500,000 responses in total.
- Reasons a commercial drone operator might file a NASA report:
- Altitude deviations (accidentally operate above 400 feet AGL)
- Encroachment on controlled airspace
- A near-miss with another aircraft
- Flying over people when not authorized to do so
- Knowingly breaking the regulations does not qualify! i.e. Amazon cannot deliver packages BVLOS and be ok since they would knowingly be breaking the rule
- “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.” = not my previous Chief Pilot
- Had a close call when I was building hours for commercial pilot training
- Was not aware of encroaching a closed-off, highly congested area above a boat race—weren’t on same radio frequency, were not briefed on situation, ATC kicked us out of the area
- Had to file a NASA report when back at home base (within 10 days of the incident) and everything went well at the end
- This does not excuse you and is not a way to get away with accidents or blatant subversion of the rules! Report any accidents directly to the NTSB/FAA.
If you liked this episode, please subscribe and leave a rating/review for the show on iTunes or whatever else you listen to the podcast on—it helps a ton in the beginning!
Share the love
Subscribe to Commercial Drones FM on iTunes
Recent drone podcasts and blog posts: