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New Drone Regulation Regarding Display Of Registration
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Ron..NE ILL..10/48
Posted 2/18/2019 06:40 (#7327936 - in reply to #7325901)
Subject: RE: New Drone Regulation Regarding Display Of Registration

Chebanse, IL


Not every experienced aviator agrees with you. Small drones (under 50#) and planes can and do get along fine.

Whether N numbers are displayed inside the drone (per previous rule) or outside (per new rule) it doesn't matter logically, to me. Most, but not all, fixed wing a/c use 12" N numbers. That's OK. You can seem them from 500' away I think they suggest. However, many aircraft like homebuilts, etc, use 3" N-numbers. But, they're still legible at some distance, just less than 500'. These sizes are dictated somewhat by the size of the N number display, not the size of the aircraft. You can see the numbers on a 747 as well as a T-Craft, assuming 12" numbers. Also, as you probably know, historic military aircraft (aka warbirds) only need 2" numbers.

Now, how big would the number have to be on a drone to see them @ 500'? 300'? 10'? Obviously a 12" number can't be put on an airframe that's only a few inches by a few inches in size. I haven't seen a size requirement in the newest drone ruling for registration numbers. 

Logic? I'm not a criminal, but if I were going to load either a drone with explosives, or a real airplane, I doubt I would put the correct registration number on the drone. Not sure about where you live, but locally criminals either remove auto license plates, or place stolen plates on the crime-involved vehicle. I suppose I'd do the same w/drones, or a C-182. Drug haulers often made up N numbers, or put the same as another similar aircraft registered to someone else. How would you know?

Back in the '70s, the FAA said we no longer had to use 12" N numbers on FW aircraft. Everyone went to 3" numbers. Then a relative few years later, they went back to 12" again. So, it's not just drones that FAA can't make their mind up on. 

Now, most drone owners like myself want to put the number wherever it makes sense, or now, wherever is dictated. I will tell you that after some tall grass or other minor impacts, it's hard to assume the outer mounted numbers will stay on the vehicle. But, those mounted in the battery compartment will stay regardless of impacts. That makes sense.

Not sure Goosepilot if you were flying in the mid-70s or not when the ultra-light craze was starting. Aviation & airport groups were meeting & some were protesting that the flying lawn chairs would be tumbling out of the sky, along with the innocent aircraft they encountered. In the end, everything worked OK. They get along fine. I wasn't exactly a big proponent of them at the time, but have been up a few times & to me it's just another thing in the air. They are probably one of the best platforms for aerial photography I've experienced. As you probably know, one of the main dangers to aircraft seems to be bird strikes. Blue Angels lost one of their guys on t.o. @ Burke-Lakefront years ago when his F4 sucked up a gull on takeoff. Then there was the guy that landed in the Potomac recently. Probably more work should be done on eliminating birds than where to put N numbers (though they're not N numbers) on little drones. 

Goosepilot...I hope you're not ripping all drone operators. They're not all bad. Same w/FW or RW owner/operators....they're not all bad, but any machine could be used for good or bad purposes.


Ron Lukow
UAS Remote Pilot

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