FAA grounds state agency’s toy helicopter
by Associated Press
Published: March 19,2013
BILOXI — A toy helicopter the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources planned to use to fly over marshland to monitor invasive species has been grounded.
The Federal Aviation Administration said its regulations for a toy helicopter under such circumstances are the same as those for a military predator drone.
MDMR’s project manager Mike Pursley told The Clarion-Ledger the plan was to use the toy helicopter rather than renting an airplane.
“We got the idea that we could use a remote control helicopter to find invasive plants in places where it became impossible to go by boat,” said Pursley. “It would help find invasive hogs, plants — and it could help documenting day-to-day effects of coastline erosion.”
Pursley said meeting FAA rules proved difficult.
He said although the agency has a permit to fly the helicopter in a well-defined 50-acre plot of land, the local aircraft tower required two days’ notice. He said regulations also required two people to man the flight, with both the pilot and official observer having medical airworthiness certificates and pilots’ licenses.
Since most unmanned aerial vehicles have been used for military purposes, there aren’t specialized guidelines outside that arena yet. In essence, those who operate drones must be qualified to operate full-sized aircraft.
“It’s not feasible right now. We don’t have the manpower to jump through those hoops,” Pursley said.
Pursley believes that by 2015, when drones will be cleared for civilian use, there will be more reasonable regulations.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
One Response to “FAA grounds state agency’s toy helicopter”
Top Posts & Pages
- Hood clarifies opinion on open-carry gun law
- IKE TROTTER: There are primary changes in Social Security for 2014
- Expert on airlines predicts Jackson-Evers will keep remaining carriers
- C Spire launches next phase of 1-gig service rollout
- Town given Obamacare insurance break, but faces additional costs in 2015
- MAN OF STEEL: Madhu Ranade leading Severstal Columbus
- Officials hand mayor projects list totaling $57.7M
- Public meeting called to mull future of convention center
- Court to hear case involving alligators and ExxonMobil
- Alumni-couple donate $12.3M to Mississippi State