Please be sure to notify the UA Operations Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) about *all* Penn State owned drones, even if they are only being flown indoors. Why is this important? Indoor UAV’s can still cause bodily injury and property damage (which is covered by the UAV liability insurance), and therefore all PSU-owned UAV’s must be reported to our insurer in order to be insured/covered, regardless of indoor/outdoor status.
It is important to be aware that all Penn State-owned (and rented or leased) drones MUST be reported to email@example.com so that they can be insured by Penn State’s UAV aviation insurance.
What information needs to be submitted?
The UA Operations Manager will need a copy of the following.
- FAA registered UA
- Remote Pilot in Command’s (RPIC) Part 107 certificate
- USAIG UAV Vehicle Questionnaire (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request)
How does this process work?
After you submit a request to fly, the UA Operations Manager will ask for the information above, among other components needed in order to make a decision or determination about approval. Note UA flights occurring on Penn State or affiliated property or for the purposes of Penn State affiliated activities are not permitted until proper approval is granted by the UA Operations Manager.
Upon receipt of the information, the UA Operations Manager will work with the Risk Management Office to confirm that the UA and pilot and flight have been reported to Penn State’s UAV aviation insurer and insured. Otherwise, we (Penn State and the employee RPIC) risk not having UAV liability insurance coverage for bodily injury or property damage arising from UA use.
Have any accidents occurred at Penn State?
Penn State recently had its first UA liability claim, and unfortunately, it occurred from a Penn State owned UA that was not insured.
Please help us insure and protect you and Penn State by reporting all UA purchases, rentals, and leases. If you are not yet ready to submit a request to fly but want to proceed in getting the UA insured, please submit the above materials to email@example.com.
As a friendly reminder, UA campus contacts are responsible for the following.
- Serve as a local resource to those wishing to fly at the campus location with which you are located.
- Be aware of available UA resources (many are linked from our website: https://www.research.psu.edu/UasOperations).
- Where to go for questions you are unable to answer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Serve as a liaison between the campus and the UA operations team.
- Alert email@example.com about accidents, incidents or events of interest.
- Help distribute messages.
- Direct others where to submit a request to fly (https://www.research.psu.edu/node/2790).
- Alert firstname.lastname@example.org about any UAs purchased by Penn State so they can be added to the fleet of insured vehicles.
- Weight in on flight requests. In addition to the UA team gathering and vetting the required documents when a flight request is submitted, the UA campus contact will also need to weigh in before a final decision/determination is made.
- The UA Operations team will notify you about any mishaps that occur, whether it is an accident, incident or event of interest. You may be asked for further assistance if one does occur.
If you are currently serving as a UA campus contact but don’t feel comfortable with your role or if you want to further discuss your role, please contact the UA Operations Manager email@example.com.
Required Training: The pilot proficiency video series will soon be required in addition to the standardization training that is conducted to evaluate your flight skills.
Effective Date: December 2018
What is the purpose of the pilot proficiency video series?
- There are five (5) tutorials in the series and corresponding quizzes, which reinforce the critical aspects of the Part 107 certification, as well as Penn State-specific rules and regulations around safe operations.
Who does this apply to?
- Remote Pilots in Command (RPIC) who submit a request to fly on or after December 1, 2018 and have not yet completed the standardization training. Successful completion of the video series must be done prior to completing the standardization training.
Who is grandfathered in?
- RPICs who have already completed the standardization training.
- Standardization pilots.
- Note: You are welcome to complete the video series even if you are grandfathered in.
How to request access?
- Email the UA Operations team to be added into the Canvas course so you may access the training tutorials: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After confirmation is sent by the UA Operations team that access has been granted, the Canvas materials can be accessed using these instructions.
- Navigate to Canvas: canvas.psu.edu
- Click on the “Canvas login” located at the top right corner of the screen (will be directed to log into Web Access unless you are already logged in)
- The default page will be your dashboard. Navigate to the bottom of the screen and click on the “UAS Remote Piot Ready Room” square under the “Dashboard” heading.
- Click on the “Assignments” link on the left side menu.
- Click on the “Pilot Proficiency Training Tutorials link (under Assignments)
- Click on the “Pilot Proficiency Training” link in the “instructions” paragraph.
Dear UA Community,
As the new UA Operations Manager, I wanted to briefly introduce myself and to make you aware of some upcoming program enhancements.
Some of you may know me (Jenn Stewart) from my previous compliance role and affiliation with information, privacy and security or from my role in education at the Office for Research Protections. In my new role as the UA Operations Manager, I will be handling many of the same responsibilities that Eugene (the former UA Operations Manager) handled, including the following.
- Oversee and manage daily administrative activities associated with UA Operations,
- Review flight plans,
- Develop policies and procedures,
- Facilitate strategic program management and goal setting activities, and
- Lead the development, implementation and presentation of compliance education and training programs for faculty, staff and students using UAs.
Feel free to reach out anytime: email@example.com | 814-865-7987.
Some of the upcoming program enhancements that we are working on include the following:
- A series of five (5) educational tutorials that will be offered through Canvas,
- A new electronic system that will manage UA submissions and other materials,
- Revisions to the UA Operations Manual, and
- Revisions to the Pre-Mishap Plan.
Additional information will be forthcoming on these items. In the meantime, I look forward to working with you!
Remote Pilot Certificate Currency
The first Remote Pilot certificates were issued in August 2016, and are nearing the end of their 24 calendar month currency. Remote drone pilots are required to complete a recurrent training course or pass a recurrent knowledge test within 24 calendar months to continue to exercise the privileges of their Remote Pilot certificates.
- If you are a drone and manned pilot (Part 61 qualified) you can either:
- If you are a drone pilot, and do not hold a Part 61 (manned pilot) qualification you must take the initial or recurrent Part 107 Knowledge Test at a testing facility
- View the list of Knowledge Testing Centers (PDF) to find one near you.
- The difference between the initial and recurrent knowledge test/online training course is the length. Both versions meet the requirements to maintain your Remote Pilot certificate.
The FAA does not specify the method by which the certificate holder stores and displays his or her knowledge test report or course completion certificate; however, the certificate holder must provide the documents to the FAA upon request.
FAA DroneZone Portal:
Note: Be sure to make sure you are on the FAA website. The cost to register is $5.00. There are many websites out there which look just like the FAA website, charging anywhere from $60-$200 to register. DO NOT submit registration through them. If you have any questions, please contact UA Operations Manager.
The long awaited updated SY45 policy has been approved by President’s Council. A huge thank you is in order to Lt. Matthew White, Dr. Mike Yukish and Ms. Candice Yekel for representing the policy so well at the President’s Council. The policy is published and can be found on the University’s policy website:
Some Policy Highlights:
REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL OPERATIONS OF UA:
All use of UA on University Property and all use of UA on non-University property by the University, its students and employees, or third party contractors or affiliates for University-Affiliated activities must abide by the following requirements:
- University UA Operations Manual. All UA operations on University Property or as part of a University-Affiliated activity must be conducted in accordance with the applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as the University’s UA Operations Manual, which addresses issues such as training, pre- and post-flight procedures, flight logs, safety concerns and flight restrictions.
- Registration. All UA requiring registration with the FAA must also be registered with the University.
- Insurance. All registered UA must be insured unless the operation is being conducted by individual students as a model aircraft in accordance with 14 C.F.R. Part 101. Contractor’s evidence of insurance must be provided to and verified by the University’s Risk Management Office. UA operations by student organizations require insurance; however, student organizations are responsible for providing their own insurance.
- License. Operators must possess and supply their piloting credentials to the University prior to flight. Students operating under 14 C.F.R. Part 101 are not required to possess a remote pilot license, however, they are required to have completed the University’s UA Compliance Course.
- Safety. Use of UA shall not create an undue hazard to life or property, and they may not be operated in a way which invades privacy, unduly affects the environment of those working within a building, or those entering, exiting or walking around a facility or University Property. The UA must be under the control of the operator at all times.
- Permissions. UA Operators of UA operations that are part of a University-Affiliated Activity but not on University Property must receive documented permission from the property owner of the property where the UA operations will occur. Such permission shall be provided to the UA Operations Manager upon request.
- Accident Reporting. All accidents that result in injury or that cause property damage (other than to the UA itself) must be reported to the UA Operations Manager within 24 hours. Accidents that result in serious injury or property damage over $500 must be reported immediately. Details on reporting criteria and processes can be found at https://www.research.psu.edu/UasOperations. In addition, all injuries must be reported as outlined in Policy SY04, Employee Accidents – Reporting and Investigation, and SY05, Injuries to Any Person, And Reporting Incidents Involving Other Than Employees.
- Public Venues. UA may not be operated above public open-air events, inside University athletic and entertainment venues open to the public, or above thoroughfares without prior approval by the University.
- Airport. UA, operating as a model aircraft under Part 101, may not be operated within a 5 mile radius of any airport designated by the FAA, without prior notice by the operator of the UA to the airport operator and air traffic control tower. Site specific information may be found https://www.research.psu.edu/UasOperations.
- Third Party Operations. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, if a University unit arranges for a third party to operate a UA on University Property or for a University-Affiliated Activity,
a. The unit shall contact the Risk Management Office to ensure that the UA owner and operator has adequate liability insurance and takes the risk mitigation arrangements deemed appropriate.b. If a third party will be operating under their own FAA waiver or authorization, the third party will provide copy to the UA Operations Manager for prior approval.c. The third party shall provide documentation supporting the operator’s certification and medical readiness.
UA Operations Manager: The University shall designate an individual to serve as the UA Operations Manager. The UA Operations Manager shall be responsible for and have authority for approval of all UA Operations conducted at or by the University. The UA Operations Manager shall report to the Associate Vice President for Research, Director, ORP, on matters related to UA operations, and will regularly consult with the Assistant Vice President for Police and Public Safety.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
There are two sets of rules to fly your drone under; Part 107 (commercial) and Part 101 (hobby and recreation). Part 107 is closely regulated, requiring the operator to hold a Remote Pilot certificate and comply with a number of constraints in different types of airspace.
Part 101 is also regulated, just differently. The rules on Part 101 state the aircraft must be… “operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization…” The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) publishes a safety code that fits this bill, and is available at https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf . Elements of the safety code include:
Model aircraft will not be flown:
- In a careless or reckless manner.
- At a location where model aircraft activities are prohibited.
- Not operate model aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or while using any drug
- All pilots shall avoid flying directly over unprotected people, vessels, vehicles or structures and shall avoid endangerment of life and property of others.
- A successful radio equipment ground-range check in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations will be completed before the first flight of a new or repaired model aircraft
- … excluding takeoff and landing, no powered model may be flown outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for the pilot and the pilot’s helper(s)
- Maintain control during the entire flight, maintaining visual contact without enhancement other than by corrective lenses prescribed for the pilot
This is a summary of the rules. If you fly under Part 101, you need to read and understand all of them. Failure to comply with the community guidelines means failure to comply with the FAA, thus subjecting yourself to FAA enforcement actions.
Due to proximity to the local airport and the fact that it has an operating control tower, the majority of the Penn State University Park campus is located in what is known as Class D airspace. Therefore, before flight operations under Part 107 could commence, we required a waiver, which was finally received in early April. The waiver is restrictive, though, in where exactly we can fly and and what altitudes. Below is a map of the area we can fly, in the shaded region. The lat-long of the six corners are also given. The maximum altitude to fly in this airspace is 200ft AGL (above ground level). Note that to fly under this waiver, you have to be compliant with the rest of Part 107, i.e., hold a Remote Pilot license and comply with its rules. You also need to comply with SY45 in its updated form, listed below. Finally, shoot us an email before you fly, and we will get you into the air safely.
If you are flying under Part 101 (students for hobby or education) then the restrictions below do not apply, however, you are required to call the airport tower and inform them of your flying since you are within 5 miles of the airport. The airport tower phone number is: 814-865-1941. Before you call, be prepared to tell them who, what, when, where, how long, and how to reach you. Also, if you are going to fly on campus, you must submit a request to Fly @ PSU to the UAS Operations Management Team. We will work with you to get you into the air safely. Contact us at email@example.com.
Here are the lat-longs in text form for copying…
40°49’N, 77°53’W 40°49’N, 77°51’W
40°47’N, 77°51’W 40°47’N, 77°54’W
40°48’N, 77°54’W 40°48’N, 77°53’W