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Dana

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Does anyone here think that an FAA publication that describes how to assess a remote landing area somehow makes it legal to buzz a neighborhood under the pretense of landing in someone’s backyard?
No.

But landing an airplane off airport without an inspection pass ("dragging the field" was what it was called when I was learning to fly) to evaluate it for hazards would be even more irresponsible, which is why the FAA, in their own publication, encourages pilots to do just that. The issue here seems to be whether the FAA believes he actually intended to land, or whether the decision to not land due to the field conditions suddenly makes the inspection pass illegal.

As others have said, I suspect there's more to the story... and I suspect he didn't grovel enough for the investigator's ego. If he'd said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I was a bad boy and I'll never do it again," at the first informal conference, that would have been the end of it. But arguing that it was in fact legal and safe (as I believe it probably was) turned it into a battle that the FAA had to win.
 

varivig

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Trent, by his own testimony was making surveillance passes and not an approach to landing. The 500 foot proximity exception only applies to takeoff and landing. Buzzing a neighborhood to explore the possibility of landing in someone’s backyard is not the intent of the exception.
Boy are you way off base. He WAS making the inspection pass as a preparation for a landing.
 

byGeorge

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.... I suspect he didn't grovel enough for the investigator's ego. If he'd said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I was a bad boy and I'll never do it again," at the first informal conference, that would have been the end of it. But arguing that it was in fact legal and safe (as I believe it probably was) turned it into a battle that the FAA had to win.
Dad told me years ago-- after losing an argument with an even more formidable opponent than the federal government, mom-- that "the only thing that turns out worse than standing up to power when you are wrong is standing up to power when you are right."
 

speedracer

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Makes one think, Is it worth it. If I was a young man today, I don't know if I would get my flying PP license. Maybe just fly an ultralight.

I'll bet he has the big 10" "N" numbers on his plane. Why do people do that? Anyone can make an honest mistake like this guy might have done. BTW, if your plane is a copy of a 40 year old plane (like my Long EZ and maybe a Kitfox) you can put 2" N numbers on it. I can't read the numbers on mine from 40' away. Also, we experimental people can add an "X" after the "N" on our planes and forgo the experimental sticker. Can you read the numbers on this plane? They're near the rear and inside the green stripe and are legal.
 

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Pops

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Been flying for a couple of moons and have never buzzed anyone or any field. I have flew down the field or runway making sure there is no deers, cows, etc and the ground is in shape for a safe landing. One time I was landing at a private grass strip for the first time that an old friend of mine just bought. I failed to fly over it and inspect both ends of the approaches before make a lower pass. Made a pass to inspect the ground. Never saw the box canyon at the end of the runway. I made the low pass and flew into the box canyon and the canyon ended just around the bend , then an almost vertical wall. Flying the SSSC with a 1200+ roc and saw a low gap in the tree branches a little off to my left. Just made it through the top of the tree without hitting any branches. You Really have to inspect everything. So now we have pressure to not.
 
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Pops

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No.

But landing an airplane off airport without an inspection pass ("dragging the field" was what it was called when I was learning to fly) to evaluate it for hazards would be even more irresponsible, which is why the FAA, in their own publication, encourages pilots to do just that. The issue here seems to be whether the FAA believes he actually intended to land, or whether the decision to not land due to the field conditions suddenly makes the inspection pass illegal.

As others have said, I suspect there's more to the story... and I suspect he didn't grovel enough for the investigator's ego. If he'd said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I was a bad boy and I'll never do it again," at the first informal conference, that would have been the end of it. But arguing that it was in fact legal and safe (as I believe it probably was) turned it into a battle that the FAA had to win.
One time I pointed out to a government worker that he made a mistake, was told in no uncertain terms that we don't make mistakes. I told him that if that is the way it is , I'll just keep the extra money from the mistake and let me know when you change your mind.
 

BBerson

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Looking at 91.119 it’s clear the intent is to allow exemptions for helicopters and powered parachutes and weight shift. Apparently, because of low speed. It would seem any slow capable aircraft should be exempt “if operation is conducted without hazard.”

{d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface -

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.}
 

Vigilant1

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If he'd said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I was a bad boy and I'll never do it again," at the first informal conference, that would have been the end of it. But arguing that it was in fact legal and safe (as I believe it probably was) turned it into a battle that the FAA had to win.
Right. Also, the FAA wouldn't have had to win the fight if they had reason to believe this one instance would go unnoticed. But, either because of the identity/power or the complaining neighbor or (more likely) Trent's reach as a popular YouTuber, that wasn't likely to happen. If the FAA has a choice between a widespread video like the one we just saw (moral: "Flying low near neighborhoods or people can get you in trouble, and a claimed "inspection pass' is not a guaranteed defense") they'd prefer that to a video crowing " this is how I use the regs to visit my friends at low altitude."

If a person has chosen to seek the public eye with a YouTube presence or blog, they can't expect to avoid scrutiny or to get a pass. Now, whether this constitutes harassment is another thing.

In a perfect world, rules would be clear and fairly applied regardless of the personalities. But ours is a fallen world inhabited by people.
 
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Pilot-34

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If you have the actual ruling of this case, please post it. All I have seen is Trent’s video of his misguided reasoning as to why he thinks what he did was legal and his misrepresentation of why the FAA is taking action against him. Trent has started a social media uproar of pilots now afraid to do a go around for fear they might get violated. Shame on him and shame on the pilots who buy into his false reasoning.

Does anyone here think that an FAA publication that describes how to assess a remote landing area somehow makes it legal to buzz a neighborhood under the pretense of landing in someone’s backyard?

Is the FAA hurting or protecting GA by acting against such acts?

Please do a go around when safety dictates regardless of how close you flew to a house on a legitimate approach to landing.

Dude did you even check out the Video and situation ?
This guys backyard is 10 acres plenty of space for Trent to land.
And their lot lines are not up against each other there’s even more space than that between neighbors.
Have you checked out Trents videos?
He’s a pretty responsible young man having a lot of fun with an airplane, isn’t that pretty much what general aviation needs right now?
 

Toobuilder

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Before we get too divided on this subject internally, I think we might take a minute to step back and realize that we simply don't know all the facts or intentions of the actors here. Personally, I think airplanes should be allowed to land on public roads and open land as long as the pilot thinks its safe, but that is far from reality today. Reality is that neighbors feelings have some weight to them, and flaunting your "rights" in opposition to those feelings often goes badly for aviation. One may win the battle, but lose the war, so to speak.

If Trent was really following FAA guidelines while trying to land on a "legal" spot, that will eventually come out. If he was in fact using some increasingly obscure and barely relevant loophole to continue his style of "cowboy" flying, well thats going to come out too.

I have little interest in this particular segment of aviation, but I do see the parallels with my own interests and overall its a boost for GA, so good on him and much of his ilk. But I see the noose clamping down on GA and as much as I hate to capitulate to the "haters", they do have a voice in my ability to fly relatively unrestricted. Sometimes its better to just bow out gracefully and live to fight another day. I suspect that the only one who is qualified to draw the subttle distinction of this scenario is Trent, and as his ass is in the sling, he's probably not an objective "truth source". Time will tell.
 

D Hillberg

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Before we get too divided on this subject internally, I think we might take a minute to step back and realize that we simply don't know all the facts or intentions of the actors here. Personally, I think airplanes should be allowed to land on public roads and open land as long as the pilot thinks its safe, but that is far from reality today. Reality is that neighbors feelings have some weight to them, and flaunting your "rights" in opposition to those feelings often goes badly for aviation. One may win the battle, but lose the war, so to speak.

If Trent was really following FAA guidelines while trying to land on a "legal" spot, that will eventually come out. If he was in fact using some increasingly obscure and barely relevant loophole to continue his style of "cowboy" flying, well thats going to come out too.

I have little interest in this particular segment of aviation, but I do see the parallels with my own interests and overall its a boost for GA, so good on him and much of his ilk. But I see the noose clamping down on GA and as much as I hate to capitulate to the "haters", they do have a voice in my ability to fly relatively unrestricted. Sometimes its better to just bow out gracefully and live to fight another day. I suspect that the only one who is qualified to draw the subttle distinction of this scenario is Trent, and as his ass is in the sling, he's probably not an objective "truth source". Time will tell.
Never bow out to fight another day - They'll take your inch and make a noose on a NASCAR garage...
They have no rules
 
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Never bow out to fight another day

I tend to agree but explaining why goes WAY across the line drawn here on political postings. I'd refuse to 'apologize' for my posting and probably end up banned permanently.
So, I'll not participate further in this thread until I have power the equivalent to the owner of this site to control my destiny as an HBA participant.

Some fights aren't worth challenging until you have a reasonable expectation of winning. The bureaucrats have the power to do as they wish. We collectively seem unwilling, or unable, to change that fact of life. Until that fact changes these kind of battles will be no more effective than windmill tilting.

The kid that swats the hornets nest at the family picnic isn't the only one that gets stung. Best to find a hornet free site or find a way to control the hornets. Kids will be kids.
 

Dana

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When did he make this claim? In response to the letter of investigation? During the informal conference? His video does not present in chronological order so it's hard to tell what happened without asking questions.
He describes the sequence of events in the video, how he made the low pass preparatory to landing, didn't like the sight picture on approach, and so decided not to land.
 

TFF

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I think probably the challenge has gotten him in the depths of this more than anything else. The FAA wants you to take your lumps. Even if he is technically right, he is forcing a tighter interpretation that no one can get out of. It’s what happened with CFIs and experimentals. The FAA is there to protect the population from us. We are the enemy. They will make sure there is no abuse of power on our side to the helpless masses.

The FAA will win. I also know, never tell the NTSB you need to have a lawyer present. You will go down. The NTSB agent is akin to a Federal Game Warden. Asking for a lawyer is considered a threat. If you need legal advice, you get it before you speak and without them present. Don’t think they won’t shove 100 of their lawyers in the room with just your one. They will. They do.
 

Joe Foss

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Makes one think, Is it worth it. If I was a young man today, I don't know if I would get my flying PP license. Maybe just fly an ultralight.

Ultimately, you will have a chance to get the case to your jury of peers after you exhausted all your remedies under the Administrative Procedure Act. Ultimately, you should prevail. I doubt that a jury would find you responsible as a reasonable person would have to take your position. Good luck
 

Daleandee

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60 day suspension? pfffffftttt!

I pick my battles ... I wouldn't die on this hill. JMHO ...:rolleyes:
 

davidb

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Boy are you way off base. He WAS making the inspection pass as a preparation for a landing.
An “inspection pass” implies an intent not to land during that pass. Sure, it is a step towards an eventual approach and intended landing but it is not “when landing”. I make inspection passes. I frequently get within 500 feet of boats when landing. I don’t get within 500 feet of anything while I’m surveying for a landing.
 
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