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7 Answers

Is posting flying videos on YouTube illegal?

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FAA Regulations

I had an instructor tell me today to never post any of my GoPro cockpit footage on YouTube because people get their licenses taken away for it. I could see this being true for airline pilots but what about GA flying? There seems to be a ton of GA flying videos on YouTube. Obviously you could get in trouble if you post videos of irresponsible behavior or something but the instructor told me that simply posting the cockpit footage is against the law.

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7 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Apr 12, 2015

    If you broke a rule, it would not be the smartest thing to admit it on YouTube. However, posting on YouTube is not against any law except on April Fools day.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Apr 12, 2015

    See 91.21.

    The camera is a portable electronic device. It cannot be used on an air carrier aircraft unless the operator (the airline) has determined that it does not cause interference.

    There is also a rule for air carriers requiring a sterile cockpit below 10000′ (or cruising altitude if it is lower than 10000′).

    These rules are the ones that would cause problems for airline pilots.

    It cannot be used on an IFR flight unless the PIC or operator has determined that it does not cause interference.

    For your non-IFR G/A flight, it is OK. It would also be OK for your IFR flight, if you determine that the camera does not interfere with your navigation or communication equipment.

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  3. Dave M on Apr 12, 2015

    I’d be interested to know if youtube videos would be considered “for hire” since there is compensation in the form of advertising. Someone is making money on those videos.

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  4. Kris Kortokrax on Apr 12, 2015

    If one is posting a video of a commercial activity which he allowed to perform, there should be no issue.

    If one is posting a video of a commercial activity which he is not allowed to perform, that would be unwise (both performing the activity and making a record of it).

    The idea that YouTube might make money from the video would not present a problem for the pilot.

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  5. Kris Kortokrax on Apr 13, 2015

    Interestingly enough, I found a new Notice (#8900.292) on FSIMS this morning. The address is fsims.faa.gov

    This notice deals with video on the internet. While it seems to mainly address UAS (drones), it does also mention manned aircraft.

    The following bullet points are included in the notice:

    Electronic media posted on the Internet is only one form of evidence which may be used
    to support an enforcement action and it must be authenticated;

    Electronic media posted on the Internet is ordinarily not sufficient evidence alone to
    determine that an operation is not in compliance with 14 CFR; however, electronic media
    may serve as evidence of possible violations and may be retained for future enforcement
    action; and

    Inspectors have no authority to direct or suggest that electronic media posted on the
    Internet must be removed.

    Note: Electronic media posted on a video Web site does not automatically
    constitute a commercial operation or commercial purpose, or other non-hobby or
    non-recreational use.

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  6. Robert Jankowski on Apr 13, 2015

    In local news (actually a co-worker of mine): http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/28417965/faa-to-tampa-man-dont-put-drone-video-on-youtube

    Seems if you have the ads turned off, you’ll be fine.

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