Old 02-14-2015, 07:09 PM   #1
Dennis A. Livesey
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Smile Looks like Aerial photography will be OK by FAA.

This is good news.

I think the positive aspects of aerial photography constitute the greatest advances in photography since digital.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorym...g-regulations/
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:15 AM   #2
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Hi Dennis,

Yes, but.... As I read through the proposal, there is in fact a certification requirement, albeit a fairly easy one. Asking UAS operators to obtain a commercial certificate would have put them out of business. Still, a person will have to prove that they have an appropriate level of aeronautical knowledge (rules, etc.), which is a decent step beyond the free-for-all that exists now.

In addition:

- UAS will need to be registered, similar to a manned aircraft

- UAS will need to be operated within line-of-sight....no autonomous operation like the yo-yos at Amazon were proposing.

- UAS will be day VFR only

- UAS will need to be operated below 500 AGL

All of the above are good things, IMHO.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:46 AM   #3
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My understanding this was an inadvertent leak of a FAA document that was looking at the economic advantages of the devices.

The actual ruling is not out yet.

And agree that those stipulations seem reasonable and prudent.

Overall, if this is how it pans out, I am very pleased.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
My understanding this was an inadvertent leak of a FAA document that was looking at the economic advantages of the devices.

The actual ruling is not out yet.

And agree that those stipulations seem reasonable and prudent.

Overall, if this is how it pans out, I am very pleased.
I'm also pleased, as I'll never have to buy another clay pigeon...
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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So is this just for commercial use or hobby as well?
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:36 AM   #6
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Good question, Jim. The "leaked" document appears to relate to commercial use, but the issues it addresses are mostly safety-related. My sense is that there are going to be some rules for private use. The activities that you can readily see on YouTube, such as flights to over 2,000 AGL, flights into the clouds, etc.....and the news reports we hear of commercial aircraft reporting these things flying in close proximity to them....all of that needs to be addressed, whether the operations are commercial or private. Private operations likely pose the most risk, because there will be more of them.

Interestingly, apparently the manufacturers (such as DJI) are already trying to address some of the concerns with software. For instance, it is illegal to fly one of these things inside the Washington, DC SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area). With software, they can query the UAV's GPS, and if the aircraft is within the SFRA, they can disable the aircraft's motors, making it impossible to fly. I think you will see more of that. DJI obviously has a vested interest in preventing something similar to what we saw at the White House a few weeks back....and they certainly don't want news coverage of technicians pulling fragments of their product out of a big turbofan engine on a commercial airliner.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:05 AM   #7
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Good question, Jim. The "leaked" document appears to relate to commercial use, but the issues it addresses are mostly safety-related. My sense is that there are going to be some rules for private use. The activities that you can readily see on YouTube, such as flights to over 2,000 AGL, flights into the clouds, etc.....and the news reports we hear of commercial aircraft reporting these things flying in close proximity to them....all of that needs to be addressed, whether the operations are commercial or private. Private operations likely pose the most risk, because there will be more of them.

Interestingly, apparently the manufacturers (such as DJI) are already trying to address some of the concerns with software. For instance, it is illegal to fly one of these things inside the Washington, DC SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area). With software, they can query the UAV's GPS, and if the aircraft is within the SFRA, they can disable the aircraft's motors, making it impossible to fly. I think you will see more of that. DJI obviously has a vested interest in preventing something similar to what we saw at the White House a few weeks back....and they certainly don't want news coverage of technicians pulling fragments of their product out of a big turbofan engine on a commercial airliner.
DJI is doing that as a "cover our ass" move. They're smart enough to know that people will come up with hacks to get around that GPS-override sooner or later. But this way, they'll be able to look at the FAA and say, "Hey, we did our part, the asshat that flew this one through the window of the East Room of the White House had an unauthorized firmware version."

With time, it'll be just like jailbreaking a smartphone. Unless Congress gets involved and mandates that all UAS must have an FAA approved software package with GPS enabled flight restrictions, there's not much they can do to prevent it.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:28 AM   #8
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DJI is doing that as a "cover our ass" move. They're smart enough to know that people will come up with hacks to get around that GPS-override sooner or later. But this way, they'll be able to look at the FAA and say, "Hey, we did our part, the asshat that flew this one through the window of the East Room of the White House had an unauthorized firmware version."
Hi Sean,

Yeah, that's probably a fair assessment. It would be difficult to stop a malicious (and clever) person from doing just about anything. What this will do however, is prevent a completely clueless owner of a DJI product from flying the thing in the SFRA, and I suspect that the vast majority of the violations are that type of thing. Basically, someone who has more money than gray matter, and can't even spell "SFRA", much less tell you what it is.
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