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Old March 8th, 2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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What do you think!

If for some reason the FAA got a bunch of UMF regulations and Laws in place in the next few years, I think they could be circumvented to some degree.

What if there was a system that could be on the ground and attached to the UMF device, like a line or very light cable, kind of like flying a kite. Something maybe like a large spool or reel with self adjusting drag to allow flight still by RC. It would not work for every situation, but I think it could work for many.

Would this not change the aircraft in regards to how it fits into the regulations. I hate many of the Govt, agencies, They always start out with good intentions, but always over extend and invoke there authority out of control, also, once laws are in place there is too many new laws being legislated to get any of the over extending laws revoked due to time. Let the States Have a say our country is too different from state to state, geographical. Ok I'll shut up, It just Piss's me off!
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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Re: What do you think!

This whole thing annoys the crap out of me too.

But to your point, I think what your asking about is tethering and in the 21 page proposed rules for commercial AP there was an exception for tethered vehicles which stated that if it is tethered the restrictions don't apply to you.

I have no idea what that will ultimately mean, then you get into this ridiculous debate on the definition of tethered, but its already there.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: What do you think!

See the FARs re moored kites and balloons and you may be close. As far as the free-flying UAVs are concerned it may well be the willd wild west until new regs are implemented. An IA I spoke with who is active in the area indicated he doesn't think anything will happen until 2018 (rather than the supposed 2015 NPR folks are waiting on.). My guess is, as soon as a major accident occurs there will be some emergency legislation passed. Your bigger risk may be in finding insurance that will really pay if an incident occurs. Make sure your attorney reads the fine print.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 03:24 PM   #4
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Re: What do you think!

Well you asked...

It's incredibly easy to be pissed off about "over regulation" and incredibly silly.

Regulation springs from conflict. Conflict springs from disagreement. And disagreement often springs from separate parties competing for scarce resources.

None of those things are EVER going away.

Historicaly, the power to compete flows toward wealth. And wealth attracts more wealth. So you MUST have a system where something counterbalances the unchecked accumulation of power and wealth - or eventually all the power flows to fewer and fewer parties and the system of competition gets clogged up..

So before you pine for "freedom from regulation" - stop and think. In an extremely de-regulated market, can you even compete?

Not against Jack the fellow drone pilot down the street - but against maybe AMAZON who might have all those delivery drones criss-crossing your town doing deliveries some day. Their business model will already be setup to cover ALL their overhead. How much would it take for them to simply add a "task" to do a couple of photo fly-overs for the property that you've been pitching for a "custom drone photo job?"

Think you can compete with that?

Deregulation CAN be viewed as making it easier for the little guy to compete. But it can ALSO be seen as making it much, much, MUCH easier for he BIG guy to out-compte everyone else.

If deregulation of drones keeps going forward, I'm gonna consider developing a new line of back yard camouflage netting products. That industry would really take off!

Worth thinking about.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: What do you think!

There's a lot of confusion regarding this issue,

Here is the actual ruling against the FAA: http://www.kramerlevin.com/files/upl...erDecision.pdf

This case and the subsequent confusion regarding shooting commercial AP from RC's is not about the FAA regulations or the need for them. THERE ARE NO REGULAtIONS against doing commercial AP from RC's despite what the FAA has claimed and this case made that clear.

The FAA is not authorized to write laws, only Congress can write laws. The FAA has the authority to develop rules that are binding and lawful but they MUST follow a process in order to do it, they cannot do that unilaterally.

The FAA never created any regulations through the required NPRM process so therefore none existed but they claimed that doing commercial AP from RC was illegal while performing the same function as a hobby was not. The FAA does not get to decide whether flying RC's for any purpose is legal and when they started issuing cease and desist letters to AP operators and realtors it was the FAA that was breaking the law.

So all of us have a choice, we can just let the government do whatever it wants and live with the consequences or we can stand up for our rights. If the FAA has its way then doing commercial AP is illegal, period and as Jim pointed out there's really not much of an expectation that the FAA will complete the NPRM process before 2018. So what are we supposed to do just sit around drinking beer? Ok I'll concede that might be all bad..

Bill, the power to compete flows towards opportunity, wealth flows from success. Can I compete with Amazon's "fly-by-shooting?" You bet I can, what do they know about shooting architecture, commercials or AP? Jeff Bezos was brilliant, he probably knew that if Amazon weighed into this debate that something would happen much sooner than later. As long as the public perceived the dust up between the FAA and a bunch of people wanting to shot AP, that few care about, nothing was going to happen. But when Amazon made the announcement that they wanted to deliver via "drones" that put a very bright spotlight on the issue and a bunch of bureaucrats went scurrying under their desks like cockroaches. If you've flown MR's for any time at all you have to know that delivering anything by drones is a decade away.

Amazon used its size not to compete with us but to empower us. If Amazon really wants to deliver products using drones then their best strategy would have been to stay out and say nothing, preventing all of us from developing viable AP businesses as we waited for the FAA to pull their heads out of their ass while at the same time developing their MR armada.

Remember: "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." If you want to couch the choice that way, the FAA or Amazon, I choose Amazon!
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Old March 8th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: What do you think!

I think that using UAV's to film large crowds and events are one of the worst possible applications which is why we added tethered and RC blimps to our collection of equipment. They are awesome indoors and the tethered ones are not bad outdoors if the winds are really light. Keeping away from power lines is the biggest challenge as they are just about everywhere. The regs for tethered blimps aren't to difficult to comply with also and we use them often for traffic studies.

About 10 years ago I was flying large gas powered UAV's for General Dynamics who were using them for sensor R&D. At that time there wasn't a good option to collect the huge amount of real-time data to a laptop via wireless so a tether was used. I would just go up a couple of hundred feet and hover for 30 minute intervals (read stiff neck). A big powerful rig was needed to haul up the sensor payload and tether which together came to about 15 lbs.

This is an interesting tethered surveillance drone -

Meet Sky Sapience HoverMast: Tethered Surveillance Drone
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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: What do you think!

I agree, we're going to offer tethered drones as well. At first I was just looking for a way around the FAA restrictions but the more we experimented with the more I liked it. Obviously like all things that fly there are trade offs but for a lot of industrial applications tethering the power just makes sense.
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