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Old March 16th, 2014, 02:42 PM   #1
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The U.S. is lagging behind others

U.S. lags as commercial drones take off around globe - Hawaii News - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:17 AM   #2
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Re: The U.S. is lagging behind others

Another article on the same theme: AP News : US lags as commercial drones take off around globe
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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:20 AM   #3
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Re: The U.S. is lagging behind others

Seems rather like the FAA has been procrastinating, getting over complicated rather than keeping things simple.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: The U.S. is lagging behind others

Hopefully the FAA is taking a really close look at how drones can impact Commercial and General Aviation, and probably also how they could be used for terrorism. The problem is that people flying these things aren't your typical model airplane buff flying them at the local airport.


In one recent case with a devastating fire in Norway that was made worse due to drones

"Media Drones prevent Firefighting Helicopters from Reaching Burning Village in Norway" Media Drones prevent Firefighting Helicopters from Reaching Burning Village in Norway

"The town is historic, with architecturally significant buildings dating back to the medieval and Viking periods. One of the more famous buildings is the Borgund Stave Church, built around 1180. Like most of the buildings in the town, this church is constructed almost entirely of wood. Because of the church and other ancient buildings, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site....."

Also, what is taking the regulators so long is "This technology presents massive ethical, legal, and regulatory issues. "

And it isn't all about firefighting and law enforcement. The US has more General Aviation aircraft than any other country and there are numerous small landing strips. The windshields of a GA airplane are made of relatively thin plastic that is usually good enough to deflect bugs and small birds but a hit with a drone would go right through and into the cockpit and that would be devastating.

Some General Aviation aircraft are fabric covered and that provides no protection. Even the metal used on GA aircraft have very thin metal to keep the weight down so it doesn't have to be a drone hit on the windshield to bring an aircraft down.

So there are a lot of issues and the regulators need time to try and get it right.

If current drone pilots would operate like the normal hobbyist I'm sure this wouldn't have come up as a problem.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: The U.S. is lagging behind others

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
If current drone pilots would operate like the normal hobbyist I'm sure this wouldn't have come up as a problem.
That article raises some good points, especially about such as media organisations using drones. Hobbyists wouldn't think of flying their craft somewhere there's a major fire with emergency services in attendance - conversely, that's exactly where media outlets are likely to most want to fly them!

But it shouldn't then lead to an outright ban. It SHOULD make everybody realise that operation is possible - with sensible rules in place.

(As regards stories like the above, then air exclusion orders can be put in place for general aviation - why not a temporary drone exclusion area able to be ordered by the authority in charge of any emergency operation? Media operations may not like even that - but surely better than outright banning?)
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