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Old March 27th, 2015, 05:07 PM   #1
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Ask the FAA to allow this!

This "non commercial" film won all kinds of publicity. What he does is what most of us would like to do, but the FAA regs will prohibit this same flight if placed on you tube and monetized, or sold to NYC as a promotional video or for any commercial purpose because it was shot in a city, with major population nearby, and some of the shots appear to be out of line of sight and more than 500 feet up.

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Old March 27th, 2015, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Eventhough I don't plan to buy such a drone I feel there should be a very strict rules about who can and cannot take shots in these kind of circumstances , a drone malfunctioning when flying over the streets and lots of people might cause car accidents and serious injury to people and even worse, to small children. How cool it might look, lets hope they never will give a free pass to fly as you please to anyone that buys a drone.
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Old March 27th, 2015, 10:50 PM   #3
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Thanks for your response, Noa.

Not too much to worry about from the commercial side. The FAA would prohibit a commercial video company from getting this kind of footage.

A non-commercial guy, though, can do it now so long as he lives by a few rules (which may have been violated in this case).
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Old March 28th, 2015, 04:19 AM   #4
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Now their lies the problem. A non-commercial guy can do it. I would have thought a commercial guy would more likely to have all the right certificates to do it.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 05:28 AM   #5
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

There is a big difference in flying a drone in an open field with no houses or people as far as you can see or flying over a big city, the first one I feel everyone should be able to do, the second one only those with a license and a permission. Personally I find what that guy did in that non commercial video quite stupid and high risk, that's like giving a 12 year old the keys of your car.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 11:35 AM   #6
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

The FAA's NPRM is a good first step in regulating the commercial use of drones. Those regulations would not have necessarily prevented this amateur from producing this video, which to Donald's point is a bit a$$ backwards.

I've been doing aerial photography from drones for about six years, when I started Jeff from Quadcopters.us was shooting ton's of cool aerial of Whitefish Montana, everyone loved it and the following year people posted tons of aerial videos of beautiful rural areas. After about six months, thankfully it started to fade. Then we started to see more videos like this, these will fade too. But if you want this to stop its not so much about regulating the drone as it is regulating online video. I'm not suggesting that be done, I'm just pointing out that if you don't remove the incentive you won't stop the behavior.

The FAA took one of the early adopters of producing these sorts of aerial videos to court, Cappy from TBS. Its arguable who won the case, I think they both lost waisting a lot of money and time and it did not prevent or even slow people producing and posting these sorts of videos.

Also, in the six years that I've been doing this I'm not aware of a single death attributed to the crash of a multirotor. I'm not saying the potential for serious injury or death isn't there but that's an incredible safety record. In the same amount of time 12 people died from badminton related injuries.

I'm also a pilot, people always say that flying is the safest form of mass transit, when you get above about 1000' there just isn't that much stuff to run into, so as long as there's no catastrophic failure on the aircraft there's jus not that much that goes wrong. Most accidents are a result of pilot's decision to fly into bad weather. When you enter the world of 3D, flying is 3D driving, the odds of a mid air collision are astronomically small. Even if that guy would have crashed producing this video the odds that he would injure or kill someone are not nearly as high as most people think.

I'm not saying drones aren't dangerous, but as a society we choose to accept the risk of dangerous things all the time and government regulations won't change that. Drone businesses are forecast to exceed $85B by 2020, I can guarantee that even if it does far more people will die riding bicycles than from drone accidents in 2020. The irony in this analogy is that the restrictions local governments have placed on riding bicycles has probably resulted in fewer young people riding bicycles which as they grew probably resulted in an increase in traffic accidents. Riding a bike is an important step in learning how to manage the risk of driving a car...

Sorry, I digress. At any rate if your interested in learning more about what's going on with the legalization of commercial drone use go to ACUAS.org and check that out [and join] .
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Old March 28th, 2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

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I can guarantee that even if it does far more people will die riding bicycles than from drone accidents in 2020.
Everyone has a bicycle but that doesn't mean everyone will eventually own a drone so percentage wise it's normal that much more accidents can happen on a bicycle. When you drive a bicycle there is a reason you are not allowed on the highway, the fact that people die in traffic is most often because people don't follow the rules. I think there need to be very strict regulations when flying over populated areas or before you know it every idiot with a drone will be crossing highways because it looks so cool.
I fly a kite when we go to the beach in a area that is specifically for flying a kite but I don't think I would be allowed flying it in the center of a big city or in the middle of the highway, eventhough I know very well how to operate it.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 01:14 PM   #8
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Not everyone owns bike in California. I have a niece and nephew who don't know how to ride a bike and that's not uncommon here. That's the reason for my comment about bikes and driving, my niece just had an accident that I think might have been avoided had she had the experience of riding a bike.

Every idiot is going to try this, and regulating it tightly won't change it. You should not regulate something to stop stupid people from doing stupid things, we regulate it in a way that enable common sense people to do good things. If we took the approach that we are trying to save us from ourselves we'd still be riding horses.

Although the price has come down and the availability of drones that are capable of flying a GoPro has increased, the cost and availability of drones that can fly something bigger than a GoPro with the stability required to get quality footage is still cost prohibitive for most hobbyist. You still don't see that many people flying a hex with a 3-axis gimbal and GH4 above the skyline of New York. For the few that do they usually build MR's that have redundancy so if they lose a motor or prop they can still land it safely. That doesn't make it legal or even a good idea but common sense is winning out more than people are willing to acknowledge.

And in California I might argue that there are as many drones being flown as bikes being ridden. Most of the Phantoms will be flow once or twice, crashed and then stored in the garage next to the bike.

Fortunately the FAA has taken a good approach to regulating sUAS for commercial use so I guess we'll see over time how that plays out.

Let all hope that it works out well for everyone.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 02:45 PM   #9
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

The problem with drones is no government really knows how to handle them. It's a bit like the early days of automobiles. People are going to buy and fly drones and in the process invade privacy, damage property and cause personal injuries, even death. Police forces will apply criminal law and arrest operators when problems occur. The justice process will result in some operators being fined or imprisoned. Drones, like hammers, can be useful tools or weapons depending on how they are used.

Injured parties will sue the operators, owners, manufacturers and retailers of the devices. Courts will consider the issues and some injured parties will be successful and receive financial compensation, possibly large amounts.

Over time, the manufacturers of equipment will assess the costs of fighting damage suits and probably modify the operation of the drones to improve product safety. Sensors and functionality can be added to ensure line of sight operation, prevent night operations, limit flying height above terrain, and avoid collisions with obstacles. With GPS and digital mapping, drones may be prevented from entering restricted airspace. These measures may be necessary for manufacturers to get product insurance or satisfy their shareholders and bankers that making a drone product does not run the risk of major financial losses.

Companies using drones for commercial purposes will want to purchase insurance to cover potential losses in the event that an employee operates a drone without due regard to public safety and relevant regulations. Insurers will want proof that the operators are properly qualified which may mean licenses or some other form of certification. Insurers may require that drones meet specific standards and be equipped with safety features to minimize the risk of improper or unsafe operation.

All of these things will play out over time and drone operations will become an accepted practice with well establish limits. Idiots will continue to do stupid and dangerous things, just as they do with cars, but most users follow the rules and operate safely.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 07:35 PM   #10
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Actually, Chuck, I think the majority of these shots will be prohibited under the new FAA scheme as "within cities" and "above populated areas".

Noa, the German pilot in charge of the airliner which crashed recently was "highly regulated" but still managed to foil the regulations (medical reports/locked door to cockpit) to accomplish an evil feat.

I agree with Chuck, Drones are going to become much more popular, both in the commercial regulated world and in the private world. Some great things will surely be done with them as well as so very bad things. I don't see the current regulatory scheme by the FAA as providing much safety to the public, but lots of red tape.

Taking Chuck's point of view, the more people know about drone flight the more protected we will all be.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 09:16 PM   #11
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

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Originally Posted by Roger Keay View Post
Over time, the manufacturers of equipment will assess the costs of fighting damage suits and probably modify the operation of the drones to improve product safety. Sensors and functionality can be added to ensure line of sight operation, prevent night operations, limit flying height above terrain, and avoid collisions with obstacles. With GPS and digital mapping, drones may be prevented from entering restricted airspace.
That's already happening. I know of a couple different models that are available to the 'serious enhtusiast' that have no fly zones built into the controller/aircraft. The Yuneec Q500 is one such mudel. It has GPS built into the controller and the quadcopter. If either are in a no fly area, the motors won't even spin up. Now, there's a list you can sign up for to have your property added to a no fly zone. And the fun part is that for now anyway, you don't even have to prove you own the property.

People worry about privacy and I am for maintaining privacy also. But those who think the guy with the wide angle camera on their hobby UAS is going to invade their privacy are misguided. It's somehow OKAY if Google, or Bing take pictures of our fenced in areas for the world to see, using satellites or aircraft. Quite ironic, don't you think?

I'm not in agreement with the pending line of site requirement. The state of FPV is such that you can have a camera on board connected to a pan/tilt servo that will track your head movement. Some UAS also incorporate the ability to fly GPS waypoint routes. For certain operations, those routes can be scouted ahead of time for possible obstructions. Intel showed off some pretty impressive avoidance sensors at CES. I feel that many concerns will be alleviated via technological advancement in the not too distant future.

-gb-
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Old March 29th, 2015, 02:31 AM   #12
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

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Originally Posted by Tim Paynter View Post
Noa, the German pilot in charge of the airliner which crashed recently was "highly regulated" but still managed to foil the regulations (medical reports/locked door to cockpit) to accomplish an evil feat.
That was not my point, I don't see any difference in me attaching a gopro to my kite, attach a 100 meter line to it and stand next to a highway to fly it or in a busy city center. The only difference would be that I would be arrested for it within 10 minutes and be facing heavy penalties. Same if I would not be caught right away and post my video on youtube with the title, "flying my kite over the Highway to Brussels" there would be a high chance the police would try to find out who I am and arrest me and it would be all over the news.

Yet here you have a guy who's identity is clear posting a video with his drone doing the same thing and everyone is in awe, did he have the proper license to fly his drone? and did he have approval of the city to fly it there? If I want to fly my kite I need to go to a designated area or fly it in a field where I can see people coming from a mile away, why should drone usage be any different?

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It's somehow OKAY if Google, or Bing take pictures of our fenced in areas for the world to see, using satellites or aircraft. Quite ironic, don't you think?
It's not, you can blur your house, your face and your car's license plate to protect your privacy if you don't want to see it in google maps but you can't prevent a neighbour from flying over your property filming your wife while she is sunbathing topless in a spot that is not visible to anyone except the drone controller. If you don't know who is flying the drone you can't prevent it while with google you know who is taking the pictures so you at least can take action. And what about thieves using a drone to scout your property? I think there is a definite privacy and security issue to be considered when allowing people to fly a drone.

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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
Every idiot is going to try this, and regulating it tightly won't change it. You should not regulate something to stop stupid people from doing stupid things, we regulate it in a way that enable common sense people to do good things. If we took the approach that we are trying to save us from ourselves we'd still be riding horses.
You can't prevent stupid people from doing stupid things even with strict regulations, that is why every day accidents happen with people drinking, driving to fast and not following rules but that doesn't mean we should give all drone users a free pass, imagine everyone in a big city owning a drone and deciding to fly over the city in the weekend. Not regulating it will only increase privacy, security and safetyriscs as Chinese manufacturers will flood the market with very cheap and unsafe drones so parents will start buying one for Christmas as a present for their 6 year old.


I"m not against people flying drones and I feel they should allow drone usage for commercial purposes if the person controlling it has the right license and if there has been a approval from the city for the location that needs to be filmed. For all other recreational purposes I feel that no other rules should apply then when I want to fly my kite.

I recently spoke to someone who was in a club for flying these little airplanes, he was a active member long before drones with gopros even existed and recently he told me how strict the rules are when they want to meet with their club to fly their airplanes, they also can't fly all over the city so I don't see why drones are so "different"?
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Old March 29th, 2015, 10:16 AM   #13
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
It's not, you can blur your house, your face and your car's license plate to protect your privacy if you don't want to see it in google maps but you can't prevent a neighbour from flying over your property filming your wife while she is sunbathing topless in a spot that is not visible to anyone except the drone controller. If you don't know who is flying the drone you can't prevent it while with google you know who is taking the pictures so you at least can take action. And what about thieves using a drone to scout your property? I think there is a definite privacy and security issue to be considered when allowing people to fly a drone.
That's the kind of scenario that I was sort of talking about earlier. With a wide angle lens, as is the case with pretty much all hobby UAS, you wouldn't get a usable image of a sunbathing person unless you flew really close to them. And it's not like they are silent in operation. The victim will be well aware of its presence. Ample opportunity to cover up.

If a manned aircraft or satellite with high powered stabilized zoom flies over the same scenario, they can have VERY detailed, full frame video or photos of the same sunbathing wife, and she would be none the wiser.They truly can spy on you, undetected, but not the small UAS with wide angle lens. Okay, so they don't put that detailed image out to the public, but SOMEONE has to review the images. Privacy violated.

Of course, bad people will do bad things, or at least attempt to do bad things. It has always been that way, and always will. My point is, that the small UAS isn't the privacy threat that the media has made it out to be. For just about any scenario one can think of, I can think of alternate methods to obtain the same violation of privacy without the victim ever being aware of said invasion of privacy.
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Old March 29th, 2015, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

Here I read a interesting article about privacy and how drones could be misused for not only to be peeping on your wife and that all in 4K :) It just have become much easier to track peoples behavior : Hollywood celebrities besieged by paparazzi drones in the sky - and you could be next | Daily Mail Online

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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
That's the kind of scenario that I was sort of talking about earlier. With a wide angle lens, as is the case with pretty much all hobby UAS, you wouldn't get a usable image of a sunbathing person unless you flew really close to them.
What if I place a gh4 and a tele lens on it? Current systems could allow to balance that very nicely and allow you to shoot highly detailed 4K video or shoot high res photos even from a further distance. without anyone noticing anything.
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Old March 29th, 2015, 11:51 AM   #15
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

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What if I place a gh4 and a tele lens on it? Current systems could allow to balance that very nicely and allow you to shoot highly detailed 4K video or shoot high res photos even from a further distance. without anyone noticing anything.
That's very true. And at that point, you are at a cost point that is well beyond the average hobbyist. Again, those same shots can often be obtained by a helicopter with long, stabilized lens like the current news choppers have. And paparazzi have been known to hire helicopters to get shots of celebrity weddings, etc.

Which also brings up another point. What good is a 'don't fly over my house', database if I can simply hover from a nearby park using the rig you described and still get those improper images. Here in Texas a couple years ago, they passed legislation that states you can't film someone's property without their consent. Now, I don't think that applies to a wide angle with many homes in view, it would be totally unenforceable. You wouldn't be able to fly anywhere. Public photography in the US is protected by the constitution. States are not allowed to enact laws that infringe on those rights. The laws in Europe are much different.
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