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Old July 8th, 2015, 02:40 AM   #1
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Fireworks with Drone

Nearby to me is a large, local fireworks display shot from a series of barges. (Same show shot from several different barges such that a length of coastline can see it all at once.)

I want to suggest to the organizer of this event (who is already a client for other video) that I fly the quadcopter in the fireworks next year. I think it'd be a pretty popular video.

What is the realistic risk here? It seems that, unless the drone was hit with an unexploded mortar, it would survive. And hitting a 18" item with a 6" ball at 100 meters would be difficult even if you were aiming - seems like the risk would be present, but minimal.

Anyone done this?
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Old July 8th, 2015, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

There is a video of a drone flying through fireworks, so it's been done but it seemed be an unofficial one. I suspect you'd need to do a risk assessment (public underneath etc), clear it with the fireworks contractor's and/or event insurance company and possibly. with the new regulations coming along, the FAA,

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; July 9th, 2015 at 01:33 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

Flying A Drone Through Fireworks May Land You In Prison
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Old July 8th, 2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

I only read half that article, but it was full of legal holes and terribly written. But I appreciate the point the guy is trying to make.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 11:24 PM   #5
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

Agreed, it was a total speculative crap article.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 04:45 AM   #6
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

When there is a large fireworks display does FAA publish a TFR for the area or is there simply a NOTAM? Since I've read reports of folks flying their GA aircraft near fireworks during sightseeing flights I'd guess the latter. With some coordination with the FSDO you could probably pull if off. Re the risk to the aircraft from the fireworks, don't forget the exploding starbursts and the like may have hundreds of burning particles emitted over a large volume of space.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

The NTSB judges panel ruled that the FAA can fine operators of unmanned aircraft for operating in a careless or reckless manner. It wouldn't take much of a lawyer to convince a jury that flying through fireworks is reckless operation, should someone get injured, permission or not.
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Old July 10th, 2015, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: Fireworks with Drone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
What is the realistic risk here? It seems that, unless the drone was hit with an unexploded mortar, it would survive.
If there are enough stars in the air to make an interesting video, you will ruin the coatings on the front element of the lens. I used to shoot a lot of fireworks from a friendly distance and burns on the coatings would force me to buy a new front element periodically. At the very least you will need to do a very careful cleaning as humidity plus fireworks gunk is nasty, nasty, nasty.

If your drone is hit, it is a goner. A 4 inch shell coming out of the gun will go right through 1/2 inch plywood and leave a nice round 4 inch hole.

In whatever benefit / cost analysis you do, I would price in a new lens at the very least.
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