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Old April 4th, 2015, 10:54 PM   #31
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

It looks like Australia is on par with the U.S. in it's drone philosophy. For the life of me, as a pilot, I can't see why requiring the knowledge of a pilot to fly a drone is required. Some fundamental basics are certainly of help, like understanding the difference between an object falling through the air (which can be an aircraft) and an object in controlled flight. Understanding IFR flight rules and the disorientation of a pilot in the clouds seem absolutely unnecessary for drone pilots. At the most, drone pilots may lose sight of their aircraft but won't experience the disorientation of flight through the clouds.

I mentioned TES in my prior post. Interestingly enough, I found out about TES while volunteering to search for the SV Nina which disappeared in the Tasman Sea off Australia's coast.

Sailing Savoir Faire: Nina, Nemeth The Story Page 2

We were thinking about using drones in the search, but one of the problems was the red tape for Australia and New Zealand. The other was, who was going to buck up for the loss of a drone into the ocean, if it occurred.

The benefit, though, to search and rescue, and the answer to Noa's question, why let "anyone" with a drone fly the thing, is the amazing ability to capture and later study footage taken during a search mission from a drone as well as not placing lives at risk over dangerous ocean searches. Aircraft have to be specially modified for areal photog or you have to dedicate another body (and put another life at risk) to hold a video cam for less optimal shots. Some regulation is obviously needed in drone flight, but over regulation stunts the growth of the industry and perhaps the bottom line to private companies in legitimate new uses for this technology.

By the way, the Nina was never found. One factor that may have contributed to that was the approximate 20 day delay in launching a search. Part of what goes into that search equation is the cost of running 4 engine aircraft (for redundancy and distance) and the risk of placing lives on the line in each ocean search. Drone flight is far less expensive because they don't need 4 engines for redundancy. Current technology allows streaming of the image for immediate, land based, analysis and faster rescue.

I am still back at wanting to get some amazing footage for my next band video, or protest video, though. Under the proposed new drone regs many shots would not be allowed to commercial drone operators.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 02:12 AM   #32
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

I think the process of attaining a certification to fly a UAV, UAS, Drone, Quadcopter, or whatever you want to call these machines, is a valuable one.

Here in the UK it's taken pretty seriously. I might have shared many of Tim Paynters views before I embarked on my BNUC-S course and before I started to learn how to control a high speed lump of metal and plastic flying through a 3D space. And as with many beginners I drifted into trees and bushes and lost sight of my machine and like others I've experienced a flyaway and more alarmingly I've written off a ZenMuse Gimbal and GoPro 4 by simply trying to get my Phantom to come back towards me at the same time as getting it to descend and avoid a house - that involves moving both control sticks down and inwards at the same time - which is also the command sequence to stop the motors. So that's the sort of mistake you make when you are inexperienced and get into a panic.

The training and restrictions might seem over the top initially but as Chuck Spaulding points out the FAA’s Small UAS NPRM seems to have struck a sensible balance.

Reading through this it is very similar to the requirements of the CAA here in the UK. The training provides a framework to fly and operate professionally and this is all about safety before during and after you fly and that protects both the general public and yourself.

This qualification will also give you a great calling card if you are planning to make money out of flying a UAV. It will re-assure customers that you are experienced, that you look after your craft and that you are trained to operate safely.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 11:33 AM   #33
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Re: Ask the FAA to allow this!

The regs look really simple until you know how they will be implemented. There are a few clauses of specific concern, reporting an accident with property damage means every time you run into a tree and knock a wing off, you have to file a report. File too many of those and you could have problems. The FAA exam could be difficult. No flying over people not involved in the operation is a problem for wedding videographers, cityscape photographers and most of us.

Some of the regs make sense; some are too much; these regs would prohibit taking the video in the first frame of this post.

You are certainly right, Mark, an operator has an obligation to learn how to fly his craft and to be proficient before placing it into commercial service.
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