News

Drones on the horizon

Drones in the news


1/11/17

Our beloved Phantom 3 Pro lost power at 200 feet today

Approximately a minute into my 2nd flight of the day earlier, something malfunctioned and my drone fell 200 feet to the ground, bouncing through trees along the way, shearing off the camera, and virtually destroying it completely. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and it fell close to where I was standing so I was able to recover everything within an hour. The experience has been a sudden, harsh reminder that drones, even when operated sensibly and carefully, will fail and they will fall from the sky. It is crucial for drone pilots to avoid flying over people unless absolutely necessary. There is really NO GOOD REASON to fly over dense crowds or busy roads. Remember drones are like flying blenders.
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2/8/15

Kickstarter campaign fights for drone surveillance of factory farms

A Kickstarter campaign fully funded in 5 days will bring drone surveillance to factory farms around the country. Of course these meat-head farmers are spending millions to continue acting like assholes. As a result of their despicable spending efforts, there have been “Ag-Gag” policies implemented in at least 6 states with more about to follow suit. How can it be illegal to unveil torturous practices? This makes no sense. Let the drones fly. Let the truth be told.
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1/26/15

Drone crashes at The White House – Drunk idiot let off easy

Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter crashes on the White House lawn just after 3am. Public sentiment will say it was a nefarious action but it is much more likely that this was an accident. These models are prone to “flyaways” when operators don’t know how to set up and calibrate the GPS guided flight system properly. The camera and FPV on the Phantom 2 Vision+ cannot see in the dark. It is crucial that these be kept in the operator’s line of sight when flying at night. Inexperienced pilots cannot orient themselves at night using the viewfinder without additional telemetry, and loss becomes imminent.
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1/23/15

Drone operator settles with FAA, pays $1,100

A man fined $10,000 by the FAA for a drone flight over the University of Virginia in 2011 has settled for $1,100. While the pilot doesn’t admit being guilty of all charges, he does not want to spend any more time on trial. One stipulation of the settlement is that the FAA drops some of their accusations in this case. This appears to be a classic example of who has the resources to keep fighting and not an example of what’s right.
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1/22/15

YouTube footage incriminates drone operator in Australia

An Australian man has been fined for reckless flights. Aerial videos posted on YouTube show the Phantom 2 Vision+ violating multiple UAV regulations. Although he was not caught in the act, the YouTube videos documented multiple violations of Australian law. UAV are currently required to operate in daylight, within line of site, to remain at least 100 feet from buildings, to stay more than 3.5 miles from airports and to remain less than 400 feet from the ground below. Lastly, drones are to avoid flying over densely populated areas. Despite a lack of injury or property damage, this pilot was fined $850AU for his potentially dangerous actions.
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1/21/15

Drug smugglers crash a drone carrying meth near US border

A drone carrying over 3 pounds of meth crashed in San Ysidro, just south of the US-Mexico border. The drone is believed to have been custom-engineered for the cartel to carry more weight than a standard consumer model, and also to fly autonomously to specified GPS coordinates without a human pilot. Authorities gathered equipment found at the crash site and they believe there may be clues as to who flew the craft and where it began its ill-fated journey.
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12/22/14

YouTube footage incriminates drone operator in Australia

Kangaroo punches a drone out of the sky in Australia, incident captured on camera by the doomed aircraft. This pilot should face some criticism for being an idiot. If you’ve been around these drones, they are fairly noisy and sound like a swarm of bees. At the very least it should have been known that this would annoy the animals. Good on the kangaroo.
Watch video here.
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12/9/14

US Government paving the way for drone industry to blossom abroad

Government, FAA continue to full-court press companies in the US with regard to their use of drones for commercial purposes. Amazon has announced they will move drone delivery test operations oversees if not granted permission to conduct their research here. The government better figure it out quick – this industry is not going anywhere and it would be unfortunate for this segment of our economy to be “outsourced” due to stubborn regulations.
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12/7/14

Public opposes broad idea of drone use by US military

Congress likely to employ and deploy more drones to keep watchful eye on Islamic State; public outcry assumes mass-weaponization. I still struggle to find a difference between a “drone” and a high-tech guided missile. Those high and mighty drone opponents apparently don’t quite understand what a guided missile is? They are driven by artificial intelligence or humans in a similar, if not same exact manner as modern drones.
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11/26/14

YouTube footage incriminates drone operator in Australia

The FAA has received 25 reports of near-miss incidents between drones and larger aircraft in recent months, mostly near major airports, during takeoffs and landings. As expected, a handful of idiots will lead to strict regulations sooner rather than later. Why anyone would attempt to fly a drone near an airport is beyond me.
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9/30/14

YouTube footage incriminates drone operator in Australia

UAV Special on TVW addresses the issue of drones in Washington State from various perspectives, including interviews with local quadcopter pilots and legislators. Drone operators and lawmakers need to work together on this. It seems most people on both sides of the discussion are quick to draw faulty conclusions when it comes to modern UAV’s.
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9/25/14

Let there be drones! Waivers begin.

The FAA granted waivers to film companies in Hollywood to use drones for filming on closed sets. Rules state the UAV must be inspected prior to each flight and that they may only be operating in daylight hours. Any accidents or incidents involving the drone must be reported to the FAA immediately.
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6/27/14

Will Washington State formulate its own drone laws?

Governor Inslee has announced that Washington State will likely have its own laws governing UAV’s before the September 2015 date set by Congress for the FAA. All the more reason to get out there and get what you can while you can! The Wild West of the drone era is coming to an end as quickly as it began.
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