Av8Chuck

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Av8Chuck last won the day on April 23

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About Av8Chuck

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  1. Not to beat a dead horse, but its Saturday and I'm bored... Here's a video of an early drone that I built, I used a GAUI330X controller which has no advance flight modes, no position hold, altitude hold or GPS, it is only manual flight. There's no gimbal either, they didn't exist yet so the GoPro is mounted directly to the frame. That was a really fun drone to fly.
  2. The report identified three dominant injury types applicable to small drones: Blunt force trauma – the most significant contributor to fatalities Lacerations – blade guards required for flight over people Penetration injuries – difficult to apply consistently as a standard I'd really like to know where those fatalities are!? I've been flying drones since about 2008 and I don't know of any fatalities as a result of civil multirotors. Most of this hype is a solution in search of a problem.
  3. Or you can just buy a Canon 5DS or a Sony A7RII, both about 50 megapixels and approximately $3500, then spend the savings on a good multirotor that can safely lift that much weight and an encoded 3-axis gimbal that works.
  4. Sure, do it all the time. The reason this is important is not to prevent using technology to aid the pilot, but the ONLY rule the FAA has, kind of the prime directive, is that you maintain 100% control, 100% of the time. The majority of drone accidents are caused by the failure or interference with GPS, the magnetometer or barometer. If you can't switch out of whatever assisted mode your in and fly manually when either of these systems fail, you're no longer in 100% control of the drone. For consumers DJI is the most feature rich but its also the unsafest. We often fly in GPS denied environments, in high energized environments which can play havoc with your magnetometer and we can takeoff and land in the ocean which can mess with the barometer, we can do this because we can switch out of whichever mode is unreliable or into manual mode. But you have to know how to fly to do that safely. Also, people might be putting their faith in technology in the wrong place. Most of the time when you initialize and try to arm a Phantom on the hood of a car, it won't and you have to do a compass calibration. So how good is that technology?
  5. Experience probably needs to be defined in context of a commercial application. You could have 1000 hours flying a Phantom but still not be qualified to fly a power substation for a utility. I think the approach the FAA took for the requirements to become a commercial operator is correct. There's no way to define the requirements based on hours. How would a drone operator prove the numbers of hours flown or PIC time? How much experience someone has doing a particular thing, like inspecting power substations without the drone has more relevance than someone who claims to have a lot of hours flying a drone that wants to do aerial inspection. Does anyone actually fly a DJI? There are no standards for practical experience so there's no way to judge experience. I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of drone pilots could not take off, fly under one obstacle, over another, around another 100 yards away and return to the launch point with a drone that only uses accelerometers, no GPS, no magnatometer, no barometer. Fully manual flight.
  6. What do you want the drone to do? What's it's application?
  7. I don't think the issue is about fly aways. I know quite a few people who bricked their Phantoms during firmware upgrades, one even right out of the box. Can they be fixed? Sure, but you'll have to send them in and wait ten days or more to get it back. Upgrading is pretty easy after you've done it several times but its next to impossible to know if you have the right combination of light flashes and strange noises if you've never done this before.
  8. Hi Charles, You're right, the truth is in the middle. You will have someone looking over your shoulder that know's a lot about cell tower or roofing inspections but next to nothing about how aerial photogrammetry differs from how they are accomplishing that on the ground. So there's this situation where if you don't know what makes a successful survey and they don't know how to achieve that then the likelihood for failure is much higher. Depending on the mission drones are a bit of a zero-sum game, it needs to be 100% right because if its only 95% right, which 5% is wrong? That's not to say that you need to be an expert on cell towers or roofing, you just need to be knowledgeable of how your workflow you effect the accuracy of the data. The more accurate the data, the more knowledgeable about the thing your inspecting you should be. There are plenty of opportunities to use consumer drones where accuracy is not a factor, but cell towers isn't one of them. Also keep in mind that there's a difference between surveying a structure and inspecting one. But its a little like being a wedding photographer, you know right after showing bridezilla your portfolio she's going to ask you to do the video. If you can't she's going to ask someone else...
  9. I think the service your providing is great and can certainly help people like the OP who want to buy a drone and hang out a shingle declaring their new business. If that's a teenager in a college dorm that's one kind of decision, if that's a 40 year old with three kids and a mortgage that's another. Obviously the elder should be better equipped to consider such a career move but with companies like Measure [http://www.measure.aero/] its difficult for newcomers to discern what the real possibilities are. There is so much disinformation about commercial drones, the overwhelming percentage of it seems to stem from people purchasing consumer drones with a smart phone app thinking they can provide valuable, actionable data. The issue quickly becomes define actionable and value? Its not my intention to be a gate keeper, if your providing a service for commercial operators I'd love to hear more about it. How it works, success stories, whats working well, what isn't etc.. Not just a link to your site...
  10. The amount of money you spend or whether the manufacturer is still in business doesn't reflect the quality of the product or support you can expect. DJI is still in business, sells the most, has by far the most users online and their support is absolutely the WORST! As a new guy to the hobby continue checking out different forums and the threads about the drones you might be interested in. Keep in mind that each manufacturer has their fandom so when you don't know much about the drones themselves it can be difficult sorting out the truth, especially DJI. If you want to be one of the cool kids, save yourself some time and grief and just buy a DJI just don't expect any real support and you'll be constantly having to upgrade firmware. So considering this, you might want to check out the 3DR SOLO. 3DR is all but out of the hobby business but you can get them for less than $400 w/gimbal. The caveat is that you need a GoPro4 but if you have one its a great choice and you can still use the GoPro for other things besides aerial. This hobby is all about "buyer beware" just find a thread on a forum that discusses the drones your considering in a way that you like the people participating because that's where your support will come from. For this reason I like the SOLO because the people who are still using them are usually much better informed, more willing to help fellow users and generally don't post clickbait. Autel ranks second on my list because most have formed a camaraderie of people who purchased something "other" than DJI. The thing I like about both the SOLO and the AUTEL is that once you get it working well, which more often than not is straight out of the box they will just continue to work. You can't say that about DJI. They are always changing things that fix one thing and break another. Also, don't over think it. You're not buying a house or a car.
  11. This is kind of a stupid debate, not that the people debating it are stupid, but I've been flying multirotors since about 2008, [doesn't make me an expert] and have crashed many a drone. Not once do I recall the drone falling straight down. It appeared to me that the guy flying in the video did a pretty good job of not flying directly over people. I'd hardly consider that safe. With that density of people if he had lost control the odds are pretty good he would have struck someone. Which also doesn't make it that dangerous either. If I were interested in something like that I might fly it, but I probably wouldn't fly it for hire. Can't imagine it paid well enough to take the risk.
  12. I've seen the X-Star Premium for about $699. Recommending one or the other, DJI or Autel is like talking about PC vs Mac 25 years ago. Its a pointless religious debate. I have owned and flown every DJI there is, with the exception of the MAVIC, and I have sold or donated all of them. In my opinion the PIA factor of DJI is just not worth it no matter how much they cost. If all you want to do is YouTube video and Instagram pictures the X-star is great. The camera is better than the camera on the Phantom3Pro, its easy to fly, you don't have worry about GEO fencing and you don't have to incessantly upgrade the firmware. I fly it, put it away, take it out and charge the batteries just before the next flight and it works. It doesn't have all the features of the Phantom, the video doesn't stream as far, but it works. Every time! Here's a pano of our test flight field, I didn't need a third party app, just flew it out, let it hover, yaw and take a picture about every 20 degrees. This is also JPEG. The 4K video is very comparable to the P4. https://kuula.co/post/7lL4Y
  13. I'm certainly more interested in learning more about your hydrogen fuel cell.
  14. Interesting, not sure what it means? Is this kind of an FAA catch all for airspace?
  15. Couldn't happen to a nicer drone. The real challenge would be if you could keep the drone flying after a strike...