Av8Chuck

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Av8Chuck last won the day on March 7

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About Av8Chuck

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  1. How much are you willing to pay for the priveledge of supplying you with equiment and support? How much are you going to charge for your services? It sounds like one of the companies you want to sell too is already using a service, how do you plan to win their business? If you had an evangelists inside those companies that was telling you that you had a real chance for a substantial contract then sure, you could broker a deal and become a value added service provider for a developer or manufacturer. But there would have to be significant encentive, if you want to build a sustainable service provider business, it's expensive. good luck, let us know how it goes.
  2. Its hard to believe companies recruit drone owner/operators to do anything commercially for that amount of money. This isn't just about the money. If you damage someone else's property or injure someone while flying commercially and your business is not setup correctly, Verifly isn't going to be able to protect all of your assets. There's no way that anyone with a real commercial drone business would consider this type of assignment and you have to wonder what risk is there for this sort of bottom feeding pond scum "employment" agency? Maybe its too bad that the FAA didn't require a private pilots license to fly drones commercially. When you die/fly with a plane you tend to take mitigating risk a bit more seriously. I have nothing against operators trying to gain experience, but at $35 you're better off providing your services for free as a hobbyist. At least then you might be able to claim ignorance if something bad happens. I'm just appalled at companies like Drone Base.
  3. Ed, don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not in favor of user fees, but I'm so tired of the same crappy reasons for why things have not improved. I'm also tired of AOPA and all the other alphabet organizations claiming the sky is falling and that we need to donate to protect our rights. It's a scam. When I joined AOPA there were 635,000 members, today, by thier own admission there's about 290,000. They have lost more than half their membership in less than 15 years. Yet AOPA and ALPA damn drone operators with faint praise at every opportunity. The only organization that seems to support drone operators is the EAA. When you talk to just about any drone operator you can't get them to shut up about their experience. I don't know too many drone operators that wouldn't give there right arm to fly a manned aircraft and considering the fact that AOPA's membership is trending in the wrong direction you'd think they would embrace drone operators. So I kind of think that user fees might not effect drone operators as much as you might think. It would be interesting to know if the number of aircraft/ATC transactions is down as much as AOPA's membership. Sorry, another pet peeve of mine. I'm old so I complain a lot...
  4. I've been a pilot for 30+ years and the idea of user fees for ATC services and how to afford the modernization of the ATC system has been out there for as long as I can remember. Before retiring (the first time) I worked for a company in England and would fly every chance I had. It's a beautiful place to fly but the process of flying in Europe sucked. They have user fees and restrictions up the wazoo.. If pilots don't want user fees in the US then they need to vote the beuaracratic idiots that have made a career out of cost over runs of the ATC Modernization Act out of office. Like I said l, there's nothing new here. This dance has been going on for a long time. There's no doubt that user fees suck, but if ATC was privatized things would change, maybe for the better.
  5. The gimbal in the picture is the Gremsy H3, works great with the GH4. We also manufacture our own more specialized gimbals for doing survey work, both oblique and NADIR. Both the Gremsy and our gimbals can easily be controlled by the RC/Tx. On drones that we don't have a companion computer we use these: http://www.seagulluav.com/product/seagull-rec/ they work well with almost the whole line of Sony's and control just about every function of the camera. For drones with a companion computer we basically extend the desktop to the ground and can operate just about any camera with the software that you would tether it with on the ground. I'm hoping to get a GH5 when they start shipping.
  6. For the most part it doesn't matter whether the footage is from a helicopter or a drone, what makes the difference is the camera and the camera operator. A lot of people don't agree, I get it, but DJI makes toy drones with toy camera's. That's not to say that you can't produce great "YouTube" video's with them but there is no comparison between the footage shot from a helicopter and a P4P, unless the person in the helicopter doesn't know what they're doing and shooting with a GoPro. That's a bit like saying you should produce a feature film on a smart phone. Sorry you've hit on a bit of a pet peeve of mine. The point of my diatribe is that if you have a Part107 you don't need a waiver to fly at Burbank Airport, you just need permission from the tower and TSA. In 2014 I flew a drone at John Wayne airport and getting permission was not that difficult. There were certainly a lot of restrictions but I shot there for two days and it went great. Here's a video from the shoot. This is not "the" video, its more of an outtake video for the volunteers that worked on the plane so its a bit long so that I could include everyone in it. The customer was Meguiar's Wax. The drone was tethered so I really only used it as an extended jim to get the shots over and above the airplane. Everyone was getting so comfortable that there's a shot where the P51 almost taxied right underneath me and the pilot didn't even give it a second look. the Passenger looked a bit concerned.. I've done this twice. Skip to the outside footage around 1:17 The bomber was surprisingly tall and there are quite a few shots above the tail that was about 20 feet above ground. One restriction I had was that I couldn't fly above the height of the hanger or outside a predefined space. It was a lot of work but it went well. Again, this is for the crew, there's no narrative and I just provide these so everyone has a memento of their work.
  7. We were part of several scientific research projects last year. They are a lot of fun but the environments in which the drones were deployed really test both the drones capabilities and the operators endurance. Unfortunatley the footage of the actual research is restricted. We don't want to post footage that might steal the thunder of their research. So most of this footage is behind the scenes. Also in Costa Rica I was fortunate to get to take my family but you get a sense of the environments we were working in. In Costa Rica it was about 90 degrees with the highest humidity I've ever experienced. We had to acclimatize all of our equipment for two days before we could even think about using it. All of he aerial footage in this video was shot with the AUTEL X-Star Premium. That drone was a trooper, it was much less temperamental that the GH4 we used for the actual research. The DJI P3P didn't work at all. Unfortunately we can't share much of the actual whale footage. It's probably some of the best whale footage I've ever seen. There's a little in this video.
  8. We flew two missions last year in Coastal Trident, a law enforcement exercise to test port security for homeland defense. The first is a bomb on a boat and our ability to detect and pursue. The second was integrating one of our drones into first responders command and control and detecting nuclear material on a large ship. Both missions were successful.
  9. As you point out, it really depends on the problem your trying to solve. Not sure the level of accuracy needed by the OP, but it would be difficult for the OP to get "accurate" data if there are no surveyed GCP's, or they don't align GCP's (a tire, skid mark, object) manually. If you rely on the computer to align these automatically you'll notice that a tire, for example isn't quite round. It doesn't know which image is the correct image so if you don't have the tools to manually align it correctly then if the measurement of the tire is off by 1/4" then how far off is it five or six feet away? The value for a surveyor is that they can certify the accuracy of a survey. To get that level of accuracy and trust there needs to be a lot of human intervention to aligning the images. Although that functionality might be possible with services like DroneDeploy, I don't believe they provide the user with that type of capability. As you also pointed out accuracy means different things to different people. In this case it means the chain of evidence. It probably doesn't matter if the entire scene is off an inch or so, but you have to be able to explain the methodology of why it's off by an inch. I would imagine that if the methodology of how the data is collected and processed is questionable then it would make it difficult to use in court. Using drones in the application the OP was asking about is totally doable and a great idea. You just shouldn't expect that you can buy a drone at the local hobby shop, sign up for a service like DroneDeploy and it will provide you with quality actionable data. This probably has more to do with experimenting to prove the repeatability of results and developing a varifiable workflow. Which is why there's opportunity...
  10. I'm one of the founders of http://www.acuas.org/ advocating for the commercial use of drones. It was started on the premise that absent any law it was not illegal to use drones commercially and that there was a process the government must go through to create the law. At the time everyone said that you needed money, guns and lawyers make a difference. We had neither. What most failed to realize is that although the FAA regulates airspace they can not create law, they HAVE to go through NPRM process to create regulations and those regulations can not be arbitrary and capricious. Most said we were nieve, that you can't fight city hall. While DJI, Amazon and the Small UAV Coalition we're putting on a show for congress, we helped develop the brief for the OMB. The influence that shapped rule 107 were more about commerce than flying drones. The FAA cannot regulate commerce, they have the difficult task of regulating drone flight without restricting commerce. This is true of government at all levels. The trouble is you only have to go through this process once with the federal government whereas you have to do it for every state that wants to impose drone regulations. This is more about commerce than drone flights and there are very strict rules all government must follow to create these regulations. Doesn't mean ever municipality will follow them, So id suggest creating an organization like ACUAS.org that can leverage the experience and success of these regulatory issues, a PAC kind of like AOPA for drones.
  11. How important is photograph/cinematography to you?
  12. This is the Aerial Alchemy Y6.
  13. That's why I shared the picture of one of our drones. You can easily detach the gimbal and use it handheld. The boom's are detachable so you can reconfigure with different boom's and go from a drone that can fly 18lbs or 36lbs plus that makes it possible to break it down so that it fits in the same size case a little larger than a phantom. It also takes about as long to take it out of the case and get it into the air as a phantom. So although it's not as small as a MAVIC it can perform a much wider variety of missions, it's as portable and easy to deploy as Phantom, and you can use several different GCS's to fly a wide veriety of accurate missions. If a drone is that configurable, portable, more capable and easy to deploy does it matter if it's a little bigger than an Inspire?
  14. What problem are you solving for your customer? That's what determines how much you get paid. Commercial drones that fly real sensors and cameras get $1600 to $2500 per day. These drone systems typically cost $25k or more. If you have a Phantom or expire you should expect $300 to $500 per day. Most instrumentation that is accurate enough that can provide the type of actionable data is expensive and heavy so the drones that carry them are not converted toys.