R Martin

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by R Martin

  1. Hobbyists are still required to follow rules; they are just less restrictive than commercial flight. https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/sec-336.pdf http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf 400FT AGL used to be the limiter unless you were operating near a structure and then the cap was raised to 400FT above the structure. My latest CoA stated that the published altitude noted here https://faa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c2e4406710048e19806ebf6a06754ad was it. It can be lower than 400FT now and it doesn't matter if there is a structure or not. "Operations under this certificate of authorization are limited to the maximum altitude listed below. This altitude is an absolute value and it shall not be added to the height of any structures. Class of Airspace: D At of Below: Altitudes in accordance with published UAS facility map." The only constant is change.
  2. DJI phone app logs for FAA

    It falls a little short.

    We're all in this together.

    We don't shoot much video but have had some problems like you describe. Our solution was to offload the SD card onto the PC and convert the video in Premier Pro (its just the software we have access to, I'm sure there are a lot more out there). Even then a few of the .wmv files errored out. Just have to tinker with the settings to make it work.
  5. Hello from Nashville - ATC notification question

    Our department is small covering a community of about 40k. I know in larger areas that a response might be different. Our PD has actually received training on UAS response and there has been a policy implemented that restricts UAS usage without a permit to operate. Kind of draconian but when you consider that a majority of the operators and 20ish and unlicensed, it makes a little more sense.
  6. Hello from Nashville - ATC notification question

    Ed, I get where you are coming from but I have to call you on this. Granted, we have a smaller department but they actually appreciate me letting them know when and where I am flying so they can head the call off immediately without having to waste resources. Who in the PD do you call? It's simple. Call dispatch and I guarantee you that they will find the appropriate contact for you. The information usually goes to the dispatchers who are the point of contact between the PD and public. They are the one who can most effectively use the information before dispatching an officer to the scene. You can also notify neighbors if you make the additional time. Unless I am flying near private property I don't notify the public. I fly frequently enough that public notification where unnecessary is counterproductive. I am stretched thin enough between the paperwork involved and the amount of work I have to do on a weekly basis to dilute that time even further by getting the public involved in something that frankly, does not concern them.
  7. Hello from Nashville - ATC notification question

    I have a few contacts that I share the information with and I have filed all of my paperwork (or sent copies of the CoA and a copy of my pilot cert and driver license) to the governing PD. We all win and look good in the process. There are enough operators in my area that do need the attention so I do not want to divert any resources from that task. And you never know what this little step might produce down the road....
  8. Hello from Nashville - ATC notification question

    We try to keep the local PD informed. If they know that we are flying in an area they don't have to dispatch someone to check out a report of UAS activity. If we don't inform them, they do and then check for paperwork.
  9. Research before execution

    P4P, Yuneec Typhoon H or possibly a Parrot BeBop 2 though I would look at it really hard before pulling the trigger. For under 2K you are not going to find a great camera....probably around 12 MP at best which should be fine to start. DJI has reliable products for the most part but they have some software/app issues that are undesirable. Best case would be the Typhoon if it meets your requirements. A P4P if not. Look at Autel's X-Star Premium too.
  10. Yeah, I work for the state. I have mountains of paperwork but after doing it over the past year, its just a part of doing business. I am fortunate in that I can operate over critical infrastructure as part of my work whereas the general public faces a lot more restrictions. But I also understand the reason the rules and regs are that way and agree with them. The alternatives are a lot less pleasant.
  11. Hello . . . . any guidance? please

    DJI Inspire 1 Pro. Normal time in the air under normal conditions is about 15 minutes per battery. Extreme heat and cold reduce your time in the air with your stock TB47 batteries. I recently ordered 5 TB48 batteries and am waiting to log the improvement. Video/stills on my v2 are what you would expect from a lower end camera. @ 12mp, I've found that for my work, the optimal operating altitude is 100ft AGL. I shoot stills for a different application but the definition is acceptable. I looked into upgrading the an X5R but the reduced flight time coupled with the fact that I would really need a dedicated sensor operator to leverage the camera to its potential convinced me that I could spend the $3000.00 better. If anything, the Inspire 1 has been reliable over the past year with no maintenance issues. My next investment will not be an off-the-shelf model, but the Inspire has proven to be a useful tools to get our program off the ground.
  12. That covers the how and why. This from and office memorandum on public record to Carter Smith from Brent Leisure of Texas Parks and Wildlife dated 24 March 2015. I don't entirely agree with it but I do see their point. Another version of the few bad apples spoiling it for all of us.
  13. LAANC is coming. Just not as fast as everyone hoped. Some of those changes are reflected in the new CoA.The new published altitude limits are now absolute even taking into account flight over structures apparently. That, and while I asked for an absolute operating altitude of 150ft AGL they now default to published values on the UAS facilities map. My local FAA contact mentioned that the slow service was attributed to great drone sales over the holiday. It stinks that it took longer than normal to get my new CoA. It's encouraging that many people are applying for waivers and CoAs instead of just ignoring the rules and winging it without the paperwork.
  14. Now apparently there will be airspace "vendors" to grant authorizations. Whether or not you will have to pay to play has yet to be announced.... https://skyward.io/skyward-is-an-faa-approved-laanc-airspace-vendor/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTVdabFlqTXhOV1ExWTJVNSIsInQiOiJzSW9KbEtoNnJCWFZOMGpxalo2XC91ekoyYjFQc2hzS0hiZ3FZajdadUpHTnI1Z3Z4T29vcTlcL29ocWRaM0pRVThcL0pRcDQ1NFdYWGRmY2hGaWVVb0ZpQ0gyUzd2VGJGZXRLSndBZ1BrNXh2SmlqTkFPXC9DK01IWkpmZTRJeTF0SlEifQ%3D%3D The trial group of participating airports for 2017 are as follows: https://www.faa.gov/uas/programs_partnerships/uas_data_exchange/airports_participating_in_laanc/
  15. HOW DO YOU.........

    I let the flight planning software handle it.
  16. With an average off-the-shelf drone's onboard GPS, 1-5 meters of accuracy without using ground control points (we tested the Inspire and I was about 5 feet off). If you are not marketing this and are using it for personal use then having a georeferenced TIF is not a big deal. You can have it processed online (and in some instances free). One foot contour lines...depends on whom you use to process the imagery. Some might online offer three foot. To view the TIF file format you will need some software that is capable of viewing it but that is easy enough...nothing really special. Might want to be able to print it as well to mark it up for planning. Under your cap of $1000.00, you can easily find a UAS to do the job.
  17. The accuracy depends on your equipment and skill using it. The more accuracy your equipment delivers coupled with your skill and attention to detail setting it up and collecting the necessary data, the more accurate a product you will be able to create. A reasonable expectation for mapping grade IMO would be 1-2 inches though it is possible to achieve better. I generate one foot contour lines without any problem. It might be possible to be even more granular but for point of reference, GPS data is most accurate on the x and y plane and less so on the z or height data. To really nail down height data you would probably want an RPLS to survey the property. Does this answer your question?
  18. Bob Gronow

    Good method to your madness. Get licensed first to fly and continue researching the drones you would be interested in (and can afford) that could possibly fulfill the role you intend to use it for. DJI is probably the most readily available but the most problematic to fly. Yuneec makes a great product as do a few others. Next think about the camera. Precise work calls for a good camera. For general mapping purposes the absolute minimum would be a 12 megapixel camera which will do the job roughly at less than 120 ft AGL. A better choice would be something in the range of 20 megapixels or you could always design a system around a Sony A7Rii if you can afford it. Pixel count equates to image detail and also allows you to fly at a higher altitude capturing more data per picture and covering more ground which decreases flight time or increases area covered per battery. The newer units fly with a dual-battery setup that may give 25 minutes of flight time under ideal temperatures and battery condition. Single battery aircraft (DJI) can be reasonably be expected to fly about 15 minutes per battery. Batteries run (for my aircraft) roughly $200US each (although I did just purchase 5 TB48 5700 mAh batteries with my government discount for $832 US). I fly small to medium sized job sites (2-47 acres). I have six batteries on hand with five more shipping. If I knew then what I know now, I would have purchased a higher end UAS and paid the price up front instead of my current situation which is now trying to justify purchasing a $20,000 US aircraft to do the job that my $3,000 US aircraft does. Bottom line: take your time and be able to justify your decision before you leap blindly or at least half-cocked into the UAS business. Identify your needs for the service you intend to provide and then find an airframe that will cover those expectations. Also build some redundancy into you needs. Think strategically five years ahead of what you not only need at the moment but what you need to cover other possible aspects of a project (IR roof inspection as an example).
  19. Land surveyor license needed?

    There is a difference between surveying and mapping. Surveys are performed and stamped by a registered public land surveyor (RPLS). Mapping, regardless of the degree of accuracy, is not. There is more to surveying than flying a tract of land or job site. We perform mapping services while our current equipment falls somewhere between survey grade and map grade. I cannot pass that off as survey grade because I do not have the background, the education, or the state stamp to do so. So the data I generate will not stand up in court. It is basically as our disclaimer states, "for informational purposes only..." and should not be taken as gospel for design and construction. Even though it is accurate to within about 1/2". So in answer to your question, a client should go to a state RPLS if they need survey grade data period. If they just want to generate time-lapse documentation of a job site or something similar where accuracy is not an issue, then anyone who can provide accurate map grade data will do. If you do not have a state issued license to act as a RPLS, then you are not a surveyor; you are a mapping technician.
  20. NOTAM vs UOA Notice

    If you are going to file a NOTAM do so here: https://notams.aim.faa.gov/en2/ You do have to register the first time and be approved by their administrator before you can start using the service (no charge). You can file up to three days in advance. Include the COA# in the comments. Filing a NOTAM is not required unless specifically specified in your COA. I do it anyway for every flight.
  21. Is this stamp-able data?

    Don't forget me too....sometimes it's nice to hear from the village idiot as well.
  22. That actually makes sense. Shame you have to expend that much effort to do something that should be common sense.....
  23. Redundant Legislation

    I've heard that there are other States considering similar legislation. Business must be slow at the capital and legislatures have a lot of free time on their hands....
  24. Is this stamp-able data?

    If only it were that simple. I could be a surveyor too then. I am in the purchase process for a set of Aeropoints currently (and I might receive them in this lifetime)((but that is beside the point)). The web site says sub 20mm accuracy which is certainly possible. My GPS units could reach something similar with another software upgrade for 8-10,000US. Being able to hit the numbers does not make it survey-grade work though. There is a lot more to being a surveyor and providing the client with accurate data whose numbers will stand up in court. That, and the State test to obtain a stamp certifying that you actually do know what you are doing. I am border line map/survey-grade. My equipment is capable of producing the accurate data but my mind is incapable of the rest of the job to certify it. Accuracy should still be the goal for everyone providing a service, though that should also be measured against the job or purpose on the information as well. For example, I make an effort to collect data accurate to within 2cm though for most purposes, the data only needs to be accurate to within 9 inches or the half the width of a backhoe bucket. I still try to get the data as tight as I am capable of with the resources that I have. Part of determining that accuracy requirement is to learn you customer. What data is required? What accuracy is required to meet the customers needs? How is the data going to be used? Those are the questions you should be asking for each job you do. Hope this points you in the right general direction.
  25. If the article was accurate, the guy knew what he was doing was wrong and did it anyway under the blanket of recreational flight. And again, if the article is accurate it wasn't the first time that day that he ignored the regs and AMA rules.