Silk Purse

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About Silk Purse

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  1. New To Drones - Advice Please!

    Hi Landshark & welcome! The typical advice to someone starting out is to get an inexpensive but well designed "starter" drone to learn on. I'm no expert on those, but if you look around on the forum there are several recommendations, none of which I'm competent to vouch for. Alan also maintains a list of inexpensive drones on uavcoach.com, You may also want to go the simulator route, I did try a Great Planes simulator & hated it, but that's just me. The not so dirty little secret is that a good and expensive UAV is much easier to fly than one of the cheapos. The GPS lock and things like object avoidance provide much greater stability as well as the ability to fly in winds 25-30 mph. Still, I guess there are some good reasons not to drop $1200 - $1500 before you figure out if this is something you really want to do. Once you decide to move up to a system capable of producing the images you'll need for real estate work. I'd advise staying away from UAVs that are designed to use a GoPro camera. Those cameras are made for close up work, the lens is too wide and there's way too much distortion. The big hitters right now are DJI Phantom 3 & 4 & Inspire and the Yuneec Typhoon H - all excellent machines. I fly a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, and I just love it. Rock solid in the air, very easy to control, lots of flexibility and a camera that produces great images and video. For still images I shoot raw DNGs and use Photoshop for post production. I send videos to my 15 year old nephew for edits. He's not only a lot younger, but also quicker & smarter than I'll ever be. I think the single most important tool for starting out in the business is a portfolio of your shoots. I continue to use a series of the same properties taken from the ground and from the air - really demonstrates the advantages of aerial work and is especially good for waterfronts and large commercial properties. Whatever you do, please don't forget to have a good time doing it & Fly Safe!
  2. Contacting the Tower

    I just sent the following to UASHelp@faa.gov. I am the holder of a Pending Airman Certificate issued on 9/3 with a UAV rating. My work for the most part is in real estate marketing, and the area I normally work in includes some Class D airspace. The online airspace waiver procedure response time is up to 90 days. Real estate marketing requires a response time within a few days - a week at most. Section 107.41 includes this language "Applicant must explain why the FAA’s established authorization process would prevent or hinder their UA operation from occurring." The established process is certainly a hindrance, and essentially precludes UAV use for real estate in any controlled airspace. In these circumstances can I request authorization from the local ATC? What procedure should be followed? Thanks in advance for your consideration of this request. Will advise any response.
  3. Greetings All

    Welcome @Chickenhoss! The FAA uses a very broad definition of commercial use. I think their language is "any commercial purpose." So the answer to your question is certainly that you will have to go through the part 107 license process, but don't sweat it too much. nose to the grindstone for a few days & you'll be good to go. You'll probably want to look at liability insurance too.
  4. Contacting the Tower

    I would argue that "ATC" means what it has always meant: Air Traffic Control which is the local controller at the local controlled airspace, ie the tower. Now it may well be that online airspace forms are sent to the ATC in question for evaluation and approval and that's why the reg mentions "approval from ATC", but I don't think so. The FAA site gives email & phone contacts for info on part 107. I herewith volunteer to contact them & will report my findings to this austere assemblage. ,
  5. Contacting the Tower

    If true that the online waiver is the only procedure, then what does "prior authorization from ATC" mean? Why is this section in the regs if not to provide an alternate course of authorization? Who is willing to be our test case? I don't have anything scheduled not in Class G.
  6. GoPro Karma

    Here's the intro from B&H https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/news/gopro-karma?utm_medium=Email%201626045&utm_campaign=NewAnnouncement&utm_source=Photokina%20160919&utm_content=Retail&utm_term=gopro-karma. To me it looks like there are some nice features but nothing groundbreaking. It seems to fold really small, and the front mount camera might be a good idea - at least until your bird tips over on a hard landing. Pricing seems to be roughly equivalent to P4 & typhoon H. What's the big deal? Am I missing something?
  7. Hello 2 you all

    Have some confidence @Vincent Robbesom, you're going to rake in so much $$$ flying your UAV the $3500 - $4 grand to upgrade to an Inspire/X5 will look like chump change!
  8. Best tablet

    @Spitfire76 the DJI Go app uses mapping which relies on GPS, and if you want to use some advanced mission planning apps like DroneDeploy or Litchi GPS is essential. While you don't absolutely need GPS for basic flights, it's always nice to have. From an initial cost standpoint I think an Android tablet is a better deal.
  9. Best tablet

    A word of caution: It's my understanding wifi only IPads do not have GPS capability, and that could be a serious limitation. You can always get an internet connection from a cell phone or mobile hot spot, but not having GPS can be a problem. I use a Nexus 7 btw.
  10. Hello 2 you all

    If you're looking to combine UAV & DSLR footage, you should keep in mind that the P4 shoots in 4/3 aspect ratio (I don't know if that can be changed - I fly a P3), and so if you want to combine the footage with a DSLR, you may also want a 4/3 aspect ratio in the DSLR like a Panasonic Lumix or an Olympus OMD-EM5-2, both of which are pretty good cameras. And if you decide to upgrade to the Inspire with an X5, you'll find that Oly/Pana lenses will work there too.
  11. GoPro Karma

    Interesting video, if, in fact, it was shot with a Karma. No obvious video distortion as there would have been if it had been shot with a Hero. All those horizontal & vertical bookshelf lines would have curved all over the place if shot with a Hero. One can only hope. Still they've a real challenge to distinguish themselves from Phantoms & Yuneecs.
  12. Operation at class G airport

    Sorry Lars, I didn't mean to infer that you are crazy, just dangerous. Trying to fly your bird on a public field with that much traffic is just too risky, I think. Checking the SkyVector chart there a lots of private fields in your area, all in Class G. Why not try to make a deal with one of the owners?
  13. Client Agreements

    The part 107 Class, which is behind a paywall, included a segment about drone law and insurance that was mostly a video presentation by Enrico at www.dronelaw.pro. Very informative with a wealth interesting information. I would suggest contacting him.
  14. Operation at class G airport

    Not sure what "giant scale" means, but upper weight limit for Part 107 is 55 lbs. Model aircraft operate under their own rules with which I am not familiar, but even if you can somehow shoehorn yourself into the regs, this sounds like a really bad idea. Safety has to be your paramount concern, and attempting this seems remarkably foolish. Get in touch with the AMA here: https://www.modelaircraft.org/joinnew.aspx?s=google. They'll point you to one of their member clubs where you can find a place to fly safely & sanely.
  15. FPV Goggles

    My understanding is that while PIC has to maintain visual, someone else can operate the controls as long as PIC can assume control quickly. That means, I think, that an unlicensed person can fly FPV as long as the PIC is nearby. Does that make any sense?