Chris H

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Everything posted by Chris H

  1. Hi all, Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the comments. One thing I should mention: Here in AZ, we don't have to worry too much about humidity so I don't have a problem with condensation. But if you live somewhere with humidity, my cooling solution could cause a problem with condensation collecting and dripping onto the controller. Probably solvable but Just wanted to mention that. Thanks again everyone, Chris
  2. Hi All, There have been a few posts here about tablets overheating when used with a DJI controller. I live in the Phoenix area and this has been a big problem for me. In temperatures above 85 degrees or so, my iPad would heat up after about 20 minutes and the video feed would get horrible - almost unworkable. I didn't know that the problem was my iPad overheating until my first one died. The battery expanded and popped the screen from the back. The folks at the Apple store told me it was from heat. They replaced my iPad (for $99) and a couple of days later I had another shoot. After 20 minutes I started having the problem with the video feed, then after about 40 minutes, the iPad showed an excessive heat warning and shut down. That's when I figured out that the video feed problem was from the heat. I switched out my iPad for my iPhone and kept filming, but my iPhone started to overheat too. I had already made all the recommended changes to settings to avoid overheating, so I needed another solution. What I came up with works great. I had a shoot a couple of days ago when it hit 120 degrees here in Phoenix (it was about 112 degrees at the time of my shoot), and the iPad stayed perfectly cool - no video feed problems whatsoever. There's a quick video that shows how it works. Below that are links for all the individual pieces that went into making it. I cut the aluminum sheet using a grinder and some metal shears, and then smoothed the edges with a Dremel. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. I just wanted to share this with everyone here. I'll try to answer any questions. Hope this helpful to someone. Video Link - https://vimeo.com/222775218/66e8436195 Pieces Hood - http://amzn.to/2tvX4z8 Aluminum Plate - https://thd.co/2tvUOaW Velcro - https://thd.co/2tvV9KZ Ice Packs - http://amzn.to/2tvIveS Chris
  3. Steve, thanks very much for your response. One question I still have - do companies/pilots operating under 333 have to file for airspace waivers? For example, if they are engaged to take photos/video of a house that happens to be in Class D airspace, do they have to file for a waiver like I do as a pilot operating under Part 107 rules? Or can they go shoot the house without any specific authorization?
  4. Hey all, Something I've been wondering about. Now that the new Part 107 rules are in effect, do companies with 333 exemptions have to file for waivers like Part 107 pilots do? If not, how long does their exemption last? And can it be renewed? Chris
  5. Hi All, A couple of weeks ago, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FAA to get a listing of all drone-related fines they had ever been given out. I got the report last week and wanted to share it here. In addition to just sharing the information, I'm also interested to hear what other UAV pilots might think about it. You can access the full report here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/szig0d8f8rz6tn5/2017-003367_Redacted.pdf?dl=0 I have to confess that I got the idea from an article I read that was written back in June - https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/faa-drone-fines That article made me wonder how things might have changed since the new Part 107 rules went into effect. I haven't parsed through it yet but from first glance it seems there were 21 violations as of June 2016 and since then there are only 4 more violations as of January 31st. That's interesting to me but not sure exactly what to think about it yet. Chris
  6. Here is a summary of my communication with Verifly. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My email to Verifly: Hi guys, On this past Tuesday (1/31/2017), I filmed a property at this location: Address 5260 W Hunt Hwy, Queen Creek, AZ 85142 Coordinates 33°12'03.2"N 111°37'21.5"W I have a UAV Pilot Certificate and I was operating in a commercial capacity. I was outside of the Class D airspace of Mesa Gateway Airport. Although I was near a private air park (PEGASUS AIRPARK - https://skyvector.com/airport/5AZ3/Pegasus-Airpark-Airport), I believe I was in Class G airspace. As I usually do, I went to purchase Verifly insurance before my flight, but the app said I was in a “Restricted Area” and did not allow me to purchase insurance. I looked but couldn’t find a way to bypass this warning and make my purchase. I don't understand why I wasn't able to purchase insurance in that area. Even if I were operating under recreational rules, I was clearly outside the Class D airspace for Mesa Gateway and I would only have needed to notify the private air park that I would be flying in the area. Is this a bug in the application, or am I misunderstanding something about the airspace I was in? Thanks, Chris Verifly’s Response Chris, Have you checked using the latest version of the app from the app store or google play? If not please try again - unless there is a TFR you should be able to unlock the airspace. My Follow-up Email I just checked - the app updated itself just yesterday. I put the address in and it now offers me insurance but it's $25/hour and it still tells me that I'm near an airport and that coverage is available for authorized pilots only. When I click on the coverage options, it tells me "Flying here requires authorization." I'm glad that the app now gives me an option for buying insurance, but I still don't understand why the app is treating that airspace as something special. My understanding is that, under recreational rules, I would simply need to notify the private air park, and if I'm flying under Part 107 as a certified pilot, I don't have to do anything. Sorry, I'm just trying to make sure I understand. Verifly’s Response Chris, You are right and all the app is asking you to do in that case is affirm you have 107 or have the proper atc permission under the recreational rules. There are also situations where pilots are authorized via a 333 or waiver if the coverage area is in controlled airspace. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So that's the resolution - partially a problem with my app needing an update. My iPhone is usually good about applying updates automatically but I guess in this case is was a few days late Chris
  7. Alan, I will do that! And I will definitely update this thread with whatever I learn from Verifly. As always, thanks for your help!
  8. Thanks very much! Good to know another UAV pilot in Casa Grande.
  9. Thank you for taking the time to reply. In my original post, I gave the address for the property that I filmed and explained that I used AirMap to check the airspace. I also gave a link to the private airport I was filming near (Pegasus Airpark) on SkyVector, the reference you recommended. So, yes, I had checked the SkyVector section chart as well. Here are the coordinates for the property: 33°12'03.2"N 111°37'21.5"W Chris
  10. Hi all, I just wanted to share some addition info about my filming this property. I honestly don't want it to sound like a rant - I just wanted to continue this discussion a bit. I filmed the property this afternoon. When I went to buy insurance, Verifly said I was in a "restricted area" and would not let me buy the insurance. Then, when I went into the DJI app, it warned me that I was in a Class D airspace. These types of things are frustrating because it makes me feel much less confident about flying. And it's hard to be relaxed and creative and focus on the photos/videos I'm shooting when I'm worried about the police showing up, or the FAA fining me, because someone called to complain. Plus, I really would have liked to have had insurance while I was flying today. I was thinking I would email Verifly just to let them know and see what they have to say. As far as the DJI app, I guess it just assumes I'm flying under recreational rules and that's why it warned me, but even then, I wasn't in a Class D airspace, I was just near a private airport. Appreciate any thoughts or comments. Thanks, Chris
  11. Alan, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to respond. It's so helpful. I love this new industry (new for me) and want to make sure I am following the rules as best as I can. It gives me great peace-of-mind to be able to post this type of question here and make sure I'm understanding things correctly. Really appreciate it. Thanks again!!! Chris
  12. Hi all, I have a question about filming a property near a private airport so I'm posting it here to just sort of check my thinking and make sure I do the right thing. I have been asked to take photos of a property near this address: 5260 W Hunt Hwy, Queen Creek, AZ 85142 If you look at the graphic here (http://bit.ly/2jSPJoL), or type the address into AirMap (https://app.airmap.io/), you will see that the location is just outside the Class D airspace of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, but it is very close to a private airport - Pegasus Airpark (https://skyvector.com/airport/5AZ3/Pegasus-Airpark-Airport). AirMap makes this very confusing because it's clearly not a Class D airspace but clicking the "Commercial" box shows a circle around the airport that indicates "areas around airports where commercial operations of drones may be restricted or require notice or authorization." Not exactly super clear. I *think* this means that I DO NOT need to apply for a waiver, but I DO need to contact the airport before flying. Do I have that right? Thanks for any thoughts or feedback, Chris
  13. FYI - My real estate photographer friends like the Osmo too, but according to them, the X3 won't cut it for real estate stills - they say I need to go with the X5, and that's about $2000 for the handle and the camera. So that purchase might be on hold for a while until I make a little more $$$. Chris
  14. Jay, that's an excellent suggestion. Thanks for sharing! Chris
  15. Hi all, I live/work in the Phoenix metropolitan area and one of my biggest concerns is with Class D airspace. So far I'm just doing real estate work. If you look at Phoenix with AirMap or VFRMAP you will see that an awful lot of the area is covered by Class D air space (in addition to the Class B airspace for Sky Harbor). So far I've been lucky - the houses I've been hired to shoot were in Class G, but it's just a matter of time before I get a house that's in Class D. My issue is the time it takes to get an authorization from the FAA. No realtor is going to wait weeks or possibly months for an FAA authorization form. I got a call today and the realtor wants the house shot before Monday - that's typical. Again, in this case I'm in luck because the house is in Class G, but I'm wondering what other people are doing to handle this situation. Are you waiting for the waiver? Are you turning down the work? Are you just flying anyway without a waiver? And does anyone know what the current wait time is for a Class D waiver? Thanks, Chris
  16. Thank you everyone for your comments. I just wanted to update this thread - I gave the Breeze a try and ended up returning it. It's not nearly stable enough indoors, and even if it had a gimbal, the video quality is really not good enough for professional work. As Alan said, it's a lot of fun to fly and great for hobbyists - just not good enough for real estate shooting. I'll probably look at buying the DJI Osmo. Chris
  17. I just want to say thank you to Alan for taking the time to talk about this topic, and I also really appreciate the response from Drone Base - very helpful. I intend to give Drone Base a shot. I like their business model and really hope that it works because it cold mean a lot of work for drone pilots. Plus, I'm not super busy with other shoots yet so I sort of feel like I have nothing to lose. I will update this thread with how my experience goes. Thanks for everyone's input! Chris
  18. Hi all, In a recent Verifly newsletter, they highlighted a website called DroneBase (https://www.dronebase.com/). It offers jobs for drone pilots. Cool idea but it's a little different - you don't really know for sure how much you will get paid, or even IF you will get paid. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried it and, if so, what your experience was like. Thanks, Chris
  19. I knew someone was going to ask that The videos I saw were sort of over lunch a couple times. I asked the people I was talking with to send me the examples they showed me but they didn't end up sending the ones with the drone flying through the house. I will ask them again and be more specific. If I'm able to find them, I'll post them here.
  20. Hey Everyone, Of course, thank you so much to for taking the time to respond. I generally agree with all the points and recommendations. I'm in a bit of a unique situation. I'm partnering with a company that already does the on-the-ground real estate photography. But as mentioned by Jay, they are being asked for drone services more and more. However, they don't want to deal with the drone stuff, hence their partnership with me. So for now I don't need to worry about doing any ground level stills. 2 things I DO need: First, there are real estate videos out there where the drone flies outside the house, then comes down and flies right in the front door and starts flying around the house. I've even seen videos where it flies in the front door, goes through the house and flies out the back door. Big WOW factor shots. Maybe they were carefully edited clips from both drones and handhelds, but honestly I think it was all drone video. The agents and other photographers in this area have seen these shots and are wanting them. Second, I need to have a backup to my Phantom 3 just in case something happens to it and it's out of commission for a while. My budget is limited until I start making more, so that's why the Breeze (or something similar) seemed a good compromise. It could serve as a backup to my Phantom in a pinch, and theoretically I could do some indoor stuff with it if asked. I've looked at the Osmo - way cool and I definitely hope to get one down the road, but it can't make the kind of videos I mentioned above and I can't use it as a backup to my current drone. So what I really want to know is if anyone has actually flown the Breeze indoors, or if anyone has experience with another comparable drone indoors, and how it went. Thanks, Chris
  21. Hi all. I've just recently started a drone business and things are going fine. I've done a few real estate shoots, but I keep getting asked about doing indoor video of the houses with my drone. I have a DJI Phantom 3 Pro and it is just way to big to do indoor stuff. It creates so much wind that any type of object, like a chair, table, wall, etc. causes turbulence for the drone and it can't keep it's position. I want to get a smaller drone for indoor video and I'm considering the Yuneec Breeze. This seems like it would be a good option for me because it specifically advertises being able to hold position indoors, and at the same time it is powerful enough to be a backup in case anything happened to my Phantom. I was hoping to get some feedback before I make my purchase. Is the Yuneec Breeze a good choice? Are their others that anyone would recommend instead of the Breeze? Thanks for any thoughts.