Luke Warm

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Everything posted by Luke Warm

  1. Probably not pertaining to this group since I suspect 99% of everyone is or desires to be Part 107 types, but Is it because I own an iPhone 7 running IOS 11.1.2, it makes the app B4UFLY nearly useless in regard to finding contact info for my airport? I reinstalled it this evening and the Apple App Store shows that version B4UFLY 4.0.0 was released recently (I suppose) to make it work on this buggy IOS 11 that Apple released not too long ago. When I do a click on "list of US Airports" on B4UFLY, all I get the "Apple Spinning Ball of Death". It seemed prior to IOS 11 and B4UFLY 4.0.0, you could pull up contact info for towered airports (phone numbers) anyway... By the way, thanks to everyone for all the tips.
  2. @Av8Chuck Thanks. It's been a while since I read something about GEO Fencing and I knew it created controversy but wasn't sure what UAVs were involved. (Edit... found one of these Forums stating software is now installed on the Yuneec UAVs. I get a lot of misinformation on the hobby flyer sites and thus come over to this forum to balance things out... )
  3. Related to my original post, and some info concerning comments I've found on other forums (not this one.) I read somewhere that Yuneec had software that would prevent their products (big ones I suppose) to even start, when inside the airspace of a towered airport. (Please excuse me if I'm not posting superflous info here, but it might be useful to someone...) I brought my Yuneec Typhoon H and one of my Q500 4ks to our ranch that is close to (and on final and departure paths) to our Class C airport (KABI) and and not too far from an Air Force B1 Bomber and C-130 base. I was able to start both UAVs and do a test hover to about 3 feet for no longer than 15 seconds then shut both down. I decided if my UAVs were not able to even start, there would be no use in going to the trouble to submit a form or bother contacting the feds to fly here with one of my UAVs (in late December or early January) when I can "see through" the canopy of the trees here (when leaves are blown away) and inspect the land, look at improvements I've made here, since photographing the place with my airplane nearly 6 years ago. (I flew the airplane by myself, opened the window, hung my $5,000 Nikon out the window and shot the pictures and I was comfortable doing that. I'm not "comfortable" flying a UAV near an airport though. I've been hanging cameras out of airplanes for decades, but flying UAVs only for three years. I suppose it's a "pucker-factor" thing for me. Flying my airplane over Mount Saint Helens with a $5,000 camera stuck out the window, is "comfy", risking a $1,000 UAV isn't. Convoluted logic, but I am old and set in my ways. I'm not sure where all the chatter originated that Yuneec and I suppose DJI UAVs have this software that keeps them from turning on, but mine did turn on and it might simply be because I don't do firmware updates? (Updates, I hate them, look at what Apple did after IOS 10... and a few years ago, Apple "stole" my iMovie HD and installed a really lousy iMovie-11 during an "up-rape" - I mean "update." So mama, don't take my Kodachrome, or Final Cut Pro - away... or screw with the firmware in my 6 UAVs...) I've been able to stand at one of the barns here, and watch everything from the Blue Angels (they sometimes refuel here) to Boeing V-22 Ospreys, C-130 J models (they fly here frequently practicing instrument approaches) and large passenger jets as they fly just a few hundred feet above me. So the thought of having software pre-installed on a UAV so that it can't be used (especially in an approach/departure path of an airport like mine is understandable, by an "unscrupulous" person, isn't too upsetting to me. Once I'm reasonably comfortable with this communications process with the feds about my mission (in a month or so) I'll repost here and add a link to a video. I don't plan on flying any higher than 200 feet AGL, but I probably can get a good glimpse of one of the 6 runways here when I'm doing my brief flight.
  4. @ Dave Pitman Prudent, yes... as Chris stated, mainly because I started flying lessons with an Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot (my dad) at age 12 and I'm a veteran too, just wanting to make sure "an old man has all his ducks and UAVs in a row" as in "did I read this right?" I'm more comfortable flying my airplane over Dyess AFB than flying my UAV near an un-towered airport (flew my Q500 "at the corner in Winslow, Arizona" a couple of years ago in downtown Winslow, but I wrote a letter to the City Manager weeks in advance to advise, since they have no tower nor an actual airfield manager AND I contacted the Chief of Police. So I guess that is way beyond "prudent." In 2015 I flew a couple of miles away from Dyess AFB (home of the B1 bomber) and our regional airport is next door. I have the number of the airfield manager at Dyess as well as the Tower Supervisor at our regional airport and back in 2015, it wasn't easy finding these individuals in order to contact them prior to flying my UAV and I spoke to all of them on the phone before launch and after my "mission" was over. "Prudent" but maybe a better word is "anal" because I keep several handheld NavCom (King 99A radios -2 way) with me so I can also monitor the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency as well as Approach and Departure Control. I don't think there are many hobby flyers out there (or Part 107 pilots for that matter) who keep portable aviation radios in their UAV gear, but I do, just in the event I have a fly-away, so I can communicate. Never had a flyaway since starting in RC airplanes in the 70s, but I have lost an engine in an airplane and had a forced landing... Stuff happens, and I like to be over-prepared. And now that I am an old codger, I even like to have someone guiding me when I back a horse trailer into a barn so that I don't screw-up. And using this forum is, "like having a second pair of eyes" and I appreciate everyone's input. BTW, I own a "no fly zone" (FAA recognized airport on the San Antonio Sectional and on the UVA apps) on our other ranch, so I contact myself, before I fly my UAV . (note, website "HighAboveTexas" as seen on the lift strut is no longer in business.)
  5. Thanks Spitfire76 and Chris Walsh: This process has nearly taken on a "Catch 22 / wax and wane" persona and as I've been researching various sources the last couple of days, indeed there is a lot of confusion with us who fly UAVs and even with the folks within the FAA. After reading about 6 months ago, that pilots who previously registered their UAVs (I registered mine a few seconds after midnight on December 21, 2015) could get a $5 refund for the UAVs they registered back in the "old days" which was a matter of months ago, and many wouldn't need to bother register, now we see info that UAV/UAS pilots will probably will soon need to send in the fee (again) to the FAA and register or re-register them. I have no problem paying a fee and registering (takes less than 5 minutes) but the meandering nature of compliance is a slippery slope. This changing the rules and regs on a routine and frequent basis is starting to take on an entirely new aroma, if you get my drift...
  6. So now I read this, and it makes me think of "fuzzy logic." "Never fly... near airports" seen at the top and basically, "Provide prior notification before flying near airports..." (at the bottom...) This is "Flying For Fun" as I saw it on their app, not the Part 107 aspect of their app. " Within 24 hours, these facility maps were available to commercial drone operators on the AirMap platform." And speaking of "fuzzy logic" I just read this on another forum... (might not be news to you, but it is fuzzy as heck to me, and only adds to the confusion of folks who want to own and fly a UAV and adhere to the confusing regs... Congress finalized legislation that will reverse the earlier court ruling in the John Taylor case and restore the FAA’s UAS registration requirement, including for AMA members.We expect this legislation – the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 – to go through final passage in the House and Senate, and to the President’s desk, soon. We ask all AMA members to please comply with the registration rule once it is in effect again. We will update you when this happens.While we have always said registration makes sense at some level, we have pushed for a more reasonable threshold and argued that if registration is to be implemented, the criteria, threshold and implementation should go through rulemaking.We continue to work closely with Congress, the FAA and other stakeholders to determine the best path forward now that UAS registration will be reinstituted. This process will take time but, as always, we are doing everything we can to advocate for our members and protect the model aircraft hobby.
  7. Glad I got here to this specific topic. My concern was (and perhaps I am still "mystified"...) I am a licensed aircraft pilot (don't fly these days) and I have no interest (ever) in using any one of my UAVs for commercial operations and thus I have no interest in Part 107. I do though want to document some improvements I've made to a ranch I have that is near a Class C airport and below the approach and departure end of one of their prime runways. It looks like to me that I simply submit my request for authorization and I do not have to be a Part 107 UAV pilot. I have not spent a lot of time on that site yet and since the area I want to take pictures of is 800 to 1,100 feet West of the actual approach/departure and about 5,000 feet from the threshold of the runway, I submit my request with the specific AGL that I want to fly at (in this case 300 feet AGL) and I provide a Lat/Lon of my planned route. I wonder how accurate the FAA expects the Lat/Lon, if I need to supply a fairly accurate route of travel? I have a handheld aviation grade GPS that is very accurate or can we simply submit the info we see on the UAV controller (in my case a Yuneec Typhoon H). I don't suspect the UAV controller is WAAS enabled but I don't really know for sure. (For anyone who is not familiar with "WASS enabled..." ) I'm planning this flight in mid to late December after trees have shed their leaves. I will have clipped to my belt, an aviation NavCom so that I can monitor tower, departure and approach frequencies. (Talk about being "anal"...) The first and only time I flew near this airport ( at another location, 4 miles away and 3 miles from a B1 bomber base we have here) back in early 2015, I actually called both places well in advance. They were more in the dark than I was regarding UAS flights near their respective airfields. I eventually hooked up with the airfield manager at the airbase and he was relieved and delighted a UAV pilot actually took the time to communicate with them. The guy who is/was the "tower supervisor" at our Class C airport was outstanding to work with. And now this is all done online - what a relief, I like that. (So much change in this UAV stuff and too many dead, lame and lazy brain cells... ugh. I'm still using my old computer that has a rope starter...)
  8. It's been many decades since I last flew a Cessna 310 but I'm leaning to "pilot error" on this one. My father (Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot and retired with 5 simultaneous type ratings in jets as well as an A&P license) I think he would suggest, pilot forgot to set the fuel tank valve correctly during preflight prior to takeoff.... Carb ice, who knows at this point but using a UAV to map the crash site, I'm not too keen on that idea for this particular tragedy, because of something we call P.I.E. (my background is in news and public relations... and I'm a war vet.) When golfer Payne Stewart in 1999 left Florida in a Learjet for a flight to Texas (where I live) and ended up dead in a crash in South Dakota (my dad HATED flying Learjets for various reasons - and when the news about the bizarre flight and outcome of that crash of that Learjet hit the news "live" as it was flying off-course and nowhere near Texas - it suggested to him, sudden cabin decompression). I think my father would say in this Cessna 310 crash, both engines quit at the same time (starved of fuel). And the folks who work as NTSB investigators have the experience are wizards at "eyeballing" this wreckage from the ground and from interviews with witnesses. I don't think it will take the NTSB long to wrap this up and the freeway be opened up again. I'm not too keen on the idea of using a UAV to map this particular crash-site being at an airport and in view of a lot of non-drone folks. I think we who fly UAVs, need to be hyper-sensitive about the "P.I.E." formula in regard to public relations and PIE meaning "Perception Is Everything." The last thing I want to read somewhere, "Some idiots were flying drones near that airport and the Cessna 310 crashed because it hit a drone." Let the NTSB people do their job methodically and painstakingly, on the ground and keep the UAVs out of story. UAVs can serve in incredible ways and in roles that we could not have imagined not too many years ago, but we need to keep our eye "on the PIE." You learn a lot when you grow up with a professional aviator, and I think I've learned in the last few years since "converting" from airplanes to UAVs, we need to be proactive in keeping ourselves from not becoming a part of the story after the fact and we need to do more to improve the perception that some have about us.
  9. Opps, forgot to add this link in regard to handheld aviation radios. I LOVE my King KX99s. My first bought in the late 1980s is still going strong and has no "squaks" pardon the pun and they go pretty cheap now on Ebay.
  10. Skip the text in italics unless you have spare time with your schedule and go to "Last year"... Even when I fly my UAV on my ranch in Texas where I have a private airstrip and is on apps as a "No Fly Zone" I keep one of my King KX99 aviation transceivers on my hip and scan CTAF at an airport not too far from me, as well as several other frequencies for nearby KABI airport (30 miles away) and as an "added bonus" I have several MOAs that skirt the ranch. I'm the son of an Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot (WW2) and started flying lessons with him at age 12. So, I lean heavily in regard to the communication aspect with folks who fly fixed wing & rotary wing aircraft. The largest airplane I've flown was right seat in a B-52 (briefly) as a journalist, doing a TV segment on a training mission. The smallest airplane I flew was one I built and inspected by the FAA, back in the 1990s. My father planted some good seeds in my head in regard to flying airplanes. I have no interest in flying a UAV commercially BUT having retired from working in television (and teaching television production at a university here) I still enjoy making videos and donating my services to non-profit organizations. Last year, I needed to fly my UAV one mile northeast of Dyess Air Force Base (not too far from the approach/departure end of their runway) and within the airspace of KABI Regional Airport (these two regions overlap.) Two hospitals with helipads are also in this airspace. A week prior to flying, i did some research and the local FAA folks were very cooperative with me when I told them what I was planning and that I was a licensed pilot. They gave me the number of the tower supervisor (not the tower, but the supervisor) and he worked with me to set up my "flight plan". It went very well. I also managed to get the phone number of the Airfield Manager at Dyess Air Force Base. (Being a military vet was helpful) and the folks at Dyess were VERY PLEASED I contacted them in advance. In fact, the airfield manager thanked me for doing all my legwork and planning in advance and he admitted that this "drone stuff" was new to them and even people at the command level were having meetings on how to plan for more UAVs in the air, around the base. Soon after I arrived at my location, I made my phone calls and launched the UAV. The tower controlling the airspace knew I was not only scanning all the frequencies (Approach - Departure - Tower - Ground) and that I had a second King KX99 simply set on one frequency, "Approach." in the event something went haywire, I could quickly advise I had a "fly-away UAV" (although I have never had one in the two years since I started flying UAVs.) After I landed, I made my phone calls to the FAA guys and Dyess to advise I had completed my mission. All was well and everybody "lived happily ever after." Fast forward to June 2017 and it appears that everything (FAA regs) have changed and what I did in regard to phone calls is "taboo" despite the local FAA folks and even Dyess AFB were very appreciative of my efforts to (as pilots are familiar with, "communicate your intentions") and all has gotten more complicated. No more donation of my services for non-profit agencies because this stuff ain't so simple anymore, despite my overkill with TWO handheld radios and knowing the aviation lingo as a licensed pilot and knowing the names of the folks responsible for this airspace here. The photo is flying my airplane ABOVE Dyess and their numerous B1 bombers and C-140s. All was legal. And note, my website is no longer active since I am just an retired old fart on a ranch in the middle of very complicated airspace.
  11. First, we introduce a law that Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen (especially Diane NotSo Fine Stein) can't dye their hair AND that members of the Supreme Court must retire at age 65. If commercial pilots (aircraft) are forced to retire and quit flying, no judge should be sitting on the bench. And Feinstein shouldn't have access to hair coloring (goes for Trump too...) ? If the above passes, then and only then might we consider moving regulation of UAVs to states, counties and municipalities.
  12. I'm a long-time certified aircraft pilot (started flying lessons with my father at age 12) and when we UAV pilots were required to register as hobby flyers, I did so a nanosecond after midnight on the first day the FAA was taking registration. It was painless, cost $5 and it shows a person is more than likely someone who isn't going to be doing idiotic things with a drone. We all have license plates on our vehicles and I suspect the overwhelming majority of UAV hobby pilots are not profession drivers having commercial licenses. Having the ability to track-down those who are reckless and irresponsible with their hobby drones is not a great way to weed out the trouble makers but it is a "way" to track them down should they cause harm, inflict damage, use a UAV to harass people etc. I've gone the extra mile and not only have affixed my required FAA info to my 4 UAVs, but my name and phone number are clearly placed on the top side of all 4. 5 bucks, 5 minutes on the FAA website and it's no skin off of anybody's back to be one of the "good guys" in the skies. We all need to realize, we have to do more in developing good public relations with people outside of the UAV industry (the "normal" news is always filled with bizarre stories about rogue drone dudes) and being registered is $5 bucks and 5 minutes and quicker and less complicated than making a stop at a burger joint. Blue Skies all and less wind...
  13. @ Steve Bennett Odd that the link doesn't work. I'm not sure how that happened. Keep in mind, my video was "killing two birds with one stone" and mainly for the entertainment of a young great-nephew. Yep, drones can come in hand for finding Big Foot. I "stole" the idea from the movie "The Shining"... Their opening aerial sequences and scene are incredible. Mine is hokie... Very hokie.
  14. I've been driving electric vehicles on and off since 1958 and I had an electric Chrysler mini-van in the early 1990s as a company car when I worked in public relations for a large electric utility holding company in 5 states in the southwest. For years I've heard fear mongers suggest EMF from EVs could cause all sorts of ill health effects. I was curious if any EMF might interfere with flying my drone, as I drove my EV at the same time (not to worry, I didn't to this on a public road, but on my ranch and private airport I have here. It's easy to ask myself for "permission" to fly my UAV here. It's a restricted area and on the FAA Sectional Charts and most of the Drone Apps) and in the process, I edited a "horror" video for my great-nephew who was coming here to visit and asked if we ever saw Big Foot here. Well of course we have. Big Foot loves sucking the electrons out of EVs and UAVs (I thought everyone knew that...) Anyway, I had no electrical interference at all shooting, flying and driving, even in brisk winds we have here in Texas, the Wind Turbine Capitol of the United States. But I did have a great time scaring the bajeebers out of a 6 year old. I had to load this onto YouTube in low resolution due to the fact we have lousy internet here and the data plan gets eaten up fast with high resolution video uploads. Music is from the movie "The Shining" if anyone is familiar with that flick. My great-nephew is now nagging his dad for a UAV.