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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. Under the old rules, if there's compensation involved then its a commercial activity. So if students pay to go to school and this is included in the curriculum then its commercial, even if its a State funded school. There was considerable confusion prior to Part 107 where organizations could get a 333 exemption for education. However, all of that expired with the 333's. I'm only partially joking here when I say instead of thinking of whether its legal under the old rules or trying to circumnavigate the 107 rules, think of the UAV as a gun. As a teacher you know that you have to take all the precautions necessary to not only protect other peoples children but also yourself and school district. Would you teach young people to shoot a gun or drive a car without ALL the certificates and insurance required to do this professionally? If kids want to learn how to fly a drone as a hobbyist then send them along to an AMA field to have some fun, but if you want to use UAVs as part of a STEM curriculum then you should get your 107 and check with your school district on their policies regarding flying UAVs on school property etc.. You should also have a Incident Specific Safety Plan (ISSP) that all of the students sign and understand who to call in case of an emergency, where the closest hospital is and how to get there, the location of the place your flying so they can provide that information to first responders etc.. If you don't do that and a student gets injured by a UAV an attorney is going to have a field day with you, and it won't be fun.
  2. Nothing against the fine folks of the Netherlands, but if I wanted to establish a global industry standard that's where I would have started.
  3. Dude, you are there. You need to replace the toy cameras with flying the A7RIII or a GH5S. You have these great ground shots with shallow DOF that look 3D and then cut to shots from the P4 where everything is in focus and flat. You start flying the big boy toys and you won’t regret it it. Your in such a great location you could probably sell stock footage to offset the additional expense.
  4. Av8Chuck

    HAM License for Air Traffic Control Radio?

    @R Martin answered your question regarding the need for a license, here’s a different take on it. The manager gave you bad advice. If your not at least a licensed private pilot, not a “drone” operator with a 107, and you use a handheld radio on the local CTAF you’ll probably get into a lot of trouble. One of the hardest things about being a pilot is learning to communicate, none of that communication is part of the 107 training, what are you going to say? Also, CTAF’s are common across many local airports, you could be communicating your intentions to a pilot in the next county over and confusing the hell out of everyone. Whether you have a radio or not you should not be flying a drone in the proximity of the traffic pattern of any airport. You can look at the AFD to get the TPA, chances are if you stay below 400ft you should be at least 300ft below the TPA and don’t fly at all on the approach/departure ends within a couple of miles. Is that legal advice, no, but it’s better advice than you got from the airport manager. Some common sense will serve you much better than a radio.
  5. If the barrier to get a 107 was high, I could see the point of your question/concern. But the barrier to getting your 107 is very low so I would recommend getting it whether it’s tequired or not. I would think your school district would have more of a say in this issue than the FAA and would require it. Your teaching young people to use something that has the potential to hurt them, generally not likely or hopefully seriously, but if something like that we’re to happen and you don’t have a 107 I think it would be bad for you and your program. Why take the risk?
  6. Av8Chuck

    InterDrone Keynote Speakers Include Over One Dozen UAV Visionaries

    Isn't that supposed to be DroneCode? This press release looks remarkably similar to the initial AirWare press release and they raised over $100M. Why does Auterion thinks they can succeed with $10M where AirWare failed with the same claim?
  7. Av8Chuck

    The NFL Makes a Case for Counter Drone (CUAS) Programs

    How many football games are being played on Saturday and Sunday? And she claims that they've reported twelve? What's the bet these drones were being flown by people at tailgate parties in the parking lot. Doesn't make it legal but I would hardly characterize them as a "rogue" drone or a threat. You can't legislate stupidity. Even if they had counter measures there would still be idiots flying drones where they shouldn't be. I'm not defending people who do this but for the NFL to make these claims is a bit disingenuous. Why don't they stop people from drinking at tailgate parties? Or at the stadiums? How many people do you think leave those stadiums intoxicated and drive home? Twelve?
  8. Av8Chuck

    Was wondering

    Depends on the equipment on the tower. Don't fly directly in front of a microwave antenna. The problem with any DJI product is that it goes into RTH anytime the GPS is lost or there's magnetic interference with the magnetometer (Compass), there is always that sort of interference near an energized cell tower. The problem is not that it goes into RTH, the real problem is that sort of interference is usually temporary, the problem is when it reacquires GPS and the drone has moved so the compass thinks it need to be recalibrate and it becomes discombobulated. Try arming the drone on the hood of your car, if it works your good to go, if it doesn't and you have to move around to do the calibration dance you might consider getting a different drone.
  9. Av8Chuck

    InterDrone Keynote Speakers Include Over One Dozen UAV Visionaries

    The issue is that 3DR doesn't have the capability to manufacture any SOLO's. I don't even think they still own the Intellectual to outsource it. So any organization that purchases technology that is not longer supported or manufactured needs to hold the people who made this decision accountable. Nope. 3DR has little influence on the development of PX4 or Ardupilot. The whole PX4/DroneCode has gone into an entirely different direction lead by Lorenze, not 3DR. Not a fan. Also Ardupilot IS secure. The issue is the firmware, if the firmware is "closed" and its on a drone made in China its not going to pass. Although Lorenze claims PX4 is open source, I don't believe the firmware on the Yuneec is open. The PX4 license agreement allows companies to customize the firmware for commercial purposes and not check it back in. This was the issue that caused the split with Ardupilot. I'm glad to see that Ardupilot is doing well, much better than DroneCode and PX4. Sometimes you can tell what people are doing not by what they say but by who they invite to their party. The fact that AirMap is a Gold sponsor of DroneCone makes them a wolf in DJI clothing.
  10. There are a lot of questions about aerial surveys, 3D models etc., what's the purpose? We do aerial surveys to create very accurate "3D reality-models" and "digital-twins." How much companies are willing to pay for them depends on what they want to use them for. They pay from $10K to $50K per model. These models are simply digital representation of analog assets, why are they worth so much? Because they enable civil engineers to transition to digital engineering. The digital twin enables companies to collaborate both internally and across their value chains in ways that can provide a step change in productivity as well as design and maintenance. As the transformation to digital continues the need for these kinds of models is going to increase at an astounding rate. A couple of things to keep in mind; in order to create models that are accurate enough that engineers trust, they are not created using consumer drones and camera's. This is not just about the UAV, it's about changing the way businesses understand and interact with the physical world. The key to success is there really a digital transformation taking place? If you believe there is then this is going to be huge. If you don't then maybe all of this isn't a good idea. There are a lot of large companies working on the digital transformation and we've found that once you can develop a workflow that proves your accuracy there are more customers than we can possibly take care of.
  11. I have the answer, you should take over ACUAS.org and partner with Alan and kick off a new trade group!
  12. It was PatR, Dave and myself. It was started when there were a lot of attorneys starting organizations dressed up like an advocacy groups. They really didn’t have much interest in the UAV market other than to separate gullible people from their money. We formed based on a simple premise, if there’s no law against it, it’s not against the law. You are innocent until proven guilty and if the FAA wanted to regulate UAVs they had to follow the NPRM process. No amount of threatening people and unilaterally deciding the rules gave them the authority to punish people. Too many people at the time we’re willing to go along with whatever the FAA said. Ultimately when Part 107, which did go through the NPRM process, was released I think we were vindicated. Not like that really matters. Not sure how many people joined, maybe a total of 2500 people over a two year period. Unfortunately when Part 107 came out most people thought the need for advocacy was over. We discussed what direction we wanted to take it but Dave was ready to move on and I was starting get traction with my drone business so although we didn’t shut it down and has languished. The irony is the more successful we become using drones the more of a need I see for this type of advocacy or political action organization. When we were two guys in a garage I didn’t have a lot to lose, now that the valuations are getting into the millions I’m terrified some bureaucrat is going to end it with a stroke of a pen with absolutely no accountability. Part of the problem is there really isn’t a commercial UAV market. It’s a tool that enables operators to create a digital representation of the analog world, the market your in depends on the application of the data. I don’t think there’s an advocacy group for a hammer? But then that means that maybe the FAA should be the one regulating it. All of this is in conflict because the FAA is prohibited from regulating commerce, but that’s the unintended consequences to their regulations. So maybe the advocacy needs to come from the market that benefits from the data, farmers, engineers, first responders, etc.. I don’t think there’s a one size fits all answer. At least if we had a professional trade organization they could help the different applications understand and get involved with the appropriate rule making.
  13. Av8Chuck

    I am interested in non chinese rc drone

    They are a publicly traded company that used to called Apple Computers, they enabled the desktop publishing industry which gained them broad market acceptance. Before that they were relegated to less than 2% of the PC market. Once they launched the iPod, iPad, and iPhone more and more of their profit came from consumer electronics than from professional applications and computers. Publicly traded companies behave differently than privately held companies. Apple Computers shareholders wanted to know why was such a large percentage of their R&D budget being spent on products and applications that constituted less than ten percent of total revenue. Hence the change in name and focus. Apple ceased being a computer company and became a consumer electronics company and they dropped “computer” from the name. So what percentage of DJIs revenue do you think comes from the MAVIC and Phantoms as compared to the M200 and M600? I’m guessing it’s about 90%, while they’re spending about 50+% of marketing, support and R&D on things other than MAVICs and Phantoms. So while DJI is privately held Frank Wang can perform whatever kind of science projects he likes but once they go public then other market forces will shape their decisions. It’s not likely he can go public here in the US and if going public in China is similar to here then I expect DJI to be forced to focus on the things that make them the most money.
  14. I don’t think it’s so much about enforcement over individuals as it will be tightening the regulations for insurance and manufacturers. The more commercial aircraft are encouraged to report drone sightings the more the FAA can hide behind the need for safety to restrict access to consumer UAVs. It’s pretty easy to expand the nanny state without enforcement. It’s the reason that organizations like the AMA and companies like DJI are tripping over themselves to suck up to the FAA.
  15. I have as well. About four years ago I was on a conference call with the President of AOPA, not sure if it’s the same guy, the President of EAA, ALPA and some FAA “official,” I mostly listened while all of them damned the UAS community with faint praise. The guy from the EAA was the only representative that appeared to be interested in discussing working together, it was painfully obvious the others had no intention of allowing UAV into the NAS. After listening to this for about an hour I had enough, I interrupted the guy from AOPA, as far as I was concerned there was no need to integrate sUAS into the NAS. Now we all know that was a losing arguement, but I went on to explain that when I joined AOPA there were approximately 635K members, at the time of that call AOPAs membership had dwindled to less than 300K. That’s remarkable considering that at the time just about everyone flying a multirotor would have done anything to fly a real helicopter. UAVs are a gateway drug to aviation and AOPA should be embracing commercial UAV. It’s been four years and I’d like to think a more balanced view of UAVs has emerged so maybe contacting AOPA is a good idea. We tried starting http://www.acuas.org/ in the hope that we could gain enough traction and then try to partner with AOPA.
  16. Av8Chuck

    I am interested in non chinese rc drone

    Why is Apple no longer Apple “Computers?” They still make and sell computers.
  17. One more thing, since I’m a moderator here I should probably not stray to far into the politics of things. Dave and I don’t always agree on things and when we don’t it has never been about talking each other into thinking the same. Over the years I have come to respect his opinion and I find I’m generally better off for any discussion even if we don’t agree. Especially when we don’t agree. By the very nature of this thread, this is a political topic, and most people on forums tend to shy away from them. But this is a serious issue so I encourage everyone to participate in this discussion. Hopefully a spirited debate about the Reatherizatiin Bill will lead to an idea of a plan whether it’s necessary and how we might, as a community organize to control our future in this industry. Continually debating how much to charge for a wedding or property video isn’t going to get us a seat at the table.
  18. My point is that the AMA, and others, have had a seat at the table and they followed the rules and you can see how the procedure was manipulated and the result. We are going to be legislated out of the possibility of doing this commercially by the likes of DJI, AUVSI, large UAV DoD manufactures, Amazon and legislators who support them. The Supreme Court nomination was never about the truth, when one side didn’t get what they wanted this happened. Mrs Ford was a proxy for some on the judiciary committee that in no way could they have passed the same scrutiny. Im Australian, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but if those legislators are willing to do this to Kavanaugh what chance do you think we have? If it were me, I would have been dropping more than a few f-bombs. Why is it that ANTIFA and other violent protestors get away with what they do and it’s called civil disobedience and yet when a man, who has never been accused except in a letter to polatician, speaks out against the things they are saying in public about him, he’s the belligerent one? Again, my intent is not to debate the efficacy of this confirmation, it was simply to point out that “there for the grace of god to I.” The FAA or Congress is never going to invite us to sit at the table. They don’t even know we exist. I agree about AOPA, but we don’t have any leverage with them either.
  19. I'm not sure I see an avenue either. But I disagree with you regarding Kavanaugh's outburst. People can't have it both ways, they can't ignore the rules of the Senate and present this kind of information in a public forum and then expect him to just sit there and let them ruin his career. This could have and should have been handled in private, he was accused of something for which there was no corroborating evidence. I'm certainly not a judge, nor am I on the jury, so its not up to me to pass judgement. Mrs Ford made it clear in here letter that she did not want to go public and yet there it was. Who's accountable for this? Who loses their job? I only wish Kavanaugh and Graham would have called each and every person on that committee responsible for this out by name. I think your looking on the wrong side of the bench for the spoiled brat.
  20. What makes you think people need 3D models? If they do, what make you think you can deliver them? I'm not being a jerk here. There's a reason you can't give that service away, they don't need 3D models because they don't know what to do with them. Have you heard the expressions Reality Model and Digital Twins? Why are people interested in them and what purpose do they serve?
  21. Av8Chuck

    I am interested in non chinese rc drone

    I have no idea whether the design defects in DJIs are intentional but... fill in the blank. Since we're geeking out and talking about Chinese drones and I love making a fool of myself, I bet that DJI pulls out of the commercial UAV market within six to nine months after going public. How's that for a defect in their Death Star...
  22. My point is simply that people need to start calling this BS out for what it is. The AMA didn't, they thought they could effect change by "friending" the FAA. Most people just want to debate it and way too often justify the FAA's position as necessary to protect safety and privacy of the general public. Those that argued that, got what they wanted. Oh, they didn't intend for the FAA to make it so you required to have a 107 to fly in the NAS? You mean all those DJI sycophants didn't mean for the GEO - fencing and ID policies to have an effect on this legislation? The real concern is that 107 is next. Then GA, and ultimately we'll have a user fee based NAS and single payer healthcare and everything will be great. I don't consider Kavanaugh or Graham to be role models, but at least they stood up for what they believed and called out the hypocrisy of the people on the judiciary committee. If you plan on using UAVs as part of your career, you have a choice, let organizations like the Commercial UAV Coalition and the AMA, manufactures and organizations that represent them, AUVSI, who were all present and spoke in support of the Reauthorization Bill determine your future in this industry or you can stand up, and speak truth to power the way that Kavanaugh and Graham did. You don't have to agree with them or like what they said, this is not about political ideology, this about people who think they know more than the people who are actually doing the work, and enforcing their will. Maybe that's the definition of politics, I don't know, I'm Australian so English is a second language.. I'm not suggesting this is all doom and gloom. Quite the contrary, this legislation probably helps me a lot more than the way it was. What I'm saying is, don't behave like the AMA and get pissed off at the FAA and others who claim to represent the commercial UAV market when the next Reauthorization Bill takes away your $150K a year UAV job. By then its too late. Once a year we can gather at the local CBO flying field and talk about the good old days, get in a fight over who's fault this is, drink a little too much leading to ralphing (because of weak stomach, not alcohol poisoning) and then fall asleep. Oh, the circle of life.
  23. Av8Chuck

    I am interested in non chinese rc drone

    Keep in mind the “Death Star” was defeated.
  24. You do great work, and your explanation about the business is fairly typical. That’s the challenge, how to get realtors to value the media more. I don’t do property videos for a living, which is why I enjoy doing them, it’s more of an outlet to try and be creative. Having said that it doesn’t mean I want to be taken advantage of by a realtor who couldn’t market there way out of a wet paper bag. Since I do these so infrequently I can be kind of a jerk about it. One thing I do is insist that the property owner pays for my services not the realtor. Realtors hate that but it gives everyone the opportunity to discuss what we’re really trying to accomplish. The realtor usually comes around to my way of thinking because I make the point to the owner that they should pay for it becuase they own it. If they switch realtors they can still use it and if it sells it’s a great momento of their property. It gives the owner the opportunity to influence the video, what things are really a benifit of the property, not just the number of rooms and square footage. For me it’s good because usually we’re not so far off on price that worst case they split the cost. I’ve always believed that if I could get two or three realtors to work this way, that would probably keep me as busy as I’d like to be. They need to be experienced realtors but still the up-n-comers who are ambitious and looking for a way to win the listings. I generally charge $1k a day. Most properties can be shot in a day, this is a very different value proposition for the owner than the realtor. As long as you have a great demo reel spending $1K to have quality content market a $1.1M property is almost a no brainer. The problem is that the realtor thinks they are the value so they don’t think video or photography makes a diffence so its perfunctory, they spend as little as possible. So they want to make about $30k for driving the car to the open house...
  25. It’s next to impossible to make a profit when you do anything as a one-off, like a wedding or property video or event video. If the reason your being paid is because you have a drone you shouldn’t expect to make much. Weddings can be particularly difficult for lots of reasons, your service is competing for a limited amount of dollars in an event where everything is important, the flowers, catering, music, venue etc., so if you want a bigger piece of that you’d better provide a service that really stands out. There’s a whole wedding industry so obviously it can be done but if all you offer is Aerial then it needs to be better than anything anyone has ever seen. If your going to provide full service photography and videography then you need to either figure out a workflow where you can get in and out quickly and do more weddings or you need to develop a look or style that you can charge more for and that people want. Whichever you choose it takes quite a few productions to figure out where your value is. Also keep in mind that weddings are very important to Bridzilla, it’s a one shot deal and if you don’t deliver there can be hell to pay. So there’s a lot of responsibility. I agree with @Talon Six Aerial run away.