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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. Thanks @Jay Parikh, that is interesting. Are you affiliated with Doodle Labs? Thanks for the link
  2. I think the link is broken.
  3. Is there a connection with Commercial UAS or just a general business question? I think using video on social media is a bit different than advertising on television or even YouTube. It’s more about the social connection than the video production value. There are lots of online tutorials for using cell phone’s to produce videos for FB and Instagram etc..
  4. Av8Chuck

    Getting Insurance

    Thanks @BillH, our UAV coverage is through Global Aerospace as well.
  5. Av8Chuck

    Getting Insurance

    Thanks for the information. Would you mind sharing the premium and who it’s with? Getting insurance for professional operators is not the issue it was just a year ago. However, be mindful that not all insurance brokers, companies and agents are created equal. They will issue policies that might not be worth the paper their printed on. We were issued a policy by a major insurance company only to find out a month later when we needed to add a customer to indemnify them the insurance company couldn’t comply. Turns out we didn’t have the insurance we purchased. There are only about three underwriters for aviation related insurance and the brokers use a questionnaire and apparently get quite creative with answering it to get you qualified. Also ther were a few insurance companies that insured by the hour, I believe there are more now, at the time our customers would not accept that as proof of insurance. Again that might have changed. We didn’t need or want just to insure the UAVs, we needed general liability for the company that included the UAVs with the amount and type of coverage our customers required. I guess the moral to my experience is to ask a lot of questions, find a broker you like and trust because depending on the type of work you do you may need to work with your broker a lot.
  6. Av8Chuck

    Filming aircraft with UAV

    Hi Matt, @Alan Perlman is the goto for regulations, I’m more someone who just figures things out and uses common sense as a guide. That’s not to say Alan doesn’t have any common sense... whether it’s manned or unmanned, the FAA has only one prime directive: DON’T RUN INTO ANYTHING! That means two things, an inch is as good as a mile and your responsibility as the operator is to mitigate risk. UAV operators seem to be under the impression that if there’s a manned acft in the area that you somehow have to immediately land, you don’t, you have to yield right of way to the manned aircraft. As long as your in communications with the manned aircraft and coordinating flight, you can get as close to each other as you both agree is safe. There are some caveats: all the rules still apply to both acft, the manned acft cannot fly any closer than 500’ to people on the ground or man made structures and the UAV must still remain below 400’ AGL, within LOS, have appropriate airspace clearance etc.. The common sense answer is the FAA doesn’t really care if you kill yourself, they just don’t want you injuring anyone else. If your in the desert the manned acft can fly 1’ off the ground within inches of the UAV in class G and your (probably) not breaking any rules. But common sense is that the closer to the ground and each other the more dangerous the flight and therefore your not complying with the prime directive of mitigating risk. If the UAV operator and the pilot are in constant communication and coordinating the flight between the two acft, if the UAV operator, the pilot and the UAV are in LOS of each other and both are in an area where it’s legal for them to fly then you can get as close to each other as is practicable.
  7. Av8Chuck

    Drone Pictures in Construction - Training

    Have you flown the Phantom 4? I think you may be over thinking the “training” aspect. The keys to starting a successful career in commercial operations are: know how to fly the drone in any orientation must be a knowledgeable photographer be a subject matter expert in the field you want to support Number one just takes practice. If you fly a couple of batteries a day in progressively more complicated scenarios for two weeks you should be good enough to fly where others would like you too. There are lots of online Photography coarses that can help with number two. You don’t have to be a creative photography expert but you do have to know what it takes to get a well focused and exposed image that can serve the needs of your customer. The commercial part of the job has way more to do with the camera than the drone. The third point is the most important, you need to know what constitutes actionable data for the customer and to accomplish that you must be an expert in the market your trying to do business in. Again this has little to nothing to do with the drone. If your already taking pictures, doing photogrammetry or using LiDAR on a construction site then your already an expert, the drone simply extends your reach. Theres no “easy” button to push that will pull all of this together for you, but it really isn’t that difficult to accomplish either. Where most people who are aspiring to be a commercial operator fail is in their belief that if your a good drone operator then you’ll be successful. Although the drone is the enabler, it is the least important element to success. You can’t be a great carpenter without a hammer, but your success as a carpenter isn’t defined by the hammer. (Something like that).
  8. I don't do many property videos. I recently agreed to shoot one for a neighbor. I think its a fascinating business and would be really challenging to do it well, profitably. I'm not sure I could accomplish that. I'm posting these for several reasons, I'm proud of the work we do, I'm interested in what others think, and probably most importantly I'd like to start a thread where people don't simply criticize but share their experiences so that as a community we can figure out better, more economical ways to produce this sort of video. There more to this challenge than just the drone, photography, cinematography, color correcting, editing and delivering. So there's ample opportunity to discuss technique etc.. This is the latest, this house hasn't been lived in for quite some time and it is mostly empty, so it was a challenge to make it look interesting. Because I did this for a friend, I experimented a bit with different camera's and drones. For the aerial I used a GH4, Autel and a MAVIC. I'll leave it to you to see if you can determine which is which. On the ground I used a Canon 5D3 and Panasonic GH4. This was my sisters house from four years ago. This is my first property video. What started me thinking about this thread was this: https://platinumhd.tv/?c=aa5b43e44f If your into producing property videos you should really check out their Showcase, they do some amazing property videos. Also. here's an interesting Blog/resource for photographers trying to make a go of producing property videos: http://photographyforrealestate.net/ Hopefully those interested in learning and sharing ideas how to build a business in real estate will provide feedback and insights on how your doing. Also, I don't produce property videos for a living. Occasionally I have the opportunity to shoot them and thought I would share my thoughts and experience. I have no agenda, I'm not selling these properties or anything else. If people want to talk honestly about what works, what doesn't and what can be improved then lets make this a thread for that kind of discussion.
  9. Av8Chuck

    Mavic 2 Wet Suits under HAIL Attack

    I could not access th video.
  10. There’s never a good excuse for poor customer support, however there are compelling reasons for the economic conditions that have led to this situation. Because of the ignorance of the FAA the US was very late to the commercial UAV industry, with the release of the Phantom this provided DJI a first mover advantage which they have never relinquished. The result of these two facts is that from 2011 to 2015 it was very difficult for US manufacturers to raise capital to scale. With the exception of 3DR, VC’s believed the hype and invested in software driven UAV efforts like AirWare. The only notable US hardware manufacturer, with about 300,000 Pixhawk’s shipped and the commercial UAV industry leader, abandoned that market segment and released the SOLO. In 2015 it began to change when the US Army banned DJI which resulted in investors seriously considering investment in US manufacturers. In 2018 the DoD completely banned COTS UAVs as a result investors began investing in non-Chinese manufactured UAV’s. This is beginning to level the playing field for manufacturers here in the US. This has also led to protracted bans on Chinese manufactured UAVs on federally funded projects and is making its way to State funded projects as well. Keep in mind that the DoD ban didn’t go into effect until May 23 of last year. Also, there is a lot of economic pressure on US manufacturers to become service providers rather than manufacture UAVs to sell. There’s no easy solution to the problem you asked about. If you have significant enough opportunities the you will need to find the right manufacturers that can provide you with something a little more than a demonstrable solution but you’ll have to decide whether to fill in the missing parts of the value chain yourself - become more of a systems integrator. We’re partnering directly with some of our larger customers as a systems integrator which has lead to partnerships with other technology companies to integrate their technology into our workflow and that is beginning to work well for us. We also have a CRADA with the Navy which makes us one of the few companies flying civil UAVs for the military. Here’s our website: https://aerialalchemy.com/ http://iplayerhd.com/player/cec626ae-f30f-4df9-af7c-deb04f537d9c you can reach me at Chuck@aerialalchemy.com if you’d like to discuss this in more detail.
  11. Actually, never mind. I watched it again and it does flow through the House really well. There are some areas, like the living room where there might have been more shots than needed, I’d be guessing that’s where the customer might have wanted to add shots back in. My critique is just me being bitter because I hate you for capturing paradise. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.
  12. It’s really nice to watch a property video that captures the grandeur of a location. Your videos just keep getting better. I like how you selectively including audio. Generally I think it’s best to tell a story even if you don’t have a narrative and all stories have a beggining, middle and an end. This video felt long because it didn’t flow well, it jumped around forcing the viewer to figure out how they moved from one part of the house to another and from inside to outside. It felt more like a lot of great shots strung together. Having said that there were a lot of great shots with challenging lighting conditions. I realize that a lot of property video producers have no idea what we're talking about, but every property has a story, something to say, it’s not just about showing it off. Your about as good as I’ve seen at capturing and communicating the essence of a property and this video is no exception.
  13. Av8Chuck

    Need an advice regarding accident compensation!

    Hi Kate, sorry to hear about your neighbors troubles. Curious why you turned to a drone forum for this advice? This will be a politically charged statement, but if Canada is anything like the US there should be quite a few “accident” attorneys to choose from. Most of the time your initial consultation is to determine whether they think you have a case and is free. If they believe you have a case most of the time they work on commission for a pretty large percentage. I think in the US you have a year to file a claim. How old is your neighbor? Even if they don’t charge money upfront this can be a time consuming and difficult process and who’s at fault, injuries, the truth really doesn’t matter. These are all things that get adjudicated to get to a settlement and this can be very difficult for the elderly. Depending on how strong a case she has, sometimes attorney can arrange for compensation. Interview a few attorneys and find one that she like and you think you can trust. Good luck. I hope my neighbors come to my aid if I ever need it.
  14. All of the research into BVLOS and "drone deliveries" is nothing more than a science project. And none of the experiments have really yielded much more than delivering the occasional burrito or medical supply. Granted it has to start somewhere but BVLOS will never be "fire and forget" and there's a lot more technology that has to be developed before realtime telemetry can update in realtime to provide the right situational awareness to prevent an accident. Another issue that people don't like to talk about, probably because there's not much of alternative at the moment, is that the likelihood that you can use any Chinese technology as part of the supply chain is very doubtful. Also, with the exception of delivering critical supplies in emergency scenarios or to remote locations I don't see the economic benefit to developing and deploying this much technology. The FAA is way behind the curve on developing policies to manage this type of technology so for these reasons I think the idea of seeing drone delivery to consumers is a decade out - if ever.
  15. Av8Chuck

    Aerial Alchemy 2018 Party

    We had a year end party, nothing that exciting but we had a blast racing RC cars. https://aerialalchemy.smugmug.com/My-First-Gallery/ Happy New Year.
  16. It also transmits but that is not being used because they didn’t have permission at the time they developed it. It’s an FCC certification not FAA that was the problem. This is not expensive, it’s the STC required for certified AC that’s expensive.
  17. Av8Chuck

    Army Aviator looking for advice

    It’s interesting watching PidgeonHawk, their about six months behind Airware...
  18. Av8Chuck

    Army Aviator looking for advice

    When we first started we did a lot of work with first responders and developed a saying, “firefighters, search and rescue - good. Police and SWAT - bad.” Not because the latter isn’t as important but the public’s perception between the two is so wildly different. Honestly, I don’t think that perception has changed much. People in California are still very sensitive to privacy issues and skeptical of law enforcement using UAVs. Many of the various departments rely on volunteer operators, most use DJI. Your probably never going to make much money in either of those scenarios. We have a CRADA with NAVSEA and we’re one of the few, if not the only, civilian UAV developers allowed to fly for the military. When the DoD banned COTS on May 23, every department of the Navy darkened our doorstep and evaluated what we’re doing. Led to some great conversation but not to a lot of action yet. The biggest impediment to working with the Military is qualifying to do business with them. They are not well equipped to conduct business transactions out side the DoD program of record. The trouble is that none of the DoD contractors are in position to fill the void left by the ban on COTS and companies like ours aren’t qualified to accept payment. Honestly I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s fine for us because we already have our foot in the door, but we also don’t depend on our Navy business. At the moment there isn’t enough incentive for civilian companies that aspire to fill that void to go through the arduous process of becoming a program of record and its doubtful that the military will make enough of a commitment unless they do. Mite a chicken and egg thing..
  19. Av8Chuck

    Army Aviator looking for advice

    I think your assesment is spot on. Keep in mind that for the most part on these forums when people discuss commercial operations it’s sUAS (55 pound weight limit). About the only place you’ll find work with the platforms you mentioned is with a DoD contractor. The small sUAS typically used in the military like the Puma and Raven are old and far too expensive for commercial sUAS applications. We had to develop our own systems to safely carry the type of instruments that could collect actionable data: https://aerialalchemy.com/ 2019 will be the year where more companies like us will either enter the market or fail. It’s exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. @PatR could fill you in on the life of a contractor.
  20. You can already get ADS-B on a drone for about $200. https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/may/04/nextgen-for-drones If by “mix up” you meant “Incompetence” then you might be right. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/world/europe/gatwick-airport-drone.amp.html it's likely this was nothing but out of control paranoia. Yes mutlirotors are easy to fly and there may be a lot of fools flying them, however, even with that the number of real incidents, deaths, serious injuries are all but non-existent. I’ve been building and flying multirotors since 2008 and people have been predicting that fateful midair collision that would kill hundreds and put an end to this evocation ever since. Could it happen, sure. Will it happen, probably. Has it happened, NO! Its likely to happen just after a meteor hits the earth, they find the guy who really shot JFK, or we find that DB Cooper was the founder of Microsoft. Depends on who you think the “one” is? You assumed after reading this story that there was a “rogue drone operator” when it appears that there wasn’t. It might be more effective if you taught ethics to journalists. Passion for aviation of any kind is certianly a unifying influence but I can assure you there’s a significant difference between commercial pilots and enthusiast UAV operators.
  21. Av8Chuck

    Flying at mountain range

    @Dusty Demerson has it right.
  22. Av8Chuck

    Army Aviator looking for advice

    Hi @Jesse Austin welcome to the forum. Unfortunately anyone and everyone can fly a drone and thinks they can hang out a shingle to be a commercial operator. That’s not to say that there’s not a ton of value in your aviation experience, it’s just not likely the reason for your success in the commercial UAS industry. The key is aligning your experience with a specific application of the UAV that solves a problem well enough to get paid to do it. The value to the customer is in the data the UAV collects, not necessarily how it is flown. Most missions that require a high level of precision are autonomous. As with most things in aviation it’s about practice, the number of hours doesn’t mean the same thing in the UAV world as it does in general aviation. You just need to get a UAV and learn to fly it in all orientations in a variety of environments, near and around trees and power lines, over water, close to tall structures etc.. we have tried quite a few people who were accomplished at flying at an RC Park that weren’t very good in real world missions. Marketing your aviation professionalism will likely get you through the door but it won’t close the deal, that depends on the value of the data you collect and for that you either have to be the expert or partner with someone who is. So your experience has a lot to do with finding the right partner who recognizes that your overall approach to aviation greatly improves your likelihood of completing successful missions. Unfortunately there aren’t that many successful commercial UAV companies out there. Many of the ones that are were formed by professionals such as yourself and know that the entry level pay is not nearly what it needs to be to attract that level of experience. I realize that this sounds negative, it’s not, a lot of people will recommend any number of online resources that connect those with drones with companies looking for operators and make it sound much rozier than it is. There’s a pony in this industry somewhere, you just need to catch it. If you’ve ever tried to catch a pony you know it takes a carrot, a rope and a lot of patience.
  23. Av8Chuck

    Erle Brain 3

    Go and ask questions here: http://ardupilot.org/ This is an Ardupilot/PX4 based flight controller you should be able to find guidance in that forum.
  24. Not so fast.. There’s a whole lot more to flying BVLOS than a transponder.
  25. Av8Chuck

    Newbie from Singapore

    Your in a great place to do it. Everywhere you look in Singapore is a Kodak moment.