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Everything posted by NickStan

  1. The picture begs the question about what does pollen do to the rotor motors?
  2. It thought this would be of interest. Not sure how the 500 foot below cloud level rule applies, though. My guess is that the drone is well below the 500 foot limit. So that's probably not a problem. Anyway, you can't get this picture from a stepladder. It takes a drone. Stan
  3. Terrible idea, but I guess it had to happen. Defenses will be very hard to create, especially against a massive attack. Maybe a Gatling gun of counter-drones. I don't think this is along the lines of making the world a better place.
  4. Maybe I should not have mentioned my vote. Deleting my comment. Sorry Philip.
  5. What do you think of Buzzy? Sound off in the comments. I have to go with childish and silly. Av8Chuck asks what is it trying to solve? Same question here.
  6. This is a question and not an answer. Also, it is not a challenge to real estate drone photographers, but rather a possible opportunity to illustrate the ways in which they are useful that most people would miss. I'm just curious about what added value a home buyer or real estate buyer would get out of drone media taken of their potential property? What should they be looking for in drone media that they could not see in any other way? For example, what does the neighbor's yard look like? Roofing flaws? Proximity to railroad tracks and busy roads? Proximity to industrial parks? I would like to see an article outlining the special benefits of drone media to the home or real estate buyer. These answers could also be useful to news media drone photographers as well. What could the reader look for in drone photos that they would not think about finding any other way?
  7. #3 Polo #3 - very educational with the dates; mya? Million Years Ago?
  8. I would hope that things won't continue to the point where we do need to be monitored by drones in everything we do. Let's hope that instead, things will settle down in this country. I can't say either that I'd be eager to be watched 24x7 by every means of surveillance. May everything in America improve and move in a direction that we can enjoy and look forward to.
  9. Fair enough. Maybe in 2028. Too soon to think this way, I guess. Then again, I saw on 60 minutes that there was a first responder equipping his kids with bleed kits. Tourniquets, bleed control, the whole nine yards. It may well come to this. Everything monitored. Everyone identified all the time. They already do it in mall stores. Nobody quits shopping. Another thought. I don't suppose the helicopters overhead are actually looking down. Are they? No, not possible. Then again. Are they?
  10. I'm not sure which category something like this would best fit, but it occurred to me that election lines would be prime targets for crazy people to do a lot of damage in a hurry. I suggested to local law enforcement that drones could be a useful tool for monitoring voting sites. There would be a boatload of FAA waivers that would be needed in order to cover an election site and election times from early morning to evening hours. VLOS, altitude, flying at dawn and dusk and evening flights, flying over people, potential conflict with helicopters overhead. Just about all of the regulations would need to be waived. Probably way too complicated. The answer I got back was that local officials have not considered this idea so far. But, if it would save lives, wouldn't it be worth it? Another thought would be to raise the ladders on firefighting ladder equipment to maximum height of about 104 ft. I've been up on one of those during a citizen's fire academy training night. Very dramatic what can be seen from that height. Especially at night. A drone would be a better idea, in my opinion. Just a thought. Stan Nickel
  11. Interesting post, but lacking in any details. HR manager for what? As Cyclops55 says, why does the person need to be a hobbiest? Sounds very fishy to me. Almost like a robocall on the telephone.
  12. I have part 107 and fly in a county park within 5 miles of Hanover airport in Ashland. Technically, I could fly without notifying them, but I contacted the airport manager, and he simply said it would be best to notify them whenever I plan to fly in that area. I've built relationships with the airport personnel, and don't feel any inconvenience to let them know whatever they want to know. I notify them the day before I plan to fly--their preference. Each time they put out a NOTAM specifying my time, radial and distance from Richmond International Airport. They prefer the radial and distance from KRIC, because it has a VOR and they do not. You can find the radial and distance with SkyVector. A typical NOTAM looks like this (the airport prepares and posts it from the info I give them): !OFP 99/999 OFP AIRSPACE UAS WI AN AREA DEFINED AS .1NM RADIUS OF RIC327014 (4NM SW OFP) SFC-400FT AGL 1807141200-1807141400 Translation: Notification: Airport, month/NOTAM number for that airport, drone with a radius defined as 0.1 nautical miles Location from KRIC Radial: 327 and 14 nautical miles (4 nautical miles from KOFP) and altitude: Surface up to 400 feet Date & Time: 2018-07-14 8 am to 2018-07-14 10 am EDT Some people question whether it is a good idea for them to issue NOTAMs for every drone flight because of cluttering the NOTAM system, but this airport handles maybe 30 NOTAMs a month, so it's not very busy and they definitely don't mind. I'd recommend cooperating with the airport and do things the way they ask.
  13. Very interesting article about how drones can help fire departments fight wildfires and ordinary fires. More than 180 fire departments across the country are using drones. The big expense is training and drone maintenance as you would expect. Yet, it seems that fire departments feel the cost is worth it. References are made to GoTenna and ATAK for sending live drone footage to firefighter cell phones. Very interesting article. The reporter says of the Menlo Park Fire Department that "The department has almost every consumer DJI drone..." Drones are finding ever-expanding use everywhere.
  14. This is an interesting article. Drone against drone. The Drone Hunter looks suspiciously like a tricked out Yuneec hexacopter. Drone wars? Where to next?
  15. I'm not a golfer nor a golf sports fan, but I've always been fascinated by the golf broadcasts where they show the golf ball in flight. I checked the web and found references to Protracer technology and the Protracer app for iPhone and Android. Some information is here: I just wonder if that technology would be useful for drone purposes? I've no idea how it would be applied, but some whiz out there surely could give some suggestions. Just curious. Stan
  16. I face this dilemma as well and have four heliports within five miles of my home. I have part 107 certification and probably am not technically required to notify them. In any case, I wrote a USPS letter to each of them and told them my plans, phone number, certification number etc. I got a return call from one of them--a hospital heliport--and the manager said he didn't know anything about drone rules, but would get back with me. He never did. I also have Dominion Energy's heliport within five miles, and again no response until I posted it on Facebook. The response I got was a mumbled answer about not needing to contact them because of my Part 107 cert. I tried to call all of them after that. I got no response from another hospital heliport from either my letter or phone call. And, the fourth one did not have a phone number in service. I keep all of my correspondence in my logging binder in case anyone asks whether I have permission or not. I go to a county park to practice and have a letter from the county department of parks that says they allow anyone to fly drones in all of their parks. I have one class G airport within five miles of the park. They asked me to call them each time I fly there. I do, and they post a NOTAM each time. The information is simple and looks like this: Deciphering it into English, it shows this information: KOFP - Hanover County Airport 06/015 June #15 (the number of notams issued during June so far) OFP - FAA Airport code UAS - Drone With an Area defined as 0.1 nautical mile radius Location: RIC (the only airport nearby with VOR equipment) 327 compass degrees 014 nautical miles from RIC (4 nautical miles southwest of Hanover county airport) Surface to 300 feet above ground level (I can set this anywhere up to 400 feet, if I want to) 2018 June 29 from 1100 zulu time (UTC) to 2018 June 29 1400 zulu time (UTC) I take my logbook to the field each time I fly and have one section devoted to certifications and current paperwork so I can show any pertinent information right away, if asked. Hope this is helpful. Stan Nickel
  18. Although I had done it for myself, I hadn't thought of suggesting, like Harlan did, that drone operators should at the very least use their skills for their own purposes. Use it for extensive surveys of your own homes and, especially for before-and-after expensive construction projects. At worst, it would give good flying practice. Good suggestion about obstacle avoidance. I'm still learning to trust mine! For sure, Drone Driver, it would be interesting to see what experiences others have.
  19. It gets worse. The gutter helmet company rep gave me an estimate of the cost of installing gutter helmet (the brand) and came up with a figure of $4700+. A discount brought it down to $3700 based on 140 feet. I recalculated the dimensions from the salesperson's drawing (accurate, by the way) and came up with only 104 feet, which should have put the price at about $2800. So, these guys are making a killing. Figure $1/foot for the fabricated metal and maybe half a day's work for a crew of two or three. Their material cost is probably about $200 including corners, etc. So, these guys are making a killing--Oh, I already mentioned that, sorry. Chop off some for the drone guy, and they are still making a lot of money.
  20. This week, I really was surprised when I sent my drone up to inspect my roof. Late last summer or early fall, I had my roof replaced. Everything looked fine from the ground, but one day early this month, June 2018, I went out during a heavy rain and noticed that one of four downspouts had nothing coming out of it. I knew that I had had professionals install gutter helmet on the upper level, so I was sure I was good there. However, to save money some 20+ years ago, I put a gutter guard on the lower levels myself. Those protections have saved me a lot of scary times of cleaning gutters. In June, I went up on a ladder and discovered that my gutter guard was completely missing--there was no protection at all. So, the gutter was full of gumballs and pine cones and leaves and no water could flow at all. So, this week, I sent my drone up to look at the top gutters, and sure enough, there was no trace of the very expensive gutter guards that I had professionally installed. They had completely been replaced with a cheap plastic gutter cover, and now this spring, they were beginning to deteriorate. Soon, they won't do any good at all. Unfortunately, I cannot locate my receipts for gutter helmet, so it would be my word against the roofer's that I ever had anything there. Which brings me to the reason for this topic. I'm wondering if anyone is doing any businesses with roofers, or gutter protection folks, or homeowners? For roofers, a before and after survey would protect them from homeowners claiming shoddy work. For gutter protection folks, a scan would protect them from complaints that their gutter protection did not work. For homeowners, a before-shingling and after-shingling scan would protect them from having to prove that they were getting shoddy work. The big question is pricing for this kind of job. It's not likely you could charge $2,000/day for something like this. It only takes 20-30 minutes to do a complete scan. Maybe something on the order of $100 or so would cover it and not scare people off. Maybe that's too low ball, especially for really expensive houses. It's a thought. You may ask why I don't do it? Well, I'm 74 years old and my business days are pretty much in the past. Also, I would need a lot more practice and flying time to have the confidence to do anything commercially.
  21. OK, so I have my Part 107 certificate and I have the Drone Pilot Ground School certificate, I must be finished with UAV Coach, right? Not so fast. I just finished the last of the BONUS interviews that are provided as part of the Drone Pilot Ground School. The information there is really incredible! There is a goldmine of knowledge and information in those interviews. So, for anyone who is taking this course or has completed the course and obtained their Part 107 certification, I think it is very important that you finish the course and listen to each one of the interviews. I've listed them here even though they are clearly marked at the end of the course lecture listings. Ask a Drone Lawyer: Key Legal Considerations for Starting a Drone Business (32:26) Using Drones To Do Real Estate Marketing Understanding Drone Liability & Hull Insurance (22:27) Transitioning From Part-TIme to Full-Time Professional Aerial Services Running a Commercial Drone Program With Skyward (38:49) These are an important part of any drone pilot's education. Take advantage of them. The resources chosen to participate are top-notch indviduals as well. They know their business and they know what you will encounter in yours. Stan Nickel
  22. The article mentions 1500 pound drones. Probably a new class of certification will be available as well. Other applications and further relaxation of drone laws for commercial use in other areas are also mentioned in the article.
  23. One more thing. I should reiterate that I needed to do the simulator. It is very cost effective at about $40 and lets one practice with the real ST16 controller that comes with the Yuneec. It's not the snazziest software in the world and leaves a lot to be desired, but it does allow for some excellent first-hand experience in flying the Yuneec. More than anything else, the simulator gave me the best hands-on experience that I should have had before crashing the costly Yuneec. I've read about and seen a bunch of videos about crashes with various models of Yuneec. Most of them blame the manufacturer for defects. I would blame myself. The Yuneec drone flies like a dream in comparison with a cheap drone, but the pilot needs to know their own limitations before they blame the manufacturer. I'll never say I won't have another crash, but the one I did have was my problem not the drone's problem.
  24. The problem is that I actually did practice with a cheap drone. I had a Syma X5C for two years, and was able to maneuver it around inside my home as well as outside. But, it was somehow a whole different ball game between a quadcopter and a hexacopter, which was many times more powerful and had more to think about in terms of speed and controls. The Syma did not have Angle and Smart mode. The Syma X5C gave me too much confidence, and I thought that I didn't have all that much to learn. After all, I had used it for two years. One other thing I didn't do was to read the instructions carefully--letter by letter. I had no idea about calibrating the Yuneec until way too late. For Syma it was very simple. You didn't have to twirl the Syma like a baton to calibrate it. Calibrating the Yuneec is not difficult, it just has to be done to make sure it doesn't do funny things when it is high up. More advice. READ the INSTRUCTIONS. Carefully. Follow them for whatever drone you are using. Respect your drone. Stan
  25. If you can't laugh when things go terribly wrong, you may have a bad attitude. Best is to change the attitude. Anyway, I wish I woulda. Famous last words. I wish I would have practiced with the simulator before I crashed the drone from the treetop. A word to the wise. This video is an attempt at humor and a successful attempt at a comeback. Stan