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Everything posted by ScottF

  1. I had an order open with B&H for three months before I cancelled it. Each month B&H said the manufacturer (DJI) said they had a new updated expected delivery date of the end of the next month. So, they were unable to fulfill the order.
  2. Hey guys, I was curious if anyone else is still flying their DJI Inspire 1 and having a difficult time finding TB48 batteries to purchase? We've been told by three large vendors (RMUS, B&H, Multicopter Warehouse) that they are unable to fulfill our order for these batteries. The conspiracy theorist would suggest that this is the way DJI has chosen to force people to upgrade their drones. If you're able to still purchase TB48s, can you provide contact information for them? Thanks!
  3. Hi Bill. I know it's been a LONG time since you posted this, but the status hasn't changed. Are these 2 TB48 batteries still available?
  4. I concur with @Dave Pitman. We were asked to do a project near an airport and we asked the FAA drone representative here in Denver if we could tether it and avoid the Part 107 requirements and we were told that we could not. We then asked if we put a camera on a pole that is the same height and proximity to the airport (75' AGL) if that would create issues and they said no, we could do that.
  5. Hey @AprilRamone, welcome to the world of UAVs and to the forum; there are a lot of great people in here with experience and a helpful attitude. I own Colorado Aerial Imaging and have been flying drones in the Denver Metro area for a little over 3.5 years, primarily performing inspections. I'd be happy to help you understand the local Colorado and federal regulatory rules as well as the equipment options. DJI owns the market share of drones in the world and they have very good products. The Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom are great drones for hobbyists and "prosumer". They cost about $1,500 without extra batteries, cases, ND filters, etc. I'm not sure what your budget is and your skill level, but you might consider finding something less expensive to learn on if don't have a lot of experience. Another option would be to contact a local American Modelers Association (AMA) club and see if you could visit their flying field and ask to fly a club member's drone at their flying field. They have wide open spaces that are legal to fly in, so you wouldn't have to worry about where to fly and you could try before you buy. Another solution would be to go to DJI Colorado, a store near Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree, CO where they have a small indoor cage that you could fly their demo drones. The store has knowledgeable staff. The cage is pretty small, it really only allows you to get a sense for how noisy the drone is, but other than that, you're pretty limited on what the cage flying will provide for you. But, as @Philip Moore more suggested, flying over the wedding, while it's in progress, might be distracting unless you had the Zoom version which would allow you to fly higher. And as @Av8Chuck suggested, during a wedding, I think it would be difficult to transition from doing all of your normal photography shots and then transitioning to the drone. Drones are great for creating that establishing, scene setting shot, but I think your money shots are still those on the ground. So, you may want to consider adding a drone photographer, someone specifically dedicated to the drone shots to your team. Keep in mind that in order to fly professionally, the pilot will need to have an FAA Part 107 certificate (which is not hard to get especially if you use UAV Coach as your training aid). You'll also want to have drone liability insurance and spend some time figuring out the local laws. For example, it's illegal to takeoff or land in any Denver city parks and we have quite a few airports around the Denver Metro area which puts another limit on the areas that you can fly. @Isabella | UAV Coach provided the link that has some good resources to figure out those local laws. Feel free to reach out to me and I'll be glad to help.
  6. Welcome @TriniDP. I'm sure you'll find a lot of good information in here to help you on our path.
  7. @Dustin Wise Great job forwarding the information from AirMap. What AirMap has done on their site will confuse everyone out there. You've done a great thing here by helping to improve our community by making this information available to the rest of us. Thanks
  8. Welcome to the group @Scott C Burns. There's a lot of experience in these forums and we're glad you're here to add yours.
  9. @JBR LIFE Photography Thanks for posting these details. DJI's firmware is the THE most frustrating part about using their equipment. You would think they would have better quality assurance. This is why many people consider them to be an expensive toy manufacturer, not a professionals drone. But, at the same time, they have all of our business, so they must be doing something that is just better than the competition.
  10. @Av8Chuck based on your comment above, I think you're taking my post a little more literally than I intended. My intent was more inline with the other comment you made when you said, "You made a valid point that hobbyists probably wouldn't think about running into a skydiver over a stadium..." Again, the point I was trying to make was more along the lines of, "all pilots need to check the airspace for TFRs before they fly using one of several apps that we've all talked about in these forums (AirMap, Skyward, etc)" and here's an extreme example". Thanks for poking at my post to force me to clarify.
  11. Unfortunately, yes.
  12. Here's another example that hobbyists probably don't think about when flying their drone near a stadium.
  13. Hey Bill, you may be interested in this YouTube segment for a STEM education event that we supported in a rural area of Colorado. It's a long video segment (just linking to the segment on drones) and I'd encourage you to take the time to watch the other pieces. My former aviation battalion was even featured in this STEM event. Eads has a population of a few hundred people, so to have this much turn out for it was pretty awesome. Good luck in your STEM program. Let me know if there is anyone I can put you in touch with to share lessons learned.
  14. @Spitfire76 is correct. If the airspace you were flying in was controlled airspace (e.g. Class E surface, Class D) then the FAA MUST approve your flight. The only approved way of getting that approved (until LAANC) is available at your airport, is to submit your request using their online web portal. (On this page, you can select either Authorization or Waiver.) If you are Part 107 qualified and the airspace you are flying in is UNcontrolled airspace (even if it is within 5 SM of the airport), you do not need to contact the airport manager. Contacting the airport manager is only a requirement if you are a hobbyist.
  15. @B Ervin Welcome to the community forums. We hope that you find a lot of good information here. Feel free to search for questions in the forum and if you don't find the exact question you're looking for, pose your own. There are a wide range of experience levels in here, but everyone is willing to share their experience and opinions.
  16. @KirkI agree with you; LAANC doesn't look like it will help me in the near term (next couple of months) since the UAS Facilities Maps that they have published (which will lead up to the LAANC approval areas), let alone the beta test sites, are not in areas that I need approval in. I submitted via the FAA Airspace request website on 18 March 2017 for Class E surface and Class D near KAPA. The Class E surface controlled airspace near KAPA should NOT be a difficult approval process. But it covers 86 square miles of territory that I consistently have to turn work down for. Last week, I turned down 4 jobs because they all fell within this Class E sfc boundary. @LarryB We're all really hopeful that the FAA will be able to get this Fast tracked through Congress. But, if you are a commercial operator, trying to make a go at this, I recommend you contact your Congressional representatives. I've done my part by having three conversations with local Denver FSDO reps, a conversation with an FAA rep in a regional office in Texas, and finally contacting my U.S. Congressional representatives and senators. In turn, they opened up a congressional inquiry for me. It only takes a few minutes to jump on to their website and tell them your story and how it's affecting you and your business via their online forms. As a first step, you can find out who to contact by checking out this website: U.S. Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators A couple of button clicks later, you too can make your voice heard.
  17. Amen brother! I have similar experience with several friends that work for FAA and they all say that it is the most dysfunctional organization they have ever worked for. In fact, I contacted my U.S. Senator and they opened a Congressional Inquiry into the FAA because of the ridiculously slow pace of getting airspace approved. And, I agree with @Av8Chuck that we should not be giving the FAA a pass by not expecting them to deliver something they have been promising for YEARS, but until they do, I stick by my statement (and @Ed O'Grady's example) that we need to be professional and know how the Airspace works. There are several companies out there that are trying to provide the features that we all want to have and trying to fast track LAANC is one way that the FAA is trying to stop the bleeding.
  18. I guess we will have to agree to disagree then. I don't believe FAA Part 107 pilots can't simultaneously complain that the FAA is not giving us any respect while at the same time expecting us not to know all the details that manned aviation pilots know - which includes understanding how the FAA publications work. My point is that knowing this stuff better than another Part 107 pilot could possibly give you an advantage for your customers in providing them options of when you may and may not be able to shoot in a particular location. Not to mention, keep you from violating FAA rules. I'm also a software engineer (as well as an aerospace engineer, and a retired Army helicopter pilot) and I know that trying to satisfy all the cases that we're talking about here is challenging. Eventually the software should be able to do what you're asking, but consider all of the things you're talking about. Airspace dimensions, airspace altitude, time of day (effective time of airspace), weather (visibility, cloud ceilings), TFRs, visual line of sight, etc. All of these combined make for a complex answer. At some point, the UAV pilot needs to be a professional and understand all the variations and not rely on a computer to simply spit out the answer. That's also why manned aviation still has a man flying the plane - you can't program the computer for every scenario.
  19. As you relayed from the "KLAX FAA guy for UAS", "The area south of the southern runway that encompasses El Segundo is Class D while Hawthorn Airport is open/in service..." I'd like to encourage us all to be a little more specific in our terminology and references. 1. To say that the airspace is "Class Delta while Hawthorn Airport (HHR) is open/in service", is not quite accurate as you'll see in the Chart Supplement that I provided for Hawthorne below. You'll see that the Airport is "Attended" (e.g. "open" has services such as fuel available) from 1500-0400Z++ (see Airport Remarks) , while the Class D airspace is in effect from 1400-0600Z++. 2. The note on the VFR Sectional that says, "See NOTAM/Supplement for Class D effective hours", references Chart Supplements that can be downloaded from the FAA's website: You can download the individual Chart Supplement for the airport or Navaid you're interested in by going to the following link and entering the airport identified KHHR into the search box: - The Chart Supplement allows you to find the "effective hours" of the airspace that the VFR Sectional is referencing. What you're looking for is "AIRSPACE: CLASS D svc 1400-0600Z++, other times CLASS G." Note that you must ensure you are using a publication that is valid for the time calendar dates for your flight. Second, notice that this airport observes daylight savings time (++ indicator); therefore, you must subtract another hour from the published times to account for this when computing local time during the calendar days that daylight savings time is effective. Therefore, the Class D situated around KHHR is from 1300-0500Z which is 6:00 AM PDT and 10:00 PM PDT. So, assuming you will be shooting during daylight hours the airspace is controlled airspace, Class D and you would need to have a FAA Airspace Authorization. However, you can shoot in that airspace between the hours of 10:01 PM PDT and 05:59 AM PDT without an FAA Airspace Authorization (because it is Class G), but you would instead need an FAA Night Waiver (which is easier to obtain). This is slightly more advanced stuff, but knowing this kind of information can help you have a leg up on other drone pilots.
  20. I'd love to know how you added a filter.... it doesn't appear to give you the option to specify that the altitude for the "Lower Limit" is greater than 400 feet. It only allows you to do text matches for "contains",or "doesn't contain", etc. My point, is that I don't even think this is possible from the FAA Arc ESRI site.
  21. @Dave Pitman I agree with you... B4UFly app is only for hobbyists. The FAA even states that's the case, but a lot of people are confused. Here's what the FAA FAQ for B4UFly says: "Q. Is B4UFLY intended for commercial operators or hobbyists? A. B4UFLY is really geared toward users of unmanned aircraft who fly for hobby or recreation. The app parameters are set up in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336) in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. However, we expect civil or commercial operators will also find aspects of the app useful, and we will consider future enhancements." But, the FAA website page that describes the B4UFly, doesn't make that clear. So, as usual, the FAA ends up confusing a lot of people.
  22. I had not heard of it until your post here, but it looks like a pretty nice interface. There appear to be a couple of bugs that I have reported to them tonight just messing around with it, but overall it seems to have a nice interface. They are based in the U.K., but it appears as if they are trying hard to also speak in terms of U.S. regulations (Part 107). That can be a challenging task. However, for all of our official flying, we require our pilots to use the FAA ArcGis site for the simple reason that if it's wrong and we can verify that the information we got was from their own FAA site, they would be hard pressed to say that we had not done our own due diligence.
  23. @JBR LIFE Photography, Aloha! It's probably because after watching your awesome video they asked themselves, "What are we doing? Look how beautiful that is!"
  24. @Jazee This is a great post and emulates a lot of frustration we are all feeling right now. I'll be interested in any response that you get from your "letter" to the FAA. Can you tell us how you submitted it? Local FSDO FAA personnel recommended that I send these types of communication via their FAA website > "Contact Us" (or send an email directly to because FAA management has been tracking the number of emails and the length of time for replies to be sent. I'm not sure if that's true, but I did get a reply from them about 5 days after sending my communication to them. The reply wasn't anything more than a typical form letter saying that things are taking much longer to get approval. I'll also say that I finally got frustrated enough that I asked our U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, who happens to be a member of the Subcommittee that oversees the FAA, to look into the delays. They opened a Congressional Inquiry about 8 days ago, but there hasn't been anything else heard from it. It's really frustrating. Hang in there. You might try to find business outside of the controlled airspace: agriculture, etc. Or ask your own Congressman or Senator to look into it for you. Scott