Silk Purse

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Everything posted by Silk Purse

  1. Hi Landshark & welcome! The typical advice to someone starting out is to get an inexpensive but well designed "starter" drone to learn on. I'm no expert on those, but if you look around on the forum there are several recommendations, none of which I'm competent to vouch for. Alan also maintains a list of inexpensive drones on, You may also want to go the simulator route, I did try a Great Planes simulator & hated it, but that's just me. The not so dirty little secret is that a good and expensive UAV is much easier to fly than one of the cheapos. The GPS lock and things like object avoidance provide much greater stability as well as the ability to fly in winds 25-30 mph. Still, I guess there are some good reasons not to drop $1200 - $1500 before you figure out if this is something you really want to do. Once you decide to move up to a system capable of producing the images you'll need for real estate work. I'd advise staying away from UAVs that are designed to use a GoPro camera. Those cameras are made for close up work, the lens is too wide and there's way too much distortion. The big hitters right now are DJI Phantom 3 & 4 & Inspire and the Yuneec Typhoon H - all excellent machines. I fly a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, and I just love it. Rock solid in the air, very easy to control, lots of flexibility and a camera that produces great images and video. For still images I shoot raw DNGs and use Photoshop for post production. I send videos to my 15 year old nephew for edits. He's not only a lot younger, but also quicker & smarter than I'll ever be. I think the single most important tool for starting out in the business is a portfolio of your shoots. I continue to use a series of the same properties taken from the ground and from the air - really demonstrates the advantages of aerial work and is especially good for waterfronts and large commercial properties. Whatever you do, please don't forget to have a good time doing it & Fly Safe!
  2. I just sent the following to I am the holder of a Pending Airman Certificate issued on 9/3 with a UAV rating. My work for the most part is in real estate marketing, and the area I normally work in includes some Class D airspace. The online airspace waiver procedure response time is up to 90 days. Real estate marketing requires a response time within a few days - a week at most. Section 107.41 includes this language "Applicant must explain why the FAA’s established authorization process would prevent or hinder their UA operation from occurring." The established process is certainly a hindrance, and essentially precludes UAV use for real estate in any controlled airspace. In these circumstances can I request authorization from the local ATC? What procedure should be followed? Thanks in advance for your consideration of this request. Will advise any response.
  3. Welcome @Chickenhoss! The FAA uses a very broad definition of commercial use. I think their language is "any commercial purpose." So the answer to your question is certainly that you will have to go through the part 107 license process, but don't sweat it too much. nose to the grindstone for a few days & you'll be good to go. You'll probably want to look at liability insurance too.
  4. I would argue that "ATC" means what it has always meant: Air Traffic Control which is the local controller at the local controlled airspace, ie the tower. Now it may well be that online airspace forms are sent to the ATC in question for evaluation and approval and that's why the reg mentions "approval from ATC", but I don't think so. The FAA site gives email & phone contacts for info on part 107. I herewith volunteer to contact them & will report my findings to this austere assemblage. ,
  5. If true that the online waiver is the only procedure, then what does "prior authorization from ATC" mean? Why is this section in the regs if not to provide an alternate course of authorization? Who is willing to be our test case? I don't have anything scheduled not in Class G.
  6. Here's the intro from B&H To me it looks like there are some nice features but nothing groundbreaking. It seems to fold really small, and the front mount camera might be a good idea - at least until your bird tips over on a hard landing. Pricing seems to be roughly equivalent to P4 & typhoon H. What's the big deal? Am I missing something?
  7. Have some confidence @Vincent Robbesom, you're going to rake in so much $$$ flying your UAV the $3500 - $4 grand to upgrade to an Inspire/X5 will look like chump change!
  8. @Spitfire76 the DJI Go app uses mapping which relies on GPS, and if you want to use some advanced mission planning apps like DroneDeploy or Litchi GPS is essential. While you don't absolutely need GPS for basic flights, it's always nice to have. From an initial cost standpoint I think an Android tablet is a better deal.
  9. A word of caution: It's my understanding wifi only IPads do not have GPS capability, and that could be a serious limitation. You can always get an internet connection from a cell phone or mobile hot spot, but not having GPS can be a problem. I use a Nexus 7 btw.
  10. If you're looking to combine UAV & DSLR footage, you should keep in mind that the P4 shoots in 4/3 aspect ratio (I don't know if that can be changed - I fly a P3), and so if you want to combine the footage with a DSLR, you may also want a 4/3 aspect ratio in the DSLR like a Panasonic Lumix or an Olympus OMD-EM5-2, both of which are pretty good cameras. And if you decide to upgrade to the Inspire with an X5, you'll find that Oly/Pana lenses will work there too.
  11. Interesting video, if, in fact, it was shot with a Karma. No obvious video distortion as there would have been if it had been shot with a Hero. All those horizontal & vertical bookshelf lines would have curved all over the place if shot with a Hero. One can only hope. Still they've a real challenge to distinguish themselves from Phantoms & Yuneecs.
  12. Sorry Lars, I didn't mean to infer that you are crazy, just dangerous. Trying to fly your bird on a public field with that much traffic is just too risky, I think. Checking the SkyVector chart there a lots of private fields in your area, all in Class G. Why not try to make a deal with one of the owners?
  13. The part 107 Class, which is behind a paywall, included a segment about drone law and insurance that was mostly a video presentation by Enrico at Very informative with a wealth interesting information. I would suggest contacting him.
  14. Not sure what "giant scale" means, but upper weight limit for Part 107 is 55 lbs. Model aircraft operate under their own rules with which I am not familiar, but even if you can somehow shoehorn yourself into the regs, this sounds like a really bad idea. Safety has to be your paramount concern, and attempting this seems remarkably foolish. Get in touch with the AMA here: They'll point you to one of their member clubs where you can find a place to fly safely & sanely.
  15. My understanding is that while PIC has to maintain visual, someone else can operate the controls as long as PIC can assume control quickly. That means, I think, that an unlicensed person can fly FPV as long as the PIC is nearby. Does that make any sense?
  16. Class G is Class G. No notification is required, but I agree with Marcel. It's a good idea to let the manager of a public, recreational rules airport know what you're planning, when and where, if you'll be flying within 5 miles. My experience has been that they are happy to have the info and have always responded positively. I ignore private fields and heliports, though.
  17. Very Cool! I wasn't looking forward to trying to put a transponder on my Phantom. It is a very pleasant surprise to see how accommodating the FAA is being about this. And Congrats ALAN!
  18. Hi Sid, I've never had much luck with anti glare films. They don't work well, have to be applied very carefully so as not to create air bubbles and seem to make touch operation worse than it already is. You may be happier (or less unhappy!) with a sun shield like this:
  19. Hi Bert. I've been doing aerial photography for real estate for something over 2 years now. I got into it as an add on to my conventional photography business, and I've expanded from real estate to doing work for a solar company & a variety of other projects. Starting out you have a fairly long road ahead of you. As Alan mentioned, look for other threads here. There is a lot of really interesting information. The first step, of course, is to gain proficiency in maneuvering and positioning your UAV to be able to get the shots you'll need. I think if I were in your situation I'd want to talk to some people already doing real estate photography to get a sense of pricing and maybe partnering with them. Nothing, though, is more important or useful than a really good portfolio of your work. Good luck!
  20. Welcome @RedlegC61! I do a lot of real estate work here in NJ, which is probably pretty different from stuff around Houston, but feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'm also interested in roof inspections, and wonder if you can actually get enough detail to make it worthwhile. I'd love to see some shots taken by someone who actually knows what he's doing. Fly safe & stay in touch!
  21. I am using Litchi big time. I love it as do many of its users. I'm using it only for waypoints stuff, and it offers much greater and better control over where the camera is pointing than the DJI Go app. Go requires you to fly to each waypoint to set it. In Litchi you can preset the waypoints on a google maps satellite view. Since you can also add points of interest at which the camera will point, you have vastly better camera control. Litchi allows you to be much more productive. I recently videoed a golf course. First day I spent about 3 hours trying to set up one hole in the Go app. I went home, fired up Litchi, and when I went back, I was able to shoot 7 holes in about a 10 hour day. I would not do work like that any other way. There are a couple of cautions: You need internet access on site in order to sync your controller with the Litchi server and download your preset flight routes. Second, there have been reports of a loss of communication between the controller & the drone during flight. This is apparently caused by a conflict between Litchi and the Go app.You need to make sure no remnant of Go is still running when you're using Litchi. To do that on an android device you go to Settings > Apps > DJI Go and hit Force Stop. For good measure cycle power too. I run Litchi on a separate tablet. Good unbranded Android tablets are dirt cheap these days - under a c-note. I think those 2 problems are why Litchi has gotten some bad reviews. Both are avoidable if you know what you're doing. I have not experienced any problems whatsoever. And for $26, how could you go wrong?
  22. In my experience the residential real estate market is much more listings driven than sales driven. There is great competition among agents to secure the listing for a desirable piece of property - to get the homeowner to sign on the dotted line. By offering to do aerial photography you are giving the agent one more arrow in her/his quiver. The agent can offer professional photography, a stand alone website, glossy brochures, and Aerial Photography! You are providing the agent another tool to get the listing. In point of fact, no one knows whether aerial photography will actually hasten the eventual sale or allow that stinker to be sold for a higher price. It doesn't really matter. I hasten to add that the above is merely my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.
  23. Sorry the Google Photos link has gotten very hinckey. Can't say I understand why. I moved everything to One Drive. Here's the new link:!AnuYN9RvfOvQniwrMdGePbRdbnnI
  24. @Xtlman Take a look at this post in the real estate section: This guy is using his drone as a steadi-cam, and the results are pretty good. I don't know that I'd try to use it for stills, but I guess you could do worse.
  25. Sorry. Google changed their settings. Try this :