Mickey Pullen

Whale Snot - Now this is a good use of a drone

Recommended Posts

I've read similar articles going back a few years.  Scientists can apparently get a way with flying multirotors close enough to get sprayed.  Yet in Washington state,  we are prohibited from getting anywhere near many whales so as to not disturb them. 

In my opinion,  I suspect they aren't very concerned with "noisy birds".  But legislators know better.  Tour boats are not supposed to get too close to them either.  But it is common for them to be within feet of the boat.   A multirotor 50 or a 100' away must be more of an annoyance than a 50' boat in the water. 

I've seen many images of whales injured by prop strikes and no evidence that multirotors are harmful.  Legislators know best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew! 

We did a whale research study in Maui and the researchers we were working with mentioned it.  At the time they were appalled because we were restricted to 100ft and obviously they were getting much closer than that.

We got some amazing footage but researchers are a bit odd when it comes to sharing so we couldn't use it to promote our services.  Do you ever wonder where the great shots of whales come from?  

Anyway, we got a day off and we spent it traveling around Maui, there are a few whale shots in this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're restricted to 300ft in Hawai'i, for approach by water.  Of course, if you're sitting still and the whale swims under the boat, you can't do anything about that, just a mandatory engine kill closer than 300ft.

Air traffic (including drones) is restricted to 1,000ft (stupid, but was originally designed for helicopters and their noises).  As of now, NOAA uses drones to collect data, but still says 'no drones' over the top or nearer than 1,000ft for the rest of us, despite publicly releasing an article praising the low-impact of drones (again, very stupid rule, since boats can get 300ft).

So, in short, unless authorized by NOAA, drone flights over whales in Hawai'i are illegal, and the public is discouraged from performing these flights.

That's just my official 'please don't come here and harass our wildlife' post, now for the real stuff...

GREAT FOOTAGE Chuck!!!  Love love love the whale shots, would like to know more about connecting with PACWHALE the way you did.

Edited by JBR LIFE Photography

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

Yeah, we flew for NOAA and a researcher from CSUCI.  She had a "permit" to fly within 100ft.

Ahhhh, CSUCI...I think they work with PacWhale right?  Either way, if you ever get this way doing anything fun again, please let's connect!  I'd love to meet up, show you some of my fav spots that are NOT in the blue guide book :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

Yeah, we flew for NOAA and a researcher from CSUCI.  She had a "permit" to fly within 100ft.

I wish we could give ourselves a "permit" when we wanted.  That would be very convenient. :)   

Either it harms the wildlife or it doesn't. If the logic is "the good out-weighs the bad",  well that's very subjective.  Most likely the restrictions are because, 

A.  "Better safe than sorry." 

Which is good to a point.  "what point?"  Again, subjective.  But from all the video I have watched,  the whales appear that they couldn't care less about the presence of sUAS.  Much different than a Hughs 500 (for example).

B.  sUAS are new and scary and inherently evil.

I hope this starts fading pretty soon. It's getting pretty old by now.

Edited by Dave Pitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a bit different.  Just because I participated in the study by no means makes me an expert.  We just supported them with the drones.  

I don't know the exact term for this but the reason there are so few of these permits issued is because the permit allows you to "take" one animal.  Kind of like a hunting tag.  It doesn't mean you can kill an animal but because of the proximity they take that into consideration.

we could only get to within 100' but the whales could get as close to you as they like.  Not like your going to stop it and they were incredibly inquisitive.  

Probably not something I'll have the opportunity to do again but at least I can cross it off my bucket list.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2017 at 2:54 PM, Dave Pitman said:

I wish we could give ourselves a "permit" when we wanted.  That would be very convenient. :)   

Either it harms the wildlife or it doesn't. If the logic is "the good out-weighs the bad",  well that's very subjective.  Most likely the restrictions are because, 

A.  "Better safe than sorry." 

Which is good to a point.  "what point?"  Again, subjective.  But from all the video I have watched,  the whales appear that they couldn't care less about the presence of sUAS.  Much different than a Hughs 500 (for example).

B.  sUAS are new and scary and inherently evil.

I hope this starts fading pretty soon. It's getting pretty old by now.

I think there's an option C. that's overlooked.  If they say, 'No problem, drones are fine for all to check out whales' then we get to watch as tourists come here, fly their drones out to sea, crash them on top of whales, or even worse, try to land them on the whales.  Think it won't happen?  Come to Maui and read the news for a week to see how many people throw caution to the wind and eff themselves up.  

We already have illegal drone flights, drones over the top of people on beaches (not just small ones, I saw an Inspire 1 cruise over about 25 people the other day, and an old man almost walked right into it as it was landing), drones flown past sunset without proper lighting, and the list goes on.  NOAA is smart enough to know that a wide-reaching ruling against whale-chasing with drones is best for all, even though it makes it tough for those of us playing by the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good points to be sure. 

On the other hand,  if the responsible drone operator that is just as respectful as the scientists requests a permit,  I get the impression that they will not even be considered.  That in an of itself will lead to folks filming the whales illegally that otherwise would be happy to go through a permitting process. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Welcome to UCCF.

    The UAV Coach Community Forum is actively moderated by the UAV Coach team and offered to help serve those in the UAV industry. Use this space to meet and greet, to ask and answer questions, to share what you're working on, etc. Have fun, play nice, and fly safe! :)

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      3,721
    • Total Posts
      18,191