Hello From Beneath the DCA SFRA

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Hey everyone, 

I'm really happy to have found this site, it's already answered many questions I've had. 

Quick background, I've been flying General Aviation aircraft since I was 14 years old (40's now), had my pilot's license before my driver's license, and while convinced I wanted to be a airline pilot stayed in the GA sector of the industry.

As it sits now, I have roughly 2,000 hours logged during my training, instructing others, and selling aircraft in a defined territory. I also spent significant time maintaining both today rotary and fixed wing aircraft, lobbied on behalf of the GA community to a number of agencies, ended up being hired by one, the FAA, where I worked on environmental compliance of air traffic initiatives. 

Over the years I've earned my FAA Commercial SEL, MEL, with Instrument Rating, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), CFI Instruments (CFII), Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI), and finally an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic certificate.

While I have no stick time with any US military UAS operations, I did work directly with the crews to exploit the intelligence collected by them. 

And so my dad unexpectedly gets me a refurbished Parrot Bebop 2 about three Christmas's ago. At the time, all my first hand experiences with consumer UAS were with the cheaper, barely stable types which required a tremendous amount of attention to operate or prevent from crashing. Few had any type of image or video recording capabilities, much less any ability to stream the FPV of what the cameras collected. 

Because of those experiences, I didn't fly that aircraft for roughly 18 months for fear of crashing it. 

Then one day I just decide to try it, and found myself staring at this thing hovering a few feet in front of me, EXACTLY over the spot it was placed before pressing the Takeoff button, in awe of how far they had come. 

Without thinking about it, I ended up putting myself through a regiment  very similar to the "building upon foundational skills" instruction I used with my flight students decades ago. 

This little drone, despite it's goofy model designation, never fails to amaze me any time I fly it.  I've had a few "mishaps", let's say they were "arrivals" as opposed to landings, and it doesn't miss a beat. In fact, I've seen a few times where it very quickly and effectively recovered when one or more of the 16 rotorblades accidentally can't into contact with a tree branch, or the such. 

And now I'm looking at getting my Biannual Flight Review renewed in order to be issued my 14CFR Part 107 drone pilot license. I've already had discussions with some buddies in both the residential and commercial real estate sectors about providing some cool marketing material. I'll be upgrading to something equipped with a 4K video camera mounted with a fully articulating and stabilized gimbal system. 

Firstly, I'm here to learn from those who are smarter than I am in this, which is all of you. However, if anyone has a specific question which I might be able to address based on my background, I'll do my best to address it, or find someone who can. 

Looking forward to some engaging discussions! 


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This is the Internet where everyone knows how to do everything but few have ever actually done anything. Which means despite your lack of drone stick time you are probably going to be the smartest guy in the room.  

Have fun.

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