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Beware if you are in Spain


With thanks to Patrick of GrupoAcre in Spain for sending this to us.

Yesterday we came to know (by news) that the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA) has suspended “All UAV Operations in Spanish Airspace” and further has declared that all operations, which are not conducted on a “Radio-controlled Aircraft Airfield” or in Sport Hall (Not Track and Field), are Illegal”.

What is the background on that?

Spain has a high level of so called “Pirate Flyers”, those guys fly with toy –equipment or semi-professional equipment, without “Insurances”, without obeying rules in max. Altitude and max. Distances, not obeying “Data Law” and other legal issues. Since, more and more “Not – Professionals” has declared by themselves as “Professionals” and few smaller accidents, obviously happened, AESA Spain has taken the decision to stop such operations, as of 07th April 2014.

For month ago, a Spanish Filming Company flew inside Madrid in FPV Mode on a distance of more than one km, in an altitude band between 20 – 150m, along the skyscraper etc. …. For sure a nice video, but a lot of people complained! Further and important is that Madrid has areas we filming and flying is not allowed …………….

More here

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(I don't you think you launch them like an Easystar Chris)

Marco Della Cava USA Today

BERKELEY, Calif. — The flight plan of Chris Anderson's life is filled with funky layovers. Punk rocker. Physicist. Magazine editor. Book author. Geek dad.

But all those stops were just formative detours on the journey to his current role as CEO and co-founder of drone-maker 3D Robotics.

"I could argue that every step of my career makes sense, although from 50,000 feet it looks utterly random and insane," says Anderson, 52. "Even the punk rock phase makes perfect sense. Well, no, it doesn't make any sense at all."

Anderson laughs easily and readily, often at himself. Make no mistake, he's a voluble Renaissance man who's fully aware of his accomplishments as a particle physicist (at Los Alamos National Lab) turned magazine chief (with The Economist and thenWired, which he edited for the past 12 years).

But he'd rather talk about how he's the dumbest guy in the room at 3D Robotics, a mushrooming year-old garage-based operation that — thanks to some $37 million in venture capital infusions — is poised to be a leader in the coming drone economy.

"Being a journalist and being a CEO are similar, because as a journalist you're writing about the do-ers, and as a CEO you're empowering them and taking delight in their success," says Anderson. "I'm the worst programmer and electrical engineer here. And I should be."

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Patrick Egan

The original and world’s best recognized small business end-user association is back for another round of, please keep your onerous regulation off of my business plan. Seriously, things have started to heat up with congressional mandates and media coverage of an industry that can longer be ignored. All gray areas in the law aside, there is no denying that this industry and technology are here to stay. If you go to the movies, watched cable TV or sports, have bought a house, ate some food, used a cell phone you may have been downstream of drone work.

The FAA has long since lost the battle of stuffing the genie back in the bottle. So now, the FAA’s only recourse is to constrain the genie. Delays and onerous regulation are the only cards they have left to play. That is why is imperative that would be business end-users of this technology have a say in their business future. There is only group looking out for the small businessperson, RCAPA. Yes, we have been on a hiatus from the effort and energy we had put into the airspace integration effort. The main reasons were the pace of rulemaking, and that we did not have the money to compete with the DoD vendors and pro DoD vendor lobby. We are coming down to the home stretch. The standards have been written there is a new UAS ARC, and big business is scrambling for the advantage.

Many said in 2004 that RCAPA was ahead of its time others said it was just right. Over the years, the RCAPA has participated in the ASTM, RTCA, Eurocae, International Coordination Council, with international CAA’s and the FAA. These efforts have brought to fruition best practices, proposed operational guidelines, a testing program and liability insurance. No other group can make the same claims or has the as many years in the Global airspace integration effort.


The RCAPA board has put out a public statement asking past and future members if they are able and willing to take up their own cause. Are you ready to support your industry?

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Interesting press release from the FAA

Quoting from :

February 26–There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about unmanned aircraft system (UAS) regulations. Here are some common myths and the corresponding facts.

Myth #1: The FAA doesn't control airspace below 400 feet

Fact—The FAA is responsible for the safety of U.S. airspace from the ground up. This misperception may originate with the idea that manned aircraft generally must stay at least 500 feet above the ground

Myth #2: Commercial UAS flights are OK if I'm over private property and stay below 400 feet.

Fact—The FAA published a Federal Register notice in 2007 that clarified the agency’s policy: You may not fly a UAS for commercial purposes by claiming that you’re operating according to the Model Aircraft guidelines (below 400 feet, 3 miles from an airport, away from populated areas.) Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis. A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria, using Insitu's ScanEagle, and authorization was limited to the Arctic.(

Myth #3: Commercial UAS operations are a “gray area” in FAA regulations.

Fact—There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft—manned or unmanned—in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval. Private sector (civil) users can obtain an experimental airworthiness certificate to conduct research and development, training and flight demonstrations. Commercial UAS operations are limited and require the operator to have certified aircraft and pilots, as well as operating approval. To date, only two UAS models (the Scan Eagle and Aerovironment’s Puma) have been certified, and they can only fly in the Arctic. Public entities (federal, state and local governments, and public universities) may apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). The FAA reviews and approves UAS operations over densely-populated areas on a case-by-case basis.

Flying model aircraft solely for hobby or recreational reasons doesn’t require FAA approval, but hobbyists must operate according to the agency's model aircraft guidance, which prohibits operations in populated areas.

Myth #4: There are too many commercial UAS operations for the FAA to stop.

Fact—The FAA has to prioritize its safety responsibilities, but the agency is monitoring UAS operations closely. Many times, the FAA learns about suspected commercial UAS operations via a complaint from the public or other businesses. The agency occasionally discovers such operations through the news media or postings on internet sites. When the FAA discovers apparent unauthorized UAS operations, the agency has a number of enforcement tools available to address these operations, including a verbal warning, a warning letter, and an order to stop the operation.

Myth #5: Commercial UAS operations will be OK after September 30, 2015.

Fact—In the 2012 FAA reauthorization legislation, Congress told the FAA to come up with a plan for “safe integration” of UAS by September 30, 2015. Safe integration will be incremental. The agency is still developing regulations, policies and standards that will cover a wide variety of UAS users, and expects to publish a proposed rule for small UAS – under about 55 pounds – later this year. That proposed rule will likely include provisions for commercial operations.

Myth #6: The FAA is lagging behind other countries in approving commercial drones.
Fact – This comparison is flawed. The United States has the busiest, most complex airspace in the world, including many general aviation aircraft that we must consider when planning UAS integration, because those same airplanes and small UAS may occupy the same airspace.
Developing all the rules and standards we need is a very complex task, and we want to make sure we get it right the first time. We want to strike the right balance of requirements for UAS to help foster growth in an emerging industry with a wide range of potential uses, but also keep all airspace users and people on the ground safe.

Myth #7: The FAA predicts as many as 30,000 drones by 2030.

Fact—That figure is outdated. It was an estimate in the FAA’s 2011 Aerospace Forecast. Since then, the agency has refined its prediction to focus on the area of greatest expected growth. The FAA currently estimates as many as 7,500 small commercial UAS may be in use by 2018, assuming the necessary regulations are in place. The number may be updated when the agency publishes the proposed rule on small UAS later this year.


You can catch up with exactly what's happening with airspace integration at our show in May. Jim Williams will be speaking Jim Williams is the Manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office. This office functions as the single agency focal point for all UAS-related activities and is uniquely positioned to develop and coordinate solutions to UAS challenges across the FAA and with external organizations.

Chris A will also be there.

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Eye eye whats this then


Interesting article at IEEE all about 3DR but it was the flying wing that caught my eye, along with a very relaxed image of Jordi. Is that just an RV Jet from a funny angle or is there something different about it? That's a good chuck to get it that high before the folding prop starts. 

The poster child for that elite is Jordi Muñoz. He broke off his studies in electrical engineering in Mexico to spend two years on drone technology, cranking out C++ code for a UAV autopilot based on the Arduino microcontroller. Anderson heard of the autopilot, ordered a test version, and began an online dialogue that ended with the two men’s founding of 3D Robotics. (The name refers to the one dimension where robots had not previously gone: up.)


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T3 Season 2, The Model: heading to the finish.


Just a gentle reminder that the current T3 round closes on the 1st of Feb. If you have entered before then you know I am fairly flexible with my calendar and observance of it. 

What can I say about the entries so far other than quite amazing! The flight planning and post production involved will have taken perhaps hundreds of hours and all the contestants can be very proud of what they have achieved.

The thread is here, It contains a great deal of knowledge!

The T3 started back in 2009 the complete list of contests to date is here

A couple more images from it. None of these images point to the results in any way!




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“Drones have gotten a very bad rap for various reasons,” says Kelly Cohen, associate professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at UC. “But our students see that unmanned systems can have a positive impact on society.”

Cohen and a team of researchers have developed an experimental capability to capture the dynamic behavior of the UAV platform, which complements other work they’ve done with UAVs in disaster management operations. Wei Wei, one of Cohen’s students and the lead author of “Frequency-Domain System Identification and Simulation of a Quadrotor Controller,” will present the UAV dynamics research Jan. 16 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SciTech 2014 conference in National Harbor, Md. The event unites international aerospace scholars and professionals to collaborate on advances in research, development and technology.

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DOT delays NPRM yet again.


This post is dull and only of interest to those in the USA. But if you are in the USA and want to fly commercially it should have your full attention.

The start of the rule making process that you have all been waiting on is pushed back to November of this year, maybe.

Not the first time this has happened, sUAS News has a count down timer which is in negative numbers from one of the previous dates two years ago.


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MOU between the FAA and AMA


Signed at the AMA Expo, Ontario California. DTV is there and will report back!

Memorandum of Understanding between Academy of Model Aeronautics and Federal Aviation Administration

Concerning Operation of Model Aircraft In the National Airspace System


This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a cooperative working relationship between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).


AMA is a nationally recognized, non-profit membership organization that was established in 1936. The organization has provided leadership for an expansive aero-modeling community throughout the United States and its territories. Over time, AMA has developed and maintained a National Model Aircraft Safety Code, which provides guidelines for the safe
operation of model aircraft.

Until 1981, there were no federal guidelines or directives for model aircraft operations. In June of that year, the FAA published an Advisory Circular (AC 91-57) titled “Model Aircraft Operating Standards.” Although not directive in nature, AC 91-57 provided general guidance for the operation of model aircraft.

On February 17, 2012, President Obama signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) (Pub.L.112-95) into law. Within this Act, a special provision for model aircraft was enacted. Section 336 of the FMRA provides a definition of the term “model aircraft”, requirements for operating model aircraft, and reinforces the authority that the FAA possesses to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft in an unsafe manner. In addition, section 106 and 40103 of Title 49, United States Code provides the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration to prescribe aviation standards and regulate aviation operations in the National Airspace System (NAS).

In addition, in the FMRA, Congress acknowledged the efficacy of community-based safety programming, and specified that if a model aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization, the FAA may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding that model aircraft.

This MOU outlines the relationship that will be maintained between the FAA and the AMA.

The AMA and the FAA intend to work together by openly communicating any questions and needs as they arise. Technology and operating environments are always changing, and thus establishing an understanding of the nature of the cooperative working relationship between the two organizations is critical to meet the mission needs of the FAA and the AMA.


The Academy of Model Aeronautics agrees to:

 Develop, establish, and maintain a comprehensive safety program to educate and direct its members in how to safely operate model aircraft in the NAS.

 Develop, maintain, and enact appropriate guidelines, procedures, and operating standards for its members responsive to the minimum safety criteria established in PL112-95 and implement the AMA Safety Program to include the PL 112-95 Enactment Standards.

 Maintain the AMA Safety Program by regularly reviewing relevant safety data and updating the program to address any issues that are brought to light by the data.

 Continue to establish appropriate safety guidelines for emergent technologies and novel facets of aero-modeling activity.

 Provide the FAA with an updated copy of the AMA Safety Program whenever substantive changes are made, or upon request.

 Foster a positive and cooperative environment within the aero-modeling community toward the FAA, its employees, and its regulatory structure.

 Serve as a conduit between the aero-modeling community at-large, the hobby industry, and the FAA in order to provide relevant and time-critical aviation safety information to all parties.

 Bring issues and questions to the FAA when matters arise related to model aircraft that could impact the safety of the NAS.

 Maintain Safety Programming documentation on the public section of the AMA website in order to promote safety throughout the entire aero-modeling community, even among non-AMA members.

The Federal Aviation Administration agrees to:

 Review AMA’s Safety Program and advise the Academy on safety issues related to aero-modeling operations within the NAS.

 Educate and inform appropriate FAA field personnel regarding the most current aeromodeling policies, procedures, and operating standards.

 Address model aviation safety and operational issues through the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, AFS-80. This office will act as a conduit to other areas of the FAA in order to resolve and address matters of mutual concern and interest.

 Foster a positive and cooperative environment towards model aviation within the agency’s national, regional, district, and local offices.

 Maintain an open line of communication with the AMA to exchange information and provide relevant and/or time critical notices regarding aviation safety and airspace operations.

 Cooperate with the AMA in dealing with and resolving issues of concern to either or both parties.

Effective Dates

It is understood and agreed by the undersigned that the intent of this MOU is to state shared goals and to establish and maintain cooperation toward meeting these shared goals. This MOU does not create any binding obligation on either party. Each party agrees to conduct its representative activities in a coordinated and mutually beneficial manner. The FAA and the AMA will evaluate their respective participation with the terms of this agreement periodically and communicate any issues with the term as soon as they arise.

This MOU will be in effect at the time of the signing and may be terminated at any time by either of the signing authorities or their successors. One party or the other must serve the notice of the termination at least ninety (90) days prior to the effective date of that termination, or in the case of mutual consent, with no prior notice requirement.

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Would you fly it?


I think I might like to have a go....

The Black Knight Transformer is designed for autonomous casualty evacuation and manned or unmanned cargo resupply missions. Its unmanned capabilities keep pilots out of harm’s way, making it the safest casualty evacuation option. The interior volume is comparable to a Blackhawk helicopter, making it well-suited for cargo missions as well.

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James Williams, executive manager of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, will join AMA President Bob Brown on the main Expo stage at 3 p.m. PST, on Saturday, January 11, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement institutes a formal relationship between the FAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics and establishes the platform upon which the AMA and the FAA will jointly work to ensure the continued safe operation of model aircraft in the National Airspace System.

“The execution of this document puts the Federal Aviation Administration one step closer to fully enacting the Special Rule for Model Aircraft established as part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012,” said AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson. “Still to be realized is FAA’s formal recognition of the AMA as a community-based organization as described by Congress and the agency’s acknowledgment of AMA’s Safety Program as a means of substantiating the safety guidelines and overseeing the operation of recreational unmanned aircraft.”

The AMA has served as the national body for model aviation for 77 years. During that time, the aeromodeling community has achieved an excellent safety record through adherence to AMA’s National Model Aircraft Safety Code and its comprehensive safety program. The efficacy of AMA’s community-based safety program was acknowledged by Congress in the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill, now Public Law 112-95.

The premier exposition for model aviation, AMA Expo 2014, takes place January 10-12, 2014, at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario CA. Anyone with an interest in the emerging unmanned aircraft systems technology or model aviation in general is encouraged to attend. AMA Expo provides an opportunity to learn more about the hobby, view and purchase the latest in model aircraft technology, mingle with aeromodeling enthusiasts, and listen to presentations by aviation experts.

AMA Expo is hosted by the Academy of Model Aeronautics and is sponsored in part by Go Professional Custom Xtreme Cases, Aerial Media Pros, International Radio Controlled Helicopter Association (IRCHA), Castle Creations, Southwest Aerovista Hobbies, AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems, Estes Rockets, Gorilla Glue, U.S. Scale Masters, Nationwide Insurance, and others.

A complete schedule of events, ticket information, and more can be found at

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has been the nation’s collective voice for approximately 164,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in every state and Puerto Rico since 1936. A nonprofit association headquartered in Muncie IN, AMA sanctions more than 2,000 events and competitions each year under the auspices of the National Aeronautic Association.

sUAS News will be there watch out for a special edition of Drone TV

In almost related news France has underlined its fine scheme for illegal UA operation. So watch out if you are in France.

  • Enforcement against unlawful UAS activities: During the same meeting, France’s national aviation police (“GTA”) provided insights into enforcement activities. This follows the industry’s criticisms deploring unfair competition practices from few UAS actors. As of October 2013, around ten investigations have being carried out against French UAS actors. Those face criminal (i.e. fine up to €75,000 and/or one year of imprisonment) and/or administrative (i.e. withdrawal of authorisation) sanctions. To date, only one company based in South of France has been sanctioned.

That one company in the South of France is permitted to operate out to a distance of 100km!

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Drone TV Field Trip


Patricks cracker barrel makes another appearance and Lady Gaga's pilot, Gus Calderon goes through his multirotor flight safety routine in this the second episode of Drone TV. We think this is a sensible way of operating what do folks here think?


More videos on the sUAS News YouTube channel

If you are in the car you can always catch up with the podcast here

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Entrepreneurs need lots of data about their desired customers before they build a product. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and progenitor of the modern "do it yourself" (DIY) drone trend, understood this well: Before founding his drone company, Anderson went about figuring out exactly what the world wanted.

Anderson created, a forum where amateur tinkerers and engineers trade tips on how to make all kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The forum has been an ideal focus group, and what has become clear is that, while normal people are obsessed with flying robots, they don't want to invest in building them from A to Z.

The solution? Manufacture and sell low-cost drones to the masses. And that's exactly what Anderson is doing. "We created the community, then the product," Anderson told the Verge in September, a day after announcing a $30 million financing round for 3D Robotics, which is building unmanned airplanes and helicopters. With his new money, many observers say, Anderson could really break open the market for mainstream UAVs. In 2012, Anderson's company sold over $5 million worth of drones—and this year, sales are projected to double.

Anderson envisions a day when mass-market drones make everyone's lives a little bit easier—a prospect that would bolster his company's bottom line. That goes for farmers who could use UAVs to monitor crops or cattle, as well as emergency responders who could use them on rescue missions. To get there, Anderson plans to continue his step-by-step approach to entrepreneurial success. "What comes next is the platform," Anderson, former editor in chief of Wired, told the Verge, "the software that makes drones useful to people in the real world."

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That Amazon Drone? Not Going To Happen Till 2020


Rakesh Sharma

While regulation may delay Bezos’ plans, technology may get there sooner.

“We are not in hyperloop science fiction territory here,” says Brandon Basso, lead researcher at 3D Robotics, referring to Elon Musk’s plans to develop a transit system between LA and SF . According to him, the range and payload (less than five pounds and ten miles) specified by Bezos will become “more possible” with future technology.

The problem is also one of costs. Basso says the absolute best battery and propulsion technology onboard could set commercial drones by at least $10,000. That is a significant amount of money per drone, even for a money-spinning behemoth like Amazon.

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AscTec and E-volo VC 200 takes flight.


E-volo’s Volocopter is a revolution in aviation Made in Germany. Safer, simpler, and cleaner than normal helicopters, it has a unique way of moving – a groundbreaking innovation. The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter. Instead of one combustion engine, eighteen electrically driven rotors propel it

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Lots and lots to read and think about but the FAA has published a press release today.

Here's one bit


1. Establish Applicable Certification and Training Requirements for Pilots/Crew Members, Other UAS Operational Personnel, and Appropriate Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Personnel

1.1. Determine the roles and responsibilities of applicable pilots/crew members, other
UAS operational personnel, and appropriate ANSP personnel for safe UAS integration.

1.2. Develop and propose regulatory changes, as required, to define licensing (certification) and training requirements for pilots/crew members, other UAS operational personnel, and appropriate ANSP personnel (address in 14 CFR Part 61,
63, 65, and 141-147).

1.3. Publish, if required, final rule requirements for applicable pilots/crew members, other UAS operational personnel, and appropriate ANSP personnel.

1.4. Begin training and certification initiatives for pilots/crew members, other UAS operational personnel, and appropriate ANSP personnel.

2. Approve Applicable Medical Requirements and Standards (e.g., address 14 CFR Part 67)

2.1. Develop and propose regulatory changes, as required, to define draft medical requirements and standards.

2.2. Publish, if required, a final rule establishing medical requirements and standards.

3. Establish Applicable Airworthiness Certification Requirements

3.1. Facilitate the initiation of applicable classification and basis of airworthiness certification.

3.2. Facilitate the development of draft airworthiness design standards.

3.3. Develop applicable draft airworthiness certification advisory circulars.

3.4. Approve and publish final system airworthiness certification advisory circulars.

3.5. Ensure that a robust and integrated test environment is available to develop, test, and evaluate UAS.

3.6. Administer certification, including Advisory Circular (AC) guidance and oversight.

This graphic might worry folks, especially as we know how much the FAA can make things slide


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