Patrick McKay's Blog (13)

Remote ID Proposal Outlaws Home-built RC Aircraft

I want to clear up a myth about the FAA's proposed remote ID rules that I've been seeing floating around. People think that amateur home-built model aircraft will be largely unaffected by this, since they can just fly at AMA fields. Or people think that to build and fly…


Added by Patrick McKay on December 30, 2019 at 1:16pm — 10 Comments

FOIA Request Reveals FAA UAS Enforcement Data

Back in April I filed a FOIA request with the FAA requesting the following documents:

“All releasable records related to civil enforcement actions or certificate actions against operators of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or model aircraft, initiated in 2014 or 2015. This request includes, but is not limited to, letters of investigation, notices of…


Added by Patrick McKay on August 14, 2015 at 11:17am — 12 Comments

Draft Legislation Would Ban All RC Aircraft in Colorado

I have recently learned of a piece of draft legislation soon to be introduced in the Colorado State Senate by Senators Linda Newell and Kevin Lundberg (who I interned for in high school ironically), which if passed as worded would effectively ban all recreational and commercial use of unmanned/remote-control aircraft in Colorado. The full text of the draft bill, which…


Added by Patrick McKay on January 11, 2015 at 6:19pm — 16 Comments

FOIA Response Reveals FAA Routinely Misrepresents the Law Regarding Unmanned Aircraft


The FAA has finally provided the first set of documents in response to a FOIA request I filed back in April 2013, requesting copies "of all records related to investigations and enforcement actions related to alleged violations of regulations, rules, policies, or advisory circulars by operators of unmanned aerial systems." After months of delays, excuses, and requesting extensions,…


Added by Patrick McKay on February 4, 2014 at 4:48pm — 59 Comments

Bill Introduced to Ban Hobbyist Drones in Washington State

A new year and the start of new state legislative sessions brings a new crop of absurdly broad and unconstitutional proposals to ban FPV / personal drones.

First up this year, Washington state:…


Added by Patrick McKay on January 9, 2014 at 11:30am — 51 Comments

A Drone's View of the Colorado Floods

The recent Colorado floods are giving us a great look at how useful UAVs will be in disaster recovery and photography in the future.

While FEMA may have grounded Falcon UAV's aerial survey mission of the flooding around Boulder and…


Added by Patrick McKay on September 17, 2013 at 1:31pm — 6 Comments

Loveland Pass FPV Proximity Flying

Last Saturday I was finally able to do a flight I've been wanting to do pretty much since starting FPV. I took my Deep Reaper flying wing up to the top of Loveland Pass, Colorado for some awesome proximity action along the ridge line above the Arapahoe Basin ski area. Even though the lighting wasn't the best because of the dark clouds and my Deep Reaper isn't…


Added by Patrick McKay on September 2, 2013 at 10:46am — No Comments

8.6 mile Rangelink UHF Control Handoff Mission (video)

At the summer 2013 Colorado FPV meet in South Park, near Hartsel, Colorado, a group of us did a special project. We did a one-way, point-to-point FPV flight from the top of a hill next to our campsite to the far side of a reservoir 8.6 miles away, handing off control from the pilot at the launch site (myself) to a pilot at the landing site halfway through the…


Added by Patrick McKay on July 23, 2013 at 11:30am — 8 Comments

FPV Assent of Colorado 14er

Earlier this week I was able to fulfill one of my long-time goals of making an FPV assent of one of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks (14ers in local lingo). I flew my Deep Reaper XL flying wing to the top of the 14,065 foot Mount Bierstadt.

Flying at high altitudes can be a challenge. My launch point was at the top of Guanella Pass, which is around 11,600…


Added by Patrick McKay on July 4, 2013 at 1:00pm — 7 Comments

Deep Reaper Final Adventures (and crash)

An exciting, action-packed compilation of the best flights from the last few months of my FPV Deep Reaper's life, featuring lots of fun proximity flying at various locations around Colorado's Front Range. At the end is the video of my plane's unfortunate demise when I accidentally flew through the signal beam of a TV tower on Mt. Morrison, causing my elevon gyros to…


Added by Patrick McKay on March 25, 2013 at 9:30am — 9 Comments

Winter FPV at Castlewood Canyon

This is a quick video of a flight after some fresh snow in Castlewood Canyon State Park south of Denver, which was one of my favorite places to go as a kid. This is the first video I've posted using my new GoPro3 White Edition. It's taken me forever to figure out the right settings for color correction, since the raw video from this camera is normally flat…


Added by Patrick McKay on February 2, 2013 at 3:25pm — No Comments

Deep Reaper Adventures - First Month

Here is a compilation of clips from the best flights from my first month flying my new FPV Deep Reaper wing. The first minute or so is my maiden flight, and the rest of the video features clips from various flights around the Denver area.

Here's a shot of my plane and ground station:…


Added by Patrick McKay on December 9, 2012 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

Colorado FPV Holiday

This is an awesome compilation of my best FPV flights from the first half of the summer since I moved home to Colorado after graduating from law school in Virginia. Lots of low-level proximity action and beautiful scenery from the Colorado low lands south of Denver. Highlights include Daniels Park, Mount Herman in Monument, Castlewood Canyon, and the new…


Added by Patrick McKay on July 16, 2012 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

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