3D Robotics


From ABC News in Denver:

DENVER - The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it is launching an official investigation around the drone that was seen flying over the 4/20 rally in Denver on Sunday.

"Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft -- manned or unmanned -- in U.S. airspace needs some level of authorization from the FAA," Allen Kenitzer from the FAA wrote in an email.

Authorization can be for either the private sector for purposes such as research or training, or for public use, which requires a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for public aircraft.

But drones are sometimes considered model aircraft, which only have to follow FAA guidelines. Those guidelines say hobby aircraft-flyers must keep their aircrafts below 400 feet above ground level and away from airports and air traffic. Besides this, the guidelines specifically exclude the flying of model aircraft for business purposes.

The FAA website says that "routine operation" of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over densely-populated areas is not allowed.

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  • Speaking as a PI company who are thinkijng of investing in a drone here in the UK. We have so many hops to jump though just like it is in the states i expect, but as long as we stick to the rules etc, there are no problems. 

  • Without a doubt, people who do stunts like the 420 flyover are not helping public perception of drones/ UAVs. As a community of enthusiasts, we need to strongly reject such pilots else we face a severe backlash/setback if and when people get hurt.

  • Paul said: "Legal or not, if that thing was flown over peoples heads, it's an unsafe act. It is NOT a high integrity system"

    Well said. Not sure what this was all about but it seems some people are so desperate for attention they will do anything stupid to get it using whatever tool needed. 

  • MR60

    Please join us and help us in the fight for our freedom and the right to use UAV for commercial purposes here :


  • I agree one hundred percent Bill.  In the meantime if we can be good ambassadors for the hobby, we can negate the reputation that drones have from the military and intelligence operations.  That will be important as we look to the populace for sympathy to our cause.

  • Moderator

    In the meantime, following common sense guidelines seems to be the best idea.  

  • Moderator

    The FAA seems to be working hard to alienate themselves from people who fly any kind of 'drone' for any reason.  What's likely to happen is a grassroots groundswell that will delay any new regulation from becoming law for a long time.  

    The FAA has no power to create new laws, those still have to come from congress or state governments.   Congress can be influenced from the outside, and if there are a zillion 'FAA Haters' by the time the FAA comes up with a proposed set of regulations to be handed off to congress, there could be unintended consequences from the black lash.  

  • Thanks Ken and others. I am curious what kind of GPS surveys are in demand from a drone.

  • That's exactly how I plan to bill my stuff out. I do GPS surveys on a regular basis for clients. Having a UAV taking pictures is the obvious next step. Hell, don't even put the imagery on the bill/invoice. If you do any analysis (feature extraction, NDVI, etc) you can bill THAT out. If it is that important, just roll the price for the imagery into the other line items then show the imagery itself as a NO CHARGE or even VALUE ADDED item.

    I typically bill $450 per day for a GPS survey with a half-day minimum and mileage/expenses/per diem as separate line items. Jiggle some numbers around and it may LOOK expensive to the casual observer, but the imagery is rolled into the cost of the survey. Just conveniently leave the imagery out as a separate line item on the invoice. Done.

  • The way to still say you are a hobbyist is to bill the whole thing out as a "GPS SURVEY" and put "NO CHARGE" on the imagery line item. You aren't profiting from it...no harm no foul.

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